The Quantum Soul

#1
A proposal by Stuart Hameroff and Deepak Chopra to explain scientifically how an afterlife can occur:

http://www.newdualism.org/papers/S.Hameroff/QSoulchap.pdf

These ideas can relate to the idea that information is fundamental: if the information is fundamental and it does not require a substrate, everything we experience and do can be written in the fabric of space-time and remain after the death of our organic bodies. But this would a form of life or a inert stock of what we have been? I think that this would a form of life because what would printed in space-time would our will, that is, our ability to do things, not mere inert data, but living information. What do think?
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#2
I enjoy Hammeroff's ability to go off the beaten path.

Seems QM has a role to play in the following, so its place in the world of consciousness isn't all that crazy:

Photosynthesis.

DNA

Mutation

Bird Navigation

Smell

If qualia are fundamental to reality, I can see it being possible a form of consciousness survives even as it goes from the body to the greater world. The writer Warren Ellis has suggested the plant consciousness of ayahuasca and other plant medicines is actually the consciousness of ancestors shifting from corpse to soil to plant.

If nothing else it's very interesting speculation. :)
 
#3
It is probably better for all concerned that science is inept at dealing with the existence of spirits and the soul. Spirits are still mysterious and spooky. Paranormal phenomena by spirits is still amazing and awe inspiring. If science ever really tried to understand it, they would only ruin it and make it boring.
 
#4
A proposal by Stuart Hameroff and Deepak Chopra to explain scientifically how an afterlife can occur:

http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/documents/qsoulchap.pdf

These ideas can relate to the idea that information is fundamental: if the information is fundamental and it does not require a substrate, everything we experience and do can be written in the fabric of space-time and remain after the death of our organic bodies. But this would a form of life or a inert stock of what we have been? I think that this would a form of life because what would printed in space-time would our will, that is, our ability to do things, not mere inert data, but living information. What do think?
I try not to get sucked into thinking too much about what comes next and stick to developing ideas from what I actually know... but I quite liked at least one idea I had a couple of years...

...this was the idea that we are temporarily caught on the face of some sort of expanding wave which pushes us up and out and allows us to have this experience. A bit like a surfer who catches and rides the face of a wave crest, and is temporarily elevated out of, and above, the level of the surrounding sea water. Eventually the wave passes us by, and we fall back down again to the level of the surrounding calm sea water behind the passing wave.
 
#5
I try not to get sucked into thinking too much about what comes next and stick to developing ideas from what I actually know... but I quite liked at least one idea I had a couple of years...

...this was the idea that we are temporarily caught on the face of some sort of expanding wave which pushes us up and out and allows us to have this experience. A bit like a surfer who catches and rides the face of a wave crest, and is temporarily elevated out of, and above, the level of the surrounding sea water. Eventually the wave passes us by, and we fall back down again to the level of the surrounding calm sea water behind the passing wave.
It reminds me of a trip to the beach last summer when the water was warm and the ocean waves were huge. I spent four hours in the water getting batted around by the waves. Warm fuzzy feelings.
 
#6
It is probably better for all concerned that science is inept at dealing with the existence of spirits and the soul. Spirits are still mysterious and spooky. Paranormal phenomena by spirits is still amazing and awe inspiring. If science ever really tried to understand it, they would only ruin it and make it boring.
I disagree. I hope that scientists continue to progress in this field as the psychic researchers have. The mysterious is important but not more than reveal the mysterious.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#7
Some discussion about this idea here:

Space Time Life, Quantum Afterlife [Mindrolling Podcast]

"Does consciousness exist outside the constraints of time and space? Does new science substantiate Tibetan vision, vindicate the lysergic realization? Rolling with life and afterlife cradled by the non-local, meanwhile, as usual, R & D exuding anecdotes, antidotes, a rant and a minimum of cant."
 
#8
Some discussion about this idea here:

Space Time Life, Quantum Afterlife [Mindrolling Podcast]
"Does consciousness exist outside the constraints of time and space? Does new science substantiate Tibetan vision, vindicate the lysergic realization? Rolling with life and afterlife cradled by the non-local, meanwhile, as usual, R & D exuding anecdotes, antidotes, a rant and a minimum of cant."
Thank you Sciborg. I'll listen to it when I get home. :)
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#9
More on Lanza's idea of a quantum soul here:

Does The Soul Exist? Evidence Says ‘Yes’

He seems to be going with particular QM interpretations - Wigner's Friend comes to mind (Mind? ;))- though there are experimental results questioning realism and pointing to observer-participancy.

He has a lot of other stuff on biocentrism at Psychology Today.
I don't really get the inclusion of the multiverse, as my understanding was it was either the currently fictional multiverse OR consciousness as integral to reality.

The nature of life stuff is interesting and connects with some of Josephson's ideas on how consciousness via observer-participancy relates to natural selection and fine tuning.

Also ties into some of Peter Russell's stuff.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#10
Interesting post on this subject:

Does the Soul Exist? Consciousness, Brain and Quantum Physics


“The structure of quantum theory opens the door to the possibility that all causes and reasons need not be purely mechanical. Thoughts and intentions are themselves actual realities, and as such they ought to be able to have, in their own right, real actual consequences. Quantum theory allows this, and in actual scientific practice demands it.”
- Henry Stapp

The purpose of this article is to present some key arguments for the existence of the human soul as an immaterial or “spiritual substance” (jawhar ruḥānī). Human soul and consciousness are neither identical to nor reducible to material objects such as brains, neuron firings, biochemistry, fundamental particles, etc. Of course, some materialists will claim that these arguments only leave us with a “body-soul dualism” in which spiritual substance and material substance are irreducibly different and unable to have interactions without violating the laws of physics. Therefore, we will conclude by offering a coherent model of soul-body interaction based on quantum physics by drawing on the work of physicist Henry Stapp.
I've mentioned before that Stapp seems to have gotten the biology wrong, but at least some his ideas seem to have found their way into others' work on the topic.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#11
A Physicist’s Explanation of Why the Soul May Exist

Henry P. Stapp is a theoretical physicist at the University of California–Berkeley who worked with some of the founding fathers of quantum mechanics. He does not seek to prove that the soul exists, but he does say that the existence of the soul fits within the laws of physics.

It is not true to say belief in the soul is unscientific, according to Stapp. Here the word “soul” refers to a personality independent of the brain or the rest of the human body that can survive beyond death. In his paper, “Compatibility of Contemporary Physical Theory With Personality Survival,” he wrote: “Strong doubts about personality survival based solely on the belief that postmortem survival is incompatible with the laws of physics are unfounded.”
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#12
I enjoy Hammeroff's ability to go off the beaten path.

Seems QM has a role to play in the following, so its place in the world of consciousness isn't all that crazy:

....
Following up on this -

Quantum Jazz Biology - Interview with Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

However, in a living organism, there is nothing static and that was what puzzled us at the beginning: How can they look like liquid crystal displays, even if they are liquid crystals? They’re moving around all the time, so there can’t be any static molecular order to give the brilliant colors. (That’s why I called my book, The Rainbow and the Worm, the Physics of Organisms. The ‘worm’ wasn’t really a worm; it was a Drosophila larva, a little fruit fly larva that hatches out of an egg. )

When we made this amazing discovery, which gave me one of the most powerful aesthetic experiences I had in my life, I was actually looking for something else. I was looking for molecular order in the egg that is more subtle, like a pre-pattern of the body plan that eventually appears in the course of development. That was what we were looking for. And we did find it, but it was nowhere near as exciting as the moving organism appearing like a dynamic liquid crystal display.

The explanation is that all the molecules are moving coherently together and the molecular motions are slower than the vibrations of light. So at every instant, the light senses the molecular order and therefore gives you this liquid crystal display. That really is the best evidence of the molecular coherence that exists in the whole organism. The water associated with the living organisms – some 70 percent by weight and 99 percent by count of molecules - is most important in this respect because the water is responsible for a lot of the liquid crystallinity and also the flexibility of the proteins and other macromolecules, so that they can all move coherently together (see numerous articles in a long running series spread over many issues of SiS, for example, Liquid Crystalline Water at the Interface, SiS 39; Water’s Effortless Action at a Distance, SiS 32; First Sighting of Structured Water, Positive Electricity Zaps Through Water Chains, SiS 28)

The quantum coherent organism is not just a theoretical concept; it needs more than simply applying conventional quantum theory to organisms. The conventional quantum mechanics needed to be stretched, and that’s what I did in my book. The analogy is a multi-mode laser that is pumped up to be coherent in many frequencies, a whole range of frequencies. The wide range of frequencies in an organism is just fantastic. In my book, I say that it’s like 70 doublings of the octave.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#13
One thing I'm wary about is her belief that side effects are enough to forgo certain medications taken by her husband. I wish she'd gone into detail about which medications she's talking about, and for what illnesses/symptoms, and what level of expertise in biology is necessary to make these judgements over doctors.

Anyway, regarding biology here's more of her work:

The organism maximizes both local freedom and global intercommunication. One comes to the startling discovery that the coherent organism is in a very real sense completely free. Nothing is in control, and yet everything is in control. Thus, it is the failure to transcend the mechanistic framework that makes people persist in enquiring which parts are in control, or issuing instructions; or whether free will exists, and who choreographs the dance of molecules. Does "consciousness" control matter or vice versa? These questions are meaningless when one understands what it is to be a coherent, organic whole. An organic whole is an entangled whole, where part and whole, global and local are so thoroughly implicated as to be indistinguishable, and each part is as much in control as it is sensitive and responsive. Choreographer and dancer are one and the same. The 'self' is a domain of coherent activities, in the ideal, a pure state that permeates the whole of our being with no definite localizations or boundaries, as Bergson has described.

The positing of 'self' as a domain of coherent activities implies the existence of an active whole agent who is free. I must stress that freedom does not entail the breakdown of causality as many commentators have mistakenly supposed. On the contrary, an acausal world would be one where it is impossible to be free, as nothing would be intelligible. Nevertheless, freedom does entail a new kind of organic causality that is nonlocal, and posited with the organism itself. It is the experience of perceptual feedback consequent on one's actions that is responsible for the intuition of causality (Freeman, 1990). However, it must not be supposed that the cause or consciousness is secreted from some definite location in the brain, it is distributed and delocalized throughout the system (c.f. Freeman, 1990).
 
#15
http://www-physics.lbl.gov/~stapp/Compatibility.pdf
Compatibility of Contemporary Physical Theory with Personality Survival.
Henry P. Stapp
...
If the reduction events need not always be dual in character, but
can sometimes be purely mental or purely physical, and if events
of each pure kind can, under appropriate conditions, cling together
by virtue of their own dynamical laws, then it would seemingly
become possible for the mental and physical aspects of a living
person to go their separate ways upon the death of the physical
body. For that fatal event would cause the disintegration of the
physical properties that normally allow the brain events to hang
together with the mental ones.

Because the psycho-physical events associated with bio-systems
are designed to receive mental inputs
that are properly mated to the
physical event selected at this psycho-physical event, a
disembodied personality could perhaps latch onto a bio-system and
thereby affect the physical world. This would produce effects
greatly at odds with what classical physics would allow. For it
would allow some aspect of personality associated with a deceased
person to affect, without any physical means of conveyance, the
subsequent behavior of a living person. That would contravene the
precepts of classical physics. But if societies of mental events
could indeed persist without physical aspects, then such effects
would not seem to require any basic change of the known laws of
quantum physics.
...
In light of these considerations, strong doubts about personality
survival based solely on the belief that postmortem survival is
incompatible with the laws of physics are unfounded.
Stapp is not saying QM gives a physical description of the soul or that QM explains how consciousness might be produced by the brain. He is saying QM allows for the possibility of the existence of non-physical souls - to rebut those who complain that survival goes against the laws of physics (ie to rebut those who won't consider empirical evidence that contradicts their faith in materialism, to rebut those who hold the unscientific view that theory trumps observation.). Stapp is not saying that the laws of QM can explain the properties of consciousness, for example, that psi is independent of time and distance. Those "anomolous" properties are evidence that consciousness is non-physical, and cannot be explained by quantum mechanics or any other physical process. Stapp is simply saying QM provides evidence that consciousness is non-physical and explains how a non-physical soul can interact with matter. He is hypothesizing that a soul may be the aggregation of non-physical elements that have their own dynamical laws different from the dynamical laws that govern matter.

Stapp's argument requires interpreting quantum mechanics such that consciousness is non-physical and is required to collapse a wave function. But this interpretation is rejected by materialists so I don't think this elaboration of Copenhagen QM is going to have much influence on anybody's beliefs.

Also, I would very much like to know what he means when he writes: "Because the psycho-physical events associated with bio-systems are designed to receive mental inputs..." Designed? By whom? Design is so obviously the best explanation for so many "natural" phenomena that many who would like to deny it are unable to rid themselves of that opinion.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#16
Lazlo: Consciousness in the Cosmos

The beyond-the-brain consciousness—the consciousness we encountered in our review of near-death experiences, after-death communication, medium-conveyed and instrumental transcommunication, past-life recollections, and in experiences suggestive of reincarnation—is not a material entity in the manifest world. It is an intrinsic element in the Akasha, the deep dimension of the cosmos.

The idea that consciousness belongs to a deeper dimension of reality is a perennial intuition. The great spiritual masters, poets, and even scientists have been telling us that consciousness is not “in” the brain and is not part of the world in which the brain exists. It is part of the mind or intelligence that infuses the cosmos. Consciousness appears in space and time as a localized (yet nonlocal) manifestation. Erwin Schrödinger said it clearly: consciousness is one—it does not exist in the plural.

Just as particles and systems of particles in spacetime are projections of codes and relations in the Akashic deep dimension, so the consciousness associated with living organisms is a manifestation—a holographic projection—of the unitary consciousness that does not merely exist in, but actually is, that dimension.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#18
Quantum Tuna

The mysteries of quantum physics have proved baffling to many people. I don't presume to have solved them, of course. But I do find there's a particular way of looking at them that can be helpful. It involves seeing quantum phenomena as directly analogous to the process of thought.

It's pretty well known that a given quantum entity, such as a photon, can sometimes behave like a particle and at other times like a wave. Many explanations, or "interpretations," have been offered to account for this strange fact. One of the more compelling is that the photon exists only as a probability wave until it encounters an obstruction or a measurement device or a conscious observer, at which point the probability wave collapses down to a single specific position. This is called the collapse of the wave function.

Physical objects in the macroscopic world don't behave this way, at least as far as we can tell, so the whole phenomenon seems quite bewildering. And yet we do have an example from our everyday lives that dovetails neatly with the behavior of photons and other quantum entities....
Note that macroscopic objects exhibiting odd "quantum" behavior has been recorded, depending on the type of behavior in question.

In fact, quantum mechanics seems to be a major part of biological systems:

Quantum weirdness is everywhere in life
 
#20
A proposal by Stuart Hameroff and Deepak Chopra to explain scientifically how an afterlife can occur:
I think it ranks high up on the scale of ineffable silliness. They continue to believe that the parameters of physical existence apply to the non-physical.
 
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