|Photo courtesy of NASA|
Last week I read a fascinating article in Discover magazine (Special Issue, June, 2007). Scientists have formulated theories about souls. Using quantum mechanics, they believe that our consciousness exists within the most basic sub-atomic levels, called the Planck scale.
Physics and Souls
The scientists (Stuart Hameroff and Roger Penrose) postulate that when we are alive, the bits of quantum information of our consciousness are retained within our bodies, but when we die, get released back into the Universe. The article discussed how this hypothesis could be used to explain Near Death Experiences, Out of Body Experiences and Reincarnation. Of course, it's all theoretical, but what an amazing theory.
In the same magazine was an article about the existence of time. Apparently, at the Planck Scale, there is no time. The idea connected me with a book I read long ago (Mister God, This is Anna) in which a young girl (age four, and dies before she is eight) explains the universe to her guardian/teenage friend. She tells him how, if you turn a timeline on it's edge, it's a dot, which is how the past, present and future all exist at once. The Planck Scale would be the dot of the timeline on it's edge.
If we put the two articles together, we can conceive of eternity! What else is consciousness without the boundaries of time?
|Photo by Benutzer: Conny at Flickr|
We can take these thoughts anywhere we want to. What the afterlife might be like is unbelievable. While we were talking about this post, my husband brought up a concept called monadality, where souls free of the body don't interact until they find another body in which to be contained. Even if this is what the afterlife is like, we wouldn't feel pain or loneliness because we wouldn't experience time. We would die, and then be reborn somewhere, and it would probably feel instantaneous. If, of course, we remembered life before we were reborn.
Where we might be reborn is another fascinating prospect. Suppose there are alien lifeforms on other planets. The next time my consciousness is reactivated (for lack of a better word) into a new body, it could be in an alien!
My father doesn't believe in life after death. This causes him significant grief over the death of my sister. I have to say, the idea of no life after death causes me significant anxiety. I get this claustrophobia feeling at the idea of just being snuffed out.
These two theories would change the meaning of death. We would go on. Better yet, who we are and the experiences we have would never be lost. We would be eternal.
Have you read anything that inspired you this week?