Ervin Lazlo on Cosmic Consciousness

Consciousness in the Cosmos

The following is excerpted from The Immortal Mind: Science and the Continuity of Consciousness Beyond the Brain by Ervin Laszlo with Anthony Peake, published by Inner Traditions, Bear and Company.

Your consciousness is not your consciousness.

It is the manifestation of the longing of the cosmos for itself.

It comes to you through you but not from you.*

*A paraphrase of Khalil Gibran’s words about children in The Prophet:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you.

The beyond-the-brain consciousness—the consciousness we encountered in our review of near-death experiences, after-death communication, medium-conveyed and instrumental transcommunication, past-life recollections, and in experiences suggestive of reincarnation—is not a material entity in the manifest world. It is an intrinsic element in the Akasha, the deep dimension of the cosmos.

The idea that consciousness belongs to a deeper dimension of reality is a perennial intuition. The great spiritual masters, poets, and even scientists have been telling us that consciousness is not “in” the brain and is not part of the world in which the brain exists. It is part of the mind or intelligence that infuses the cosmos. Consciousness appears in space and time as a localized (yet nonlocal) manifestation. Erwin Schrödinger said it clearly: consciousness is one—it does not exist in the plural.

Just as particles and systems of particles in spacetime are projections of codes and relations in the Akashic deep dimension, so the consciousness associated with living organisms is a manifestation—a holographic projection—of the unitary consciousness that does not merely exist in, but actually is, that dimension.

The Akashic Concept of Consciousness

If consciousness is a holographic manifestation of the unitary consciousness of the cosmos, it is present throughout space and time. Consciousness is present in the mineral kingdom, in the living world, and in the social and ecological systems constituted by human beings and other organisms. It is present at the level of quanta on the one end of the spectrum of size and complexity in nature, and on the level of galaxies on the other end.

But consciousness and the systems and organisms with which it is associated exist on different planes of reality. Particles and the entities composed of particles are part of the manifest world, whereas the consciousness that may be associated with them is an element in the deep dimension.

This insight explains otherwise unresolved puzzles. Among other things, it overcomes the problem of the “hard question” in consciousness research: how something material, such as the brain, can produce something immaterial, such as consciousness. This puzzle does not need to be solved because it rests on false premises. There is no need to account for how the brain produces consciousness because brain and consciousness are on separate planes of reality. The brain does not produce consciousness; it transmits and displays it.

Let us consider this proposition. The standard argument for the claim that the brain produces consciousness is the observation that when the brain is inoperative, consciousness ceases. There are ­several things wrong with this argument. In the first place, it is not true that consciousness always and necessarily ceases when the brain is not ­functioning. As we have seen in our review of the NDE, clinical studies show that people whose brain is clinically dead can have conscious experience, and sometimes this experience proves to be a veridical perception of the world.

Second, even if consciousness would cease when the brain is inoperative, this would not prove that consciousness is produced by the brain. When we shut down our computer, cell phone, TV, or radio, the information it displays disappears, yet the information itself does not cease to exist. Just as the information displayed by electronic instruments exists independently of these instruments, so the consciousness displayed by the brain exists independently of the brain that transmits it. Consciousness exists in the cosmos whether or not it is transmitted by a living brain.

Experiential Foundations

The claim that consciousness is an intrinsic element of the cosmic deep dimension has foundations in our own experience. We access consciousness in a fundamentally different way from the way we access things in the world. To begin with, consciousness is private: only “I” can experience it.

But unlike other things, I do not observe my consciousness, I experience it. The difference is not negligible. Observation is a third-person act: the observer is separate from the person, thing, or event that he or she observes. The brain, unlike the consciousness that is associated with it, can be observed in this mode. In observing the brain we see gray matter made up of myriad networks of neurons and subneuronal ­assemblies. But we do not and cannot observe the consciousness associated with them.

There is further support for the claim that consciousness is not part of the manifest spacetime world. It is the evidence—presented and ­discussed in Part 1—that consciousness exists not only in ­association with the brain but can persist beyond it. If consciousness were produced by the brain it would cease when the brain ceased to function. We have seen, however, that in some notable cases consciousness continues to exist beyond a functioning brain. This is not an anomaly. Consciousness is not part of the brain and is not produced by the brain. It is merely transmitted and displayed by the brain, and it exists whether or not it is transmitted and displayed by the brain.

The Principal Propositions of the Akashic Concept of Consciousness

Consciousness Is Transmitted and Displayed by the Brain

If consciousness is not in, and is not a part of, the manifest world, then consciousness is either in a transcendent spiritual realm described in the Abrahamic religions or is part of a non-manifest dimension of the cosmos. The Akashic concept is that consciousness is part of the cosmos, even a fundamental part. But it is not the observable spacetime part.

In contemplating this proposition let us return to the analogy of information transmitted by a radio or another instrument. We know that a radio reproduces the sounds of the symphony rather than producing that symphony. The symphony exists independently of its reproduction and continues to exist when the radio is turned off. Of course, when the radio is turned off we no longer hear the sounds of the symphony. But this does not mean that the symphony would cease to exist.

The Deep Dimension Is a Cosmic Consciousness

As suggested above, the deep dimension of the cosmos is a consciousness. It receives information from the manifest dimension, and it “­in-forms” the manifest dimension. In the perspective of the manifest world the deep dimension is an information field or medium; it “in-forms” things in the world. But “in itself,” this dimension is more than a network of in-forming signals. It is a consciousness in its own right.

This tenet is supported by the experience of our own consciousness. We noted that we do not observe our consciousness—we experience it. We also do not observe the Akasha (it is a “hidden” dimension), but we experience it: more precisely, we experience its effect on things we can experience: things in the manifest dimension. Let us suppose, then, that we could experience not only the manifest spacetime world but also the deep dimension itself. That would presuppose that we are a divine or supernatural being, co-extensive with the cosmos. If we were the cosmos, we could introspect on its deep dimension. Our introspection would very likely reveal what introspection reveals in regard to our own experience: not sets and flows of signals, but the qualitative flow we know as our consciousness. Our cosmic-level introspection would reveal a cosmic consciousness.

Cosmic Consciousness In-forms the Manifest World

Just how does consciousness in the deep dimension in-form things in the manifest world? This is a difficult question, as it concerns the physical effect of a non-physical agency. It is elucidated, however, by recent explorations at the frontier where quantum physics encounters neuroscience. The basic concept is the work of physicist Roger Penrose and neuroscientist Stuart Hameroff. They claim that their theory explains how a basically immaterial consciousness can enter into and in-form the material (or quasi-material) world.1

The relevant concept is Penrose’s “Orchestrated Objective Reduction” (Orch OR). This concept extends Einstein’s general relativity to the Planck scale, the basic level of spacetime. According to Penrose, a particle in one state or location is a specific curvature in spacetime geometry, and the same particle in another location is a curvature in the opposite direction. The superposition of the curvatures in both locations make for simultaneous curvatures in opposite directions, and these constitute bubbles or blisters in the fabric of spacetime.2 These bubbles or blisters are the quanta that populate the physical world. They are entangled and nonlocal, but they are unstable: they collapse on interaction into the fine-structure spacetime, assuming one particular state at one particular place and time.

Penrose suggests that each quantum collapse introduces an element of consciousness into spacetime. If this is the case, we would have a physics-based explanation of how consciousness in the deep dimension enters the manifest world. We have said that every quantum, every atom, and every multiatomic structure, including our own brain and body, are “in-formed” by the deep dimension. This “in-formation” occurs due to the sensitivity of the subneuronal structures of our brain to quantum-level fluctuations. They are responsive to the orchestrated objective reduction through which consciousness enters the manifest world at the level of the fine structure of spacetime.

Theories accounting for the presence of consciousness in the world will no doubt be further developed in coming years. But it is not likely that their further development would change the basic insight: that consciousness is not produced by the brain. Consciousness is a cosmic phenomenon merely transmitted and elaborated by the brain.

Consciousness is a cosmic dimension, and the brain is a local entity. The consciousness associated with the brain is a localized manifestation of the Akasha, the deep dimension of the cosmos.


Ervin Lazlo on Evolved Consciousness

The Ten Point Credo of an Evolved Consciousness


1. I am part of the world. The world is not outside of me, and I am not outside of the world. The world is in me, and I am in the world.

2. I am more than a skin-and-bone material organism: my body, and its cells and organs are manifestations of what is truly me: a self-sustaining, self-evolving dynamic system arising, persisting and developing in interaction with other such systems and with the world around me.

3. I am one of the highest, most evolved manifestations of the drive toward coherence and wholeness in the world. My essence is this cosmic drive. It is the same essence that is inherent in all the systems that arise and evolve in the universe.

4. There are no absolute boundaries and divisions among the systems that arise and evolve in the universe, only transition points where one set of relations yields prevalence to another. In me, in this self-maintaining and self-evolving coherence- and wholeness-oriented system, the relations that integrate the cells and organs of my body are prevalent.  Beyond my body other relations gain prevalence: those that drive toward coherence and wholeness in humanity, nature, and throughout the universe.

5. The separate identity I attach to my fellow humans is a convenient convention to facilitate my interaction with them. My family and my community are just as much “me” as the cells and organs of my body. There are only gradients of intensity in the relations that distinguishing individuals from each other and from the world, no absolute divisions and boundaries. There are no “others” in the world: we are all dynamic, coherence and wholeness oriented systems in the world and we are part of the world and so part of each other.

6. Collaboration, not competition, is the royal road to the wholeness and coherence that hallmarks healthy systems in the world. Collaboration calls for trust, empathy and solidarity. Comprehension, conciliation, and forgiveness are not signs of weakness but signs of courage. Harming others, even under the banner of patriotism and national or corporate interest is a mistaken intention. I am part of whoever I harm, and so I harm myself.

7. “The good” for me, and for everyone in my world, is not the possession and accumulation of wealth. Wealth, whether in money or in a material resource, is but a means for maintaining myself in my environment. As exclusively mine, it commandeers a part of the resources that all living beings on the planet need to share if they are to live and thrive. Exclusive wealth is a threat to everyone in the community of life on the planet, and because I as well as the holders of wealth are part of this community, it is a threat to the wealthy, and to me.

8. A healthy person has pleasure in giving: it is a higher pleasure than having. I am healthy and whole when I value giving over having. The true measure of accomplishment and excellence is my readiness to give, whatever I can give without harming myself, my family and those in my care. A community that values giving over having is a community of healthy persons, thriving through solidarity and love. Sharing enhances the community, while possessing and accumulating creates demarcation, invites competition and fuels envy. The share-society is the norm for all communities of life on the planet; the have-society is an aberration.

9. Only life and its development have intrinsic value as ends in themselves.  All other things have value only insofar as they add to or enhance life and its development. Material things, and the energies and substances they need or generate, have value only insofar they contribute to the development of life in the community of all beings on the planet.

10. I recognize my responsibility for evolving my consciousness, and through my example for helping the evolution of consciousness in others. We have been part of the aberration of human consciousness in the modern world, and we need to be part of the evolution that overcomes that aberration. Living and working toward this goal is my duty, as a conscious member of a conscious species in a conscious cosmos.


Ervin Lazlo on Religious Belief & Science

Why the Religious Fear–and Fight–Science… and Why it’s a Sad Mistake

by Ervin Laszlo on September 9, 2010

Religious people — and by this I mean people who are deeply committed to a religion and aspire to live in accordance with its scriptures — usually fear science: they suspect that science contradicts some of their cherished beliefs, beliefs they are asked to accept on faith. And because many believe that the best defense is offense, the religious often attack science and scientists, and widen the gulf that separates these branches of contemporary culture. This is regrettable, for throughout history every enduring culture embraced the best of its dominant religion, together with the rational and empirical ideas that made up the science of its time. The current gulf is all the more regrettable as it’s based on a fundamental misconception.  Indeed, on two misconceptions: of the nature of religion, as well as of science.

The average religious person identifies the religion that he or she espouses with the doctrines of that religion. These are the sacred scriptures created by the founders and prophets of that religion. For the most part they are centuries old, and contain sayings, episodes, and injunctions that are said to come from a higher, superhuman authority.

If it is its doctrines that make up a religion, then there are reasons for the faithful to fear science, or at least a dominant (mis)conception of science (and the misguided souls who embrace that misconception). It’s always possible that science will fail to recognize that the sayings, episodes, and injunctions that make up the literal content of the doctrines come from an undisputable superhuman authority. Scientists are not disposed to accept claims on faith; they are trained to ask for proof — for empirical proof.  If it’s not available, then they might say that the sayings, episodes and injunctions are unproven, and could be mistaken. In that case the religious would have good reason to fear science (or at least those who believe that science would pass judgment on the literal meaning of religious scriptures); their deepest convictions would be in question.

But this fear is unfounded.  It’s based on a misconception of the true nature both of religion, and of science.

Religion doesn’t simply consist of the doctrines that make up its sacred scriptures. There is far more to religion than that. And it’s not the case that science would take religious doctrines at face value and pronounce their content either true or false. There is far more to science than that.

Both religion and science are sourced in human experience. True, they are sourced in a different kind of experience, and science can tell us that they are conveyed by a different hemisphere of the brain: religion is right-hemispheric, and science, left-hemispheric. Human experience encompasses both.

Religion is based on the right-hemispheric experience of its founders, saints, and prophets. These must have been deep and vivid experiences, for they had a remarkable power to affect the heart and the mind of those around them. The founders, and even more their disciples, sought to communicate the substance of these experiences. They did so in the language, and with the concepts of their time. Their followers made the mistake of taking the record of the experiences for the essence of the experiences. They mistook the letter of religion for its spirit.

True scientists would not confound the record of a religious experience with the meaning of that experience. They would not judge a religion by the literal veracity of the sayings, episodes, and injunctions contained in its doctrines; they would ask about their roots in lived experience. And they would seek to understand that experience.

Analyzing the nature and meaning of religious experience is not a threat to the religious. On the contrary, it can prove to be a support. Because when the deep religious experience is analyzed with the methods of a science, a remarkable finding comes to light. The religious experience has aspects and elements that make it consistent with the world scientists discover on the basis of empirical experience.

Strange? Perhaps, but it is so. Psychiatrists such as Stanislav Grof find that in meditative, prayerful, or otherwise altered states of mind and consciousness people have access to the kind of mystical or transcendent realities that make up the substance of all great religions. This doesn’t mean that science can “verify” the metaphysical reality of these visions and entities. To establish their reality is not simply to see whether they correspond to the entities and processes that make up the content of valid scientific theories. It calls for careful reasoning and a further development of our understanding of the perceptual and cognitive powers of the brain, and of the consciousness associated with it. This development is already under way — among other things, recent attempts to discover the quantum-receptivity of microtubules and other subneuronal arrays in the brain point to it. It appears that we can apprehend far more of the reality in which we are embedded than we had thought. In addition to its standard information-processing circuits, the brain has quantum-receptive capacities, picking up information that’s instantaneous, multidimensional, and “nonlocal.”

Work in this area is still in progress, but we can be reasonably certain already that there are aspects and planes of human experience that far transcend the limits of everyday experience. As Shakespeare remarked, there are more things in this world than you and I had ever conceived.

Entering on a plane that is deeper or higher than that of everyday experience is what the religious experience is all about.  And trying to understand how we can connect with that plane is one of the most exciting tasks facing science today.

The sincere religious has nothing to fear from the genuine scientist. On the contrary, the religious and the scientist have much to learn from each other. Together they will achieve a better understanding of the deep reality that surrounds us, and grounds our own existence. Isn’t it time to begin to explore that reality together — instead of fearing and fighting each other?

Published at Huffington Post


Ervin Lazlo on Akasha Thinking

Akasha Think

by Ervin Laszlo on July 31, 2012

“You can’t solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that gave rise to the problem”       — Albert Einstein

There is something new on the horizon — a new kind of thinking. One that could solve the problem — the entire complex conglomeration of challenges that makes our world unsustainable, intolerant, and prone to violence. This is not thinking out of the blue: It is thinking that has been around for thousands of years. What is new is that it’s rediscovered — of all things, at the cutting edge of the sciences. It is “Akasha think.”

In this column with my Akashic “A-team” I will review for you the principal dimensions of Akasha think — the rediscovered revolutionary concept of life and universe, and freedom, wholeness, and wellbeing. New answers to questions we have all been asking since the beginnings of time.

Adam and Eve, Socrates and Plato, Constantine and the Crusaders, Henry VIII and Pope Clement VII, Hitler and Churchill, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King and Gandhi, yes even now Obama and Romney are giving us answers. Every answer has been given thinking that it is right. Yet with each delivery, the great divides are inexorably forged — in color, creed, genders and territories. How many answers were really right? Right now, as our precious world cries out because of the collateral damage of all our answers, how many of our answers, your answers, about the economy, education, energy, your health and life, can you be sure are right?

Try Akasha think. Here you get different answers. Find out what they can do for you — and through you, for the world.

Are you ready? Here is a question that can get you started:

What Is Akasha Consciousness — For You?

What is Akasha consciousness for you, a dream — or a nightmare? Or could it be your own deep consciousness — “re-cognized” for what it really is? Your answer could make a difference — a difference to you and to the world. See how you resonate with the 16 ideas that hallmark this consciousness.

1. I am part of the world. The world is not outside of me, and I am not outside of the world. The world is in me, and I am in the world.

2. I am part of nature, and nature is part of me. I am what I am in my communication and communion with all living things. I am an irreducible and coherent whole with the web of life on the planet.

3. I am part of society, and society is part of me. I am what I am in my communication and communion with my fellow humans. I am an irreducible and coherent whole with the community of humans on the planet.

4. I am more than a skin-and-bone material organism: my body, and its cells and organs are manifestations of what is truly me: a self-sustaining, self-evolving dynamic system arising, persisting and evolving in interaction with everything around me.

5. I am one of the highest, most evolved manifestations of the drive toward coherence and wholeness in the universe. All systems drive toward coherence and wholeness in interaction with all other systems, and my essence is this cosmic drive. It is the same essence, the same spirit that is inherent in all the things that arise and evolve in nature, whether on this planet or elsewhere in the infinite reaches of space and time.

6. There are no absolute boundaries and divisions in this world, only transition points where one set of relations yields prevalence to another. In me, in this self-maintaining and self-evolving coherence- and wholeness-oriented system, the relations that integrate the cells and organs of my body are prevalent. Beyond my body other relations gain prevalence: those that drive toward coherence and wholeness in society and in nature.

7. The separate identity I attach to other humans and other things is but a convenient convention that facilitates my interaction with them. My family and my community are just as much “me” as the organs of my body. My body and mind, my family and my community, are interacting and interpenetrating, variously prevalent elements in the network of relations that encompasses all things in nature and the human world.

8. The whole gamut of concepts and ideas that separates my identity, or the identity of any person or community, from the identity of other persons and communities are manifestations of this convenient but arbitrary convention. There are only gradients distinguishing individuals from each other and from their environment and no real divisions and boundaries. There are no “others” in the world: We are all living systems and we are all part of each other.

9. Attempting to maintain the system I know as “me” through ruthless competition with the system I know as “you” is a grave mistake: It could damage the integrity of the embracing whole that frames both your life and mine. I cannot preserve my own life and wholeness by damaging that whole, even if damaging a part of it seems to bring me short-term advantage. When I harm you, or anyone else around me, I harm myself.

10. Collaboration, not competition, is the royal road to the wholeness that hallmarks healthy systems in the world. Collaboration calls for empathy and solidarity, and ultimately for love. I do not and cannot love myself if I do not love you and others around me: We are part of the same whole and so are part of each other.

11. The idea of “self-defense,” even of “national defense,” needs to be rethought. Patriotism if it aims to eliminate adversaries by force, and heroism even in the well-meaning execution of that aim, are mistaken aspirations. A patriot and a hero who brandishes a sword or a gun is an enemy also to himself. Every weapon intended to hurt or kill is a danger to all. Comprehension, conciliation and forgiveness are not signs of weakness; they are signs of courage.

12. “The good” for me and for every person in the world is not the possession and accumulation of personal wealth. Wealth, in money or in any material resource, is but a means for maintaining myself in my environment. As exclusively mine, it commandeers part of the resources that all things need to share if they are to live and to thrive. Exclusive wealth is a threat to all people in the human community. And because I am a part of this community, in the final count it is a threat also to me, and to all who hold it.

13. Beyond the sacred whole we recognize as the world in its totality, only life and its development have what philosophers call intrinsic value; all other things have merely instrumental value: value insofar as they add to or enhance intrinsic value. Material things in the world, and the energies and substances they harbor or generate, have value only if and insofar they contribute to life and wellbeing in the web of life on this Earth.

14. The true measure of my accomplishment and excellence is my readiness to give. Not the amount of what I give is the measure of my accomplishment and excellence, but the relation between what I give, and what my family and I need to live and to thrive.

15. Every healthy person has pleasure in giving: It is a higher pleasure than having. I am healthy and whole when I value giving over having. A community that values giving over having is a community of healthy people, oriented toward thriving through empathy, solidarity, and love among its members. Sharing enhances the community of life, while possessing and accumulating creates demarcation, invites competition, and fuels envy. The share-society is the norm for all the communities of life on the planet; the have-society is typical only of modern-day humanity, and it is an aberration.

16. I recognize the aberration of modern-day humanity from the universal norm of coherence in the world, acknowledge my role in having perpetrated it, and pledge my commitment to restoring wholeness and coherence by becoming whole myself: whole in my thinking and acting — in my consciousness.

If you had an “aha experience” while reading even just one of these ideas, you have the foundations of Akashic consciousness. And if you had this experience all the way through, you already possess this crucial consciousness.

How did you resonate with what you have read? Tell us — and we shall do our best to respond.

Your A-team:

Charlie Stuart Gay, Györgyi Szabo, Kingsley Dennis, Alexander Laszlo, and Ibolya Kapta

Ervin Laszlo is the author of 89 books published in 24 languages, including his bestselling Science and the Akashic Field. His latest book is The Akasha Paradigm, just released on the Internet:


Ervin Lazlo on Quantum Consciousness

Quantum Consciousness: Our Evolution, Our Salvation

by Ervin Laszlo on May 16, 2012

I was delighted and honored to have the following article posted in the Pathways to Family Wellness magazine Spring 2012 issue. The article, as printed in the New Edge Science section of the magazine, is available in pdf format.

 Pathways to Family Wellness is a non-profit quarterly print and digital magazine with a mission to support you and your family’s quest for wellness.

I call it “quantum consciousness”: the consciousness we access when we use the potential of our quantum-computer brains. The brain is a macroscopic quantum system, yet we use it as if it were exclusively a classical biochemical system. With its quantum-system functions, our brain can receive information not only from our eyes and ears, but directly from the wider world with which we are “entangled”–nonlocally connected. Insightful people throughout history, whether shamans or scientists, poets or prophets, have extensively used this capacity, innate to all human beings. Today it is widely neglected. This impoverishes our world picture, and causes a nagging sense that we are separate from the world around us.

I believe that quantum consciousness could be the next stage in the evolution of our consciousness–and that this evolution could be our salvation. Let me explain.

The first thing I ask you to note is that human consciousness is not static, fixed once and for all. It’s the product of a long evolutionary development, and is capable of further development. In the 50 thousand–year history of the species we proudly call homo sapien, the human body didn’t change significantly, but human consciousness did. And it can change again.

In a variety of “alternative cultures,” a new consciousness is already emerging. The members of these cultures–the green movement, the peace movement, the sustainable living movement, the movement of cultural creatives, and others–share similar social values and are open and interactive with the larger society; they don’t seek isolation or indulge in promiscuous sex.

They aim to rethink accepted beliefs and values, and adopt a more responsible style of living. They shift from matter- and energy-wasteful ostentation toward voluntary simplicity and the search for sustainability and harmony with nature.

A new consciousness is now struggling to be born. Does this mean that the consciousness of humanity itself is evolving? Some famous thinkers have said so. The Indian sage Sri Aurobindo spoke of the emergence of superconsciousness in ever more people, and this, he said, is the harbinger of the next evolution of human consciousness. In a similar vein, the Swiss philosopher Jean Gebser spoke of the coming of four-dimensional integral consciousness, rising from the prior stages of archaic, magical and mythical consciousness. The Canadian mystic Richard Bucke called the new consciousness “cosmic,” and in the colorful spiral dynamics developed by Chris Cowan and Don Beck, it’s the turquoise stage of collective individualism, cosmic spirituality and Earth changes. For philosopher Ken Wilber, these developments signify an evolutionary transition from the mental consciousness characteristic of both animals and humans, to subtle consciousness, which is archetypal, transindividual and intuitive, to causal consciousness, and then, ultimately, to “consciousness as such.”

Psychiatrist Stanislav Grof summed up the characteristics of the emerging consciousness as “transpersonal.”

There is remarkable agreement among these visionary concepts. Superconsciousness, integral consciousness, cosmic consciousness, turquoise-stage consciousness, and consciousness as such are all forms of consciousness that transcend the divide between you and me, the individual and the world, the human being and nature. If these thinkers are right, this kind of consciousness will be the next stage in the evolution of the consciousness of our species.

Quantum consciousness–QC–could perhaps be the next stage in the evolution of the mind of humanity, but why would it be our salvation?

The answer is simple common sense: because QC is a consciousness of directly intuited, felt connection to the world. It inspires empathy with people and with nature; it brings an experience of oneness and belonging. Quantum consciousness makes us realize that, being one with others and with nature, what we do to them, we do to ourselves.

Not only will QC make us behave more responsibly toward other people and the planet, it will also encourage us to join together to cope with the problems we face.

Most of us cooperate with members of our own families and communities. But cooperation has now become vitally necessary on the global level: It’s in all our best interest to cooperate with our fellows in the global community. Without such cooperation we’ll be hard put to overcome the global threats and problems that face us. Without cooperation we risk joining the countless species that became extinct because they couldn’t adjust to changed circumstances.

With dedicated and purposeful cooperation we can meet the challenges of human survival: We can have 7 billion or more people living peacefully and sustainably on the planet. We have the technologies, the skills and the necessary financial and human resources. Abject forms of poverty can be eliminated, energy- and resource-efficient technologies can be made widely available, water can be recycled and seawater desalinized, and sustainable forms of agriculture adopted. We can be more efficient and effective in harvesting the vast stream of energy that flows from the sun to our planet. And to finance these projects we would only need a small part of the enormous sums of money that we now commit to speculative, self-serving or downright destructive ends.

Cooperation on the global level is a new requirement in the history of our civilization, and we are not prepared for it. Our institutions and organizations were designed to protect their own interests in competition with others; the need for them to join together in the shared interest has been limited to territorial aspirations and defense, and to economic gain in selected domains. The will to cooperate in globally cooperative projects that subordinate immediate self-interest to the vital interests of a wider community is still lacking in the political and economic domains.

When all is said and done, the fundamental need of our time, the precondition of creating a peaceful and sustainable world, is the spread of a new and more evolutionarily adaptive consciousness—the quantum consciousness of oneness and belonging.

Forms and intimations of the new consciousness are already emerging in the world, but they haven’t yet reached the mainstream. When QC becomes mainstream, humanity will have reached a higher stage of maturity. It will have become a species that has not only the technologies and the skills, but also the wisdom and the will, to survive in the world it has itself created.


Ervin Lazlo on Quantum Consciousness

Cosmic Symphony — A Deeper Look at Quantum Consciousness

by Ervin Laszlo on April 9, 2010

The rise of quantum consciousness could be the biggest step our species has taken since it came down from the trees. It would bring us to a new stage of species maturity — and could also enable us to surmount the problems that threaten our life and our future.

But just what is quantum consciousness — QC? I have spoken about QC in my previous posts, but the question merits a further, deeper look.

First of all, what is consciousness? The commonsense assumption is that consciousness is a stream of experience produced by the brain. As long as the brain functions, there is consciousness; when the brain shuts down, consciousness vanishes. This, however, is not necessarily the case. It could be that our brain no more produces consciousness than the radio produces the symphony that comes through its speakers. The symphony, too, disappears when the radio is shut down, yet we know that it’s not produced by the radio. Both the radio and the brain pick up signals, transform them, and display the result in our stream of conscious experience.

According to received wisdom, the things and events that make up our experience of the world originate in the world. People and things around us reflect light and make sound; for the most part they can be seen, heard, touched, smelled, or tasted. The corresponding signals reach our eye and ear in the form of waves in the electromagnetic field, in the air, and in the physical, chemical, and biological fields in and around our body. Our exteroceptive senses transform this information into nerve signals, and the signals are analyzed, sharpened, and interpreted by our brain. The result is the experience that appears in our consciousness.

This is the gist of the standard scientific explanation of our perception of the world, but it’s not complete. It’s incomplete not only because it fails to solve the age-old philosophers’ puzzle, how physical signals can transmute into intimately felt conscious experience (is this transmutation the work of the brain, or does the brain also transmit forms of consciousness from the external world?), but also because it doesn’t account for all the things that appear in our consciousness. Some of the things that appear in our consciousness convey information about the world even though we cannot see how they could be based on sense-perceivable events. Happily, unlike the philosophers’ “hard problem,” this is no longer an unsolved puzzle. We now realize that our brain is not limited to capturing sense-organ conveyed information, for it’s not just a classical biochemical system. It’s also a “macroscopic quantum system,” and such a system can “resonate” with the world. On the quantum level it can capture and process signals that far exceed the range of the signals available to the bodily senses.

The quantum-perception of the world is just as real as its sensory perception. Here, in brief, is why.

All things in space and time emit waves, and these waves interact with the waves produced by other things. They create wave interference patterns. Pressure waves in the air, and electric and magnetic waves in the EM field diminish with distance and the patterns they produce are limited to our immediate vicinity. Quantum waves, however (waves that propagate in the nearly infinite virtual-energy domain that fills cosmic space), move instantly over any distance. The kinds of interference patterns they create constitute quantum holograms, and quantum holograms are “entangled” with each other — they are instantly connected. As a result the information carried by one quantum hologram can be transferred to any other quantum hologram. Thus a system that can “read” the information in one hologram has access to the information carried by all. Our quantum-resonance-decoding brain could in principle capture information on anything and everything that creates quantum-interference waves in the universe.

Evidently, to capture this kind of information our brain must have the corresponding receptivity. Scientists are now beginning to understand how quantum-hologram receptivity might be built into the brain.

It appears that quantum-level signals are picked up by microstructures in our brain’s cytoskeleton (the cytoskeleton is a protein-based structure that maintains the integrity of living cells, including neurons). The neurons in the brain are organized into a network of microtubules of microscopic size but astronomical number. There are about 10**18 microtubules in the human brain, and “merely” 10**11 neurons (though this number is still larger than the number of stars in the galaxy). With filaments just 5 to 6 nanometers in diameter, our network of microtubules — the so-called “microtrabecular lattice” — is believed to capture, process, and convey information.

Physicist Roger Penrose and neurophysiologist Stuart Hameroff claim that consciousness emerges from these quantum-level elements of the brain’s cytoskeleton. The microtrabecular lattice could be responsible for the quantum-receptivity of our brain, picking up, transforming, and interpreting information based on phase-conjugate resonance.

If this is the case, there is not just one mode of perceiving the world available to us, but two. We have what neuroscientist Ede Frecska and anthropologist Luis Eduardo Luna call the classical “perceptual-cognitive-symbolic” mode, based on information conveyed by our bodily senses, and we also have the “direct-intuitive-nonlocal” mode, enabled by the quantum receptivity of our brain’s microstructures.

In today’s world we tend to perceive the world in the classical mode, yet we could, and sometimes do, perceive aspects of it in the direct mode as well. However, our left-hemisphere dominated perceptual mode represses information that doesn’t accord with our established ways of thinking. Only in spiritual, religious, or mystical experience does such information penetrate to our everyday awareness — and then, just fleetingly.

Yet our brain could operate in a more balanced way: the cerebral functions underlying our everyday awareness could be more embracing than those in the classical perceptual mode. Operating in this way is possible, and has already been achieved by a few people. This was the finding of British psychophysiologist Maxwell Cade, who in the 1970s examined the EEG patterns of more than 3,000 individuals. He had found four typical patterns, made up of specific combinations of alpha, beta, and theta waves. (He did not consider dreamless deep sleep, where delta waves predominate.) Each combination turned out to be associated with a particular state of consciousness. The consciousness accompanying dreamful sleep, the state between waking and sleeping, and deep meditation each exhibits a typical combination of EEG waves. Dreamful sleep, the transitory state between waking and sleeping, and meditation all show pronounced alpha and theta waves. Our state of ordinary awareness is dominated by beta waves.

But Cade also found a “fifth state.” This is the remarkable state that comes to light in the EEG-portrait of accomplished healers. Cade called the consciousness associated with this state “awakened mind.” Here alpha and theta waves are strong, much as in the meditative state, but there are also beta waves. In some healers this state has become the norm, maintained not only during active healing, but also in everyday life.

Just as remarkably, in the fifth state the EEG waves are balanced across the left and the right hemispheres. This is important. The brain-state underlying ordinary consciousness is left-hemisphere dominated, and we know that the left hemisphere filters out experiences that do not mesh with our established beliefs and expectations. We also know that deep prayer and meditation activate the right hemisphere, and tend to synchronize the two hemispheres. A hemisphere-synchronized brain can operate in the direct quantum-resonance mode: as experiments I have witnessed myself demonstrate, expert meditators synchronize not only their own left and right hemispheres, but can also synchronize their left and right hemispheres with the synchronized hemispheres of others who meditate with them. And this synchronization occurs in the entire absence of sensory contact among the meditators. They can be in different rooms, different cities, even on different continents. (I reported on these experiments in my book, Science and the Akashic Field, and in other books.)

Unfortunately, a state of deep prayer and meditation is not functional in the everyday context: in most cases we need to sit with closed eyes, detached from the world around us.

A truly evolved consciousness would have the quantum-receptivity of deep prayer and meditation, but it would operate also in the everyday context. It would display a broad EEG wave-spectrum, embracing alpha and theta as well as beta waves. And it would show that the two brain hemispheres are highly coordinated, so that the information processed by the quantum-mode receiving right hemisphere is readily communicated to the sensory-information processing left. An evolved consciousness is wider and deeper than the everyday consciousness of people today, and more functional than the consciousness of those engaged in deep prayer and meditation.

In the past this kind of consciousness has been limited to exceptionally sensitive and creative people: to healers and poets, prophets and spiritual masters. In the future it could spread to a wider segment of the population. Humanity could be evolving its consciousness.

In closing, let us return to the example of the radio. Tuned to the right station, our radio can pick up and bring to us a great symphony. Imagine what our quantum brain could bring to us when, in the expanded and balanced mode, it would be tuned to the information encoded at the heart of the cosmos. This would be veritably a cosmic symphony. Of course, we could never capture all of it — only God could do that — but we could capture far more than we do today. This would make us more empathetic as individuals, and more cooperative as citizens in our interactive and interdependent global community. The rise of these attributes in a critical mass could be the key to our continued survival. QC may be not only the next step in our species evolution; it could also be our collective salvation.

Published at Huffington Post