'Science goes where reality leads it, but what happens when reality itself comes under question? Since the quantum revolution over a century ago, the solid, tangible nature of reality has been undermined. Scientists were faced with three linked mysteries that are only now being seen as inseparably linked:
What is the nature of the universe?
What is the nature of consciousness?
What is the origin of both the universe and consciousness?
The era has ended when consciousness and the universe could be treated as separate and unrelated. Once accepted as independent, material reality depends on observation – the “measurement problem” in quantum mechanics. At the same time, mind/consciousness/awareness can no longer be considered epiphenomenal, a complex product of brain processes having no bearing on reality.
On the way to making the case for “consciousness first,” the following issues will be considered:
Can exploring consciousness through spiritual methodologies lead to some of the same insights as science?
Can the conscious observer and ‘self’ be understood through introspection - self awareness, self reflection, transcendence, and conscious choice making and intentional self - observation?
Is there a difference between perceptual experience and fundamental reality?
Where do consciousness and conscious experience occur?
In Vedanta, reality changes as consciousness expands. What brain states in neuroscience correlate with different states of consciousness?
Enlightenment or nondual awareness also referred to as liberation (moksha), has been the ultimate goal of life in Vedanta. How does this state of unity bear upon modern science?'