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The universe is an extraordinary place, 
full of beauty and mystery. And yet, for all of the amazing things that science has discovered, the most surprising and mysterious aspect of reality is… us. Through the development of life and mind, the universe glimpses the potential of a subjective dimension, -of value, meaning, and significance. 

Today growing numbers of scientists and philosophers argue that proper recognition of the existence of consciousness reframes our entire cosmological picture. This series focuses on the extraordinary reality that the universe is waking up.

You can support Waking Cosmos on Patreon here.

Can Psychedelics Reveal the Nature of Reality?

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Psychologist David Luke is one of the new generation of psychedelics researchers, based at the University of Greenwich in the UK. One of the things that stands out about David is that while he takes a scientific approach to understanding the potential value of psychedelics, he keeps an open mind to what these experiences bring us into contact with, including what they might reveal about the nature of reality itself.

One possibility for David is that psychedelic substances such as DMT override the “reducing valve” function of the brain — opening the floodgates between our ordinary sense of self, and a much greater transpersonal reality.

In today’s episode of Waking Cosmos (listen below) I talk with David Luke about his ideas and research into these substances, including his controversial experiments exploring whether psychedelics can serve as catalysts for psychic phenomena, like precognition and telepathy.

To those unfamiliar with the evidence of such “psi” effects, this might seem bizarre, but as a past president of the Parapsychological Association, David is well versed in the significant body of evidence suggestive that these phenomena are real.

I hope you enjoy this episode of Waking Cosmos! If you’d like to support the continued existence of this podcast, please consider visiting my Patreon page:

Quantum Mind, Immortality, and the End of Suffering. With David Pearce.

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Subjects: consciousness, psychedelics, panpsychism, transhumanism, abolishing suffering, death and immortality,

My guest today is David Pearce, a well known philosopher and transhumanist, yet his views about consciousness set him apart from other transhumanists you might be familiar with. David believes that the nature of consciousness goes much deeper than can be explained through classical physics or from within a materialist paradigm. He suspects that consciousness could reflect an intrinsic feature of reality. Whether or not this is the case, David is confident that the unity of consciousness is facilitated by a quantum unity occurring in the brain. As a result, David is skeptical about the possibility of classical computation-based “mind uploading” or truly conscious artificial intelligences arriving in the foreseeable future.  

But while our descendents will continue to be biological, they will however be dramatically different to us, not only with their indefinite lifespan, physical fortitude, and resilience to disease, but most significantly, in the structure of their minds. According to David, our great grandchildren will inhabit profoundly blissful mind spaces which exist exclusively “above hedonic zero”. They will have abandoned retributive emotions such as jealousy and anger, and their ordinary conscious states will be comparable to today’s peak experiences. Most significantly for David, our descendants will set their sites on abolishing suffering in all sentient life on this planet, and finally, the entire reachable universe.

If value these conversations, place consider supporting Waking Cosmos on Patreon.

The Future of Mind with Andrés Gómez Emilsson

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The nature of consciousness is among the most profound mysteries humans have encountered. And yet, whether we think that consciousness reflects a fundamental feature of reality, or a mere illusion, we do know, at least in our case, that brains are involved. We also know that changes made to our brains correlate with dramatic changes in consciousness.

As scientific and technological development continues, we’re likely to gain much greater ability to retune this biological instrument, and potentially gain access to a much broader variety of possible conscious states.

Future augmentation of brains could open us to a limitless horizon of mental experiences, pregnant with unimaginable value and significance. When mind itself is stretched across the canvas, what will we want to want? What values will guide such minds?

One thinker who is exploring these questions is the philosopher Andrés Gómez Emilsson, who I was honored to interview on the Waking Cosmos podcast (listen below). In this conversation we discussed the universal drives of self-creating minds, the elusive nature of consciousness, the recent rise of panpsychist theories, and the power of psychedelics for exploring psychic space.

Perhaps the issue that most animates Andrés is the nature of happiness and its relationship to suffering. Do we need the depths of suffering in order to experience the heights of ecstasy? Will it one day be possible to “engineer away” all suffering through technology? And if so, can we really be happy all the time “without going insane?”

My conversation with Andres was truly mind-expanding for me, and I hope it will be the first of many.

If you value open-minded philosophical conversations like this one, please consider supporting Waking Cosmos on Patreon, and help me turn this into a full time project! Thank You.

Does Consciousness Collapse the Quantum Wave Function?

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The idea that consciousness plays a role in quantum measurement has been present since the begining of quantum theory, with several of the founders and core contributors to quantum theory defending that the measurement of a quantum system seems to evoke the observer's mind in some intrinsic way. While there are still reputable physicists and philosophers who defend this controversial position, it can be hard to find a clear account of why. The popular discussion is often polarized, with detractors too quick to dismiss consciousness-involving interpretations as naive silliness, but with the most vocal proponents often seeming too quick to allie with New Agey and spiritual ideas.

When I was writing about this subject, I wanted to provide a clearer account of the intuitions that lead physicists to continue defending a possible role of consciousness in the quantum world. Why do reputable physicists like Andrei Linde, Paul Davies, Bernard d'Espagnat, Freeman Dyson, Henry Stapp, and Roger Penrose continue to stand by this view? And if it's really true that mind participates in quantum reality in some fundamental way, what does this mean for science?

In today's episode of Waking Cosmos we explore the reasons why consciousness-involving interpretations of quantum measurement are here to stay. 

Please support Waking Cosmos on Patreon here:

The Qualia of Infinity with Mike Johnson

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How do we map the landscape of consciousness? What is the future for mind in the universe? And is consciousness an intrinsic part of reality? Today on Waking Cosmos I'm joined by Mike Johnson from the Qualia Research Institute, where they're working on a theory of consciousness which could have profound implications for society, including the development of what we might call a 21st century mood-ring, through which we begin to telegraph our phenomenology, and explore entirely new landscapes of experience. In the second half we discuss how any sufficiently "crisp" theory of consciousness can be directed to anything, including cosmological phenomena like black holes and even the Big Bang. 

I hope you enjoy today's episode as much as I did. If you're enjoying these open-minded conversations about consciousness and reality, and would like to help me turn this into a full time project, please consider supporting Waking Cosmos on Patreon.

The Rise of Panpsychism

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The view that consciousness is fundamental to reality is gaining growing support in science and philosophy. Once a fringe idea - modern versions of this view are now steering the contemporary discourse across fields including neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and philosophy of mind.   Today on Waking Cosmos, Adrian explores the philosophical position of "panpsychism", and the cause of its growing popularity.

You can support Waking Cosmos on Patreon here.

The Esoteric Science of Psi
-With Dean Radin PhD

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Dean Radin PhD has a conversation with Adrian about "real magic" and the scientific study of psychic phenomena. Topics discussed also include life after death, mystical experiences, the mental origins of the universe, the evidence of telepathy,  and James Randi's famous million dollar prize.

You can support Waking Cosmos on Patreon here.
Pick up Dean’s fantastic new book “Real Magic” here
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The Mystery of Consciousness

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Today I read from my book Origins of Consciousness. This will be the first of a series in which I will read the entire book.

Please consider supporting me on Patreon here~

Remote Viewing and the Reality of Psychic Phenomena

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Are psychic phenomena real? In today's episode of Waking Cosmos, Adrian talks to Garret Moddel, a physicist at the university of Colorado who has carried out extensive scientific experiments exploring ESP, also known as “psi” phenomena. 

Garret has conducted experiments exploring phenomena ranging from telepathy, to precognition, and mind-matter interaction. He even recounts how he and a number of students used remote viewing to successfully predict the stock market. 

In addition to the evidence of psychic abilities, Garret shares his thoughts on the Global Consciousness Project - a global mind-matter experiment believed by some to measure collective shifts in attention in the global human population. 

Of particular interest to Garret is the mysterious role of scientists' expectations and beliefs in the outcomes of their experiments. We hope you enjoy today's episode.

You can support Waking Cosmos on Patreon here~

View the SSE conference program here~


Observation and Existence

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In this episode Adrian gives some updates about the podcast and discusses the ongoing influence of the Copernican Revolution. Adrian also explores John Wheeler's participatory model of reality, in which conscious observers play a constitutive role in existence.

Support Waking Cosmos through Patreon here:

The Self-Excited Circuit episode:

Adrian's video essay about precognition:

Adrian's video essay about telepathy:

MetaRising Youtube channel:

Can Intelligence Transform the Universe?

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What can intelligence bring about in the universe?  Can intelligence counter entropy? Is it possible that intelligence actually plays a role in the universe's existence? 

Adrian Nelson and Matthew Segall explore these and other questions in today's episode of the Waking Cosmos podcast (Listen below). These questions fascinate us, and yet at the same time, it seems virtually impossible to imagine how intelligence will transform life on this planet over the next 20 years, let alone to predict what intelligence might eventually bring about on the cosmic stage, -especially when we consider that intelligence, in some form, could conceivably continue evolving over thousands or even millions of years. We'd love to know your intuitions about these questions, so please join in the discussion in the YouTube comments section.

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Consciousness Beyond Materialism

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In this episode of the Waking Cosmos podcast Adrian has a conversation with philosopher and author Matthew Segal. Topics include the enduring mystery of consciousness, the limits of scientific materialism, and the possibility that mind could be fundamental to reality.

Please support this podcast by visiting our Patreon.
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More links..
Matthew's book Physics of the World Soul
Matthew's YouTube channel