The list author says: "Scientific materialism holds the view that physical matter is the only reality and that everything, including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena. Further, spirit, the transcendent and the metaphysical are largely delusional and not based on empirical reality but rather fiction, infantile need and superstition.
Many (but right, not the majority) are finding the prevailing materialist orthodoxy unsatisfying and unable to answer many of the enigmas and anomalies of our universe of reality.
This is a list of some of the best scientific and philosophical thinking I have found, challenging the prevailing materialist world view. I have added the topic of parapsychology, since if any of it is true, it certainly challenges the sense of a mechanistic, materialistic reductionism. Similarly, I am adding the subject of Near Death Experiences (hereafter NDE), since if the soul possibly survives physical death, then matter may not be the end-all or origin of consciousness.
I have steered away from any works that would seem Ânew ageyÂ (not that there is anything wrong with that) towards the more scientifically and philosophically reasoned resources. I am aware that even these will be seen as Âpseudo-scienceÂ by some, so letÂs just get on with the debate! Highly recommended books are marked at the beginning with an asterisk."
"*A foundational text for process philosophy which is fertile enough to be a philosophical foundation for everything on this list. Process thought stresses the inter-relatedness of all life forms and describes reality as ultimately made up of experiential events rather than enduring inert substances. An important work many find hard to understand."
"A very helpful digest of Whitehead's Process and Reality for those that find it too formidable to comprehend on their own. Whitehead often reinvented words for his creative thought (e.g. concrescence, prehension, appetition etc.) and the glossary included with this book comes in very handy. Also, a downloadable PDF of John Cobb's "Whitehead Wordbook" is available online."
"A valuable compendium of essays examining the panentheistic notion of God from various philosophical, theological and scientific perspectives. Panentheism claims that although God is greater than the universe, God is fully immanent within it. An alternative to both the theist, pantheist and materialist positions."
"Bohm is widely considered to be one of the most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century. His maverick, eccentric brilliance has been a catalyst for a generation of scientists and thinkers dissatisfied with the prevailing materialistic world view. This collection of essays are of a more non-technical nature and an approachable avenue to sample his thought."
"*A monumental, comprehensive challenge to the materialist's view of consciousness and mind as derivative of the physical processes of the brain. Discusses everything from memory to NDEs to mystical experience and on and on. At 800 dense pages, this is for only the dedicated but definitely highly recommended."
"*A highly acclaimed articulation of a panpsychist-panexperientialist world view which advocates that "matter itself tingles with consciousness at the deepest level". (Please do not read this as everything has human/animal level consciousness.) A non-new agey (this view is as old as the ancient Greeks), scientific, philosophical examination."
"*Another important panexperientialist treatment by an important process thinker and theologian. Griffin valuably critiques the materialist and dualist view of reality. His view of panexperientialism varies somewhat from de Quincey above."
"An important study of panpsychism and itÂs development throughout mostly western history. Panpsychism has been around a very long time. The author also assesses the arguments for panpsychism. An indispensable work for those wanting to learn more about this world view."
"It is not uncommon to have people negatively react to the viewpoint that consciousness imbues all things. Such thought is seen, as simply, silly new-age nonsense. This book shows, at least, that the viewpoint is not new, it has existed from the time of Plotinus and throughout human history."
"*A nearly poetic philosophy of panpsychism that among many things, argues that the environmental crisis is a symptom of a larger, metaphysical crisis. If you love thoughtful, philosophical musings filled with passion and verve, this may be a good read for you."
"As the famous physicist Niels Bohr once said ÂIf quantum mechanics hasn't profoundly shocked you, you haven't understood it yet.Â Reality is much more strange and exotic than we think. This book is an excellent starter to the world of quantum reality... let your mind be blown."
"Stapp challenges the prevailing materialist viewpoint via quantum physics while examining the nature of the mind/body connection. Having a basic knowledge of quantum physics will help digesting the substance of the book. It also includes a valuable chapter on Whiteheadian Quantum Ontology."
"A very well written book explaining the strangeness of the quantum world which is greatly effected by the conscious observer. Combines great science and lucid writing into a non-sensationalistic description of a bizarre sense of quantum reality, e.g. an object does not come into existence until it is observed and measured."
"A fairly easy to read examination of consciousness through the lens of quantum physics. Herbert articulates an idealist framework that challenges the assumptions of the materialist world view. Due to itÂs clear and straightforward writing style, this is a good start for those intimidated by technical scientific studies."
"Not on my top list, but many may like this. University of Oregon physicist Goswami combines quantum theory with a Hindu style of idealism and views consciousness as the ground of all existence. This thus explains all the anomalies unanswerable by todayÂs materialistic science. Hmmm..."
"*Sheldrake is a brave soul and maverick scientist who has shaken the establishment tree. Here he challenges ten central dogmas of the reigning scientific world view. A great introduction to the differing approaches of doing science and why many feel materialism fails in important ways."
"SheldrakeÂs pioneering theory of morphic resonance challenges both the prevailing materialist world view and the current view of genetics and heredity. MR postulates that through a telepathic effect or sympathetic vibration, an event or act can foster and lead to similar events or acts in the future or an idea conceived in one mind can then arise in another."
"Emergent/complexity theory is a recent multi-discipline development pointing to a robust theory of inter-connectedness and how complexity came into being, challenging the materialist world view. Clayton is a pioneering process philosopher and theologian and provides a stimulating introduction."
"Physicist Haisch scientifically explains the zero-point field and sees it as the ground for all consciousness, creating everything that is (so thus God). Consciousness is not a mere epiphenomenon of the brain; it is our connection to God, the source of all consciousness. Ultimately it is consciousness that creates matter and not vice versa. Not as flaky as it may seem."
"LÃ¡szlÃ³ is a philosopher of science, systems theorist, and integral theorist. The author here presents the cosmos as an integrated, fully connected, consciousness-imbued universe of reality. The book ends with 12 tributes from various writers: Jane Goodall, Ed Mitchell, Stanislav Grof, and Christian de Quincy among others."
"In this book, the first volume of a trilogy, Wilber shows how Âconsciousness, or Spirit, manifests Itself through the unfolding, never-ending evolutionary forms we term creation, life, culture, ecology, spirituality, and societyÂ. Wilber is a brilliant thinker and has attempted to digest a voluminous amount of philosophical and religious thought."
"William James' now classic Gifford Lectures are still being mined for their insight and openness to the full range of spiritual experience. Notable are his often first hand experiences of parapsychological phenomenon. James sense of reality is a model to build upon."
"This book harnesses the evidence of the paranormal to debunk the materialist view of reality. And no, this is not about the sensationalistic side of the paranormal: ghosts, levitation and UFO abductions. Paranormal abilities are much more about the connecting, healing possibilities inherent in reality that are very dimly understood."
"*Perhaps the most widely read book supporting the idea that the paranormal is a scientifically proven phenomenon. Some of the material is a bit underwhelming, especially for some of the scientific experimentation, but rewarding none-the-less. Radin also helpfully suggests his own implications of his research in understanding the metaphysics implied by his research."
"*Carter really goes after the materialist skepticÂs dismissal of psychic phenomenon. Not only an excellent apologetic for the validity of the paranormal but also provides great discussions of the nature of consciousness and also what makes something scientific."
"*An excellent, even handed examination of the paranormal from a process theologian and philosopher. Griffin critiques both the dualist and materialist world view while advocating his own panexperientialist view that does the most justice to the reality of paranormal experience, IMHO. Many case examples are mixed in to provide a very interesting read."
"*A vigorous defense that NDEs are not simply experiences of brain malfunctions while arguing that they are experiences that imply that consciousness survives the finality of physical death. Includes an insightful chapter on physics and consciousness."
"Another defense of the genuineness of the NDE as an encounter with a larger reality from a veteran cardiologist. Also valuably includes van LommelÂs theory on consciousness that counters the materialistÂs view. A good read along with Carter above."