Orchestrated object reduction, or Orch OR, is the hypothesis that consciousness is the result of quantum vibrations picked up by structures in the brain called microtubules. I woke up this morning thinking about this, and in a flash it felt as though I understood the nature of consciousness, before the feeling evaporated as I became more, well, awake.
Previously I wrote about a new hypothesis that suggests consciousness exists as a trans-dimensional field external to the brain. This would seem to jive with Orch OR. Maybe the microtubules are the tuning-in mechanism that allows us to experience this torus-shaped consciousness field.
Recently I revisited a favorite book from my undergraduate years, Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, which happens to open with this epigraph:
“Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation. Everything science has taught me, and continues to teach me, strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death.”
As someone who has only very recently discovered yoga and who has a glancing familiarity–if that–with Eastern spiritual traditions, I’m interested in the notion that consciousness exists prior to and beyond the existence of physical life. This would seem to click with these new theories of consciousness, which have been arrived at via Western scientific method.
I wonder if the spiritual planes of religion–the Christian afterlife, the bardo described The Tibetan Book of the Dead, as well as the Jungian collective unconscious–can be validated through these new ideas about the nature of consciousness.
And I wonder, as quantum computers evolve, whether they will reach a stage where they can detect quantum vibrations of the cosmic consciousiness field. If consciousness really does work that way, and machines can replicate the properties of our brains’ microtubules, then it would follow that at that stage, machines will become conscious.
And then, I suppose, the question is whether we will be able to tap into this field of consciousness without having to die to get there. To be able to peer into heaven or the bardo or what-have-you via brain-machine interfaces connected to quantum computers.