Symbiotic Existential Cosmology and the Future of Biodiversity

Chris King





This nutshell synopsis of “The Symbiotic Cosmology of Perennial Conscious Existence” restores the role of conscious life in a biodiverse universe into its correct position in the scheme of quantum cosmology. It thus forms a central protection for the future of the diversity of life on Earth. The fully referenced research monograph linked above is also available on Research Gate. This is an open commons article provided it is kept intact. Please distribute freely.




The Symbiotic Cosmology of Perennial Conscious Existence solves (a) the hard problem of consciousness – how and why we have subjective conscious experiences, (b) the problem of volitional will – how conscious intentionality can have real effect in the physical world and (c) the central enigma of existential cosmology – the cosmological role of life and conscious experience in the universe.


In pure materialistic physical cosmology, consciousness is a passive epiphenomenon of material brain function as a biological computational mechanism and volitional will is thus an illusion in a putatively causally closed objective universe. In theistic cosmology, people have free will, but the universe is created by God as a moral test with divine punishments, in which the ‘real’ life is in eternal Heaven or diabolical Hell. Although we are fully aware of the existence of the physical universe and are obliged to accept the laws of nature and their impacts on our biological bodies and lives to survive, the entirety of our access to the world comes sine qua non through our subjective conscious experiences, both consensually in our shared everyday experiences of the physical world around us and individually through dreams, memories, reflections and visions. To be valid, cosmology must successfully explain both aspects.


The symbiotic cosmology makes a minimal augmentation to the standard model of quantum cosmology to fully incorporate subjective decision-making, to form a concise, complete and consistent description of existential reality consistent with quantum reality, biological evolution and neuroscience.


Because it is centrally based on a symbiotic universe, it has very significant implications for the biodiverse future of planet Earth in a time of climate and biodiversity crisis involving an immanent mass extinction of life, which could seriously compromise or even extinguish the future of the human species. It also has very significant implications for society as whole because it supplants both the materialistic scientific model and the monotheistic, religious model in favour of a fully biodiverse cosmology critical to planetary survival. Its validity is established veridically by conscious observers, by Occam’s razor, to be the only class of cosmology consistent with subjective decision-making autonomy.


The cosmology has three interlocking components: (1) biogenic (2) panpsychic and (3) symbiotic.



 1. Fractal Biocosmology: This constitutes an indisputable empirical fact of cosmological evolution. While the overall energetics of the cosmological process leads to galaxies, stars and solar systems driven by the most powerful of the four forces, leading eventually to a big crunch, cosmic bounce or expanding heat death, the structural interaction of the four quantum forces together in full integration on the negentropic planetary surface, leads to fractal molecular structures, organelles, cells, multicellular tissues and organs such as the brain, organisms and the evolving biosphere. This sequence is the structural pathway to quantum complexity induced by the cosmic symmetry breaking of the forces of nature, complementing the energy pathway. Research has also revealed natural pathways to biogenesis.

This means that life is a central cosmological phenomenon and not irrelevant to physical cosmology.


2. Darwinian Panpsychic Cosmology is a minimal revision of physical cosmology consistent with quantum mechanics, in which the subjective aspect of reality is complementary to the universe as a whole.


It is named after Charles Darwin because it is an evolutionary classification pivoting on the eucaryote endosymbiosis, which is consistent with Darwin’s own view of free will:


"To see a puppy playing [one] cannot doubt that they have free-will" 

and if "all animals, then an oyster has and a polype.” (Darwin)


It is the only class of cosmology in which subjective experience and volitional will are fully included and correctly represented. Once we accept subjective autonomy and volitional will into the description, the fact that subjective mind interacts with the objective brain to realise decisions means that the subjective mind acts upon the physics of the universe. But the brain also obeys the core model of the four quantum forces of physics, so subjectivity becomes a feature of the universe as a whole. Thus personal conscious autonomy implies panpsychism. This implies the complementary subjective aspect – the mind at large – is a single entity, complementary to the universe in the multiple encapsulations we experience as organismic consciousness having volitional will to affect the world around us, consistent with the Tantric origin.


In a single quantum, panpsychism arises from the wave function implicitly encoding the well of quantum entanglement of the quantum’s past and future under special relativistic quantum mechanics and quantum will is the uncertain idiosyncrasy of a single quantum instance, as illustrated by Schrödinger’s cat.


In the pilot wave interpretation, the wave guides the particle, which is in an arbitrary but definite extant position. In standard quantum mechanics the position of the particle is uncertain and the amplitude of the wave function determines the probability of the particle being in any position. In the panpsychic description, uncertainty is not irreducible randomness but a measure of deep quantum entanglement, complemented in the subjective aspect by consciousness and volitional will.  This determines the position in the pilot wave model and defines “collapse” of the wave function in standard quantum mechanics and is thus consistent with both.



In this picture (a) all wave-particle quanta, (b) highly unstable quantum processes, including edge of chaos, self-organised criticality, and biogenesis (c) prokaryote archaean and bacterial excitable cells, (d) eucaryote cells with signalling membranes capable of sentience (e) living organisms with excitable neurodynamics and (f) evolution, where each mutation is a quantum instance, all inherit subjective aspects.

Coherently unstable edge-of-chaos quantum systems, biogenesis and the dynamics of excitable archaea and bacteria inherit coherent forms of quantum panpsychism in a primitive form of subjectivity, prior to attentive consciousness.


Subjective consciousness then becomes manifest in a single discrete transition, occurring as a result of eucaryote endosymbiosis, when respiratory energy was sequestered in the mitochondria, and the excitable cell membrane became available for signalling and for perception of quantum modes, including vision (photons), hearing (phonons), smell (chemical orbital perturbations) and touch (physical torsion). This became preserved and elaborated by evolution because it is anticipative of threats to survival, in an excitable organism lacking a computational nervous system.


In multicellular animals, subjective consciousness was retained because of its anticipatory capacity to avoid primary risks of death by anticipating predatory attacks and became seamlessly incorporated into edge-of-chaos nervous system processing, in which brains effectively became closely coupled societies of excitable cells communicating by the same social signalling molecules found in single celled eucaryotes.


The major neurotransmitters, such as serotonin arose as social signalling molecules in single celled excitable eucaryotes tuned for collective survival of the social organism, rather than individual cellular survival. Serotonin, in particular has both a developmental and a signalling role, conserved all the way from cellular slime moulds to humans. In myxamoebic  Dictylostellium, serotonin and MAOa form the organiser of aggregated fruiting buds and in humans serotonin is involved in organismic brain development, from the neural groove all the way to ascending 5HT1b serotonin pathways, providing the signals that determine the correct five layers of the cortex for neuronal migration. The brain has evolved as a closely-coupled society of amoebae communicating by the same social signalling molecules we find in single celled eucaryotes, such as serotonin and cosmologically abundant glutamate and GABA.


Objective and Subjective Empiricism The physical universe is easily interrogated on all fractal scales thanks to Galileo's telescope, the microscope and their technological variations. This makes objective validation facile. The subjective realm can only be interrogated subjectively and we don't even know one another are actually conscious. So we have two direct avenues and several indirect ones. We can interrogate (1) ordinary human subjective states of organismic consciousness and (2) wild states of moksha claimed by experiencers to be cosmic consciousness. However we also use "theory of mind" to impute that other humans are conscious and by extrapolation other mammals. Darwin said free will goes down to the "polypes" and the symbiotic cosmology says attentive consciousness goes to the eucaryote endosymbiosis. When we watch individual Dictyostellium amoebae, they act purposefully just like our neutrophil phagocytes, and have individual EEG-like excitations. Pivotally they make a transition point because they have two excitation modes, one individual and the other coherently organismic at the motile worm stage, so they demonstrate that subjectivity is a function of the coherent physical phenomenon encapsulating the process. .

Although it is very difficult for us to see or understand the “consciousness” in single-celled species, the active excitable behaviour of single-celled eucaryotes and their biological homology with our own brain excitations and synaptic neurotransmitters indicates the same physical processes are operating.

This means that the foundations of subjective consciousness are cosmological and that the universe is conscious as a whole, manifest in and through the biota. This solves the hard problem because the subjective aspect is integral to coherent excitable brain processes. The easy objective problems of consciousness thus do not solve the hard problem, which is neither confined to neuroscience, nor philosophy, but requires a cosmological paradigm shift.


Uncertainty and mind: The action of mind on brain necessarily arises from modulating the "random" aspect of quantum uncertainty in edge of chaos brain processing. This enables volitional will to intervene in the brain without disrupting the partial causal closure in brain processing in the uncertain quantum universe. It provides plenty of room to affect the computationally-intractable uncertain outcomes in evolutionary survival, using both subjective anticipation inherited from single celled eucaryotes and historical experience generated by cognitive processes.



3. Symbiotic Cosmology arises because symbiotic systems achieve optimal complexity and evolutionary persistence and diversification. This climax of biological evolution arises in eucaryotes as a result of: (a) The eucaryote endosymbiosis between the two founding branches of life, archaea and bacteria, resulting in a complexity catastrophe leading to cell organelles and informational excitable membranes communicating through social signalling molecules, with fundamental energy processes sequestered internally in the mitochondria. This results in cellular sentience through interaction with external quantum modes forming the senses. (b) At the same time asymmetric sexuality evolved as a genetic symbiosis between complementary strains, enabling indexed recombination of large genomes. (c) In parallel, cell-virus symbiosis gave rise to modular gene expression.


Organismic symbiosis is realised in biospheric symbiosis of each species within the biosphere as a whole, in which natural and sexual selection is a measure of survival of the most successfully symbiotic species within the biosphere, whether parasites, prey, predators or hosts.


Ultimately, society and culture are also examples of symbiotic survival, however human emergence has been fraught with species-focused selection, leading to egotistical consciousness, tribal and civil warfare, as well as sexual wars of dominance between the male and female sexes, in which patriarchy has compromised the sexual prisoners’ dilemma, inhibiting female reproductive choice essential for XY-based evolution and breaching human equilibrium with the biosphere, in exponentiating devastation of the natural habitats of the planet, climate crisis and resource crisis.


The natural correction to this scenario comes from the complex sensitivity of conscious existence not being the exclusive dominant possession of a single species Homo sapiens, but is achieved in psychic symbiosis.


A critical feature of the cosmology is that it was discovered by a mathematician with a research interest in biocosmology, neurodynamics and chaotic quantum processes, as a result of an experience on psychedelic mushrooms, which brings us to the final stage of psychic and cosmological symbiosis.


Psychic symbiosis. The end result of this process is that biospheric evolution has led to certain species, such as several cacti, mushroom species, and a variety of plant species producing neurotransmitter analogues which act as paradoxical agonists, currently having the umbrella name of psychedelics. These send the dynamical processes evoking subjective consciousness, perceptual processes and particularly the default mode and associated networks supporting individual ego dynamics for organismic survival, in organismic consciousness into a deeper form of primary consciousness, in which these dynamics revert more closely back towards collective survival, or even deeper into a form of abstract consciousness, which the experiencer identifies with “ultimate reality”, expressed by Aldous Huxley as the mind at large, associated with the merging of personal identity with the compassionate totality of existence. Individual consciousness is then an encapsulation of the mind at large filtered through the coherent brain activations associated with consciousness.


Thus while more elementary levels of subjectivity are not perceivable to human observers, organismic and primary consciousness are, making the cosmology verifiable.


This experience has deep parallels with the mystical states of moksha, satori, epiphany, immanence and enlightenment spanning both Eastern and Western spiritual and religious traditions and planet-wide traditions of shamanism. In reductionistic science, where consciousness is regarded merely as an epiphenomenon, this is regarded as hallucination, or psychosis, of no external significance. In religious traditions it is regarded as either negative possession or positive emanation of holy spirit. In the Upanishads it is accepted as the ultimate reality in the union of Brahman with the atman, or inner self, in the manifestation of cosmic consciousness.


There is obviously only one alternative, namely the unification of minds or consciousnesses.
Their multiplicity is only apparent, in truth there is only one mind. ... 
I should say: The overall number of minds is just one” (Erwin Schrödinger).


This is an almost unattainable objective for most people, leading to wishful reincarnation, where enlightenment is delayed to a future lifetime. Symbiotic cosmology is also the realisation of the tantric origin of Shakti-Shiva as mind and world, and of the Yin/Yang of the Tao. The key that psychedelics provide is that, among their diverse phenomena, there is a portal called the nierika by the Huichol, which leads to a state of deep cosmic consciousness sometimes described as the “spirit world”.


"It is I who am the all. From me did the all come forth, and unto me did the all extend" (Yeshua – Gospel of Thomas).


The common elements of peak psychedelic experience are of a consistently mystical quality, fully established in recent scientific research, invoking the experiencing of “ultimate reality” and the consistently transformative effect on peoples lives suggest they do have a common aetiology, consistent with cosmic consciousness and that this process is real. This provides evidential data, in the form of veridical reports having statistical significance in the same way that objective scientific measurements do. This places psychedelics as the subjective complement of the LHC in physics.


I am not suggesting that everyone should take these agents to achieve such states, but just that they need to be respected as having these potentials for existential insight by society as a whole. Neither am I recommending that people take them without expert guidance, at least at the outset. Neither am I suggesting they be taken by minors, until the age of full adult legal consent.


The symbiotic cosmology provides a completely different solution from both a purely materialistic cosmology, in which the universe is described as a causal process, in which consciousness life is passive, meaningless and irrelevant; and a theistic cosmology in which life on Earth is a disposable moral trial created by a non-evidential external third party called God for a future life of eternal bliss or hellish punishment. Both these cosmologies devalue the role of the evolving diversity of conscious life perennial in the universe, leaving us with a wasteland of apocalypse and Armageddon. The symbiotic cosmology invokes immortal paradise, so long as Earth shall live and beyond Earth to the stars, if we can learn to survive in evolutionary time. It is the real cosmology of the living universe while religious and materialistic cosmologies are tragic fallacies of the imagination.


Cosmological symbiosis:


In symbiotic cosmology the purpose of the cosmological process is so that the universe can manifest and experience and know itself, through the structural cosmological pathway leading to fractal complexity, life and consciousness, in which the biota, and Homo sapiens as a climax species, comes to experience forms of awareness, realising and manifesting cosmological self-consciousness.


This is a scientific cosmology which imparts an even greater responsibility and urgency on humanity than religious cosmologies – to act as conscious guardians of the biosphere, to cherish and protect the living universe as sentient cosmological manifestations of it. This also has profound spiritually fulfilling implication, in which conscious beings become both immanent and transcendent guardians of the diversity of conscious life – i.e. becoming as Gods in terms of Genesis, regaining the mythical Tree of Life hidden since the foundation of the world:


Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of

the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden. (Genesis 3:22).


This in turn imparts to us a “galvanising” responsibility, as cosmological manifestations of sentience to use our lives fruitfully to preserve and ensure the passage of the generations of conscious life in overflowing abundance. To protect the planet from mass extinctions, while experiencing the full deep abyss of conscious awareness, so that the evolving manifestation of consciousness is able to unfold. We are the agents of transformation and the decisions we make will shape the universe around us, making a paradisiacal, purgatorial or hellish history as we speak. Our lives are then truly connected to the immortal web, through intimate conscious identification with the flow of life as a whole, solving the dilemma of organismic mortality in the physical world. This again is why psychedelics are therapeutic for people in terminal illness.


Symbiosis and Human Survival:


Put very simply, a biosphere cannot survive in evolutionary time if there is a dominant species whose emergence remains tribal in basis. But that is the natural condition for any emerging dominant species like Homo sapiens. So the fully evolved expression is not species dominance, but biospheric symbiosis. So called classic psychedelics provide a core pathway to achieve this, because their affects on ego, particularly in a state of meditative withdrawal, or trance fixation, can undergo a transition to the ‘abstract’ state of consciousness that Aldous Huxley denoted “the mind at large”. Cosmological symbiosis is consistent with a fully technological civilisation, in which science and vision can both flourish, because it engenders a symbiotic civilisation, which can survive on cosmological time scales. A dominant species-driven technological civilisation is not sustainable because it is self-destructive through biospheric exploitation and collapse. Religious cultures are likewise prone to self-destruct through lethal theistic misadventure.