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Letter addressed separately to:

• Carlo Rovelli, Aix-Marseille University. Author, Reality Is Not What It Seems:
The Journey to Quantum Gravity

• Adam Becker, University of California, Berkeley. Author, What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics
• Karen L. King, Harvard Divinity School. Author, What Is Gnosticism?

Date: June 3, 2020

So long a science remains riveted to matter – inanimate and organic, -- so long as it systematically overlooks the role of conscious mind in Creation and unconscious mind in illusion, it will never lead humanity to the real origin and fate of the universe and the meaning – the purpose – of life. Purpose that humanity addicted to technology, on the precipice of mass irrationality and extinction, now desperately needs. On the contrary, it can only legitimize forces that keep humanity in the dark, pinned down by flaws in our knowledge and reasoning that are essential to freedom of choice, learning, and growth.

The “meaning” of quantum physics, the end of the road for quantum gravity, needs no further “quest.” Experimental physics has already produced the results that tell us what we need to know: matter is not real. Its strange behavior is readily explained as the product of mind that logically can only be in an unconscious, dreaming state. What it has produced is not Reason or Reality but unreason and unreality. These are the hallmarks of our universe and self-destructive humanity – unexplainable magic that only happens in dreams and imaginations.

What unconscious mind has produced, still living and empowered with energy, is illusion. And physics, passionate about its cause, passionate about its subject, passionately convinced that matter is real, proves it. If we haven’t already figured this out from the bizarre behavior of quanta, from a universe ruled not by order but by entropy, we may be literally too dumb to live.

Science has two tasks to salvage its honesty. The first is to acknowledge the flaw in the logic that supports it: the logic that holds that sensory perception is qualified to adjudicate between reality and unreality. That holds that separation between the body and other objects that belong to the same state of matter bestows objectivity, when separation can only bestow objectivity if it’s between one state and another. Physics that fails to acknowledge this flaw may certainly continue with its discoveries. But it is not qualified to answer for metaphysics about reality. If it lacks objectivity and rationality, it lacks authority. And until it acknowledges this fact, it is not being honest.

The second task to salvage physics’ honesty is to acknowledge the truth about the findings of its experiments, going back to its origins with Galileo and to its premises with Aristotle. Experiments that were meant to support elegant theories of everything, to reveal beauty, essence, and perfection in the cosmos, have revealed instead a welter of causes and effects that make no sense. Their net result is a pointlessness that mocks the laws of science and confounds understanding rather than illuminating it. If the laws of science disappear precisely at the point where metaphysics demands answers, what use are they? They rationalize appearances on a human scale, but humanity has been doing this on its own for thousands of years.

What mind is searching for is Reality and Reason that will enable it to exercise free choice, so humanity will grasp its purpose and act decisively to serve it. We aren’t doing this. And one glaring reason why is that science hides rather than shares the truth. The cosmos isn’t Plato’s “divine” and never will be. The journey to quantum gravity has already gone beyond where it could be any practical help.

It’s time to look elsewhere for the meaning and purpose of life, not from what matter can tell us but from what mind can tell us. Science that compromises with honesty can’t set us on this path. But science that’s honest can at least help.

Einstein devoted his career to a single-minded effort to prove the logic of matter, the perfect order of the cosmos defined by mathematics and physics, and he failed. Bohr was right. Why can’t physics accept the verdict of the Copenhagen Interpretation and support a larger effort of mind – of philosophy, metaphysics, ontology, and psychology – to find answers instead of continuing to obstruct it? Why are scientists intent on discrediting the effort instead of joining it?

Telling the story of the Child, our archetypal Self, is giving the Child back some part of the Reality and the Truth that he lost when he lost consciousness. It’s giving humanity some part of the Reality and Truth that we need in order to exercise free choice in whether to move forward, with objectivity and reason rather than sabotaging our cause with subjectivity and unreason.

The story of the Child needs to be told. Because otherwise we may never know our true worth. We may never know the meaning and purpose of life, the cause the Child was given in Creation – our cause. Without resolve that can only come from purpose, transferring perception from bodies’ senses to intuition and Reason – from appearances to Truth -- will continue to elude us. The basics of what we are doing here -- who we are, how we got here, and what is within our power to do about it, -- will continue to elude us. Unless we connect with the Child that dwells in Mind – with our Self, -- how can we ever get back home to Reality, to the engine of Creation, where we belong?

Our story needs to be told so that we will finally make it relevant, constructive, and consequential. Let it emerge from the fog of mythology, from medicine-man faiths and cultures, into the light of logic, meaning, and utility. Into the light of Mind and Reason without the mysticism and self-contradictions that alienate common sense.

The thinking reflected in the publication I’ve cited has taken you to the outer edges of the paradigm shift that’s needed. You’re receiving this because there may be a willingness to consider it, a level of intelligence and intellectual honesty that offers hope.

Am I making sense? Is the story of the Child worth telling? Can we at least try?

David C. Harrison
Author, The Story of the Child (working title, book in progress)
303-746-5983 / 74apollo350@comcast.net

Welcome

Letter to Adam Becker, Author, What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics
Visiting Scholar, Office for History of Science and Technology
University of California, Berkeley
Adam@freelanceastro.com

Science has staked its legitimacy on sensory perception -- the observation and measurement of quantifiable matter -- as the sole arbiter of reality. Matter at the level of quanta has revealed that it is not bound by the reality so defined. The logical foundation that science has chosen for itself, and the material reality it stands for, is called into question.

There being no alternative reality for which sensory perception can serve as proof, science must turn to systems thinking to understand its discoveries. Metaphysics, the branch of philosophy concerned with the logic of reality, belongs in the conversation. This should include ontology, the branch of metaphysics concerned with the logic of being. The dynamics of human motivation, personal growth, feelings, and relationships come into play, and this involves psychology. Yet another field to consult is theology, because it offers insights into mind that orders all forms of creation.

Yesterday, I submitted a letter to the Mind / Brain Editor of Scientific American commenting on an article by a neuroscientist, Christof Koch. His article, “Tales of the Dying Brain,” prompted my letter because it adheres to the article of faith in sensory perception that has rooted science in subjectivity and irrationality from the beginning, and I believe the time has come to place it on firmer logical ground.

My letter cites two invaluable sources: Your own What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics and Carlo Rovelli’s Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity. Both you and Rovelli appear troubled, as Einstein was, by matter that doesn’t respect science’s article of faith. Both, commendably, encourage physics to follow the trail wherever it leads, Rovelli with an open appeal for help from philosophy. But while you're both alert to the question of material reality, neither appears willing to question your faith -- to question the role of traditional physics and its dependence on sensory perception.

My letter to Scientific American suggests that the world revealed beyond matter, through quantum mechanics, and the dying brain, through near-death experiences, is one of two competing realities, only one of which can be real. Hawking was unapologetic in championing his profession's bias in favor of sensory perception. It was his, and yours and Rovelli’s prerogative, to do so. But it comes at a cost. Science insisting on the incorrect reality, in service to its institutional purposes, leads human understanding down the wrong road.

It leads to incorrect conclusions devoid of meaning and purpose. Add to this the cost of not leading human understanding toward correct conclusions that awaken us to meaning and purpose. Quantitative science measures. It doesn't evaluate. The courageous and talented physicists whose work is highlighted in your book are an inspiration. But they and their work -- their profession -- can't be the source of "meaning" in quantum physics. For this, we need other sources.

Weaning science off rigid dependence on sensory perception must be a paradigm shift too far or it would have happened over a century ago. I do not make light of yours or science’s institutional self-interests. But more than Professor Koch’s article, it is the state of our world that says it’s time for change, and what must change is our thinking. What must change is for theorists in every field, like yourself, to state the obvious: that humanity is succumbing not only to mass irrationality but also to mass extinction, that it’s flawed reasoning that got us here, and we must shift to a new paradigm of thinking before it’s too late.

My letter to Scientific American alludes to attributes of mind -- “intuition” and “reason beyond appearances” – that can access the objectivity this new paradigm will need. They deserve an explanation, and, hopefully, they will get it in the book I’m preparing for publication, tentatively titled The Story of the Child. I have criticized science for overplaying the story of matter when it’s the story of mind that can guide us. My book is an attempt, from one individual’s perspective, to explain what it means to “tell the story of mind.”

With integrity, honesty, and humanity, you are no doubt making great progress in your work. I would be honored if my letter to Scientific American, which follows, and my book were any help. Science needs help from philosophy, and I am pleased to humbly offer one response.

David C. Harrison
June 1, 2020