A Course in Consciousness


I forget now where I first connected with it, but I’ve spending time recently with this course which was taught by Prof. Stanley Sobottka (1930-2014) at the University of Virginia.  Although I have tried on a number of occasions to understand quantum physics, each time I reach a stage where it sounds like the structure of the language and the universe has just fallen apart and my eyes start to glaze over–which may be the point.  (I think I’m starting to get Schrödinger’s cat, however.)  But the impression I always get, is that of two realms–the solid predictable world of “classical physics,” of “things” which obey “laws,” the world of Newton and Galileo.  The one in which you and I (or at least our bodies) live.  Then there’s this subatomic realm where all bets are off.  This is like the Wild West.  It’s a realm not of things but of waveforms, and which don’t obey laws but may adhere to probabilities.  The world of Heisenberg, Bohr, Einstein.  We go there at our peril.

But Prof. Sobottka is working more in the service of consciousness rather than just physics, and so he brings into question the whole concept of the observer, and after a lot of background in physics and philosophy (the “monistic ideal” which includes a critique of Plato’s Cave Allegory), he posits a quite unique take on it: The ego, or false self, is an assumed separate entity with an assumed power of agency that is associated with the classical, conditioned, deterministic part, while the unconditioned self is an experience that is dominated by the full range of possibilities of the quantum part.  (Part 2, 7:7)

And later: There is only one consciousness. Our consciousness is nonlocal consciousness. My consciousness is identical to your consciousness. Only the contents are different. The entities that we falsely think we are result from identification of this consciousness with a concept in the conditioned mind. (Part 2, 7:8)

I would recommend this course if you want to get out of your comfort zone, and find some validation for the Ideal.


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