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The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World [Kindle Edition]

Amit Goswami
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Consciousness, not matter, is the ground of all existence, declares University of Oregon physicist Goswami, echoing the mystic sages of his native India. He holds that the universe is self-aware, and that consciousness creates the physical world.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3098 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher (21 Mar. 1995)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001QWDS1Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #132,032 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I dont understand the negative comments at all. 23 Dec. 2008
Format:Paperback
I cannot give this book five stars because I admit that at times some of the concepts that get mentioned are done in a too mater-of-fact way. I remember reading some part of the book (in Part 3) when Goswami throws in the term "self-nature of objects". As a buddhist myself I am versed in the notions of non-self and Emptiness, but I had to review the paragraph and its context to confirm this was indeed what Goswami was talking about (he was). Theres been a few incidents like this through the book, which are actually valid, but sometimes hard to immediately understand when not in contact with the concepts on a day to day basis. But the subject of consciousness, quantum mechanics, experience, emptiness, ephiphenomenology, soliphism, etc are not simple.

The above is only a minor criticism. The subject matter is defnitely well covered, and I think Goswami's ideas certainly contribute to the philosophical ideas of this new field of thinking. Goswami covers fundamental principles of quantum mechanics that force materialist scientists to have to re-think the classical principles at the quantum level. He explicates modern thinking of QM, and then brings it into the world of consciousness.

I'm surprised at the comments made by Marc John about relegating the Dalai Lama et al to the status of Santa Claus - such comments seem to come from an inappropriate level of attachment to ideals which, in the final analysis, are just mental constructs of things that dont exist.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just what "stuff" is universe made of? 9 Sept. 2009
Format:Paperback
This is a very tightly woven polemic, requiring careful attention. Goswami argues that the fundamental "stuff" of the universe is not matter as we have all been taught at school, but consciousness. This, he argues, is the only possible conclusion of the findings of quantum physics. Goswami challenges perhaps the most fundamental of all paradigms. The universe is not made of material stuff at all! Well, we all know that atoms are mostly empty but they still appear to be very solid when we encounter them in iron bars. Goswami considers his claim from every angle, he unravels Einstein's objections and examines the work of researchers in Quantum mechanics from Neils Bohr onwards. He describes numerous experiments, both in physics laboratories and in the field of psychology and noetic science, and extrapolates their conclusions. He considers the many objections to his thesis and shows how all these objections are flawed. Consciousness remains the only possible fundamental which accounts for all material, phenomena and experience. This is not an easy read, but for those with stamina, he provides a great deal of food for the mind.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars non-logical quantum jump 13 Jun. 2007
Format:Paperback
I did like the book and found the science very interesting - however the main problem for me was his non-logical quantum jump from quantum physics to monistic idealism. Statements such as 'consciousness is the ground of all being' (site) - which although from a theological view are fine - i don't feel are adequately substantiated in the book. There are some very basic logical jumps which are not fully backed up and not clearly thought out, were he moves from science to notions of spirituality without rigorous philosophical investigation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A world of monistic idealism 11 Dec. 2010
By Dr. H. A. Jones TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Self-Aware Universe: How consciousness creates the material world, by Amit Goswami, Jeremy Tarcher, New York, 1993, 336 ff.

The author sets out at the beginning how he views the world. He is rejecting the dualism of Descartes that suggested the world about us comprised material things and thinking things, that is, matter and minds. Goswami's world is a holistic unity - a world the philosophers would describe as monistic. Thus, he also rejects the dualism of western religion separating God from Man and Nature.

Then Goswami addresses the scientists. Theirs is a world of materialism. Only material objects and their properties are relevant. Any spirituality is subjective and meaningless to everyone else. But the deepest experiences of humankind are those of the soul and emotions and here science, that has explained so much, has little or nothing to say by way of explanation or interpretation. And the world of the numinous is the philosophical world of idealism.

The author is professor of physics at the Institute of Theoretical Sciences at the University of Oregon and is well-known for his writings that try to bridge the gap between materialist science on the one hand and the world of spirituality on the other, like Fritjof Capra a couple of decades earlier. He makes an important distinction though between mind and consciousness. Essentially, mind is the collection of our thoughts; consciousness is awareness and includes our sensory experiences. That aspect of our minds that Jung described as the collective unconscious is what Hindus describe as Atman. The mystic sees this unitive consciousness as God.

Goswami explains the mind-twisting concepts of quantum physics - non-locality, wave-particle duality, complementarity - quite simply for the non-specialist.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Never mind the quality feel the wave function ....
I did not relate to the style. Too much stuff without due depth. This book it seems is one of many similar by the a person who is not doing the field any favours.
Published 9 days ago by W. R. Stewart
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I thought.
If you're not a physicist or are not interested in quantum physics, then this will be a little hard going for you. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jennifer Hobson
5.0 out of 5 stars original and convincing
AG has taken pains to explain his ideas in detail and in a convincing manner; worth reading.Need a bit of scientific background to understand.
Published 19 months ago by R. Suryanarayanan
1.0 out of 5 stars Real quantum leaps in logical argumentation
This book falls into the category which is hugely popular in recent years and which I have named "psoodooscience". Read more
Published on 27 Nov. 2009 by Printul Noptilor
2.0 out of 5 stars Eastern View of Quantum Physics
The books main argument is against "material realism" and in favor of a more holistic approach to reality in which our individual consciousness is responsible for creating... Read more
Published on 19 Sept. 2008 by nicholas hargreaves
1.0 out of 5 stars Incoherent treatment of a vital subject
Yes, quantum physics appears to offer a scientific bridge to understanding consciousness and the ultimate reality of your being, echoing concepts and truths that ancient sages and... Read more
Published on 2 Feb. 2008 by Marc John
1.0 out of 5 stars Interesting science quickly descends into boring mumbo jumbo
Having ploughed my way through this ridiculous treatise I can proudly say I have became one of the mystics that Dr Goswami so admires, as I am mystified how any university could... Read more
Published on 30 Sept. 2007 by Kuma
5.0 out of 5 stars A Forward Step for Human Kind
At last a book that coherently & convincingly binds the spiritual with the scientific. A ground breaking & immensely inspiring book - turns the lightbulb on!
Published on 3 Aug. 2007 by C. J. Winch
5.0 out of 5 stars A New View of Reality
This book is a sincere attempt to help us enter a new paradigm - a way of looking at Life, the Universe and Everything. Read more
Published on 9 Jun. 2007 by Mr. David C. Howells
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