Spiritual leaders have been claiming that the universe is a conscious being for many years. Physicist Gregory Matloff has recently published a paper which suggests that this theory is possible, and science may be able to prove it. Matloff is a veteran at the New York City College of Technology and, even though his paper is unable to confirm universal consciousness (panpsychism) he is encouraging more research into the theory. In his publication, Matloff suggests that humans may not only model the universe in substance, but in spirit as well. This would indicate that the universe is self-aware, and has a possible consciousness field that would extend through all of space.
The theory of ‘panpsychism,’ has already been suggested and explored by other scientists. Sir Roger Penrose, a British physicist, theorized that quantum physics holds the key to consciousness. His views, which were expressed more than 30 years ago, suggests that consciousness itself exists in the microscopic spaces between brain neurons. Bernard Haisch expanded on this theory by speculating that the quantum fields that permeate empty space, also known as quantum vacuums, can produce and transmit consciousness. This would then create a self-awareness in any physical structure which has an energy system running through it, including the universe.
Matloff attempted to test and expand these theories, by locating astronomical objects that unexpectedly adjust their behavior in response to stimuli. This led to his study of Paranego’s Discontinuity, which is a theory that demonstrates where cooler stars orbit our galaxy at a faster pace than hotter ones. Science has attributed this phenomena to the stars’ interactions with gas clouds. Matloff noted that these changes only occurred in stars that were cool enough to have molecules in their atmosphere and, therefore, a more complex chemical composition. He also noted that some stars emit jets that only point in a single direction, which caused them to move in a different way.
Matloff’s theory suggests that the way in which these stars move is being consciously changed. He claims that if the process was caused by outward elements, it would begin to vary depending on the star’s location in the galaxy. An internal response, such as consciousness, would result in the stars’ behavior being the same despite their locations. The physicist also noted that more detailed data will be available, to further test his theory, after scheduled information is received from Gaia Star Mapping Space Telescope in 2018.
Other researchers have been testing the possibility of the universe’s consciousness, by observing humans as they are made up of the same components. Scientists currently define consciousness as ‘the ability of a system to be influenced by its previous state and to influence its next state.’ This means that it is associated with the complexity of a system, and its ability to choose. Research has shown where this could also be true of simple systems, which are neither organic nor biological. Scientists are hopeful that the true complexity of the Universe will be revealed in the near future, and they can then confirm whether our conscious abilities are really just a small part of a greater mass consciousness.