In 2017 I read the most important book of my lifetime: Biocentrism (2009) by renowned scientists Robert Lanza and Bob Berman. It deserves to have an impact at least as great as Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason in the 17th century. And the main message is very similar: space and time are tools of the animal mind. Only how the authors reach their conclusions is different. Kant by brilliant philosophical reasoning. Lanza by backing up these insights by evidence from modern physics and astronomy.
In this third entry in the Biocentrism series (after Biocentrism and Beyond Biocentrism), Lanza wisely added a physicist to his writing team: Matej Pavšič. Also, there is no longer a reference from Deepak Chopra on the cover like there was on the previous books. This ‘name-dropping’ was understandable from the publisher’s position: Chopra can definitely add to the commercial success of any book that challenges the materialistic paradigm. But the science minded crowd is already extremely skeptical of any reference made to consciousness in relation to physics. So, the authors will have to be as credible as they can be to persuade the ones that may be persuaded.
I was already convinced by the first book. Not because of the credentials of the authors – that are extremely impressive – but because of the arguments presented. In the years after reading the mind blowing revelations of the first Biocentrism book, I tried to find counter arguments, but never found them. At least not arguments that cannot be easily refuted (which in this book, the authors do in one of the appendixes). Lanza and his co-authors successfully make their scientific perspective totally compatible with the findings of quantum mechanics and other unsolved mysteries of science.
The core of biocentrism is that consciousness is equivalent to reality itself. It is absolutely fundamental and cannot be reduced. If we accept this fact, everything falls into place. Quantum mechanics reveals that the physical world arises not from interactions, but the awareness of interactions. The mind computes the where and the when objects appear in relation to the observer. An observer with a functioning brain and memory is therefore crucial for the universe to be there. These authors make the case completely obvious.
The first two books were an exploration of how science in the past hundred years has been steadily moving towards this paradigm shattering realization. That conscious life and the cosmos are one and the same and cannot be separated. In the third book Lanza and his co-authors go further to explain how the mind manages the impressive feat of creating reality. The subject matter is complex, but through lucid writing the authors manage to make these ideas understandable for a wide audience.
Also some previously unexplored scientific topics are looked at through biocentric glasses, like Libet’s famous free will experiments that get a completely different interpretation than the usual ‘we are our brains’. They also offer fascinating insights on topics like animal consciousness and dreams. It is really great stuff.
Towards the end, Lanza and co give the readers a good sense of how this new perspective may impact science and what spectacular possibilities it offers for future science. Time travel is just one of them. Lanza and his co-authors did it again. They further improved my understanding of this ’mental thing’ that we’re all a part of. But no matter how much one reads about it or meditates on it, it remains mind-bending stuff. If you want to learn why the exploration of the universe must start within ourselves, this is your definitive guide.
⟿ Jeppe Kleyngeld, January 2021