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on 21 November 2015
Not finished it yet but I'm enjoying it greatly. The physics stuff is more than interesting anyway before it delves more into the metaphysical aspects.
I like the writing style, presented in an easy to understand approach but without dumbing down. It resonates strongly with me, echoing my own beliefs that life & consciousness exist within all of creation, within all matter; the universe itself is alive. We are not a disease of matter as arch atheists like Hawking, Dawkins & co are so cocksure of.

Its another excellent work and another valuable resource in my investigations into the afterlife, the nature of consciousness etc.

Just not a book for those of a closed mind.

I will make a point; I thought the author, as being of a similar cultural background, might be similar in style to Deepak Chopra. I have read one of Deepak's books but must say I prefer this - its less heavy on eastern mysticism and where it uses, it makes a better use of it too.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 11 December 2010
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. The quantum matter/energy concept is the scientists' vision of transcendence - `being beyond comprehension'. He also makes quite frequent reference to parallels between his scientific philosophy of monistic idealism and Hindu mythology. It might have widened the readership if Goswami had tied the quantum world view into eastern mysticism more generally, like Capra, but Goswami makes an excellent job of his presentation.

I didn't find the sharp three-fold division of the book into physics, philosophy and mysticism that some other reviewers have found. The book is indeed presented in four parts, but they are much more integrated than that. Because of this diversity of content, the book does seem to jump around a bit in order to make these connections, and this does demand greater concentration from the reader.

When you read this book, the author's writing style is such that you feel you are in conversation with him. Although it deals with many challenging ideas, it is presented in as non-academic a style as possible for such sophisticated subject matter. If you are interested in a spiritual approach to the material world but one that is compatible with the latest ideas in quantum physics, then this book is for you. You must however be prepared to embrace some of the mystical ideas of eastern religion. There's a glossary of technical terms, a list of references and a bibliography, and a good index.

Dr Howard A. Jones is the author of The Thoughtful Guide to God (2006) and The Tao of Holism (2008), both published by O Books of Winchester, UK.

Creative Evolution
Mind Before Matter: Visions of a New Science of Consciousness
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on 27 June 2014
If you're not a physicist or are not interested in quantum physics, then this will be a little hard going for you. Goswami goes to great lengths to expalin the applicability of quantum mechanics to what he calls "monist idealism". Current, and indeed recent, advances in quantum theory fit neatly into his hypothesis of us all, humans, animals, things, sharing one consciouness. Better than the religious theories, Goswami still manages to make quantum mechanics sound pretty spiritual anyway, whjich is no bad thing, after all, we are all in need of a little imagination and creativity from time to time.

It's a complex read, but worth getting your head around to understand the latest, cutting edge, fringe even, science of quantum consciouness.
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on 7 August 2015
A bit difficult to understand , but thats because the subject matter is convoluted . Amit is very good in breaking it down into layman's terms. the concept is brilliant but I think the scientific world will have a problem dealing with it
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on 30 May 2017
An excellent book
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on 15 September 2016
a bit beyond me so it was a `bridge to far` intellectually speaking, if your up to it a good read to expand your thinking on how this Universe works.
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on 11 January 2016
Fantastic book, at last a physicist trying to match the quantum world with spirituality
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on 16 July 2013
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.
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on 17 February 2015
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.
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on 3 August 2007
At last a book that coherently & convincingly binds the spiritual with the scientific. A ground breaking & immensely inspiring book - turns the lightbulb on!
11 people found this helpful
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