The notion that intelligence is a very basic form of energy (a particular pattern of light) that suffuses the universe is moving through the minds of the world’s most advanced thinkers as surely as a warming wind moves through cool trees in the springtime. To see intelligence as a force in the universe – an actual component of the cosmos – is not the same as ascribing intelligence some simply-defined design function or necessary teleology. Instead, intelligence is seen as something that occurs naturally in an energetic system. An intelligent process, at its most basic level, exhibits attributes of nascent awareness.
One of the most basic ways in which elementary particles, such as photons, exhibit these proto-conscious attributes is demonstrated by the phenomenon of entanglement. Entangled photons can be said to possess a rudimentary awareness of each other’s existence. In the absence of any other way to describe their absolute connectedness, entanglement is consciousness. In other words, there is no other set of concepts that can be sensibly used to describe their connection across the space-time continuum. The only form of communication that can be described as non-local is knowledge. In this sense, an entangled photon can be said to have instantaneous knowledge of the existence and states of its partners – no matter where or how distant they may be across the universe.
In the universe at large, this minimal atomistic form of awareness (knowledge of specific state) is multiplied trillions of times both internally and across the environment among the entangled systems of living matter. What emerges from these indescribably intricate patterns of entangled energy that are encompassed by living systems is best described as self-awareness or consciousness: complex patterns of information enfolded as forms of life.
Next: Our entangled lives
Image: “Entanglement,” by Tullio DeSantis, digitally transformed image, 2010.
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