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LATEST CONVERSATIONS: Mathematics & Consciousness

At our fall 2015 SAND conference there seemed to be a consensus that if the universe is made of consciousness many of the difficulties conceptually in quantum theory are resolved. In the observer effect for example, if the universe is made of consciousness, my consciousness observing it will have an effect. However, there seem to be a split between mathematics and consciousness. This summer I read the book Quantum of Mind by the physicist and Jungian analyst Arnold Mindell, where he bridges this gap.

To summarize a few of his viewpoints. The root of mathematics is in in body experience. The base 10 system derived from having 10 fingers for counting in trade and transactions. The binary system emerges out of the duality in our bodies, two eyes, two years, two legs etc.

Positive real numbers represent conscious experience that is in our awareness, for example my seeing this computer and working with it. Negative real numbers represent objective reality that is just outside of conscious awareness, the beautiful trees on my property that are several hundred meters behind me, out of sight.

In many equations that are necessary to describe the wave functions imaginary numbers are also important. Mindell equates imaginary numbers with our subjective experience, for example how I feel while typing this, excitement and apprehension. Negative imaginary numbers represent feeling states out of our awareness in our unconscious on both personal and collective levels.

Complex numbers have both real and imaginary components represent rich personal experience with both objective and subjective reality. Conjugation is the process of multiplying two negative imaginary numbers, creating a real number. Frequently in depth psychotherapy there are subjective states experience states outside of awareness, as these enter into awareness between therapist and client and are discussed and examined they become real or objective states and interactions that can be recognized and commented on.

He equates the process of calculus with moving from separate points in time to dropping into the now, into a non-dual state of present centered flowing awareness.

For those interested in the relationship between math and consciousness I highly recommend Mindell’s book.

Mathematics & Consciousness

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I have a practice in depth psychotherapy and am interested in the interface between spiritual practice, depth psychology, quantum physics and neuroscience. Consider joining my Quantum Psychology & Spirituality linked in group.


3 Responses to “Mathematics & Consciousness”

  1. January 12, 2017 at 2:18 pm, immaterialgrrrl said:

    Thank you very much for the book referral, math theories are always quite fascinating!

    All molecules supposedly vibrate at the exact golden ratio at the quantum level.

    Quite a bit of measurable organization in the universe around us!

    What do you or others think about the Holographic Principle?

    Sometimes the “skin” of life, the ability to interact in this existence, sometimes it does feel like a video game of sorts.

    Life is merely a series of encounters and decision making, most of us seemingly are left at the mercy of circumstances.

    Do you have any input on how maths may prove what physicists across the world are thinking: that what we perceive to be a three-dimensional universe might just be the image of a two-dimensional one, projected across a massive cosmic horizon?–this would explain Zeno’s Paradox of Motion…

    Thoughts, inputs, replies?


  2. March 21, 2018 at 8:53 pm, Kerry A. Shirts said:

    I just finished reading Max Tegmark’s book “The Mathematical Universe” (2014), which was one of the most mind blowing books I have ever read. That being said, it contrasts in interesting ways with Chopra and Kafatos’s most recent book “You Are the Universe” in interesting ways. Tegmark takes seriously Everett’s Many World’s Interpretation of the quantum claiming that Everett has been seriously misunderstood. I found it a great read, but am reading other books on this topic in order to round out my knowledge.

    And I also don’t think the claim is that all atoms are vibrating at the Golden Ratio. The Golden ratio has been found in the hydrogen atom however.

  3. December 04, 2018 at 2:16 pm, moshiya said:

    Edward frenkel ,Mathematics, he writes, directs the flow of the universe, lurks behind its shapes and curves, holds the reins of everything from tiny atoms to the biggest stars.i,d like to say mathematics is written in and by the shapes and curves.
    geometry can not be separated from it. if we take that there is a structure upon the whole is woven, then this pattern is expressed in everything. the golden ratio Phi and Pi express themselves in different ways in nature yet their underlying principle remains the same. math in this structure has rules that may not always follow the laws of a mathematician . and their conditioning often causes them to trow away the very stone upon which the structure is written.

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