Biocentrism and its detractors

Today was a bleak day.  I did not go to work because of trouble getting up in the morning.  I hate to say depressed although things like having a shower, or fixing lunch is so hard and takes so long to do.  It is autumn and for the last couple of weeks it has been fine and hot and dry.  Indian summer.  Too much heat, too much sunshine.  I feel desolate as usual in the autumn with that falling feeling, but it is made doubly worse by the facade of joy over the reality of disintegration and decay.

I look at the meaty dun concrete and charcoal asphalt roads and footpaths with eyes that are no longer young in the melting hot over-ripe yellow of the blazing afternoon sun.  Memories activate with every impression, leaving not much more to perceive except the procession of reality, the line of moving cars, the clouds floating above and the leaves of garden shrubs and street trees waving in the breeze.  I have a mature understanding of the cityscape that I see and will never see it like a child does – all new and strange – again…

Upon reading a totally unrelated article on the Guardian website today about the evil pedophile Mr Savile, I fell into what appeared to be an advert about this scientist Robert Lanza.  Well actually it was an article by him about why he thinks there is life after death and this theory of everything called biocentrism – all about infinite multiverses and energy never being destroyed or created.

I was curious about this dude – and searched his website to see if he wasn’t some kind of wacky christian.  But no,  Robert Lanza is a respectable scientist who has published articles in The Lancet and according to Wikepedia has played a leading role in stem cell research.  Right.  According to this theory, Biocentrism, life created the universe, and reality is basically a construct of our own perceptions.

Actually this absurd philosophical theory is not new, since Berkeley in the 17th century held pretty much the same idea.  Bertrand Russell argues otherwise and quite effectively, but concedes that the philosophical problem of how we actually perceive reality – something outside ourselves – remains unsolved.  Maybe because it’s one of those things we know instinctively, but have a hard time trying to explicate.

So I googled ‘Robert Lanza – criticism’ and came across this Indian rationalist website, Nirmukta who debunks his theory exhaustively (try reading it, phew!) point by point.  And it turns out that Robert Lanza co-authored his theory with none other than that wacky new age charlatan Deepak Chopra.  Say no more!

And I’d like to say as someone with a history of schizophrenia, that there is nothing more comforting than the thought of an objective universe out there which is totally indifferent as to whether I live or die, and very importantly as to what I think.  To think that there is some almighty, inanimate Other that is out there that is not watching me, judging me, or sending me to Hell or Heaven, that is something I can explore and discover – gives me a sense of immense freedom and relief.

A particularly awful aspect of psychosis is the feeling that someone is watching you and controlling you from a distance.  And if God remains an imagined presence, the pendulum of belief swings as it must from benign love and hope to horror, paranoia and despair.  Who knows if you’re actually going to Heaven or not?  You never do as long as you believe in God and accept all of the scriptures as gospel.

It follows as a point of sanity that there is an objective universe, which the self was born from but is for the time being separate from that.  With that thought, I feel better already!

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