Being, Consciousness and Everything

John Richardson
j-richardson3@raytheon.com
Prepared for the International Conference on Science and Consciousness
Albequerque, New Mexico
Copyright 1999
From: http://www.goertzel.org/dynapsyc/1999/Being.htm


The universe is uncaused, like a net of jewels in which each is only the reflection
of all the others in a fantastic interrelated harmony without end.
Ramesh Balsekar

 

Starting from Where We Are

So ...... here we are. How did we get here? What is this situation? What happens next? What can happen? There is body, mind and senses. There is pleasure and pain, feeling good and feeling not so good. There is sky, stars, ocean, fire and wind. There are changes of season, cause and effect. There are moments of great joy, and there is sickness, old age and death. What are all these things ... really?

Where does it begin and end? For us, it begins with life and appears to end at death. And in between there is wake, dream and deep sleep. In a natural way, these things are common to all of us here. As a species on this planet, we share a global history, our collective knowledge, and the tools we use. We all have a common desire for happiness. Is there any way to be released, radiant, ecstatic and always already satisfied? Some of us seek to understand and to know. Is there something we could know, and by that, be lifted into the Heavens? If we understood the very nature of all of this, could we let go? Is there some final knowledge, the fruits of which can and should be realized by all?

Unlike religious proposition or culturally centered knowledge, scientific knowledge applies equally to everyone and everything. Science focuses its search for truth based on universal predictability and regularity, and shows little preference for anything else such as race, gender or religious belief. By understanding the causes of observed regularities, science has discovered the fundamental laws of nature. The powers of scientific discovery have been demonstrated through the achievements of modern technology. And yet, science has not arrived at its ultimate goal where it would seem to merge with religion and philosophy. For the ultimate goal of science must be to discover the absolute nature and condition of everything.

Newton’s laws of motion first established a basis of understanding with enthusiastic outlook. Einstein’s theory of relativity revealed that the speed of light is a constant operating in the context of a space-time continuum populated with matter and sporting with energy. The fact that the speed of light is constant for any observer in a common frame of reference points to an underlying discrete structural relationship between time and space and experience. Finally quantum physics has taken us to the brink of understanding subatomic behavior and the underlying construction of the very building blocks of physical reality. It has revealed the paradoxical wave-particle behavior of light or electromagnetic radiation. When theoretical physicists found the right model to describe the observed behavior of elementary particles, regularity gave way to discontinuity and uncertainty. After nearly seventy years, the profound implications and varied interpretations of quantum mechanics remain a subject of incredible fascination and serious scientific debate.

The Nobel laureate, Richard Feynman, once stated to his students; "I think it is safe to say that no one understands quantum mechanics. Do not keep saying to yourself, …… but how can it be like that, because you will go down the drain into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that."

Concepts can at best only serve to negate one another, as one thorn is used to remove another, and then be thrown away. Only in deep silence do we leave concepts behind. Words and language deal only with concepts, and cannot approach Reality.

--Ramesh Balsekar

Quantum Conundrum

Practical application of quantum mechanics, or QM, has been demonstrated through inventions such as the transistor and the laser. Yet its implications concerning the existence of subatomic matter continue to perplex its audience. In 1958, Werner Heisenberg stated the following; "The conception of objective reality of the elementary particles has thus evaporated not into the cloud of some obscure new reality but into the transparent clarity of a mathematics that represents no longer the behavior of particles but rather our knowledge of this behavior." Heisenberg’s statement seems to imply that QM does not explain subatomic particles, but rather explains our "knowing about" their behaviors. Over the past seventy years, a number of different QM theories have been developed. Each is viable based on what we can observe about the behavior of subatomic particles. Classical QM interpretations suggest that conscious observation is a critical factor influencing the behavior of these elementary particles. Other interpretations attempt to explain quantum behavior as a product of material causes only, not involving the function of consciousness at all. And there are yet other interpretations that question the existence of any truly objective material world altogether, leaving nothing but consciousness itself to account for the explanation of experience.

All QM interpretations agree that what we see as an objective physical reality evolves according to a pre-existing probability structure that is elegantly and precisely modeled by the Schrodinger wave equation. Although the Schrodinger waveform equation describes probability, it does not describe how that probability becomes a discrete manifestation. One class of theories postulates that a "collapse" of the waveform results in the actualization of discrete particles from a condition of prior probabilities. In addition, the QM principle of "entanglement" between subatomic particles and their associations with atoms causes an extended "collapse" of the probability wave into the discrete objective world we experience through our physical senses. In the case of waveform collapse, the hard question has to do with just what causes the collapse to occur.

Waveform collapse is modeled by a function called the measurement postulate. QM theories that include consciousness suggest that collapse occurs when an experimental observation is made. This line of reasoning lead to the proposition that the ultimate observation-measurement apparatus is the mind of the observer. This concept was first suggested by Darwin in 1929 and later publicized through the works of von Neumann (1932) and Wigner (1962). This interpretation postulates that a conscious observation collapses the waveform.

Another class of theories accounts for collapse by postulating materially-based causes rather than conscious observation. And a third class postulates that there is no collapse of the probability wave at all. In that case, what we experience as a discrete objective reality is a peculiar circumstance that occurs only within the context of probability itself.

All collapse-based theories agree that there is a transformation from probability to actuality. However, there exist two very different interpretations about what causes this transformation, this waveform collapse, to occur. Materially-based theories propose that it is caused by some means other than consciousness. To date, no conclusive evidence has been found to support a materially-based cause for collapse. Consciousness-based theories propose that conscious observation is the cause. It is considered difficult, if not impossible, to conduct direct and objective experimental observations of consciousness. Therefore, consciousness-based theories may need to depend on the establishment of reasonable philosophical constructs to develop its proposals.

In the "no collapse" theories, it is suggested that we, as conscious beings, must literally be on the probability wave ourselves (as probabilities). Many discrete and exclusive realities, or many worlds, are considered to exist. Each of these contains an exclusive "me" that is unable to experience any of my other selves residing on other exclusive probability waves. The Many Worlds theories imply that each of the possibilities exist as discrete realities and result in a number of experiential worlds, each of which contains an exclusive me. The regularities experienced in our collective observation are explained by allowing all possible mind states of each and every observer to evolve along all possible wave positions in a continuous march of exclusive coherent experience. At present, the scientific community has reached no agreement concerning just how the observed behavior of an electron appears to transform from probability wave to discrete particle.

Prior to the discovery of QM, Einstein sought a unified field theory; a single model that would resolve the four fundamental forces into a single unified force. Yet this unified force would not overthrow or negate the relative truth of the previously understood forces. It would instead resolve them into a unified concert heard as a coherent symphony played on the instruments of cause and effect.

Intuition, along with our appreciation of aesthetic elegance, appeal to our desire for discovering such a unified theory --a theory that includes us as conscious beings as well. An all-encompassing theory must be based on something that can unify all of the relative views of truth. We need a common and universal basis for establishing a theory that can accommodate all of our collective and individual "occasions of experience" with such credibility that all of our religious and philosophical beliefs become unified in it as well.

Idealists and realists alike long to discover a theory that is profound, simple, elegant, and free of counterintuitive insult and dualistic paradox. Is there something that when represented in phase with our scientific knowledge, theologies, and philosophies can resolve them into a unified theory of everything? Is there some common denominator, some underlying condition that is the basis and support for all that exists?

All that exists, although manifesting as apparently
either good or bad.
Cannot be differentiated in this way in the dimension
of knowledge of the Original Base.
I myself reside in the natural condition that is beyond effort
You who are caught up in accepting and rejecting,
do as you please
--Namkhai Norbu

The Original Base

The always already underlying condition of Being offers a meeting ground for all possible interpretations and definitions of what is. Something is ... Is-ness ... isn’t it? The entire house falls apart the instant it is otherwise --and even then there is no other place. If existence does not be, then all that appears is unreal having no basis of support.

Exactly what is Being-ness? Being is the universal and purely abstract aspect of existence itself. Being is everywhere. If there is a nowhere, it must also exist! In this very moment, right now, everything that is ... actually is! In every moment there is this simultaneous universal arising of time, space, matter, energy and experience .…... snap! This is it!

All objects and all subjects share this same underlying condition or state of Being. Being can never be separated from Itself. It is non-dual. There can be only one Being-ness. Being is absolutely inclusive of all possible expressions and conditions. Everything that is must be. There can never be a time when Being isn’t. Being Itself transcends time. It is every-when. In fact, Being never started! It has always been. Being is prior to the arising of any and all possible constructs of universal objective reality and/or local subjective experience.

Visualizing a model of Being is difficult. It has neither beginning, boundary nor structure. The existence of objective structure requires form and form has a boundary. Being is beyond form. Being is transcendent and is the underlying condition of all objects, others, states and things. It is the firm support for all that exists. Being may be considered objectively only from a "conceptual" orientation. Subjectively, we are It. Being defies wearing clothing of any kind. It can not be objectively conceptualized or modeled because there is no condition with which it can be related. It literally is all conditions. In order to point toward that Supreme Being, we must use a conceptual symbolic representation while never losing sight of the fact that Being is beyond dualistic considerations. Being may be represented, but never captured.

Concepts can only model, symbolize or represent something. They cannot in fact produce it. We use our conceptual intelligence in an attempt to get hold of something’s relevance, its meaning from within our own personal frame of reference. This is what we must do with the concept of Being. We can use our conceptual intelligence to get hold of Its relevance within our personal frame of reference. We can never actually conceptualize Being "as It is". We can only get hold of Its relevance with respect to everything else we know. Concepts can only point to Being, like a finger pointing at the moon. Many may see and understand what the finger is, but to see the moon, one has to look beyond the pointing finger to see the moon itself. With respect to Being, one must see with a clarity and absolute-ness that goes beyond our dualistic limitations --toward a resolution of all things; religious, philosophical and scientific.

 

You are Timelessness in which no death can enter
for where there is no time there is no death.
That Timelessness is Now, and that is Being
Being is always shining
I AM is the Light of Being
This Diamond cannot hide
and can never be hidden.
-- Sri H. W. L. Poonja

Structure and Dynamics

What is form? What is structure? That which is the universal ground of all conditions is simply Being-ness. The existence of structure requires form and form requires a boundary condition. A boundary condition separates something from something else. These two things are relational to one another. Structure can exist only as a relational pair; a pair manifested in the condition of Being. Being Itself is non-relational; not even relational to the pair. From the perspective of the pieces, Being appears as an objective condition. But from the perspective of Being, there is only One Thing arising as Itself and all expressions of Itself over all conditions of relative possibility.

The basic and fundamental structure of all structures must be the condition of relationship of one to another. This original and primordial structure is pure duality made manifest. These three; Being, the one and the other …. are three conceptual aspects of the non-dual transcendental condition of Being Itself. These three are actually only One Thing arising (together). In the moment of arising, both the one and the other must arise simultaneously as a pair.

Experiencer and experienced must arise together. Subject and object exist only together. Wave and particle may dance only together. Subject and object always already impact one another. The arising and evolution of any and all structure must appear in the garb of relational patterning. Relationships can be accurately modeled, or conceptually represented, using the relational constructs of pure mathematics. Which came first, pure mathematics or the actual substantial relationships that it can be used to represent? From an abstract point of view, all potential relationships of any and all possible conditions always already exist in the form of their potentiality. These potential relationships must themselves be inherent in the dimension of Being in the form of real probabilities. Expressions of these potential relationships may be represented in the common and universal language we call mathematics. These mathematical expressions must exist prior to the arising of the objective substantial relationships that they are capable of representing.

From the objective point of view, relationships constantly arise. The abstract constructs of mathematics may be applied to model these relationships. Using the models of applied mathematics, universal regularities or constants have been discovered such as "p " the constant relationship between the measure of the circumference of a circle and its radius. This is a universal fact of plane geometry under any and all conditions of possibility --a universal relative truth. Structural relationships are quantifiable, giving rise to our ability to understand and interpret their relevance within our personal frame of reference. In this case, "p " is the constant quantifiable relationship or dynamic impact that the radius has on the circumference of its circle. What is the fundamental quantifiable measure of pure relationship? It is boundary interaction --dynamic impact!

Dynamic interaction/impact is quantifiable. Some kind of dynamic is fundamental to and coexistent with the arising of primordial structure. All potential dynamic structures must arise and evolve from the basic trinity of primordial dualization residing in the house of Being. In the frame of the Original Base, there simply is no other possibility. The dynamics of the interactions in relational reality are unobstructed in their arising, yet structure is their nature. They are appearances in, as and of Being Itself. But just how might such a primordial relational structure arise? How does a relational structure arise out of that which has no structure? This is the greatest of mysteries.

Any number of hypotheses may be applied to account for the arising of duality from and within the unity of Being. Having no definable substance, Being is always already undivided and unbounded. I will propose that it is only a non-substantial or non-material phenomenon that can be the ground or basis for the arising of an original dynamic structure out of pure Being. Although there is, in fact, no substantial closure to this observation, we have no other means with which to proceed other than a conceptual model of that possibility.

I will postulate that a reflectional dynamic occurring within Being Itself is perhaps the only reasonable model to account for the arising of something from an Original Base that is devoid of something-ness. And yet, no cause for that reflectional dynamic can be identified. From a relative conceptual perspective, the arising of primordial structure can only be interpreted as uncaused. Out of all the fundamental possibilities or forces however, the behavior potential of consciousness offers one of the best ground conditions that can support an uncaused original self-reflection to occur within the non-dual yet open dimension of Being. For this to be so, consciousness will be postulated as the very Nature of Being. And if consciousness is Its Nature, then dynamic self-reflection is Its Experience.

With respect to our experience of physical reality, there appear a number of conditions of regularity and consistency --constants of universal applicability. When Christopher Columbus noticed that the masts of all ships always appeared on the horizon prior to the appearance of the ships themselves, he concluded that there must be a real and underlying cause for his experience. Presumably, he used a deductive reasoning exercise and concluded that the cause of this regular and structured experience must be due to a heretofore-unrecognized property of the material world; a curvature of the earth. Although the world had always been curved, the collective consciousness of that time had not yet recognized this fact due to viewing the situation from a physically limited perspective.

Absolute Supreme Being has manifested Itself in form as dynamic structure. That structure has a certain degree of consistency and regularity. It can be measured or quantified. The speed of light is a boundary condition over against which the space-time relationship becomes quantifiable. Within this universe, the speed of light is a very special quantifiable relationship. It is an absolute limit condition in the relationship between matter, space and time. The speed of light, at 186,000 miles per second, is the absolute limit for the speed (unit distance per unit time) that anything material can travel. Seen from the perspective of physical experience, we might say that the speed of light reveals the face of transcendental Being.

All functional constants as seen through the applied mathematics of physics define regularities in the behavior of physical reality. They are like windows set in the house of real universal relationships. We look outward through these windows to glimpse forms of absolute Being. The relationships of physical reality are governed by the absolute nature of Being seen in the form of Its relational constants. Our posture of submission to and cooperation with these facts of nature has allowed us to put a man on the moon. I suggest that these relational regularities, such as p and the speed of light constant, are functions of absolute Being. Within this space-time house, they appear through the windows of a pure mathematics. The light of structural intelligence streams through these windows to provide a view of the world "as it is".

In fact light, or electromagnetic radiation, constitutes the boundary condition between the absolute and the relative world as we know it. The speed of light is to space-time as p is to the relational structure of a circle (radius-circumference-area) --an absolute boundary condition of its manifestation. The consideration of light from the perspective of physics offers a view of Being manifested as a relational dynamic structure --the constant boundary condition of our physical space-time universe. We can visualize our physical universe to be bounded not by a geometric limitation at the edge of space, but by a fence of light. On this side of the fence we see our relative conditional world. On the other side is only Being Itself.

In the dream state, we see objects. Although we may experience sounds, odors, tastes or touch in the dream state, visual images are more prevalent, most riveting and most common. We are also able to visualize objects in our minds, in our imagination. By what light are we able to see these inner images? Exactly what is the light of the mind? How do we see what reductionist science might describe as only an electro-chemical process in the brain? Inner vision requires seeing, and seeing involves light. Therefore, it may be said that consciousness manifests a light-like phenomenon --a self-reflective and radiant cognizance.

All forms of experience are based on primordial dualization resulting from an uncaused self-reflection in consciousness. This then is the basic building block of all structure and dynamics that are seen to arise and dance in the form of matter, energy, thought and feeling.
Whatever appears, like the stars and planets in the sky,
is the display of the self-appearing attributes of intrinsic awareness
in the vast expanse of ultimate nature.
-- Sogpo Tentar

Being, Consciousness and Experience

Being thoroughly embodies the condition of quantum non-locality. That is, Being is universally everywhere (including nowhere) over and across all possible space-time conditional manifestations, instantly, and all at once. But That has become this. That primordial Transcendent-Being appears to have somehow evolved into this physical universe (which continues to evolve). Just how does this evolution or transformation occur? I will propose that a continuous, repetitive and evolving pattern of self-reflection by consciousness in Being is the always already uncaused origin for the appearance of all structure. I will offer the view that the self-reflective nature of consciousness continues to self-reflect, self-reference and self-replicate into a myriad dynamic interpenetrative relational structures. These relationships form the basic structure of reality. From this hypothesis, Being, Consciousness and Experience are modeled as three apparent aspects of a single unconditional reality; Reflectively-Radiant-Being. In this view, consciousness is not only self-reflective; it is also radiantly cognizant in the open dimension of the Original Base.

In its primordial condition, it is an ever-existing unified cognizance. In its self-reflective condition, consciousness gives rise to subject/object pairs –dualities within Itself. With the evolution of more complex interpenetrative relationships, it becomes involved within itself. This self-reflective involvement results in repetitions of locally isolated consciousness operating within the structural dynamic of relational patterning. Therefore a complex network of locally isolated subjects may arise as conscious life forms. At different stages of evolution, the condition and functional characteristics of these life forms could range from extremely primitive and locally adaptive to highly intelligent, creative and even non-locally adaptive. The arising of all matter and energy is also a result of this repetitive self-reflection in consciousness --to the point of producing apparently solid objects of experience.

This theory proposes an original and continuous arising of structure and experience out of the primordial Original Base; Being-Consciousness-Experience. Rather than a Big Bang creation model resulting in a space-time-matter universe, this Being Bang model includes a clear definition of the Original Base and a view of the universe that includes consciousness and experience along with time, space, matter and energy. This type of model may offer a reasonable philosophical basis for the development of a unified theory of everything.

That to which we apply the terms knowing, feeling and experience properly belong to the phenomenal behavior of consciousness and its self-reflective nature. But what about the apparently objective solid material existence we all experience? Our subjective feelings and even our conceptual interpretations of experience may not be exactly the same. But with the material world, we come up against a most intriguing observation. We observe that for us, as a collective, the fundamental laws of the physical world are always exactly the same for each and everyone of us. It is this regularity within our collective experience that beckons us to inquire into the nature of our objective world. For it is there that we find the best of possibilities to discover something that we can all share equally.

Unlike religious proposition or philosophical conjecture, that which arises to the senses as objective reality has the characteristic of being consistent from one person to the next, from one culture to the next, and even from one civilization to another. The sun exists. It comes up and goes down. We all believe what science has discovered for us. Our sun is a star. Our planet orbits around it once a year. While orbiting, our planet rotates on its axis once every 24 hours. This rotation in the face of the sun is the cause of night and day. This is true for everyone on this planet, equally. Prior to our collective understanding of this explanation of the cause for the rising and setting of the sun, a number of other views were held.

In early western civilization, people thought the earth was the center of the universe and that the sun orbited the earth. These views have now been proven incorrect. In fact, they were mis-aligned interpretations of direct experience. They were real deductions based on real direct experience. Yet they were relationally incorrect models of how things actually are. Direct sense perception is a first order experience. Interpretations and meanings derived from it are second order experiences. It is important to note that it is possible for a thought, feeling, or interpretation "about" a valid direct experience to be mis-aligned with the facts. This is generally not so with our direct sense experience. The sun "looked" the same in times past to those who thought it orbited the earth as it "looks" to us now. It has been the intelligent investigation into the real relational structure of our physical universe that has properly aligned our conceptual understanding (second order knowings) with the actuality of how things really are (first order knowings). And it is our cooperation with how things really are that has facilitated our prowess as a collective species on this planet.

In our quest to understand the physical world, the revelations of QM indicate that the elementary particles, the basic building blocks of our material universe, exist in a prior underlying condition of probability. This indicates that what we experience as our current discrete reality is an extension of previous discrete realities somehow manifested from that dimension of probabilities. But just where and how do these probabilities exist? They must be inherent in the dimension of the Original Base. I will propose that what we refer to as "intelligence" is the accurate perception in consciousness of the real relational structures of universal possibility and relative actuality. Mathematics constitutes a fundamental language for representing and analyzing this structure. Therefore, our experience of the objective physical world is structured with the flavor of applied mathematical relationships. Relational probabilities can be accurately represented as mathematical expressions and the Schrodinger wave equation is just such an expression. It has formed the basis for a model (from the relative perspective) of how experience might arise. What we experience to be physically discrete is an actualization of the probability expressed or modeled with the wave equation. I will propose that the dynamic structures that propagate through material existence are manifestations of the underlying stratum of universal probability.

Being is the base; consciousness is Its nature; and structured experience is Its dynamic play in form. What we experience as material objects in space-time are primordial structural possibilities. Their dynamic behavior can be expressed in the relationships of pure mathematics. This Being-space-time continuum, this physical world, is a complex system that can be modeled mathematically based on its inherent structural intelligence. These models are accurate only to the degree that they resonate or align with real structural relationships. The world behaves perfectly --just as it should. Its probability condition, prior to becoming a discrete manifestation, can be modeled in the calculus of the Schrodinger wave equation. What appears as a discrete reality arises out of a universal probability structure. Both the probability structure and discrete experience are understood by consciousness through its intelligent participation with what is.

What arises as experience and the objects of experience is based on a dynamic self-reflection in consciousness manifesting relational pairs within the non-dual condition of Being. From a scientific perspective, the regularities of the objective world, the fundamental forces and laws of nature are in fact "regular" only because of the absolute condition of Being Itself shining through Its relational structure. These regularities are perceived as the constants inherent in the intelligent structural relationships seen in our relative conditional world. Being Itself contains the framework of all possibilities. This framework, or field, can be represented mathematically. I will propose that this unified field acts as a universal waveform underlying and preceding all manifest existence.

In Truth, the basic ground and the true nature of everything is shunyata, great emptiness ...
The only difference is a person’s capability to understand this absolute truth, this empty nature.

Some see it in a narrow way, others in a completely open way.....
This results in the different expressions in absolute view,
although the basic ground is always the empty nature itself,
which is adamantine, forever unchanging, and beyond
all these various kinds of teachings.
-- Nysohul Khenpo

Toward a Resolution of Interpretations

QM-based interpretations of reality range from matter-only to mind-only. Reductionist science starts by focusing on the phenomenal objects of experience and their behaviors. This investigative approach drills down seeking a unified stratum of substance and a single unified cause (or force field). Nearing the goal of its approach, reductionist science has discovered nothing more substantial than probability and uncertainty for its explanation of matter and energy. I propose that this discovery constitutes a glimpse of what lies just beyond wave-particle duality --the Original Base. And yet it should not be said that the resulting collection of QM explanations is in any way incorrect. These interpretations are based on regularities observed in the behavior of what is.

Realist science seeks to understand how things are by focusing on the material world and its constituents. The reductionist approach investigates things from the outside-in. It starts by observing the objective world as an effect and then proceeds to inquire into underlying causes. Investigating in this way, it is certainly understandable to see why materialist science does not recognize consciousness as a fundamental property or force. Looking from the outside-in, it is plausible to accept that consciousness is not required to account for waveform collapse or for the arising of the world in any way. However, in order to evolve a complete theory of everything from this perspective, it will be necessary to develop a model for the initial arising of structure by some means other than self-reflection in consciousness. That is, some reasonable model based on material causes must be developed to account for the initial arising of relational structure out of pure existence. In that case, consciousness can be relegated to the status of an effect rather than a cause. Nevertheless, consciousness does occupy a position of significant consideration within the realm of reductionist investigations due to its uncanny knack for being the only vehicle through which these investigations can be carried out.

Being is prior to the arising of manifestation and experience. Whether or not the waveform collapses, and whether or not consciousness is the cause of such a collapse, has absolutely no effect on Being Itself. Starting with Being as the underlying fundamental reality provides a universal and stable platform for exploration of the conflicting interpretations of quantum mechanics.

Ram Tzu believes
In the law
Of cause and effect.
He just doesn’t know
Which is which

An Extended Co-creational Theory

This theory describes the universe as an extended relational structure arising out of Being Itself. It explains objective experience in terms of an absolute or primary cause and subjective experience in terms of a relative or secondary cause. Because this theory is based in consciousness, it may be considered a philosophical construct of idealist science.

How does the primordial probability structure inherent in Being and represented by the Schrodinger wave equation become manifest into a discrete objective world? Historical interpretations of QM have been based on the idea that "observation" operates only from a local position of individuated consciousness. I propose that this model has produced confusion with respect to the collapse-based interpretations. How, when, where and by whom was the first observation made? Is there one world or are there many worlds? These and other questions continue to plague scientists and philosophers alike. However, this extended co-creational theory is rooted in the proposition that Being, whose nature is consciousness can sustain an always already on-going observation of Itself. This observation operates from a position of non-locality collapsing the universal waveform of primordial probability. I will refer to this as the primary collapse. This primary collapse is the cause of this micro/macro-cosmic universe in which we live. In this theory, the primary collapse is caused by the one and only universal observer. I will propose that the radiant cognizance aspect of Being is the primordial engine providing the capacity to perform this observation and that dynamic self-reflection in consciousness is its seed condition. The existence of that seed condition is uncaused and therefore absolutely fundamental.

The primary collapse produces this one and only (non-dual) universe. In this model, consciousness, the universal waveform, and the primary collapse are all non-local fundamental realities or functions. Therefore, the question of one world versus many worlds is resolved. Whether or not there are many exclusive me(s) riding on exclusive waves of probability remains a question of fascination. However, it should remain clear that in this theory there is actually only one universal consciousness with many "images and likenesses" or "offspring" operating in temporary localized forms dancing the dance of experience in the light of reality.

In this view, the world is substantial, real and has the quality of appearing as a consistent objective experience across all subjects of localized individuated consciousness. The primary collapse produces the manifestation of the physical world including the constituents of the sense organs, brain and nervous system. Direct sensory experience occurs at the level of the primary collapse. That is, the direct phenomenal contents in mind resulting from sensory stimuli occur as a function of the primary collapse. Perhaps the uncommon but amply reported sensory-like experiences of so-called mystical visions, primordial sounds, and direct knowings also occur at the level of the primary collapse --perfectly aligned with real relational structures. However, the interpretations or "meanings" derived from direct sensory and/or mystical experience may not always be at the level of the primary collapse.

Consciousness involved with its self-reflected objects of experience induces an experiential condition of locality. This theory proposes that a secondary collapse occurs in the "image and likeness" of the primary collapse, but from a limited or non-universal position. The thoughts and feelings that we experience as individuals result from this secondary collapse. The secondary collapse results in "knowing about" the objects experienced through the senses. Further replication of this secondary collapse results in "knowing about" what localized consciousness thinks it "knows about" resulting in further convolutions of self-reflective knowings and identifications.

In a straightforward way, everything that is physically discrete is a result of the primary collapse. The same universal waveform collapsed by universal consciousness is re-collapsed by localized consciousness resulting in the subtle objects of mind in the succession of symbols, patterns, thought-feelings, interpretations and projections. Many of the thoughts and feelings that arise in our minds are a result of this secondary collapse. Direct sense perception of real physical and/or real metaphysical existence is a first order experience and operates at the level of the primary collapse. Interpretations and projections concerning the meaning of things perceived is a second order experience and operates at the level of the secondary collapse. Mind-forms are also experienced in localized consciousness as the arising of memories and their associated interpretations and projections. In this theory, all or at least some of the secondary collapse function could be a result of quantum processes in the brain and nervous system (such as QM effects generated in theoretical microtubules found inside certain protein structures within the brain).

The primary collapse is perfect and pure. The objective world of the senses is exactly "as it is" --time, space, matter, energy. However mind is, to some degree, free from the bindings of the regularities of the physical world. We can imagine many things that do not coincide with the way things actually are. We can easily imagine that the world is flat. We can become paranoid and imagine that the world is out to get us. We can even imagine that we can control everything if we just try hard enough.

This inner freedom in localized consciousness can give rise to a variety of ideas and feelings that may demonstrate a loose coupling to the physical "regularities of fact". This loose coupling between the result of the primary collapse (as it is) and the secondary collapse (as you see it) can produce an unbridled variety of possible interpretations and projections about oneself and everything else. Yet, direct experience acquired through the senses is generally regular and consistent from one person to the next.

Within the context of the secondary collapse, any and all forms of imagination can arise. This could provide the opportunity for localized consciousness to evolve an abstract reasoning ability. However, this reasoning ability will be accurate only to the extent that it resonates-aligns with real structural relationships. In a physical sense, these real structural relationships are the discrete manifestations and behaviors resulting from the primary collapse.

Although the secondary collapse may appear to operate independently, it is in fact always already a subject of the primary collapse. When the secondary collapse is in alignment with the primary collapse, they constitute a single resonant function. In this case, the secondary collapse becomes transparent and the resulting mind forms may be said to be coincident with and a result of the primary collapse. When the secondary collapse resonates with the primary collapse, experience is coherent and synchronous with how things actually are. Perception is clear and reality is as it appears. When there is a lack of resonance, interpretations and projections may arise that are non-synchronous with real relational structures. A decoherence occurs between the world of the primary collapse and the view produced by the secondary collapse resulting in obstructions and obscurations in the localized mind-stream.

This theory proposes that the real and singular primary collapse of a real but unmanifest universal waveform produces a real (one and only) World. It further proposes that a real but secondary collapse may arise as Its offspring. All living sentient beings are manifestations of the primary collapse. Consciousness operates through these embodiments of Itself. Scientists observing the arising and interaction of relational patterning in the behavior of living organisms have discovered properties of self-organization and emergent behavior. This is a model of consciousness involved with matter --evolving ever new patterns of self organized biological systems in a variety of states of equilibrium.

If we view our universe as a whole over vast periods of time, the creation, evolution and degeneration of stellar systems appears to demonstrate an organic-like behavior. This holds true for ecosystems, civilizations, animals and humans alike. This could indicate the existence of a universal self-organizing principle or force operating conditionally within the framework of a material world. The continued emergence of ever-evolving conscious physical organisms and their cultural institutions could be explained by such a mechanism. Today, evolutionary biologists are working with this type of model in an effort to better understand how life began and evolved on this planet.

Complexity science based on chaos theory could account nicely for the propagation of the relational patterning resulting from the self-reflectional dynamic of consciousness involved with (material) structure. The properties of emergence and self-organization are perhaps best understood as the operation of consciousness involved in its dance within and through matter based on an intelligent search for propagation, survivability and equilibrium. Consciousness involved with matter self-organizes to promote the emergence of robust organisms such as higher life forms, tribes, corporations and civilizations. The self-organizing and emergent properties of complex systems might also explain the natural evolution of communication systems such as symbols, language, telecommunications and even the Internet. Recently, complexity science models have even been applied to the hard problem of trying to understand the workings of mind and the very nature of consciousness itself.

This extended co-creational theory explains experience as an extended structure of absolute Being. It employs models of primordial dualization, quantum mechanics, and complexity science to explain the unified arising of a physical-metaphysical universe that includes consciousness. The following points summarize the basic philosophical constructs of this theory:

  • There is only one thing Being. Consciousness is Its Nature and structured experience is Its play.
  • An uncaused reflectional dynamic in consciousness results in a primordial dualization that is the fundamental building block of all relational structure; from quantum fields to mind-forms to elementary particles and galaxies
  • The field of primordial probability inherent in the dimension of the Original Base acts as a universal waveform underlying all manifest existence
  • The radiant cognizance of Being Itself operates as a non-dual, non-local observer and is the cause of the primary collapse of the universal waveform
  • The physical-metaphysical universe and the direct sensory experience of it are first order relational structures resulting from the primary collapse
  • A secondary collapse of the universal waveform is the cause of the manifestation of second order relational structures; symbols, patterns, thought-feelings, interpretations and projections in localized consciousness or mind.
  • When the secondary collapse resonates with the primary collapse, it becomes functionally transparent such that the resulting mind-forms are coincident products of the primary collapse.
  • The structural evolution of living organisms and their institutions is an emergent phenomenon facilitated by intelligent self-organization --a natural function of reflectively radiant cognizance

Implications with respect to Personal Experience

As higher order life forms with complex mental capacities, we are all familiar with the uncomfortable conditions that appear to be products of the mind. Confusion, worry, self doubt, and emotional dis-ease are a result of a discontinuity in the resonance between the primary and secondary collapse. The secondary collapse produces second order mind-forms. These mind-forms are collected and registered at an apparent locus within our consciousness. That locus we call "I". And yet that locus is an artificial "I" produced by our identification with the objects of experience reflected in localized consciousness. It is like the reflection of the moon in water or the appearance of an object within a crystal ball. When a crystal ball is set on a table near a bouquet of flowers, the bouquet of flowers appears within the crystal ball. Yet at the locus within the ball where the bouquet appears, there is actually nothing but crystal. In the mind, there is actually nothing but consciousness. From our limited perspective, we indeed appear separate. However, from the perspective of Being, we are actually temporal instantiations of Itself.

A sense of personal doership and free-will is facilitated by identification with this artificial "I". The body is a first order reality. Mind-forms are a second order reality. But the sense of separate personal doership is a third order construct. In this sense, it is three times removed from the absolute condition of consciousness itself.

Limited identity creates the unnecessary sense of isolation (self and other). This false sense of isolation is the cause of a primal fear deeply rooted in the inner psyche. It is this condition that can cause a discontinuity in the resonance between the primary and secondary collapse. Identification with the body-mind organism further extends our concern to the level of our complex physical-emotional condition.

This "I" becomes a locus around which localized consciousness contracts. This self-contraction can become the cause for an infinite variety of mis-aligned interpretations and projections. It might be that what we observe as mental and emotional disease are attributable to a self-contracted and mis-aligned participation with the perfect product of the primary collapse. Perhaps by relaxing into consciousness as non-local radiant cognizance itself, this pseudo identity will dissipate and reduce its reactionary entanglement with the world. From this relaxed and meditative posture, the mis-aligned thought-feelings, interpretations and projections produced by the self-contraction of individuated consciousness may transform into a simple radiant coherence with real relational structures. In this condition, the secondary collapse becomes transparent and its results cease to conflict with and obscure the perfect product of the primary collapse. The appearance of the world might not change at all, but one’s perception and feeling about it might relax and become resonant with the way things are. The intensity of radiant cognizance may increase and what we experience as moments of coherent clarity and creativity might become more frequent.

By relaxing the self-contraction, it is conceivable that the locus of individuated consciousness may invert upon the very nature of consciousness itself, unifying with its self-reflective source --Radiant Cognizance. Things should then appear only and exactly "as they are", both inside and out.

When the Clear Light dawns, you will recognize it ....
in that moment, when the Clear Light of the Path and Clear Light of the Base merge and become inseparably united is spoken of as the meeting of the Mother Clear Light and the Son Clear Light. This is like a child recognizing his own beloved mother after a long separation due to his wandering off and becoming lost.

--commentary from The Golden Letters, by John Myrdhin Reynolds

No matter what we do, we can never be separated from Being. No matter what we think, we are never alone. And no matter how we feel, our projection of having a separate and personal free will is always a by-product of the secondary collapse. In our limited and separate condition, we are still co-creators, but our co-creative capacity has never had an effect beyond the products of our own minds. Nothing can happen in the objective physical world that is not a function of the primary collapse. Our physical actions appear to be extensions of second order phenomena arising in the mind. However, the physical body, including the brain and nervous system, are themselves first order realities and are understood to be perfectly resonant with and conditioned by the primary collapse.

The World is as It is, .... and the world is as you see it. As the limited self, we appear to be localized co-creators subject to imperfection and death. As the Self, we are eternally coincident with the Original Base. In Reality, we are that Supreme Being. I am That, you are That, all of this is That, there is nothing but That ...... Natural Great Perfection.

Out of the dynamic reach and range where all that
exists is alike in (not yet) having originated,
There emerges the majestic play of the wonderment of
pristine cognition beyond any duality
Self-existing primordial Mind-as-such .....
Nothing can be added to or subtracted from It.
May mind today find comfort and ease.
-- Longchenpa