Updated: Apr 13
The shift from a system of medicine based in the primacy of matter to one based in the primacy of consciousness is mirrored in the world of science by the shift from a world made of solid particles to one comprised of fundamental fields of energy. A particle can be represented as a local vibration in a non-local field of energy, just as a wrinkle is a local activity in a non-local bedsheet, or a gust of wind is a local "vibration" or activity in non-local air.
This conveys the idea that the appearance of distinct particles is just that–an appearance or activity of a broader, subtler entity. Similarly, Second Mind Medicine takes the view that body, perceptions, thoughts, and feelings are activities of a broader, subtler, non-local consciousness. This leap to postulating the existence of non-local consciousness differentiating as matter is one that many are not willing to take. Here are five points to explore that can help build a bridge of understanding from a field-based view to non-local consciousness.
What is energy? Is it a kind of information? If so, what is information?
Is there a more fundamental field or field-like entity that all fields are derived from? If so, what are the candidates for its nature?
What are the different definitions of consciousness and mind assigned by different philosophies and cultures. How do these relate with scientific definitions?
Is consciousness produced by the brain or does consciousness exist beyond the brain? What is the evidence for each position?
How diligent are our own introspective practices into mind, consciousness, identity, and perception? How much of the technique and course of such practices as described in wisdom traditions do we understand?
Second Mind Medicine takes the position that consciousness is not only personal, but also impersonal and trans-personal. In other words, there is a broader field-like nature of consciousness which differentiates as individual consciousness and the object of its attention.
From the above description and image, we can see that from a Second Mind view, consciousness can appear to exist strictly in relationship with a brain while simultaneously including and going beyond the brain.
The First Mind view interprets and sees all objects of the world, including body, organs and cells, as particulate or particle-like in nature in that they are distinct objects characterized by distinct, finite boundaries. This view is taken as standard by the First Mind because it superimposes its very own differentiated, finite, bounded nature on the world of the Second Mind without knowing it, just as we might project our own feelings and thoughts onto another person.
The Second Mind is the undifferentiated nature of the world, potentiality prior to particularization and quantization. While the Second Mind is not the fields of energy extending throughout space that physics recognizes, the fact that science is now aware (for the last 100 years or so) that our particulate world is a derivation from a subtle, non-particularized, non-quantized domain indicates that our First Mind science is developing toward a Second Mind understanding. Remaining misconceptions about what consciousness is have to be clarified to further bridge the field-view of physics with Second Mind Medicine.