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.