Peter B. Todd
(Author: The Individuation of God)Click Here to Watch a Video interview with Peter Todd (Click Here for the Full 45 Minute Video) Contributions from archetypal depth psychology, quantum physics and neuroscience elucidate relationships between mind and matter. The published work of C.G. Jung, Wolfgang Pauli, David Bohm and Teilhard de Chardin outline a process whereby matter evolves in increasing complexity from sub-atomic particles to the human brain and the emergence of a reflective consciousness leading to a noosphere evolving towards an Omega point. The noosphere is the envelope of consciousness and meaning superimposed upon the biosphere a concept central to the evolutionary thought of Jesuit palaeontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (The Phenomenon of Man). His central ideas, like those of Jung, provide intimations of a numinous principle implicit in cosmology and the discovery that in and through humanity, evolution becomes not only conscious of itself but also directed and purposive. Consciousness has become the mirror which the universe has evolved to reflect upon itself and in which its very existence is revealed. The implication for process theology is that God and humanity are in an entangled state so that the evolution of God cannot be separated from that of humankind. A process (Incarnational) theology inseminated by the theory of evolution is one in which humankind completes the individuation of God towards the wholeness represented for instance in cosmic mandala symbols (Jung, Collected Works, vol. 11). Jung believes that God needs humankind to become conscious, whole and complete, a thesis explored in my book The individuation of God: Integrating Science and Religion (Wilmette, IL: Chiron Publications 2012). One critical issue explored in my book is the epistemological one which underpins scholarly treatments of extended mind and its relationship with matter in process theology, archetypal psychology and quantum physics as well cultural or psychosocial evolution in the work of Teilhard de Chardin. The prevailing position since the seventeenth century has been that of reductionist materialism so that mental (psychic) qualities were either squeezed out of existence or marginalised as mere epiphenomenal by-products of brain processes. The nature of the mind-matter or consciousness-brain relationship is not always made explicit in published work even in psychoanalytic studies although neither classical physics nor Darwin’s theory of evolution could explain the anomaly of mind or consciousness so crucial to the process (Incarnational) theology of Teilhard de Chardin as I argue in my paper Teilhard and Other Modern Thinkers on Evolution, Mind and Matter published in the journal of the American Teilhard Association, Number 66,2013.
The Psychophysical ProblemPhysicist Wolfgang Pauli who collaborated with Carl Jung regarded the anomaly of mind and consciousness as troublesome because scientific theories, like mathematics were products of the psyche with a great deal of unconscious preparation. Pauli noted that repression of the psyche had been one-sided and dangerous creating a materialistic culture in which the influence of religion was continuously diminished and a very strict separation between science and religion was characteristic (Laurikainen, K.V. Beyond the Atom: The Philosophical Thought of Wolfgang Pauli, Springer-Verlag, 1988). Pauli regarded the nature of the mind-brain-consciousness relationship or psychophysical problem as one of the most challenging of our time, given its epistemological significance in both science and religion. Wholeness could only be restored to a science in which the personal equation or consciousness of the observer was to be integrated into the understanding of nature. The term “personal equation” was coined in the collaboration between Jung and Pauli. According to Pauli and as noted by the late high energy physicist Kalervo Laurikainen, “the most important lesson that quantum mechanics has given us is that we must include the observer in our picture of the world. This was the original spirit in the Copenhagen philosophy (in quantum physics) and exactly in this point Pauli represented this philosophy in the most consistent way” (ibid.163). The myth of the detached observer is a relic of classical, Newtonian mechanics prior to the quantum revolution. Paradoxically, no science would exist in the absence of the consciousness of the human observer nor would mathematics which is a psychological process “describing relationships organising matter” as noted by Karl Pribram (Consciousness Reassessed, Mind and Matter, 2, 1 (2004): 14).Pribram, a neuroscientist perhaps best known for his work on the holographic brain, also rejects the notion that consciousness is an epiphenomenal by-product of brain processes remarking that “conscious attention shapes subsequent behaviour”(Ibid.27).
Complementarity Between Mind and MatterThe published thought of both Carl Jung and Teilhard de Chardin converge with respect to the existence of a relationship of complementarity between mind and matter. In Jungian depth psychology, symbols represent unconscious archetypes which are timeless, cosmic ordering and regulating principles. In particular, Jung’s archetype of the Self or Imago Dei (God-image) is distinctly numinous in character and associated with religious or mystical feelings. This archetype can be understood as corresponding to Teilhard’s notion of the God-Omega Point in cosmology and evolution. In Jungian archetypal psychology, the unconscious not only transcends space-time it is also co-extensive with the cosmos itself as was Teilhard’s notions of complexity-consciousness, noosphere and the Omega point as the culmination of hominisation and cultural evolution. Teilhard wrote, “In Omega we have the principle we needed to explain the persistent march of things towards greater consciousness …. By its radial nucleus it finds its shape and its natural consistency in gravitating against the tide of probability towards a divine focus of mind which draws it onward. Thus something in the cosmos escapes from entropy and does so more and more” (The Phenomenon of Man. 271). Pauli, together with Jung wanted spirit (psyche) to be acknowledged as a basic element of the world along with matter so that the universe would be perceived as an organism rather than a clock, a vision of cosmogenesis similar to that of Teilhard’s noogenesis that implies evolving toward a divine focus of mind. Both Pauli and Jung were mystically inclined with a sense of psychic and physical codes implicit in cosmology and evolution. As I point out in my paper published in Teilhard Studies, they had concluded that a relationship of complementarity exists between mind and matter which is analogous to the wave particle duality in quantum physics. This was the epistemological model of a dual-aspect monism having metaphysical implications. One observer described these connotations commenting that “metaphysics taken seriously in the sense of Pauli and Jung refers to a reality more substantial, more material as it were than anything that physics and psychology would characterise as real” (Atmanspacher, Editorial, Mind and Matter,9, 1 (2011):4). This form of extraphysical reality was designated by a mode of cognition expressed through archetypal symbols indicating an objective order in the cosmos of which humans are part but which also transcends humanity (K. von Meyenn, “Dreams and Fantasies of a Quantum Physicist”, Mind and Matter 9, 1 (2011):11).
The U-Field of Wolfgang PauliFor Pauli, archetypes combine sensory stimuli forming certain outlines and in this way a picture of the world is formed corresponding to the properties of the human psyche. With his concept of the U-field, Pauli regarded the unconscious as the psychological analogy of the physical field except that the U-field was not spatiotemporally bound, an idea consistent with the notion of the unconscious archetypes as timeless, cosmic, ordering and regulating principles. For Pauli this seemed to express a deeper similarity rather than a superficial analogy. The Jungian unconscious refers to “an invisible reality mediating a connection between spatially and temporally distant phenomena” (Ibid. von Meyenn 2011). Thus, Pauli regarded the archetypes as verifiable in the external phenomenal world and in the internal world of the psyche. In a letter to Jung Pauli wrote “like all ideas, the unconscious is simultaneous in man and in nature; the ideas have no location, not even in heaven. Consciousness, on the other hand was supposed to be only a late-born offspring of the unconscious soul.” One archetype that was particularly meaningful to Pauli was the coniunctio oppositorum, the union of opposites or wholeness reflected in non-local effects, interconnectedness and holism associated with both the quantum situation and the unconscious psyche. Pauli’s cosmic ordering and regulating principles were not spatiotemporally bound or confined. They were as universal, timeless or eternal as those which like the archetypes of God and the Self, belonged to Jung’s collective unconscious, particularly when identified with either the external cosmos or the cosmos within. Although a “late born offspring of the unconscious soul”, consciousness is still the mirror in which the very existence of the universe is revealed as are the archetypal symbols of the collective unconscious. Such concepts resonate with Teilhard’s notions of the noosphere and Omega point at which the numinous dimension implicit in his evolutionary process consummates itself. For both Jung and Pauli, psyche and physis, like mind and matter and science and religion exist in a relationship of complementarity rather than being irreconcilable opposite or mutually antagonistic as I have argued in my book The Individuation of God: Integrating Science and Religion.
The Implicate Order of BohmIn his later published work, physicist David Bohm evolved a concept of Mind which was co-extensive with the universe, one that closely resembled formulations by other physicists, psychologists and such religious thinkers as Teilhard de Chardin. Among Bohm’s contributions to the exploration of reality was an understanding of consciousness as a coherent whole. In his book Wholeness and the Implicate Order (1980), Bohm writes “The vast unconscious background of explicit consciousness and ultimately unknowable depths of inwardness are analogous to the sea of energy which fills the sensible perceived empty space” (P.267). In his final work, The Undivided Universe (2002), Bohm expressed the insight that “active information served as the bridge between the mental and the physical” (P.386). Bohm’s notion of extended mind included the idea of active quantum information devoid of consciousness, thereby avoiding the criticism of panpsychism and the conflation of mind with consciousness. Jung and Pauli likewise avoided the conflation of mind with reflective consciousness in their treatment of the unconscious (U-field). Bohm’s concept of active information as a bridge between mind and matter is remarkably similar to the notion of the unconscious archetypes as cosmic ordering and regulating principles. These insights provide the basis for the epistemological position of a relationship of complementarity between mind and matter. Bohm clearly adopted a dual-aspect monist notion of the mental and the physical being complementary though irreducible to one another. His dual aspect concept of mind represents a rejection of a purely monist materialist explanation of the nature of reality. More controversially perhaps, Bohm like Teilhard proposed human participation in “a greater collective mind in principle capable of going indefinitely beyond even the human species as a whole”. Such collective mind is analogous to Jung’s view of the unconscious psyche and the archetypes. Bohm summarised his position concerning the role of the human observer in this way: “There is no need to regard the observer as basically separate from what he sees nor to reduce him to an epiphenomenon of the objective process. More broadly one could say that through the human being, the universe has created a mirror to observe itself” (Ibid, 389).
ConclusionsSuch reflections on mind not only represent a position radically different from metaphysical materialism, they also refute the argument that God is a delusion. In a perspective illuminated by the insights of Pauli, Jung and Bohm, Teilhard predicted that humanity not only participates in a numinous dimension but also in a process of co-creative divinisation by directing the future of the biosphere and the noosphere. Teilhard held that the ultimate nature of evolution is psychic referring to the “primordial psychism of the first cells” (The Phenomenon of Man, 166) and to its completion as “a divine focus of mind” (Ibid. 271). This view was endorsed by the eminent evolutionary biologist Sir Julian Huxley who wrote in his introduction to The Phenomenon of Man, “evolutionary fact and logic demand that minds should have evolved gradually as well as bodies and that accordingly, mind-like properties must be present throughout the universe” (The Phenomenon of Man, 16-17). Huxley commented that “Teilhard wanted to deal with the entire human phenomenon as a transcendence of biological by psychosocial evolution” (Ibid.24)
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A book review
By Leonard Cruz, M.D. , M.E.
Erit in omnibus in Omnia Deus (God may become all in and through all)
The Phenomenon of Man
Pierre Telihard de ChardinQuantum mechanics, depth psychology, and mysticism are blended in Peter Todd’s scholarship as he searches for a Third-Millennium Theology. Todd effectively strikes a blow to the The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins’s enormously popular 2006 book by highlighting that the God Dawkins seeks to dismantle, a God infused with classical Newtonian and neo-Darwinian ideas, has already been silenced and annihilated. Todd correctly points out that Dawkins completely ignores revolutionary ideas emerging from quantum mechanics high priests such as David Bohm (The Undivided Universe), Erwin Schrödinger (What is Life?), and evolutionary biologists like McFadden, Al-Khalilili (A Quantum Mechanical Model of Adaptive Mutation) who propose a quantum mechanical model of evolution. One consequence of Todd’s frequent reference to Dawkins is that it may unintentionally promote The God Delusion. During the twentieth century, under the banner of process theology, various explorations of God’s attribute of being mutable were undertaken. The Individuation of God is at once a psychologically well-informed work and another contribution to process theology. Readers who are familiar with certain bedrock ideas from quantum mechanics will undoubtedly appreciate Todd’s grasp more than those for whom ideas like quantum entanglement, or emergent phenomenon are entirely new concepts. It may be helpful to explain some concepts and Wikipedia provides some succinct explanations with suitable references (retrieved 2/3/2013 ) Quantum entanglement is a form of quantum superposition. When a measurement is made and it causes one member of such a pair to take on a definite value (e.g., clockwise spin), the other member of this entangled pair will at any subsequent time be found to have taken the appropriately correlated value (e.g., counterclockwise spin). Thus, there is a correlation between the results of measurements performed on entangled pairs, and this correlation is observed even though the entangled pair may have been separated by arbitrarily large distances.In Quantum entanglement, part of the transfer happens instantaneously.  Emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. Emergence is central to the theories of integrative levels and of complex systems. The negentropy, also negative entropy, of a living system is the entropy that it exports to keep its own entropy low; it lies at the intersection of entropy and life. (It is a measure of a systems tendency to move toward or sustain complexity and order.) Todd suggests that God and man are in an entangled state such that both God’s and man’s individuation are inextricably bound and reliant on one another for completion. This will strike many Christians as antithetical and heretical, but it may provide process theologians a solid scientific basis for their claims. The book’s first chapter, “The Case against God” summarizes the case Dawkins prosecutes against God in which he contends that belief in a personal god constitutes a delusion. In “Religious Fundamentalism as a Shadow”, Todd notes that fundamentalism and the literalism it espouses is “One major challenge to the survival of humanity…” . (p 21) The third chapter, “Mind and Directed Evolution” introduces the most revolutionary claims. Insofar as the quality of mind is revealed even at the quantum level, Todd explains that biosystems may be viewed as quantum computers. As such, they are capable of evaluating infinite probability states, and through natural selection, efficiently choosing evolutionary changes that are useful for survival. If for example, the mutation of the HIV retrovirus involves something other than random events, then humankind’s collective conscious response may be understood as a “metaphorical quantum entanglement between the developed and developing worlds…that transcends the confines of nationalism and economic self-interest…” (p48). In the chapter titled “Consciousness as an Organizing Principle” the author decries spiritual materialism, secularism, and the religion of the state for their ability to support a “God of insects” (p82), wherein spirit and numinosity is repressed and no individuality exists like with beehives or ant colonies. This conception of God has menacing effects upon the planet and its resources. In the totalitarian states especially, “…no individuality exists … the individuation process is repressed so that personal self-identity is subsumed to a mindless devotion to the state …”. Depth psychology, theology, and the numinous qualities of archetypal symbols illuminate how man’s conception of God can evolve beyond a transitional object. The last two chapters, “Myth, Symbol, and Transformation” and “A Third-Millennium Theology” challenge conventional understanding of time’s arrow and reintroduce the numinous in an effort to propose a theology for our current millennium. Todd is not suggesting a third-millennium theology as some completed endpoint. However, he seems to be mindful of the simultaneous threats of thermonuclear warfare, chemical & biological weapons, natural resource depletion, and global warming. These are more dangerous if humanity remains fixed in the mindset of religious fundamentalism, classical Newtonian mechanics, or neo-Darwinian orthodoxy. The Individuation of God inquires about time and the illusion of time’s arrow. Todd invokes Schrödinger’s reference to the “tyranny of Chronos” in considering the indestructibility of the mind. The Greek New Testament uses two words for time, Chronos (Χρόνος) and Kairos (καιρός). Kairos is the indeterminate time, often discovered in the liminal realm, when something special happens. It can be thought of as the emergent moment, the eternal now, or the realm where the illusion of time’s arrow is transcended. In the end, The Individuation of God is a valiant and well-informed effort to integrate modern science, psychology, and theology. The Individuation of God successfully interweaves an expansive list of sources. In the last chapter His Holiness the Dalai Lama is quoted, “If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change.” (p141). And from Einstein’s essay, “The World as I See It” he quotes, “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious.” We arrive at some intriguing conclusions that “Without psyche there would be no theory to explain the outlines and patterns discovered by science.” (p150) In the course of God becoming fully human through the incarnation, arises a corollary and possibility, that humanity is becoming divine. This is in perfect alliance with Jung’s notion of Christ as a symbol of the coniunctio, for Christ reconciles opposites. The evolution of God and the evolution of man cannot be separated. There is a trajectory of humanity’s conception of God that began with a mythopoetic, animistic experience of the divine. This trajectory later traverses the epochs in which omnipotent, often patriarchal Olympian or Old Testament deities reigned with ferocity and aloofness. And this arrives at a “…three-hundred-year-old schism between science and religion” (p160) that yielded a demythologized, annihilated god. Peter Todd’s third millennium theology, may provide a path of return to the Garden of Eden. This third millennium theology is characterized by a deep appreciation for the entangled state of our inner and outer life, of I and Thou, and of the physical and the numinous. This theology brings man’s evolving notion of God full circle where it is once more infused with myths and symbols. In this regard, depth psychology and Jung’s seemingly unfathomable explorations continue to enrich us. At times it may appear at times that Todd too often refers to ideas previously mentioned, but this is necessary since many topics are likely to be unfamiliar. The frequent invocation of Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion, makes The Individuation of God, appear to be a disputation of Dawkins. This is a small shortcoming, of this book but The Individuation of God deserves to stand alone with Dawkins relegated to a footnote and bibliographic reference. – Len Cruz, MD CLICK HERE TO ORDER A COPY OF THIS BOOK