Consciousness, not matter, is the ground of all existence, declares University of Oregon physicist Goswami, echoing the mystic sages of his native India. He holds that the universe is self-aware, and that consciousness creates the physical world.
Some people respond with a wary eye but an open mind.
Others don't care.
Still others enthusiastically embrace any challenge and work with it to see where they get to in the end.
Then there are the people who just as enthusiastically resist any open challenge to an established, "gut" idea. These people respond irrationally, with fear and excessive caution. Many of the reviews of this book fall into the latter category.
Yes, Goswami's interpretation of quantum mechanics has been disputed. What this has to do with anything is rather irrelevent. To the gentleman who named Polkinghorne by name, Polkinghorne's interpretation of physics has been challenged numerous times as well. There is no one interpretation physicists agree on. Look at the results and you can even see that not all of them agree the Earth exists!
Further, this gentleman points out that the reformulation of Descartes' Cogito argument could well be "God chooses, therefore I am". How silly this is supposed to be a criticism. Anyone who understands the book knows that Goswami is talking about a transcendent mind, not a personal one. He IS talking about God.
It is true that Goswami does not hold up every so-called "paranormal" event as evidence of his idealist philosophy. Again, this is irrelevent. Science always progresses this way--a new model appears and allows us to explain something we previously though impossible, but it does not logically follow that everything we thought impossible is now explainable by the model, now does it?
I was ready to blast Goswami's point about the OBE (Out-of-body-experience) because I read the Amazon.Read more ›
The first portion of the book is a crash course in Quantum Physics using various dialogues to make a multitude of points. I am somewhat familiar with the cast of characters of the history of Quantum Physics and the major eastern religious texts and I wish the author had of just stated his case. But then I was soon to realize that the book was not about consciousness, but his theory called "monistic idealism".
I promised myself, in my thirties, that I would go wherever my intellect and curiosity could take me, which is why I finished the book. Now in my middle sixties, I followed his many logical arguments and his quotations from a wide variety of philosophers, psychologists, scientists and religious texts.
It is a wide-ranging book and in all fairness I did gain some new and interesting insights.
However, when the author gives his definition of "Quantum self" as "The primary subject modality of the self beyond ego in which resides real freedom, creativity, and nonlocality of the of the human experience", I decided I felt more comfortable thinking about human consciousness actually being hugged between groups of nerve synapses deep within the human brain.
To begin with, he uses "paradox" as a synonym for "self-contradiction."
According to Goswami, religions are all founded by mystics who believe in monism, a trancendant Brahma, divine play, the whole Upanishadic kit and kaboodle. Later, disciples dumb the "real teachings" of the Master down for the masses. This is doubtful historically in almost every actual case of which I am aware -- and I study the origins of religions for a living. In the case of Jesus, still less Mohammed, only massive falsification or at least wishful thinking can save the paradigm. I realize this idea is not original with Goswami. But I am a little tired of people making a case for monism from the NT by quoting a few teachings that seem to agree with it out of context, and ignoring the rest.
As for philosophy, Goswami's ideas about love seem shallower than those of theistic thinkers like C. S. Lewis, Lin Yutang, or even Scott Peck, to me. He thinks love is best when based upon the premise of monism. "How can you not love when there is one consciousness and you known that you and the other are not really separate?" A silly question; there are categories of neurosis that work precisely that way. On a philosophical level, the question is meaningless.Read more ›
I grew up in Christian Science. As a Christian Scientist I would not normally approach the subject of spirituality... Read more