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Do universal laws constitute "Consciousness"? Good question.

Reader comment on item: Is Radical Islam in Decline?
in response to reader comment: on being being

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Sep 24, 2016 at 04:04

Hi, Moh. You said,

"Yes - you are right - it would take a while to do it justice and possibly I can't do it.. But a short version - all the talk of 'enlightenment' and 'inner light' by sages down through the ages - describes the light of consciousness. People give it various names. It is at the core of and sustains all phenomena. You might be familiar with : "God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all". So this primordial 'light' - is what superstring theory gets close to describing."

It is true that some pagan religions speak of "enlightenment". and Jewish mystics also carry on this line of thinking. This is not the message of the Bible, though. Indeed, as the scriptures say, Indeed,
"God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all"; but "enlightenment", as it is usually spoken of, entails receiving esoteric knowledge, usually through a process of multiple initiations -- or, in Eastern religions, through some meditative exercise such as Yoga or Zen. That is the usual understanding of "enlightenment", and that is why I took issue with what you said.

There is a Biblical tradition of "revelation", of course, stemming back to God speaking to Adam and Eve, to Noah, to Abraham and to the patriarchs. Sometimes, Godly men and women sought out these revelations, such as Daniel and Hannah (mother of Samuel). Hannah cried out from the depths of her heart, about her distress at being barren; and God answered her through the word of Eli the priest. As Jesus' brother James said,

James 5:
[16b] The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

You went on,

"But back to quantum phenomena and a 'physical' explanation things- transistors in the PC you're using now rely totally on electrons tunneling through 'holes' in semiconducting material... Similar processes are perhaps occurring in the interchanges in the synapses in our billions of brain cells - allowing us to experience consciousness and therefore existence."

The basis of quantum "tunneling" is that in semiconductors, many discrete energy levels of different but closely separated energies for virtually continuous "bands". When thermal energy excites these bands, even at room temperature, a bell-shaped distribution curve happens, and some electrons seem to "tunnel through" energy barriers. In fact, they are not "tunneling", but "leaping over" the barriers, because they have higher energy than the other electrons (properly, than the other probabilities of electron presence). As a semiconductor is heated, the probability of electrons "tunneling" increases, so it becomes more conductive. I'm not very knowledgeable about how electricity is conducted in the synapses of our brains; but since our brains function much like computers, the comparison you made may be valid.

Science has yet to fully determine, how someone receives divine revelation. Did Noah hear from God in dreams? Did Abraham see and hear a vision? The Bible isn't always clear about these things. Some, or perhaps all, of Biblical revelations might well be described as very good logical deductions, based on very astute observation.

Noah may have seen the dissipation of the world around him, and intuitively known that certain doom was about to strike. He had a pretty good window in which to await the fulfillment of his expectations (about 100 years), just like true prophets and false prophets alike in our own day and age. The false prophets, of course, are the ones who guess incorrectly; so perhaps Noah was "lucky" concerning the details. Fortunately, he took his convictions seriously enough to build the ark; and his life was spared.

There are other prophecies, such as those of Daniel and John, which various people might interpret various different ways -- something like those of the Oracle of Delphi. Sometimes, they are amazing in their prescience: Zechariah 14 minutely detailing the effects of a nuclear blast, for instance. As was the case with Noah, one must take these things seriously in order to benefit from them. Others scoff at them, and suffer because of it. Still, it's difficult to know these things intuitively beforehand.

My wife did some study of gut bacteria, which have been found to affect our mental processes (giving us "gut feelings" that often turn out to be correct). Perhaps this is how some receive revelations. We will likely learn more of these things in the future. What I am concerned with, is not so much HOW people receive this revelation (the important aspects of which are already recorded in the Bible), but the fact that Biblical revelation, the laws of Physics and all the stuff of the Universe come from God and are therefore part of His "word". That word itself, however, though it is the the basis of all "enlightenment", is not what I would consider "consciousness". It may be, though, that we are just arguing about semantics.

I am therefore not surprized that, as the site you referenced said,

"worlds-smartest-physicist-believes-consciousness-will-remain-a-mystery/"

A Biblical take on this might be:

John 1:
[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

That seems to EQUATE the "word" (upon which the universe is held together) with the consciousness of God; so perhaps you are more scripturally correct than I am. The is seemingly no end of theological controversy about the above verse. For instance, the word, "word", is described in both English and Greek as a "thing", not a person; yet God is described as a person. Are we, just to cite one problem area, to consider "persons" as "things", or visa versa? This can lead to pretty weird thinking, to say the least.

Shalom shalom :-)

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (75) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
2Is radical Islam in decline? [680 words]PrashantOct 22, 2016 16:34233541
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recognition of problems is a healthy sign. [61 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif id'UllahSep 10, 2016 06:12232432
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Americans don't even know what is happening in America. How can we know about Pakistan? [182 words]Michael SSep 11, 2016 03:44232432
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insight into Americans (or lack of) [457 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif id'UllahSep 18, 2016 01:45232432
re Astrology [380 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif id'UllahSep 18, 2016 02:22232432
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God is on the side of the Muslims (for a time) [224 words]Michael SSep 19, 2016 22:59232432
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some , not all, may have that intention. [274 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif id'UllahSep 20, 2016 05:34232432
2Only Muslims can reform Islam [74 words]dhimmi no moreSep 20, 2016 07:23232432
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1Australia and the US attacking Israel [691 words]Michael S.Sep 24, 2016 02:34232432
The Muslims will convert suddenly, at least in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. [554 words]Michael SSep 24, 2016 02:54232432
Do universal laws constitute "Consciousness"? Good question. [947 words]Michael SSep 24, 2016 04:04232432
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self unfullfilling prophecy [440 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif id'UllahSep 29, 2016 00:02232432
forgiveness etc [279 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif id'UllahSep 29, 2016 00:25232432
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Re [99 words]George SOct 1, 2016 21:57232432
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yes, but...... [201 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif id'UllahOct 6, 2016 08:13232432
real gold [52 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif id'UllahOct 6, 2016 08:22232432
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Probably not enough time for 1000 cuts. [281 words]Michael S.Nov 10, 2016 01:31232432
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Caste and Democracy [433 words]Michael SNov 13, 2016 03:11232432
the aftermath [107 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif id'UllahNov 13, 2016 20:40232432
inevitability of it all [67 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif id'UllahNov 13, 2016 20:45232432
Interesting times. [297 words]Michael SNov 15, 2016 05:01232432
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ergo [7 words]rwSep 7, 2016 21:23232416
The decline of political Islam started on June 30 2013 in Tahrir Square Cairo [48 words]dhimmi no moreSep 7, 2016 17:30232410

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