Most scientists will tell you that the human mind is the outcome and byproduct of physical microscopic events in the brain—an epiphenomenon. Since our individual thoughts and feelings have duration, one would logically assume that they must partake of thermodynamic time and are thus purely physical processes. The problem with that notion is, time, space and measurement involve irreversibility. In other words, you can’t un-cook a cooked egg.
But you can change (reverse) your mind before a measureable action is taken. You can decide not to cook the egg. Physical matter and process cannot make this turnaround. But it is a fact of everyday experience that the human mind can easily transcend these restrictions placed on terrestrial matter and the one-way-ness of the “arrow of time.”
Since consciousness is the most fundamental aspect of human existence this suggests that reality may have its origins in a non-material realm. This is the claim of most religious theologies—that we have non-physical souls capable of living forever in a non-physical world (i.e., the Spiritual World).
While such a statement is counterintuitive to a mechanistic and material view of the universe, it would have real scientific merit if it could be shown that coherent process, action and dynamical magnitudes can occur outside of time and space.
I am personally excited that some physicists are actually attempting to move in this direction, which they call pre-space (or pre-Planck realm) and pre-geometry. The non-locality of quantum mechanics may require such bold thinking.
Ironically, these cutting edge approaches were all anticipated by the 18th Century scientist/theologian, Emanuel Swedenborg. His scientific models offer valuable clues for how today’s scientists can make progress in formulating theories of causal processes removed from any involvement with time and space.
It was from this unique scientific background that Swedenborg was later able to construct a novel systematic theology, which harmonized with lawful scientific reasoning.
I have attempted to explain these challenging (but not well-known) concepts in my book Proving God. You will never think of the world in the same way after you’ve read it!