The New Enlightenment


We are in desperate need of a shift in the wind. As John Holdren reported to President Obama:

The current situation of the world … is that we are in a car with bad brakes driving toward the edge of a cliff in the fog … prudence requires that we try to stop the car. (2008)

Instead we are accelerating toward crisis. The egoism generally taken as normal is driving us toward destruction. Don’t look up!

Now, a scientific revolution changes the very ground of our being. The confirmation of a well-established theory in the new physics shows that we live in ‘relative worlds’. And this means key spiritual principles are in full operation. The decadence, anomie and consequent societal breakdowns we are seeing are due very specifically to the lack of any understanding of this nature. Awareness restores humanity. The intelligence of healthy cooperative community that enabled our extraordinary success to date is rebuilt. The prospects of our mid-term survival are greatly improved.


US adviser on climate change Gus Speth summarises the problem:

I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that. (3013)

Selfishness, greed and apathy are the hallmarks of egoism. This is what it looks like in practice. Alexander King, a pioneering environmentalist, describes the solution:

Any durable solution to [humanity’s] external and internal problems can only come from evolution beyond the egoism that motivates every individual. The wisdom we desperately require can only come through inner transformation. … This seems the only hope of breaking the impasse of both great danger and great promise, in which mankind is presently constrained. (2006)

As he goes on to say, however, religions throughout history have attempted such a change with very little success. But this evolution is exactly the result of the new scientific worldview. The ego is transformed because a different identity becomes natural, and in time the default. Humanity becomes humane.


Recent experiments in leading-edge physics (Proietti et al., 2019) have confirmed the famous ‘Wigner’s Friend’ theory. This means the world is real, ‘determinate’, only where observed – for each individual. As demonstrated in ‘Quantum Bayesianism’, a modern interpretation of quantum theory:

This means that reality differs from one agent to another. This is not as strange as it may sound. What is real for an agent rests entirely on what that agent experiences, and different agents have different experiences. (Fuchs et al., 2013)

This is what the experiment confirms. We live in personal parallel realities, relative worlds.

This is still not taken seriously because there has been no ontology. Something that crazy has to have a proper physical basis to even be considered. My paper defining the physical ontology has generated considerable interest.


The remarkable implications arise because the agent is relevant in their world in a manner unimaginable in our current worldview. The physical reality of the world is defined solely by the record of observations of this agent, the memory.
We have no awareness of this precisely because this is the ‘personal unconscious’. As defined by Carl Jung, this is all the aspects of the memory, laid down by experience, that could be accessed consciously but are not in conscious awareness at the moment.

That is what defines the physical reality of your world. Not a new idea, this is the basis of Everett’s famous many-worlds theory (1957). Weird. Terrifying. All the more so when spelled out. This confirms a fundamental spiritual principle that sounds beyond ridiculous in our modern scientific era. As stated by the modern sage Jiddu Krishnamurti:

You and the world are not two different entities. You ‘are’ the world, not as an ideal, but actually”. (Lutyens, 1983)

That is the transformation that fulfills King’s requirement, the evolution beyond the ordinary isolated self, for which egoism is a natural condition.


In this type of world the great spiritual principles are real – crucially, with no dogma or deity. These are simply attributes of the extraordinary connection of self and world. To illustrate, prayer works. The modern form is ‘the law of attraction’. The mechanism is straightforward. Ritualised visualisation of a future event or outcome generates expectation. This gives rise to confirmation bias. We see what we expect. In the relative world of the agent, this biased observation now defines that reality.

There is strong practical evidence in placebo, a well-researched medical response that has been incomprehensible. The sugar-free pill has no physical effect. It works simply because the patient expects it to. The relative world provides the missing explanation.

The same mechanism explains ‘karma’. Habits of mind and action become unconscious expectations. As a result good deeds lead to a good future and bad deeds to a bad one. Thus a universal operational morality comes with a simple scientific explanation. Moreover the phenomenon is global. As John Wheeler proposed, this is a ‘participatory universe’.


When this is taken on there is a sea change in the global human culture. King’s ultimate objective is

… to cultivate an enlightened communal sense. (2006)

This is the natural result of this new worldview. Enlightened self-interest, i.e. communal values, is the only way to achieve true success. And for those who have power, such as a surplus of money, improving one’s world is the ultimate interest – the perfect hobby for the one who has everything, with stupendous payoffs. You become beloved of the world.

The Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path is the user manual for this type of world: ‘Right Action’ – Do no harm – Help if you can. And you will be in heaven! This is how we resolve biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change, and the many other looming man-made Armageddons.

A full scientific explanation, and all references, are given at






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