Thursday, August 5, 2010

Biocentrism: Book Review

Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe

Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe Robert Lanaz, MD with Bob Berman Dallas, TX: Benbella Books, 2009. 214 pp.

The trees and the snow evaporate when we’re sleeping. The kitchen disappears when we’re in the bathroom. When you turn from on room to the next, when you no longer hear the sounds of the dishwasher, the ticking clock, the smell of a chicken roasting…they all disappear into nothingness. *

No, this is not an episode of Twilight Zone or Night Gallery. It is not the plot of a science fiction movie. It is not even the ramblings of a mad--and very delusional--mental patient. Rather, this is a theory of the universe developed by renowned scientist Robert Lanza, MD.

Biocentrism, co-written with respected astronomer Bob Berman, details a new theory of the universe. The theory of Biocentrism is that we created the universe, and everything in it, with our minds, or consciousness. Without consciousness, nothing can exist. As if this isn’t mind-bending enough, Lanza adds that nothing exists without an observer to witness it. (In other words, if you aren’t looking at that beautiful magenta sunset, it doesn’t exist).

Yes, this sounds absolutely wacky, but Lanza offers numerous quantum physics and anatomy studies that make Biocentrism sound--gulp--logical.

He starts off mildly enough with a lesson in anatomy, explaining a scientific fact that all of us learned in school but that most of us have forgotten--that the brain literally creates our reality. For instance, the image of a house, or anything that we see, is but an interpretation of the image that our brains create. In this case, we are seeing a brain-manufactured image, not a real, physical object.

From there, Lanza wallops the reader with numerous studies from quantum physics that show the undeniable affect that observation has on matter. (Two of the most famous of these studies is the two-slit experiment and the experiment that showed twin photons changing spin directions simultaneously).

In chapter after chapter, each chapter building upon the previous one, Lanza refutes both traditional scientific thought--the “big bang” didn’t really happen--and ancient spiritual belief systems by citing numerous studies from quantum physics. Indeed, these studies do seem to lead to an inescapable conclusion--our so-called reality is a creation of our consciousness.

For me the evidence for Biocentrism that Lanza offers is compelling if a bit unsettling. (It’s a scary thing when your entire belief system is ripped apart). To make matters worse, Lanza does little to ease my anxiety. He offers no opinion on a supreme authority (such as God) or an explanation as to why we created this universe, this earth, and our own individual and collective realities. Although he repeats the well-established scientific fact that “energy never dies, it just changes form,” thereby ensuring all of us eternal life--in some form--he does not suggest any sort of purpose for our eternal consciousness.

But, of course, such an explanation falls within the mystical realm and, as such, is outside of Lanza’s area of expertise. His analysis of the scientific evidence seems solid enough, however, for me to take the possibility of Biocentrism seriously.

*From BemBella’s press release for the book, Biocentrism

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