The Orch-Or model of consciousness isn’t a well-known theory, even in paranormal circles that would benefit from it during debates with skeptics. Yet, as an outlook on the nature of consciousness, Orch-OR may hold more potential for uniting the fields of scientific and paranormal research than any other body of work in existence.
Let’s start by acknowledging that there exists research out there contravening a number of science’s most dearly held truths. The inability of scientists to unite the fields of general relativity and quantum mechanics–as well as the growing mystery as to the nature of dark matter and dark energy–is more than enough reason to take a closer look at some of the unbreakable pillars of science: specifically, the idea that the human mind cannot affect matter without a physical medium—or telekinesis. Ask 99 out of 100 scientists out there whether or not there is evidence that mind affects matter, and 99 times you will be told, “No”.
This is partially the result of esoteric academic circles that only push forward certain kinds of research. To a large extent, parapscyhology and mind anomalies research is not considered a legitimate field; it is considered pseudoscience, right up there with chakras, holistic medicine, and karma. So even if these scientists know—and a great many probably do—about the Orch-Or model of consciousness, and the decades long work of The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) program, they simply don’t care to think of it as revolutionary.
When their landmark book The Margins of Reality: The Role of Consciousness in the Physical World first hit bookshelves in 1987, PEAR concluded that the human mind can affect the output of random number generator in a statistically significant way. Needless to say, this turned a few heads. Their ongoing research in the Global Consciousness Project tracks indications that the human mind interacts with the physical world in a way that defies conventional view of science. The research suggests that our understanding of human consciousness within the surrounding world is incomplete.
This research both corroborates, and is corroborated by, the Orch-Or model. The Orch-OR (orchestrated objective reduction) theory, holds that our consciousness is comprised of quantum information held in microtubules. Is this proven? No. But to pad the speculative nature of this claim, we can remind readers of the puzzles left behind by quantum research itself, namely the following conclusions: we cannot understand the full nature of a particle because the human mind itself determines part of its reality. Erwin Schrindger, known for his Schrodinger’s Cat thought experiment, describes how the human mind collapses the state of quantum superposition into one possibility or the other. In other words, at least on the quantum level, the human mind creates aspects of reality.
Buoyed by these various anomalies—sometimes referred to as the ‘quantum enigma’–more hyperbolic and spiritual interpretations of the quantum Orch-Or maintain that the human mind creates an alternate reality every time it makes a decision, and that it describes how our deaths will mark the redistribution of our ‘quantum souls’ as energy back to the universe at large. Of course, as soon as the word ‘soul’ is used, a theory almost immediately hits the buzzsaw of the paranormal label; even with vastly more nuanced new scientific interpretations of the word ’soul,’ it’s nearly impossible for paranormal research to be taken seriously, much less receive fair and balanced peer reviews. Yet, with decades of documented evidence that the information in our minds affects number systems in the physical world, it can be stated that there is at least anectodal evidence that aspects of our consciousness are inscribed as quantum information in the fabric of the universe.
Assuming that this is the case, let’s consider the nature of ‘ghosts,’ ‘possessions’ and ‘hauntings’ with this new lens of analysis. If human consciousness interacts with matter, it must be in the form of information transmissions. We don’t yet know how these transmissions are sent or received, but, according to the Orch-Or model, the information from our consciousness is stored in microtubules independent of our bodies or brains. These relics, as it were, of consciousness are inscribed into the fabric of reality, though the mechanism by which this happens is unknown, as is the nature of what that information would consist of.
Would this information be like time capsule of the consciousness that left it, a dossier of the mind left behind like a note tucked into a library book, waiting to be discovered and experienced by another mind. Would this information contain purely subjective information? How?
To be more specific, how would emotional states and thoughts left behind by an energy source fueled by consciousness be quantified in such a way that they could make a coherent impression? Likely, they wouldn’t. The information would be incoherent, incomplete and chaotic. One might expect intimations of shape, snatches of dialogue, sudden, indirect movements–in other words, all the characteristics we see reported by people who experience paranormal encounters. Assume for a moment that these ‘ghosts’ aren’t even fully sentient beings, as is so commonly portrayed in depictions of hauntings in movies: perhaps they are hearing, seeing, and experiencing nothing more than echoes of the past, reiterations of information that have already played out in space-time and happen to be in a looped cycle. Perhaps these cycles and even the nature of the transmission itself is determined and augmented by the conditions under which the energy (consciousness) changed forms.
Put more clearly, maybe humans who died in particularly tragic or tumultuous circumstances leave behind more impactful impressions on the quantum world, yielding more pronounced and more anomalous ‘paranormal’ experiences.
A ghost speaking to someone may simply be an echo of something a person once said in that exact location; a cold spot in a ‘haunted’ house may be a fluctuation of temperature brought on by the absence of the conscious energy that once dwelt there; possession could be a living mind absorbing and internalizing a thought pattern left behind by a now-dead human.
These are speculations you will likely never see in a contemporary science book. But this is the result of propriety, not malice. Science is a marvelous tool that is pushing forward the progress of mankind’s development. It’s important we commit ourselves to never limiting the scope of our inquiry, no matter how taboo or academically unpopular it may seem.