What role does light (EMR) play in determining Schrödinger's cat's state (dead or alive)? Is light itself the only important factor closing the loop, or is the observer's conscious acknowledgment which causes the final determination of the cat's fate? In other words, is the wave packet collapse a function defined by the structures of matter, a result from the interactions and relationships of its parts, independent from human observers, or is objective reduction a function of the mind? The answer is yes to both questions, there is no contradiction, self-observation is a function intrinsic to all self-organized systems.
Perception is key to the crystallization of 3D reality. Every particle and object is accompanied by a wave that in-forms it about its shape, and outside environment. The particle exists in 3D only during actuality, at the now moment. EMR feeds molecules with information about the environment (information that represents the molecule's past, as it exists in a rock-like 3D actuality). In a spacetime continuum, solidity and volume manifest only at present, or actuality. There is no material past, nor future.
Light particles transcend time and space. Photons bring us the past. Because traveling at the speed of light causes time to virtually stop, information from the past is locked into photons. This is how we can see what the universe was like billions of years ago. Our capacity to see is closely related to consciousness and our ability for self-reflection, just as EMR is closely related to state vector reduction and matter's ability for self-reflection.
We are constantly choosing the present out of an infinitude of possibilities through a mechanism of quantum wave superposition. Thoughts are formed very much in the same manner particles are, and just like particle systems depend on matter waves and wholeness in space and time, so does our mind. Processes forming ideas are very much like the processes that form matter. Mind and matter, both depend on phenomena like wave superposition, non-locality, and parallel information processing. Phenomena which ultimately gives all matter the possibility and the ability to self-organize into ever more, energy efficient systems.
Holistic awareness, or self-reference, emerges from an inward necessity which is satisfied as information is chosen from the context in which a system evolves. That is why experience/perception is fundamental in the development of all matter, but especially in sentient matter; because we need it in order to be able to choose. This is why Nature (self-organized matter) transformed into brains with eyes; to more efficiently carry out this self-reference function. How could matter get organized if it could not observe itself? Matter, in order to evolve, had to communicate in any way naturally possible (e.g., surface vibrations, air vibrations, EM radiation, and non-local communication). Biological organisms evolved to use light to their benefit very slowly. As we already know, it took Nature billions of years (from the Precambrian to the Cambrian era) just to develop eyesight.
Human consciousness evolved from the same holistic awareness property all matter has shown to possess. The evidence suggests that the objective universe was here before human observers, and that wave function collapse is an old function of matter, which through a self-reference mechanism inherent to all self-animated matter, evolved to what our consciousness is today.
Human consciousness is spacetime dependent, just like matter. No brain equals no consciousness. First, there had to be matter before there could be any brains, and matter is spacetime dependent. Brains emerged from the evolution of information that existed in spacetime. Thus, consciousness appears with the emergence of matter, not before. Spacetime is where experience takes place.
There can be no evolution outside of spacetime. Now, after billions of years, this information exchange between matter and the environment in which it evolves, has produced ever more complex self-organized systems. Human beings have evolved to take full advantage of this holistic awareness function of Nature, which is what enables us to think outside the grip of time. Allowing us at the same time to remember the past, and imagine the future. Thought and self-awareness can then be conceived as the products of that same holistic awareness function, through which all matter started self-organizing 14 billion years ago. Consciousness comes from the same holistic awareness function found in all matter.
The difference between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom is self awareness. Animals, with the exception of human beings, are bound by time, they exist frame by frame, and react accordingly. Humans, on the other hand, have the ability to go back and forth in time, we call it imagination, foresight, or insight, and that is what gives us our sense of wholeness in space and time... which is what human consciousness is all about.
Human consciousness is the ultimate product of a natural, energy balancing mechanism, determined and regulated, by the laws of Thermodynamics. Because energy is finite, each object's energetic requirements has to be measured before entering any given spacetime metric; before going from its subtle quantum matter state, or wave state, to its objective material state, or particle state. These information requirements are met through wave interactions and the mechanisms governing wave superposition, as described by Quantum Mechanics.
Brains are these little bio-mechanical tools that emerged with evolution for the only purpose of enabling us to interpret, and interface with reality. In order to become more thermally efficient, the universe needed to improve its abilities to observe, and perceive, the environment. After billions of years, matter evolved into brains that could take advantage of the properties of spacetime. Brains exist because there is spacetime, not the other way around. Human sentience is the actual evolutive result of all the sensing matter has been doing through time. Matter is aware of its surroundings, but that does not mean that it can think; unless, that is, it had been previously formed into a brain.
Nature would still be able to exist and observe itself without the human observer... it would just be a more primitive process. Our brains then, are seen as Nature's best developed self-reference tool on this part of the universe. Human consciousness is an extension of the same holistic awareness function self-organized matter always utilized to observe itself. Therefore, in a very real sense, consciousness still is, Nature observing itself.
Experience is fundamental to existence, but it is not reality. Berkeley was wrong. Reality is the process through which Nature is constantly becoming. As Sir Roger Penrose explains quasicrystal development in The Emperor's New Mind (p. 564), he writes that, while constructing their"randomly forbidden, very complex icosahedral symmetries", it appears as if the whole crystal is observing itself, registering all atom configuration patterns embedded into its pilot wave, using a self-reference mechanism, limited by the system's tendencies, or potentialities, by which their present state is compared to past states and all the possible rock-like outcomes, all at once, until the right atom configurations are found.
Experience plays an important role in the correct development of the crystals, as well as in all self-organized systems. The crystals are able to carry out their self-observation by following information contained in their pilot wave (Bohm-de Broglie), which contains past and even future information about the crystal as a whole. Proto-qualia, or state, for a quasicrystal, would be how all the possible atom configurations would feel like, as they remain in superposition, until the right one is found. Then, and only then, could the collapse of the wave packet finally occur. Build a machine which can follow its pilot wave and fully register its quantum state, and we may have a self-organized, and maybe even a self-aware machine.
From the moment the first self-organizing systems appeared in Nature, to the moment the first human brain appeared, it has been a few billion years, but in both occasions the purpose has been the same: to experience existence. Penrose's quasicrystals do not have a brain, but they follow their morphic matter wave as the measure by which they must exist, and if by any reason they were to stop following it as they add new atoms to their body, they would end up becoming a totally different type of material. The objective state a human being follows, or the measure by which a human being exists, is also defined by its brain wave-function.
John S. Bell was right. As already confirmed by Quantum Mechanics, the universe violates locality at the quantum level. Local realism applies only at the classical level.
The collapse of the wave packet on the EPR and Aspect experiments doesn't just come from human knowledge acquired during the measuring process, but from a holistic awareness property intrinsic to all matter. And, as Eugene V. Stefanovich contends: interactions, not forces, are instantaneously registered throughout space.
Many are amazed at Wheeler's Delayed Choice experiment results, but that is because they want to understand it from their own perspective. They want to understand it applying spacetime rules, and that is the problem. At the quantum level, you need to toss away the notions of time and distance. For you, who live at the spacetime level, the photon has maybe traveled billions of miles, while taking millions of light years to arrive, but at the quantum level, its emission, detection, and measurement, all happened almost instantaneously. In our world, it appears that, as we measure the particle, we are deciding the path the photon had taken millions of years before, when in reality, the emission and detection of the particle happened almost instantaneously. After emitted, the photon remains timelessly suspended in hyperspace until detected, or measured. Then, as its state is decided and the state vector collapses, it materializes into spacetime; our level of existence. So, it is not our knowledge which collapses the state vector, it is perception. What perceives it could be anything, dead or alive, the particle's state will be defined either way.
As we already know, matter and space are one and the same thing (Einstein), matter tells space how to bend and space tells matter where to go (Mach). The way science sees it, matter is nothing more than condensed space. And, in my view, when I talk about a particle, I might as well be talking about a human being. To me, a man is nothing more than an uber particle, so to speak. And that is because I believe in the evolution of matter. Matter, in my view, is synonymous to information; active information, to be precise.
Also, as we should know, there is a wave-particle duality (de Broglie, Schrödinger, Bohm). The particle is always accompanied by a self scanning wave, or standing wave, where all the information concerning the geometrical properties of the particle is contained. This wave is called a matter wave, and can be mathematically described by a wave function. Each time the wave function collapses or we have a state vector reduction, the rock-like state of that particle is defined in spacetime, as required by spacetime laws. The particle existing in a rock-like state only at the now moment. That is why it is vibrating.
At the quantum level, motion occurs the way it is created on a TV screen. As you may know, a TV screen refreshes 60 times per second or so, that is how motion is created. Imagine the fundamental particle as a vibrating 3D system refreshing its structure over a trillion times per second (Planck time). A standing, self-scanning, spherical wave with a rock-like particle at the center. [Motion and time may seem like illusions, but the process that is reality is certainly not. Now, quickly rolling a film in front of the lens inside a movie projector in order to produce a motion picture... that is an illusion!]
So, each time there is a wave packet collapse, the now state of the particle is defined. Then, and only then, can the particle materialize into spacetime; where the laws of Thermodynamics and Relativity apply. Without the information required for the wave packet to collapse, there can be no particle in spacetime; it may exist virtually, but not in spacetime.
Unified Consciousness Field
Now, there are the Bose-Einstein condensates; a state of matter where groups of particles exist under the guidance of one single pilot wave, as a whole. Also known as super atoms, or superwave functions, these were Bohm's main concern as he wondered about the relationship between human consciousness, the body, and the Universal Mind; a realm he likened to Plato's realm of ideals and forms.
We now have that each particle's existence in spacetime is defined by the information contained within its pilot wave, and that state is instantaneously registered throughout space. Each particle going from state to state, with each new state superseding the previous one. Learning and evolution made possible thanks this super fast, continuous succession of states.
So, is the brain accompanied by a unifying superwave function (unified consciousness field), the field where memes are to be contained? There is evidence that points to an affirmative answer. As we already know, the human brain is divided into two hemispheres connected by the corpus callosum, the structure through which both hemispheres communicate. Well, there is a procedure for the treatment of some cases of epilepsy where the two halves are surgically separated, and people who have gone through this procedure still think as one single individual. Meaning that consciousness may be such a higher function that it needs to exist as a non-localized whole, or field, where this field's features are determined by the brain, like a hologram. Information being processed in a way similar to how a 3D image is reproduced out of a holographic plate. The brain being the holographic plate, and your thoughts, or imagination, being the reproduced images on the hologram, or field (K. Pribram). State being instantaneously related to its surroundings as e-motions. [This, I believe, is how meditation can help with the control of some bodily functions, and even healing.]
And there you have it; particles and cells have a self-scanned nucleus and we, as indicated by gamma waves in EEGs, have a self-scanned brain.
Have you heard the Dalai Lama talk about compassion? I like to visualize consciousness as a field around your head, a field with a given circumference. A sociopath's field having a circumference, or radius, of a few inches. While people who, like the Dalai Lama, are full of compassion, have a field of a much greater radius... as they reach Nirvana... like a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere... (Zeno, Pascal, Bruno).