In 1990, the physicist David Bohm published a paper named "A new theory of the relationship of mind and matter" promoting a "panpsychist" theory of consciousness based on Bohm's interpretation of quantum mechanics."

Bohm's words: "everything material is also mental and everything mental is also material, but there are many more infinitely subtle levels of matter than we are aware of".

What does this exactly mean? Did Bohm mean that all what we imagine is real/physical? If yes, wouldn't that mean that every world/universe we can imagine (even if inconsistent) would physically exist, just as our universe? Was he saying that the universe is fundamentally information (in form of our mental states)?

  • It does not mean that "all that we imagine" is real, it means that everything physical also has some mental capacity. What we imagine is not the "mental", it is what imagines it (mind, consciousness) that is. He is saying that even at the most basic level matter carries some rudimentary form of consciousness. It does not mean "universe is fundamentally information" (that does not make sense, information is a representation of something else), and it certainly does not need to be in the form of our mental states. Forms of the "mental" can be as different from each other as forms of matter.
    – Conifold
    Jun 11, 2019 at 17:43
  • Bohm and J Krishnamurti talked dozens of times over 25 years. It would help to illuminate this question if looked from that angle... And then perhaps rephrase "mind" as "consciousness" and "matter" as "this (seemingly material) world"
    – Rushi
    Jun 12, 2019 at 4:03
  • @Conifold: "universe is fundamentally information" That is actually a widespread take, begun with Feynman's mentor Wheel who proposed his 'It From Bit' doctrine, and more generally developed as Digital Physics
    – CriglCragl
    Jul 6, 2021 at 12:17
  • @CriglCragl That is only a widespread shorthand, a misleading one if taken literally, but typical in merging representations with what they represent. Wheeler's it from bit, for example, is based on "multitude of existences, each characterized, directly or indirectly, by the soliciting and receiving of answers to yes-no questions". The bits of information are only ciphers for the askers of the questions and their activities. It is similar in all other "informational" proposals, information merely represents something else, something that can act.
    – Conifold
    Jul 6, 2021 at 20:36
  • @Conifold: I picture it a network of Shannon channels, lile Indra's Net. "information is a representation of something else" Exactly that. There is only the information about things propagating, no things. I am perplexed that you find that controversial.
    – CriglCragl
    Jul 6, 2021 at 21:18


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