The question that has intrigued several of the planet’s great physicists, including Stanford’s Andre Linde and Princeton’s John Archibald Wheeler in the last decades of his life, was: “are life and mind irrelevant to the structure of the universe, or are they central to it?” Are we living in a “participatory,” conscious universe, a cosmos in which all of us are embedded as co-creators, replacing the a purely materialistic universe as “out there” separate from us.
“I have a much easier time imagining how we understand the Big Bang than I have imagining how we can understand consciousness,” says Edward Witten, theoretical physicist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey who has been compared to Isaac Newton and Einstein.
Sources: Andrei Linde, Universe, Life, Consciousness, Scientific American, and You Are the Universe. Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale. Kindle Edition.
Image credit: UCSF