Consciousness, Cosmology & Physics Definitions & Terms for Beginners

by Mar 11, 2018Consciousness, Resources & Articles


There are several different types and definitions of the use of the term consciousness. Here are a few:

  • 1) To be awake and aware versus unconscious as in asleep or passed out.
  • 2) To have an advanced, studied perspective of something like…. “she is very conscious of environment issues”
  • 3) This is a spectrum of what consciousness is thought of in studies about consciousness as a force of living presence within the cosmos: An awareness or presence we attribute to living beings, with “living” possibly encompassing a profound intelligent ‘knowing’, a life force that is imbued with inherent brilliance, genius, and is its own type of energy-presence throughout the aspects of life that are considered conscious. This consciousness –live force would not be limited to humanity. It would be thought of as a life-essence that is possibly, likely, in all aspects of our Universe.
  • 4) Consciousness can also be considered in a loosely speaking, ‘spiritual’ context, separate from the (again) loosely defined description of number 3.

Such Consciousness would comprise the background foundation of the ‘Source of All’, the ‘Core of Emergence’ (how everything from a blade of grass to the birth of a star, or an insight is radically born).

This level of Consciousness includes the Essence that Creates all that is manifest and un-manifest. (In other words, in religious terms God would be equal to Consciousness but in non religious belief structures Consciousness might replace the God of a particular religious dogma, yet still be considered reverent as one might feel awe and wonder throughout nature.)


Relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit : incorporeal spiritual needs of or relating to sacred matters spiritual songs …ecclesiastical rather than lay temporal spiritual authority lords spiritual

  • 1) Concerned with religious values
  • 2) Related or joined in spirit our spiritual home his spiritual heir
  • 3) Of or relating to supernatural beings or phenomena b : of, relating to, or involving spiritualism : spiritualistic



  • a) branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of the universe
  • b) a theory or doctrine describing the natural order of the universe – religions host a cosmology (a story about how the universe came to be)


  • a branch of astronomy that deals with the origin, structure, and space-time relationships of the universe; also : a theory dealing with these matters – as in our workshop, we are going to be opening up a discussion to examine the cosmology we have as a part of our unchecked belief systems.


Anything smaller than an atom. All quantum ‘particles’ are the elements comprising atoms such as protons, neutrons, electrons. Also photons, quarks, are other examples of quantum ‘things’.

Quantum Mechanics

The laws related to how the quantum world works

Classical Mechanics

The laws related to the world as we (humans) directly experience it. Also known as Newtonian physics, these are the laws that govern systems of force and relationships between objects that are in the visible, external realm of nature as we know it.

Newtonian Physics

Newton developed the mathematics and many of the formulas governing the physics of the external world as we know it. The universe and nature became perceived as “clockwork” with a cosmology that involved a creator God who more or less abandoned the scene and stands afar. Newtonian physics is amazing at predicting the mass events of force and nature but the laws break down once one looks at the underlying quantum level.


For our purposes, not the formal definition…Superposition describes all the overlapping waves and potential states of everything… (imagine all the many notes played from many musical instruments playing all at once in a symphony). All the sound waves overlapping and yet co-existing in any given moment in time form a superposition of sound waves. There is one moment of hundreds or thousands of sound waves hovering all at once as each second passes somewhere in the ‘field’ of the superposition. This field is where all that is possible, all that is in the past, the potential future, hovers.

In quantum mechanics, through every moment in time, matter, as we know it in our ‘real world’ changes. Waves break on the ocean, children run, the sun shines, grass grows, computers compute. With every single interaction, there are all the quantum particles that underlie all reality acting in an enormous dance, somehow moving from the superposition of all potential to an actual hard core external reality that we experience and feel as mater. All the protons and neutrons and electrons etc. (quantum particles of which there are many), hover in a field state in the ever present –time of ‘now’ , awaiting orders.

Some will become atoms in blades of grass, some will stay in the wings, meaning stay in the field of potential, not becoming a part of the world we experience at this point. So, at any given second, all of the quantum particles wait to “land” and form “reality” as we perceive it. In the meantime, they are hovering in a waiting state. This waiting state right before things become measurable as being ‘here’ and ‘now’ is known as the quantum superposition. In this state, all potential exists at once. And every millisecond of time, the superposition is there, hovering (if you will), actively awaiting orders.

The question is HOW do all the quantum particles in their potential states hovering in the superposition … get “chosen” to form a hard-external, measurable result? What happens to all the potential quantum paths that didn’t get expressed? Some liken the superposition state as the ‘field of all possibilities’, some the Akashic field and other sacred fields of all-oneness awaiting manifestation.

Manifest Reality

The actual reality we experience with our 5 senses. The supposed real, outer world.

Quantum Field

Often confused with quantum field theory. There is otherwise no quantum field per se. We will use this term to refer to the superposition .

Zero Point Field

Very complex theory, which for the sake of our discussion reminds us that at the very lowest energy states, in a vacuum there was thought to be no atoms, no quantum particles. It turns out that there is in fact a scintillating frothing living level of quantum activity, where particles that are very unstable are born and annihilated


Referring to the unique inner experience of each being. In any given moment in time, each being, from a fly to a human has its own species inherited set of receptivity equipment. We have eyes that work differently than a fly or a frog. The equipment our nervous system has, combines forces with our psychology and perceives reality from inside of ourselves. That perception experience is our subjective reality. It is really all we have. We don’t know for sure the objective, external reality is there… other than we feel it, hear it, see it, taste it, etc. We assign meaning to it, react to it, have emotions and thoughts about it. All of those things are our subjective experience of the world. It is unique, individual as well as shared with much in common with other humans. Subjectivity is core to the study of moment to moment tracking of our psychological experience, known as phenomenology and used as the premise of dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).


The human faculty of standing back and trying to view something as others do, or as others describe something. The ability to attempt to cut out one’s personal sway in perception and look at something “objectively” not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.

It turns out there is much more difficulty in remaining truly objective when talking about science and the nature of reality. The reason for this is, that quantum mechanics (the actual mathematics) ends up showing that the observer, the individual measuring things, the scientists is inextricably interwoven into any given moment of being involved. It’s a fascinating dilemma.. we are all ingredients within the cake batter which we may be trying to study. We can’t get out of the batter… so we each have a major quantum influence in what actually gets measured and thought of as “real”.

Participatory Universe

The good news! Mathematics related to quantum mechanics and the impossible theory of relativity has exciting implications for humanity. The implications of the mathematics in that it appears that we as human beings appear to be inextricably bound to the dynamic process of how moment to moment reality appears to us, hence the description “participatory”. This term suggests that our very beings are “observers” or better stated, “participants” in the next moment-to-moment creation of life. Even if we are daydreaming and drooling on the sidelines, our very chunk of consciousness contributes in some ways to the outcome of moment -to -moment reality. We can really only be sure this is true when we say that we are participatory in “our” (subjective) reality.

Consciousness as Primary

This is a term used to describe the notion that Consciousness (life force, intelligent awareness, Presence ) has always existed. It is primary, fundamental, always was there, before time and through all time. It refers to the fundamental presence of a consciousness period amen, from the start. This term upends the notion that we living humans, with our consciousness, climbed out of a dead rock (earth) or a non-living sea and evolved to living beings. Life forms likely evolved, but the idea with consciousness as primary is that we are alive in a living, conscious universe, within living, conscious galaxies, where consciousness exists in every single quantum particle, atom, molecule in everything.

*Consider though… time itself is likely a construct of the human brain. Hard to imagine, but “before time” and for “eternity” may not be comprehendible in Newtonian, mechanistic science terms.

About the Author

Francie White


Francie White is a theorist and practitioner in the science and art of nutritional psychology as well as a creative force investigating and teaching about philosophies of consciousness. She has a 35 year history at the forefront of treatment for all types of disordered eating, which parallels her abounding interest in the deeper questions about the nature of reality, and the importance of resurrecting wonder within the journey of human life.



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