By Celia Coates
Last week a message from Elizabeth Rauscher’s son, Brent Alan Rauscher, let many of us know that she had died on July 3rd. Elizabeth was an engaging, delightful, and brilliant woman, a highly educated physicist who also became a skilled psychic. She explored the nature of reality from both perspectives – the scientific and the intuitive. In 2015 I interviewed her and she shared some thoughts about what she had learned. This post presents some of what she had to say in our conversation:
Sir Arthur Eddington, an astrophysicist and one of the early researchers in relativity said, “Physics is the study of the structure of consciousness.” Part of my motivation for getting a Ph.D. in physics and nuclear science was to study consciousness. I love science and I’ve wanted to figure out the nature of reality since I was quite young. (I began saving money so I could go to college when I was seven.) I thought I might start with understanding the physical world and then work my way up to consciousness. Since that might take 10,000 years, I thought that at least I’d better get busy! When I was studying at Berkeley beginning in the 1960s, consciousness was almost a dirty word and I got in real trouble for using it. The physicists were so opposed to the idea I couldn’t even get them to argue that consciousness didn’t exist. But now, even some of the ones who avoided me like the plague for mentioning the word, have written books on physics and consciousness. A lot has changed – but we still have to go a lot further.
Western thought is based on logic systems developed in Greece a few centuries prior to the birth of Christ that lead us to assume that there is an external, solid, ‘out there’ reality that in essence is immutable. But we are discovering more and more that this reality depends on our frame of mind, on our state of consciousness. In fact it is valid to say that our minds are the ultimate instruments for “doing science.” Behind every telescope there is an eye and behind that is a mind and hopefully, it’s a conscious one. We might note too, that in defining a quantum system it is of major consideration where one decides the ‘eye’ ends and the ‘universe’ begins.
As we explore the nature of reality I’d like us to move towards a symbiosis between the rational and the emotional allowing both to have their roles. Our educational system denies the emotional. That isn’t right because it cuts us off from our own experience – and from creativity. We are taught in school not to believe ourselves, but to believe the authorities. Sadly, that happens with government and politics too.
When I taught physics, after one of my early talks about remote perception (now also called remote viewing), a graduate student came up to me and said,
“I can’t deny what you say but it is denied by the main body of physics, so you must be wrong.”
That was a good point and it’s why I’ve spent many years working on that large problem in physics. It is not outside the domain of physics to have the action of consciousness that is non-local and allows us to interact globally. I feel strongly that if we understood that our consciousness relates us all to each other, it would make a difference for our whole world. If we understood our common ground we would seek peace, love, and joy instead of war, crime, and violence.
To me nothing can be completely understood or make sense unless I can question its foundation. In my junior quantum physics course I wanted to understand the foundation of quantum mechanics, to understand the meaning of this stuff, but I was told to shut up and just calculate. But I did not want to stop looking for meaning. We have to build a philosophical basis on which we can live our lives, and it is really necessary to question established beliefs. There are accepted truths that are useful, and there are accepted truths that are false. There are unaccepted truths that are considered false but are true, and there is also a lot of nonsense (unaccepted truths that are wrong). You have to check things out. You have to analyze experimental results. You have to ask,
“Were the scientists doing a good job? Did they know what they were talking about?”
In investigating controversial phenomena, we must apply the rigor of science with extreme care in order to determine whether they exist or not. The non-local attributes of consciousness – such as remote perception and psi phenomena – certainly must be studied this way. The basis for the scientific method is experience: what is observed and what is real? There are two dominant methods for gathering information about reality and developing concepts about what one deems reality to be. The first is the scientific method where science is defined as accumulated, systematized knowledge, ascertained by observation and experiment that has then been brought together under general rules or laws. The second method is intuition or direct knowing. You must open your crown chakra to all truth –and then you have to study hard to translate what you receive to make it useable on the physical plane.
Even with intuition you have to know enough to be able to check things out, you have to know how to do a scientific experiment. Now in general we all know, for example, how to pick a good tomato. We know what the variables are and how to test them: you see what the color is, and the firmness, and you check whether or not it is GMO. You do think critically to make ‘scientific’ decisions – we must all do real research.
There are all kinds of labels that people use but if they have no clear definitions, they are just nonsense. Just naming something does not use the critical mind to evaluate what is being named and just labeling something doesn’t make it real. The term subtle energies bothers me because what it is named is not what it is. And I’ll make the same criticism of the terms dark energy and dark matter and quantum. Some of consciousness is manifest as direct energy and some as subtle energies. It might be useful to say that 10% manifests as physical reality – like the precipitate at the bottom of a glass. Subtle energies may be mediated electromagnetic interaction where there is an interface with the physical system as a transducer from some domain of consciousness. But can I define it? No.
The basic unity or oneness of the universe is central to the mystical experience as well as to the present direction of physics. What is the experience of oneness from a feeling (intuitive or mystical) perspective rather than a thinking (analytical) one? In the ancient wisdom of the Hindu Vedas, all creation is the manifestation of a supreme consciousness. Although there are different domains for the scientist and the mystic, I have come to think that experiences of altered states of consciousness may hold the clues for resolving conceptual paradoxes in both science and life. If we do deal with the framework in which consciousness is all or the seat or root of reality, then understanding more about the states and levels of consciousness is a vital key to comprehending the nature of reality and our essential being.
Some years ago we had a conference in Mumbai, India. There were Tibetans and physicists and neurophysiologists – a variety of people. The Tibetans and the physicists got along well together. The neurophysiologists kept talking about which neuron went where and whether it was a pyramidal cell or what not. They discussed consciousness as an epiphenomenon of neural activity. That is misguided. The neurons do not give rise to consciousness and it is clear that the brain does not produce the mind. I also think it is nonsense to think that a computer could become conscious. A computer could never become psychic and you could not ask it to do remote viewing.
With my education at Berkeley I developed my scientific, skeptical self and I really had to change when I was involved in the studies of remote viewing at the Stanford Research Institute in the 1970s. I started out as a skeptic about psi and paranormal phenomena and then it turned out that remote viewing was real and I was very good at it. I had to shift my thinking and my view of what is real to accommodate this, but it is truth that matters. You have to be willing to ask open questions and get new answers.
Many people have described having an experience of oneness – I experienced this state as golden yellow light and absolute bliss unbounded while I was in meditation for five hours in a darkened room. Often the scientific and the mystical perspectives are thought to be at odds. Perhaps they are not. Maybe new states of awareness are leading us to experience a resolution of the problem of unity and duality. If our technological society would consider and understand the fundamental nature and properties of consciousness, we might discover a method for forming a new and better worldview and philosophy of life.
I learned in the 1970s that psi is real, and now I also know that thoughts are real and have real consequences. We will have a greater ability to solve world problems when we become whole beings in mind, body, and spirit and know a lot more about the true nature of reality. The path to knowledge is difficult and sometimes fraught with dangers, but the rewards are great. The goal is to be good humans who benefit all of existence. It is the job of the reader to find the path to enlightenment, truth, and universal knowledge. And you’d better get busy, or we are all in trouble!
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Elizabeth Rauscher, Ph.D., published six books and many papers.
You might like to read – MIND DYNAMICS IN SPACE AND TIME: A Physicist’s Exploration of the Nature and Properties of Consciousness, written with J.J. Hurtak, Ph.D. and Desiree Hurtak, Ph.D., published in 2016.
Ideas from my conversation with Elizabeth Rauscher were also presented in an article published in the Spring 2015 issue of SUBTLE ENERGIES Magazine.
If you would like to learn more about remote viewing – let go of checking with Wikipedia since they have a steady, non-helpful skepticism about everything “paranormal.” Instead you might read the WINN post for May 28th, 2018 – “Remote Viewing Discoveries.”
The image accompanying this post is by David Lewis. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.