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Bob Berman

Bob Berman’s Strange Universe

Biocentrism:A New Way to See the Universe

Figuring out the nature of the “real world” has obsessed scientists and philosophers for millennia. In the past few decades, however, major puzzles of mainstream science have forced a re-evaluation of the nature of the cosmos. Starting in the 1920’s, scientists found that some experiments’ results totally depended on whether anyone was watching. The observer critically influenced the outcome. Since then, paradoxes accompanying the Big Bang theory (how can an entire universe pop out of nothingness?), and other major, intractable problems of cosmology (e.g. what is this dark energy that seems to be blowing the universe apart) suggest that our models require a seismic shift.

At this pivotal point in science, medical doctor Robert Lanza and I believe a more accurate understanding of the “real world” will require combining astrophysics and biology instead of keeping them separate, and putting observers firmly into the equation. This view is called biocentrism.

One critical key to many of physical science’s puzzles has been shunted out of the way simply because we didn’t know what to do with it. This – consciousness – is not a small item. It is not like anything else. Consciousness, meaning awareness or perception, in an utter mystery for biology and physics alike, has somehow arisen from molecules and goo. How did inert, random bits of carbon ever morph into that Japanese guy who always wins the hot dog eating contest?

The intractable problem of origins aside, human awareness is not just some pesky byproduct or irrelevant item, the way a buzzing mosquito might interfere with a biologist’s concentration. Rather, consciousness is the matrix upon which the cosmos is apprehended, and stands at the critical forefront of the role played by the observer. As we more fully understand this, several long-held puzzles immediately yield answers.

Undeniably it is the biological creature that makes the observations and creates the theories. For example, we observe the universe solely through the medium of light. But on its own, light doesn’t HAVE any color, nor any brightness, nor any visual characteristics at all. It’s merely an invisible electrical and magnetic phenomenon. So while you may think that the moon as you remember it is “there” when no one’s looking at it, nothing remotely resembling what you can imagine could be present when a consciousness is not interacting.

Now You See It. . .

Physicists say that the particles that make up our universe only take form when their individual “wave-function” collapses. Starting in the 1920s, and accelerating with John Bell’s work in the 1960s, it has became increasingly clear that any possible way the experimenter could take a look at an object would collapse the wave function. This reality simply cannot be made clear in this short space, but in our book Biocentrism, we devote two full chapters to the actual, repeatable experiments showing that this is indeed the case.

Before these experiments of the past few decades, it was still considered possible that Einstein was right in thinking that “local realism” – an objective independent universe – could be the truth. And that physical states exist before they are measured. Before Bell’s work of the 1960s, it was still widely believed that particles have definite attributes and values independent of the act of measuring. And, it used to be assumed, if observers are sufficiently far apart, they can remain utterly unaffected by the goings-on elsewhere. All this is now gone for keeps.

No Time to Lose

Quantum revelations and the universe’s curious physical parameters (the fact that 200 physical parameters and forces are just perfect for life’s existence) strongly suggests a biocentric basis for the cosmos. Oddly enough, so do space and time. According to biocentrism, time simply does not exist independent of life that notices it.

The reality of time has long been questioned by an odd alliance of philosophers and physicists. The former argue that the past exists only as ideas in the mind, which themselves are solely neuroelectrical events occurring strictly in the present moment. Physicists, for their part, find that when people speak of time, they’re usually referring to change. But change is not the same thing as time.

Time is the animal sense that animates events. Everything you perceive – even this page — is actively and repeatedly being reconstructed inside your head in an organized whirl of information. Time can be defined as the summation of spatial states; the same thing measured with our scientific instruments is called momentum.

The weaving together of these individual information frames occurs in the mind. So what’s real? We confront a here-and-now. If the next “image” is different from the last, then it is different, period. We can award that change with the word “time” but that doesn’t mean there’s an actual entity, as real as cheddar cheese, that forms a matrix or grid in which changes occur. That’s just our own way of making sense of things, our tool of perception. We watch our loved ones age and die, and assume an external entity called time is responsible for the crime.

The demotion of time from an actual reality to a mere subjective experience, a social convention, is evidence against the “external universe” mindset, because the latter requires a space and time gridwork. In biocentrism, space and time are forms of animal understanding. We carry them around with us like turtles with shells. There simply is no self-existing matrix out there in which physical events occur independent of life.

There is a peculiar intangibility about space, as well. We cannot pick it up and bring it to the laboratory. This is because, like time, space is neither physical nor fundamentally real. Like time, it is a mode of interpretation and understanding. It is part of an animal’s mental software that molds sensations into multidimensional objects. In modern everyday life, however, we’ve come to regard space as sort of a vast container that has no walls. But our notion of space is false. Shall we count the ways? 1. Empty space is in fact not empty. 2. Distances between objects can and do mutate depending on conditions like gravity and speed, so that no absolute distance exists between anything and anything else. 3. Quantum theory casts serious doubt about whether even distant individual items are truly separated at all, since entangled particles act in unison even if separated by the width of a galaxy, and 4) We often define separations and boundaries between objects in terms of language, convention, and utility. In truth, there is no self-existing space/time matrix in which physical events occur independently of life.

Now, space and time illusions are certainly harmless. A problem only arises because, by treating space as something physical, existing in itself, science imparts a completely wrong starting point for investigations into the nature of reality. Allowing the observer into the equation as the late Nobel laureate John Wheeler insists is necessary, would open the possibilities for new ways of cognition that might make everything work better. Without such symbiosis between physics and biology, attempts to truly understand the universe as a whole will remain a train to nowhere.

Adapted from Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe by Robert Lanza with Bob Berman.

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39 Responses

  1. dan smith says:

    Bob, I enjoy your column each month, your humor infused topics. I read Biocentrism and wondered what content you contributed to it. (as it is steeped totally with Lanza).

    But more importantly I was wondering how much of your daily thought process is affected by the biocentric view… is your moment to moment experience aware of its existence being constructed by your consciousness itself? Does your kitchen literally cease to exist when you go out the back door?

    It is so close to the “emptiness” described by buddhist philosophy that I can’t help but categorize them as being the same in essence.
    Dan

  2. Bob Berman says:

    Dan, thanks for your kind comments. I’d rather not publicly break down percentages of what Lanza wrote versus what I did, in Biocentrism. To answer your other Q, I do not spend any time thinking about whether the kitchen is there in my absence, and so on. However, your Buddhist comment is close to the mark. My life-view probably differs from most only in that I do not believe in free will on any level, and see the unfolding of all things as happening by itself, effortlessly, as if by magic — and this includes my own life. Hope this helps.

  3. Matt says:

    Bob, although I really enjoy the articles in Astronomy magazine discussing cosmology and the future of astronomy, it is always Strange Universe that I really look forward to reading. I wish my school teachers would have been as humorous as you, it would have made learning much more fun.

    I have just ordered your Biocentrism book, I look forward to reading it.

    What do you mean you do not believe in free will on any level? Are you saying the future is already determined? Does this have something to do with our theoretically being able to go forward in time, but not the reverse?

  4. Bob Berman says:

    Matt, Thanks for your kind comments. I don’t usually discuss my own personal views in a public forum like this, but you asked a straightforward question that deserves a reply. It’s simple. Just as the heart and liver work by themselves without the need for our interference or action, the brain does, too. Decisions just happen by themselves, and researchers last year showed that our decisions occur up to 10 seconds before we’re even aware of them. A bit later “we” might think, “I decided that.” In short, we’re free. I doubt there is “predetermination” just as we wouldn’t say that a cloud or a rainbow is predetermined. It’s more like an “unfolding” like watching a play, that happens to perfection, and which requires no conscious effort, only awareness, enjoyment, and perhaps appreciation.

  5. Matthew Ota says:

    Bob:

    I have not read the book yet as it is outside of my collection of topical books on astronomy. I think it is more of a philosophy work, heavy on theory but a bit beyond the bounds of conventional science. I will read it as an audio book or if my library gets a copy, or wait for the paperback. I hope your next book is back within the bounds of astronomy and cosmology.

  6. Bob Berman says:

    Thanks, but Lanza and I believe Biocentrism lies firmly within the boundaries of science alone. Granted it is interpretive. But many readers have now signalled that they agree that this interpretation best fits the science. Anyway, yes, my next book, which will be published by Little, Brown in 2010, is back to pure science, no interpretations or philosophy. It is about the sun. Thanks for asking.

  7. Sandra Reiger says:

    Bob,

    I read Biocentrism and couldn’t separate the content from my Buddhist practice, but science can create the paradigm by which we investigate the practice and the biocentric theory and present it to humankind. “We” won’t experience true peace unless we understand the true nature of consciousness. Understanding may be assisted expediently through scientific inquiry but realization my occur in quite a different manner. It is, however; worth the effort.

    I’m considering pursuing thesis and dissertation study in biocentrism, as presented by Dr. Lanza and yourself. Where should I start? What institutions accept this as a field of study? What other options are available to further the reasearch and study of biocentrism?

  8. Amos Gvirtzman says:

    Bob,
    I love your Strange Universe column and now it is even getting stranger… I surely plan to get hold of your book and get better insight to the ideas presented here. I wonder however what is your view of other minds? Is there anything like objective view of the unfolding reality or are we forced into a Solipsistic world view?

  9. chris hastings says:

    I would just like to say that im very happy to see this writing published, and no biocentrism the foundation for this was not and will never be based upon science nor philosophy. It is in fact a perception of reality with strong back drop in theoretical consciousness.

    I would appreciate if both Bob and Robert would contact me via email due to I am traveling at this moment and do not have a phone.

    best regards: your friendly ghost writer…

  10. Gunnar Berg says:

    Interesting. No Free Will + Biocentrism = ?
    So we are spectators stuck in this amazing universe we are creating and the laws of physics are our best guess template for what’s happening?

  11. Gunnar Berg says:

    Very good article.
    I particularly liked this sentence in the Wolfram’s Universe section:
    “Since we are restricted to doing the computational work within the universe, we cannot expect to ‘outrun’ the universe, and derive knowledge any faster than just by watching what the universe actually does.”

  12. Matt says:

    Bob,

    Since I have been traveling lately I was able to listen to your audio book three times. I don’t understand comments referring to religion or mysticism regarding Biocentrism. Although some parallels can be drawn between western and eastern religion and Biocentrism, this can be argued in many areas of science. You and Lanza went to great lengths to describe the science that Biocentrism is built upon. In fact your description of the double slit experiment and the implications involved is the best description I have read to date. (… and I’ve read many books on quantum theory) I look forward to listening to your audio book in the comfort of my home, taking notes and outlining questions. I think this is science whose time has come (finally). Do you and/or Lanza have a next step with this work?

  13. fernando simon says:

    Logical argument as proof that we only perceive our own perceptions. It also refutes the existence of a reality independent of the observer,

    “The electromagnetic spectrum has no intrinsic brightness or color; it is pure energy. Only visible light, a narrow band of the spectrum, was selected by evolution to be processed into visual perception. Before a visual system evolved, the light properties of brightness and color not only could not be perceived, but they could not exist as they are not intrinsic properties of light. If these attributes manifested themselves only after the visual system evolved, the inescapable conclusion is that visual images are a construct of the brain which processes and transforms light energy into patterns of colors, contrast, and brightness. Vision then is in “the eye and brain of the beholder,” and visible light, created by the the mind, has no physical reality other than having as a substratum electromagnetic energy.”

    Similar argument can be extended to the whole range of perceptions processed by a neural system.

    fernando

  14. fernando simon says:

    Furthe implications of an observer-dependent “reality.”

    The electromagnetic spectrum has no properties like brightness an color; it is pure energy and has a potentially infinite range of intensities. Vision is a construct of the brain which processes and transforms visible light into images. Before it interacts with matter, visible light remains unprocessed and “undifferentiated.” In this state, its quantum dual nature can be experimentally demonstrated and its behavior upon interactions is subject to the rules governing quantum systems.

    In another solar system, life could have evolved a different neural apparatus to process a range of frequencies more suitable to the prevailing planetary conditions. On such a planet, reality would also manifest itself as dependent of the observer. This does not preclude that intelligent life, if sufficiently evolved, could not probe deeper into the constituents of the perceived images and surmise a physical reality beyond that subjectively shaped by evolution. It could discover the fundamental physical laws and understand the basic structure of the universe. The external reality of this planet will be different from ours and again dependent on the observer. But the fact remains that we only perceive our own perceptions and have no access to an objective underlying physical reality independent of the observer.

  15. Gunnar Berg says:

    What if our “perceptions” or measurements of the universe are generated by an apparatus that is independent of our corporeal being. Would that apparatus be biased by the fact that is was constructed by human hands? Would its measurements be suspect because the readout of the data would necessarily be done by a human being? Or would its data be just as biocentric as data from a human observer?
    So, how to get from here to an “objective underlying physical reality”. Any good ideas?

  16. James J. Roper says:

    As an evolutionary biologist, I find that science is about the evidence and we use that evidence to attempt to undestand what is understandable in the context of evidence. Once we try to talk about things for which there is no evidence, we have leapt into the world of faith. Nobody can disprove anybody else. Thus, I find it better to not have an opinion at all on those things of which there is no evidence.

    Cheers,

    Jim

  17. Michael Norcia says:

    The entire universe could be a vastly advanced computer like simulation.
    Biocenterism would explain how such a simulated universe worked. As in a computer, the program has the potential “reality”only activated by the viewer. Otherwise it exists only in the program’s code as potential reality. To us in this “simuniverse” everything would appear real, and in fact is our reality. Only when we probed the limits of the simulated universe would we see evidence of its workings breaking down. Which in fact we do in Quantum Mechanics. A “simuniverse” would be expected to have upper and lower limits of resolution.

    Always enjoy you Woodstock Times Astronomy articles,

    Michael Norcia

  18. Kyle Bogosian says:

    This idea of biocentrism can be extended in a fashion to the idea of order versus chaos. Take for example a Rubik’s cube that has been solved so that each side is all one color. Most would agree that it is in a state of perfect order.

    Then mix up the squares so that the colors are in a “random” order on all sides. Most would say that you have just turned the cube into a state of extreme chaos. To go from chaos to order is vastly harder than to go to order from chaos: mixing up the Rubik’s cube is much easier than solving it.

    But if you looked at the mixed-up cube and decided that the particular way the squares are arranged is perfect in some way and that it is the only way the cube should be, whereas the “solved” cube is just another random arrangement, suddenly the cube has been elevated to a state of perfect order, and you no longer are under an obligation to expend time and energy to “solve” it.

    K

  19. Blair Anderson says:

    Bob,

    I would like to echo the thoughts of someone above in asking if you and/or Dr. Lanza are making any headway in getting the mainstream scientific community to consider biocentrism, and if there are any other notable scientists interested in pursuing this new concept. After having read the book and seeing its common-sensical approach, I’m hoping other professionals will start thinking the same way as well. Thank you for helping publish something so ground-breaking as ‘Biocentrism.’ Sometimes such risks could be career-enders, but this one seems to stand up to criticism and makes us as readers all reconsider the meaning of life and the universe we perceive.

  20. fernando simon says:

    More implications to an observer-created physical reality.

    Preamble:

    The electromagnetic spectrum has no intrinsic brightness or color; it is pure energy. Only visible light, a narrow band of the spectrum, was selected by evolution to be processed into visual perception. Before a visual system evolved, properties like brightness and color not only could not be perceived, but they could not exist as they are not intrinsic properties of the spectrum, a fact which clearly holds also for visible light. If those properties manifested themselves only after the visual system evolved, the inescapable conclusion is that visual images are a construct of the brain which processes and transforms light energy into patterns of colors, shapes, contrast, and brightness. Consequently, visual perceptions have no physical reality other than having as a substratum electromagnetic energy. As life evolved, the unfolding of sense organs with its array of receptors was essential to reveal a physical reality that became the stage of life’s existence.

    If there is no fallacy in this logical argument, The Astonishing Hypothesis could be extended to the incredible idea that the sensory system creates the attributes of an observer-dependent physical reality. A corollary to the preceding reasoning is that a pre-biotic earth, devoid of light and sound, was an environment of barren matter and unprocessed energy.

  21. trevor says:

    the rather disturbing thing is that i agree with this which means you only exist as part of my consciousness !

  22. Bob Berman says:

    And I’m glad to be here in that capacity! But seriously, it may be that a single consciousness alone exists, with “mine” and “yours” — seemingly so distinct and separate — only illusional. So we may all be more closely-knitted than most folks think.

  23. Grant Martin says:

    If I get this right, without life, the tides would stop, no clouds would exist, the Earth would not rotate, and the planets would not revolve around the sun and fusion would not take place generating light that speeds into the void (just to mention a few dynamical processes that I observe)?

  24. Bob Berman says:

    Grant, and others: I totally respect your skepticism about the Biocentric viewpoint. It seems ridiculous on the face of it. But, I ask you to look deeper: Do all the subatomic particles that form these revolving planets still have their wave functions collapsed in the absence of any observer? Or, as we (and the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics) maintain, are they instead existing as mere probability waves until being observed? Remember, several Nobel prize-winners in physics have stated or supported that “No object is a real object unless it is an observed object.” Moreover, this hearkens back to the nature of the universe. Is there an inert, pre-existing random entity that lurks everywhere, and popped out of nothingness 13.7 billion years ago? Or, instead, is everything part and parcel of consciousness — a form of life? The former view is, granted, the standard model. All we ask is: Don’t be too sure. Certainly, double-slit and other experiments make more sense in the latter model proves correct. Either way, seeming impossibilities arise.

  25. Mark Frau says:

    “Poetry Of Motion”

    Liked your creative writing … I’ve heard similar conversations, just that nobody put it into writing. However, enlightening & creative, I did a little figuring myself; but, at those speeds the result is still the same. I’ll try to explain. Still about 3×10**-3 the speed of light. My calculation of 481.5 vs your 600 is too insignificant… so rather than you waste any time with my badgering. I thought I’d go to Menards, buy me a fence, so I can get over it!

    10 x 3/4 of 3600 = 481.5 truely 473.684210526315789473 unusual almost-like palindrome. What’s 5789 doing in my figure?

    My northbound street is approximately 10 degrees off true north. I witnessed seeing an object traverse the upper atmosphere that lasted more than 20 seconds. I am talking about a week before that space debris fell to earth. If skylab travels roughly across the sky at Mach 30. This thing seemed to be much faster as I had barely enough time to alert 3 other people & then look back to see it disappear into the northern sky.

  26. Tim Boyle says:

    “Poetry of Motion”
    I too enjoy reading your monthly column in Astronomy magazine. It’s usually the first article I go to read. I found your Jan. 2012 column quite interesting, but I found your metaphysical conclusions at the end less than convincing. Clearly something has to be eternal and thus without beginning, and you have postulated that this is just the universe itself, in spite of the fact that the space-time theorems, etc. of modern cosmology all point to an absolute singularity where our present space-time dimensions and all of the matter and energy it contains came into being out of nothing (at least “nothing” that has anything to do with the universe we can detect.)
    Your statement “because the universe’s total energy never decreases in the slightest, it means the cosmos must exist forever. It surely also means it never had a true birth” doesn’t seem to follow. For one thing, many physicists argue that the total energy of the universe has always been zero, so it could be that there need not have been an event where the total energy went from zero to some different quantity. More importantly, in my mind at least, if the Big Bang creation event (or whatever you want to term it) requires an external cause (which seems to me to be demanded by the evidence), then that transcendent cause could have given the universe whatever value of energy was necessary for the purpose it (or “he”) had in mind. And given that the total energy and matter had to have been fine-tuned to something like 1 part in 10^60 in order to get a life-permitting universe, the idea of there being a “purpose” in the “mind” of whatever transcendent entity is behind all of this isn’t at all far-fetched. It certainly gets into metaphysics, just as you did in your comments, but it is the natural conclusion to the evidence we see.

  27. Stuart West says:

    I enjoyed your article on the “Poetry of Motion” and the fact that you suggested that the universe “never had a true birth”. It’s rare to find an article in a popular publication that is written with a sceptical view of the existing cosmological model. I therefore would like to pose a question to you that has been posed to me when I have also suggested that time is infinite both in the forward and reverse modes.

    “If time is infinite when considered in reverse, and we observe a process of change through time (e.g. the increase of the “clumpiness” of the universe), then given the amount af time available, why has this process not reached its eventual end?”

    I’m curious to see how you would tackle the issue.

  28. Bob Berman says:

    We don’t know enough to draw trustworthy conclusions at this stage. It’s possible the universe has vast “neighborhoods” where fundamental properties are different from other places. It’s possible that some currently poorly understood or bewildering attributes like dark energy change their properties or even reverse their values over time, gradually or even suddenly. Any one of a number of factors could change the game, and what we observe. Your question is excellent, and any alteration over time of properties like clumpiness (seen by comparing homogeneity in distant places with local conditions) does indeed imply an arrow of time leading to some ultimate result. But for the reasons I just outlined, we can’t reliably extrapolate given our current infancy-stage of cosmological knowledge. Remember, if the cosmos is indeed infinite then what lies within view amounts to exactly zero percent of the universe.

  29. Stuart West says:

    Thanks Bob. I’m not sure I can grasp the ideas you presented … “vast neighborhoods where fundamental properties are different from other places” … so I’ll just jump ahead to my follow-up question.

    My usual answer to the same question is the following:

    “The process of change in the “clumpiness” of the universe from more homogeneous to more clumpy must pass through the state we currently observe. We could not exist to witness the current state of the universe if it were significantly earlier or significantly later. Therefore it is reasonable to accept that the infinite process is real and that our observations of a minute phase of it are as fleeting as the epoch of time that we have and will exist.”

    Some people seem to like the reasoning, and some don’t. What are your thoughts and/or feelings on the issue?

  30. Stuart West says:

    No comment?

    Well, how about a new question?

    We all know about the relationship between the distance to distant galaxies and the amount of red shift of the light emissions from them. The Hubble equation is now written as cz=HD (previously written V=HD). So, would one expect that there should be a difference in the density of galaxies in the earlier universe compared to the current one? I.e. has anyone confirmed that space is expanding in any other way other than the distance and red shift relationship? If so, could you point me to the details or give an explanation yourself?

  31. John Adams says:

    Perhaps, Bob, you could help me resolve a couple of questions.

    The first stems from your book on Biocentrism, the central idea of which seems to be the assertion that nothing is real until it is observed by a conscious viewer. If that’s true, musten’t we conclude that many of the testing methodologies used for dating objects are wrong? For example, certain rocks are commonly identified as being many millions of years old yet conscious human observers have been around way less “time” than that. How could the rocks be so old when no one was around to observe them?

    The second relates to space and time. If both are only perceptions, e.g. not real in themselves, then is gravity, which I thought Einstein told us is a derivative of space and time, also a perception? And if not what is it?

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  32. Isaac says:

    What a fascinating article. I am an audio technician for a large church, And my first thought was about psychoacoustics, Which basically refers to the differences between how sound works in the atmosphere, and how we perceive it. But in reality sound doesn’t exist at all without a perceiver. Once again fascinating article. What it did for me Was further increase my appreciation for the beautiful design of this universe.

  33. Bob Berman says:

    Hi Everyone,
    I must confess I set up this forum more as a community place to share far-out ideas than a place for me to answer questions, which I’ll always do in response to a letter sent me. I only check this site on occasion. I don’t answer a letter here, publicly, if I have nothing much new to add to the topic, that’s already widely available on any search engine inquiry. But to answer John here, a) Einstein’s spacetime is a mathematical way of expressing and predicting motion. It is not a real, self-existing entity, something that pervades the matrix of the cosmos. As for gravity, it remains mysterious. It may be a form of geometry, but describing how it operates is not the same thing as knowing what it is, which no physicist has ever claimed to understand. As for rocks being older than observers, Biocentrism would answer that there simply is no external object that self-exists without consciousness being present. If it seems that way, as per these ancient rocks, then perhaps consciousness in some form was present in some form unbenownst to us even if it didn’t take the form of early life. If I say that the entire construct “collapsed” into the current state upon observation, including radiometric dating, that truly sounds like a cop-out akin to religious fanatics making up their own science to support scripture, and I admit that Biocentrism leads to paradoxes and things that can’t be visualized. Nonetheless, that Nature and the observer are correlative seem so solid to us, we don’t abandon it because of these blank walls or paradoxes. After all, the current model have just as many unanswerables — infinity versus boundaries, the cosmos predating the Big Bang, getting a universe from nothingness, and are “accepted” only because they’ve become familiar enough to seem plausible through sheer repetition. The desperate ways in which the current model gets band-aids does not appear to be enough to make many people abandon it. I actually think that when Biocentrism reaches the point of talking about “everything” it is doomed to incoherency or contradiction simply because the symbolic mind is never capable of grasping the whole through logic. We are condemned to reach utter blank walls. That’s just how it is.

  34. ROBERT ROSEN: THE WELL POSED QUESTION AND ITS ANSWER-WHY ARE ORGANISMS DIFFERENT FROM MACHINES? by Donald C. Mikulecky I posted a comment here years ago under another blog post, but forgot to mention this one. There are some interesting diagrams. It deserves to be mentioned here because Robert Rosen was claiming that biology (complexity, anticipation, causal loops (if the diagrams are correct)…) can provide more fundamental answers than physics.

  35. dan smith says:

    Hi Bob, fascinating stuff. I wonder if you have had any discussions with Eckhart Tolle on consciousness. That would be awesome to watch. Better yet, a conversation between Tolle, Krishnamurti, Alan Watts and yourself. The “possibilities” of fascinating mind-blowing ‘aha’ moments must be akin to the number of ways 10 books can be arranged on a shelf… but the fact that they all would be dealing with the mystery of consciousness would be the god particle in action. Consciousness reflecting back on itself big time in a super medium!

    You wrote a while ago about new ‘evidence’, if you can use that word, that the cosmos is infinite. Is this new perception of the universe still based on the big bang/inflationary concept? What’s past all those primitive extremely red-shifted protogalaxies?
    I like to think of the multiverse as existing in the same place as what exists behind your eyes. Vision projects out from this void. What is back there? You can’t see the back of your head, there is just ‘no thing’ and even calling it nothing still sucks because that still makes it an object.

    After all the observer is the observed, the thinker is the thought, mystery is mystery! Like Leonard Cohen wrote, “God is alive, Magic is afoot, Magic is alive, God is afoot. Magic never died, Alive is afoot!”

    I think I better go to bed now, explore the back of my eyelids, and let the whole thing out there wink out for a spell. Keep up the great mind stuff! Your brain is amazing at taking random thoughts that appear and arranging them in very interesting sequences.
    Dan

  36. Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I

    quite enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and

    may come back at some point. I want to encourage you to continue your great job, have a nice evening!

  37. Ismail says:

    First , I would like to congratulate you , Bob Berman and Robert Lanza, for this very interesting book called Biocentrism. I always thought that consciousness was immortal and the key of everything. Now you both put this in words and I appreciate it a lot.
    I have been reading a lot lately about biocentrism and sometimes it is very hard to understand the misteries of quantum physics. But one thing that I would like to understand better is about what happens after our death. Ok , the time restarts , but in which conditions ? Our conciousness can go back to the past or go to the future and we will be back to the world again, but how about our body ? Our conciousness will be born again when a sperm reaches an egg (in the past or in the future) and we will be back in another body ? Or are we linked to this same body for all the eternity and my counsciousness will only migrate to another me in the multiverse after I die in this world ? Or perhaps my other me in the multiverse has a different appearance , age , sex etc.. ?
    Well, I know that biocentrism only gives us material to think about and sometimes doesn’t answer our questions, but I would like to hear not only Bob Berman’s opinion , but everybody else that is participating on this forum.

  38. Bob Berman says:

    This is such a nice letter, let me take a moment to reply…even though I’m now 2 books beyond Biocentrism.
    Once you see intellectually that consciousness and nature are correlative, that there’s an inherently eternal quality to it, you can arrive at what mystics have seen, which is that birth and death simply do not exist. Yet, whether arrived at through reason, science, or an “enlightenment” experience, you still cannot grasp it to yourself or express it to others. Frustrating, but language and thinking are symbolic and dualistic and thus cannot express what we’re talking about here. So, as they say, “ya gotta be there,” and of course we all will be. Until then, trying to mentally understand “what happens” after the body dies, is futile. I am personally certain, however, that it’s nothing bad and indeed quite the opposite, and there is no cessation of conscious experience in the slightest.

Bob Berman’s schedule Spring & Summer 2014

:Every Sunday Morning, 9:34 AM: Berman's Strange Universe on WAMC.org, live streaming, or 90.3, 90.9 FM
  • Linda auditorium, WAMC: Friday, March 21, 8 PM
  • Vox Pop Live Radio show, WAMC: 2-3 PM, April 3
  • Keynote Speaker: Marrist College, Saturday April 5, 9 AM
  • Vox Pop May 1: 90.3 FM, WAMC
  • Observatory Classes: Friday Nights starting May 2
  • Walkway on the Hudson: May 10, 8:30
  • Vox Pop: June 5
  • Saugerties Library: Sky Exploration: July 19
  • Vox Pop: August 7
  • Night of the Shooting Stars, Mohonk Mountain House: August 11
  • Prattsville Astronomy Lecture: August 15
  • Vox Pop live radio; Sept 4.