Notable Scientists Gather To Emphasize: Physical Material “Matter” Is Not The Only Reality

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The day
science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in
one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.
” – Nikola Tesla (Source)

A group of
internationally recognized scientists have come together to stress the
importance of what is still commonly overlooked in the mainstream scientific

The fact that matter (protons, electrons, photons, anything that
has a mass) is not the only reality. We wish to understand the nature of our
reality, but how can we do so if we are continually examining only physical
systems? What about the role of non-physical systems, such as consciousness, or
their interaction with physical systems (matter)?

some scientists are studying non-physical systems, and the double slit
experiment is a great example of  this.
You can read more about that here. A paper published by Dean Radin, PhD, in the
peer-reviewed journal Physics Essays, explains how this experiment has been
used multiple times to explore the role of consciousness in shaping the nature
of physical reality. (source)
Despite the
unrivaled empirical success of quantum theory, the very suggestion that it may
be literally true as a description of nature is still greeted with cynicism,
incomprehension and even anger.
” (T. Folger, “Quantum Shmantum”; Discover
22:37-43, 2001)
Just to
reiterate, at the turn of the nineteenth century, physicists started to explore
the relationship between energy and the structure of matter. In doing so, the
belief that a physical, Newtonian material universe that was at the very heart
of scientific knowing was dropped, and the realization that matter is nothing
but an illusion replaced it. 

Scientists began to recognize that everything in
the Universe is made out of energy. This has been known in the scientific
community for more than one hundred years.
I regard
consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness.
We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything
that we regard as existing, postulating consciousness.
Planck, theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory, which won him the
Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918.
We are
talking about what is known as post-materialist science, and the points made
below summarize the problem with not recognizing, acknowledging, and examining
phenomena that go past the borders of the physical material world. These points
were co-authored by:  Dr. Gary Schwartz,
professor of psychology, medicine, neurology, psychiatry, and surgery at the
University of Arizona, Mario Beauregard, PhD, from the University of Arizona,
and Lisa Miller, PhD, from Columbia University. It was presented at an
international summit on post-materialist science, spirituality, and society.
They (and hundreds of other scientists) have come to the following conclusions:
1. The
modern scientific worldview is predominantly predicated on assumptions that are
closely associated with classical physics. Materialism—the idea that matter is
the only reality—is one of these assumptions. 

A related assumption is
reductionism, the notion that complex things can be understood by reducing them
to the interactions of their parts, or to simpler or more fundamental things
such as tiny material particles.
2. During
the 19th century, these assumptions narrowed, turned into dogmas, and coalesced
into an ideological belief system that came to be known as “scientific
materialism.” This belief system implies that the mind is nothing but the
physical activity of the brain, and that our thoughts cannot have any effect
upon our brains and bodies, our actions, and the physical world.
3. The
ideology of scientific materialism became dominant in academia during the 20th
century. So dominant that a majority of scientists started to believe that it
was based on established empirical evidence, and represented the only rational
view of the world.
Scientific methods based upon materialistic philosophy have been highly
successful in not only increasing our understanding of nature but also in
bringing greater control and freedom through advances in technology.
5. However,
the nearly absolute dominance of materialism in the academic world has
seriously constricted the sciences and hampered the development of the
scientific study of mind and spirituality. Faith in this ideology, as an
exclusive explanatory framework for reality, has compelled scientists to
neglect the subjective dimension of human experience. This has led to a
severely distorted and impoverished understanding of ourselves and our place in
6. Science
is first and foremost a non-dogmatic, open-minded method of acquiring knowledge
about nature through the observation, experimental investigation, and
theoretical explanation of phenomena. Its methodology is not synonymous with
materialism and should not be committed to any particular beliefs, dogmas, or
7. At the
end of the nineteenth century, physicists discovered empirical phenomena that
could not be explained by classical physics. This led to the development,
during the 1920s and early 1930s, of a revolutionary new branch of physics
called quantum mechanics (QM). QM has questioned the material foundations of
the world by showing that atoms and subatomic particles are not really solid
objects—they do not exist with certainty at definite spatial locations and
definite times. Most importantly, QM explicitly introduced the mind into its
basic conceptual structure since it was found that particles being observed and
the observer—the physicist and the method used for observation—are linked.
According to one interpretation of QM, this phenomenon implies that the
consciousness of the observer is vital to the existence of the physical events
being observed, and that mental events can affect the physical world. The
results of recent experiments support this interpretation. These results
suggest that the physical world is no longer the primary or sole component of
reality, and that it cannot be fully understood without making reference to the
Psychological studies have shown that conscious mental activity can causally
influence behavior, and that the explanatory and predictive value of agentic
factors (e.g. beliefs, goals, desires and expectations) is very high. Moreover,
research in psychoneuroimmunology indicates that our thoughts and emotions can
markedly affect the activity of the physiological systems (e.g., immune,
endocrine, cardiovascular) connected to the brain. In other respects,
neuroimaging studies of emotional self-regulation, psychotherapy, and the
placebo effect demonstrate that mental events significantly influence the
activity of the brain.
9. Studies
of the so-called “psi phenomena” indicate that we can sometimes receive
meaningful information without the use of ordinary senses, and in ways that
transcend the habitual space and time constraints. Furthermore, psi research
demonstrates that we can mentally influence—at a distance—physical devices and
living organisms (including other human beings). Psi research also shows that
distant minds may behave in ways that are nonlocally correlated, i.e. the
correlations between distant minds are hypothesized to be unmediated (they are
not linked to any known energetic signal), unmitigated (they do not degrade
with increasing distance), and immediate (they appear to be simultaneous).
These events are so common that they cannot be viewed as anomalous nor as
exceptions to natural laws, but as indications of the need for a broader
explanatory framework that cannot be predicated exclusively on materialism.
Conscious mental activity can be experienced in clinical death during a cardiac
arrest (this is what has been called a “near-death experience” [NDE]). Some
near-death experiencers (NDErs) have reported veridical out-of-body perceptions
(i.e. perceptions that can be proven to coincide with reality) that occurred
during cardiac arrest. NDErs also report profound spiritual experiences during
NDEs triggered by cardiac arrest. It is noteworthy that the electrical activity
of the brain ceases within a few seconds following a cardiac arrest.
Controlled laboratory experiments have documented that skilled research mediums
(people who claim that they can communicate with the minds of people who have
physically died) can sometimes obtain highly accurate information about
deceased individuals. This further supports the conclusion that mind can exist
separate from the brain.
12. Some
materialistically inclined scientists and philosophers refuse to acknowledge
these phenomena because they are not consistent with their exclusive conception
of the world. Rejection of post-materialist investigation of nature or refusal
to publish strong science findings supporting a post-materialist framework are
antithetical to the true spirit of scientific inquiry, which is that empirical
data must always be adequately dealt with. Data which do not fit favored
theories and beliefs cannot be dismissed a priori. Such dismissal is the realm
of ideology, not science.
13. It is
important to realize that psi phenomena, NDEs in cardiac arrest, and replicable
evidence from credible research mediums, appear anomalous only when seen
through the lens of materialism.
Moreover, materialist theories fail to elucidate how brain could generate the
mind, and they are unable to account for the empirical evidence alluded to in
this manifesto. This failure tells us that it is now time to free ourselves
from the shackles and blinders of the old materialist ideology, to enlarge our
concept of the natural world, and to embrace a post-materialist paradigm.
According to the post-materialist paradigm:
a) Mind
represents an aspect of reality as primordial as the physical world. Mind is
fundamental in the universe, i.e. it cannot be derived from matter and reduced
to anything more basic.
b) There is
a deep interconnectedness between mind and the physical world.
c) Mind
(will/intention) can influence the state of the physical world, and operate in
a nonlocal (or extended) fashion, i.e. it is not confined to specific points in
space, such as brains and bodies, nor to specific points in time, such as the
present. Since the mind may nonlocally influence the physical world, the
intentions, emotions, and desires of an experimenter may not be completely
isolated from experimental outcomes, even in controlled and blinded
experimental designs.
d) Minds are
apparently unbounded, and may unite in ways suggesting a unitary, One Mind that
includes all individual, single minds.
e) NDEs in
cardiac arrest suggest that the brain acts as a transceiver of mental activity,
i.e. the mind can work through the brain, but is not produced by it. NDEs
occurring in cardiac arrest, coupled with evidence from research mediums,
further suggest the survival of consciousness, following bodily death, and the
existence of other levels of reality that are non-physical.
Scientists should not be afraid to investigate spirituality and spiritual
experiences since they represent a central aspect of human existence.
Post-materialist science does not reject the empirical observations and great
value of scientific achievements realized up until now. It seeks to expand the
human capacity to better understand the wonders of nature, and in the process
rediscover the importance of mind and spirit as being part of the core fabric
of the universe. Post-materialism is inclusive of matter, which is seen as a
basic constituent of the universe.
17. The
post-materialist paradigm has far-reaching implications. It fundamentally
alters the vision we have of ourselves, giving us back our dignity and power,
as humans and as scientists. This paradigm fosters positive values such as
compassion, respect, and peace. By emphasizing a deep connection between
ourselves and nature at large, the post-materialist paradigm also promotes
environmental awareness and the preservation of our biosphere. In addition, it
is not new, but only forgotten for four hundred years, that a lived
transmaterial understanding may be the cornerstone of health and wellness, as
it has been held and preserved in ancient mind-body-spirit practices, religious
traditions, and contemplative approaches.
18. The
shift from materialist science to post-materialist science may be of vital
importance to the evolution of the human civilization. It may be even more
pivotal than the transition from geocentrism to heliocentrism.
* This
Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science was prepared by Mario Beauregard, PhD
(University of Arizona), Gary E. Schwartz, PhD (University of Arizona), and
Lisa Miller, PhD (Columbia University), in collaboration with Larry Dossey, MD,
Alexander Moreira-Almeida, MD, PhD, Marilyn Schlitz, PhD, Rupert Sheldrake,
PhD, and Charles Tart, PhD.
** For
further information, please contact Dr. Mario Beauregard, Laboratory for
Advances in Consciousness and Health, Department of Psychology, University of
Arizona, Tucson, USA. Email:
**** The
Summary Report of the International Summit on Post-Materialist Science,
Spirituality and Society can be downloaded here: International Summit on Post-Materialist Science: Summary Report (PDF).

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