“Consciousness is not only fundamental but there is ONLY consciousness.”

Peter Russell, talks about the primacy of consciousness, in this talk from SAND 2014 titled “The Reality of Consciousness.” This talk is a “further development” of Peter’s talk from the Physics of Consciousness Conference in Virginia Beach, November 2004 where he proposed “… mind is more fundamental than matter. {and he explored} the problems science has explaining consciousness and argues that consciousness is not created by the brain, but is inherent in all beings.”

In the SAND 2014 talk, Peter takes key historical questions from Science and brings in the recent revolutions of relativity and quantum theory and makes the well known conclusion that we really do not know what the Universe is made of – we only have theories. Some of his key observations are :

“What we know is that the world out there … whatever that is …. gets processed by the brain and we have this experience of seeing, hearing, tasting, touching the world out there but … actually we are living in a virtual reality created by the brain…”

“… the brain is a reality generator continually generating experience for us..”

“… what we actually see are representations of the world out there … we don’t actually  see the world out there but the representations created by the brain…


One of his most significant observation is that “… all that we ever know of the world is actually an inference from experience …”

He postulates that “… brain conditions what we experience …” and {is} “… generating the realities that appear in consciousness …”

“… if i’m smelling the flower, the flower itself does not smell it sends out molecules which touch my nose and the brain creates the reality of the aroma of the flower but it’s only in the mind …

Peter underscores his claims through A.N. Whitehead, a philosopher: “The mind experiences qualities which are purely offspring of the mind alone.” … and Newton “Colours are not in the physical world; there are only the wavelengths and reflectances. … .Colour is absolutely the product of the mind.”

He also quotes Hans-Peter Durr, Professor of Physics at Max Planck Institute: “Matter as we know it, exists only in the mind.”

In the remaining talk, Peter goes beyond the above quotes and weaves a compelling “primacy” of consciousness that is well worth viewing in this fascinating 38+min video.

He closes with some quotes from scientists and mystics:

“The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.” ~ Sir James Jeans

“Matter derives from mind, not mind from matter.” ~ Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation.

“The world you perceive is made of consciousness: what you call matter is consciousness itself”Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


The video in this post is sourced from SAND’s YouTube channel.

Post and Featured Image: Collage of 1) Outer Space by Prawny, CC0 Public Domain, and 2) Brain by geralt,CC0 Public Domain.



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