We’ve long been taught in school that the universe can be explained and defined by physics and the other hard sciences, from gravity and quarks down to atoms and electrons. But during this past century scientists have resorted to using increasingly torturous mathematics and to formulate models with multitudes of dimensions in order to make their theories fit the facts. Mainstream science tells us that the universe sprang into existence some 13.7 billion years ago out of nothing, and that life arose as a result of random collisions of molecules which in turn were made of combinations of one or more of the ninety-two natural elements. But how does science explain getting something from nothing? It doesn’t …and then it had to come up with the inflationary theory to explain why the cosmos appears as it does today. At the other end of the spectrum science is at a loss to explain the behavior of the smallest particles that make up the universe – photons and electrons, etc. – categorizing this behavior as “spooky action at a distance.”
But maybe we’re looking at this all wrong. Maybe the universe didn’t create life, but life created the universe. In Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe, author Robert Lanza argues against the prevailing scientific wisdom that all life can be ultimately reduced to physics, and that biology and consciousness are primary. Lanza lays out seven principles that structure a reality based on biocentrism.
- 1) What we perceive as reality is a process that involves our consciousness. A good example is a rainbow for which you need three things: the sun, raindrops, and a conscious eye at the correct geometric location. If there is no observing eye at that 42 degree distance at the point where the refracted light from the sunlit droplets converge, there is no rainbow. It is the experience of the viewing rather than the combination of the sunlight and raindrops which actually creates the rainbow.
- 2) Our external and internal perceptions are inextricably intertwined and cannot be separated. Imagine gazing at a garden. Although the eye and retina gather photons that deliver their data inputs, these are channeled into the back of the brain where the actual perception of images themselves physically occur. This, according to human physiology texts, is where the actual colors, shapes and movement “happen.”
- 3) The behavior of subatomic particles – indeed all particles and objects – is inextricably linked to the presence of an observer. Without the presence of a conscious observer, they at best exist in an undetermined state of probability waves. This is where we talk about the now-famous quantum physics “double slit” experiments in which the presence of an observer altered and determined the the nature of subatomic particles Quantum theory tells us that everything in nature has a particle nature and a wave nature, and that no small object assumes either a particular place or motion until its wave-function collapses. This is accomplished by observing or measuring it in any way. Scientists sent a current of electrons through a barrier with two small openings. When a camera or other instrument observed the electrons, the wave-nature collapsed and they acted as particles. However, when no equipment was used to observe the electrons, they acted as waves and particles simultaneously.
In explaining this Lanza further refers to the work of German physicist Max Born who demonstrated in 1926 that quantum waves are waves of probability, not waves of material. Thus, a wave of probability is nothing but a likely outcome. Outside of that idea, the wave is not there!
- 4) Without consciousness, “matter” dwells in an undetermined state of probability. Any universe that could have preceded consciousness only existed in a probability state. This is a logical conclusion from the previous principle, and Lanza uses more, increasingly complicated double slit experiments to illustrate it. Yes, you are correct if you think I am wondering why this is it’s own stand-alone principle rather than being combined with principle #3 above.
- 5) The very structure of the universe is explainable only through biocentrism. The universe is fine-tuned for life, which makes sense as life creates the universe, not the other way around. Scientists have discovered that the universe has a long list of traits that make it appear as if everything it contains – from atoms to stars – was tailor-made just for us. Many call this the “Goldilocks Principle” because the cosmos is not “too this” or “too that,” but rather “just right” for life. It’s clear that if the Big Bang had been just one part in a million more powerful, the cosmos would have blown outward too fast to allow stars and worlds to form. Even more coincidentally, the universe’s four forces and all of its constants are just perfectly set up for atomic interactions, the existence of atoms and elements, planets, water and life. Tweak any of them and we never existed. Mainstream science asks us to believe that the entire universe, exquisitely tailored for our existence, popped into existence out of absolute nothingness. In biocentrism, since the universe is created by life, then no universe that didn’t allow for life could possibly exist.
- 6) Time does not have a real existence outside of animal-sense perception. It is the process by which we perceive changes in the universe. The reality of time has long been questioned by philosophers and physicists. In biocentrism, our sense of the forward motion of time is really an inner tool used by our senses to animate events of the spatial world. Einstein’s theory of relativity tells us that time is not a constant. If you were to blast off in a spaceship at 99% of the speed of light, you will age 10 years in a decade of traveling and you will have experienced only those ten years. However, upon returning to Earth you’ll find that seventy years have passed. Biocentrism questions whether an item that varies with changing circumstance can be a fundamental reality of the cosmos in a way that light speed, consciousness, or even the gravitational constant appear to be. Time, instead of being an actual reality, is merely a subjective experience.
- 7) Space, like time, is not an object or a thing. Space is another form of our animal understanding and does not have an independent reality. Thus, there is no absolute self-existing matrix in which physical events occur independent of life. Like time, space is not something that we can see, feel, taste, touch or smell. It is intangible because it is neither physical nor fundamentally real. If we go back to our example of a spaceship traveling at 99% of the speed of light, we would find that the star Sirius was a little more than one light-year away. If we were back on Earth, however, we would measure it as being 8.6 light-years away. The space from Earth to Sirius did not artificially shrink by some illusion; our perception changed. The existence of space thus depends upon our perception rather than being independent of our consciousness. Again, if some thing’s experiences alter radically depending on conditions, that thing is not fundamental.
Does This Screw Up Science?
No, it doesn’t; it actually makes it easier. Einstein’s theory of relativity and biocentrism both predict the same phenomena regarding time and space; it’s not possible to choose one theory over the other based on experiments. But with biocentrism, there’s no need to invent new dimensions and an entirely new mathematics to explain why space and time are relative to the observer. Einstein’s theory breaks down altogether when applied to small distances while biocentrism is consistent with quantum physics.
Mainstream science gives us theories for why the universe is the way it is, but falls short on providing explanations. It doesn’t know what the Big Bang was, how it happened, whether anything existed before the Big Bang, how life arose, how consciousness arose, etc.
Biocentrism, on the other hand, asserts there is no physical universe outside of life and consciousness. Nothing is real that is not perceived. There was never a time when an external, dumb, physical universe existed, or that life sprang randomly from it at a later date. Space and time exist only as constructs of the mind, as tools of perception.
If mainstream science ever deigns to allow the observer – consciousness – into the room when formulating a Unified Theory of Everything, it just might finally find success.
What This Means
Scientific journals are already rife with arguments about which scientific theory and set of mathematics better explains the nature of the universe, and, as the tenets of biocentrism become better known, it’s likely the controversy will grow. But aside from the scientists, what does this really matter?
For those who study altered states of consciousness through practices such as meditation, channeling or remote viewing, biocentrism offers both a validation that it’s not all in your head, and a greater vision of what might be possible. If time and space truly do not exist, what might you actually see if you open your mind? What might be possible if you could learn to alter your level of consciousness to the point that you could reliably “tune in” to different consciousnesses, be they across the city or across the galaxy? If it’s true that there is no physical universe outside of life and consciousness, could we learn to alter our perception sufficiently to step through non-existent walls?
Although walking through walls is fun to think about, for the average person the implications of biocentrism are both more simple and far-reaching at the same time. Biocentrism means that each one of us is – important. Every one of us is an observer who has a vital role in creating reality. And who’s to say that observing life from the inside of a luxury suite at an exclusive resort is more significant that doing so down by the volunteer daisies that sprouted up at the side of a dirt road?
The message of biocentrism is that whoever we are and whatever we do, our lives have meaning. Because we are life itself.