When the whole scientific community is busy discussing the nature of consciousness, researchers at the Max Planck Institute, Germany, have found that consciousness can be stored in microtubules of the cytoskeletons in the brain. This consciousness may remain in the universe even after the person is dead. The discovery was made in 2014 and since then a lot of experiments are underway to find the significance of this discovery.
Orchestrated-Objective Reduction(Orch-OR) theory
Dr Christian Hellwig, of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, found evidence that information in our central nervous system is phase encoded, a type of coding that allows multiple data sets to occupy the same space at the same time. According to Hellwig our thoughts, our will, our consciousness, and our feelings show properties that could be referred to as spiritual. Fundamental forces of natural science, such as gravitation, electromagnetic forces, etc. can influence spiritual properties.
On the other hand, however, these spiritual properties correspond exactly to the characteristics that distinguish the extremely puzzling and wondrous phenomena in the quantum world.
This startling new discovery put Sir Roger Penrose and Dr Stuart Hameroff’s theory into the limelight that this quantum information is stored in microtubules, and when a person dies, these pieces of information are released into the quantum world.
Penrose argues that if the deceased person is revived, the information comes back from the quantum world to the microtubules, and that person feels a near-death experience. If that person dies and is not resurrected, the information can exist outside the body indefinitely, perhaps as a soul.
So for Penrose, consciousness originates at the quantum level. This is known as the Orchestrated-Objective Reduction (Orch-OR) theory which contradicts the conventional view that consciousness is a product of interconnections between neurons.
Dr Hans-Peter Dürr, former head of the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich, said, “What we consider the here and now, this world, it is actually just the material level that is comprehensible. Beyond is an infinite reality that is much bigger than what this world is rooted in. In this way, our lives in this plane of existence are encompassed by the afterworld already… The body dies but the spiritual quantum field continues. In this way, I am immortal. If information can transcend this universe, then there must be other universes too!
Biocentrism and immortality
Robert Lanza, an American medical doctor, scientist, and philosopher posits “Does the soul exist?” in his book “Beyond Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death.” The theory he puts forward says that “we’re immortal and exist outside of time.”
Biocentrism postulates that space and time are not the hard objects we think. Death does not exist in a timeless and spaceless world. His new scientific theory suggests that death is not the terminal event we currently conceptualize. “There are an infinite number of universes, and everything that could possibly happen occurs in some universe. All possible universes exist simultaneously, regardless of what happens in any of them.
Although the individual body dies, the alive feeling of ‘Who am I?’ is just a 20-watt fountain of energy operating in the brain. But this energy doesn’t go away at death. One of the immutable laws of science is that energy never dies, it can neither be created nor destroyed. But does this energy transcend from one world to the other? All these experiments and hypotheses are pointing to the likelihood that other universes exist! Do we have any shred of evidence for any universes other than ours?
The first hint of evidence: The Neutron Experiment
Neutrons are the particles which reside in the nucleus of an atom. These particles can be created in particle beams in the particle accelerator laboratory. Researchers found that these neutrons last for 14 minutes and 48 seconds on average, before decaying into protons and other elementary particles. But if these neutrons are stored in a magnetized bottle, they decay a bit early, in 14 minutes and 38 seconds.
Since all neutrons are same, their decaying rate should be same and should be independent of where and how they are examined. These experiments have been done so many times, yet the still the discrepancy of ten seconds persists. No alternate theories thus far can explain this discrepancy.
A decade earlier, Anatoli Serebrov of Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute of Russia first introduced the novel idea that ordinary neutrons sometimes jump into the mirror world and transform into mirror neutrons. At that point, one could no longer detect them as if some of neutrons simply vanished. His theory was scoffed at by scientists at that time.
But one woman scientist is thinking in line with Serebrov’s mirror world theory. She is Leah Broussard, a physicist working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in eastern Tennessee, USA.
In a series of planned experiments interrupted by the global pandemic, Broussard will send a beam of neutrons down a 50-foot tunnel which will cross a powerful magnetic field and into an impenetrable wall. According to Broussard’s hypothesis, if this universe is running parallel to its mirror counterpart then she will able to detect mirror-image versions of the neutrons, indicating some migration of the neutrons through an impenetrable wall.
If that happens, she will have uncovered the first evidence of a mirror world. This will give a boost to Penrose’s Orch-OR theory.
NASA’s ANITA and IceCube experiments
IceCube Neutrino Observatory is installed in a one cubic kilometer volume of ice deep within the South Pole. It is the first of its kind to detect the ‘ghostly’ neutrinos coming out of deep space.
Neutrinos are high energy nearly massless particles coming out of most violent astrophysical sources like gamma ray bursts, exploding stars, merging of black holes and neutron stars. They are ‘ghostly’ because they don’t react with any matter except high density ice as in South Pole. About 100 trillion neutrinos are passing through our bodies in each second without interacting with our bodies. IceCube has 5,160 light sensors interconnected with each other under one gigaton of instrumented ice. It is detecting more than 200 million cosmic rays which are made of high energy neutrinos.
While IceCube is deep in the South Pole, Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA ) flies above it. It is a balloon-borne antenna payload which is circling the continent of Antarctica at approximately 35 thousand meters. Its function is to detect high energy neutrinos through its radio telescope. It is designed to detect those neutrinos either on their way to the ice or travelling back after bouncing off the ice.
During one of its flights, ANITA found high energy neutrinos coming out of the ice, a kind of upside-down shower of neutrinos. This is intriguing because when a high energy neutrino hits the ice it generates a radio wave which has a reverse polarization than the normal radio waves. But ANITA has detected 2 radio bursts with no reversal of polarization in 2018.
It is as if these high energy neutrinos are coming through the ice. But IceCube does not see these events despite the fact that its sensitivity is more than ANITA. Now, this has created a flutter in the scientific community. The present scientific theory of particle physics (Standard Model) can not explain this anomaly.
One of the theories suggests that these neutrinos are coming from a parallel universe which is running backwards in time! Confirmation will take another decade, but if it is true that there is are parallel universes, then Penrose’s theory is getting a formidable stance.
The Creator and Phase Spaces
In his book “The Emperor’s New Mind” , Penrose has described space as phase space which holds possibly infinite universes in it. According to him, to create the universe in which we are living, the “creator” has to aim for an absurdly tiny volume of the phase space about one part of 10^10123 of the whole volume. The point is that if the “creator” can do it for this universe then it could have been done for other universes as well! If the “creator” chose to do so in this universe, then it likely follows that other universes exist as well, we only have to find the evidence.
In the near future, these kinds of experiments can validate the Orch-OR theory. If this theory holds true in the future, then would we able to say that ancient civilizations knew some truth about the ‘soul’?