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A Wondrous Afternoon With an Extraordinary Scientist, Gentleman and Visionary - Musings and Meditations

Updated: May 26





“The mind likes a new idea as little as the body likes a strange protein and resists it with similar energy. It would not perhaps be too fanciful to say that a new idea is the most quickly acting antigen known to science.”




“Knowledge comes by taking things apart, analysis. But wisdom comes by putting things together.”




“Intuition comes very close to clairvoyance; it appears to be the extrasensory perception of reality.”




“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”





Extraordinary interview with renowned mathematician, astronomer and cosmologist Bernard Carr. The first minutes are a compilation of highlights of the interview. The interview itself, which lasts about two and a half hours, starts at minute 3:45.









Dear readers and followers of A Biosphere Project,


This week I am keeping my own musings to a minimum, as promised.

I let Bernard Carr  do the musing, in a very special interview.


Bernard Carr is a respected mathematician, physicist and astronomer, and was a professor at Queen Mary University in London. His main areas of research included the study of the early universe, dark matter, the general theory of relativity, black holes and the anthropic principle

 

He first obtained a degree in mathematics from Trinity College, Cambridge. Then he did his doctoral work on relativity and cosmology at Cambridge with Stephen Hawking, with whom he also became friends.


So, a fine set of credentials indeed. (For some musings on the nature and limitations of our notion of ‘credentials’, see my essay “A Selfie of Planet Earth” ).

But in addition, Bernard Carr has had a lifelong fascination with what we call PSI - phenomena, psychic phenomena, or paranormal phenomena, such as there are: telepathy, psychokinesis (direct influence of consciousness on matter), precognition (knowing in advance of events), remote viewing (being able to see events from a distance), and so on.

This interest also led him to spend a lifetime alongside his academic career -where this kind of interest was by no means appreciated- researching these phenomena. This led to him also being a member of the Society for Psychical Research for thirty years, where he also held various administrative positions.


Bernard Carr considers all these phenomena that are still considered “supernatural” today to be really existing phenomena, and an aspect of nature that we do not yet understand, as electricity was in the Middle Ages. He argues for an unbiased investigation to gather data and begin to build a theoretical framework within which to interpret these phenomena.







Bernard Carr is one of the scientists who no longer believes in the model in which our consciousness is produced in the brain. (See last week's musing “Five Sigma (You Are Not Going to Believe This)".


He -along with a growing number of other scientists working on the phenomenon of consciousness- believes that consciousness is rather “picked up,” filtered and translated by our brains. Consciousness, in this view, possibly belongs to one of the higher dimensions whose existence many theories in physics today consider likely, as in string theory, within which, depending on the variant of the theory, no fewer than eleven to twenty-six dimensions are taken into account. Bernard Carr hypothesizes that consciousness belongs to one of those “higher dimensions” through which our “four-dimensional world” moves. And a model in which our individual consciousness is a kind of fractal extension of a larger field in another dimension could explain PSI phenomena in a way that connects the whole field of PSI phenomena to 'mainstream' science.


And in this way Bernard Carr also wants to help bring together fields that are now separated by very deep waters: science, spirituality and religion. Because many of the intuitions that keep cropping up in what we call “spirituality,” and much of the insights of the great religions and worldviews of East and West, have much in common with certain insights in the latest science concerning the nature of reality and the nature of our consciousness. 

As Einstein, who was deeply religious, put it:“But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”






Can matters that now belong to the domain of religion or spiritual worldviews become the subject of a scientific inquiry once again? Can these fields of knowledge, which were always one, and together with the arts used to form a kind of "trinity", begin to find each other again? Can recognition of the sacred on the one hand and research using the scientific method on the other hand begin to energize and inspire each other again, as they once did for most scientists? (Very many of the most distinguished scientists and of the founders of modern science, were deeply religious.)

Can we leave behind the rigid dogmatism of the contemporary institution of science, this rigid dogmatism that has assumed all the characteristics of a rigid religious order (in the bad sense of the word), with taboos and commandments and prohibitions and a contemporary form of “excommunication”?


Bernard Carr is one of the scientists who believes that this is possible and necessary. Many other scientists and institutions are also exploring this path, such as the Essentia Foundation, the László Institute for New Paradigm Research,  the platform ‘Infinite Potential’, founded to spread the ideas of quantum physicist David Bohm, the organization ‘Science And Nonduality’ or the ‘Center For Quantum Activism’ platform founded by quantum physicist Amit Goswami.

All of these organizations will continue to be addressed in the blog and project, as this rapprochement between the insights of science and the ancient intuitions of humans will be a necessary step toward a new worldview, which in turn will be necessary to arrive at a different relationship between ourselves and our biotope, which is the essence of what we call ’ecology’.


Bernard Carr talks a lot in this interview about his views on what science could be, an open and unbiased view of the world in which no topic or theory needs to be taboo - and many aspects of research into the phenomenon of consciousness are still taboo today, as Dean Radin explained in one of the videos in last weeks' musing. That is one of the most important aspects of this interview for me: Bernard Carr makes a wonderful case for real openness and freedom in science, an openness that has long ago been lost in a dogmatic defense of a purely mechanistic worldview that is in no way based on the scientific method.







But I am going to conclude my introduction herewith, and invite you to watch and listen to this interview. It is an extraordinary exchange of views with an extraordinary scientist and thinker, an amiable man, a true British gentleman, modest and gentle, but with a sharp mind and a fearless curiosity about the great questions that have preoccupied human beings as since we became conscious: who are we, from where did we come, and where are we going? 

Questions we must ask again and again, especially in light of the convergence of ecological and other crises we find ourselves in the midst of.


The interview lasts about two and a half hours, but I find it worthwhile until the end. The length of a feature film, so ditch the Friday night movie on your favorite streaming service for once, and enter the wonderful world Bernard Carr sketches the outlines of, a world where possibly nothing is what it seems. Alice in Wonderland, but even stranger.


So much for this musing, thanks for reading and watching,


Until the next installment,


All the best to you,

Filip




 




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