The Physics of Collective Consciousness

by Attila Grandpierre
Attila Grandpierre, Ph.D. Konkoly Observatory of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
H-1525 Budapest P. O. Box 67., Hungary
February 6, 1996

ABSTRACT: It is pointed out that the organisation of an organism necessarily involves fields which are the only means to make an approximately simultaneous tuning of the different subsystems of the organism-as-a-whole. Nature uses the olfactory fields, the acoustic fields, the electromagnetic fields and quantum-vacuum fields. Fields with their ability to comprehend the whole organism are the natural basis of a global interaction between organisms and of collective consciousness. Evidences are presented that electromagnetic potential fields mediate the collective field of consciousness. This result offers for the first time experimental access to the study of collective consciousness by measuring the field-related information-carrying potentials and their derivatives, the electric and magnetic fields between different individuals. The electrodynamic interaction of different brains/minds generates induction and in this way excitement, enhancement in the baseline of the interacting brains’ activity. A list of empirical evidences is presented here proving the existence of this ‘interactive excitement’ effect in the known phenomenon of collective consciousness. The fundamental phenomenon of the collective consciousness is known as ‘social facilitation’ or ‘group effect’. The character and completion of consciousness are outlined in the frame of this picture, and the role of the ‘group effect’ or ‘social facilitation’ as a primary factor in developing consciousness is described. A quantum-physical model of a multi-layered consciousness is presented, where the layering is expressed by the subsequent subtlety of the masses of the material carriers of information. I show that as the mental levels get deeper and more sensitive the couplings are on more and more global scales of their environment. I point out that direct, immediate action in distance actually exists in the electromagnetic field, which is the coupling, mediator field between waves and particles. I show how the environmental, natural and cosmic fields are determinative sources of our consciousness. The results presented point out that the Collective Field of Consciousness is a significant physical factor of the biosphere. I show that the morphogenetic field has an electromagnetic (EM) nature. EM fields are vacuum fields. Different basic forms of vacuum fields exist, and all kinds of fields, including the particle-mediated fields as well, when overlapping each other, seem to be in a direct resonant coupling, and form a complex, merged biofield. The vacuum model of consciousness presented here points to the inductive generation of consciousness, and to its self-initiating nature. Individual and collective methods, as well as the experimental possibilities of a global healing and improving the consciousness field of mankind are suggested.

1. Introduction

It is generally accepted that consciousness evolved parallel to the biological and social complexity of the living systems. This observation suggests that the basic nature of consciousness is related to collective influences, and therefore consciousness is 'per se' a collective phenomenon. Endre K. Grandpierre (1996) in his essay "Cosmic Systems of Consciousness, Their Development, Two Principal Branches and Evolution from the Golden Age until the Present" has shown that consciousness is the manifestation of interactions. Ervin Laszlo (1995) has shown that a holographic information field is responsible for the physical, biological and paranormal phenomena. This holographic field is actually a non-linear vacuum field. The information field in biology is termed as biological or morphogenetic field and it appears in society as a collective field. Unfortunately, the presence and nature of social fields have not been explored yet to a degree when it is clear how they are related to the biological fields. If the nature of consciousness is based on elementary interactions, as suggested by Endre K. Grandpierre (1996), then we have to explore whether the interactions of known physical fields may serve as mediators of consciousness and may produce the fundamental phenomena of consciousness, the 'group effect'.

2. The Evolution of Consciousness

It is widely believed, that the way evolution manifest is from parts to the whole, from the inorganic matter through the unicellular organism towards the multicellular ones until the appearance of consciousness. This process is accompanied by a growing degree of complexity. This direction of the evolution of consciousness is naturally extrapolated towards the appearance of collective consciousness and the Consciousness Field of Mankind (Grandpierre, A., 1995). But why complexity is a necessary condition of a higher form of consciousness? I suggest a plausible answer: because the sensitivity to any stimulus may be increased through the interconnectedness of the constituents of the organism. The increased degree of sensitivity in groups is available through the interactive creation of collective states having energetic states with smaller net energy differences between each other than within the constituents themselves. Therefore they may interact with more subtle stimuli. According to my theory, this basic phenomenon works effectively when the energetic states of the constituents are close to each other. The maximal sensitivity of a system consisting of a fixed number of elements may be reached when the system builds up from almost identical constituents. Examples of this 'collective effect' are multicellular organisms, societies of insects, animals, and humans, and celestial bodies. The Earth, the Sun, the stars, and the galaxies are also systems consisting of similar components. Their organic nature has not been revealed in a scientific context, but now the new research shows that planets and stars do show fundamental life-phenomena and signs of sensitive interconnectedness (Grandpierre, A. 1996a, b, c, d). Regarding the large number of their constituents, the degree of attainable consciousness of these cosmic systems has to be enormously larger than that of humans. As Endre K. Grandpierre (1996a, b) showed, the evolution of the consciousness of cosmic systems divides into a cosmic and a biological branch.

This chain of thought places collective phenomena into the centre of evolution and the generation of consciousness. Our argumentation is substantiated by wide-range observations, e.g. that of L. Thomas (1974): " A solitary ant, afield, cannot be considered to have much of anything on his mind; indeed, with only a few neurones strung together by fibres, he can't be imagined to have a mind at all, much less a thought. He is more like a ganglion on legs. Four ants together, or ten, encircling a dead moth on a path, begin to look more like an idea. They fumble and shove, gradually moving the food toward the Hill, but as though by blind chance. It is only when you watch the dense mass of thousands of ants, crowded together around the Hill, blackening the ground, that you begin to see the whole beast, and now you observe it thinking., planning, calculating. It is an intelligence, a kind of live computer, with crawling bits for its wits." On the other hand, the 'group effect', a phenomenon of psychology which I suggest has a fundamental significance, arises in the same circumstances. Ants work three times more effectively if nearby co-working ants are present (Chen, 1937). Not only the presence of co-working partners, but also, the mere presence of passive 'observers' facilitates their activity (Dashiell, 1930). 'Social facilitation' is a general phenomenon accompanied by an enhanced level of brain activity appearing in the whole range of social animals, including humans as well (Triplett, 1898; see a review of the phenomenon in Atkinson et al., 1993).

To establish the proper context and assess the significance of the phenomenon, I gathered here a whole list of collective consciousness effects. Allport (1961) noted, that among developing children, the sense of other humans develops much earlier than the sense of self-identity. I suggest that this 'social primacy' is related to the frequently observed "emotional fertilisation" in kindergartens. Children cry and laugh even if they do not have any motive except that in their close environment somebody else acts in the same way. The phenomenon of "noise-ecstasy" usually appears among adolescent people, in classrooms. "In the age of adolescence whole classrooms become involved in the 'mass state', which is a state which developing through mutual emotional infection. On these occasions the whole classroom become crazy, they make incredible noises, dance wild dances, rhythmically move, or simply produce a wild chaos. Every pupil participates in the orgy of the upheaval, even those ones, who are not inclined to behave that way within normal conditions and who immediately after the event regret having acted so" (Clauss, Hiebsch, 1964 ). Kurt Tepperwein notes that hypnosis becomes more effective if it is applied in groups, as a consequence of "spiritual infection" and imitation of the others (Tepperwein, 1977). The increase in the number of already hypnotised people facilitates the hypnosis of the next one. This phenomenon suggests the existence of a collective field. Large number of people (tens of thousands of people) were involved in epidemics of psychoses on several occasions and for long times (years) (Farkaslaki, 1939) in the medieval age. Similar occasions took place in the modern era, such as tarantism, demonopathy, dancing mania, mass hysteria (Smelser, 1962), mental epidemics, 'mass psychogenic illnesses' (see the recent review of Bartholomew, 1994). The transference of the anomalous behaviour was described as when the number of people showing the anomalous behaviour reached a certain threshold, the behaviour spread much more easily (Turner and Killian, 1972; Miller, 1985). The "Reutler-effect" shows that the contraction of the muscles of a person may enhance the contraction of the muscles of another person from a distance (Reutler, 1928). Stefán Figar (1959) showed that bodily changes related to special mental activities may easily be transferred to other people independently of their knowledge about each others' actions.

I have to point out, that all of these phenomena may be interpreted by an electromagnetic field model of consciousness, including the phenomenon of hypnosis. If consciousness is organised with the help of the EM field, this EM field may be able to transcend the borders of the organism emitting the waves (see the evidences later on), and interact with the consciousness field of another person nearby. This possibility is allowed by the measurements of Ravitz (1962), who showed that EEG changing during hypnosis presents a waking state pattern. Collective consciousness fields are suggested to act in the ancient Japanese no-theatre and in the truly cathartic theatre performances (Vekerdy, 1974). As Vekerdy formulates, the artist may exert an effect on the audience in three ways: using words, through hearing, by movements, through seeing, and using intense emotions, which exert their effects through telepathy, extra sensory perception. In an experiment conducted by Charles Tart, two graduate students were mutually hypnotising each other. He had Anne hypnotise Bill and after he was hypnotised, he had Bill hypnotise her in return. Anne and Bill in this state experienced the same fantastic, hallucinated reality (Tart, 1969). Richardson (1995) experienced that an imaginary playmate, observed independently and consequently by nine children, was also observed by one adolescent male and also perceived by herself, the teacher personally, as a real 4-year old person. Richardson writes 'In my own case, during the contact, I was not aware of suspecting that she was an apparition until I had the thought "She does not belong in our yard and she is not even dressed right for this century." At that moment we made eye contact and she vanished, dropping the baseball cap.' We may observe that consciousness is fundamentally related to (external and internal) collective, or social interactions, and is elicited through enhanced emotional levels. The collective consciousness field effect is especially amplified when a large number of participants are involved. Therefore, the collective consciousness field of mankind may not only be influenced by nature but also by a modification of social origin, e.g. when significant amount of people are involved in mutual hypnosis. Psychological researches have shown that creativity is triggered in intense emotional states. The hypothesis that the determining factor of consciousness is related to emotional states is developed, considered and evidenced later on.

3. Collective Biological Fields

Experiments show that collective biological fields may dominate the individual field (Popp, 1994). The nature of the biological fields has not been understood, although it is clear that they are related to electromagnetic fields (Bauer, E., 1920; Gurwitsch, who worked at E. Bauer's institute, 1922; again an assistant of E. Bauer, Koltsov, 1936; Spemann, 1938; Weiss, P., 1939; Burr, 1956; Ravitz, 1962; Sheldrake, 1981, 1988; Popp et al., 1989; Bischof, 1995). Recently, H. Oldfield's life-long work substantiated that the biological field is mostly of electromagnetic nature, and postulated the hypothesis of a purely electromagnetic (in the followings EM) morphogenetic radiation (Oldfield, Coghill, 1988). Two other basic books on bioelectromagnetism are the ones by Becker and Selden (1985) and Smith and Best (1989).

I have to point to a yet unnoticed circumstance regarding the nature of the morphogenetic fields. If constituents of a group interact through electromagnetic fields, they have to be able to detect EM information coming from their environment, and also to be able to emit EM signs carrying information about their internal states. In that case they have to be EM antennas, receiving and broadcasting EM waves. But we know, that antennas are specially designed to be sensitive to a certain wavelength of EM radiation, and that the characteristics of the EM spectrum, as well as their receptive characteristics, depend on their sizes, and in general, on their geometrical forms. Interactive elements of a group, when using EM waves, are sensitive to each other's geometry, i.e. forms. It is easy to see that organic EM antennas regulated by the interchanged EM signs may be described as influenced by their 'morpho-genetic' field, i.e. any EM field acts as a morphogenetic field. This theory seems to be able to interpret e.g. the fact that the shape of the smelled molecule determines its information content (Thomas, 1974). If atoms are arranged in precisely the same configuration, by whatever chemical name, the compound molecule might smell as sweet.

What is the function of the biological fields? In every cells hundreds of thousands of reactions set up every second. Most of the reactions of the cells have a substantial life-function, therefore they cannot happen by chance, but need specific guidance, timing and regulation, as they fulfil a function for the cell as a whole. Their regulation need a much quicker regulative system than the time scale of their reactions, since it requires an overview of the actual states and possibilities and the basic needs, and the co-ordination of the different factors. The regulative mechanism of the cell therefore has to work with subtle energies. The regulative system has to proceed the relevant informations in due time. Therefore, it has to work with the most effective information carriers, i.e. waves. The regulative mechanism of the organisms has to apply ultrafast interaction in order to be able to inform and co-ordinate the different reactions of the organism approximately simultaneously.

4. Physical Conditions of Consciousness

The physical means of information exchange between an organism and its environment is determined by the physical conditions, the size of the organism, and the biological time-scales. The regulation of the reactions with biological functions require processes faster and subtler than the reactions themselves. Acoustic waves propagate with a velocity of v = 1.4 km/s in the human body. Taking a characteristic size of the human body l = 2 metres, we can calculate a value for the characteristic acoustic frequency of the human body:

fac,human body = v/l = 103 Hz, (1)

therefore the characteristic time scale of these acoustic waves is

tac, human body = 10-3 s. (2)

Using electromagnetic waves, the human organism has another characteristic frequency and time-scale, with l = 2m,

fEM,human body = 108 Hz = 100 MHz, (3)

tEM, human body = 10 -8 s. (4)

Larger frequencies belong to smaller wavelengths, therefore to inner signs, smaller frequencies mediate information from the environment. EM waves originate from the body, as well. Brains emit EEG waves between 1-40 Hz, in the range of the EM waves of the Earth, the Schumann waves (Schumann and König, 1954). The frequencies of the Earth's EM waves can be calculated using L = 40 000 km, as

fEM, Earth = 300 000km/s /40 000 km = 7.5 Hz. (5)

The researches of Ludwig (1984) showed that Schumann waves are necessary as biotropic stimuli for the living organisms. Tsuvayev (see Merkulov, 1978) showed that the growth and development of mushrooms and water-plants ceases when isolated from environmental magnetic field. It is interesting that the acoustic resonant frequency of the human body falls into the range of 7-8 Hz. The human body is extremely sensitive to signs at this acoustic frequency. Noises with this frequency, if they are intense enough, may sensitively alter bodily functions. It seems to be strange that the resonant frequency is not the one determined on the basis of purely acoustic conditions. The coincidence of the acoustic resonant frequency with the EM frequency of the Earth and the EEG alpha-waves may suggest the close resonant coupling of these fields of different nature. It is another interesting coincidence, that the surface of the Earth also appears to have mechanical (acoustic) vibrations within the 10 Hz bands.

Schumann waves penetrate through the body to approx. 94 %, and are absorbed in approx. 6% at the specific frequencies the organism can resonate (Ludwig, 1984). It means that the source of the brain's activity may be triggered from outside the body. One part of the EM spectrum (f <100 MHz) is the outer, natural and cosmic source of our consciousness, the other part, with f >100 MHz, is the inner source of our consciousness. Regarding the fact that the smaller frequencies, i.e. larger wavelengths are related to EM quanta of smaller, subtler energies, we obtain a result that the more subtle levels of the organisms' regulation belong to a hierarchy of global consciousness, to natural and cosmic sources of consciousness. In this context, it is interesting that the frequencies and time-development of the Schumann and EEG waves are similar (König, Angermüller, 1960).

The more subtle level behind the EM one is the level of quantum-vacuum interactions (QVI). Laszlo (1995) proposed that QVI may offer the solutions for the present problems of cosmology, biology, psychology and parapsychology. I worked out a quantitative model which shows the relationship between the different levels of our environment and the progressively deeper mental levels existing within us (Grandpierre, 1995a, b).

It is pointed out that the deeper mental levels (Grandpierre, 1995a), on which the 'aware consciousness' builds up, have larger capacity, are faster, therefore they require more subtle material carriers beyond the molecular and neural units, reaching the quantum range. Assuming a finite energy exchange between the vacuum field and the brain within the bounds of the uncertainty principle, a relation is found between the physical size of the brain and its relevant time scales. Using the time scales for information processing within the brain as a whole and within its cells, the characteristic frequencies of the electromagnetic and vacuum waves are obtained in the visible and the ultraviolet spectral ranges. It is pointed out that the formula derived for the couplings between the different mind levels gives values for the frequencies between the Universe and Man which are physically possible and actually plausible.