Relativity and Consciousness


Previous articles in this series have explained how quantum mechanics shows that objective reality is an illusion, that the physical universe is just a narrow band of the multidimensional totality, and that the fundamental nature of reality is an unmanifest, informational, implicate order.

This article, Relativity and Consciousness, explains how special relativity is the key to understanding our collective misconceptions about the nature of reality. And once you open your mind to it, you will wonder why nobody saw it before!

Relativity and Consciousness

Special Relativity and Reference Frames

There is much more to special relativity than just E = mc2. It is primarily a set of equations about the way things look in one “reference frame” relative to the way they look in another. A “reference frame” is an experiential perspective on reality. For example, when we are inside a moving vehicle, we are stationary from our own subjective perspective, but moving from the objective perspective of the stationary ground. The universe has no “stationary ground” because everything is moving relative to everything else, so there are no absolute or objective reference frames. All reference frames are relative to the experiencer and are therefore subjective.

Special Relativity and Consciousness

If physical reality was an immersive 3D TV screen, we might imagine it to be a single universe-sized screen that we all share. But according to special relativity, there are no absolute reference frames so there can be no universe-sized screen, which means we must all be experiencing reality on our own individual “screens”.

If we were all observing the same universe-sized screen, the speed of light would be constant against the background of space, but it isn’t. The speed of light is constant from each individual’s perspective, which proves we are all experiencing reality on our own individual “screens”.

Screen of Reality

These “screens” upon which we experience reality aren’t 3D TV screens, they are the screens of our consciousness. This is irrefutable because every experience we have ever had has occurred within our consciousness. It simply isn’t possible to have an experience outside of our consciousness. This raises some important questions, such as: Does anything exist outside of our consciousness, and does objective reality even exist?

The Primacy of Consciousness

The speed of light is absolute, which means it is always 300,000km/s, no matter how fast the light source and the observer are moving relative to each other. But the speed of light is absolute to the observer, not to the background of space. This means that the observer’s consciousness is more primary than space-time reality:

  • If space-time is the primary reality, the light and the observer both exist within and travel through objectively-existent space (an absolute reference frame, which violates special relativity). If an observer travels away from a light source at 1000km/s, the light should appear to be travelling at 299,000km/s, but in reality it doesn’t deviate from its constant 300,000km/s, which proves space-time is not the primary reality.
  • If consciousness is the primary reality, the light and the observer both exist within and travel through the observer’s consciousness (a subjective reference frame, which doesn’t violate special relativity). In this case, the speed of light is constant no matter how fast we are moving because the screen of our consciousness is moving with us, so everything we see is relative to us, not relative to the background of space.

Put simply, if space-time reality was fundamental, absolute and objectively existent, the speed of light would be relative to the objective background of space, but it isn’t. The speed of light is relative to the subjective observer, which means consciousness is more fundamental than space, time, matter and objects.

Conscious Universe

So the universe doesn’t contain consciousness; consciousness contains the universe. And matter doesn’t give rise to consciousness; consciousness gives rise to matter… and space and time and everything else in the universe!

I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness.

Max Planck

Nobel prize winning physicist

Why Is Light Special?

The speed of light is the only true constant between all reference frames, everything else (including space and time) is relative.
• Question: Why is everything relative, except for the speed of light?
• Answer: Because “things” are experienced, whereas “light” is part of the experiencing mechanism, i.e. our consciousness. Light is a property of consciousness (e.g. lightbulb moments, a flash of inspiration, she is very bright, enlightenment, the light of awareness), so light is more fundamental than the things it illuminates.

Speed of Light

Our consciousness doesn’t observe the screen of reality – our consciousness is the screen of reality. Consciousness is the immersive 3D screen upon which reality manifests and is experienced. Everything we perceive and experience is made explicate (manifest and experienceable) within our consciousness. So “reality” isn’t objectively manifest or permanently-existing; it only comes into manifest existence when it is experienced by our consciousness.

Note: We must drop the notion of light travelling from objects to our eyes (so we can see them), because light, objects and space only explicately exist within our consciousness. Light doesn’t ever travel though objective space because objective universal space doesn’t exist. Our consciousness activates the pixels of reality into explicate existence, and photons are simply some of the pixels illuminating within our consciousness.

The critical lesson … is to give up the assumption of “objectivity”, that there is a real world out there, made up of real physical objects, regardless of the fact that they are being observed by someone.

George Weissman

Theoretical physicist

From Unconscious to Conscious

Reality is manifested by our unconscious mind and is experienced by our conscious mind. We identify with our conscious mind but it is actually only a very small part of our total consciousness. Our unconscious mind is about 500,000 times more powerful than our conscious mind, so it can easily decode the underlying reality (without our conscious knowledge) and present a simplified version of it to our conscious mind.

From Implicate to Explicate

Reality is naturally implicate (not objectively manifest), and it is only made explicate (subjectively manifest) by processes that occur within our consciousness. The implicate order of reality is the unmanifest, multidimensional, unified totality of reality. The explicate order of reality (i.e. our physical world) is just a narrow band of the multidimensional totality that has been decoded our consciousness, just like a computer screen decodes the underlying computer code into meaningful images and sounds. So anything that is beyond our sensory experience, like the room behind us, doesn’t materially exist! It only exists implicately or informationally (not explicately or materially) until we turn around and it enters our consciousness. So instead of passively observing an objective reality we are actively creating our own subjective reality.

Note: Everything we experience is experienced within our consciousness, including our experience of ourself, which means we exist within our own consciousness! Our conscious mind is only aware of explicate reality, but our unconscious mind is also aware of implicate reality – it has to be, so it can decode it into the explicate reality that our conscious mind experiences. This means our total consciousness (or meta-consciousness) spans both sides of reality, but the conscious self that we identify with only exists on the explicate side of reality. So our conscious self is just a small part of our total consciousness, which explains how we exist within our own consciousness.

Subjective Bubble Worlds

The implicate world is unmanifest darkness, and our consciousness is the light that illuminates our field of perception into an experienceable bubble of manifest reality. So subjectively, each of us is living in our own individual bubble world that we carry around with us. In fact, reference frames have been described as the “space carried by the observer” (in the Handbook of Continuum Mechanics, by Jean Salençon).


Even when we touch another person, we each continue to experience our individual explicate realities, because they are made explicate by our individual consciousnesses. So we aren’t directly interacting with each other at the explicate level, but we are at the implicate level. However, because the two sides of reality are intimately integrated, the totality of reality is a seamless whole that is immediately responsive to our interactions.

Closing Remarks

The fact that the speed of light is the same for all observers is inexplicable if the universe objectively exists, but it makes perfect sense if the universe only subjectively exists. Einstein knew that absolute (or objective) space and time had to be replaced with relativistic (or subjective) space and time, but even he failed to see the full implications of his own theory of special relativity.

Perhaps what we mainly need is some subtle change in perspective – something that we all have missed…
Sir Roger Penrose

Nobel prize winning physicist

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