“The universe and the observer exist as a pair. I cannot imagine a consistent theory of the universe that ignores consciousness,” says Stanford University’s Russian-American theoretical physicist, Andrei Linde in his paper, Life Universe Consciousness, about the central mystery of our time, concluding that consciousness may exist by itself, even in the absence of matter, just like gravitational waves, –excitations of spacetime– that may exist in the absence of protons and electrons.

“Will it not turn out,” Linde adds, “that with the further development of science, the study of the universe and the study of consciousness will be inseparably linked, and that ultimate progress in the one will be impossible without progress in the other?”

“I have a much easier time imagining how we understand the Big Bang than I have imagining how we can understand consciousness,” observes Edward Witten, theoretical physicist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey who has been compared to Isaac Newton and Einstein.