Consciousness on a universal scale

December 15, 2011

The universe shows evidence of the operations of mind on three levels. The first level is the level of elementary physical processes in quantum mechanics. Matter in quantum mechanics is not an inert substance but an active agent, constantly making choices between alternative possibilities according to probabilistic laws. Every quantum experiment forces nature to make choices. It appears that mind, as manifested by the capacity to make choices, is to some extent inherent in every electron. The second level at which we detect the operations of mind is the level of direct human experience. Our brains appear to be devices for the amplification of the mental component of the quantum choices made by molecules inside our heads. We are the second big step in the development of mind. Now comes the argument from design. There is evidence from peculiar features of the laws of nature that the universe as a whole is hospitable to the growth of mind. The argument here is merely an extension of the Anthropic Principle up to a universal scale. Therefore it is reasonable to believe in the existence of a third level of mind, a mental component of the universe. If we believe in this mental component and call it God, then we can say that we are small pieces of God’s mental apparatus.

– Freeman Dyson, theoretical physicist and mathematician in Infinite in All Directions (1988)

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One Response to “Consciousness on a universal scale”

  1. Suze said

    Well, HELLO, FREEMAN! Hot dawg. I’d like to invite this boy over for some analog breakfast!

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