Physics (science in general) understands matter and energy very well. The great stumbling block is knowing of the so-called difficult problem of consciousness. Despite years and years of work, science has not made much progress in knowing it. There is not even agreement on the definition of consciousness. At present, there are at least 40 different definitions of consciousness!
The Vedas have a saying that consciousness is singular.
Here our ancient knowledge may seem correct. Hindu scriptures indicate that Brahman is a universal super-consciousness – Pragnanam Brahman — Consciousness is Brahman.
Other famous Vedic proverbs show similar concepts about individuals and Brahman.
- Ayam Atma Brahman — This Self (Atman) is Brahman .
- Tat Tvam Asi — That Thou art.
- Aham Brahmasmi– I am Brahman.
- Sarvam Khaluidam Brahman Tajjalān Iti Shānta Upāsita — This is all (collectively) Brahman. Certainly, what evolves from it, what dissolves in it, what breathes, or what works, needs to be studied carefully and calmly.
Many Shloka / poems of Bhagavad Gita state that God (Brahman) exists in all living things and inanimate objects. So the source of consciousness believes to be external, yet is experienced as the internal reality.
We have a universal cosmic consciousness, as different faces of a single crystal reflect multiple images of a single object. This may tell us why the consciousness itself is essentially perfectly uniform and the content of consciousness (Vrittis) is different for each being, even though all of our bodies look different.
Our everyday reality is undoubtedly drawn from our everyday experience, which is close to classical physics. But the basic reality must be quantum.
There are several basic models (notably those of Hameroff and Penrose, who treat the processes in the neurons of the brain as quantum mechanical. A surprising point mentioned by these authors is that consciousness can come in the form of a discrete number of flashes.
According to them, the most well-known temporal correlation of consciousness is gamma-synchronized EEG, 30-90 Hz (cycles per second). They also state that the monks in meditation know that such flashes come 40 to 80 times per second! In addition, there is some experimental support for the resonant frequency of neurons.
Many other authors have sought to obtain a quantum mechanical model of consciousness without looking at parts of the brain (for example, Subhash Kak and collaborators studying veiled reality and nonlocality). Hagelin has introduced a concept of a unified field of consciousness.
This area of consciousness is also discussed in Radhe Shyam Kaushal’s paper. However, it is not clear whether Tononi’s theory is experimentally testable or computable in real cases. Thus, almost 100 years of neuroscience research, while producing tremendous knowledge of brain structure and function, has taken us little beyond the correlations discovered between the brain and consciousness in the 1920s.
The whole subject is controversial and it will take some time for the various questions to be resolved. Many of the questions sought to connect the brain and consciousness can be ultimately solved by being considered the wrong question, as new knowledge accumulates and gives us insights that we cannot imagine now.
Shloka from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
Om Purnamadah Purnamidam Purnat Purnamudachyate।
Purnasya Purnamadaya Purnamevavashisyate॥
“ओम्! वह अनंत है, और यह (ब्रह्मांड) अनंत है। अनंत से अनंत की प्राप्ति होती है। (तब) अनंत (ब्रह्मांड) की अनंतता लेते हुए, वह अनंत के रूप में अकेला रहता है।”
Om! That is the whole. This is the whole. From wholeness emerges wholeness. Wholeness coming from wholeness, wholeness still remains.
The central message of Hindu scriptures such as Vedas is that there is a universal cosmic consciousness that was always present or at least it was part of the creation of the universe. The Sankya branch of Hindu philosophy (Dwaita) shows that matter (Prakriti) also existed at the time of the universe and is less substantial than consciousness (Purusha).
“On the other hand, Hindu Advaita philosophy believes that matter and consciousness are same or at least complementary”.
As mentioned earlier, some scientists are serious about understanding consciousness from neuronal physics and chemistry, but so far no successful and complete model has been provided. At present, it is difficult to imagine how matter emerges from consciousness, but in quantum theory, subjectivity and perhaps consciousness play a leading role in the description of matter.
If there is a way to relate even a small degree of consciousness to fundamental particles, it would be a huge step in understanding the role of consciousness and matter in the universe. At the moment it seems very probable that matter and consciousness appeared together in our universe like two sides of a coin from some primal thing; You can call him Brahman or God.
Similar ideas are expressed by R.L.P. Vimal. He created a detailed model of matter and consciousness as two complementary states and proposed an fMRI experiment to check the model.