We hear this word very often. But what is consciousness? In simple terms, consciousness can be defined as “to be aware”. But to be aware of what? Various degrees of consciousness are associated with various species of living beings. We consider that human beings are the most conscious species on the planet earth. But are we really the most conscious ones on the planet earth.
These days, scientists are working on the theory that life originated from inanimate matter. They are also trying to collect evidence that support their hypothesis. Now for a single moment let us suppose that the theory of the scientists proves to be right. Then we shall face a very difficult question. How can something as subtle as consciousness arise from inanimate matter!
We shall try to look for an answer within the world of quantum physics. In the field of quantum studies, there is a famous experiment called the double slit experiment. Light is incident on some kind of card board with two slits within it. On the other side of the card board an interference pattern is obtained due to the wave nature of light. But however, when a camera is introduced to observe the outcome of the experiment, the result itself changes. The light behaves as if it consists of particles only, such as electrons, and two distinct lines are obtained on the other side of the card board.
In the section above, we have noted that the very fact of observing the experiment has changed the outcome of the experiment! Physicists are well aware of this. But there is something fundamental that we should understand here. And that part is only “something that is conscious of itself, and its surroundings, which has got the ability to change its behaviour when it is observed.” If consciousness is not involved then modification of behaviour is impossible! This means that light consists of conscious particles.
In fact light is composed of photons. Hence photons are conscious. Everything found within the cosmos is made of atoms at the most basic level. An atom consists of a nucleus with electrons revolving in orbits around the nucleus of the atom. The nucleus contains protons and neutrons. Electrons are conscious but how do we know that? To understand the consciousness of electrons we need to understand what plasma is?
Plasma is a special type of matter that contains a significantly high number of “free electrons”. In fact gases can be converted into plasma by heating them up so that electrons are released within them. As soon as these electrons are liberated they not have the haphazard pattern of movement that is associated with them. In fact they tend to behave as one single entity working towards a higher purpose. They seem to have a collective consciousness and for collective consciousness to be possible, individual consciousness must primarily exists within the electrons (David Bohm Plasma experiment).
It is assumed that the consciousness of human beings is within their brains. The brain is kilos of grey matter where we have billions of neurons and synapses. Millions of electrons travel within these neurons and synapses thus making thoughts and experiences possible.
Is it safe to assume that our consciousness arise from the number of electrons circulating within our brains?
The more evolved a species is the more electrons its brain contains and the more conscious it is?
We are composed only of atoms at the most fundamental level and atoms contain electrons.
Is it possible that through the chain of evolution that something as inanimate as an atom has given rise to animate beings and consciousness as well?
What is the true answer ?
Dr Jagwantsing Chetlall, Ph.D, Metaphysicist and Engineer