Qualia Principles

Qualia Principles: The Foundation for a Science of Consciousness

Deepak Chopra 2012

1. Science is materialistic, accepting as a given that the physical universe exists as it presents itself. But quantum physics long ago undermined the very notion of physical objects – at its foundation, the universe isn’t solid, tangible, or fixed.

2. This ambiguity opens the door for an entirely new interpretation of Nature: qualia science.

3. If physicality is radically compromised, what can be taken as a reliable foundation for future science? The one constant that is rejected by materialists: consciousness. Consciousness makes all experience possible. Attempts to exclude it from “objective” experiments cannot elude this fact.

4. Qualia science begins with the assertion that consciousness is not a trait that evolved from a material basis until it fully emerged in human beings. Consciousness is fundamental and without cause. It is the ground state of existence. As conscious beings, humans cannot experience, measure, or conceive of a reality devoid of consciousness.

5. Consciousness, as the ground state, forms a field, in all respects like quantum fields for matter and energy. As in any field, consciousness interacts with itself. This interaction proliferates into every specific form of consciousness, such as our own. (Consciousness did not arise as a secondary property of atoms and molecules over time.)

6. Every specific form of consciousness (such as an elephant, porpoise, rhesus monkey, or a person) experiences the world subjectively. Individual subjectivity remains within the field of consciousness, which is its source. No form of consciousness is isolated from its source, just as no electromagnetic activity is ever isolated from the universal field of electromagnetism.

7. For human beings, subjective experiences are in the form of sensations, images, feelings and thoughts (SIFT). The general term for these is qualia. Subjective reality is a vast composite of different qualia, such as color, light, pain, pleasure, texture, taste, memory, desire, anxiety, and joy.

8. All subjective experiences are qualia. This includes every perception, cognition, and mental event. No mental event can be left out, including feelings of love, compassion, suffering, hostility, sexual pleasure, and religious ecstasy. At a subtle level, qualia are perceived as insight, intuition, imagination, inspiration, creativity.

9. “Objective” reality comes to us through the qualia we are set up to perceive, not in and of itself. Without our subjective participation, space, time, matter, and energy do not exist – or if they do, their reality is impenetrable. We live in a qualia universe. All our interactions with it are experiential, hence subjective. (Objective data have no independent existence, since they must be part of the data-collector’s experience.)

10. The experience of the body is a qualia experience. The experience of mental activity is a qualia experience. The experience of the world – and any other worlds - is a qualia experience.

11. The "I" feeling is a qualia experience. The "you" experience is a qualia experience.

12. Qualia, then, allow us to connect everything together through a common property – every single thing is an aspect of one field of consciousness.

13. As conscious beings processing reality every moment of our lives, we express ourselves in a qualia vocabulary. The qualia vocabulary is an attempt to put experience into words. The language of science, however, attempts the opposite: to extract experience in the name of objectivity. But “objectivity’ itself denotes an experience. A language set apart from qualia doesn’t exist.

14. Other life forms such as insects, bacteria, animals, and birds have their own qualia niche. It is inaccessible to us – although we can try to imagine it – because each species has its own nervous system; even microorganisms have responses to the environment (seeking light, air, food, each other). Insofar as we can interpret any other life form, we are only reflecting the human nervous system’s qualia processing. In actuality, the reality perceived through other nervous systems cannot be known to us.

15. Perception is the engine that creates species-specific experiences. Each experience reshapes physical reality, leading (in humans) to a qualia vocabulary that keeps up with every new change. The fact that “lower” animals, including insects and birds, also have extremely complex vocabularies is evidence for the creative link between language and reality.

16. We do not see because we have eyes. We do not hear because we have ears. The organs of perception do not create perception but are the lens through which consciousness and its qualia create perceptual experience. The perceptual can never be the actual. We perceive what our species has evolved to perceive. Whatever is truly real – the actual – is more primal than the things we perceive or think about or sense. Qualia science explores the boundary between the perceptual and the actual, with the goal of crossing over it.

17. The human brain represents the reality perceived by a particular life form. Experience isn’t organized randomly but symbolically. We humanize reality and in turn the qualia that register in the brain (pain, light, hunger, emotions, etc.) cause the brain and body to evolve as symbolic representations. This feedback loop originates in consciousness, not in the biology of the brain. Human consciousness is a specific expressive outlet for the undifferentiated field of consciousness – the one creates the many.

18. Although we can interact with other life forms like dogs and birds, we cannot presume that their qualia experience is identical to ours. What feels hot, cold, light, heavy, slow, fast, etc. to another species is unknowable – we cannot presume to say that these basic qualia register for them in a way similar to our response. It’s very unlikely that the caw of a crow sounds the same to a crow as it does to us, or the bark of a dog to a dog. Yet we can communicate with each other as humans because we translate our qualia signals into a qualia vocabulary that is generally accepted (despite wide variances from person to person and culture to culture).

19. Each living entity creates its own perceptual reality by interacting with the fundamental ground of existence, pure consciousness. Pure consciousness is a field of all possibilities. Each possibility emerges, when it does, as qualia. The field of pure consciousness, however, exists prior to qualia; it is indescribable and inconceivable by a brain that knows reality only through qualia. The womb of creation is beyond space, time, matter, and energy.

20. There are as many perceptual realities (physical brains, bodies, worlds) as there are living entities with their qualia repertoire.

21. Our understanding of subjective experience, or our sense of empathy with others, takes place through the resonance of shared qualia. Whatever insight and connection we have to other species, beings or realms of existence takes place through the sensitivity and refinement of our subjective qualia in relation to their subjective qualia. What we call empathy is a shared resonance that registers in awareness.

22. Birth is the beginning of a particular qualia program. An individual qualia entity emerges into the world with a potential in qualia that unfolds as life. What happens over a lifetime is one thing: interacting with other qualia entities and their qualia programs.

23. Death is the termination of a particular qualia program. The qualia return to a state of potential forms within consciousness, where they reshuffle and recycle as new living entities.

24. The consciousness field and its matrix of qualia are non -local and immortal. Non-local means that the field is all-pervasive and everywhere the same. A field is affected by every specific event that happens in it. The whole never loses contact with its parts; they are never lost or forgotten.

25. We do not experience the field itself but the qualia that emerge from it. We use these to become individuals with a specific (i.e., local) perspective. Locality is a qualia experience in the non-local consciousness field.

26. Quantum Mechanics is a mathematical model for measuring Qualia Mechanics. It’s the map, not the territory. At bottom, the map is mathematical because the quantum domain exhibits precise forms and probabilities. Mathematics leads to data, which reduces experience to numbers. As such, this way of mapping reality loses all the qualia that constitute experience.

27. Reality can be mapped to resemble what it actually is – a continuous, dynamic flow of consciousness, emerging from the universal field and differentiating into matter, energy, worlds, and beings. Capturing what really exists, as opposed to the numbers that measure it in small, frozen slices, demands that science be revamped into qualia physics, qualia biology, qualia medicine, etc.

28. The ancient wisdom traditions in many cultures recognized that subjective knowledge is useful and organized. These traditions take the qualia world and organize it into a science. Consciousness has recognized reference points, which is how Ayurveda, Qi Gong, and other qualia-based medicine became orderly, reliable, and efficacious. Even in Western materialism room has been made for psychology, schools of psychotherapy, mythology and archetypes, childhood development, and gender studies – all of these branch out from subjective (qualia) experience of the world.

29. Spiritual practices are not unique or set apart from everyday experiences. They are based on subtle reference points in consciousness – in effect, they map self-awareness. Human consciousness looking at itself is a mirror for the field of consciousness looking at itself.

30. Spiritual practices fine tune self-awareness. When the tuning is fine enough, qualia no longer mask where they come from. This is like seeing the mirror instead of the reflection. Consciousness sees itself and recognizes its pure, absolute existence – the precreated state. Even when the world’s wisdom traditions have degraded, losing a solid connection to pure consciousness, there are instructive relics of the old qualia science, which being alien to modern science, gets interpreted as the paranormal, miracles, and wonders. In fact, the supernatural doesn’t exist except as a subtler aspect of Nature unfolding in qualia. These outside-the –normal qualia have as much legitimacy as the qualia that science has stamped with respectability.

31. Qualia medicine already emerges in diverse ways: Ayurveda, spontaneous remissions, and various forms of traditional healing. We can see the legacy of qualia mathematics revealed in Vedic astrology, where planetary calculations are rendered into probabilities and the timing of human experience. These calculations make no sense when viewed through the lens of astronomy, which like all modern science collects data devoid of experience. The same calculations make perfect sense when compared with the things they measure: birth, death, the rise and fall of fortune – in other words, the human world.

32. Qualia biology would lead to a new understanding of life and its origins. Life has always existed as pure consciousness. Every property that has emerged in living things had its source as unmanifest potential, primarily intelligence, creativity, and the evolutionary impulse. Being non-local, the field of infinite possibilities has no beginning. Therefore, neither has life a beginning. What begins, evolves, declines, and ends are life forms carrying out their qualia programs.

33. The origin of life forms is the differentiation of pure consciousness (pure life) into multiple forms of life, or qualia conglomerates (life in the elative world).

34. The evolution of species is through natural selection, but in a much more comprehensive sense than Darwinian natural selection, which is based entirely on breeding rights and finding food for survival. What species actually select for is enhanced qualia experience; this is the driving force in evolution, and since consciousness is unlimited, new qualia emerge, flourish, and seek maximum expression. The wild variety of life on Earth is a collective attempt to turn one planet’s ecology into a playground for qualia. The purpose of evolution is to maximize experience of every kind.

35. Evolution is purpose-driven through each species as it experiments with its environment and gets feedback. A feedback loop is set up that creatively meets every challenge from the environment, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. When seen as a whole, life on Earth is a qualia network, but so are the individuals within each species – everyone’s experience affects the whole.

36. Genes, epigenes, and neural networks store and remember each step of evolution, following the path traced by experience. Seen for what they actually are, these recording devices are symbolic signatures of dynamic qualia networks. Each network is self-organizing, because no two species and no two individuals are working from exactly the same qualia program. Each scenario is unique; each works through its own possibilities.

37. Evolution is a never-ending process because it is rooted in an inherent property of consciousness, the impulse to create.

38. Humans have the gift of self-awareness, which is the key to freedom. Self-awareness means that we are not driven, much less are we imprisoned, by our qualia propensities. We are as dynamic as mind itself. This bespeaks an unbreakable connection with pure consciousness, which by definition cannot be a prisoner of itself. Infinite potential knows no limitations. Self-awareness, coming to terms with its true nature, will be the starting point for the next leap in our creative evolution as a species. This leap will also remake the cosmos, since we inhabit a humanized universe. The universe fits our perception of reality.

39. This leap in evolution will be conscious, dictated by human aspirations. It will involve the emergence of new self-organizing networks of qualia conglomerates. That is, a new mindset will emerge, catch fire, reach a tipping point, and finally establish itself as the next human reality. Social networks will become qualia networks moving in the direction of Sat, Chit, Ananda (Truth, Awareness, Joy) as their goal. Such a transformation isn’t mystical. When the mask of aggression, war, poverty, tribalism, fear, deprivation, and violence begins to fall away, the qualia that remain lie closer to their source. At the source, there is eternal bliss conscious, or Sat, Chit, Ananda. Layers of outworn qualia must be peeled away first; in turn, this requires that inertia, born of unconsciousness, is abandoned in favor of the dynamic growth of new qualia networks.

40. Quantum mechanics and classical science will always be useful for the creation of new technologies, but qualia science could take our civilization in the direction of wholeness, healing and enlightenment.

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Precedente: Quantum Psychology  Successiva: MentalTel