Contents2.1 Phenomena beyond materialism
In the typical scientific mindset, matter is assumed to be inanimate and to not have a sense of conscious awareness until it is a component of a living system. The awareness is thought to be an emergent property of a sufficiently complex physical system such as the mammalian brain. Such consciousness is often explained as an illusion created by a complex material brain talking to itself.
In this chapter, the validity of the materialist's assumption is challenged in favour of another that is considered less restrictive. In particular, the energy of consciousness is assumed to be the non-physical foundation of all that exists, including our matter universe. This philosophical position is known as panpsychism. It is the belief that all of existence is imbued with consciousness or some form of awareness. With this assumption, it is possible to understand phenomena that currently confound materialistic science.
Philosophical views such as materialism and panpsychism are axiomatic, so they cannot be proved or disproved. They are alternative assumptions on which scientific research is based, and so the research can not directly address their validity. However, interpretation of research is guided by the philosophical view chosen by the researcher. Most mainstream scientists appear to accept a belief in materialism, and the belief is often vehemently defended. Interpretation of scientific research based on a belief system is not as objective as many people would like to think.
The panpsychism assumption is supported in this article by obvious conscious experiences that we all have, as well as instances of anomalous behaviour of matter. These experiences are impossible to understand from the point of view of strict materialism. However, they appear to be natural outcomes of the cosmological framework based on panpsychism.
The assumption of materialism has blinded us to phenomena that should be taken as evidence for a different philosophy such as panpsychism. The most obvious examples are our sensations which clearly do not belong to the domain of matter. The limitations of materialism are also evident in instances where matter does not behave like matter should. The following sections discuss in more detail several phenomena that a strict materialist cannot explain.
We all experience sensations. We taste our food, smell the perfumes of flowers, appreciate the colours we see around us, and feel the light touch of a feather stroking the skin. These sensations are called qualia by philosophers. Materialistic science generally refuses to acknowledge their existence as real, referring instead to physical correlates of these sensations. For example, rather than addressing the sensation of a particular colour, the scientist measures the wavelength of light striking the retina that produces that sensation. There is a conceptual discontinuity between a sensation and its physical correlate, but its importance is not acknowledged. The best that the materialist can do is pretend that the discontinuity between the representations does not exist, or that the sensation is merely an epiphenomenon produced somehow by neural activity. Ironically, this means that the materialists' understanding of physical reality is derived from subjective states that they deem to be irrelevant.
Because subjective sensations are not physical, materialists do not consider it important to understand their nature. So how and where else could they be represented? Sensations are obviously the end-point of the perceptual process. We are aware of them, and so the non-physical representation must be accessible to our consciousness. According to the Zetas, all things that could ever be exist as potentials in consciousness. A particular potential is actualized when the intention of a conscious being initiates the creative process. So awareness of a physical stimulus is created when a sensory process activates a particular potential in the consciousness of a being.
Information in the physical stimulus is transferred as a potential to the non-physical etheric body component that is part of the sensory system. The resulting etheric potential is recognized by the being’s consciousness, and the intention of the local consciousness creates awareness of the sensation by activating a corresponding consciousness potential. So sensations such as colour and taste are properties of consciousness itself. Each act of perception by a physical being ends with an act of creation in the energy of consciousness.
The panpsychism assumption permits a reasonable explanation of how physical stimuli are transformed to subjective sensations. Unlike materialism, it does this without having to deny the obvious qualitative difference between subjective sensations and correlated physical processes. Our experiences of sensation support the view that the physical realm is an aspect of an all-inclusive consciousness.
The Zetas described a relationship between physical bodies of matter and corresponding etheric bodies that exist in a parallel realm or dimension. The etheric body contains all the information needed to define the properties of the physical body, and so it is said to be an etheric template. The chapter, “Gravity”, discusses a Zeta technology that can cause physical matter to dematerialize and then re-materialize. A code in the etheric body of an object is modified from an external location to cause the object to enter one or the other state.
The existence of the matter template in the etheric realm was driven home by a sequence of events photographed by an acquaintance. One of four successive photos contains obvious anomalies that can only be interpreted as the effects of an object undergoing dematerialization. (See the original photographs and a more detailed discussion of the anomalies here.) The photos are of a clematis bush where a large branch of interest is entangled with other branches. Figure 1 shows the bush in the second photograph before the anomalies appeared.
|Figure 1. Photograph of the normal clematis branches.|
The anomalies are in the third photo of the sequence taken 12 seconds later. In this photo, shown in Figure 2, the darker region to the right of the large branch appears to be a motion trail. The trail has even darker stripes adjacent to thickenings of the branch. If the trail were merely blurring of the image caused by the branch moving while the camera shutter was open, it should be the same colour/brightness as the moving branch. But darker areas appear even where the adjacent branch itself is relatively light in colour.
|Figure 2. Photograph of anomalies - the motion trail next to the translucent branch.|
Rather than a blurring artifact, the darker areas appear to be reductions in the amount of background light transmitted to the camera. This implies that the branch emitted a translucent material as it moved, and that the density of the material varied with the thickness of the branch. Since the branch contours are not blurred, the motion must have occurred immediately before the camera shutter opened. We may conclude that the apparent motion trail is matter that had dissociated from the branch while it moved just before the photo was taken.
The interpretation is supported by the obvious translucence of the large branch due to the loss of matter. It has a lighter, more ephemeral quality than in Figure 1, and the vertical brightness gradient of the branch is similar to the background sky. The branch is now so transparent that another branch, behind it in Figure 1, is clearly seen through it. In fact, the smaller branch appears to be in front of the large branch.
The four photographs also show a small, bright object in the sky above the bush. This object became smaller and brighter in synchrony with the changes to the large branch, suggesting that the two were not independent. The complex, precisely timed sequence of events implied by the interpretation of the photograph strongly suggests that an intelligent agent was involved. If the object in the sky were equipped with the technology described by the Zetas, it could have toggled the state of the branch and caused it to dematerialize.
The presumed intelligent agent also appears to have altered the image size setting of the camera during the 12 seconds before the anomalous photograph was taken. The greater height of the photograph in Figure 2 ensured that more effects of the dematerialization process would be captured. It appears that the anomalies were orchestrated to demonstrate the aforementioned technology for controlling the state of materialization.
The interpretation of the photograph also validates the information provided by the Zetas concerning the relationship between physical and etheric bodies. Why an extraterrestrial race may wish to do this is discussed in Treurniet and Hamden (2015), particularly in the chapter, “Why are they here”.
Some physical mediums work with spirits to cause objects known as apports to appear as if from nothing. One such object was created for the author during a séance held by the medium, Kai Muegge. The object formed in midair under the medium’s outstretched palm while the room was illuminated with soft red light. The appearance of the object was accompanied by a brief twinkle of whiter light just before a white crystal about 2 cm x 3 cm fell to the floor. A more detailed discussion of the event is available here.
Before the anticipated apport was produced, the spirit advised via the medium that the apport would have internal structures made of ectoplasm. The crystal was subsequently examined by backlighting it in a dark room, and this procedure revealed remarkable details in its interior. Representations of a male and female head were visible inside the crystal when it was viewed at a particular orientation. The right panel of Figure 3 shows the image of the male in the upper half and the image of the female in the lower half.
|Figure 3. Left - the crystal apport in normal lighting; Right - the representations of two human faces inside the backlit crystal..|
With our awareness of the existence of the etheric realm, we can now understand how the apport was created. According to the Zetas, a spirit can bring a new object into physical existence by first acquiring an etheric template. This is done either by creating a new template or by copying the template of an existing object. The medium’s body becomes a conduit to be used by the spirit to create the physical object. The conduit is seeded with any available samples of the required chemical elements, and more of the material is created by the spirit. The spirit’s consciousness draws fine matter together to form carbon atoms, and these are transmuted into atoms of other elements that are needed.
In this particular case, an additional novel procedure was introduced whereby the spirits demonstrated their artistic skills by adding representations of humans to the etheric template. According to the medium’s spirit control, “It is the first time that we opened the crystalline structure and embedded certain portions of ectoplasmic substance to see afterwards.” The physical realization of these representations were made of ectoplasm. According to a Zeta, this substance consists mainly of dissociated water from the medium’s body. The oxygen and hydrogen atoms are reorganized by the spirit consciousness to form the molecules of ectoplasm.
It goes without saying that the materialist's assumption cannot explain how an object could suddenly pop into existence in midair. The flash of light accompanying the materialization confirmed that an anomalous process had taken place. Further, the structures inside the crystal representing two different human heads are highly unusual and would not be found in a natural crystal. The panpsychist's assumption that is the basis of the Zeta cosmology provides a path toward understanding what happened.
The discussion about sensory experiences emphasized that consciousness is qualitatively different from the matter universe. Yet even well-meaning scientists believe that consciousness will be explained if the bounds of materialistic physics are pushed far enough. For example, an article by Mitchell and Staretz (2011) holds the view that consciousness is equivalent to information processing. They propose the Quantum Hologram model where everything is connected to everything else by quantum entanglement. When the internal representation of a thing in a being’s mind resonates with emissions of the external object, the thing is recognized by the being. The process is said to be analogous to the recognition of an object by a bat when the bat receives the echoes of its sonar emissions. Pattern classification and recognition of signals in such a resonant loop is thought to be “the basis for the most fundamental level of perception in all living organisms.” The representations of all objects are stored holographically and non-locally in the zero point field, able to resonate with any brain tuned to do so.
The authors are careful to say that the theory does not operate outside our normal 4-dimensional space/time reality. It is just a way to conceive of a vast information storage and retrieval mechanism in nature. The theory does offer a way to explain anomalous information acquisition as in remote viewing, but it is also presented as a basis for understanding consciousness. They say that the model “describes the universe as a self-organizing inter-connected conscious holistic system.” However, there is no consideration in the theory of the qualitatively different nature of non-physical sensations. Without this, no physical theory can be extended to accommodate the experience of such sensations, and conscious awareness in general.
The Quantum Hologram is said to be a model of how reality works. Nevertheless, the authors acknowledge that “the energy transfer mechanism by which the classical states of a remote object are affected remains elusive.” That is, the model is unable to explain anomalous effects on the environment such as the dematerialization of the branch in Figure 2, or the sudden appearance in midair of apports like the one shown in Figure 3.
A novel approach by Tegmark (2015) suggested that consciousness may be understood as a property of an as yet unrecognized physical state of matter. He believes “that consciousness is the way information feels when being processed in certain complex ways, i.e., that it corresponds to certain complex patterns in spacetime that obey the same laws of physics as other complex systems.” His comment that information can feel is reminiscent of qualia that are sometimes described as “felt states”. However, this line of thought is immediately abandoned when consciousness is compared to the behaviour of any other physical system containing complex information. A unit of consciousness is said to process information as a computer, and so consciousness is again regarded as nothing more than the property of a dynamical information processing system.
These and other authors tried to discover how consciousness arises from matter when they should have asked how matter arises from consciousness. They failed to recognize the significance of the experience of sensations. Qualia are usually dismissed as the physical end state of a chain of neurophysiological activity. But the final step in any perceptual process is the experience, and this is qualitatively different from the preceding physical brain states. A viable theory of consciousness must recognize this, and the Zeta information should guide human science in that direction. The new science should also accommodate the occasional unusual behaviour of matter as described above.
Not all contemporary scientists are caught up in the trap of materialism, however. A well-known proponent of a reality that goes beyond materialism is the biologist, Rupert Sheldrake. Sheldrake (2009) is best known for his theory of formative causation, the idea that nature has memory. He proposed that non-material morphogenetic fields exist which guide the formation of disparate objects like crystals and biological bodies. The shape of a body of matter is influenced by resonation with a field that represents that class of shapes. For biological bodies, the field would act in concert with the available genetic material. He also proposed that sequences of learned behaviours can be represented in these fields, and so a task learned by laboratory animals is more easily learned by different animals subsequently exposed to the same task (Sheldrake, 2009, Chapter 11).
In a conversation with the physicist, David Bohm, Sheldrake said, “The developing organism would be within the morphogenetic field, and the field would guide and control the form of the organism’s development. The field has properties not just in space but in time. … These morphogenetic fields are built up causally from what's happened before. … The more often a particular form or field happened, the more likely it would be to happen again” (Sheldrake and Bohm, 1982). Sheldrake’s morphogenetic fields share properties of the etheric templates described by the Zetas in that both exercise an extra-dimensional influence on the development of physical bodies.
In Sheldrake’s theory, the non-material field outside the physical body is also where our memories exist. The brain is not a place where memories are stored, but a device for tuning to occasions when things happened (Sheldrake, 1987). He suggests that tuning into other people’s memories is the basis for telepathic communication, and it also offers an explanation for the cross-cultural collective unconscious described by Jung (1969). But the morphogenetic fields are not equivalent to consciousness, since he believes that consciousness is “restricted to human beings and, perhaps, some of the higher order of animals” (Sheldrake, 1988). So Sheldrake does not adopt the panpsychist’s view of the primacy of consciousness that is the foundation of the cosmology described by the Zetas.
Hameroff (1998) proposed an interesting theory to explain how cellular processes in the brain communicate with consciousness (see also Hameroff and Penrose, 2014). According to their “Orch OR” theory, consciousness exists in the space/time geometry of the universe at the smallest possible scale. Cells communicate with it via a process of quantum superposition and collapse that Penrose calls “objective reduction”, the OR in “Orch OR”. This process is said to occur in microtubules which are part of the cytoskeleton structures present in all cells of the body.
Appropriately, given the basic philosophical nature of the discussion, scientists specializing in different disciplines are leading the way from a science of matter to a science of matter and consciousness. A biologist (Sheldrake), a neurophysiologist (Hameroff), and a theoretical physicist (Penrose) have developed important theoretical insights that acknowledge a relationship between the universe of matter and a non-physical realm that has properties of consciousness.
We humans experience some of this non-physical existence in mental states such as dreams, out-of-body experiences, and other altered states of consciousness. The domain of consciousness is no less real than our familiar universe of matter. In fact, in a later chapter, “Connections to human physical theories”, the case is made that matter is an illusion that arises from processes in consciousness. The matter universe is a creation within a multidimensional consciousness space that has many other states of existence and consensus realities.