Lenses of Perception

A Surprising New Look at the Origin of Life, the Laws of Nature, and Our Universe

By Doug Marman

“An important work for scientists who have suspected consciousness and subjective perceptions are fundamental to the universe and not some accidental epi-phenomenon. Marman’s work brings first-, second-, and third-person points of view into the fabric of the universe. The reader will never look at the world the same.”

Michael Clarage, PhD, Physicist

This book is not just for scientists, but for anyone who wonders how the universe came into existence out of nothing. Why is biological life irreducible? What are the deeper principles that create the laws of nature?
Lenses of Perception reads like a detective novel, as it dives into a study of the foundations of physical reality and discovers the surprising role of consciousness. The evidence comes from experiments run by leading scientists.

Our scientific way of looking at the world as outsiders was pioneered by Isaac Newton. This third-person “lens of perception” looks at the world objectively, as if we are outsiders looking in. This perspective allows us to analyze forces with incredible precision and ushered in our age of technology. But the limitations of this lens are clear.

It can’t explain the paradoxes of quantum mechanics or figure out how life began. It doesn’t even see consciousness, since awareness is invisible to outsiders. Physicists have been struggling with these problems for more than forty years. Some call it a crisis. Many believe something big is missing.

Although Lenses of Perception never discusses spirituality directly, the implications are significant. It opens a door that has been closed between science and spirituality for a hundred years. It shows why this gap between science and religion grew in the first place, as well as the gap between science and philosophy, and how recent discoveries point to a whole new understanding of reality.

Lenses of Perception offers promising solutions to “The Five Unsolved Problems of Physics” and new insights into how our mind controls our body—a puzzle that has baffled scientists and philosophers for hundreds of years. You will also see explanations for the biggest leaps in evolution, such as the origin of life and multicellular creatures.

These mysteries can all be explained using the same tools. Not with theoretical concepts, but through three simple fundamental ways of seeing. In other words, by shifting states of consciousness we change our lenses of perception. This is the key to seeing deeper into the mysteries of life.

For more information, check out our new website set up specifically for discussions on the scientific and social implications of lenses of perception: www.lensesofperception.com.

The spiritual implications of lenses of perception will be discussed here on SpiritualDialogues.com. For example, see the new article: Making Life Your Friend

ISBN 978-0-9793260-3-5 / 512 pages / $19.90




What are lenses of perception? Simply put, they’re ways of seeing. We change lenses when looking at the world in different ways. Seems simple enough. We all do it, partially, when we relate to another person, dive into the artificial reality of a movie, or think outside the box.

However, if we want to be more than just a tourist and truly understand how life looks through a different lens, we need to first let go of everything holding us to our old worldview. Then we must pass through a zone of confusion and bewilderment. We feel lost until another lens makes sense. Only then can we fully adjust to a new perspective. Who wants to go that far?

This is why breakdowns in communication are so common. Without a strong desire to understand, other points of view seem wrong and confused.

Thus, in our age of specialists, we’re more like ships passing in the night. We rarely realize how different our perspectives are. It’s easy to write everyone else off as fools. The problem is that we look just as foolish to them.

More importantly, learning to switch lenses is a vital necessity in a society changing as fast as ours. It’s the only way our inner selves can adapt and keep up. If we avoid the path of wisdom and understanding and focus only on objective knowledge, modern culture soon seems alien and wrong to us. We see ourselves as outsiders and feel disconnected. Adjusting our lenses of perception allows us to connect at a deeper level, where we can see that things do make sense.

Here’s an example: The first major earthquake I experienced registered 5.4 on the Richter scale. It was powerful enough to make the ground beneath the San Francisco Bay area move in long undulating waves, as if it were fluid. The illusion of solidity vanished. I felt more like a surfer than someone standing on firm land. My sense of location disappeared as the earth itself flowed beneath my feet.

People around me screamed and froze, not knowing what to do. Others ran outside. However, a few old-timers smiled and calmly walked to the door. One of them said, “It’s nice to feel one once in a while.”

They’d been through the experience before. They knew what earthquakes feel like, so it didn’t shake them to their core. They retained a sense of orientation because they learned another way of seeing.

We don’t like changing lenses. Most of us fight tooth and nail to avoid the feeling of nausea that comes from a new mindset.

We build up our defenses to hang onto our picture of the world, whether philosophical, religious, or scientific.

If we can pry our fingernails free from our precious perspectives and let go of our death grip, we can discover new perceptions we’ve never seen before. These experiences alter our understanding in deep ways. They shine new lights on who we are.

Shifting perspectives not only broadens our understanding of other cultures; it also allows us to peer deeper into nature, solving mysteries that science has pondered for hundreds of years. When I first sat down to write this book, I had no answers to the questions of quantum physics. I didn’t know what was missing from Newton’s laws of motion. I sensed that the theory of evolution was incomplete, but I didn’t know why. I had no explanation for the mind-body problem or the scientific enigma known as “emergence.” The five unsolved problems of physics seemed inscrutable.

I only knew from experience that, when I changed lenses, I found an added level of comprehension. I learned this after making a practice of switching points of view, as an experiment, to explore the nature of consciousness. This doesn’t mean that a new perspective, by itself, gives us better insight. No, it’s the contrast. Seeing from another angle adds context.

While writing this book, I soon realized that I’d underestimated the importance of this simple tool of changing points of view. It’s far more powerful than I realized.

It not only offers the key to seeing in the dark, you might say, and getting to know realms that are new and unknown to us, it also restores our sense of wholeness to life. It bridges the gap between science, philosophy, the arts, and the spiritual experience of being. This is what happens when we connect with nature at a deeper level.

However, explaining lenses of perception isn’t easy. It’s hard wrapping our brains around the impact they have on us. Reading about them isn’t enough to see how deeply they affect our connection with the world. If we want to understand—to truly understand—we need to experience changes in our way of seeing firsthand. That’s what this book attempts to do.

Successful writers know the importance of “showing” rather than “telling.” A good story pulls us into a world where the scene unfolds as if we were there. Telling gives us only a clinical, literal description; it doesn’t move us to a new perspective.

So, to explain lenses of perception properly, I’ll be using words poetically at times to evoke new views of the world, even when talking about science. This is how we can find what is hidden in plain sight.

But words can’t pull this off alone. The reader must do some heavy lifting. This book is more like a tour guide. We are, in a sense, going on a jungle safari to explore untamed points of view. Hopefully your mind will be boggled. That’s the point of this journey.

I’ll start with familiar views of the world. At first you can retain your normal way of seeing and thinking. Yet the quest soon takes us into dense underbrush where the most valuable treasures are hidden. If we want to unearth the gold, we must let go of the way we usually see reality.

That’s where we discover that lenses of perception are not just tools that help us understand the world, they’re fundamental to reality itself. We’ll see the scientific evidence that supports this.

To make such a leap requires a completely different mindset. It will probably feel unsettling at times when the ground starts shifting. New perspectives can shake us to our core. This is true for everyone. I experience the same thing.

If a section of this book leaves you feeling disturbed, even if in a subtle way, try setting it down for a while. Give the ideas a chance to percolate. Then go back and read the section again. You might be surprised. Remember, the goal here is to experience the uncomfortable feeling of confusion and then, breaking through that, to learn how we can change the way we see.

When writing this book, I didn’t expect to be pulled into questions about the laws of nature. I was simply trying to understand the problems of our modern times and see where the story led. Each chapter took me by surprise, as if the sails of my ship were being blown onto a new course by powerful winds. The thread of the story kept leading to deeper and deeper insights. I found myself farther from shore than expected, facing a whole new view of the world and the meaning of human understanding.

If you’re interested in a wild ride, buckle your seatbelt. Then join me on the path of discovery I took to find the dimension of life that scientists have been missing. We’ll use new tools to guide us: lenses of perception.

Click to download a longer excerpt

12 thoughts on “Lenses of Perception

  1. Future Nobel prize winners and pioneers of the new frontiers in Quantum Mechanics will have to come through this book. Thank you for the wonderful gift of understanding that comes from your work.

  2. Congratulations Doug, this is really quite an achievement both in its scope and depth of study. It took me more than two weeks to make my way through it, trying to follow all of the twists, turns and intuitive leaps it requires of the reader. By the end you had me seeing ‘entanglement’ and ‘all-for-one’ bonds extending throughout the Universe 🙂

    I know of nothing quite like this book and have begun telling some friends and colleagues from my days in Silicon Valley about it, particularly with respect to how it informs the debates on Artificial Intelligence and the nature of consciousness.

    It takes great courage (and ambition) to take on so many entrenched modes of thought in the sciences and academia and of course there will be some backlash to it. That is to be expected, but do not ever doubt the value of what you have accomplished here.

  3. Hi Doug,
    There is a reason individuals such as Paul Twitchell come here and its not that this is a favorite vacation spot. They come with a focus that is relevant to the social consciousness and in my case their focus makes the most sense. I can focus on what interests me or what I think may
    interest others and try to entertain, instruct, teach, whatever. One is in the heart of life when one stands with these individuals and shares their
    vision. They have the bigger picture.

    Some of the old terms such as consciousness, spiritual and wisdom have run their course and lead people no where except to a one dimensional view. The third person lens stands in the way of recognizing the True Reality and so do other things like emotional attachments, attitudes, ideas, and like you say the unconscious part of ourselves has a far greater impact on us than we realize. The controllers particularly are adept at using subliminal manipulation on the public.

    Its a big world out there and within and its very easy to get sidetracked.
    Beings like Paul Twitchell help us stay focused. No, of course they are not just going to give us the awareness because they know that inwardly we want to go through the struggle to see it ourselves, it makes it that much more precious.

    But my suggestion to you is to have a chat with Paul so he can brief you
    on what is current.


    • Val,
      I get the sense that our words have been missing each other. It’s not uncommon, since we’re all so different and see things in such different ways.

      One of the things I’ve studied with others on this site and in other discussion groups is the magic of true dialogue. It is something that we, as a culture, have lost somehow. It is a big loss.

      The magic comes from people who are truly interested in what others have to say. They enter a dialogue knowing that what someone else says may change them. They look forward to seeing things from a different perspective than their own, and finding the value in the way other people think. I found that it is harder to do than it sounds. Even after I’ve seen the huge benefits, I still find myself slipping back to the ordinary type of discussion where I try to get a point across and others do the same. Unfortunately, that’s when I think we miss the biggest opportunity for the real magic of dialogue.

      I’m saying this now, because it helps me focus on having a deeper, more meaningful exchange of words.

      Where this exploration of dialogue has led me to is the realization that when it comes to spiritual truth, it isn’t something objective. It can only be found within ourselves. This leads back to Paul Twitchell’s suggestion that the spiritual path is ultimately an individual one, since we must each come to that understanding in our own way. My guess is that this is something both you and I agree on, along with many others.

      I’ve also learned the value of speaking from what I know. And that I enjoy most hearing others do the same.

      We each are far more different from each other than we realize, and many of the insights we think of as ordinary can be meaningful to others. Just seeing life from other perspectives is magical and opens inner doors for me.

      I hope this comes across as an open invitation for dialogue.



      • Hi Doug,

        1st paragraph- yes, that’s OK if our words miss each other
        now and then

        2nd- you have the experience with what you call true dialogue, I joined in with one of the discussion groups a few years ago

        3rd- there is that magic, but realistically how many people are really interested in learning from another in the way you describe?
        Most people DO just want to get their own point across or take from the conversation a validation of their own position.

        4th- ok

        5th- it’s interesting you choose this modality of exploring dialogue and it has led you to the realization that spiritual truth is not objective, only found within.
        Isn’t this basic knowledge for those with your background anyway?
        Maybe as Paul said we come at it from our own way, this is your approach?
        You are coming at it with a deeper understanding of a literal approach. For me, I would be careful not to just go around in circles and get obsessed with the vehicle and forget the intent.
        Considering your history, I am making the assumption your objective is God Consciousness. The idea of this cannot be recognized in a literal sense so things like dialogue, even on an intuitive level can only be hinted at.

        6th- sure speak from what you know or think you know
        We use this as a springboard to go further
        because we really know nothing taking a look from the bigger picture

        7th- yes, I agree
        all we are doing is sharing with each other our unique perspective

        8th- ok, maybe!

        • Val,
          Thanks. This feels, to me, more like a real dialogue.

          I agree with you. Most people just want to get their points across. As you say, most aren’t interested in learning from others. Those who are interested in learning, not just from others, but from life itself — those are the ones I enjoy most having a dialogue with. In other words, those are the people who this website is aimed for.

          Yes, it probably sounds like a commonly known fact that spiritual truth is not objective. However, the nature of discovery is that you never quite know when or where it is going to hit you. At least that’s my experience. It just happened that as I spent more time learning the art of dialogue, it suddenly became clear to me that it is only possible to have real dialogue if we recognize and respect this fact that spirituality is rooted within us.

          You said: “You are coming at it with a deeper understanding of a literal approach. For me, I would be careful not to just go around in circles and get obsessed with the vehicle and forget the intent. Considering your history, I am making the assumption your objective is God Consciousness. The idea of this cannot be recognized in a literal sense so things like dialogue, even on a intuitive level can only be hinted at.”

          I think I now have a better sense of what you’ve been trying to get at. I think I know what you mean. Believe me, the experience of writing this book has been, from beginning to end, an exercise on the path of God Consciousness. I must say that this has very much been my experience with this book. Hopefully it will come through for those who read it. But really, it was written as an expression of my relationship with life.

          I’ve learned, when it comes to ventures such as these, that there is no way for me to fully know what effect it might have. I leave that in the hands of life itself. I only know that I needed to write it, and that the experience changed me far more than I expected.

          Thanks for your concerns.


  4. This book is truly historic in both a scientific and a spiritual sense, because it offers, for the first time, a clear, scientific explanation of how we perceive and experience our physical world. Through thoroughly tested hypothesis, Doug reveals how consciousness utilizes different lenses of perception to understand and interact with the realities we occupy: from the vast, outer universe of forces, to the tiny, quirky, individualistic dimension of quantum physics, to the evolution of life itself, and our desire for a unique and personal love.

    Written as a journey of discovery, this is a book anyone can understand and enjoy. Yet, it is an staggeringly important work that opens a dialogue on the awareness and knowledge we will need as we move into the age of robots, AI, big data, bio-technology and the creation of a global brain.

    Reading it blew my mind, gave me great insights, and lifted me up into the higher worlds. It contains and expertly revels a truth I already knew on a deep level.

    It was so awesome to experience spiritual insight via a scientific perspective. One of the most important books ever.

  5. Hi Doug,
    You obviously put a lot of effort and time into this!
    But with the world at the brink of chaos wouldn’t it be better to lead people to Rebazar and Paul Twitchell instead of mentally hashing about?

    • Val,

      For those who have made an inner connection with life, there is no need to see the science side of the spiritual path unless they’re curious. I agree with you about that.

      But for a large percentage of the population, there is a deep need to find a way to connect deeper with life in a spiritual way. Unfortunately, something stands in their way. Without realizing it, they’ve adopted the third-person lens as their main way of seeing truth. It has become such a part of our culture that most people don’t even realize it. We are like fish who can’t see the water we are swimming in because it is everywhere.

      This scientific lens can make it harder for people to recognize the spiritual perspective, even if they know that something is missing from their lives. Therefore, for many, the information in this book can be a door that opens up to a whole new perspective.

      In other words, the advent of science has been a boon for our outer lives. Isn’t it now time to turn toward advancing our inner lives?

      In fact, won’t this help our world start moving away from the “brink of disaster” that you are talking about, if people start making the simple change of seeing things from the inside-out, rather than from the outside-in? I can’t think of anything that could have a bigger impact on moving things in the right direction.

      That’s why I wrote this book. In other words, I think it is far more likely that people will discover the benefits of the spiritual path if they first understand how lenses of perception unconsciously limit what we see. That’s true for everyone. Even for those on the spiritual path wondering what it takes to achieve God-Consciousness. Without realizing it, what we need more than anything is a new way of seeing. How do we find the right lens before we know what it is? The answer isn’t just that some teacher is going to give it to us. No, it doesn’t work that way. We must make the shift ourselves. The opportunities are all around us, but we often miss them because we don’t yet have the right lens to see them.

      I agree with you about the waste of time it is to spend our days mentally hashing ideas. That is exactly the opposite of what this book is about. I explain this right in the beginning of the book. This isn’t about mental gymnastics. It moves the discussion away from that, away from ideas and intellectual theories. It brings the focus back to our experiences. That’s that true foundation for what we know, and that is how we really learn. This isn’t about knowledge. It’s about how gaining a deeper wisdom and understanding.

      The challenge of the book, that will make it harder for some people, is that it requires shifting perspectives and looking at things in new ways. That’s what our culture has been missing as an approach for understanding truth. For those who find this hard, or have no interest in doing it, they will probably see the book as meaningless or misguided. But for those who are willing to try changing their states of consciousness, it can bring them one step closer to recognizing the validity of our inner experiences.

      I hope this adds a little more insight into what this book is about.



  6. As a longtime Initiate of Eckankar I am familiar with the transformations of consciousness that take place through changes in the Lenses of Perception. From what I have read so far I can honestly say that your book is literally amazing. It is not only profound and deeply insightful but also enjoyable to read. Evidently the Divine Muse had you in her hand when you wrote this one Doug. It is spiritual literature of this nature that is deeply needed by the world.

    • Mark,

      Thanks for your note. You are absolutely right, the Divine Muse had my hand and wouldn’t let go. I stumbled through most of it, trying to keep up with her. She kept pulling me in directions I never expected to go.

      How could I turn back, when I started off trying to write about the value of seeing in new ways? That’s when she started showing me how little I knew of what this means.

      I guess that’s the nature of the search for truth. It leads us deeper until we are over our heads – so to speak.

      Thanks for your comments. They mean a lot to me. I feel the recognition flowing through them.


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