A Conscious Universe? – Dr Rupert Sheldrake

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Quote:The sciences are pointing toward a new sense of a living world. The cosmos is like a developing organism, and so is our planet, Gaia. The laws of Nature may be more like habits. Partly as a result of the ‘hard problem’ of finding space for human consciousness in the materialist worldview, there is a renewed interest in panpsychist philosophies, according to which some form of mind, experience or consciousness is associated with all self-organizing systems, including atoms, molecules and plants. Maybe the sun is conscious, and so are other stars, and entire galaxies. If so, what about the mind of the universe as a whole? Rupert Sheldrake will explore some of the implications of this idea.

Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author of more than 85 scientific papers, and was named among the top 100 Global Thought Leaders for 2013. He studied natural sciences at Cambridge University, where he was a Scholar of Clare College, took a double first class honours degree and was awarded the University Botany Prize in 1963. Dr Sheldrake then studied philosophy and the history of science at Harvard before returning to Cambridge, where he took a Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1967.

He is the author of 13 books, and in 2012 he published ‘The Science Delusion’. This book examines the ten dogmas of modern science, and shows how they can be turned into questions that open up new vistas of scientific possibility. It received the Book of the Year Award from the British Scientific and Medical Network. His most recent book: ‘Ways To Go Beyond, And Why They Work’ was published in 2019, and looks at seven spiritual practices that are personally transformative and have scientifically measurable effects. You can keep up to date with Rupert’s work on his website: www.sheldrake.org.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


[-] The following 3 users Like Sciborg_S_Patel's post:
  • Ninshub, stephenw, Typoz
(2021-05-12, 10:45 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote:

I don't think much of panpsychism. It doesn't address the primary mystery, which is what is the essence of consciousness in the first place. Panpsychism just imbues it as an underlying quality of all material structures of the Universe. It's a way of in effect rescuing materialism by misdirection. Talk about passing the buck. The Hard Problem of consciousness (and very much empirical evidence) I think show conclusively that consciousness is an immaterial entity that manifests in the physical via brains (i.e. dualism).
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  • Typoz, Valmar, Stan Woolley
(2021-05-16, 07:44 PM)nbtruthman Wrote: I don't think much of panpsychism.


Me neither.
Oh my God, I hate all this.   Surprise
I don't delve too deeply into formal definitions or interpretations of -isms. Those things often turn into tripwires of wordplay.

My view is more that consciousness is distributed more deeply or widely than just in brains. The brain-consciousness connection to me is somewhat of a narrow focus and omits too much. Though I understand this isn't much discussed, the brain-as-filter or interface concept has gathered momentum, perhaps leading to the exclusion of some ideas of importance.
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  • Sciborg_S_Patel

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