Discussion Forum

Did matter evolve to create consciousness or did consciousness evolve to create matter?

Said another way, the Spiritual world is said to be nonphysical in nature and exists independently from matter. That is, the physical world would not exist if there was no one (sentient beings) there to perceive it. The Spiritual world is also said to be infinite and not subject to the constraints of linear time, death, or decay.

Conversely, the physical world is defined by its limitations. Everything is composed of the same material, but differences in configuration, finite dimensions and measurable attributes are what distinguish one thing from another. Thus: Spiritual world = infinite. Physical world = finite. Mathematically, we know that the infinite can not be produced from the finite; but, the finite can be produced from the infinite. So, did matter (finite) evolve to create consciousness (infinite) or did Spiritual consciousness and perception (infinite) evolve to create matter (finite)?

Let the intellectual jousting begin – – have fun!


  • Spirit is the inside and matter is on the outside. We experience our own consciousness but those outside of us only see matter. Why do things like rocks seem to lack consciousness? Rocks are consciousness but they don’t have a mind like the one that is created by our brains. Our wonderful brains use our mind to present the world to us in a way that we can understand and interact with allowing our consciousness to grow and become more pure. Don’t worry about rocks someday they will have a mind and their consciousness will evolve.

  • Neither evolved specially to create the other. There is an interaction of the two. True: Nothing can exist without there being something to be conscious of it but would consciousness exist if there was nothing to be conscious of?

    As well, perception is a mental activity of the mind and is the result of a material brain. From that we suspect that perception has nothing to do with consciousness, yet both rely on attention. Therefore attention is the common factor between consciousness and perception. Other than that they have no relationship to one another.

  • There are two different kinds of evolution here.

    Matter evolves according to the principle of Darwinian evolution while culture or spiritual consciousness evolves according to the principles of Lamarkian evolution.

    From a human perspective. Logically matter would need to evolve first to create a being capable of having a complex conscious brain (Darwinian evolution). Then the conscious brain could create matter into beautiful art forms (Lamarkian evolution).

    However from a divine perspective going back before the Big Bang the physical universe could be like a crib in which humanity could be born. At this point a divine conscious entity or entities would have created matter to do this work of art.

    The purpose of the evolution of matter is to enable a spiritual consciousness of God as based on the not so popular theories of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

    Both are right depending on the time and relative perspective you choose to start your observation.

  • Said in another way: Both consciousness and the solidity of that which exist are two aspects of the same thing. Perhaps it could also be said that there are two aspects in existence. The Absolute is the none changing phase or field of Being; and the relative ever changing field of Being is the other? Light or background radiation light before it is absorbed is called Akasha. (invisible light) After absorbed into the human body is called Kundalini which is experienced internally as brightness, color or heat and is ultimately consciousness. The primordial seven different colors representing vibration rates can be seen in the charka system or in octaves of seven notes in sound. A complete understanding of the primordial creative light forces of the three gunas is needed here. The universe talks to us constantly in divine language of color and sound.
    Both consciousness and concrete matter are different vibrations in the same relative field and must coexist at the same time. Awareness is the common denominator of both fields of Being as seen in the depth of meditation techniques when integration is established.

  • A well-informed question. I suppose you want an answer. Here’s the best I’ve got, but I know it’s not airtight.

    As an existentialist, along the lines of Sartre and Rand, I have to say existence precedes essence, matter precedes consciousness.

    But I know that in the end matter is just a waveform, it’s really just a number. All matter which may be found on the periodic table comes down to leptons, mesons, and bosons. Basically numbers that describe waveforms, see also Schroedinger, Fermi, and Feinmann, particularly the theory of quantum electro-dynamics.

    However mind does not precede matter, temporally, or logically. Matter comes first, then you have cells, then animals, then evolution, then mind, then numbers and quantum electro-dynamics (including dear Feinmann, well not so much anymore, more’s the pity).

    So conciousness did not create matter. No way. No how. Consciousness may have been implicit in matter, from around the time of the Big Bang, but something has to be primary — I say it’s existence, not essence. First be a nice piece of slime mold, then be Einstein at Princeton, not the other way around.

    The arrow of time goes one way. It’s not like a reversable sweatshirt that can be outside in or inside out. It’s more like Bleeker Street (a one-way street, in Greenwich Village).

    If you read too much Deepak Chopra all things seem possible. To be fair, the Vedas — it’s the same way, and the Upanishads, so Deepak is telling it like he sees it. But Hindu classics are not reliable on this point. Sartre and Rand have it right, I think, and so do Minkowski, Reimann, Courant, Feinmann, and Einstein. Existence precedes essence in every respect. Physical world comes first, spiritual world comes later (not less important, but later, in time and logic).

    I don’t know if this is the answer you wanted. Anyhow, I’m stuck with it, because it’s the one that I think is true.

  • Great question.

    But I don’t think either premise is true. I don’t think either of them evolved to create the other.

    Matter is energy within set boundaries. The spiritual world is a world of energies, and exists within it’s own dimensions.

    Matter evolved from these energies, but the energy was already conscious, it didn’t need matter in order to become conscious.

  • This to my mind, is THE biggest question, this is the place where science and theism, should meet and meld, in a blinding flash of logic, (That’ll be the day huh?)

    Firstly, let us examine matter.

    Where does matter orignate from? and WHAT is matter?

    I can almost hear everyone shouting at me, that all matter in the universe originated from the BIG BANG, the big bang theory, however, must mean, that all the matter was already present, and just waiting for a cataclysmic event to expand itself.

    All well and good you may say, but that does not adequately answer the question of the ORIGIN of matter, for as soon as ONE atom of matter is in existence, I am going to ask “Where did it originate” any enquiring mind would.

    Clearly then, you cannot go back infinitely saying water came from hydrogen and oxygen hydrogen came from….etc etc. all the way back to, and beyond, the big bang.

    You WILL eventually come to a point, where SOMETHING, some ENERGY, has to have always existed, in order to create, what we know as matter.

    Hope you stayed with me so far!

    SO, All matter then, is derived from this same infinite energy, merely condensed to a slow vibration, the frequency at which it vibrates, and its chemical composition, decides what KIND of matter it will become.

    The implications of this are enormous, what it means, in very literal terms, is that EVERYTHING is one thing, the same infinite energy, which created all other things, all things being, soil, your computer, me, you, your kids, cats , dogs, kitchen sinks….EVERYTHING.

    We are all made of “Star stuff” as the late Carl sagan was fond of saying.

    Therefore, consciousness, being energy, and having no need of condensation into matter, is a PURE source of the original “Consciousness,” or infinite creative energy, there can be, NO other source.

    Incidentally, this also answers another big philosophical question “Is there “Life after “Death”.

    The answer of course is now simple high school physics.

    We already know, that energy cannot be destroyed, it can only change its FORM.

    If you accept that your consciousness is energy, the same SOURCE energy, then of course, your consciousness will go on after your physical body has perished, just in another form.

    What form this may be, I don’t know, but frankly, it is just enough to know, that it is so.

    Also, I am very careful, not to give this infinite energy, a name of any description, it is safer to just KNOW that it is so, and not go to war, over a name, or a set of rules pertaining to the name.

    Just know, we are all one thing, all one love, all one consciousness.

    What a great day that will be, when everyone realises the eternal cosmic truth of this, we are going to look pretty silly touting nukes and waging wars, when everyone realises, its just fighting with yourself!

    Great question, I enjoyed answering it, If anyone would like to discuss it further, please e-mail me, and we can swap I.M.

  • Some people might think that this is about making an “either/or” kind of choice, but I’d have to say that it’s “all of the above.” Bottom line, if we don’t perceive something with our five senses or by conceptual thought, there is no way of knowing that it exists in our lives. I’ve asked the best scientific minds I can find how they differentiate what is subjective versus what is objective, and, so far, nobody has given me a definitive answer. From what I can tell, our lives and the cosmos are large enough to hold apparently differing viewpoints if we are willing to open up our minds to the point where we can embrace concepts like that. This is a great question! Best wishes!

  • It certainly is a question posed to create debate, but if we stick to the proven and the physical world is that proven, the spiritual is not. Then the debate fizzles out.

    I’m waiting for the Scriptural ‘cut and pasters’ to discover this question.

  • Some receint scientific experiments has shown that you can create matter from light.

    I haven’t looked into this much though. But I am sure it means something.

    To me it seems that consciousness would have had to create matter out of light in the beginning.

  • “Mathematically, we know that the infinite can not be produced from the finite; but, the finite can be produced from the infinite.”

    Actually, we know nothing of the sort, mathematically. You are using the terms “finite” and “infinite” in a philosophical or metaphysical way, not a mathematical one. Mathematics has precisely zero (see? another mathematical term) to say about your question.

    Here are some other mathematical terms that are also philosophical terms – which don’t have anything like the same meaning:
    etc. …

  • I can’t disagree

    Please post this question in Science or Philosophy. It is a great question and I would love for you to get good answers.

  • Atoms or molecules are not conscious.

    Only imagination can come up with such whoppers as God and Satan and all the rest.

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