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The Sensual Re-ensoulment of Science

The New Science of QUALIA

For centuries, philosophers and scientists have asked themselves what sort of reality lies behind the world of the senses, and if so, are there ways in which we can actually learn to enter and experience that world? Many old and new religious philosophies or ‘theosophies’ have affirmed that behind the world of the senses lies a world of soul and spirit. On the other hand, they offer us no ways of clearly making sense of the very concepts of ‘soul’ and ‘spirit’ themselves. That is one reason why modern science has dispensed with these concepts and posits instead an abstract realm of quantum field dynamics - one not capable of being directly experienced at all, but only conceptualised in quantitative mathematical equations. What I term The New Science is a new ‘science of soul’ or ‘soul science’. This is a science that not only makes sense of the term ‘soul’ in an entirely new way, but offers us new ways of entering, experiencing and thereby scientifically researching the world of soul. It makes new ‘sense’ of the term ‘soul’ by arguing that it is nothing ‘suprasensuous’ - but consists instead of fields and field qualities of awareness that have their own innately sensual character. From a soul-scientific perspective, the sensuous qualities of colour, shape and texture that make up the sensory world are sensory manifestations of soul qualities – innately sensual colourations, shapes and textures of awareness as such. These sensual qualities of awareness or ‘Qualia’ constitute the very essence of meaning or ‘sense’. They are what we experience in a tangible sensual way as the meaning of things, as when we feel enriched in a most tangible and sensual way by the meanings we sense in a work of art such as a painting or piece of music.

The overall subjective ‘feel’ or ‘sense’ we have of the inner meaning of a painting or piece of music is nothing we can localise in space or perceive with our senses. Scientifically understood, it has a ‘non-local’ or ‘field’ quality. It is also something we feel rather than something we perceive directly with our senses.  What physical science refuses to recognise however, is that feeling is itself a different way of knowing things – a mode of cognition more fundamental than either sensory awareness or intellectual cognition.  Scientifically put, feeling is a non-local or field awareness as opposed to focused awareness. Sights and sounds, colours and tones, shapes and textures, are something we can localise in space –  for they are localised sensory qualities of perceptual objects. Yet when we feel our way into a painting or piece of music, we understand its colours and sounds as something more than just sensory qualities. It is not that those ‘objective’ sensory colours and sounds somehow produce subjective ‘feelings’ in us. On the contrary, if we feel ourselves into a painting, piece of music –  or any perceptual objects whatsoever – we experience its ‘objective’ sensory  qualities as the physical manifestation of ‘subjective’ qualities – soul qualities. Those qualities are a mystery to philosophy and physical science because they are field qualities. ‘Soul’ is only a mystery to philosophy and physical science because it is not something visible, audible or measurable that we can localise in space or time. Instead it is the non-local or field-dimension of our awareness. Soul, quite simply, is field awareness - experienced as feeling awareness – and the soul qualities that lie behind sensory qualities are felt field qualities of awareness.

‘Qualia’ are a mystery to philosophy and physical science because they are not simply qualities belonging to our focussed sensory awareness of phenomena. Instead they are soul-qualities sensed through non-local or field awareness - through feeling awareness. That is why, when we fully feel ourselves into a painting or piece of music, the feeling we have of each or any of its colours and tones, shapes and textures is something all pervasive – something we sense with and within our body as a whole and not something we merely perceive through the peepholes of our bodily senses. The meaning or sense of a painting or piece of music is not something we can grasp through sensory or intellectual cognition alone. It is something we can only sense in a feeling way – through an overall and all-pervasive field-awareness. Similarly, whilst the visible word on a page or the vocal sound of the spoken word is something we perceive with our senses, its inner meaning or sense - its ‘soul’  - is nothing verbal, visible or vocal. Those scientists who deny the reality of a world of soul and spirit are simply spiritually illiterate. To persuade them of the reality of this world is like trying to persuade someone who has not yet learned to read or who cannot understand the spoken word that there is an invisible and inaudible world of meaning behind the measurable ink marks on a page or sound waves of speech, and that this world of meaning or ‘soul’ has its source in a ‘spiritual’ world – a world of beings who speak and write, beings who create paintings or compose music.

To the ordinary scientist, the world of Qualia or soul qualities will forever remain a mystery. They themselves are beings who seek meaning through science. Paradoxically however, the picture of the cosmos they present us with is a world with ‘causes’ but without meaning. A world in which felt meanings, and feeling beings are seen as mere by-products of matter and energy. Far from being a ‘rational’ world outlook their ‘science’ is the most totally irrational world outlook conceivable – one that would imply that the very meaning of words is a by-product of ‘matter’ in the form of the paper and ink on which they are printed, or a  by-product of ‘energy’ in the form of the sound waves of speech. Likewise the meaning of a painting or piece of music would have nothing whatsoever to do with a human being, but understood simply as a by-product of pigments on canvas or notes on a printed score. Indeed, in this irrational scientific world outlook, the human being as such is  seen as a by-product of a lump of grey matter – the brain - quite forgetting that this lump of grey matter is only visible in the first place as a perceptual object for a human being. The light in which the brain or any material become visible is not the abstract ‘light’ of the physicists, composed of photonic energy quanta. Nor is it the light we know through our senses. For that light is only visible ‘in the light’ of our own awareness of it. Millennia before the abstract mathematical models of the cosmos propounded as quantum physics appeared on the scene, fundamental reality was understood in a far deeper, far more rational ‘scientific’ way – as the light of awareness as such. That a bright day can appear grey if we are in a dark ‘mood’ is not a subjective aberration or hallucination. For it is the light of our awareness that colours our perception of the world, just as it is the light of awareness which is the field condition for our awareness of any world and any physical phenomena whatsoever.  The physical-scientific model of invisible quantum energy fields is no more and no less an abstract scientific metaphor of this deeper reality. Indeed all scientific models of the cosmos are just that – metaphors of a cosmos composed not of objective energetic quanta but of subjective qualia, innate field qualities of awareness or subjectivity itself.  Despite all its talk of ‘fields’, physical science is flawed at its very foundation by a failure to affirm the field character of ‘awareness’ or ‘consciousness’. Since feeling awareness is the very essence of field awareness, this fundamental flaw makes it impossible for science to acknowledge direct feeling cognition as an infinitely more profound way of understanding all physical phenomena. It also makes it impossible for the human being to use their own immediate sensory awareness as an instrument of deep scientific research - a gateway to a hidden world of soul and spirit. To do so requires only that we feel our way into physical phenomena as we feel our way into art  – transform our focal awareness of sensory qualities into a field awareness of the soul qualities they manifest. For it is these soul qualities or Qualia and not energetic Quanta, that are the very soul-stuff of which the cosmos is composed.

Just as colour tones and sound tones each have their own felt qualities of hardness or softness, brightness or darkness, angularity or roundedness, heaviness or lightness, intensity or dullness, density or diffuseness, so are all sensuous qualities essentially tonal qualities. Yet sound and colour tones themselves are felt tonalities of awareness as such - ‘feeling tones’ of the sort we experience in a sensual way as the ‘colour tone’ or ‘tone colour’ of our moods. The ancient understanding that everything has its own  ‘vibration’, ‘sound’ or ‘tone’ – that the cosmos is a manifestation of the ‘music of the spheres’ has been turned on its head by modern physical science, which now understands ‘vibration’, ‘sound’ and  ‘tone’ in a purely mechanical or mathematical way and not in a musical way – as feeling tone.  At the heart of all Qualia – all specific sensual qualities of feeling awareness - is a unique feeling tone or field-tonality of awareness. Fundamental reality is thus quintessentially musical – composed of countless tonalities of feeling awareness, each with their own sensual qualities, and all of which combine as that great symphony of the soul which manifests as our sensory world.

The methodology of soul-scientific research turns the sensory world into a gateway into a world of soul and spirit. It does so by transforming all that we ordinarily experience as the sensory qualities of bodies into a tangible bodily experience of the soul qualities they manifest. Thus our sensory experience of bodily qualities such as colour, shape and texture is transformed into an experience of different colourations, shapes and textures of awareness. The medium of this transformation and thus the principal instrument of soul-scientific research is our own psychical body – our awareness body or body of awareness. By attuning in a feeling way to the unique tonality of the specific colours, shapes and textures belonging to perceptual objects we bring our awareness or subjectivity into resonance with them. This resonance in turn allows our awareness itself to take on the bodily shape, colour and texture of the perceptual object. The principle at work here is well-named by Rupert Sheldrake’s term ‘morphic resonance’, for it is a principle of resonance between outer sensory form (Greek morphe) on the one hand, and inner feeling tone on the other. Our psychical body can quite literally shape-shift or ‘morph’ in resonance with the sensory form of both our own physical body and that of other bodies around us in space. It is this awareness body – our psychical organism – that is the principal instrument (Greek organon) of qualitative, soul-scientific research, and not any external physical instruments. For however sophisticated, the latter can serve only as a means of purely external observation and quantitative measurement, providing no truly experiential foundation - and therefore no truly ‘empirical’ foundation – for a deeper scientific understanding of the sensory world. Modern science has long lost its anchor and therefore also abandoned its empirical foundations in human sensory experience. That is because it has lacked the means for transforming outer sensory experience into direct inner experiences of soul and of the soul qualities or Qualia that lie behind all sensory qualities. The New Science is ‘Cosmic Qualia Science’. As  soul science, this is the sole science that can restore meaning or sense to the cosmos - by returning science to its bodily roots in our sensory experiencing and by re-ensouling all the qualitative dimensions of sensory experience
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