The narrative for a Quantum-Soul Factor begins with what are known as NDE/OBEs, or after-death experiences. The notion that conscious activity exists after death has been deeply engrained into the psyche of both Eastern and Western religions throughout the millennium. For example, The Tibetan Book of the Dead is a mystic manual for guiding the soul through a 49 day process of encountering both “peaceful” and “wrathful” deities in the hope of successfully navigating through these illusionary realms that would prevent another womb birth, or if all else fails then a favorable reincarnation. There are some striking similarities between the Tibetan Book of the Dead and today’s contemporary after death-soul experiences that were made popular by researchers such as Dr. Raymond A. Moody and Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. Further still, significant quantum theories predict that end-of-life brain activity exists independently of biochemical and spacetime geometry.
Thus altered states of consciousness may involve transcendence to deeper, more intense levels of experience, deeper levels of reality, e.g., consistent with Vedic astral planes or lokas, and enlightenment reached by meditation and spiritual practices. Such enhanced, altered states need not involve alternative dimensions or universes, but rather deeper, more fine scale geometry in nonlocal holographic-like levels or scales in this one universe. As the Beatles said (Lennon and McCartney 1968): “The deeper you go, the higher you fly, the higher you fly, the deeper you go.”
When the blood stops flowing, energy and oxygen depleted and microtubules inactivated or destroyed (e.g., NDE/OBE, death), it is conceivable that the quantum information which constitutes consciousness could shift to deeper planes and continue to exist purely in space-time geometry, outside the brain, distributed nonlocally. Movement of consciousness to deeper planes could account for NDEs/OBEs, as well as, conceivably, a soul apart from the body. (Stuart Hameroff and Deepak Chopra, The “Quantum Soul”: A Scientific Hypothesis)
What is fascinating for our series as a whole is that Plato himself postulated that what is experienced is not truly in fact what constitutes “reality”. There are indeed more unitive and non-material realms of existence that exist on a higher spiritual plane.
I believe that the findings of quantum physics increasingly support Plato. There is evidence that suggests the existence of a non-material, non-physical universe that has a reality even though it may not as yet be clearly perceptible to our senses and scientific instrumentation. When we consider out-of-body experiences, shamanic journeys and lucid dream states, though they cannot be replicated in the true scientific sense, they also point to the existence of non-material dimensions of reality…But the soul is not tangible, physical or solid. You cannot just reach out and touch the soul. Yet, the soul as an animating principle in the universe is ultimately more important than anything that is physical or tangible. (Dr. Fred Alan Wolf in an article, The Soul and Quantum Physics)
Dr. Wolf expounds further on the nature of the soul in a quantum-context.
To further explore the possible nature of the soul in scientific terms, we can look into the heart of quantum physics. It has to be said at the outset that the study of quantum physics is a very difficult realm to investigate because the objects and forces that are studied by quantum physics are usually infinitesimally small. As we go down to the level of sub-atomic particles, scientists find that these particles are moving so rapidly that we can’t follow them as we would follow an ordinary larger object moving in ordinary space. On the sub-atomic level, particles don’t simply move from point A to point B in a continuous fashion. Instead, these particles move in “quantum jumps.” Particles virtually leap from one place to another.
Quantum physicists have also demonstrated in experiments with sub-atomic particles that certain fields are able to do things that ordinary fields can’t do. One very strange process that physicists observe is that electrons simply vanish, in a puff of light, when they interact with certain other particles. In the beginning, we didn’t know why this happened. Then we realized that these vanishing electrons were interacting with anti-matter. Because anti-matter electrons moved oppositely to electrons, when the opposing particles met, they annihilated each other. When we studied anti-matter more closely, we began to speak about anti-matter as being “bubbles in the absolute vacuum of empty space.” (ibid)
What is incredible here is that all this has very much to do with the Buddhist quotient of sunyata. Hence, emptiness itself is the void-platform in which the reality of the soul performs if viewed from a quantum lens. Dr. Wolf theorizes that “the soul emerged at the same time that all the matter in the universe emerged–at the time of the “Big Bang” 15 billion years ago.” Of course, in our Unborn Universe this transcends even the space-time continuum.
I don’t see the soul and consciousness as an epiphenomenon, or product, of matter. It’s just the other way around: I see matter as an epiphenomenon of soul and consciousness. The material world has evolved from the absolute vacuum of space—the home of the soul. (ibid)
Let us now juxtapose a question and answer session involving Dr. Wolf with what was shared earlier in our series by Dionysius the Areopagite:
Q.Some people may wonder, what is the “light at the end of the tunnel” phenomenon that sometimes occurs in near-death experiences and probably at the moment of death as well?
A.Let me offer a possibility here. Though all material objects cannot, by definition, travel faster than the speed of light, there is evidence that the soul, which is non-physical and therefore not confined by movements in the material world, can travel faster than the speed of light. Traveling faster than the speed of light is called “superluminal speed.” So at the time of death, or during near-death experience, it may very well be that the person transitions from the material world–that operates at speeds less than the speed of light–to a world that operates faster than light speed, the so-called “superluminal” spiritual world. In that transfer, a tunneling effect may take place in much the same way that it appears to take place in what astrophysicists call a “black hole.” (ibid)
Dionysius the Areopagite: The human soul has its own type of movement as well: first, in a circle when it turns within itself and away from what is outside, and thus there occurs an inner concentration of its intellectual powers. Its fixed revolution causes it to return from the multiplicity of external things to gather in upon itself and then to join those who are in a more powerful union with higher things. The intelligent powers in turn are abandoned when the soul becomes divinized; these powers ‘concentrate sightlessly and through an unknowing union on the rays of unapproachable light’.
This “unapproachable light” is Dionysius’ version of the “superluminal speed of light.” Different centuries but the same cosmic realization. Include with this the notion of a “black hole” and we have his exposition of the Dark Ray:
And thou, dear Timothy, in thy intent and practice of the mystical contemplation, leave behind both thy senses and intellectual operations, and all things known by sense and intellect, and set thyself, as far as may be, to unite thyself in unknowing with Him who is above being and knowledge; for by being purely free and absolute, out of self and all things, thou shalt be led up to the Ray of the Divine Darkness, stripped and loosed of all.”
And on the other side of a Black-hole is the Soul of endless beginnings cradled in Luminous Light….the ensoulment of a new universe.