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Centre for International Research in Human Unity


Centre for International Research on Human Unity Interactive workshop by Ron Anastasia on :

Quantum Consciousness,
the "Mind of the Cells" and Auroville


The quantum realm is the space of magic in modern physics. At the infinitesimal Planck scale, virtual particles flash in and out of existence with no apparent cause, yet are apparently the first cause of the subatomic particles and energy fields which eventually concatenate up to all of so-called material reality.

Modern science has no room for non-deterministic actors in its world view. Chaos theory admits that the sensitivity of complex systems to tiny initial fluctuations allows only probabilistic analysis of initial causes, but its ontology still claims that everything we see about us is nothing more than an ongoing chain of effect-effect-effect. It claims that everything that has been, is now, or will be flows inexorably from the earliest conceivable moment after the Big Bang when its unimaginably dense plasma expanded and cooled enough to allow the first virtual quantum particles to begin their mysterious dance.

Never mind that genius physicists such as Cal Tech's Richard Feynman warned that anyone who claims to understand quantum physics is "a liar or a fool," the majority of modern scientists believe that even the most complex object so far discovered in the cosmos, the human brain, is also subject to the deterministic laws of ordinary physics. The dogma is that human beings are far too small for Einstein's relativistic effects and way too big for those weird quantum fluctuations. Even when strange phenomenon like quantum tunneling began to be designed into supercomputer chips, most scientists confidently believed that the human brain was far too "wet and noisy" for quantum fluctuations to impact neural processes. And the scale of the quantum realm was so many orders of magnitude smaller than any neural component that most neuroscientists have dismissed the rash of books with titles like Quantum Brain, Quantum Mind, etc., as just another wave of New Age wishful thinking. Mystically oriented neurophysiologists like Nobelist Sir John Eccles searched in vain for the "quantum-box," neural structures at the nanometer scale that might be able to respond to quantum fluctuations.

A few years ago a new level of structure began to appear under increasingly powerful microscopes. Most living cells seem to contain a filigree of tiny solid rods which were named the cytoskeleton, since it was assumed they served to maintain the structural shape of cells, sort of like the "bones of the cell." And they were micrometers in diameter, still 1000 times too big for quantum effects.

But something strange and wondrous has begun to appear in new investigations of neural cells. By the mid-90's, using a new generation of magnifying devices like tunneling electron microscopes, the cytoskeletal "rods" are being revealed to be hollow tubes, interconnected in a myriad of junctions within each cell. And within some human neural cellular structures, the complexity of these "microtubules" appears to rival that of the entire human brain! And the tubulin proteins which form the skin of these microtubules are at the nanometer scale; Sir Eccles quantum box has been found.

The very latest experiments on advanced Tibetan Buddhist meditators (by a team including one of my former Ph.D. thesis advisors), are even more astounding. They are revealing high frequency coherent "gamma wave" EEG fluctuations in the range of 30 to 90 cycles per second (several times faster than the well-known "alpha" waves of novice meditators of approximately 10 cycles/sec.). There are now indications that in the brains of these Buddhist adepts, thousands of neurons at widely spaced locations are firing in coherent synchronization much too perfectly coordinated to be controlled by normal relatively slow neural processes. Some researchers are now suggesting that these coherent oscillations can only be coordinated by strange "non-local" quantum effects. And the most recent results indicate that in the most advanced meditative states, hundreds of thousands of normally separate neurons appear to act as if they were one giant "hyper-neuron," interlinked by microtubules which leap through quantum-mediated "gap junctions."

So what's the meaning of all this and how does it possibly relate to Auroville? There's the obvious possibility that these experiments are revealing the physical basis of the Mother's work reported in Satprem's book Mind of the Cells, and therefore have an intimate relationship to both the integral yoga and a possible new stage of evolution. Some world-class physicists, including Roger Penrose, the Oxford University polymath working on Unified Field Theory, are noting the possible relevance of quantum consciousness to the reports of Yogis of many traditions about their experience of an objectively real stratum of reality, of Satchitananda, or supramental Truth, Consciousness and Divine Bliss. Roger Penrose is now hypothesizing that many, perhaps all, creative leaps in human culture are the result of these quantum hyperneuronal states.

In this talk, we'll cover this and more, accompanied with actual electron microscope images of the microtubular structures within human brain cells. And we'll present evidence indicating that this evidence of individual quantum consciousness might be being expanded by non-local quantum effects to a collective Unity field coordinating a flood of breakthroughs around the world, that the process of supramentalization initiated by work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother is in fact demonstrably well begun.

Tuesday 7th February 2006, 8.00 p.m Conference Room Town Hall


See also:"Science, Culture and Integral Yoga" Webzine (SCIY)

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