January 31, 2023


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Do we need a new understanding of reality?

Do we need a new understanding of reality?

Chronicle: Physics methods are limited when researchers have to describe the whole.

Yes, what is actually going on in the brain when we think and experience having consciousness? Can physics and chemical processes explain everything? Here is Auguste Rodin’s most famous sculpture, “Le Penseur” (The Thinker).
  • Dead Hillmark

    Cognitive Therapist, Coping Therapist, Author

  • Astri Hogenstad

    Author, Analytical Psychotherapist

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day oh hess He is a prolific professor and biologist. He is also known to deliver popular science lectures. In Hesse’s book “life” As of 2021, it provides an in-depth description of how life originated and evolved on Earth through chance and chemical processes. He recoils from attributing anything other than physical properties to nature, writing, among other things, that:

“Can the brain, the ego, really reflect without access to bodily signals and experiences? Perhaps, in a primitive way, but the ancient distinction between body and soul, spirit and matter, makes little sense, because the spiritual also has a physical basis – like electrons. […] Of course, it can be objected that if there is something spiritual, it is beyond the reach of the natural sciences. There are no tools or methods of analysis that can capture the soul and spirit. Hence, it cannot be reasonably proven or disproved.”

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It cannot be proven!


First: Of course, most people will realize that consciousness could not have arisen without a brain and the physical and chemical processes that take place there. However, there are many researchers in the field of consciousness, including professors David Chalmers, who believed that consciousness must necessarily be something more than the physiological processes occurring in the brain. How can physical and material processes between brain cells lead to something as immaterial as consciousness?

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Second: Hessen seems to see that everything that can be measured, weighed, or measured are “real phenomena” worth researching. Or in other words: you have a theory that everything is material, the so-called physical cosmic vision. The problem is that it is an assumption that cannot be proven either! Hess and his ilk take a certain view of the world for granted without questioning it.

How objective is such an understanding? Because how can we know that everything can be measured or monitored? Hesse’s love for his family and nature, can we measure it? And how can we even claim that everything is physical, and therefore subject to measurement, when we do not know what we have not investigated? How do we know we know everything?


The two historians have published two books in the past year discussing these issues. Physics, which has created the foundation for massive technological development, has its limitations, and the claim that only what can be measured is worth researching is problematic.

Entanglement is a well-known phenomenon in physics. It refers to the phenomenon that when two particles interact, they remain connected to each other no matter how far they are transmitted, as in experiments. When you measure what happens to one, the behavior of the other at the same moment is given. No signals can reach from one particle to another at the same time.

of the year Nobel laureates in physics They confirmed the validity of this theory through their experiments. You still don’t understand how this phenomenon can happen, but something is happening outside of time and space.

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Human-level phenomena that cannot be confirmed scientifically, but are unique in nature, are also real. This applies, for example, to coincidences of meaning (coincidence). Something is happening outside of time and space. Psyche and matter are “closely intertwined,” as the Nobel laureate in physics put it Wolfgang Pauli Express it. Maybe we all need to open up to a broader understanding of reality?

It is an age old truth that people doubt their “truth” and refuse to deal with actual evidence that shows a different understanding of reality. A good example is a story Galileo Galileiwhich most people are probably familiar with. He was accused of heresy because he believed that the earth revolved around the sun, and not vice versa, as the scholars of time claimed. When he invited the people of the Inquisition to look through his telescope themselves so that they could see the same thing that he himself saw, they refused.

Science historian, philosopher and physicist Thomas Samuel Kuhn Much has been written about this phenomenon. He writes that if you’ve lived long enough and invested a lot of time and resources in something, it’s not at all easy to realize that something you’ve stood for your whole life might be wrong.

At the same time, we should all be humble enough to see that researchers, also in physics, are constantly developing new knowledge, which others can question, thus opening up new horizons, thinking and questioning. This is not the case because we cannot prove the existence of certain phenomena, they do not exist. It is also a fallacy to say that because we do not know what is going on, the phenomena do not happen! The methods of physics are limited when researchers have to describe the whole.

A little humility!

Issues like these, which we both bring up in our books, we think Dag O. Hesse and his ilk are aware of it, at least Hesse adds in the book “Life”: “In any case, we must admit with a certain humility that life in general and consciousness in particular contains something that we cannot fully comprehend.”

Yes, a little humility is a good thing! You don’t have to dismiss it, even if you can’t explain it. The prevailing philosophical starting point, that everything can be explained from a physical point of view, as long as we get enough information (a physical starting point), is being challenged in the wake of quantum physics. Most of us are stuck in an outdated way of seeing the world. Knowledge and perception can create curiosity and wonder, and perhaps these qualities are the driving force for all of us moving forward?