An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Is Science now coming to Hindu view of Atma and Parmatama?

Dr Stuart Hameroff, Professor Emeritus at the Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychology and the Director of the Centre of Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona, and British physicist Sir Roger Penrose have come up with a new and interesting theory Orchestrated Objective Reduction (Orch-OR).  It can also be called the Quantum theory of Consciousness, where they say that essence of the “soul” is contained in the microtubules within the brain.

They have tried to look at the Near Death Experiences and their hypothesis is fairly interesting.

Thus it is held that our souls are more than the interaction of neurons in the brain. They are in fact constructed from the very fabric of the universe – and may have existed since the beginning of time.

This theory is very similar to the Hindu concept of soul and Universe, of Atma and Parmatma.  He tries to explain his understanding of what happens during a Near Death Experience, something that the scientific community is grappling with for quite sometime and hasn’t found a credible answer as of yet.

‘Let’s say the heart stops beating, the blood stops flowing, the microtubules lose their quantum state.’The quantum information within the microtubules is not destroyed, it can’t be destroyed, it just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large.  ‘If the patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says “I had a near death experience”.’

He adds: ‘If they’re not revived, and the patient dies, it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body, perhaps indefinitely, as a soul.’

Although, as expected, his theories have been criticized, yet they seem to be one of the first articulation of a major scientific gap – the state of mind, memory and consciousness during Near Death Experiences.  It can no longer be brushed under the carpet.
Admittedly, it is by no means the most authoritative explanation of life, death and the state between, but it is one of those steps where scientists have stepped outside of the normal and discussed it in a way that is different.  Einstein and others of his time, also seemed to spend quite a bit of their time in this area.

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