A full understanding of the universe must encompass the three worlds of matter, mind and spirit, as well as building bridges between them. While physics has been remarkably successful in describing the material world, from the smallest scales of particle physics to the largest scales of cosmology, it currently makes no reference to consciousness and associated mental or spiritual experiences. Indeed, most physicists adopt a materialist and reductionist view in which consciousness is just an incidental by-product of the brain. However, many arguments from physics itself suggest that consciousness is a fundamental rather than incidental feature of the Universe, so it is natural to extend physics to accommodate it. This is especially true if one believes in certain anomalous interactions between consciousness and the physical world. However, this will require a radically different physical paradigm from the one that currently prevails.
Bernard Carr is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy at Queen Mary University of London. His professional area of research is cosmology and relativistic astrophysics and includes such topics as the early universe, black holes, dark matter, and the anthropic principle. His recent books are Universe or Multiverse? (2007) and Quantum Black Holes (2014). He believes that physics must expand to accommodate consciousness and mental phenomena. Professor Carr is President of the Scientific and Medical Network and former president of the Society for Psychical Research.
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