Near-Death Experiences Explained by Quantum Physicists
Are souls constructed from the fabric of our universe? Dr. Stuart Hameroff, Professor Emeritus at the University of Arizona, and his colleague Sir Roger Penrose, a British theoretical physicist, seem to think so, and have been promoting this theory over the last 15 years. Hameroff and Penrose believe that consciousness has been a part of the Universe from its very beginning, an idea similar to the Buddhist and Hindu beliefs that consciousness is an integral component of the Universe.
Hameroff and Penrose’s orchestrated objective reduction (Orch-OR) theory states that quantum consciousness resides in the microtubials of our brain; it acts like a program inside a quantum computer. The scientists believe that this quantum characteristic of the brain forms the soul. The Orch-OR theory supports the idea that we are all one: upon death, quantum consciousness leaves the nervous system and dissipates back to where it came from – the cosmos – where it can exist, perhaps indefinitely. More about this topic is explained in my previous article, Quantum Consciousness.
According to their theory, human quantum consciousness – our soul – continues to exist after the physical functions of the body cease. Hameroff believes that during near-death experiences quantum consciousness begins to dissipate into the cosmos as the quantum processes in the microtubules terminate, but it returns to the brain once the physical body is revived. The individual may recall an out-of-body experience, seeing their dead relatives, or walking towards a light or tunnel, as a result of quantum consciousness reentering the microtubules with new information. In the video below, Hameroff explains what may be happening in near-death situations.
Hameroff’s view is harmonious with the Hindu and Buddhist concept of Karma, where thought impressions are bound to our mind or soul as a reflection of our deeds, and hence situations that we perceive as fate are actually results of our past actions, from this or another life. As the soul leaves the body upon death, it carries all of its quantum information with it as it integrates back into the Universe. All of the information and thought impressions may be once again “downloaded” into another human body during reincarnation.
As all theories, Orch-OR has its opposition, with the main objection stating that microtubule quantum states could be sustained in the environment of the brain for only femtoseconds, versus the 25 milliseconds required by Orch-OR, and thus, they are not relevant to neural processing. Nevertheless, Hameroff and the supporters of Orch-OR theory have proposed many alternatives that support the idea that quantum processing in the microtubules does in fact influence neural processing. Other research has also validated Orch-OR theory by showing that quantum processing supports biological processes such as photosynthesis, bird navigation and smell.
More about the orchestrated objective reduction theory and quantum consciousness can be found here: Consciousness, the Brain, and Spacetime Geometry.
Read more articles by Anna Hunt.
About the Author
Anna Hunt is writer, yoga instructor, mother of three, and lover of healthy food. She’s the founder of Awareness Junkie, an online community paving the way for better health and personal transformation. She’s also the co-editor at Waking Times, where she writes about optimal health and wellness. Anna spent 6 years in Costa Rica as a teacher of Hatha and therapeutic yoga. She now teaches at Asheville Yoga Center and is pursuing her Yoga Therapy certification. During her free time, you’ll find her on the mat or in the kitchen, creating new kid-friendly superfood recipes.
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