Like it or not, the Big Bang Theory doesn’t explain the birth of the universe. With the same level of defeatism, we must reluctantly admit that we haven’t yet produced the Theory of Everything. Perhaps the limitations of modern physics are such that they will never reach the final destination until we augment them with other sciences. Simply put, we need to take the interdisciplinary approach.
What Inspired Me to Get This Book
Time and space have always flabbergasted me. As a small child, I spent hours before falling to sleep at night thinking about the complexities of those phenomena. I was never fully able to grasp how come space is limitless and when time starts and ends.
And if we’re fully honest with ourselves, despite hundreds of hours of physics at high school, we still don’t understand much about the initiation of the universe. Is it a god-like creature that gives breath to everything around us? Was a cosmic orgasm the reason for the Big Bang Theory?
Asking such questions can be downright confusing even more if you are an intellectually-oriented physicist who usually delves into in-depth studying of physical phenomena. Even the amazing but humble particle physicist Harry Cliff is modest enough to admit that we’re far from explaining the universe as it is. Right now, we have a long way to go and we might never get there.
But here is an exciting perspective of the truth of the universe which can fundamentally shake your understanding of the world around us. At least, that’s what it did for me. I don’t know how I got hold of this book or, rather, I do know because I purchased it, but I’m not sure how I came to find this exact title.
Scientific Failings We Are Uncomfortable Seeing
I’ve explored the world from multiple perspectives and I’ve never been quite happy (at ease) with one solitary perspective or worldview. Pure experimentation seemed to me like a soulless search for truth. Conversely, social science shenanigans were too dispersed into minuscule kernels of truth which have an unlikely tendency to be experimentally proven and peer-reviewed.
Between hard and soft science I struggled a lot.
The happiest or the most wonderful solution I have at my disposal right now is biocentrism.
I’ve read somewhere that the book “Biocentrism” by Robert Lanza and Bob Bergman combines the wisdom of biology and physics into a unitary scientific perspective.
Although this explanation is invariably true I wouldn’t consider the book one of bilateral science. Quite the contrary, I believe it is a logical and intuitive comprehensive perspective of the phenomena around us, including anything in the material, as well as the spiritual world. Whenever spirituality finds its place next to science, I see many raised eyebrows much discomfort in the scientific community. But I’m willing to take it.
Physics is Wonderful, but It Still Has Its Problems
However, if you have ever chatted with a quantum physicist, rest assured that you will change your opinion on that exact science. Physics suffers from a lot of problems, a major one being granulation of theories that don’t have a solid construct holding them all together.
Well, biocentrism is one such possible explanation which borders on the Theory of Everything in terms of exploring the origin of the universe. But biocentrism is different and expanded and could explain many of the unknowns we consider as current scientific challenges.
What is So Unique about Biocentrism?
In its most simple meaning, biocentrism holds the human perspective in the center of the universe. Instead of the material world around us existing by itself, biocentrism makes it a creation of the human mind, human senses, and human perspective.
In other words, the universe wouldn’t exist if we weren’t able to perceive it.
The book is a compelling read, albeit I struggled with the chapter on the most amazing or the greatest experiment of all times —the double-slit experiment and its variations.
I’d like to avoid resorting to quantum physics as an explanation for new-age mumbo-jumbo, as the scientism followers like to call any unexplored or unproven phenomenon without giving it the due reasonable doubt.
But if you don’t lay your eyes on the pictures displayed in the experiments, at least as they are presented in the book, many of the notions of biocentrism may seem like new-age mumbo-jumbo. Therefore, I don’t regret spending so much time on quantum experiments.
The Seven Principles of Biocentrism
The book is based on the seven principles of biocentrism although there is a cornucopia of knowledge that cannot be summarized with only a handful of principles.
Let’s try to explain them one by one, as I understood them in this book. These will be very short explanations because if you’re truly interested in the subject you must read the book. It is bursting with exciting perspectives.
I’m in awe of the book and writing these lines to inspire you to read it yourself. Without a doubt, I can’t encompass everything of value in the book. However, I’ll try to motivate you to read it.
Biocentrism Principle 1
“What we perceive as reality is a process that involves our consciousness.”
An illustrative example of this principle is the subjectivity of rainbows that are only present in the eyes of the immediate watchers. They are never found on the other side of the rainbow. Or, if you want to use the language of science, this is the place where the light refraction creates the illusion of beautiful colors laid next to each other, forming the remarkable natural arch phenomenon.
Biocentrism Principle 2
“Our external and internal perceptions are inextricably intertwined. They are different sides of the same coin and cannot be separated.”
Simply put, our consciousness extends to the material world around us. There is no exclusive limit between these two worlds; they’re both parts of the same internal world of consciousness. What seems like “out there” is taking place in our minds.
Biocentrism Principle 3
“The behavior of subatomic particles– indeed all particles and objects–is inextricably linked to the presence of an observer. Without the presence of a conscious observer, they at best exist in an undetermined state of probability waves.”
Think of countless parallel universes that only come to fruition if an observer is present to witness them.
Biocentrism Principle 4
“Without consciousness, “matter” dwells in an undetermined state of probability. Any universe that could have preceded consciousness only existed in a probability state.”
We could comprehend the world as a form of mind. There is no objective external reality, only the one that exists in our consciousness.
Biocentrism Principle 5
“The very structure of the universe is explainable only through biocentrism. The universe is fine-tuned for life, which makes perfect sense, as life creates the universe not the other way around. The universe is simply the complete spatio-temporal logic of the self.”
Confused by mathematical constants that only make sense in the context of the universe we live in? Me too. Because we must make sense of the things around us, we put them in the context of time and in the context of space. Without us, there would be no universe, time, and space. Time and space paint the story of the universe. We describe spatial dimensions with them – they are “no good” per se – they serve only as explanatory, storytelling, sensemaking tools for an otherwise spaceless, timeless world.
Biocentrism Principle 6
“Time does not have a real existence outside of animal+sense perception. It is a process by which we perceive changes in the universe.”
This principle solved many dilemmas I had around time since I was a child. I always believed time doesn’t exist. Finally! Here’s someone to confirm it. Of course, I’m talking about scientific confirmation which makes sense in a wider theoretical framework. This is not the vague notion about time as a pretty intangible phenomenon that slips through our fingers.
Biocentrism Principle 7
“Space, like time, is not an object or a thing. Space is another form of our animal understanding and does not have an independent reality. We carry space and time around with us like turtles with shells. Thus, there is no absolute self-existing matrix in which physical events are independent of life.”
Besides time, space was also extremely confusing for me as a child. I had an idea about my existence in space and the spot I’m in relative to other objects in this vast universe. But I couldn’t understand the beginning or the end of space. That’s why it didn’t make any sense.
Unfortunately, although I understand the explanation given by Robert Lanza I’m not sure I can imagine the same interpretation. Without visualization, my understanding is worth next to nothing. It looks like I will have to be satisfied with using the concept of space without completely understanding it by itself. In other words, although I can create it in my head I don’t fully understand it from an experiential aspect or by using the language and the maths we currently use.
The rest of the book includes several other gems. The one that made a mark on my mind is the encouraging professional advancement event for Robert Lanza, who had the guts and took the chance to apply for a job with his favorite scientist, and surprisingly succeeded.
Lanza admits that biocentrism is not without its disadvantages just as the Big Bang Theory is not a concept that needs to be discredited by any means.
If you are an avid believer in science, that is if you suffer from scientism, the ending chapters in the book may be particularly challenging.
The author asks a great question: “What is this place?”, alluding to the many unknowns we have about the nature of the world we live in despite whether we apply religious or scientific beliefs to explain it.
Specifically, biocentrism as a theoretical concept brings together religion, spirituality, and science. Many of the basic questions about life, the origin of the universe, or its creator can be answered by using the seven biocentric principles.
Biocentrism and Consciousness
Of course, no scientific mystery has been solved without touching the hard problem of consciousness. As far as death and eternity or concerned, I’d like to live to see the thinkers who will be able to explain all question marks we have regarding the hard problem of consciousness. But if you want to expand your worldview on this, the almost impalpable concept in the context of human life then it helps to adopt a biocentric worldview. Its reasoning is not only logical but also relieving and healing.
Robert Lanza has several new books on the same topic. When I have more time and extra capabilities to explore this emerging topic further I hope to be able to read them.
While we are at consciousness, take a look at this not-to-miss Lex Fridman interview with Roger Penrose about computation and consciousness, and the glimmers of the meaning of protoconsciousness for artificial intelligence.