What Happens When You Die?

Photo of Bright Light in Universe

Many of us fear death. We believe in death because we’ve been told we’ll die. We associate ourselves with the body, and we know that bodies die. But a new scientific theory suggests death isn’t the end.

One well-known aspect of quantum physics is that certain observations can’t be predicted absolutely. Instead, there’s a range of possible observations each with a different probability. One mainstream explanation, the “many-worlds” interpretation, states that each of these possible observations corresponds to a different universe (the ‘multiverse’). A new scientific theory – called biocentrism – refines these ideas. There are an infinite number of universes, and everything that could possibly happen occurs in some universe. Death doesn’t exist in any real sense in these scenarios. All possible universes exist simultaneously, regardless of what happens in any of them.

Although individual bodies are destined to self-destruct, the alive feeling – the ‘Who am I?’- is just a 20-watt fountain of energy operating in the brain. But this energy doesn’t go away at death. One of the surest axioms of science is that energy never dies; it can neither be created nor destroyed. But does this energy transcend from one world to the other?

Consider an experiment recently published in the journal Science showing that scientists could retroactively change something that happened in the past. Particles had to decide how to behave when they hit a beam splitter. Later on, the experimenter could turn a second switch on or off. It turns out that what the observer decided at that point, determined what the particle did in the past. Regardless of the choice you, the observer, make, it’s you who will experience the outcomes that will result. The linkages between these various histories and universes transcend our ordinary classical ideas of space and time. Think of the 20-watts of energy as simply holo-projecting either this or that result onto a screen. Whether you turn the second beam splitter on or off, it’s still the same battery or agent responsible for the projection.

According to Biocentrism, space and time aren’t the hard objects we think. Wave your hand through the air – if you take everything away, what’s left? Nothing. The same thing applies for time. You can’t see anything through the bone that surrounds your brain. Everything you see and experience right now is a whirl of information occurring in your mind. Space and time are simply the tools for putting everything together.

Death doesn’t exist in a timeless, spaceless world. In the end, even Einstein admitted, “Now Besso” (an old friend) “has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us…know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” Immortality doesn’t mean a perpetual existence in time without end, but rather resides outside of time altogether.

Life is a journey that transcends our classical, linear way of thinking. Experiment after experiment continues to suggest that we create time, not the other way around. This life is just one fragment of time, one brushstroke in a picture larger than ourselves, eternal even when we die.

After the death of his son, Emerson wrote “Our life is not so much threatened as our perception. I grieve that grief can teach me nothing, nor carry me one step into real nature.”

Biocentrism” (BenBella Books) lays out Lanza’s theory of everything.

Judgement Day is Coming. Science Suggests Justice Is Inescapable

Judgement Day is Coming Image

Will kind people be rewarded for their good deeds? Will the wicked be punished? Yes, according to a new interpretation of recent experiments. Although our science is too primitive for us to fully comprehend, there is a direct and proportional price to pay for any act of cruelty or injustice.

Science suggests that there are consequences to our actions that transcend our ordinary, classical way of thinking. Emerson, it turns out, was right: “Every crime is punished, every virtue rewarded, every wrong redressed, in silence and certainty.”

I remember fishing on a warm summer night. Now and then I could feel the vibrations along the line linking me with the life prowling about the bottom. At length I pulled some bass, squeaking and gasping into the air. It was a puzzle to feel a tug, and to be conscious in that precise moment of a part of me, which, as it were, was not a part of me, but scale and fin, circling the hook, slow to strike.

Surely this is what Spinoza, the great philosopher, meant when he contended that consciousness cannot exist simply in space and time, and at the same time is aware of the interrelations of all parts of space and time. In order to have knowledge of a pout or a pickerel, I must have somehow been identical with them.

But how can this be? In experiments, it has been repeatedly shown that a single particle can be at two places at the same time. See the loon in the pond or the dandelion in the field. How deceptive is the space that separates them and makes them solitary. They are the subjects of the same reality that interested John Bell, who proposed the experiment that answered the question of whether what happens locally is affected by nonlocal events.

Experiments from 1997 to 2007 have shown that this is indeed the case. Physicist Nicolas Gisin sent entangled particles zooming along optical fibers until they were seven miles apart. But whatever action they took, the communication between them happened instantaneously. Today no one doubts the connectedness between bits of light or matter, or even entire clusters of atoms. They’re intimately linked in a manner suggesting there’s no space between them, and no time influencing their behavior. In fact, just last year, Gisin announced a new twist on his experiment; in this case, he thinks the results will be visible to the naked eye.

In the same way, there is a part of us that is connected to the fish in the pond. It is the part that experiences consciousness, not in our external embodiments but in our inner being. And although we identify ourselves with our thoughts and affections, it is an essential feature of reality that we experience the world piece by piece.

Everything you experience is a whirl of information occurring in your head; according to Biocentrism, space and time are simply the mind’s tools for putting it all together. However solid and real the walls of space and time have come to look, there is a part of us that is no more human than it is animal – even the fish, sporting there in the pond, a part of us unwittingly tempted by a bunch of worms strung on a thread.

As parts of such a whole there is justice. The bird and the prey are one. This was the world that confronted me that warm summer night. From the shore I could see the shiners dimpling the water with their tails in the moonlight. A bug furrowed the water, making a conspicuous ripple, which the fishes darted at. Only two diverging lines stood between them and natural justice.

“Non-separability,” said physicist Bernard d’Espagnat, “is now one of the most certain general concepts in physics.”

We suppose ourselves to be a pond; and if there is any consequence to our actions, if there is any justice, it must approach upon these shores. Yet that night, I sensed the union that the one man and creature has with the other. The fish and I, the criminal and the victim, are one and the same.

Justice is built into the fabric of nature. Make no mistake about it: it will be you who looks out the eyes of the victim. Or you can be the recipient of kindness — whichever you choose.

The problem is that even scientists are just earthworms beginning to grasp the non-linear dimensionality of nature. Heinz Pagels, the esteemed theoretical physicist, once stated: “If you deny the objectivity of the world, unless you observe it and are conscious of it (as most physicists have), then you end up with solipsism – the belief that your consciousness is the only one.”

This may not unsettle you, except perhaps on a warm moonlit night with a fish gasping for life at the end of your rod. I knew then, at that moment, that Pagel’s conclusion was right. Only it wasn’t my consciousness that was the only one, it was ours. According to biocentrism, our individual separateness is an illusion. Remember the words of Omar, who “never called the One two,” and of the old Hindu poem: “Know in thyself and All one self-same soul; banish the dream that sunders part from whole.”

There was no doubt; that consciousness which was behind the youth I once was, was also behind the mind of every animal and person existing in space and time. “There are,” wrote Loren Eiseley, noted anthropologist, “very few youths today who will pause, coming from a biology class, to finger a yellow flower or poke in friendly fashion at a sunning turtle on the edge of the campus pond, and who are capable of saying to themselves, ‘We are all one – all melted together.’”

Yes, I thought, we are all one. I let the fish go. With a thrash of the tail, I disappeared into the pond.

Robert Lanza, MD is author of over two dozen scientific books, including “Biocentrism,” a new book that lays out his theory of everything.

Where Did the Universe Come From? New Explanation of Our Origin

Where Did the Universe Come From Image

Contemporary science asks us to believe that the entire universe – indeed the laws of Nature themselves – just popped into existence one day out of nothing. How can anyone in their right mind accept such a thing?

We take physics as a kind of magic and don’t question that 14 billion years ago over a trillion quadrillion tons of matter suddenly appeared from – zilch? We’re told that space and time also magically appeared as well.

From the Big Bang to Sarah Palin is an enormous distance. It would be well to remember the experiments of Redi and Pasteur – experiments that put to rest the theory of spontaneous generation, the belief that life arose from dead matter (for instance, maggots from rotting meat, mice from bundles of old clothes) – and not make the same mistake for the origin of the Universe itself. We imagine time extending all the way backwards to the Big Bang, before life’s beginning in the seas. But experiments with real particles show that before matter can exist (or have properties) it has to be observed. Something must sustain it above the void of nonexistence and hold the world together in the midst of change. That something is the human (or animal) mind.

Past generations believed the world was a great ball resting on the back of a turtle; now science would have us believe it’s a fairy universe that appeared out of nowhere and that expands into nothing. Angels used to push and pummel the planets about; now everything is a meaningless accident. We’ve exchanged a world turtle for a Big Bang. By reminding us of its great successes at figuring out the mechanics of things, and fashioning marvelous new devices out of raw materials, science gets away with patently ridiculous ‘explanations’ for the nature of the universe as a whole. If only it hadn’t given us HDTV and the George Foreman grill, it wouldn’t have held our respect long enough to pull the old three-card-monte when it comes to these largest issues.

“One does occasionally observe,” Loren Eiseley wrote, “a tendency for the beginning zoological textbooks to take the unwary reader by a hop, skip, and jump from the little steaming pond…into the lower world of life with such sureness and rapidity that it is easy to assume that there is no mystery about this matter at all, or, if there is, that it is a very little one.”

Science has sought to extend space and time beyond our own emergence. It followed our footsteps backwards until they disappeared into the sea. The cosmologists picked up the story of the molten Earth and carried it backwards in time through the lower forms of matter to the Big Bang.

But physics has learned that the world doesn’t exist in a definite state independent of the observer. Tracing life down through simpler stages is one thing, but assuming it arose spontaneously from nonliving matter wants for the rigor of the quantum theorist. I have seen the test-tube-like contraption that’s said to mimic the geophysical environment of the primitive earth, and that attempts to explain the origin of life in mechanistic terms without reference to any observer. While a variety of organic molecules can be synthesized in many ways – and it can even be done in your bathtub – the experiments do not fail to have an animal subject. Our intercourse with the molecules is necessary for them to exist as real objects. Half of the experiment is the scientist, who doesn’t recognize that their consciousness renders possible the space, indeed, the very reality of the vessel itself.

There is no invisible matrix out there that explains our origin. Rather, for each life there is a universe, its own universe. According to biocentrism, each of us generates our own sphere of reality. We carry space and time around us like turtles with shells. The Universe is comprised of billions of spheres of reality, a mélange whose scope is breathtaking. Strikingly, anything you don’t observe directly exists only as potential – or more mathematically speaking – as a haze of probability. “Nothing,” said John Wheeler, the great physicist “exists until it is observed.”

Since time doesn’t exist on any level before observers, traditional pre-Earth explanations of the universe can’t explain our origin. Think of the universe like one of those globes you see in the classroom – it’s merely a tool that represents everything that’s theoretically possible to experience. But like a CD, the music only leaps into reality when you play one of the songs. Instead of the Universe having an absolute beginning, imagine, instead, that existence is like a recording. Depending on where the needle is placed you hear a certain song. This is the present; the music, before and after is the past and future. All songs exist simultaneously, although we only experience them piece by piece.

“Let man,” declared Emerson, “then learn the revelation of all nature and all thought to his heart; this, namely; that the Highest dwells with him; that the sources of nature are in his own mind.”

Scientists have failed to see beyond their equations, to see the birds and butterflies husbanding their colors above the grass and trees against the sky. If only, coming home from the laboratory, they would look out upon the pond, and through the bulrushes, watch the schools of minnows rise to the surface to behold that vaster universe of which they are an intricate part.

We’re living through a profound shift in worldview, from the belief that life is an insignificant part of the physical universe (and sprung into existence from the Big Bang or bundles of old clothes), to one in which we – not the Big Bang – are the origin. Only for a moment, while we sort out the reality that time and space don’t exist without us, will it feel like madness.

Biocentrism” (BenBella Books) lays out Lanza’s theory of everything.

Does Death Exist? New Theory Says ‘No’

Does Death Exist? New Theory Says 'No'

Robert Lanza

This article was published December 8, 2009 in: The Hufffington Post

Many of us fear death. We believe in death because we have been told we will die. We associate ourselves with the body, and we know that bodies die. But a new scientific theory suggests that death is not the terminal event we think.

One well-known aspect of quantum physics is that certain observations cannot be predicted absolutely. Instead, there is a range of possible observations each with a different probability. One mainstream explanation, the "many-worlds" interpretation, states that each of these possible observations corresponds to a different universe (the 'multiverse'). A new scientific theory - called biocentrism - refines these ideas. There are an infinite number of universes, and everything that could possibly happen occurs in some universe. Death does not exist in any real sense in these scenarios. All possible universes exist simultaneously, regardless of what happens in any of them. Although individual bodies are destined to self-destruct, the alive feeling - the 'Who am I?'- is just a 20-watt fountain of energy operating in the brain. But this energy doesn't go away at death. One of the surest axioms of science is that energy never dies; it can neither be created nor destroyed. But does this energy transcend from one world to the other?

Consider an experiment that was recently published in the journal Science showing that scientists could retroactively change something that had happened in the past. Particles had to decide how to behave when they hit a beam splitter. Later on, the experimenter could turn a second switch on or off. It turns out that what the observer decided at that point, determined what the particle did in the past. Regardless of the choice you, the observer, make, it is you who will experience the outcomes that will result. The linkages between these various histories and universes transcend our ordinary classical ideas of space and time. Think of the 20-watts of energy as simply holo-projecting either this or that result onto a screen. Whether you turn the second beam splitter on or off, it's still the same battery or agent responsible for the projection.

According to Biocentrism, space and time are not the hard objects we think. Wave your hand through the air - if you take everything away, what's left? Nothing. The same thing applies for time. You can't see anything through the bone that surrounds your brain. Everything you see and experience right now is a whirl of information occurring in your mind. Space and time are simply the tools for putting everything together.

Death does not exist in a timeless, spaceless world. In the end, even Einstein admitted, "Now Besso" (an old friend) "has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us...know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion." Immortality doesn't mean a perpetual existence in time without end, but rather resides outside of time altogether.

This was clear with the death of my sister Christine. After viewing her body at the hospital, I went out to speak with family members. Christine's husband - Ed - started to sob uncontrollably. For a few moments I felt like I was transcending the provincialism of time. I thought about the 20-watts of energy, and about experiments that show a single particle can pass through two holes at the same time. I could not dismiss the conclusion: Christine was both alive and dead, outside of time.

Christine had had a hard life. She had finally found a man that she loved very much. My younger sister couldn't make it to her wedding because she had a card game that had been scheduled for several weeks. My mother also couldn't make the wedding due to an important engagement she had at the Elks Club. The wedding was one of the most important days in Christine's life. Since no one else from our side of the family showed, Christine asked me to walk her down the aisle to give her away.

Soon after the wedding, Christine and Ed were driving to the dream house they had just bought when their car hit a patch of black ice. She was thrown from the car and landed in a banking of snow.

"Ed," she said "I can't feel my leg."

She never knew that her liver had been ripped in half and blood was rushing into her peritoneum.

After the death of his son, Emerson wrote "Our life is not so much threatened as our perception. I grieve that grief can teach me nothing, nor carry me one step into real nature."

Whether it's flipping the switch for the Science experiment, or turning the driving wheel ever so slightly this way or that way on black-ice, it's the 20-watts of energy that will experience the result. In some cases the car will swerve off the road, but in other cases the car will continue on its way to my sister's dream house.

Christine had recently lost 100 pounds, and Ed had bought her a surprise pair of diamond earrings. It's going to be hard to wait, but I know Christine is going to look fabulous in them the next time I see her.

Robert Lanza, MD is considered one of the leading scientists in the world. He is the author of “Biocentrism,” a book that lays out his theory of everything.

Lanza and Chopra on Evolution

"Evolution Reigns But Darwin Outmoded"

Robert Lanza and Deepak Chopra

This article was published October 5, 2009 in: The San Francisco Chronicle The Hufffington Post Beliefnet

Monday, October 5, 2009

This year, the world celebrated Charles Darwin's 200th birthday. But now that all the backslapping is nearing an end, it may be time to reflect on where things really stand. When Darwin finished writing "Origin of Species" in the fall of 1859 — exactly 150 years ago — the theory of evolution became part of the Newtonian world picture. However, since that time, major puzzles of mainstream science have forced a re-evaluation of the nature of the universe that goes far beyond anything Darwin could have imagined.

One new theory — called biocentrism — proposes that an accurate understanding of the world requires putting observers firmly into the equation, and that life may not be the accident of physics and chemistry that evolution suggests (Lanza and Berman, Biocentrism, BenBella, 2009). In short, the attempt to explain the nature of the universe, its origins, and what is really going on, including evolution, requires an understanding of how the observer — consciousness — plays a role.

The current model proposes that the universe was until rather recently a lifeless collection of particles bouncing against each other, and obeying predetermined rules that were mysterious in their origin. The universe is presented as a watch that somehow wound itself and that, allowing for a degree of quantum randomness, will unwind in a semi-predictable way. But there are many problems with this paradigm — some obvious, others rarely mentioned but just as fundamental. But the overarching problem involves life, even if the way it changes forms can be apprehended using Darwinian mechanisms.

Why, for instance, are the laws of nature exactly balanced for life to exist? There are over 200 physical parameters within the solar system and universe so exact that it strains credulity to propose that they are random — even if that is exactly what contemporary physics baldly suggests. These fundamental constants (like the strength of gravity) are not predicted by any theory — all seem to be carefully chosen, often with great precision, to allow for existence of life. Tweak any of them and you never existed.

Beyond these laws and constants, consider everything that had to happen to bring about humans. There are literally trillions of events that had to be just right — 'this way' and not 'that way' — for us to be here. Consider the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs — if its trajectory had been slightly different, or the asteroid had been slightly larger, we might not be here. The odds are astronomically against everything happening exactly right. So the question is, is it dumb luck? But if you say something is an accident, it usually means you don't understand the reason for it.

Being here may be no more an accident than the sun rising in the morning. Perhaps biocentrism is right — perhaps the past is simply the spatio-temporal logic of the observer. No physicist challenges the fact that particles do not exist with definite physical properties until they are observed. If the present determines the past as Stephen Hawking, John Wheeler (who coined the word 'black hole'), and others have suggested, then it couldn't be any other way.

Darwin's theory of evolution is an enormous over-simplification. It's helpful if you want to connect the dots and understand the interrelatedness of life on the planet — and it's simple enough to teach to children between recess and lunch. But it fails to capture the driving force and what's really going on.

It is time to step back and take a look at the big picture. Evolution reminds us that we evolved in the forest roof to collect fruit and berries, not to ponder the nature of life itself. The challenge, alas, is to peer not just behind our ancestral way of thinking, but to grasp the world in a way that is at the same time simpler and more demanding than what we are accustomed to.

Robert Lanza, MD is considered one of the leading scientists in the world. He is the author of “Biocentrism,” a book that lays out his theory of everything. Deepak Chopra is the author of over 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his most recent novel, "Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment," available now at www.deepakchopra.com.