In the following three videos, Dr. Lothar Shäfer of University of Arkansas delivers a presentation titled “Quantum Reality and the Importance of Consciousness in the Universe,” drawing a connection between our current scientific understanding of quantum physics and the role of non-dual, non-local conscious awareness. This presentation took place in Barcelos Portugal, in 2010.

Shäfer begins with an easy-to-follow description of quantum mechanical phenomena, in order to explain these statements:

  1. “The basis of the material world is not material.”
  2. “Reality is indivisible wholeness.”
  3. “Consciousness is a cosmic property.”

He introduces the concept of potentiality, a third mode of existence (in addition to being and not-being) in which things have a potential to be or not be.

He goes on to describe the wave-particle nature of electrons; probability waves; and the hidden order underlying matter as it dissolves into a wave. An electron, when it is not interacting, becomes “trans-material,” a mathematical form, a set of numbers. “This is just the way it is.”

Where are particles when they are in their wave-like state? They do not exist in the empirical world. They transcend the material world and exist in potentia; in a state we cannot experience. “They are trans-empirical.”

In Part 2, Shäfer provides a brief survey of ancient metaphysical and spiritual concepts of wave-like vibrational energy underlying reality — in Greek thought, in Hinduism, in Sufism, etc. He describes “perennial philosophy” — the notion of universally recurring insights independent of epoch or culture, which reveal timeless truths regarding the nature of reality.

We live in the empirical world, but with our minds we are able to reach into the realm of forms, conceive of potentiality, deriving thoughts that we can convey via language to others. The universe exists in a state of potentia, prior to emanation. Physics is connected to these other disciplines of human endeavor: metaphysics, ethics, psychology, and more.

In Part 3, Shafer discusses Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and self-actualization; it’s relation to Carl Jung’s collective unconscious awareness of archetypal forms. An element of consciousness is active in the universe. “It is difficult to avoid the impression that the realm of forms that Jung discovered, the realm of forms that the quantum phenomena reveal, are one and the same realm of cosmic potentiality.” It is the cosmic spirit that is thinking in us.

Lothar Shäfer is author of In Search of Divine Reality: Science as a Source of Inspiration.”

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