What is Consciousness? Consciousness just IS.
When Peter Russell says that science will never prove that consciousness just emerges from inanimate matter, his opinion carries the weight of an impressive and eclectic career. During the last decades, his studies have taken him deep into the worlds of mathematics, theoretical physics, and experimental psychology. Add to that Russell's knowledge of Eastern philosophy and his experiential understanding of expanded states of consciousness, and it becomes clear why he is uniquely positioned to be a major player in the great consciousness debate.
In this dialogue with WIE's Craig Hamilton, Russell challenges the notion that material objects don't posses consciousness (rudimentary though it may be), considers the implications of altered states and near-death experiences on our understanding of the brain/consciousness connection, and speculates on what a post-materialistic science might look like. And while he cheerfully concedes that neuroscience has effectively done away with the mythical God, Russell insists that it will never reduce or explain away the mystery and significance of the human mystical experience.