Could Consciousness Be Defined by the Way Things Vibrate? “Resonance Theory” – Could Consciousness Be Defined by the Way Things Vibrate?
Why is it that my awareness is here and yours is there? Why is the cosmos divided into a subject and an infinite number of objects for each of us? How does each of us become our own experience center, receiving information about the rest of the world? Why are certain things conscious while others appear to be unconscious? Is a rat aware of its surroundings? Is it a gnat? Is it a bacterium? These are all components of the age-old “mind-body dilemma,” which basically asks, “What is the link between consciousness and matter?” For thousands of years, it has defied all attempts to bring it to a satisfactory conclusion.
Over the last two decades, the mind-body problem has undergone a dramatic rebranding. After philosopher David Chalmers popularized the term in a now-classic paper and expanded on it in his 1996 book “The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory,” it’s now known as the “hard issue” of consciousness. Chalmers considered the mind-body problem to be “hard” in comparison to what he jokingly referred to as “simple” neuroscience problems: On a physical level, how do neurons and the brain function? Of course, they aren’t easy in the least. But, as he pointed out, they’re trivial in comparison to the more difficult challenge of describing how awareness interacts with matter.
My colleague, University of California, Santa Barbara psychology professor Jonathan Schooler, and I have developed a “resonance hypothesis of consciousness” over the previous decade. We propose that resonance, which is another word for coordinated vibrations, is at the heart of human awareness, animal consciousness, and physical reality in general. It sounds like something the hippies came up with – it’s all about the vibrations, man! – but bear with me.
Everything in our cosmos is always moving and vibrating. Even objects that appear to be fixed vibrate, oscillate, and resonate at different frequencies. Resonance is a motion that is defined by oscillation between two states. Finally, all matter is nothing more than vibrations of numerous underlying fields. As a result, nature vibrates at all scales.
When two vibrating objects come together, something fascinating happens: they typically begin to vibrate at the same frequency after a short time. They “sync up” in a variety of ways, some of which are enigmatic. The phenomena is referred to as spontaneous self-organization.
Steven Strogatz, a mathematician, uses examples from physics, biology, chemistry, and neuroscience to illustrate the concept of “sync” – his… Brinkwire News Summary