Tag Archive: PETER RUSSELL



Published on Dec 27, 2016

What is non-duality? What do we mean by consciousness? Does it really exist? What is reality? Is there any thing “out there”? Why don’t we see consciousness in the material world? What do we mean by “I”? Why is any of this important?

From the deep pools of Eastern wisdom, to the fast-paced rapids of the West, Peter Russell has mastered many fields, and synthesized them with consummate artistry. Weaving his unique blend of scientific rationale, global vision, and intuitive wisdom, Peter brings a sharp, critical mind to the challenge of self-awakening. The next great frontier of human exploration, he shows, is not outer space, but inner space — the development of the human mind. He has degrees in theoretical physics, experimental psychology, and computer science from the University of Cambridge in England, and has written ten books in this area, including The Global Brain Awakens, Waking Up in Time, and most recently, From Science to God: A Physicist’s Journey into the Mystery of Consciousness.


We all know that we are aware. We couldn’t have an experience without being aware. But, despite appearances, we never experience the world directly – only the brain’s reconstruction of what is “out there.” We live in a virtual reality created by the brain.

But how do material processes in the brain give rise to something as immaterial as consciousness? And where do we draw the line between creatures that are conscious and those that aren’t?

The current scientific worldview assumes that the brain not only generates the picture of the world that we experience, but it also creates awareness itself.

An alternative assumption is that awareness goes all the way down the evolutionary tree.

This leads to the conclusion that the cosmos is a vast field of information that is also aware, a field of knowing knowing itself.

Peter Russell went from being a strict atheist and scientist to discovering a profound personal synthesis of the mystical and the scientific. That transition is the basis of this book. In From Science to God, he blends physics, psychology, and philosophy to reach a new worldview in which consciousness is a fundamental quality of creation. Russell shows how all the ingredients for this worldview are in place; it remains only to put the pieces together and explore the new picture of reality that emerges. Integrating a deep knowledge of science with his own experiences of meditation, Russell arrives at a universe similar to that described by many mystics — one in which the inner and outer worlds no longer conflict. The bridge between them, he shows, is light, and this book invites readers to cross that bridge to find new meaning in God and a deeper significance in spiritual practice.

Look Inside


The Evolution of Consciousness With Peter Russell

For years Western Science has relegated consciousness to an epiphenomenon created by the brain. There are, however, serious problems with this approach and an alternative worldview is emerging in which consciousness is an essential quality of the cosmos.

With human beings, this universal consciousness has evolved to the stage of self-reflective consciousness — we are aware that we are aware — opening us to new realms of imagination and innovation. Yet, at the same time, our newfound powers are also threatening our survival as a species. We are being asked to step beyond a limited ego-centric consciousness and awaken to our true nature, to discover for ourselves the inner peace and freedom spoken of by mystics the world over.

Peter Russell is an author, public speaker, and multimedia producer who is recognized as a leading thinker on consciousness and contemporary spirituality. He coined the term “global brain” with his 1980’s bestseller of the same name in which he predicted the Internet and the impact it would have on humanity. He is the author of nine books, including Waking Up in Time, and From Science to God.

His principal interest is the inner challenges of the times we are passing through. Peter believes if we are to navigate our way safely through these turbulent times we need to listen to the wisdom of the world’s spiritual traditions, as well as to our current scientific understanding. For more information on him visit: peterrussell.com


Published on Nov 5, 2015

Wave-particle duality, the uncertainty principle, the collapse of the wave function, and entanglement all point to awareness being an intrinsic aspect of reality. Yet we are still trying to understand these phenomena within a worldview that assumes the real world to be that of space, time, and matter, and relegates consciousness to some artifact of brain processes. Yet the one thing of which we are certain is that we are aware. And it is the one thing the current worldview cannot account for.

This profound anomaly will ultimately lead to the full paradigm shift to which contemporary physics is, unwittingly, pointing. With consciousness as primary, everything remains the same and everything changes. Mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry are unchanged. What changes is our assumption as to what they are describing. They are not describing the unfolding of a physical world, but the unfolding of a universal self-aware field.

We are led to the conclusion that the entire cosmos is a vast field of knowing, knowing itself, and in that knowing creating for itself the appearance of a material world. Why then don’t we see it that way? Why does the material world appear devoid of consciousness?
Looking for consciousness in the material world – the world that appears in awareness – is like searching a map to find the paper on which the map is drawn. The closest we can come is a sign saying “You Are Here.”

Peter Russell
From the deep pools of Eastern wisdom, to the fast-paced rapids of the West, Peter has mastered many fields, and synthesized them with consummate artistry. He brings a sharp, critical mind to the challenge
of self-awakening. The next great frontier of human exploration, he shows, is inner space – the development of the human mind. He has degrees in theoretical physics, experimental psychology, and computer science from the University of Cambridge in England, and has written ten books in this area, including The Global Brain Awakens, Waking Up in Time, and From Science to God: A Physicist’s Journey into the Mystery of Consciousness. http://www.peterrussell.com


Published on Sep 10, 2015

http://scienceandnonduality.com/

Peter Russell discusses with Chris Fields the role of observation in quantum entangled systems and how observation connects to consciousness, drawing from physics, philosophy, logic and mathematics, making abstract concepts approachable.

From the deep pools of Eastern wisdom, to the fast-paced rapids Weaving his unique blend of scientific rationale, global vision, and intuitive wisdom, Peter Russell brings a sharp, critical mind to the challenge of self-awakening. The next great frontier of human exploration, he shows, is not outer space, but inner space—the development of the human mind. He has degrees in theoretical physics, experimental psychology, and computer science from the University of Cambridge in England, and has written ten books in this area, including The Global Brain Awakens, Waking Up in Time, and most recently, From Science to God: A Physicist’s Journey into the Mystery of Consciousness. http://www.peterrussell.com/index2.php

Chris Fields is an interdisciplinary information scientist interested in both the physics and the cognitive neuroscience underlying the human perception of objects as spatially and temporally bounded entities. His current research focuses on deriving quantum theory from classical information theory; he also works on cell-cell communication and cellular information processing, the role of the “unconscious mind” in creative problem solving, and early childhood development, particularly the etiology of autism-spectrum conditions. He and his wife, author and yoga teacher Alison Tinsley, recently published Meditation: If You’re Doing It, You’re Doing It Right, in which they explore the experience of meditation with meditators from many walks of life. http://chrisfieldsresearch.com#sthash…

One of my earliest ventures into philosophy, back in high school, concerned the question of “free will versus determinism.” If the world unfolds according to fixed laws, then everything that happens is determined by events that have gone before. Since our brains are part of this world, their state is also determined by preceding events. Hence, so are our thoughts and experiences, and, most significantly, the decisions we make. On the other hand, we all experience making choices from small things like what to eat, to bigger issues like career and marriage. We live our lives on the assumption that we do indeed have free will. The two views seem incompatible. Hence the paradox. And the question: Which is right?

I suspect most of you will have pondered this question at some time or other. Many may have landed on the free will side of the conundrum, believing that we do make choices of our own volition. Some on the other side, believing that free will is an illusion. Others, seeing validity in both sides of the paradox, may remain baffled or uncertain.

Over the years I have revisited this paradox many times. In my mid-twenties I wrote a magazine article entitled “And the Opposite is Also True.” There I argued that it was not a question of whether free will or determinism was correct. I postulated that they were like two sides of a coin; two very different perspectives of the same reality. From one perspective determinism is true; from the other free will is true. But as to what these two complementary perspectives might be, I wasn’t clear.

Then last year, in one of those moments of insight, it all fell into place. I realized that the two fundamentally different perspectives stemmed from two fundamentally different states of consciousness.

But before I explain how this may resolve the paradox, we should first go a little deeper into the evidence for both “determinism” and “free will”.

The Evidence

Determinism, in its original form, holds that the future is determined by the present state of affairs. But this does not imply that the future is fully predictable. For a start, we could never know the present state of affairs in sufficient detail to calculate the future precisely. Even if we could, chaos theory shows that even the slightest uncertainty in the current conditions can, on occasions, lead to wildly different outcomes. Quantum theory added its own challenge to strict determinism, showing that events at the atomic level can be truly random. Today, scientists and philosophers alike accept that the future is neither predictable nor predetermined.

But even though the future may not be fixed in a classical sense, this does not necessarily give us free will. The activity in our brain is still determined by preceeding events—some random, some not—and so are our experiences, including our apparent experience of free choice.

In recent years, neuroscience has found interesting evidence to support this conclusion. In one oft-quoted experiment, subjects were asked to make a flick of their wrist at a time of their own choosing, and to note the position of the second hand of a clock at the moment of choosing. However, simultaneous recordings of the subjects’ brain activity showed that preparations for movement were occurring about half a second before the conscious decision to move.

Subsequent experiments have confirmed these findings. Scientists have been able to detect associated brain activity occurring as much as a second or more in advance of the conscious experience of making a choice. They conclude that our decisions are being driven by unconscious brain activity, not by conscious choice. But when the decision reaches conscious awareness, we experience having made a choice.

From this perspective, the apparent freedom of choice lies in our not knowing what the outcome will be. Take, for example, the common process of choosing what to eat in a restaurant. I first eliminate dishes I don’t like, or ones I ate recently, narrowing down to a few that attract me. I then decide on one of these according to various other factors—nutritional value, favorite tastes, what I feel my body needs, etc. It feels like I am making a free choice, but the decision I come to is predetermined by current circumstances and past experience. However, because I do not know the outcome of the decision-making process until it appears in my mind, I feel that I have made a free choice.

Yet, the other side of the conundrum persists. The experience of making choices of our own volition is very real. And we live our lives on the assumption that we are making decisions of our own free will, and directing our own future. It is virtually impossible not to.

A Self that Chooses?

Implicit in the notion of choice is the existence of a “chooser”—an independent self that is an active agent in the process. This, too, fits with our experience. There seems to be an “I” that is perceiving the world, making assessments and decisions, and making its own choices. This “I” feels it has chosen the dish from the menu.

The experience of an individual self is so intrinsic to our lives that we seldom doubt its veracity. But does it really exist in is own right? Two lines of research suggest not.

Neuroscientists find no evidence of an individual self located somewhere in the brain. Instead they propose that what we call “I” is but a mental construct derived from bodily experience. We draw a distinction between “me” and “not me” and create a sense of self for the “me” part. From a biological point of view, this distinction is most valuable. Taking care of the needs of this self, is taking care of our physical needs. We seek whatever promotes our well-being and avoid those that threaten it.

The second, very different, line of research involves the exploration of subjective experience. People who have delved into the nature of the actual experience of self have discovered that the closer they examine this sense of “I” , the more it seems to dissolve. Time and again they find there is no independent self. There are thoughts of “I”, but no “I” that is thinking them.

They find that what we take to be a sense of an omnipresent “I” is simply consciousness itself. There is no separate experiencer; there is simply a quality of being, a sense of presence, an awareness that is always there whatever our experience. They conclude that what we experience to be an independent self is a construct in the mind—very real in its appearance but of no intrinsic substance. It, like the choices it appears to make, is a consequence of processes in the brain. It has no free will of its own.

Complementary Perspectives

Nevertheless—and this is critical for resolving the paradox—in our everyday state of consciousness, the sense of self is very real. It is who we are. Although this “I” may be part of the brain’s model of reality, it is nevertheless intimately involved in the making of decisions, weighing up the pros and cons, coming to conclusions, choosing what to do and when to do it. So in the state where the self is real, we do experience our selves making choices. And those choices are experienced as being of our own volition. Here, free will is real.

On the other hand, in what is often called the “liberated” or “fully-awake” state of consciousness, in which one no longer identifies with the constructed sense of self, the thought of “I” is seen as just another experience arising in the mind. And so is the experience of choosing. It is all witnessed as a seamless whole unfolding before one.

When I appreciated the complementary nature of these two states of consciousness the paradox dissolved for me. Whether or not we experience free will depends on the state from which we are experiencing the world. In one state of consciousness there is free will. In the other, it has no reality.

Free will and determinism are no longer paradoxical in the sense of being mutually exclusive. Both are correct, depending upon the consciousness from which they are considered. The paradox only appears when we consider both sides from the same state of consciousness, i.e, the everyday waking state.

I like to illustrate this with Hamlet pondering the question of “To be or not to be?” The character in the play is making a choice. And if we have not seen the play before, we may wonder which way he will choose. This is the thrill of the play, to be engaged in it, moved by it, absorbed in its reality with all its twists and turns. However, we also know that how the play unfolds was determined long ago by William Shakespeare. So, we have two complementary ways of viewing the play. At times we may choose to live fully in the drama. Other times we may step back to admire his creative genius.

So in life. We can be engaged in the drama, experiencing free will, making choices that affect our futures. Or we can step back and be a witness to this amazing play of life unfolding before us. Both are true within their respective frameworks.

A Will Free of Ego

Although, in the liberated state of mind, there may be no free will in the sense in which we normally think of it, there is instead a newfound freedom far more fulfilling and enriching than the freedom of choice to which we cling.

The will of the individual self is focused on survival. Its foundation is the survival of the organism, fulfilling our bodily needs, avoiding danger or anything that threatens our well-being. In other words, keeping us alive and well, fending of the inevitability of death as long as possible. Added to this are various psychological and social needs. We want to feel safe and secure, to be feel stimulated and fulfilled, to be respected and appreciated. We believe that if we can just get the world to be way want it—and here the world includes other people—then we will be happy.

In the liberated state, the ego no longer drives our thinking and behavior. When it drops away we discover that the ease and safety we had been seeking are already there; they are qualities of our true nature. But it is the nature of the ego to plan and worry, to seek the things it wants, avoid the things it doesn’t want. In so doing creates it tension and resistance, which veils our true nature, hiding from us the very peace of mind that we are seeking.

The life-changing discovery of the liberated mind is that it is already at peace. Nothing needs to be done, nothing needs to happen, nothing needs to change in order to experience peace. There may still be much to do in the world; helping others, resolving injustices, taking care of our environment, etc.. But we are free from the dictates of the ego; we are free to respond according to needs of the situation at hand rather than what the ego wants. Here our will is truly free.

The Evolution of Consciousness – Peter Russell

Published on May 15, 2015

http://www.scienceandnonduality.com/

A conversation with Peter Russell about how the exploration of consciousness has evolved in the past 50 years.

Peter Russell is a fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, of The World Business Academy and of The Findhorn Foundation, and an Honorary Member of The Club of Budapest. At Cambridge University (UK), he studied mathematics and theoretical physics. Then, as he became increasingly fascinated by the mysteries of the human mind he changed to experimental psychology. Pursuing this interest, he traveled to India to study meditation and eastern philosophy, and on his return took up the first research post ever offered in Britain on the psychology of meditation. He has written several books in this area — The TM Technique, The Upanishads, The Brain Book, The Global Brain Awakens, The Creative Manager, The Consciousness Revolution, Waking Up in Time, and From Science to God.

http://www.peterrussell.com

The Effortless Meditation, Peter Russell

A conversation with Peter Russell about the effortless nature of meditation.

How do you see science evolving when it comes to consciousness? – Peter Russell
Published on May 15, 2015

The next stage in knowing reality is knowing ourselves. To our mastery of matter, we are adding a growing mastery of mind.


Published on Nov 21, 2014

Wave-particle duality, the uncertainty principle, the collapse of the wave function, and entanglement all point to awareness being an intrinsic aspect of reality. Yet we are still trying to understand them in terms of a worldview that believes the real world to be that
of space, time, and matter, and relegates consciousness to some artifact of brain processes.

Yet the one thing of which we are certain is that we are aware. And it is the one thing the current worldview cannot account for. is profound anomaly will ultimately lead to the full paradigm shift to which contemporary physics is, unwittingly, pointing.

With consciousness as primary, everything remains the same and everything changes. Mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry are unchanged. What changes is our assumption as to what they are describing. They are not describing the unfolding of a physical world, but the unfolding of a universal self-aware field. We are led to the conclusion that the entire cosmos is a vast field of knowing, knowing itself, and in that knowing creating for itself the appearance of a material world. Why then don’t we see it that way? Why does the material world appear devoid of consciousness?

From the deep pools of Eastern wisdom, to the fast-paced rapids of the West, Peter Russell has mastered many fields, and synthesized them with consummate artistry. Weaving his unique blend of scientific rationale, global vision, and intuitive wisdom, Peter brings a sharp, critical mind to the challenge of self-awakening. The next great frontier of human exploration, he shows, is not outer space, but inner space—the development of the human mind.

He has degrees in theoretical physics, experimental psychology, and computer science from the University of Cambridge in England, and has written ten books in this area, including The Global Brain Awakens, Waking Up in Time, and most recently, From Science to God: A Physicist’s Journey into the Mystery of Consciousness.

http://www.peterrussell.com


How the ego-mind arises from natural mind, and opening to its felt sense can help dissolve it.

Ego as an Ally

The ego is not to be defeated or eradicated. It is there it to help us. We need to change our relationship to it.

Peter Russell

If being right is your goal,
you will find error in the world,
and seek to correct it.
But do not expect peace of mind.

If peace of mind is your goal,
look for the errors in your beliefs and expectations.
Seek to change them, not the world.
And be always prepared to be wrong.

Being able to experience reality as it is, undistorted by our hopes and fears, is often referred to as “enlightenment.” The reference “light” in this word is usually thought of in the sense of illumination. A mind that is enlightened is said to be an “illumined” mind. It is a mind that has “seen the light,” or sees things in a new light.

There is, however, another sense of the word “enlighten” that is equally appropriate. That is “a lightening of the load.”

The heaviest burdens in this life are not our physical burdens but our mental ones. We are weighed down by our concern for the past, and our worries about the future. This is the load we bear, the weariness that comes from our timefulness.

To en-lighten the mind is to relieve it of this load. An enlightened mind is a mind no longer weighed down by attachments; it is a mind that is free.

Being free, it is a mind that is no longer so serious about things — it takes things more lightly.

Could this be why enlightened people often laugh and smile more?

A Shift in Perception

From either perspective — that of illumination or that of lightening the load — the essence of enlightenment is a shift in perception. It is a shift from seeing the world through the eyes of concern, to seeing without judgment; seeing what is rather than what ought to be or might be.

Enlightenment is waking up to the illusions contained in the belief we have been fed with since birth; the belief that whether or not we are at peace depends upon what we have or do in the material world. It is discovering for oneself, as a personal experience of life, that whether or not we are at peace depends upon our perception and interpretation of events.

This alternative way of seeing is to be found at the core most of the great spiritual traditions. It is, for instance, the very foundation stone of Buddhism. As a prince in a wealthy kingdom, the young Buddha — Sidhartha, as he was then called — had everything he could wish for in the material plane. But, like many of us today, he realized that wealth and luxury do not in themselves remove suffering. So he left the palace and set out determined to find a way to end suffering. After six years of studying with various ascetics, yogis and other holy men, and learning many practices and mental disciplines, he was little nearer his goal. Then one day, sitting in meditation, he had a realization that caused him to wake up — and hence gain the name “Buddha”, which simply means “the awakened one”.

He summarized his insight in “The Four Noble Truths”, which might be paraphrased as:

1. We all experience suffering in some way or another — mental, physical, emotional, spiritual.

2. Suffering is self-created. A consequence of our desiring things to be other than they are.

3. It need not be this way. We have a choice as to how we perceive the world and live our lives.

4. There are systematic ways to set about changing how we think and perceive.

Parallel sentiments can be found in Christianity. The phrase, “Sinners repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” is often interpreted as an admonishment to be sorry for the day of judgment is coming. But if we look back to the Greek texts we find another possible interpretation.

The Greek word that we translate as “sin” is amartano. This, as Maurice Nichol pointed out in his book, The Mark, is a term derived from archery and mean to have missed the mark, to have missed the target. The target we are each seeking is inner fulfillment, but, imagining this will come from what we have or do, we aim in the wrong direction, and so “miss the mark.” It is this fundamental error as to how to find happiness and peace of mind that is our “original sin.” The word translated as “repent” is metanoia, which means a transformation of mind. So “sinners repent” can also be translated as “those who have missed their target, and not found happiness in the world around you, change your thinking” for what you are looking for lies very close by, within you.

Nor is it just religious teachers who have proclaimed this truth. The Greek philosopher Epictetus, living in the first century AD, made one of the most succinct and powerful expositions of this wisdom when he wrote, “People are disturbed, not by things, but by the view they take of them.”

Choosing to See

In principle, we can make this shift of perception at any time we choose. Whenever we are caught up in trying to make the future the way we want it to be — which, in one way or another, is most of the time — we have the opportunity to look at things differently. Rather than wondering, “How can I get such-and-such so that I can be happy?” we could ask, “Even if I were to get what I want, would I then be at peace?” And, “If I do not get what I want, can I still be at peace?”

If there is a willingness to look at things differently the answers to these questions are nearly always “No” and “Yes” respectively. Then, having let go of our anxiety about the future, our attention is once again free to return to the here and now.

That much is easy. The difficulty comes in remembering to stop and ask. It is in this that we need practice. And for most of us the aspect of life that offers us the most opportunity for practice — and where we most need help — is in our personal relationships. For it is here that we come up against some of our deepest conditioning and some of our strongest judgments.

Buddha, Dukkha, and the Journey to Now – Peter Russell

Peter Russell looks at the parallels between Buddha’s spiritual journey and our own. He describes how the Buddhist term dukkha, often translated as “suffering”, is better described as discontent, and stems from resistance to our experience of the present moment.


Peter Russell – ‘The Great Awakening’ – Interview by Iain McNay

Author of many books including ‘The Brain Book,’ ‘The Global Brain,’ ‘From Science To God’ and ‘Waking Up In Time’, Peter talks about his life and work. He explains what he calls Spirituality 101. He also talks about Singularity, ‘A White Hole In Time,‘ and the bringing together of Consciousness and Science.


Pete and Duane’s Window is a series that explores our world in transition including topics such as consciousness, world trends, sustainability, spirituality, and our common future.

The Roots of Our Crisis pt 2 (Pete and Duane’s Window – Show 2)

Physicist and author Peter Russell joins Eckhart in a fascinating dialogue about the nature of consciousness.

View Here for more of Peter Russell's previous video clips

Peter Russell gives a compelling presentation shedding new light on consciousness and reality.

Peter Russell explores the reasons why consciousness may be the fundamental essence of the Universe.

Many have made such claims from metaphysical perspectives, but the possibility has always been ignored by the scientific community. In this talk, he discusses the problems the materialist scientific worldview has with consciousness and proposes an alternative worldview which, rather than contradicting science, makes new sense of much of modern physics. He presents a reasoned argument that shows how they are pointing towards the one thing science has always avoided considering—the primary nature of consciousness.

Outline

* What is consciousness?
* How could consciousness arise from matter?
* Paradigm shifts in science.
* The materialist metaparadigm.
* A new metaparadigm
* Consciousness is in everything.
* Everything is in consciousness.
* Matter is a mental construct.
* Relativity and light’s point of view.
* Light lies beyond space, time and matter.
* Photons and the quantum of action.
* Parallels between light and consciousness.
* Consciousness as the fundamental reality.
* The mystical experience of consciousness.
* Who am I? What is the self?
* The meeting of science and spirit.

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