Modern science has accomplished unprecedented goals in demonstrating the potential for humanity to understand and manipulate the world around us. However, much of its effect (i.e. science and technology used to wage war or enable injuring and killing others, as well as the wanton wreckage of our environment to the point of threatening great numbers of species with extinction, etc.) has greatly diminished the quality of life on our fragile planet, as opposed to enhancing it. The Galileo Commission report illuminates a refreshing path forward, all based in the modern science of consciousness, which offers hope for a more promising and fruitful future for all of humankind. Thanks to this report and the direction to which it points, scientific pursuits may once again lead the charge in achieving the grand aspects of human potential, through the wedding of human knowledge with the reality of human spirit.
The Galileo Commission report arrives in a critical, and unprecedented, moment in our history where the need for a qualitative change in science has never been so apparent and pressing. The crisis is obvious now also to the most `mainstream’ establishments. Even the top-notch scientific journals are running long editorials and articles showing deep concern about the ethics, values and ethos of science governance (peer review failings, difficulties in reproducibility, data misinterpretation etc) and the worries for the role of science for policy making. Something went wrong, evidently.
Ever since Galileo’s time science, submitting to a strictly object-mediated approach, has proven the most successful and useful human enterprise. But being successful is far from being good, not to mention being true. The prevailing way of doing science is now evident that it is rapidly reaching its own limits. More and more we realise that our environment, ourselves and the sentient beings around us cannot continue to be treated in a mere utilitarian fashion. Are we just useful parts of a purposeless machine operating in the midst of randomness? A certain self-examination of scientific practice has to take place and a change in science’s attitude toward both physical reality and its own self.
The Galileo Commission essentially calls for an initiative aiming at re-establishing the true and meaningful freedom of scientific enquiry (“esprit-libre”) and for all he good reasons. It does so at the right moment and the right way: by introducing self-reflection into the practice –and the understanding– of science. That’s why one cannot but endorse and assist to this process.
Vasileios Basios, Ph.D. (Physics)
Harald Walach does a superb job in arguing for a broadening of science’s self-conception beyond mainly materialistic paradigms and means. His reasoning is as useful for the future of science in time of deep change, as it is a huge challenge for all of us! A must-read for everybody interested in the future of our profession and the values and perspectives underlying it.
Co-Head, Center for Advanced Studies, Eurac Research Bolzano/Italy, and Research Professor of Multidisciplinary Political Analysis, Willy Brandt Centre, University of Wroclaw/Poland.
The Galileo Commission report receives my endorsement on the grounds that it counters, to a large extent, the prevailing nihilistic world-view (dogma?) in mainstream, Western science that the universe and all life are merely material mechanisms or machines, and that consciousness will ultimately be explained fully by the physics and chemistry of the brain. The well-reasoned arguments go a long way towards elevating science to a higher metaphysic and thereby paving the way for a holistic outlook along with values and qualities to be included as a complement to the quantitative approaches in line with the true freedom of spirit of scientific enquiry. The report deserves a wide circulation.
Edi Bilimoria DPhil, FIMechE, FEI, FRSA
Author of The Snake and the Rope: Problems in Western Science Resolved by Occult Science and other publications
I applaud the Galileo Report for emphasizing that there’s no such thing as a purely empirical science, and I support its call for self-critical reflection on the foundations, aims, and scope of the scientific enterprise.
Professor Stephen Braude
University of Maryland, Past President, Parapsychological Association and Executive Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Scientific Exploration
In the future, if we have one, our descendants will surely look with astonishment on a hallmark of our age: how we were duped by materialism, how our most brilliant scientists enthusiastically used their minds to prove that minds do not exist, and how they employed their consciousness in the task of proving that no one is truly conscious. A condition for our species’ survival is, first and foremost, to survive the dehumanizing, paralyzing, suicidal scourge of materialism. The Galileo Commission Report is a powerful move in this direction.
Larry Dossey, MD
Author: One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters and other books. Executive Editor: Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing
Our view of the Universe profoundly impacts how we live in the world. If we think we live in a materialistic Universe that is comprised of non-living particles without meaning and purpose, then it makes sense to exploit that which is dead on behalf of ourselves, the most visibly alive. Alternatively, if we have direct experiences of connecting consciously with the aliveness in nature and the world around us, then it is natural to respect and care for the countless expressions of aliveness. These are two radically different ways of looking at the Universe and, in turn, produce dramatically different views of our identity and evolutionary journey. This leads to a startling conclusion: the most urgent challenge facing humanity is not climate change, or species extinction, or unsustainable population growth; rather, it is how we understand the Universe and our intimate relationship within it. Our deepest choices for the future emerge from this core understanding. The Galileo Commission Report represents a major step forward in reframing our understanding of the universe and moving toward a sustainable and surpassing future for the Earth.
Duane Elgin, author of The Living Universe, Awakening Earth, Voluntary Simplicity and other books.
The Galileo Report challenges the materialistic position head-on, and sets out to examine the evidence against it, and the belief structures of our current scientific community. As Galen Strawson, academic philosopher at the University of Texas said:
“This particular denial (of the existence of consciousness) is the strangest thing that has ever happened in the whole history of human thought.”
The completion and circulation of this report is both timely and important in helping to demonstrate the illogicality of our materialistic culture.
Dr Peter Fenwick, F.R.C.Psych.
President, Scientific and Medical Network
In our time there is a great need to open to the metaphysical and scientific emphases in philosophy (including the stunning discoveries within all the sciences) and the intuitional and rational approaches to Reality and the universe; and to know at first hand the Universalist vision of the fundamental unity of the universe and of humankind in which all opposites are reconciled. This can be experienced in universal (or cosmic) consciousness, the most expansive of a dozen levels of consciousness, which receives the metaphysical Light. This inner mystical and spiritual experience is found in all cultures at all times and is central to all religions and the rise of all civilizations; it reconnects philosophy to Nature and inspires dreams of the political unity of all humankind. The Galileo Commission Report focuses on a post-materialist science that includes introspective knowledge of the Light, and commendably carries forward the pioneering work of the SMN’s Universalist Group of Philosophers in 1993–1994, which paved the way for the Universalist vision in philosophy and the sciences, in mysticism and comparative religion, in history and international relations/statecraft, and in literature and world culture. The Report is to be warmly welcomed and its aims deserve widespread support.
Author of 50 books (see www.nicholashagger.com) including The New Philosophy of Universalism, The Universe and the Light, The Light of Civilization, The Rise and Fall of Civilizations, World State and World Constitution.
The Galileo Project is an enterprise whose time has come. A careful look at the evolution of the cosmos will discern the role of intention and agency in all creation, from the planets, stars, and galaxies. to amoebae, molecules and subatomic particles. This self-organization belies the materialistic paradigm and affirms the primacy of what, for lack of a better term, we call “consciousness.”
Stanley Krippner, Ph.D.,
Professor of Psychology, Saybrook University
If science means careful, systematic investigation of phenomena, and the knowledge and theories that follow from it and feed into it, then so far so good. But unexamined presuppositions have too often imposed limits on the phenomena investigated, methods employed, and conclusions drawn. Walach’s Galileo Commission Report provides a stimulating, richly detailed critique of those presuppositions and their regrettable consequences, and above all invites us to do better, more open-minded science.
The Galileo Commission, of which I am a part, is one manifestation of an emerging critical consensus in science; not a refutation of the past but an extension and expansion into the future. One that Max Planck, Einstein and others tried to tell us about a century ago: consciousness is causal and fundamental — a post-materialist worldview.
We are living in a time of crisis, largely as a result of the materialist worldview which underpins our culture, which sees living beings as chemical machines, and the mind as nothing more than a product of the brain. This worldview has created a background atmosphere of nihilism, a sense that life is purposeless and meaningless, and also fuels our reckless abuse of the environment. As the report of the Galileo Commission clearly shows, a great deal of contemporary scientific research shows that the assumptions of this worldview are false, and points towards a more holistic and spiritual perspective. As a culture, we urgently need to embrace this new perspective in full, so that we can begin to live more harmoniously with each other and the natural world. The report of the Galileo Commission is an important part of the movement towards this goal.
Steve Taylor Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Leeds Beckett University, Chair of the Transpersonal Section of the BPS, author of The Leap, Spiritual Science, Waking From Sleep, etc.
Harald Walach’s incisive report shows us that science is built on assumptions that cannot be proved from within science itself. Most scientists are taught to ignore this problem of proof and to adopt these assumptions unquestioningly as the basis for their scientific work. But leading edge physics has evolved beyond these initial classical assumptions, which are now obstructing the future path of science. This report reviews the assumptions and shows that they are in fact open questions. If science is to advance freely it is vital, for example, that materialism – the assumption that nothing but material substance exists – is recognised for what it is: a philosophical speculation, not a question which science is able to answer. The position scientists take on this key question is therefore not a scientific but a philosophical choice.
The potential impact of their choice on the future of science shows clearly in the current unwillingness to take seriously any hypothesis which treats consciousness as something that could exist in its own right. Regrettably, the scientific establishment lacks rational justification when it asserts that consciousness is nothing but the subjective experience of brain functioning. Harald Walach is to be commended for proposing a philosophical position on this question that keeps open the question of whether or not mental phenomena arise from material phenomena or arise independently, showing that scientists can legitimately keep an open mind on this point while remaining rigorous. Working scientists who have not considered this possibility would do well to read this report.
Hardin Tibbs BA MSM