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From Science To God: The Mystery Of Consciousness And The Meaning Of Light

by Peter Russell

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From Publishers Weekly
Russell, a "scientist at heart," seems somewhat oversold as a physicist, although his undergraduate work at Cambridge brought him into Steven Hawking's office on occasion. But his curiosity about the mystery of consciousness is real enough, leading him from a fascination with TM in his student days to studies in India with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, to a successful career as a corporate consultant on meditation, creativity and personal development. Russell's explanations and arguments are generally clear enough-presumably well-suited for seminar audiences-if a bit superficial when presented in book format. He rightly complains that the establishment science and philosophy of the 1960s showed minimal interest in problems of consciousness, but barely acknowledges subsequent developments in neuroscience, cognitive science and philosophy of mind that have attempted more or less successfully to grapple with these problems. Instead, he offers readers an unexceptional argument for a "metaparadigm shift" in which consciousness is accepted as a fundamental constituent of the universe and of scientific explanations, supplemented by analogies between consciousness, light and God and a lavish abundance of epigrammatic quotes from Einstein, Schrudinger and Eastern religious teachers. Readers in search of "a journey of ideas that starts with science and arrives at God" can find much more to work with in the writings of Douglas Hofstadter, Paul Davies and John Polkinghorne.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Russell, well known for his work on the physiology of meditation, describes his personal struggle to bring science and spirit together and conducts readers through some of the more mysterious discoveries of contemporary physics. Physics--"queen of the sciences"--may seem an unlikely source of spiritual inspiration, and when younger, Russell found his growing spiritual curiosity at odds with the mechanistic science exemplified by Stephen Hawking, with whom Russell studied at Cambridge. Dropping out to study transcendental meditation, about which he has written several definitive books, he later returned to academe to engage in scientific study of consciousness and attain the insight that consciousness is what religions call God. Although the conventionally religious may take issue with Russell's effort to connect science and spirit, many, including some of them, may welcome his lucid exploration of their similarities. Patricia Monaghan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Book Description
The Mystery of Consciousness and the Meaning of Light is the story of Peter Russells lifelong exploration into the nature of consciousness.

Blending physics, psychology, and philosophy, he leads us to a new worldview in which consciousness is as fundamental to the cosmos as space, time, and matter. He shows how all the ingredients for this worldview are in place; nothing new needs to be discovered. We have only to put the pieces together and explore the new picture of reality that emerges.

Integrating a deep knowledge of science with his own experiences of meditation, Russell arrives at a universe similar to that described by many mystics-one in which science and spirit no longer conflict. The bridge between them, he shows, is light. From Science to God invites us to cross that bridge to a radically different, and ultimately healing, view of ourselves and the universeone in which God takes on new meaning, and spiritual practice a deeper significance.

About the Author
Peter Russell, the widely acclaimed author of the bestseller The Global Brain and other pioneering works, earned an honors degree in theoretical physics and experimental psychology and a master degree in computer science at the University of Cambridge, England. Increasingly fascinated by the nature of human consciousness, he went to India to explore meditation and Eastern philosophy. Since then his primary focus has been the exploration and development of consciousness, and he's been a consultant to major corporations on managing change, creativity, and personal development. In this, his tenth book, he brings together thirty years of study laying the seeds for a revolution in consciousness.

Excerpted from From Science to God by Peter Russell. Copyright © 2000. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

It was the Spring of 1996; I had been invited to a small seminar, deep
in the Californian redwoods, to discuss the evolution of
consciousness. As I sat there, listening to various debates about the
nature of mind, recent discoveries in neurochemistry, and theories on
the origins of consciousness, I felt an increasing frustration. I
wanted to say, "We've got it all backwards", or words to that
effect. But I couldn't express my misgivings in a coherent,
well-reasoned manner-which you need to do in those settings if you
want people to take you seriously. So I bit my lip and sat with my

A few weeks later, on a plane from Los Angeles to San Francisco, I
opened a book I had recently picked up in a used-book store. The
author, a Dutchman writing in the 1920's, was not saying anything that
was new to me, but he did remind me of the processes of perception and
the way we construct our experience of reality. My readings in
philosophy, particularly the writings of Immanuel Kant, came flooding
back; so did my studies in physics on the nature of light, and my
explorations into Eastern philosophy and meditation. Suddenly the root
of my frustration became clear. We need more than a new theory of
consciousness. We must reconsider some of our fundamental assumptions
about the nature of reality. That was the bit I had been missing; that
was the insight that was trying to break through at the seminar. I
started scribbling, and by the time the plane landed, the picture was
clear. Our whole worldview needed to be turned inside-out.

Over the following months, I worked on an essay pulling together the
various pieces of a model of reality in which consciousness played a
primary role. In the process, I discovered that the implications were
even deeper than I had supposed. The new worldview not only changed
the way science looked at consciousness, it also led to a new view of
spirituality-and, most surprisingly, to a new concept of God. The
seeds sown on that plane flight have now grown into this book. As with
any exploration of such profound issues, the ideas are not complete,
and may never be complete. They represent my current thinking on the
key ingredients of a new worldview, and how consciousness could be the
long-awaited bridge between science and spirit.

As much as the book is a journey of ideas that starts with science and
arrives at God, it is also my own personal journey from a physicist
with little interest in spiritual matters to an explorer of
consciousness who now begins to appreciate what the great spiritual
teachings have been trying to show us for thousands of years.



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