(Copyright © 2000 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Nick Herbert's fundamental theme is that consciousness is a pervasive process in nature. Mind is as
fundamental a component of the universe as elementary particles and forces.
Most of the book is devoted to quantum theories of mind. Mind can be detected by three features of quantum theory: randomness, thinglessness (objects acquire attributes only once they are observed) and interconnectedness (John Bell's discovery that once two particles have interacted they remain connected).
Herbert thinks that these three features of inert matter can account for three basic features of mind: free will, essential ambiguity, and deep psychic connectedness.
Herbert delves into psychological, parapsychological and even mystic phenomena that are supposed to corroborate his hypotheses.
Herbert reviews other models of awareness based on quantum effects. An entire chapter, for example, is devoted to Culbertson's spacetime reductive materialism hypothesis, a mind model that tries to explain the physical nature of feelings.
Herbert believes that scientists vastly underestimate the quantity of consciousness in the universe.
As a survey of "exoteric" theories of mind, this is an important book, that brings together contributions from truly distant fields. As far as Herbert's personal theory goes, it remains closer to science fiction than science.