66. Mind And Cosmos
Hydrogen is a light, odorless gas, which, given enough time, turns into people.
MIND AND COSMOS - Norbert Wiener
Consciousness is as fundamental as matter—in some ways, more fundamental.
Kant argued that space and time are characteristics not of the noumenon, the underlying reality, but of the mind. Quantum theory reveals that the same is true of matter. Matter is not to be found in the underlying reality; atoms turn out to be 99.99999999% empty space, and sub-atomic "particles" dissolve into fuzzy waves. Matter and substance seem, like space and time, to be characteristics of the phenomenon of experience. They are the way in which the mind makes sense of the no-thing-ness of the noumenon.
When we speak of "the material world", we think we are referring to the underlying reality, the object of our perception. In fact we are only describing our image of reality. The materiality we observe, the solidness we feel, the whole of the "real world" that we know, are, like color, sound, smell, and all the other qualities we experience, qualities manifesting in the mind. This is the startling conclusion we are forced to acknowledge; the "stuff" of our world—the world we know and appear to live within—is not matter, but mind.
The old super-paradigm assumed that space, time and matter constituted the basic framework of reality, and consciousness somehow arose from this reality. The truth, it now appears, is the very opposite. As far as the reality we experience is concerned—and this, remember is the only reality we ever know—consciousness is primary. Time, space and matter are secondary; they are aspects of the image of reality manifesting in the mind. They exist within consciousness; not the other way around.
Consciousness is the essence of everything—everything in the known universe. It is the medium from which every aspect of our experience manifests. Every form and quality we ever experience in the world is an appearance within consciousness. (Peter Russell - physicist/psychologist/author)
The process by which we living beings resist the general stream of corruption and decay (entropy) – both physically and psychologically – is known as homeostasis. It is the pattern maintained by this homeostasis which is the touchstone of our personal identity. Our tissues change as we live: the food we eat and the air we breathe become flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone, and the momentary elements of our flesh and bone pass out of our body every day with our excreta. We are but whirlpools in a river of ever-flowing water. We are not stuff that abides, but patterns that perpetuate themselves.