Book Review: Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe by Robert Lanza and Bob Berman

by Colin Gonsalves

Robert Lanza’s concept of Biocentrism is as profound as Copernicus’ heliocentric model was in the 1400s. Lanza postulates that it is life that creates the universe instead of the other way around. He asserts that current theories of the physical world do not work, and can never be made to work, unless you include consciousness (the observer) in the equation. He admits that his theory doesn’t provide all the answers but should serve as a launching pad for future research to explain the inner workings of universe. This topic though difficult for most to comprehend if you are new to this subject is very well written. Lanza’s concept of Biocentrism compared to other theories comes closest to what spiritual masters already know. This is a much better book compared to Stephen Hawking’s ‘The Grand Design’ which I have to admit I didn’t finish due to its extremely dry writing.

Lanza's theory of biocentrism has seven principles:
  1. What we perceive as reality is a process that involves our consciousness. An "external" reality, if it existed, would by definition have to exist in space. But this is meaningless, because space and time are not absolute realities but rather tools of the human and animal mind.
  2. Our external and internal perceptions are inextricably intertwined. They are different sides of the same coin and cannot be divorced from one another.
  3. The behavior of subatomic particles, indeed all particles and objects, is inextricably linked to the presence of an observer. Without the presence of a conscious observer, they at best exist in an undetermined state of probability waves.
  4. Without consciousness, "matter" dwells in an undetermined state of probability. Any universe that could have preceded consciousness only existed in a probability state.
  5. The structure of the universe is explainable only through biocentrism. The universe is fine-tuned for life, which makes perfect sense as life creates the universe, not the other way around. The "universe" is simply the complete spatio-temporal logic of the self.
  6. Time does not have a real existence outside of animal-sense perception. It is the process by which we perceive changes in the universe.
  7. Space, like time, is not an object or a thing. Space is another form of our animal understanding and does not have an independent reality. We carry space and time around with us like turtles with shells. Thus, there is no absolute self-existing matrix in which physical events occur independent of life.

P.S. I tried discussing this topic with a physicist at Fermi Lab to get his take on this subject. He kindly side-stepped the question saying he doesn’t get involved in topics concerning consciousness. This seems to be a typical reaction by physicists on this subject. I couldn’t help but ponder the question whether our physicists of today are the like the church in Galileo’s time. As time passes I’m hoping more physicists will actually give this theory a fair consideration. Just as physicists have extended their field of study to the cosmos to further their knowledge and understanding of the universe, it would also behoove them to include biology in this mix. After all it is through the apparatus of our body and its various sensors we are able to experience the universe.

Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe by Robert Lanza and Bob Berman