The origin of consciousness is one of the greatest mysteries in our world today. Scientists and theologians alike have been pondering the aspects of consciousness for centuries. Modern science describes consciousness as a product of brain structure and neural activity. Yet, new and exciting research might prove this hypothesis is false. There have been some interesting findings in relation to consciousness in fields like quantum physics and biology. Among the most intriguing findings are the phenomena of the observer effect found in quantum physics and cellular memory found in modern medical research.
The Observer Effect
This phenomenon was first discovered in 1998 by the Weizmann Institute. In short, researchers were able to record the behavior of sub-atomic particles in objects and they found something amazing. The particles within the object being observed changed significantly as soon as someone began looking at it. Furthermore, the more concentrated the observer becomes the more significant effect they have on the object. This is evidence of how consciousness affects anything and everything it comes into contact with. Everything we look at…we change.
The implication of the observer effect has yet to be fully integrated into the scientific community because accepting this evidence would change the very heart of scientific inquiry. Science has always relied upon objective and unbiased data within any given experiment. Yet, the observer effect has revealed there is no such thing as objectivity in science. The observer always has an effect on what they are observing, and the data is therefore inherently biased. Even placing a camera or any other recording device changes an object at the sub-atomic level. At this point, scientists can’t even safely assume that anything exists without our looking at it first. As nuclear physicist Jim Al-Khalil once said, “The act of observation creates the entire universe“.
Modern science would try to convince us consciousness is solely a by-product of our brain. However, recent studies have collected a vast amount of data relating to organ transplant recipients. This research has produced quite astounding results in regards to our understanding of consciousness. A substantial amount of people who receive organ transplants (heart, kidney, lungs, etc.) have reported a change in their personality and preferences. Amazingly, these changes are often times found to be directly linked to the person who donated their organ.
There is a perplexing case reported of an 8 year old girl who received a heart from a 10 year old girl who was murdered. The transplant recipient was able to lead police to the man who murdered her organ donor after the vivid dreams she had about the murder. While there is yet to be a scientific explanation of this, this case study has piqued the interest of several respected and qualified researchers. These studies are providing scientific evidence that consciousness is not purely a product of our brain but actually exists throughout our entire body.
Researchers have also discovered intricate neural networks, similar to those found in the brain, throughout other organs in our body. Both the heart and stomach contain neural networks and this may certainly help to explain why transplant recipients seemingly develop aspects of their donor’s personality. The neural network found in the stomach also reveals that the ‘gut feeling’ people often describe experiencing is a result of your stomach thinking before your brain does. In other words…trust your gut!
Currently, researchers are explaining this phenomenon through a theory called ‘cellular memory‘. This theory suggests that our thoughts and memories might actually be embedded into each one of the billions of cells that construct our body. This could mean we are capable of thinking and feeling with more than just our brain and that the source of consciousness can actually be found within every fiber of our being.
O’ Soul, where art thou? Clearly, consciousness is still a mystery in the modern world. At this time there a many more questions then there are answers. However, new and emerging research seems to be getting us closer and closer to these elusive answers. The observer effect allows us to see how connected we are to everything we see. Cellular memory provides a new way of understanding where consciousness might be located. Still, the seat of our soul is yet to be discovered.