In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with Dr. James Glattfelder. Dr. Glattfelder is a physicist turned quant, turned complexity scientist, with a pinch of data science and a philosophical bent. He has a Ph D in Complex Systems from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and is interested in fundamental theories and real-world complexity.   We discussed quantum physics and consciousness, the concept of reality, panpsychism and more. Please enjoy this episode with Dr. James Glattfelder.

Could there be a quantum mechanical element to human consciousness? If so, could that allow a collective intelligence/consciousness in humans, like we see in termites? Could it save the plant? Is the fundamental element/property of consciousness be information?

We discussed: 

  1. Some, like Depak Chopra and others, some that I’ve interviewed, use “quantum physics” as an answer to what consciousness is, or how it binds to the brain. With your knowledge of both consciousness and quantum physics, do you see a possible connection there? How would that work?
  2. Panpsychism, Integrated Information Theory: consciousness is everywhere; Freeman Dyson; Max Planck
  3. The laws of physics: quantum (super small), general relativity (huge), classical (everyday life-sized): They’re not all compatible with each other. How might consciousness fit in there, if at all? [David Bohm’s Implicate Order theory, quantum potential, hidden waves, enfolding/unfolding]
  4. Self organization and complexity; Stephen Wolfram – simple rules; teleological force of universe
  5. Time is an illusion, doesn’t really exist; anthropic principle;
  6. Eastern traditions; Hinduism (lei-la); Buddhism; Shamanism; Christ Bache (high-dose LSD sessions, LSD and the Mind of the Universe)
  7. What role could non-locality, quantum entanglement play? 
    1. The interconnectedness of everything: Can this explain “cosmic consciousness” or other phenomena of expanded consciousness? Information entity, space and time not relevant
    2. The collective intelligence of ants, for example?
  8. So, what is real, then? Reality is actively constructed by the brain?
    1. Are hallucinations just as real as…reality?
    2. Emmanuel Kant – what is real, space and time
    3. Information is the most fundamental thing
    4. “Neuroscience, consciousness and spirituality” book
    5. Living in a simulation
  9. In that context, what is “self”, then?
    1. Default state, default mode network
  10. Can we even ask, what is consciousness?
    1. Does consciousness arise from the human brain-computer?
    2. Centered in my universe; panpsychism; field of consciousness; birth/death; 
  11. Is time real? How does time relate to consciousness?
  12. Other loose concepts:
    1. Something else I hear a lot of, is that everything is energy. What does quantum physics say about that?
    2. We create reality (quantum/buddhism)
    3. Each observer has their own universe; the observer effect
    4. Looking for reality in the mind is going the wrong way
  13. What didn’t I ask?
    1. Intelligence; why are we destroying the biosphere; termites – function as a collective organism; why aren’t humans becoming more ‘collective’? Find consciousness within ourselves. 
  14. What’s next from you? Digital transformation in financial interaction; blockchain; good blueprint for creating collective intelligence; decentralized ledgers; eventually come back and reflect on these topics in a book in normal;