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Bierman's Experimental Proof That Consciousness Collapses the Wave Function

Bierman has posted his latest paper, dated March 5, 2003 at:

This paper will be presented at Quantum Mind II in Tuscon on March 17.

Bierman claims to have experimental proof that consciousness collapses the wave function. The only problem is that he is probably talking about pre-conscious response to sensory input rather than consciousness in the Bohrian sense, which involves *communicable* experience. If Bierman is right, Libet's results also refer to pre-conscious response, rather than consciousness. Consciousness, in the Bohrian or von Neumann sense, involves the additional binding problem of the various pre-conscious elements into communicable knowledge. I believe that William James also held this view and for that reason rejected mere mind-stuff as genuine consciousness. For von Neumann this takes more the aspect of immateriality, as the physical manifestation of the full dialectical and emergent arising of what can consistently be regarded as pure or spirit-like consciousness. Evidently, some further work is needed to isolate genuine consciousness as the agent in wave function collapse, and if Biermann is right about his present results, it would tend to disprove his thesis that consciousness itself in the Bohrian or von Neumann/Wigner sense is the sole agent responsible for the collapse of the wave function.

The point is that the cut can be placed anywhere and you get the same result, but in order to get a reasonable non-arbitrary result, one must assume that all reductions at any position of the cut other than the ultimate terminus of the von Neumann chain are artifact. That is what must be proven to prove that consciousness collapses the wave function. In other words, one must prove that in the absence of the ultimate terminus, which is full-blown Bohrian consciousness, replete with communicable knowledge, there would be no reduction at all. Otherwise what you are proving is at most that human observers collapse the wave function. What the relation is between consciousness and human observers is not resolved by that approach. The whole intent of von Neumann and Wigner was to go further, and Bohr was already there, since he had often considered the quantum observer as described by complementary functions of his experience. What puzzled Bohr was how to apply complementarity to the measuring device. That was the great mystery he began to discuss after 1935 and bequeathed to future generations for solution.

It might also be mentioned that Bierman's experiment involves two observers observing two different scalers, one displaying visual output and the other displaying delayed audio output. This is in fact the character of all human audio-visual experience, which is exaggerated in lightning and thunder. In other words, Bierman's experimental set-up strongly suggests that he is dealing only with pre-conscious sensory elements prior to the binding necessary for full-blown Bohrian consciousness, replete with communicable knowledge. This also suggests how the experiment should be modified to achieve the desired result of determining whether consciousness itself collapses the wave function. In short, there is no purely experimental solution to the hard problem. As Einstein averred in his discussion with the surprised Heisenberg, it is the theory which determines what we can observe, in the matter of consciousness more than ever.

The point is that we *can* now, as the result of quantum *theory*, define consciousness, the ultimate terminus of the von Neumann chain, and then we can make an experiment to determine if, in the absence of consciousness as defined, there is no reduction and, in the presence of consciousness as defined, there is a reduction. Other placements of the cut are artifact, so it is only a determination of the existence or non-existence of the ultimate terminus in a given situation that can determine the hypothesis defined by Bierman (and von Neumann).

Consciousness of Something is not, according to Copenhagen what reduces the wave function. Pigs don't do experiments. It is only Consciousness Itself, which sets Itself apart from Consciousness in such a way as to know Consciousness, such that Consciousness may know Itself, that can collapse the wave function. The ability to set Itself apart from Consciousness is contingent upon the capacity for unambiguous communication. This very distancing from Consciousness is reflected in the distancing of the physical from the psyche that results in the psycho-physical parallelism and, thereby, Knowledge.

So, the body of causal knowledge is structured in phenomenal Consciousness turned back upon Itself, as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi avers; but it is reflected in actual (Kantian type) Knowledge upon the material substrate of the mental, physical, and emotional worlds. The former is WORLD 2 of Popper, while the latter is WORLD 3, as championed by Bohr, in the former case, and Heisenberg or Dirac, in the latter case. Moreover, we have the idea of von Neumann that the physical characteristic of Consciousness, as the agent of the reduction, is its immateriality - it is the null set materially, and that truly vacuous actuality is spirit.

These are the parameters of an authentic definition of Consciousness bestowed upon us serendipitously by quantum mechanics. Surely, one must not look this gift horse in the mouth, unless one is so afraid of the truth as to regard the gift horse as a Trojan horse. In that case, no amount of covering up the truth will save you now. Schrodinger's cat is out of the bag!

Peter and others,

Bierman's project was a direct outgrowth of this paper (attached). This is the paradigm, which he does not reference. Bireman has all my references, which I sent to him. Stapp, Klein, and qauntum mind know all about it. Stan said if my results were replicated I would "undoubtedly win the Noble Prize." Here I am without even a word of acknowledgment.

Mark Germine
<< ExperimentalModelforCollapseoftheQuantumWavefunction.htm >>


Yes, now I remember this. You were ahead of your time. What does it matter? Do you really think Bierman has all the answers? The great mystery is better hid than that. From what I have seen, no one going to the quantum mind conference has a clue as to how to define consciousness. Without that, all such experiments are relatively meaningless and no more than groping in the dark. I believe I do glimpse the proper way to define and understand the meaning of consciousness, and I assure you it is so complex that no usurper can hope to usurp anything more than terminal confusion. Rest at ease - all genuine work is in the Lord, from whom all true recognition comes in the form of self-knowledge.

I have printed out your paper, and I will let you know my opinions after I have read it. Thanks.


Analysis of your paper:

Would it be true to say that behind every body world schema is one mind and one world? Stapp thinks the body world schema is just an array of numbers. I think it is the mystery of the world projected by the one mind out of its apparent origin in the brain into an ever-present external reality. The world is fully projected only in relation to the body, but in relation to the one mind it is one world. The body world schema is what connects the classical brain and the quantum brain. Is it in one or the other? Without a belief in the reality of the classical and meta-physical world, you lose your bearings and cannot answer any metaphysical question. And so you renounce metaphysics. Sour grapes, IMHO. Shall we start from square one with sound metaphysical axioms or shall we pretend that we can talk about metaphysical things elliptically?

Who is kidding who? How can you do an experiment to determine if consciousnes collapses the wave function without defining consciousness? What is your definition of consciousness? If you are defining it in material terms, as you seem to be doing, then you are going directly against the intent of von Neumann and Wigner, who asserted that it is the null set materially, hence completely immaterial and spiritual. If you define it in material terms, as some kind of material process in the brain, then how can you prove the link to the immaterial consciousness which is the ultimate terminus of the von Neumann chain? It remains but an hypothesis. It is that hypothesis that is to be proven. Any apparency of consciousness at the lower levels is but an artifact. The mystery is that the null set materially is the real agent of information and knowledge. How is that possible? Only because the null set materially is richly structured spiritually, or metaphysically, in the extra-physical elements of the observational process, to use von Neumann's language, or in WORLDS 2 and 3, to use Popper's language. Your experiments do not even begin to probe the question you ask. You are taking the artifacts of the experiment for the matter to be studied.

BTW, all of this analysis applies equally to Bierman's experiment, and to any and all such experiments.

[still later]
It is of course suggestive to think that, in your experiments, it is the experimenter who represents consciousness, since he is *not* involved materially in the experiment and therefore represents the null set materially. Especially in Bierman's experiment, and this is what he seems to add, the first observer is visual-oriented and the second observer is audio-oriented. The experimenter could represent the over-all binding of these sensory inputs, and as the detached observer of Bohr, he would also be immaterial in the sense of von Neumann. His influence over the experiment is in the mode of the Pauli-effect or more recently the Hutchinson-effect, but it is this type of effect that is most promising in exploring the determination of the experiment by consciousness, per se. Perhaps you could get Uri Geller to participate as the detached observer your experiments require to begin to probe the real manifestations of consciousness. This would give Geller something more significant to do than bending spoons.

This line of work is probably not appropriate for control freaks. Once you unleash the real powers of consciousness, there will be no putting the genie back in the bottle of materialism, where right now you are trying very hard to keep it.


It is quite simple. The subject/object distinction is an artifact of perception. The knower is the known, an the knowledge. Consciousness is the classical reality. The quantum reality in unconscious.

Mark Germine


Here are my views on your premises:

The subject/object distinction is an artifact of perception.

Perhaps, but that is NOT the von Neumann theory. On the contrary, the von Neumann theory sharpens the distinction of subject and object and defines it. All that interacts materially is objective. The null material set is the abstract "ego", which is the true (as opposed to merely apparent) actual observer, emptied of all materiality, which is pushed to the other side of the Heisenberg Schnitt. This abstract "ego" is consciousness, via cogito ergo sum, the latter meaning ego sum. This abstract "ego" as consciousness is the true subject, defined for the first time as an essential element of science! It is entirely immaterial and hence spiritual. It does not interact materially with the experiment, but yet it has a determinative effect on the experiment by interacting in a special immaterial mode with the material elements of the experiment. Hence, spiritual science, or the phenomenological science of Descartes and Husserl, is finally born! How does the subject really subsist as one of the extra-physical elements acknowledged by von Neumann? How does it interact with the material elements, both in the physical world and in the extra-physical worlds? These are the pertinent questions.

The knower is the known, an the knowledge.

The knowledge is arrived at by back-engineering the principle of the psycho-physical reduction in order to arrive at the metaphysical principle of the psycho-physical parallelism. In other words, the psyche becomes the abstract "ego" through the physical principle of the psycho-physical parallelism, which reduces all extra-physical elements of the observational process to physical elements or at least brings them into one-to-one correspondence with physical elements. This is not the principle of the psycho-physical parallelism, per se, howver. The parallelism refers to the fact that the psyche, which is whole according to Jung, is extended beyond itself to create the physical, in the same way that consciousness, which is whole, is extended beyond itself to generate the self-existence known as the actual observer in the truest, physically unreduced, Bohrian sense. It is in this way that Wisdom is extended as Understanding and then synthesized as Knowledge - this is Chokmah, Binah, Daath in Kaballah. The synthesis of Knowledge is achieved in the emotional world, wherein is established the parallelism between the mental world and the physical world (they are otherwise orthogonal). In other words, the mental is otherwise in a different dimension than the physical. The emotional synthesis brings it into the same dimension and establishes the parallelism.

Consciousness is the classical reality.

Close, but no cigar! Consciousness is the phenomenal reality. The *extension* of Consciousness as the Cosmic Mind is the meta-physical or classical reality. This is a real island of classical existence (called the Central Isle of Paradise in the Urantia book), subsisting in self-existent Consciousness Itself. Consciousness and the extension of Consciousness into Consciousness Itself exist in WORLD 2 of Popper, which I would call the phenomenal realm. The reflection of the phenomenal dialectic in the material realm is the generation of Knowledge, already discussed. This occurs in WORLD 3 of Popper. Everything reduced to the physical, via von Neumann's physical principle of the psycho-physical parallelism, is WORLD 1 of Popper. So, we may conclude that von Neumann was concerned primarily with WORLD 1 of Popper, Bohr with WORLD 2 of Popper, and Heisenberg and Dirac with WORLD 3 of Popper.

The quantum reality in unconscious.

The unconscious in your experiment would be observer 1 and observer 2. Although consciousness is implicit in their existence as sentient beings, you have by no means demonstrated the existence of genuine consciousness in your observers or their responses. Their responses to sensory inputs are essentially unconscious. The Unconscious can also be the gateway to Consciousness, btw. This occurs when one becomes conscious that one is unconscious and desires to awaken in Consciousness. Hence, the Unconscious is part of the classically existing Freudian psyche, but it does lead beyond itself into the quantum implicate order of transcendental Consciousness.

It is quite simple.

I think I have begun to show that it is not, and I assure you that whatever I have written down is less that one percent of one percent of the real complexity entailed in God's magnificent creation. This complexity of the inner worlds can be navigated by seers or shamans who are properly trained to do so and by no others. What is needed now is an unabashed class of scientific shamans, who alone will be able to lead Humanity forward out of the materialistic dark ages in which it now finds Itself.

Bierman's experiment is self-contradictory, at least if the von Neumann/Wigner hypothesis is true. If the second observer's "consciousness" is measurable by material means, then it is part of the material interaction and therefore *really* governed by the Schrodinger equation (despite any apparency, which is mere artifact, to the contrary). It is then the experimenter who observes the electrodes who collapses the wave function. That action cannot be measured by material means, because if it is measured then it too becomes part of the material interaction and cannot be what in reality collapses the wave function. So, the experiment is a nullity. Consciousness cannot be discovered by such mundane means.

If it were not so, then, as Henry Stapp has pointed out in private communication, signal locality would be violated. If one did the experiment with the two observers spacelike separated, signal nonlocality would be fully evident. If the random number generator were instead a morse code generator, the signal would be fully receivable in the second observer's electrode read outs. This is pretty good indication that whatever Bierman is observing, it ain't the collapse of the wave function by consciousness!

Henry Stapp doubts that the abstract "ego" is necessarily immaterial or spiritual. He raises reasonably the notion that the abstract "ego" is extra in the same sense the Bohm point, which I would call the Classical Universe Particle, is extra. In fact, Stapp, like Mark Germine, sees the abstract "ego" as a sort of classically emergent reality and justifies this by the materialist views of neuroscientists and philosophers.

I answer this challenge very easily and coherently. The Classical Universe Particle is the material substrate upon which the Knowledge of WORLD 3 of Popper is encoded. It is not identical with that Knowledge but conditioned by it.

As for the materialistic view that experience and consciousness are simply events in the brain, the brain is not a physical concept, as William James cognized. In the atomic and local conception of the world, only the synaptic junctions are physical in the atomic sense, while the whole brain is mental and well on its way to being an emergent classical reality in the metaphysical sense. And yet the quantum brain is the ground of all experience. So, how is this ground of all experience, which is NOT inherently physical, reduced by von Neumann's physical principle of the psycho-physical parallelism to the physical world? The answer is, of course, as the prime example of a measuring device or von Neumann's II in the von Neumann chain. Such a measuring device is physically on the verge of becoming an emergent classical reality, although it is still part of the quantum world governed by the Schrodinger equation. This shows the connection between the ground state and the emergent classical reality postulated by Heisenberg and Duerr in the special but fundamental case of the brain as the ground of all experience.

So, none of these objections seriously challenge my claim that von Neumann's abstract "ego" is immaterial and spiritual. The abstract "ego" itself cannot be comprised of material elements, or the very purpose of von Neumann's attempt to dispel the notion of an arbitrary split in the material world is defeated. Such apologetics aimed at pleasing the materialists entrenched in academia and society at large is unbecoming a serious quantum-mind researcher. As Sarfatti says, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

Henry Stapp directed me to the Oxford Companion to the Mind for what he considers to the be the prevalant materialist paradigm in the neurosciences and philosophy. Under "body and mind", "body-brain: Luria's philosophy", and "body-mind problem", one gets probably the spectrum of materialist belief. The gist is that either the central nervous system relative to the peripheral nervous system is the mind or the anterior region of the brain constitutes the abstract "ego" of von Neumann.

First of all, consciousness is central to both the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system and is secretly correlated to what are called nadis, or Shukanadis, after the sage who discovered them. The nadis are energy channels for prana in the occult body. They are hence quite distinct from the either the central or peripheral nerves. Looking for the *neural* correlates of consciousness is therefore futile from the start.

However, it is undeniable that there is a correlation in general between the anterior region of the brain in Luria's conception and the abstract "ego" of von Neumann, which could lead Stapp to identify some holistic aspect of that part of the brain with the abstract "ego". However, if one calls it a holistic *function* of that part of the brain, instead, then it becomes more true and more clear that there can be no *identity* between the anterior region of the brain and the abstract "ego". For one thing, the abstract "ego" is *abstract*, while the anterior region of the brain is not, so another way to phrase it might be to say that the abstract "ego" is instantiated on the anterior region of the brain. In any case, there is clearly no identity - that is just the sloppy thinking so characteristic of the quantum muddle.

The fact remains that the abstract "ego", although tethered to the brain, is quite distinct from any material element and is itself, therefore, immaterial and hence spiritual. To deny that is to twist von Neumann's truth and the real promise of his "extra-physical" or metaphysical approach into a lie.

The only true revolution there will ever be will entail the simultaneous realization of authentic subjectivity and authentic objectivity. The abstract "ego" of von Neumann is authentic subjectivity and the "ego sum" of Descartes is the simultaneous realization of that authentic subjectivity tethered to authentic objectivity, as exemplified in the quantum brain. The ultimate III of von Neumann is indeed the "ego sum", as abreviated in the term {abstract "ego"}. The "ego sum" is encoded, along with Kantian knowledge, upon the classical universe particle, or Bohm point, and it is instantiated upon the anterior region of the phenomenologically reduced aspect of the quantum brain. The "ego sum" is hence the name of God (I AM) that is sealed in the foreheads of the 144,000 saints of God before the inception of the tribulation period leading up to the Second Coming of Christ. We are in the midst of that tribulation period, and today is a momentous occasion thereof.

All inauthentic versions of subject and object are indeed the anti-Christ and the Devil. This includes, for instance the notion that bourgeoisie and proletariat are subject and object and the latter is therefore good and the former bad. Rather, they are both inauthentic. Any version that does not encompass *genuine* subjectivity thereby falls short of the glory of God and is bad. 666 or six hundred, three score, and six, as it is written out in the Bible, is simply six c-notes, three twenties, and six one dollar bills, in other words Mammon, which is the number of a Man, doing his own thing in oblivious ignorance of God and the Will of God. Insofar as it is symbolized by Ben Franklin, Abe Lincoln, and George Washington, it just bespeaks of the corruption of America from its foundation. Along with the ideal of Democracy, the corruption thereof entered into the foundation of America. The anti-Christ entered with the Christ. But Democracy must not be based on the inauthentic objectivity of the masses and the proletariat, per se, but rather on the spiritual conception of an authentic objectivity that is true to an authentic subjectivity. The dictatorship of the proletariat can never work, so long as it represents an even deeper falling into materialism than the so-called spiritual-materialism of capitalism. (Spiritual materialism is actually OK if it represents the authentic spiritual and authentic material.)

So, something good will come of the evil that is now upon us, and the genuine revolution will emerge from the decadence and oppression and absolute corruption stemming from absolute power that America now embodies. But the answer is not the answers of the past - it is not leftism or religiosity, per se. It can be defined in only one way - as a realization of authentic subjectivity and authentic objectivity - which is the only relevant way to define self-realization in the West and throughout the modern world.

Peter Joseph Mutnick 1949 - 2000