Regression Therapy
Regression Therapy

The Self-Aware Universe

Goswami

Professor Goswami (Physics/University of Oregon; coauthor, The Cosmic Dancers, 1983) uses quantum physics to promote monistic idealism- -the theory that both matter and mind have their origin in consciousness. The villain here is materialism–the teaching that everything is comprised of atoms–and its tag-along doctrines of locality (that interactions between objects occur in local space-time), strong objectivity (that objects exist independently of consciousness), and epiphenomenalism (that mind is an accidental by-product of brain function). According to Goswami, quantum physics has laid to rest this view of reality: Quantum objects jump from here to there without passing through intervening space, disproving locality; Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle disproves strong objectivity, etc. Goswami’s explication of modern physics- -which draws on everything from Winnie-the-Pooh to optical illusions–is a model of clarity. Vastly less satisfying is his brief for monistic idealism. For one thing, he writes off an important alternative, dualism–the “common-sense” view that mind and matter both exist, that a rock is a rock and a thought is a thought–in a few skimpy paragraphs. For another, his argument is inconsistent: He cites paranormal events as evidence for idealism, but when an exception arises (such as out-of-body experiences, which suggest dualism), he becomes a debunker. Worst of all, when he tries to describe how idealism actually shapes the world, he sounds like Madame Blavatsky with a hangover (“the universe exists as formless potentia in myriad possible branches in the transcendent domain”). Goswami’s aim is inviting–who does not wish us to “realize our full potential–an integrated access to our quantum and classical selves”?–but most readers will remain agnostic. More substantial than Fritjof Capra, which isn’t saying much. This is one cosmic egg that may be too big to crack.

ISBN-10: 0874777984

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