Scientists are still baffled by consciousness and questions about why and how we have it are constantly arising, but so far remain largely unanswered. Now, two physicists believe consciousness is the Universe living through us, and without humanity, the Universe will cease to exist. Deepak Chopra, MD, and Chapman University physicist Menas Kafatos have said that the cosmos and consciousness co-exist on a sub-atomic level, and one without the other would be impossible.
The pair argue that the Universe helped to shape consciousness in humans, and now in turn our being allows the Universe to evolve.
As a result, consciousness and the cosmos have become so intwined that they are now one and the same, the pair said.
The physicists wrote in their book ‘You Are The Universe’: “What if this everyday fact of life turns out to be the key to the cosmos?
“Human beings might be a bright idea the Universe had, and once the idea occurred to it, cosmic mind decided to run with it.
Universe shock: The cosmos is alive and existing through human consciousness – claim
Consciousness is yet to be fully explained
“Why? What’s so enticing about human beings, troublesome and pained as we are? Only one thing. We allowed the Universe to be aware of itself in the dimension of time and space.
“The cosmos is thinking through you. Whatever you happen to be doing is a cosmic activity. Take away any stage in the evolution of the Universe, and this very moment vanishes into thin air.
“As astounding as such a claim may be, this book has been building up to it all along. Quantum physics makes it undeniable that we live in a participatory Universe.
“Therefore, it’s only a small step to say that the participation is total.”
The universe and consciousness could not exist without each other, some claim
Stanford University physicist Andrei Linde agrees with Dr Chopra’s and Prof Kafatos’ sentiment, and believes it is only a matter of time until science can prove that consciousness and the cosmos are linked.
Prof Linde wrote in ‘Life, Universe, Consciousness’: “Will it not turn out, with the further development of science, that the study of the Universe and the study of consciousness will be inseparably linked, and that ultimate progress in the one will be impossible without progress in the other?
“The Universe and the observer exist as a pair. I cannot imagine a consistent theory of the Universe that ignores consciousness.”
The brain remains a baffling subject, with scientists having more knowledge of the Universe than they do the human brain.
Consciousness is the ability to perceive and be aware of our surroundings
Scientists have more knowledge of the Universe than they do the human brain
Consciousness, the ability to perceive and be aware of our surroundings, in particular has confounded scientists for centuries, with there so far being an inability to define what exactly in our brain gives us this power.
But research into the brain has scientists on the verge of pinpointing exactly where consciousness, or the mind, is.
An international study has managed to identify brain signatures which indicate consciousness without asking patients to determine it – IE allowing experts to view something which is completely internal.
The research team examined three groups of people – those who were in a vegetative state, those who were in a minimally conscious state and a group of healthy participants.
“I cannot imagine a consistent theory of the Universe that ignores consciousness.”
Experts used a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner which measures activity of the brain and the way in which different regions communicate.
Team member Davinia Fernández-Espejo, a senior lecturer for the School of Psychology and Centre for Human Brain Health, University of Birmingham, UK, said in a think-piece for The Conversation: “We found two main patterns of communication across regions.
“One simply reflected physical connections of the brain, such as communication only between pairs of regions that have a direct physical link between them.
“We allowed the Universe to be aware of itself in the dimension of time and space.”
“This was seen in patients with virtually no conscious experience. One represented very complex brain-wide dynamic interactions across a set of 42 brain regions that belong to six brain networks with important roles in cognition (see image above).
“This complex pattern was almost only present in people with some level of consciousness.
“Importantly, this complex pattern disappeared when patients were under deep anaesthesia, confirming that our methods were indeed sensitive to the patients’ level of consciousness and not their general brain damage or external responsiveness.”