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The Self-Aware Universe Paperback – March 21, 1995
"The Grid" by Gretchen Bakke Ph.D.
Charting the history of our electrical grid, Bakke helps us see what we all take for granted, shows it as central to our culture and identity as a people, and reveals it to be the linchpin in our aspirations for a clean energy future. Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
Top Customer Reviews
I gathered this intelligence at the Eugene home of Amit Goswami, Professor of Physics at the Institute of Theoretical Studies at the University of Oregon. I arranged this special interview because of Goswami's new book, The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World. (Tarcher/Putnam). I wanted to meet the person who authored such a book and to make sure I was correctly understanding its many profundities.
At first glance, the book appears to be one of those "new science" books that have become so popular. It does describe quite well the basic experiments of quantum physics, the ones that produce such paradoxes as the dual identity (wave and particle) of electrons and their ability to communicate at a distance with each other instantaneously (non-locality). But rather than simply leaving us with a "Gee, whiz, isn't this incredible?" impression that the real world isn't as we assumed, Goswami boldly, yet very thoughtfully, introduces us to monistic idealism and suggests we accept it as a foundation for a new, and quite compelling, worldview.
Monistic idealism is the academically correct name given to a philosophical position that once was considered pre-scientific. It existed before the advent of what philosophers today label as materialistic dualism,. or what we might call the current official scientific world view. Materialistic dualism is the assumption that physical matter is the primary reality and that mind is separate from, but dependent upon, matter.Read more ›
Goswami, a physics professor, approaches it from the other direction. He carefully lays out a scientific theory - essentially that matter is a phenomina of consciousness rather than vice versa.
In the process he navigates through various topics in physics, mathematics, religion, and philosophy in order to provide the necessary components for us to get a grip on his theory of "monistic idealism" which he proposes as an alternative to the current "material realism" (matter is all that is real) which pervades scientific thought today.
I don't want to imply that I'm stupid, but the only fault I found with the book was that much of his jargon and scientific references went right over my head - so I came away with a good understanding of his theory, but also with the impression that much of it's depth and subtlties were lost on me.
I'm not sure how this book was received by the author's peers (if at all) but he impressed me as a "blow-the-lid-off-the-subject" type of scientist who is willing to ruffle feathers and push beyond the traditional limitations of his field to integrate various disciplines in a search for a truth that doesn't just look right on paper but also jives with human experience and the soul.
Well worth reading.
Goswami tackles what I consider the most important question of our time: What are the implications of quantum physics for our everyday reality? Numerous attempts have been made to make sense of the oddities and paradoxes of quantum physics, and there have been as many as a dozen proposals to explain these paradoxes. Among the propositions have been Bohr's Copenhagen Interpretation, Everett's many-worlds interpretation, and what some have called the most naive explanation--Consciousness Created Reality. The advocates of this Idealist philosophy, which includes John Von Neumann, Eugene Wigner, Fred Alan Wolf, and the author of this book, unashamedly insist that objects such as the moon don't exist until they are observed.
Goswami doesn't reject other interpretations of reality outright, but rather, he incorporates, and clarifies some of the best points into his strong anthropocentric philosophy of Monist Idealism, which posits that the universe exists in a transcendental domain of potentiality, and it is we, the observer, who collapse this potential into the corporal world.
The fact that observers have not been here during a majority of the universe's existence is no problem for Goswami, as he explains that a myriad of universes have existed in a transcendental realm outside of space/time, and an observation "now" can go "back-in-time" to create the universe we know today.Read more ›
Goswami utilizes findings from recent experiments in quantum physics to provide ample evidence of his assertion that old assumptions based on material monism are out-dated and no longer valid. Goswami points out that: we live in a non-local universe, where everything is interconnected to everything else at the most fundamental level; we cannot hope to observe anything without affecting what we are observing; we can only predict the outcome of events in probabilities (not certainties); and there is something much more to this universe than just the matter and energy we can measure.
With a brilliant mind and warm heart, Goswami guides the reader on a wonderful journey. We discover objects that exist in two places at once, effects that precede their causes, the implications of the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox and the Schrodinger's cat thought experiment, and the fascinating world of paradoxes and tangled hierarchies.
At the end of this journey, we find ourselves wondering who we truly are. Goswami writes, "the self of our self-reference is due to a tangled hierarchy, but our consciousness is the consciousness of our Being that is beyond the subject-object split. There is no other source of consciousness in the universe. The self of self-reference and the consciousness of the original consciousness, together, make what we call self-consciousness."
I highly recommend this enchanting book!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Give Goswami 4 stars just for attempting an above & beyond topic.
He's thinking. It helps others to think. Read more
I bought it used and the description said it was in good condition. Fair condition would have been a better description. It was heavily marked up and the corners were curled. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Abigaile Pittman
Gets pretty deep at times but easy to get the idea and concept and you can get into his proof of facts as deep as you want. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Harold S. Finnell
Here's a glimpse into the the future...eventually the veil will be breachable and we will be able to make phone calls, or Skype, probably, to communicate with the Other Side. Read morePublished 4 months ago by OldLadyFromNM
Very good reading some of it is beyond my intellect. The idea of a conscious universe does make sense to me yet knowing this fact intellectually as opposed to intuitively is as... Read morePublished 5 months ago by WILLIAM T
Fantastic Book. Will teach you much much about Quantum Mechanics and the implications of this evolution of thought. Read morePublished 6 months ago by david r dranginis
Its hard to read in layman, but its def a good read, i get lost in the graphs, but once he gets into the philosophical parts of the book, i dive right in.Published 9 months ago by Stephsduality