Panpsychism

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Does your floor think? Does it feel you enter and leave? Is it aware of the temperature of your body, the state of your mood? Can it tell by your steps if you are tired, sad, happy, or energetic? Panpsychism is the idea that everything has a mind or conscious awareness. The sixteenth century philosopher Francesco Patrizi, created the term which is Greek for all mind.

You’re walking on the beach. Your feet are bare and white sand is pushing up between your toes, making that delightful squishy, resistant yet non-resistant, feeling under your feet. As you watch the sun drop towards the horizon you are filled with awe at the beauty of the moment. The sand, the waves washing against the shore, the sun touching your skin while shifting the landscape from daylight to twilight and into darkness. It all feels so alive. But is it? Panpsychism says it is.

Take one grain of sand, it holds 7 sextillion atoms in its one tiny solitary self. Throw it back onto the beach and its 7 sextillion joins a field of atoms so infinite it makes counting stars seem easy. Is the grain of sand conscious? Does it feel your foot? Does it read your intentions in the way you walk?

An atom stores energy in its electron orbital motion. This means that the sand particle you held for one moment, with its 7 sextillion atoms, each atom holding .16 billionth of a joule of energy, is in its own right a tiny powerhouse of orbiting energy creating its own magnetic field. Thrown back onto the beach it becomes one part of a massive electromagnetic structure. So now we ask, is the electromagnetic field conscious?

Professor Johnjoe McFadden, of the University of Surry, published his theory in Oxfords distinguished journal, Neuroscience of Consciousness, where he posits that electromagnetic energy in the brain enables brain matter to create our consciousness and our ability to be aware and think.

So, if the beach has its own electromagnetic field, is it aware of the waves and of the sunset? Does your home know when you enter it and when you leave based on its own electromagnetic field? And does McFadden’s theory that the electromagnetic field around your brain actually creates your consciousness also support the idea of Panpsychism or all mind? No one really knows. It’s all theory but its freaking cool to think about.

As a spiritual person I’m in love with neuropsychology, physics, and metaphysics. I love the idea that everything is conscious and alive. Though Science may have thrown out the concept of dualism, the idea that human consciousness comes from the soul, I can’t help feeling that I am not my body. I am me, a spiritual being having a human experience in a meat-suit that, like my car, gets me from place to place. I know I have an energy field and that it interacts with other living thing’s energy fields. If they want to say it’s electromagnetic that makes perfect sense. I like Panpsychism like I like Pantheism. Maybe it’s just the All in the word Pan that I like. All life, all one, all us, all God.

We are all here traversing this funny world together and our brains have a magnetic field detected by EEGs! Today, I’m giving this world five wows and ten awes because it’s seriously cool.

I love you. You have an electromagnetic field around your brain!!! WOW and AWE! Good job everyone. You’re all miraculous.

The Masks We Share

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In therapy yesterday, I told my therapist that I was no longer afraid of my future, that I was riding the wave of what it is to be a single woman in this world. That it’s true that I don’t know where life will take me, but that I do know that wherever I land I will make my home. Over the last few months, I have rediscovered a resilience I had forgotten I had. In living a life that was not mine I had forgotten the cloth my soul was cut from and the girl I was went somewhere I could not follow. She’s with me now. She is me and I am her and we are riding this wave together.

It’s not a tidal wave, or a hurricane, or a tsunami I am surfing. It’s a life wave that most of us ride at some point in our lives. I’m not sad anymore. My heart has mended and I know that I was put on this earth to love and to love well. I know my own grace, my own inner goodness, and I know that I loved fully and absolutely even when all hope was gone. I love still.

Today I met a homeless woman my age. Her eyes were my eyes only lost and sad and wandering. How easy it would be to become her. She started to wander into traffic so I called her and she came to me on my island of a street corner. “A mask,” she said, panicked. “I need a mask.” I rummaged in my bag, pulled out a clean one and gave it to her. “Take care of yourself babe,” I said and then blew her a kiss. She blew me a kiss and I walked to the gym. Our kiss broke my heart because in that short interaction where I saw myself where I could have been if not for the grace of God, I also saw my own pain and fear reflected back at me. “Take care of yourself,” I was talking to me. “Babe,” I was talking to me, the blown kiss, I was sending love to me while loving her for being the me that somehow fell into the insanity that I have fought for so long.

Inside the gym I went straight to the bathroom, locked the door and got down on my knees and prayed out loud. I prayed for all the hungry, and the cold, the lost and the forgotten, the insane and the sane because there is only a hair’s width of distance between one and the other. I prayed for my husband and I prayed for my son and lastly, I prayed for me. When I was done my eyes were swollen with crying and I stared at my wrinkled puffy face and saw the girl I was grown into a strong sane woman who loves…loves…loves…without condition.

I am riding this wave and I don’t know where it will take me and I am doing it with compassion and kindness, forgiveness, and love. I invite you all to join me. Let go of your expectations, your preconceptions, your biases and your pain and remember that somewhere in the depths of a city you are cold and raged and begging for a new mask to wear because you are frightened and alone with no mask at all.

Be humbled. Know the I AM. Find comfort on your knees. Love without condition. Be peace to know peace. I love you and I mean it from the bottom of my soul. I honest to God love you.