DiCarlo: In your view, are these energy fields metaphorical or are they real? Who has produced the most compelling scientific evidence to date that these fields exist, that we are more than the physical?
Harman: Well you see, that hinges on the definition of scientific evidence and that's precisely why the epistological question, "how do we know what we think we know scientifically?", is so important. According to the world view of many, many scientists, what is "real" is only what is physically measureable. All their scientific concepts and theories are derived from that assumption. That implies the use of the physical senses in the usual sense. George Solomon, who coined the term, "Psychoneuroimmunology " and who is one of the leading experts in that field, includes among our senses the immune system because he claims that it's sensitive to things that the other senses are not. Others would go still further and say there's whole realms-levels of consciousness-spirit and what have you, which have not been included in traditional science but which are real in the sense that they produce real effects. Since we apprehend these realms with the deep mind or the deep intuition and not the usual five senses of taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing, they are not physical in the usual sense. So the epistomological question about the "rules of evidence," asks, "Beyond the five senses, how much you are willing to include as being a legitimate organ of perception?"
In fact, what is really at issue, is a total world view and the beliefs we hold at unconscious levels. Every one of us resists the change of our own internalized assumptions. We're being called on to answer the deeper questions, like "what is the nature of reality? Is it the same as conventional science has been saying? Or is it more like what is contained in the perennial wisdom of all the great spiritual traditions, in which the material world is only one end of the spectrum-or continuum-with spirit at the other end? That the human being is potentially capable of exploring the whole."
DiCarlo: What does conventional science tell us is the nature of reality?
Harman: Well, according to science, about 15 billion years or so ago, there was a big bang and the universe began to evolve and this was an evolution of stars and the planets and then elementary life forms on at least one of those planets. This all happened accidentally; that is, things were behaving according to scientific laws and coincidentally, certain chemical elements came together in such a way as to create the first elementary life forms. Then, with other coincidences of random happenings and natural selection, we finally get this evolution up to the present human being with this very complex network of neuronal cells in our crania and out of that, we get something that we call consciousness or mind or spirit. Then, from this basic story, come other conclusions: you are your DNA; you are whatever was given to you genetically-that's the essential you-the programs in your DNA. And of course, everything that has ever been said about religion and spirituality now has to be re-examined in the light of this dominant story, which we all accept as true, because we were all taught it in school. We know the authority of modern science, especially now with quantum physics and chaos theory, and it looks as though it's on the edge of really explaining everything. This dominant myth infuses our education system, it infuses our health care system, it infuses our legal justice system-every institution in society.