Earlier today, I ran into an interesting article, “The Ultimate Mystery? –‘Consciousness May Exist in the Absence of Matter’ (2019 Most Popular).” It, in part, discussed Andrei Linde‘s paper, “Universe, Life, Consciousness.” I’ll admit the majority of Linde’s piece was basically over my head, but it was a great read on the way to Wendy’s for lunch. Although you should both the article and Linde’s paper, this probably was a summary of what I found the most interesting part:
Is it not possible that consciousness, like space-time, has its own intrinsic degrees of freedom, and that neglecting these will lead to a description of the universe that is fundamentally incomplete? What if our perceptions are as real (or maybe, in a certain sense, are even more real) than material objects? What if my red, my blue, my pain, are really existing objects, not merely reflections of the really existing material world? Is it possible to introduce a “space of elements of consciousness,” and investigate a possibility that consciousness may exist by itself, even in the absence of matter, just like gravitational waves, excitations of space, may exist in the absence of protons and electrons? Will it not turn out, with the further development of science, that the study of the universe and the study of consciousness will be inseparably linked, and that ultimate progress in the one will be impossible without progress in the other? After the development of a unified geometrical description of the weak, strong, electromagnetic, and gravitational interactions, will the next important step not be the development of a unified approach to our entire world, including the world of consciousness?
P.S. In my opinion, the article went downhill once Deepak Chopra entered the picture…