We propose a generalized theory of “Non-Dual Conscious Realism” addressing the fundamental issue of consciousness. This theoretical framework posits the universing arising from an undifferentiated, non-dual field of pure conscious awareness. From within this universal consciousness emanate the complementary phenomena of Planck scale quantum vacuum and quantum foam, generating space and time, matter and energy.
Through successive, recursive, creative interactions, phenomena and entities at each level of scale self-organize into emergent phenomena and entities at each next higher scale, comprising the entire cosmos. These triadic principles of complementarity, recursion, and creative interactivity (wherein “sentience” is the special case of the biological) are reflected throughout all scales. Though emergentist/materialist positions predominate in contemporary discourse regarding consciousness, the primacy of this non-dual conscious reality, which we emphasize is the deepest possible “panpsychist” perspective, is not contradicted by any known scientific phenomena. Also, unlike most emergentist positions, it is inclusive of the inextricable linkage between observer and observed, subject and object, decisively revealed by quantum mechanics. Indeed, at all levels of scale above the quantum realm, quantum-like effects – such as uncertainty, complementarity, superposition, entanglement, non-locality – reflecting such interconnectivity are recognized. Corollaries of Non-Dual Conscious Realism include that: materiality is not implicit in the universe, but is entirely a scale dependent phenomenon; the “hard problem” of qualia is subsumed by confirmation that all phenomena of the universe are qualia within consciousness; neural correlates of consciousness are not how consciousness is created, but are, rather, the ways in which the nervous systems (human or other) transduce consciousness into adaptive, species-specific perceptions and behaviors. Individual consciousness and associated qualia are part of the universal, non-dual conscious reality.
Neil Theise, MD
Professor of Pathology and of Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai
Neil Theise, MD is a practicing pathologist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he is Professor of Pathology and of Medicine. He is considered a thought leader in fields of liver diseases, liver stem cells, and adult stem cell plasticity. In recent years, interests in complexity theory applications to biology have led to novel insights regarding stem cell biology, non-Western models of the body, science-spirituality dialogue, and consciousness studies. With Menas Kafatos he is formulating a panpsychist approach to the relationship between consciousness and the universe. He is a Senior Student at the Village Zendo in NYC.