All shares consciousness – not just us

Some top scientific thinkers are now recognizing the all infusing consciousness that permeates even inanimate matter. In my book, Sun of gOd, I look at its presence in grains of sand and galaxies, electrons and weather systems, revealing a Universe incorporating both intelligence and design without need of any Intelligent Designer.

Adding to the subject, journalist Olivia Goldhill writes of increasing academic credibility given to panpsychism, quoting Philip Goff as saying “Consciousness is a fundamental feature of physical matter; every single particle in existence has an “unimaginably simple” form of consciousness.”  Centuries of scientific taboo begin to crumble.

In the chapter of my book dedicated to inanimate intelligence I cover many of the bases that scientists are now reaching. There follow a few selected paragraphs, penned ten years ago, followed by the article in Quartz.

“Inanimate intelligence – is stuff smarter than we think?” (snippets)

…The more that science discovers about the inner workings and strategies of the vegetable world the more and more probable it seems that intelligence does pervade the entire living world, from mankind to microbe, from tree to fungi. But what about the inanimate world of rocks and mountains, grains of sand and crystals, winds and hurricanes, blazing stars?

…From the traditional viewpoint of the animist, a universal consciousness permeates every particle of matter in the Universe, from the electrons in your socks to the thundercloud about to soak them. If these particles of matter do possess some awareness of being, some miniscule micro-bit of consciousness, it becomes less surprising that they are able to self-organize into something with form and order, something with behaviour that seems intelligent. This “something” might be a whole weather system or a single thundercloud, an ocean or a rolling river, a mountain range or an ordered beach, a star or a volcano.

…Mountaineers and seafarers have long attributed character and personality to the realms they explore, as did the early astronomers, before the thought of it was banned. Without allowing for anything other than brain-based intelligence, we must view all this stuff as chemical and physical reactions, accidentally bringing about complex functioning phenomena, some of which are even able to support intelligent life.

…A giant ocean full of intelligence might be dependent upon that which exists within its every drop. If we can accept James Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis of a global planetary system operating as though there is intelligence at play, then we can logically accept that the sub-components of this system form an integral part of that intelligence. We recognize a similar concept in the group intelligence of a termite mound or a slime mould, seeing it as a composite of its individual components. Perhaps intelligence will always be a by-product of consciousness – perhaps even it is the purpose of consciousness.

…Although it might appear simplistic, it is not unreasonable to suggest that the reason things “hang together” so well is because every thing contains some measure of intelligence, together with an awareness of being, belonging and form. Until they are willing to include intelligence in their considerations, scientists may never be able to explain how natural phenomena from slime moulds to weather systems to stars manage to achieve and maintain their incredible feats of self-organization.

Article from QUARTZ, by Olivia Goldhill
The idea that everything from spoons to stones are conscious is gaining academic credibility

Consciousness permeates reality. Rather than being just a unique feature of human subjective experience, it’s the foundation of the universe, present in every particle and all physical matter.

This sounds like easily-dismissible bunkum, but as traditional attempts to explain consciousness continue to fail, the “panpsychist” view is increasingly being taken seriously by credible philosophers, neuroscientists, and physicists, including figures such as neuroscientist Christof Koch and physicist Roger Penrose.

“Why should we think common sense is a good guide to what the universe is like?” says Philip Goff, a philosophy professor at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. “Einstein tells us weird things about the nature of time that counters common sense; quantum mechanics runs counter to common sense. Our intuitive reaction isn’t necessarily a good guide to the nature of reality.”

David Chalmers, a philosophy of mind professor at New York University, laid out the “hard problem of consciousness” in 1995, demonstrating that there was still no answer to the question of what causes consciousness. Traditionally, two dominant perspectives, materialism and dualism, have provided a framework for solving this problem. Both lead to seemingly intractable complications.

To continue reading click here


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It’s about self-organising consciousness


Why does a total eclipse excite us so?

I got a total eclipse flashback high watching live TV on Monday, recalling my cosmic eclipse trips to Hungary 1999 and Zambia 2001, both of which played key parts in the genesis of my book, Sun of gOd. TV coverage also showed the degree of wondrous awe that this event brings to viewers, whether newbies or seasoned “eclipse addicts.”

Nobody seemed to question the why of this response. The answer would involve realising that all those ancient cultures were right about something the Abrahamic religions got wrong. The Sun that makes life possible for life on Earth knows life itself. It’s not a random ball of gas that just happens to facilitate life, but the star of the creation process that enables life on Earth – and everything else in this family of planets. Respect.

So what do we witness in a total eclipse? We see the corona – a normally invisible energy field that occupies more space than Sun itself. Solar scientists believe it creates and controls sunspots, solar flares, coronal mass ejections and prominences – while calling it Sun’s greatest mystery. Our own minds are an invisible energy field that is seen as the greatest mystery of human existence. Minds control some of what our bodies do, but not a lot.

Whether they knew it or not, those scientists, regular people and media reporters were all getting a spiritual buzz from witnessing the mind of our local star, a character our distant ancestors saw as divine and deserving of gratitude. Across America this gratitude unconsciously came out in the whooping and shouting and ecstatic awe of those who had congregated for the shared experience. Perhaps some enlightenment was gained in the process.


Intrigued by this idea and want to see where it leads? Check out my book, Sun of gOd, with a Foreword by Graham Hancock. It’s the only one out there.


Sun vs Bible – 90 second nugget

Here be my next Nugget in a Nutshell – 90 juicy seconds.

Divine Sun – Did the Bible get it wrong?  – just click it

Shine on,
Gregory Sams

Want to dive deeper? Check out my book and see its glowing reviews on Amazon.

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This review from Paul Bazeley is not untypical:

“This is a wonderful book. Not new agey or flakey at all. It presents its arguments with real scientific and philosophical rigour. I have to say that I was so sceptical when I read the blurb that I felt it would be a tall order to convince me of its central premise. But by the end, I felt that a lot of things were possible in the Universe that I hadn’t considered before. I liked it’s subversive and lateral thinking and also it’s humorous cheekiness. It really makes you look at the world slightly differently, and I think that, whether you agree with his conclusions or not, that is always a good thing.”

Editor’s Pick – my letter to New Scientist

I must have sent variations on this letter to the New Scientist five times or more since my book, Sun of gOd, was published. Sure, they might tag me as a nutcase but I saw that as a risk worth taking, and being tagged nutcase has never stopped me in the past.

An article in New Scientist on atheism as a faith, related only to the Abrahamic alternatives, moved me to write them once again. Whoop whoop – after major cutting, they published my letter last week as the Editor’s Pick! I earnestly hope it will plant the seed of stellar consciousness in a few scientific minds.

My long-winded original is underneath. New Scientist did a brilliant edit, but I like to think the redacted content is what finally cut through their built-in rejection reflex. Perseverance furthers.

NS Sun letter m

The Original – Dear New Scientist,

Someone from another planet reading “Faith of the Faithless” (15th April) might easily think the three Abrahamic religions and atheism are the only belief systems on the planet. Buddhists and Taoists do well without any creator god while Hindus can attribute spirit to just about anything. Zoroastrians revere light and its emissaries, Sun and fire. Shinto worship a female Sun goddess.

The most worshiped deity in human history, and one that even atheists can recognise  is entirely omitted from the article.  Our local star actually IS the light of our life and it is NOT a delusion. The more that cosmologists study Sun and other stars the harder it becomes to explain their behaviour as random balls of plasma entirely directed by the laws of physics. How to explain Sun’s corona or the “magnetic portal” connecting it to Earth, discovered by NASA in 2008? How to explain the movement of stars in a galaxy?

As Carl Sagan put it, “Our ancestors worshiped the Sun, and they were far from foolish…. If we must worship a power greater than ourselves, does it not make sense to revere the Sun and stars?” It was not science that burned all thought of a living Sun from our culture but the Church, and scientists maintain this religious taboo out of habit, not the scientific method. When science lets go of that old Christian imprint perhaps we will, mercifully, be able to consign dark matter to the same dustbin as the luminiferous ether.

Yours,  Gregory Sams

Forward by            Graham Hancock

Is matter conscious?

I was recently alerted by Graham Hancock to this excellent article from a Norwegian philosopher maintaining that matter itself is conscious, a conclusion she came to through logical thought process.

If you have read my book, Sun of gOd, you will know that I reached this same conclusion, as one of the inevitable consequences of recognizing consciousness in our Sun and other stars. The chapter was titled: Inanimate intelligence   –   perhaps stuff is smarter than we think.

As I put it  “For all we know, the tree might be tickled by the ripple of a breeze; the volcano excited by its own eruption; the thundercloud proud of its lightning; the mountain sublime in its majesty.”

Seneca put it like this 2000 years ago…

“Life is the fire that burns and the sun that gives light. Life is the wind and the rain and the thunder in the sky. Life is matter and is earth, what is and what is not, and what beyond is in Eternity.”

This is Hedda Hassel Mørch’s approach to the classic hard problem of consciousness.

The nature of consciousness seems to be unique among scientific puzzles. Not only do neuroscientists have no fundamental explanation for how it arises from physical states of the brain, we are not even sure whether we ever will. Astronomers wonder what dark matter is, geologists seek the origins of life, and biologists try to understand cancer—all difficult problems, of course, yet at least we have some idea of how to go about investigating them and rough conceptions of what their solutions could look like. Our first-person experience, on the other hand, lies beyond the traditional methods of science. Following the philosopher David Chalmers, we call it the hard problem of consciousness.

But perhaps consciousness is not uniquely troublesome. Going back to Gottfried Leibniz and Immanuel Kant, philosophers of science have struggled with a lesser known, but equally hard, problem of matter. What is physical matter in and of itself, behind the mathematical structure described by physics? This problem, too, seems to lie beyond the traditional methods of science, because all we can observe is what matter does, not what it is in itself—the “software” of the universe but not its ultimate “hardware.” On the surface, these problems seem entirely separate. But a closer look reveals that they might be deeply connected.   Continue reading

Spring Equinox – and this arrives!

I do love good timing!

A message arrived today from one Bee Thabee, on the Vernal Equinox and Zoroastrian Navroze (new year) celebration, asking for permission to publish the video he’d been working on through the night.

And, of course, it’s about this day’s mother subject, the light of stars.

I’m feeling well honoured to appear alongside Carl Sagan, Bill Hicks and Alan Watts. It was all seemingly triggered by the tune Gaudi produced a few years back, that was itself triggered by an interview with me getting a bit cosmic at the first Wilderness Festival. The Light works in mysterious ways.

Thanks, Bee and Gaudi

Nuggets in a Nutshell

Something New – Intention Achieved!

There’s an audience ‘out there’ who want short, sharp inputs. I’ve been missing them with my books and blogs for a while, and wanting to correct this situation.

So now I embark upon a series of Nuggets in a Nutshell which will strive to convey something stimulating, thought-provoking and informative in about a minute.

Here is the first in the series.

Recycled Sunlight, the Energy of Life




The Mystery of Light

I gave this excellent little talk on light at the Odditorium in Brighton a couple of years ago and only discovered it to be online recently when a listener contacted me to ask about the tattoo mentioned in the talk. I sent him a picture of it and he sent me the link, which I now send to you. The curious events in their introduction occurred before my arrival so I cannot enlighten on that front.

The Mystery of Light with Gregory Sams

This episode starts with a crash, after an eclipse and power cut in the studio leave our presenters stumbling around in the dark while Mr Mounfield later reveals himself to be a Zoroastrian. It all proves however, to be a perfect link for their guest, Gregory Sams, who puts forward a compelling argument for the sun, stars and universe being far more intelligent than conventional science would have us believe.

The tattoo:


Thomas Paine, a talk

I delivered a 20 min talk last Saturday night at the Thomas Paine Hotel in his birthplace, Thetford, to a party of Paine fans who celebrate his birth each year. It wasn’t recorded so I am posting the laptop rehearsal.

at the desk

                                              (click) The final practice run 

NOTE to the video
Thomas Paine, it you didn’t know, was one of the most important characters of the last three centuries, initiating the concept of the nation state, a body of people who governed themselves instead of being ruled by a king or other ruler. As we know, it didn’t quite work out as he pictured it in Common Sense, the book which turned a tax-motivated protest into the American War of Independence, selling half a million copies in the first six months of 1776. He turned the tide of the war from defeat to victory later that year, with a pamphlet that began “These are the times that try men’s souls.”

His next momentous book was conceived while building a revolutionary iron bridge in England, from whence he fled the hangman’s noose to Paris, writing his next major work while immersed in the French Revolution.

In my talk I refer to those two other books.
The Rights of Man  “Man is not the enemy of man, but through the medium of a false system of Government.” – – – “The instant formal government is abolished, society begins to act. A general association takes place, and common interest produces common security.”

The Age of Reason “The word of God is in the creation we behold.”

“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church”

He connects these themes: “It has been the scheme of the Christian church, and of all the other invented systems of religion, to hold man in ignorance of the Creator, as it is of Government to hold man in ignorance of his rights.”

Tom Paine
the after-dinner talk.   click


Shedding light on our Sun, an interview with Gregory Sams


Samplers from the interview by Michael Patterson –

…In all of this interrupted personal transformation I came across Gregory Sams’ book, Sun of gOd. I rushed through the first part of the book, impatient to get to Greg’s description of the sun’s scientifically determined attributes. It would be easy to think that, even with no shred of mystical sentiment, a purely rational and scientific assessment of the Sun would fill us with awe and reverence. Here should be the God for atheists. Beyond the Sun, Greg takes the reader on a deeply rational micro and macro adventure to propose that consciousness underpins reality…

I emailed Greg eager to engage him in a conversation. What follows are my questions and comments, and his responses…

Michael Patterson: You seem to be saying that while people don’t want the religious myths as literal renditions of what happened neither do they want to accept the narrative of chance creation with no purpose, no soul, so to speak. What’s in between? Where do they go to get what they need?

Gregory Sams: Today we’ve got just the “all planned in detail by someone like us but a WHOLE lot smarter” option or the “completely accidental” scenario. What about it being self-constructed from the bottom up, with intelligence built into the system? It’s not that preposterous an idea when we recognise that the electromagnetic force pervades all. Since dedicating a chapter to it in the book I have gained a greater appreciation for the quality of the force that manifests in our world as light, in all the vibrations of the electromagnetic spectrum.

from your book “Acceptance (of the idea that consciousness underpins all) opens the door to a veritable Pandora’s box of quackery and hocus-pocus, things that science has “religiously” sought to exclude from its arena. But I am afraid that it is too late. The box is open. Scientists have already discovered spirit and the evidence shouts at them from their own research.”

Michael Patterson: Can you elaborate on the claim that scientists have already discovered spirit? Do they know this, and are denying what they know? Or do they know it, but, because they have ruled out this prospect, are calling it something else?

Gregory Sams: The scientific mind is tightly constrained by a set of religious taboos that have long been in place. During many centuries that the Church maintained a total monopoly on anything to do with “spirit,” any scientist who ventured into that territory risked getting more than their fingers burned. Now they think it is scientifically sound to reject anything not measurable by our existing toolkit.

Now, with our tools becoming ever more sensitive, they are peering into the world of cells and seeing more than five million individual components going about their daily work of eating and excreting and building and repairing and communicating with each other and with other cells. Ever more powerful telescopes and tools allow them to see communities of galaxies and detect the electromagnetic conduits connecting Sun to Earth, exchanging high-energy particles every eight minutes. They study the invisible corona of our Sun and believe it manages many puzzling solar features…(response continues).

Michael Patterson: How did you come to formulate this essentially animistic cosmology? I converted to ‘animism’ after thinking animistic thoughts for many years. Even after decades of involvement the Western Mystery Tradition and Wicca, and with a strong interest in Eastern and ancient Western traditions I stumbled across the word by accident. I think I had come across the idea of universal consciousness before, but when I encountered the idea of animism a penny dropped for me. How did this belief evolve for you?

Gregory Sams: I’ve had that feeling that everything has some smidgen of consciousness for a long as I can remember but think it probably developed in my late teens when I began eating natural and organic foods, having been on a meat-free diet from the age of ten. Being thus better tuned to the world around me made me more connected somehow to organic objects like trees and sesame seeds. As life progressed I noticed connections between our consciousness and so-called inanimate objects, whether lost things, furniture, kitchen implements, office equipment, whatever. We’ve all experienced curious and amusing, frustrating and infuriating encounters with inanimate stuff. I venture to say that our consciousness is some form of electromagnetic field, however that field arises. All stuff, all matter, has some form of electromagnetic field, and is infused with the electromagnetic force that permeates our Universe. Our fields overlap and interact with those of our surroundings and sometimes all the energy needed is enough to aim our eye at a particular moment to reveals something of great value. Being in tune makes a huge difference.

See full interview here:

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Meet the star in your life’s movie.