New Concepts of Matter, Life and Mind

Linked with Ervin Laszlo – Hungary, with Planet Life Academy, with The Club of Budapest International, and with Consciousness In The Cosmos, Perspective of Mind.

by Ervin Laszlo, Author, Founder of Systems Philosophy – In light of the current, revolutionary advances in the natural sciences and in the study of consciousness, the concepts of matter, life, and mind have under-gone major changes. This paper outlines some basic aspects of these changes, taking in turn the emerging concept of matter, of life, and of human mind and consciousness.

The concept of matter:

The Western common sense view has held that there are only two kinds of things that truly exist in the world: matter and space. Matter occupies space and moves about in it and it is the primary reality. Space is a backdrop or container. Without furnished by material bodies, it does not enjoy reality in itself. This common sense concept goes back to the Greek materialists; it was the mainstay also of Newton’s physics. It has been radically revised in Einstein’s relativistic universe (where spacetime became an integrated four-dimensional manifold), and also in Bohr’s and Heisenberg’s quantum world. Now it may have to be rethought again.

Advances in the new sciences suggest a further modification of this assumption about the nature of reality. In light of what scientists are beginning to glimpse regarding the nature of the quantum vacuum, the energy sea that underlies all of spacetime, it is no longer warranted to view matter as primary and space as secondary. It is to space or rather, to the cosmically extended ‘Dirac-sea’ of the vacuum that we should grant primary reality. The things we know as matter (and that scientists know as mass, with its associated properties of inertia and gravitation) appear as the consequence of interactions in the depth of this universal field. In the emerging concept there is no ‘absolute matter,’ only an absolute matter generating energy field.

The concept of life: (Read the whole article on

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