The Consciousness Revolution

Consciousness Revolution

by Graham Hancock

Consciousness is one of the great mysteries of science – perhaps the greatest mystery. We all know we have it, when we think, when we dream, when we savor tastes and aromas, when we hear a great symphony, when we fall in love, and it is surely the most intimate, the most sapient, the most personal part of ourselves. Yet no one can really claim to have understood and explained it completely. There’s no doubt it’s associated with the brain in some way but the nature of that association is far from clear. In particular how do these three pounds of material stuff inside our skulls allow us to have experiences?

Professor David Chalmers of the Australian National University has dubbed this the “hard problem” of consciousness; but many scientists, particularly those (still in the majority) who are philosophically inclined to believe that all phenomena can be reduced to material interactions, deny that any problem exists. To them it seems self-evident that physical processes within the stuff of the brain produce consciousness rather in the way that a generator produces electricity – i.e. consciousness is an “epiphenomenon” of brain activity. And they see it as equally obvious that there cannot be such things as conscious survival of death or out-of-body experiences since both consciousness and experience are confined to the brain and must die when the brain dies.

images (3)Yet other scientists with equally impressive credentials are not so sure and are increasingly willing to consider a very different analogy – namely that the relationship of consciousness to the brain may be less like the relationship of the generator to the electricity it produces and more like the relationship of the TV signal to the TV set. In that case when the TV set is destroyed – dead – the signal still continues. Nothing in the present state of knowledge of neuroscience rules this revolutionary possibility out. True, if you damage certain areas of the brain certain areas of consciousness are compromised, but this does not prove that those areas of the brain generate the relevant areas of consciousness. If you were to damage certain areas of your TV set the picture would deteriorate or vanish but the TV signal would remain intact.
We are, in other words, confronted by at least as much mystery as fact around the subject of consciousness and this being the case we should remember that what seems obvious and self-evident to one generation may not seem at all obvious or self-evident to the next. For hundreds of years it was obvious and self-evident to the greatest human minds that the sun moved around the earth – one need only look to the sky, they said, to see the truth of this proposition. Indeed those who maintained the revolutionary view that the earth moved around the sun faced the Inquisition and death by burning at the stake. Yet as it turned out the revolutionaries were right and orthodoxy was terribly, ridiculously wrong.

The-Painters-Universe-by-Cherie-Roe-DirksenThe same may well prove to be true with the mystery of consciousness. Yes, it does seem obvious and self-evident that the brain produces it (the generator analogy), but this is a deduction from incomplete data and categorically NOT yet an established and irrefutable fact. New discoveries may force materialist science to rescind this theory in favour of something more like the TV analogy in which the brain comes to be understood as a transceiver rather than as a generator of consciousness and in which consciousness is recognized as fundamentally “non-local” in nature – perhaps even as one of the basic driving forces of the universe. At the very least we should withhold judgment on this “hard problem” until more evidence is in and view with suspicion those who hold dogmatic and ideological views about the nature of consciousness.

It’s at this point that the whole seemingly academic issue becomes intensely political and current because modern technological society idealizes and is monopolistically focused on only one state of consciousness – the alert, problem-solving state of consciousness that makes us efficient producers and consumers of material goods and services. At the same time our society seeks to police and control a wide range of other “altered” states of consciousness on the basis of the unproven proposition that consciousness is generated by the brain.

I refer here to the so-called “war on drugs” which is really better understood as a war on consciousness and which maintains, supposedly in the interests of society, that we as adults do not have the right or maturity to make sovereign decisions about our own consciousness and about the states of consciousness we wish to explore and embrace. This extraordinary imposition on adult cognitive liberty is justified by the idea that our brain activity, disturbed by drugs, will adversely impact our behavior towards others. Yet anyone who pauses to think seriously for even a moment must realize that we already have adequate laws that govern adverse behavior towards others and that the real purpose of the “war on drugs” must therefore be to bear down on consciousness itself.

222ce-bhang2bthe2bindian2bpsychoactive2bdrink2bmade2bfrom2bcannabis2bduring2bthe2bholi2bfestivalConfirmation that this is so came from the last British Labor government. It declared that its drug policy would be based on scientific evidence yet in 2009 it sacked Professor David Nutt, Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, for stating the simple statistical fact that cannabis is less dangerous (in terms of measured “harms”) than tobacco and alcohol and that ecstasy is less dangerous than horse-riding. Clearly what was at play here were ideological issues of great importance to the powers that be. And this is an ideology that sticks stubbornly in place regardless of changes in the complexion of the government of the day. The present Conservative-Liberal coalition remains just as adamant in its enforcement of the so-called war on drugs as its Labor predecessor, and continues in the name of this “war” to pour public money – our money – into large, armed, drug-enforcement bureaucracies which are entitled to break down our doors at dead of night, invade our homes, ruin our reputations and put us behind bars.

All of this, we have been persuaded, is in our own interests. Yet if we as adults are not free to make sovereign decisions – right or wrong – about our own consciousness, that most intimate, that most sapient, that most personal part of ourselves, then in what useful sense can we be said to be free at all? And how are we to begin to take real and meaningful responsibility for all the other aspects of our lives when our governments seek to disenfranchise us from this most fundamental of all human rights and responsibilities?

In this connection it is interesting to note that our society has no objection to altering consciousness per se. On the contrary many consciousness-altering drugs, such as Prozac, Seroxat, Ritalin and alcohol, are either massively over-prescribed or freely available today, and make huge fortunes for their manufacturers, but remain entirely legal despite causing obvious harms. Could this be because such legal drugs do not alter consciousness in ways that threaten the monopolistic dominance of the alert problem-solving state of consciousness, while a good number of illegal drugs, such as cannabis, LSD, DMT and psilocybin, do?

13There is a revolution in the making here, and what is at stake transcends the case for cognitive liberty as an essential and inalienable adult human right. If it turns out that the brain is not a generator but a transceiver of consciousness then we must consider some little-known scientific research that points to a seemingly outlandish possibility, namely that a particular category of illegal drugs, the hallucinogens such as LSD, DMT and psilocybin, may alter the receiver wavelength of the brain and allow us to gain contact with intelligent non-material entities, “light beings”, “spirits”, “machine elves” (as Terence McKenna called them) – perhaps even the inhabitants of other dimensions. This possibility is regarded as plain fact by shamans in hunter-gatherer societies who for thousands of years have made use of visionary plants and fungi to enter and interact with what they construe as the “spirit world”. Intriguingly it was also specifically envisaged by Dr Rick Strassman, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico, following his ground-breaking research with human volunteers and DMT carried out in the 1990’s – a project that produced findings with shattering implications for our understanding of the nature of reality. For further information on Strassman’s revolutionary work see his book DMT: The Spirit Molecule.

All of this are related articles and themes!! ENJOY!!


Secrets In Plain Sight – Macrocosmic Harmony

The best temples serve as bridges between human scale and the macrocosm. When Beverly Spicer sent me the following image, something clicked and I understood the human body, the Sphinx and the Pyramids in a new way. I’m not sure which book this black-and-white geometric analysis of Pharaoh Rameses II was scanned from—it appears to be mirrored all over the Internet.


The nemes headcloth has distinctive, straight-edged folds, which imply an intersection point above the head. Nested equilateral triangles locate the pharaoh’s third eye appropriately as an all-seeing-eye in the center of the triangle (like the eye of providence on the dollar bill).

That reminds me of an image I made recently. Here is essentially what I wrote about it on Facebook:

Beauty is experienced in the world, love in the body, and truth in the mind. The eye of horus in the center symbolizes the view of any observer. The transcendentals are ontologically one and thus they are convertible: e.g., where there is truth, there is beauty and love also. The transcendentals are irreducible qualities of awareness. The circle represents the seeming boundary between your interior sensations, thoughts, and perceptions and your exterior body, mind, and world.


Just as the transcendental qualities of awareness (love, beauty, truth) are ontologically one, so too are the trinity of data types you experience. How far from your awareness are your sensations, perceptions or thoughts? Examine your experience and you will see that there is no distance.

Do the thoughts running through your mind take place in a fundamentally different place than the sensations of your body or your perceptions of the world? They are all convertible because all this data is experienced by awareness and yet we have no trouble identifying which channel the information flows through. There is a fundamental and irreducible trinity to awareness.

I now see this ontological trinity as the fountainhead of relationships such as Isis/Horus/Osiris, Mary/Jesus/Holy-Spirit, and even Neutron/Proton/Electron.

Following a hunch I wanted to see if the Sphinx’s nemes followed the same pattern. I discovered that the pattern is similar but is also subtly different. The Sphinx’s nemes doesn’t imply nested triangles but the uraeus symbolizing the pharaoh’s pineal gland is located in the center of the vesica piscis as indicated by the crossed red lines. Incidentally, I described how to draw this image step-by-step in the latest installment of my Photoshop User Magazine column, Beyond Photoshop.


Zooming out, the G2 pyramid also appears to fit the pattern.


It clicked for me when I realized that the geometric template for the Sphinx is the same as the geometric template for the Great Pyramid that I published in my book Quantification. The edge of the inscribed equilateral triangle measures 555.5 feet in the Great Pyramid.


In this way the House of the Temple (it was never a tomb) is a macrocosm of the Body carved on the Sphinx. Zooming out once again, the Engraved Hourglass Nebula is a macrocosm of that House. As above, so below.


The above image wonderfully illustrates Mircea Eliade’s homology, Body—House—Cosmos, from his book “The Sacred and the Profane” (1959).

A big synchronicity for me is that I learned about this three-level holographic homology not from reading Eliade but from reading Beverly Spicer’s excellent book and PhD thesis from the School of Architecture at the University of Texas called, “The Ka’bah: Rhythms of Culture, Faith and Physiology,” which she was kind enough to send me. Remember Beverly was the person who sent me the black-and-white Rameses II image? That whole sequence of events was quite illuminating!

Speaking of illumination, did you know that the human eye is most sensitive to a wavelength of 555 nanometers, which forms the center point of our visual perception? At other frequencies, more radiant intensity is required to achieve the same luminous intensity.

See how the colors are strongest in the middle of the color ramp and fade away as they approach the infrared and ultraviolet ends of the spectrum? 555 nm marks the midpoint.

555 Nanometers

The peak luminous intensity of sunlight also has a wavelength of 555 nanometers. This should be no surprise because our eyes evolved, or perhaps were designed to view the light of our particular Sun. The beauty of repeating 5’s harmonizing our visual perception, 5 symbolizing life, is not lost on me.

After reading a stimulating article Joe Dubs linked on Facebook entitled, “The Pythagorean Relationship Between Pi, e, and Phi” by Peter Felicetti, I realized I already knew the content, but I hadn’t considered the following geometry algebraically before. One can arrange Phi, Pi and e as an almost perfect Pythagorean triangle, but there is a tiny gap that I labeled “The Mystery” at the end of my article on Graham Hancock’s site.

This mystery is drawn to scale

When I saw it algebraically, a few more puzzle pieces fit together and it is no longer a mystery to me but a harmonious work of rational design from a very high level.

Tech note: I realize that some of my detailed graphics might be hard to see. I recommend pressing Command+ on the Mac or Ctrl+ on Windows several times to enlarge the content displayed in your browser. Use Command/Ctrl- to make it smaller later on.

The Quadrivium

The same gap that we hear between twelve just perfect fifths and seven octaves (known as the Cycle of Fifths or the Pythagorean comma), the relationship of transcendental constants arranged in a Pythagorean triangle, and the orbital mechanics of our planet are all related because we are living in a mathematical construct. This was known long ago.

“All is number.” -Pythagoras

The above image expresses the quadrivium: number, geometry, music, and astronomy. In other words, number in itself, number in space, number in time, and number in spacetime.

I knew the Solar Year also factors in the Earth’s equatorial circumference—the following equation was published by John Michell and Robin Heath in The Lost Science of Measuring the Earth. I made this illustration commemorating this important relationship, one that essentially defines the foot.


Speaking of Michell and Heath, they were the authors who deciphered the 5:12:13 triangle and its connection with the lunar cycle. When I was researching extending the Pythagorean theorem into three dimensions, I came across a diagram connecting the 5:12:13 and 3:4:5 triangles. That, and studying Gary Osborn’s work, inspired me to put together this image showing how dynamics related to the Earth, Moon and Sun emerge from something as fundamental to geometry as the first two Pythagorean triples.

Number in space and spacetime

Earth’s orbital circumference has certain clear resonances with our measurement systems.


Bringing together what I wrote about in Cubits, in my book Taking Measure: Explorations in Number, Architecture and Consciousness, and from my recent experience participating in Graham Hancock’s forums when I was author of the month, these pieces now fit together with greater clarity.


Michael Kuser wrote something on my wall that inspired the following image. The first part shows the combined diagonals of the cubes bounding Earth and Moon compared to their average distance from the Sun are proportioned as the foot is to the mile (99.3%).
Lawrence Edlund discovered that the average distance of the Earth to the Sun compared to the distance light travels in one revolution of the Earth around the Sun are proportioned as the inch is to the mile (99.9%).
I put two and two together and graphically show how our units of measure resonate with our local macrocosm.


In “Rotations” you see more proof that our system is a product of base-10 design. The Moon’s orbital period with respect to the fixed stars is 27.3 Earth days. Earth actually rotates 366.3 times per year relative to the stars because the orbital motion of the Earth around the Sun causes roughly one additional rotation of the planet on its own axis. Here is what Knight and Butler had to say about this phenomenon in Before the Pyramids (p240), where they describe how the megalithic system is based on the division of a circle into 366 units:

“In a solar year the Sun rises 365 times but, during the same time, a star will have risen 366 times. It sounds odd but it’s true. Each day according to the rising of a star (a sidereal day), is 23 hours 56 minutes 4 seconds in length, whereas a mean solar day is 24 hours in length. That leaves a discrepancy of 236 seconds, which over the course of a year amounts to another 24 hours. It is part of the clockwork mechanism of our solar system that there are different sorts of years, dependent on what one is observing. Our megalithic and pre-megalithic ancestors in Britain focused on the number of times a star rose in a year, and the result was 366 times [366.3 with one more digit of accuracy].”


Tonight I realized that the product of these rotations, 27.3 x 366.3 = 9999.99. What are the chances? I can’t begin to calculate the astronomical odds against such a numeric symmetry if our planet and its natural satellite were formed by random processes. Note that this product is independent of units and calculated solely on number of Earth rotations relative to our Moon and Sun.

Peter Plichta’s book God’s Secret Formula: Deciphering the Riddle of the Universe and the Prime Number Code taught me that 1/27.3 ≈ 0.03663 and 1/366.3 ≈ 0.00273, which you can easily verify with a calculator.

The ratio of the polar diameter of the Earth to the polar diameter of the Moon is 3.663 and vice-versa, the reciprocal ratio is 0.273 with more than 99.9% accuracy. This means the Earth and Moon system’s rotations and sizes are related in a reciprocal mathematical relationship.

Of course this is another example of what I have called “The Mystery of 273,” in this page out of Quantification.

The Mystery of 273 (update)

Is what we call “conscious thought” incredibly rare in the grand scheme of things, relegated as it is to 2-3mm of neocortex on the surface of our brains?
We and all other organisms on this planet live in a thin biospherical shell 2-3 miles thick. The Earth orbits the Sun in the sweet spot where oceans are kept liquid and the planet retains a transparent atmosphere so perfect for astronomy and our survival. A planetary magnetic field and ozone layer shields us from the charged particles continually pouring out of the Sun, along with many variables conductive to life being fortuitously fine-tuned.

Our system orbits the center of the Milky Way galaxy in another sweet spot, a circular band where products of stellar fusion such as elements heavier than helium are plentiful enough, but star formation isn’t still so active that we are bombarded out of existence. In this light, consciousness appears to be a gossamer membrane, a rare and exquisite miracle in all the cold vastness of space. This membrane/shell structure is another Body—House—Cosmos homology if you think about it.


The following comparison highlights another possibility. The neuronal structures within our brains, roads (which evolved organically around Paris rather than through city planning as in much of North America), and the large-scale structure of the universe (simulated on the Max Planck supercomputer) all exhibit the same specific branching, filamentous pattern. Come to think of it, so too do mushroom mycelial mats, and maps of the entire Internet. What these disparate phenomena have in common is that they are all information processing networks.


If we view Paris from the level of cars, then roads don’t seem to be self-aware. If we view the large-scale structure of the universe from the vantage point of supercomputer simulations computed on Earth, it doesn’t seem self-aware. If we were able to view a neural structure from the point of view of electrons it probably wouldn’t seem self aware to them either, just a kind of electrical network.

However, when we use our own neural structure to introspect, then awareness is self-evident. It’s really a question of which way you are looking. If the universe looked inward, then it presumably would be self-evident that it is self-aware, including all its in-formation including suns, planets, cities, roads, people, neurons, electrons, etc.

The amazing thing is we experience this same self-awareness at our level. We are a microcosm of larger wholes and have microcosms within. Perhaps cells are also self-aware, coordinating the activities at their tiny scale. The organism of which they are a part wouldn’t seem to be self-aware to them at all. Talk about all that would seem like mere philosophy.


This is yet another example of the Body—House—Cosmos homology. The human built environment accessed by roads, our “House,” is a macrocosm of the neurons in our Body, and the large-scale Cosmos is a macrocosm of our House. It is the same form, harmonizing and coordinating information at vastly different scales.

The universe itself looks like it might literally be “the mind of God,” a self-aware matrix in the process of creating complex in-formation. Awareness is not rare, but the ground of being. There has only ever been, is, or ever will be awareness being aware of itself.

That said, our limited form of consciousness might be rare and in a way, precious. We occupy the privileged position of being right in the middle of it all.


However, our awareness doesn’t require human minds anymore than the Sun requires a candle for illumination.


Everything is sacred, everything is precious.