Quotes About the Unreality of Matter

Quotes About the Unreality of Matter

Quotes About the Unreality of Matter

“Everything we call real is made up of things that cannot be regarded as real.”
– Niels Bohr

“I have worked on matter and the dynamics of matter for sixty years. People often ask, ‘What is the main result?’ The main result was actually there from the beginning, but I did not really believe it: that matter doesn’t exist. That is what I wanted to understand, why I wanted to pursue it. And then at the end I realized it did not exist.”
– Hans-Peter Durr

“Materialism, once a scientific theory, is now the fatalistic creed of thousands, but materialism is nothing better than superstition on the same level as belief in witches and devils.”
– J.S. Haldane (from the Sciences and Philosophy)

“The intellectual history of our species shows we’re slowly giving up the idea that the way we perceive the world is the way it is. We gave up flat earth — it was hard, but we gave it up. Then we had to give up geocentric universe. The next step is space and time. Flat earth and geocentric universe were just warm-ups. Now as a species we have to give up space and time and physical objects themselves.”
– Donald Hoffman (Cognitive scientist, University of California)

“The neuroscientists are saying, ‘We don’t need to invoke those kinds of quantum processes, we don’t need quantum wave functions collapsing inside neurons, we can just use classical physics to describe processes in the brain.’ I’m emphasizing the larger lessons of quantum mechanics: neurons, brains, space … these are just symbols we use, they’re not real. It’s not that there’s a classical brain that does some quantum magic. It’s that there’s no brain! Quantum mechanics says that classical objects — including brains – don’t exist. So this is a far more radical claim about the nature of reality and does not involve the brain pulling off some tricky quantum computation.”
-Donald Hoffman (Cognitive scientist, University of California)

“When science has progressed the furthest, the mind has but regained from nature what the mind has put into nature … The nature of all reality is spiritual, not material, not a dualism of matter and spirit.”
– Sir Arthur Eddington

“There is need for some substantial anchor amid the collapse of old physical theories, because matter in the old sense has ceased to be. The way is opening up for more idealistic and spiritual views of the universe.”
– Dr. Edmond Sinnott (former Dean of Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School)

“In the world of physics we watch a shadowgraph performance of familiar life. The shadow of my elbow rests on the shadow table as the shadow ink flows over the shadow paper … the frank realization that physical science is concerned with a world of shadows is one of the most significant of recent advances.”
– Sir Arthur Eddington

“Many would hold that, from a broad philosophical standpoint, the outstanding achievement of twentieth-century physics is not the theory of relativity with its welding together of space and time, or the theory of quanta with its present apparent negation of the laws of causation, or the dissection of the atom with the resultant discovery that things are not what they seem; it is the general recognition that we are not yet in contact with ultimate reality. We are still imprisoned in our cave, with our backs to the light, and can only watch the shadows on the wall.”
– Sir James Jeans

“Anyone who becomes seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that there is a spirit manifest in the laws of the universe, a spirit vastly superior to that of man.”
– Albert Einstein

“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness.”
– Max Planck

“Most people would like to think of the constituents of trees and rocks as existing independently of whether we observe them or not. This, however, is impossible.”
– Werner Heisenberg

“Fortunately, some are born with spiritual immune systems that sooner or later give rejection to the illusory worldview grafted upon them from birth by social conditioning. They begin sensing that something is amiss, and start looking for answers. Inner knowledge and anomalous outer experiences show them a side of reality others are oblivious to, and so begins their journey of awakening. Each step of the journey is made by following the heart instead of following the crowd and by choosing knowledge over the veils of ignorance.”
– Henri Bergson (French Philosopher and Nobel Laureate)

“As mortals gain more correct views of God and man, multitudinous objects of creation, which before were invisible, will become visible. Spirit and its formations are the only realities of being.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“We do not need to get rid of matter; it is but a limited way of looking at reality that is incorrect because it is limited. We need to dispense with the limitation, not the universe. We do not throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak, and we don’t throw away the universe as unreal because we are seeing it in a limited way. We throw out the limitation. Christ Jesus did not get rid of the Galilean Sea; he got rid of the storm. He did not get rid of Lazarus; he got rid of the belief in death.”
– Laurance Doyle (SETI Institute)

“The interesting point was that I went into the void, I came back with this understanding that God is not there. God is here. That’s what it is all about. So this constant search of the human race to go out and find God … God gave everything to us, everything is here.”
– Mellen-Thomas Benedict (Near-death experiencer)

“The parent of all human discord was the Adam dream, the deep sleep, in which originated the delusion that life and intelligence proceeded from and passed into matter.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Here, in the investigation of the largest collection of near-death experiences to date, we see overwhelming evidence of God. This opens the door for science, humanity, and for religions. Confounding description even more is the all-inclusive nature of the love these NDE explorers felt. They describe this love as being the very essence of God. Hence, it is the very essence of all reality, the cosmos, life, all things. It is our essence. The light, or energy, behind all creation is or consists of love.”

– Dr. Jeffery Long (Radiation oncologist and near-death experience researcher)

(This list of quotes was compiled by Matthew Jackson.)

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Anita 6 years ago

    So illuminating! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Shelley Sechrist 5 years ago

    Thank you for your blog. I did a Google search for “the unreality of matter” and came across your sight. I too love art, color, nature etc and was raised in CS.
    Looking forward to reading more from you.

  3. Gordon Imrie 2 years ago

    Cited this today for a bright friend.

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