What Do I See?

The nature of reality is a subjective interpretation.

 “The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes”

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

The above quote made me think about reality. In fact, it was more of a dwell; what do we actually ‘see’?

Below is essentially a breakdown, and personally interpreted, smorgasbord of highlights from Graham Smetham‘s article in Philosophy Now, Issue 93.

Just over a year ago the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced they had uncovered evidence for the Higgs boson – the God particle. Such a discovery is evidence for the Higgs quantum field, which in theory pervades the entire universe, and is necessary for mass to come in to being.

We ‘see’ mass.

The Higgs boson is a subatomic particle that gives mass to matter.

The Higgs field is made-up of Higgs bosons.

 “Mass is constructed entirely from the energy of interactions involving naturally massless elementary particles… The physicists kept dividing, and in the end found nothing at all.”

Jim Baggott, Higgs: The Invention and Discovery of the God Particle

These elementary particles are the smallest building blocks of mass. Yet they divide into nothing. This is the quantum level of physics.

At the quantum level, classical materialist physics is redundant.

In 1931 the instigator of quantum theory, Max Planck, proclaimed “consciousness as fundamental, I regard matter derivative from consciousness.”

 “Mind has erected the objective outside world… out of its own stuff.”

Erwin Schrodinger, What Is Life? 1944

At the quantum level, there is no classical materiality.

Matter needs your mind.

Some scientists and philosophical thinkers still cling on to the idea that Matter makes the mind. This is Materialism.

Materialism states that there is a realm of stuff which has no mental qualities and which exists independently of mind, and that this is the material world. This mindless material stuff somehow manages to produce minds: yet the material stuff is still somehow the only stuff that exists.

 “An impersonal, unreflective, robotic, mindless little scrap of molecular machinery is the ultimate basis of all the agency, and hence meaning, and hence consciousness, in the universe.”

Daniel Dennett, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, 1996, p.27


At the quantum level there is no “molecular machinery”: there is a quantum field of material potentiality that also has the potential for forming an experiencing mind. “Molecular machinery” is too large a concept for the quantum level – so it is not the basis for anything.

Imagine you experience seeing a yellow wall


This experience is generated through neuronal activity in your brain…

It follows then brain matter is the kind of stuff that has the potentiality to produce experience…

This means matter is defined as stuff which has the capacity to produce mind, in the right circumstance.


All material structures and processes, including the brain, are emergent from insubstantial quantum “dream stuff”, physicist Wojciech Zurek’s description.

So, quantum theory tells us that even the existence of a brain is a result of mental acts upon a deep quantum ground of potentiality. This means material of the brain is ultimately immaterial.

The idea that we have to think about the physical existence of our own brain, using our brain, which is made up of subatomic particles that only exist through us having to consciously determine them… well, does that mean my consciousness is removed from the realm of physicality? Or does it mean the soup of subatomic particles that potentially creates my mind is a self-generating wonder? But, surely consciousness would have needed to exist before the creation of anything physical, anything with mass, for the mass to come into existence in the first place. It would have needed an observer.

What came first; the chicken or the egg?

Matter needs mind.

What do I see? My consciousness’ subjective interpretation…



About Will Rodway

what you hear, what you read...
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