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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
“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.”
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.
Watched a fascinating programme recently on the Oracle at Delphi – Ancient Worlds presented by Dr Michael Scott. The Oracle pulled in visitors from across the Mediterranean world for over a thousand years, finally falling silent with the spread of the new Roman Church during the fourth century.
Considering the lack of trains, planes and automobiles in the ancient world, we must be impressed by the pull of Delphi for ten centuries. Go that far back in British history and William the Conqueror was still known as William the Bastard. Can you think of any facility in Britain that has enjoyed uninterrupted public support for such a period? I can’t.I have one underlying complaint to make about Michael Scott’s presentation, however. Though he has clearly studied the amazing history of the Oracle in great depth, never at any point during this programme does he even consider that perhaps, just perhaps, there was something genuinely oracular about the place. Could a thousand years of patronage by the good and the great indicate that valid advice and prediction was dispensed at Delhpi?
Today we just dismiss all this as stuff and nonsense and superstition…we know so much better now. Or so the Church and science tell us. Are we being arrogant in our dismissal? The ancients, after all, were not a bunch of stupid dunces living in caves. They had great civilizations, even twin water conduits, with one for drinking and one for washing (no bottled water for the Romans or Aztecs). They built pyramids and temples; developed mathematics and astronomy; fostered agriculture and commerce. Perhaps, just perhaps, they knew some things that we do not.
In the course of writing my last book, Sun of gOd, it became apparent to me that the so-called “ancients” were in many areas advanced to us today. Whilst they lacked our level of technology, they understood more of the vibrational world of spirit, understanding the nature of metals and other fields of knowledge that have simply disappeared from our cultural heritage.
The pyramid-builders did not only have the ability to build monumental precision devices and align them to the heavens, they also recognized that the stones, the stars, and themselves were all part of the same interconnected system. It was a different way of looking at things and a different way of connecting with them.
As we respect this ancient tradition marking the waning of the Sun god’s power spare a thought for the Sun itself. Once the most widespread most loved deity on the planet, and the actual source of the light of life, Sun has virtually disappeared from the pantheon of gods. Who convinced us it was not a living divine being? Not science, but the early Roman Church who saw solar religions as prime competition, systematically destroying them from the 4th century onwards.
Our body may process and express the energy of life, but the life itself is energy, not matter. The life itself is energy, not matter…think on that. The body of our local star creates organized and
complex energy fields that appear to manage many solar features. One of them holds the entire solar system in its protective embrace. A dead ball of gas? I think not.
The idea of stellar consciousness is explored, together with its far-reaching implications in my book Sun of gOd, exploring the spirit of substance and the substance of spirit. And do forgive this shameless self-promotion of the book at this appropriate time and place. And, of course, if you haven’t done so yet, lay your hands on a copy and enjoy a whole new outlook on the world.