The first question that emerges in your thoughts when you first see this page is both simple and straightforward: what is neurocosmology? Your first thought is that it must have something to do with a study of both the brain and the universe, but what madness could be so perverse as to directly relate these two completely different scientific concepts? Then you realize that the following must be true: Consciousness holds approximately the same relationship to the human brain as studied in neurophysics that cosmology holds to the material universe as studied by physics, while both neurophysics and cosmology exist at the forefronts of their perspective areas of study. At the most advanced foreground of cosmological studies scientists and scholars inquire about the existence of life, mind, and consciousness as well as their relationship to the universe as a whole. They try to answer questions such as 'What is the role and purpose of life and consciousness within the context of the greater reality of the universe?' Yet there also exists a separate but growing scientific movement for studying consciousness alone in its many different unique aspects, while the main thrust of physical consciousness studies is to find the neural correlates of consciousness. At this level of scientific inquiry physics is used to model consciousness as a 'thing' separate from the material brain but somehow dependent on the brain. In other words, physics is not only used to study the observable external world represented by the material universe (including the material body and brain), but also the internal world created by mind and consciousness that is interpreting our individual observations of the external material world. This dichotomy between the internal and external world of consciousness represents the central problem of neurocosmology. Basically, how does our internal ephemeral sense of consciousness, physical self or conscious awareness relate to the rest of the concrete material universe? Whatever the answer to that question might be, science must also accept the simple truth that consciousness is also the part of mind that interprets our sensations and observations of the external world, creating a paradox in any serious scientific studies of consciousness. Neurocosmology is the science that deals directly with the connections between individual consciousness and the universe at large and in this definition lies the central problem faced by most hard core scientists. Neurocosmology, being what it is, must also consider issues such as the existence of spirit, spirituality and the paranormal (psi) which may seem non-scientific at first glance but are none-the-less still manifestations by consciousness in the physical/material world. In order for neurocosmology to progress under these circumstances, it is necessary that science must understand the physical and material reality of our universe at its most fundamental levels as well as the neural correlates on consciousness within living organisms. In other words, neurocosmology covers the whole spectrum of physical reality, both material and non-material but still physical, from its smallest parts to its largest manifestations. Given this, neurocosmology only seeks to answer the 'how' questions of reality and not the 'why' questions, which are left to everyone's individual spiritual preferences and beliefs.

    
  

The personal homepage of

James E. Beichler, PhD

A work in progress

Placed on the WWW

Winter Solstice 2012