Consciousness Research Abstracts, Quantum Mind Conference, Salzberg Austria, July 2007
According to the consensus cosmological theory of the inflationary ‘Big Bang,’ the universe originated, presumably instantaneously from nothing, as an inherently dynamic, randomly fluctuating, quantum particle-force field that eventually congealed into stars, planets, and organisms such as humans complex enough to generate consciousness. This fragmented, reductive materialistic view is associated with a bottom-up mattermind-consciousness ontology, in which the whole is created from combining the parts. In this view, consciousness is an emergent property of random bits of energy/matter that somehow bind into unitary biological organisms mysteriously developing control over their parts. On the other hand, the holistic perspective in Vedic science is a top-down consciousness-mind-matter ontology, in which the parts manifest from the whole. In that perspective, the origin of the universe is better characterized as the ‘Big Condensation’ rather than ‘Big Bang.’ Phenomenal existence remains within the unified field and manifests, limits itself, or condenses into levels of subjective mind and objective matter.
The holistic perspective of ultimate unity and its sequential unfoldment is contained in the structure of Rik Veda.1 Vedanta is from the experiential perspective of unity, and the sequential unfoldment of phenomenal levels within unity is articulated, for example, in Sankhya and Ayurveda. The holistic perspective is more consistent with developing understanding in unified field theories, spontaneous symmetry breaking, quantum decoherence, the ‘arrow of time,’ and the 2nd law of thermodynamics, which imply the universe originated from a lowest entropy, super-symmetric, even perfectly orderly, super-unified state. The holistic perspective in Vedic science provides means for resolving fundamental paradoxes in the reductive materialistic, bottom-up ontology ― including the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness, order emerging from fundamental random disorder, life emerging from non-life, free will, and everything emerging from nothing.
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