37 of 38
37
Panpsychism
Posted: 09 January 2009 05:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 541 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1632
Joined  2006-09-23
unknown zone - 09 January 2009 09:57 PM

Malapert, I think Andy lives in Germany. Do you know how that will affect his need to get permission from those forum writers in other countries who might be reluctant to hand over their words to him?

Not much.  Copyright law is fairly universal, certainly in the EU and other western countries.  There’s a Wikipedia article on the subject.  Money quote:

Copyright laws are standardized somewhat through international conventions such as the Berne Convention and Universal Copyright Convention. These multilateral treaties have been ratified by nearly all countries, and international organizations such as the European Union or World Trade Organization require their member states to comply with them.

Living in Germany is one thing; living in Argentina is another.

 Signature 

“I will tell you with the utmost impudence that I esteem much more his Person, than his Works.”

  (Dryden, St. Euremont’s Essays, 1692.)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2009 11:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 542 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  211
Joined  2008-01-27

Copyright is naturally a difficult issue. That is precisely why I have shown you a preprint (not for redistribution) first, to allow you to react and check whether what I say bothers you at all.

The script will hardly be a best-seller, so the commercial aspect is irrelevant here. As an essentially academic work, it enjoys the same right to “fair use” of the words of others as any work that includes extensive citations from various sources for the purpose of airing the subject, whatever it is.

I shall not publish the book commercially before others, especially Sam Harris and the On Faith moderators (and of course Soia), give their OK. Naturally, I don’t want to offend anyone unduly, and I have edited the words in the script to reduce that risk. If anyone has a problem with a few words anywhere, please explain.

My aim here is to ensure that our collective efforts here on this forum result in something more that zilch.

 Signature 

New for 2009: see my godblogs here (PDF, 272 pages, 1.2 MB)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 January 2009 04:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 543 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  500
Joined  2005-02-22

I make a brief appearance as Mr. “Head”. I would consider anything I posted on Andy’s threads to be fair game and since my remarks are used outside of their original context, I prefer the anonymity of being named after one of my favorite movies.

I haven’t consumed all of Andy’s stuff but if I were to point out a reoccurring flaw, it is exemplified here:

My aim here is to ensure that our collective efforts here on this forum result in something more that zilch.

For whom, pal? For me and perhaps other Harris posters, our collective efforts have already resulted in much more than zilch. But thanks, for sure.

For what it’s worth, you have my permission to use Mr. Head as currently conjured in your pdf on this date.

 Signature 

Delude responsibly.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 January 2009 08:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 544 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  211
Joined  2008-01-27
Nhoj Morley - 10 January 2009 09:15 AM

For me and perhaps other Harris posters, our collective efforts have already resulted in much more than zilch. But thanks, for sure.

For what it’s worth, you have my permission to use Mr. Head as currently conjured in your pdf on this date.

Thanks, Nhoj. As you see, I’m not the most diplomatic guy in the world. It was truly an awesome experience to enjoy the constructive and passionate feedback you and the others have given me over last year on this thread. Without your help, my draft for a book on all this would probably still be a mere dream. If all goes more or less smoothly to complete this project, I shall be grateful to you all beyond everyday measure. However, there is a risk with a forum like this that the wider world is ignored and denied the benefit of anything more than zilch in return for the natural resources consumed. Not that a book from me makes much difference, of course, but it does prolong the hope that something more than our own mutual arousal may be excited.

 Signature 

New for 2009: see my godblogs here (PDF, 272 pages, 1.2 MB)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 January 2009 09:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 545 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2821
Joined  2005-04-29

Just a note about attribution: It looks as though it won’t be possible to be orderly about it, as the manuscript has been fictionalized in the sense that it’s not only a transcription/editing of comments and questions from various forum contributors. For instance, on MS page 185, Jesu says something that I wrote in reply #116 of the thread titled: First post, introduction and invitation.

It’s good for my ego to see my comments fictionalized, though I don’t think I’ll read the entire manuscript. At least not for a while.

 Signature 

Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 January 2009 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 546 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1044
Joined  2008-02-15

Since my goal here was to enlighten the world, I consider having more people hear my wisdom a good thing. You have my AKA Dude’s permission to use my wise words in your book. And I would like a signed copy. smile

 Signature 

Why is there Something instead of Nothing: No reason or ever knowable reason.

Kissing Hank’s Ass
Pope Song (rated NC17).

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 January 2009 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 547 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3765
Joined  2007-03-11
AtheEisegete - 10 January 2009 04:26 AM

I shall not publish the book commercially before others, especially Sam Harris and the On Faith moderators (and of course Soia), give their OK.

You have my permission, except that I want you change my name from “Bubba” to “Mr. Stud.”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 January 2009 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 548 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1632
Joined  2006-09-23
AtheEisegete - 10 January 2009 04:26 AM

Copyright is naturally a difficult issue. That is precisely why I have shown you a preprint (not for redistribution) first, to allow you to react and check whether what I say bothers you at all.

Nice backbepdal, but of course the correct thing would have been to ask permission BEFORE working everyone’s comments into this “book”.

My aim here is to ensure that our collective efforts here on this forum result in something more that zilch.

And naturally this could only occur through the efforts of Andy Ross.  Everyone’s supposed to be grateful, y’see?

By the way, you might want to check into getting someone to edit this mass of words into coherency.  I’ve only glanced at it, and that’s partly because it’s virtually impossible to sort out how everyone relates to “On Atheism” and this blog and so forth. 

Also, some posters are apparently composites, some are quoted verbatim under names you invented, some are fictional, and some are real people quoted by their real names.  It would be helpful to clarify that. 

It’s also so choppy in the way you’ve divided it into various dialogues (apparehtly).  Is that really necessary?

 Signature 

“I will tell you with the utmost impudence that I esteem much more his Person, than his Works.”

  (Dryden, St. Euremont’s Essays, 1692.)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 January 2009 03:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 549 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  211
Joined  2008-01-27

Thanks for all the feedback. I’ve changed “Bubba” to “Studs” (one word only) and re-attributed the mentioned homunculus text from Jesu to Unk. I’ve also revised a few words and trimmed a few paragraphs. These changes will be visible in the next PDF (to be generated next week, perhaps). All this is routine editing and will go on for a long while yet.

To be clear, what I posted was a just a raw draft, a working folder of my own stuff for my own archive, that just seems (to me in my fondly self-regarding way) to be a sufficiently brilliant contribution to philosophy as to deserve some sort of publication in some such form. I know full well that any publisher will demand cuts, revisions, and further efforts to seek permission (for example from Bruno Barnhart, to recall just one name).

Whether the script makes it through the ordeal is of course moot. At worst, I just have a relatively neat archival document for the redactors of my literary corpus in the post-mortem future.

[ Edited: 11 January 2009 03:27 AM by AtheEisegete]
 Signature 

New for 2009: see my godblogs here (PDF, 272 pages, 1.2 MB)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 February 2009 05:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 550 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  1
Joined  2009-02-18
AtheEisegete - 11 January 2009 08:24 AM

Thanks for all the feedback. I’ve changed “Bubba” to “Studs” (one word only) and re-attributed the mentioned homunculus text from Jesu to Unk. I’ve also revised a few words and trimmed a few paragraphs. These changes will be visible in the next PDF (to be generated next week, perhaps). All this is routine editing and will go on for a long while yet.

To be clear, what I posted was a just a raw draft, a working folder of my own stuff for my own archive, that just seems (to me in my fondly self-regarding way) to be a sufficiently brilliant contribution to philosophy as to deserve some sort of publication in some such form. I know full well that any publisher will demand cuts, revisions, and further efforts to seek permission (for example from Bruno Barnhart, to recall just one name).

Whether the script makes it through the ordeal is of course moot. At worst, I just have a relatively neat archival document for the redactors of my literary corpus in the post-mortem future.

Hi Andy (J Andrew Ross author of Godblogs…)!

I’m honored that you would select some of my comments from the On Faith Forum on The Washington Post from the threads of Jon Meacham and Sam Harris for your book, Godblogs. Since I blogged under my real name, please include my name exactly as I posted there: Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia. Since you are a Scot living in Germany writing a book with material taken from blogs on an American newspaper, I wish to have my location in far away Sydney, Australia, specified just as I did on the blogs. You are free to edit my sentences for clarity and style, if you choose. Please let me know when your final draft is ready so that I could go through the comments of mine that you have included and let you know if I should desire to have anything corrected or deleted in case I should find anything incorrect or inappropriate.

Even after the blogs on The Washington Post are long gone, your book will remain. Hence I wish to have my posts remembered, if they are remembered at all, under my real name as I posted them on The Post. 

As a relevant aside: When my only letter to the editor of the New York Times was published on 10 December 2006, in accordance with their policy, my location, Sydney, Australia was published along with my full name. Of course they also got my consent about the exact wording of the letter before they published it.

Please do not attribute to Soja/Soja John Thaikattil, what was not posted in that name, as you have done with
material taken from this blog even though there are no posts under the name of Soja/Soja John Thaikattil.

Many thanks in advance.

I wish you great success with your book!

Best wishes
Soja

————————————————————

Soja John Thaikattil
Sydney, Australia

[ Edited: 18 February 2009 11:07 PM by Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 February 2009 11:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 551 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  211
Joined  2008-01-27
Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia - 18 February 2009 10:28 PM

I’m honored that you would select some of my comments from the On Faith Forum on The Washington Post from the threads of Jon Meacham and Sam Harris for your book, Godblogs. Since I blogged under my real name, please include my name exactly as I posted there: Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia.

Thank you, Soja. I shall give your full name and location in the introduction and specify that all interjections from “Soja” are to be attributed to you.

You are free to edit my sentences for clarity and style, if you choose. Please let me know when your final draft is ready so that I could go through the comments of mine that you have included and let you know if I should desire to have anything corrected or deleted in case I should find anything incorrect or inappropriate.

Thank you again. As suggested by the work so far, I shall quote relatively brief parts from your posts, some of which were rather long, but I shall take care to reflect the general sense of your statements correctly.

Please do not attribute to Soja/Soja John Thaikattil, what was not posted in that name, as you have done with
material taken from this blog even though there are no posts under the name of Soja/Soja John Thaikattil.

All your posts on this blog I shall attribute to the name “S***” (three letters to be decided, suggestions welcome) and make no claim in the book as to their connection with the Soja of the first part. Forgive me for being slow to revise te script. I have decided that a second edition of my book “Mindworlds” (with four essays removed, four new ones added, and two chapters rewritten, as well as revised notes and references) is more urgent and will take all the free time I have for a while. Meanwhile, my SAP work must have first priority or I risk losing my job in these troubled times!

 Signature 

New for 2009: see my godblogs here (PDF, 272 pages, 1.2 MB)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 October 2012 07:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 552 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  10
Joined  2012-10-13

For my first post I would like to mention a discussion that I overheard between two participants (which I have edited for clarity):

It strikes me that materialism is self-refuting. Materialism is an idea - it cannot be reduced to a particular arrangement of matter. Yet it is an idea that denies that there is anything more than matter, hence that ideas don’t exist. Therefore it denies the existence of itself. Hence it can be dismissed as really rather dumb.

Anyone who can say that a thought is a state of the brain and no more must be extraordinarily lacking in insight. How can matter be ‘about’ something? Matter just is what it is. Such a person either must deny that a thought has content (neatly refuting his own arguments) or he has to admit that matter is not just matter but has an ‘interior’ aspect. If so, then materialism is no simple solution but a ‘weird’ philosophy that thinks everything is conscious. That might well be true, but I doubt the average materialist believes that.

The more one considers what consciousness is, and what the sense of being a self is, the harder it becomes to comprehend. To say consciousness simply ‘is’ matter is just incoherent.

I suspect that that, properly considered, consciousness alone is all the evidence needed to demonstrate that this is a meaningful transcendent reality.

The reply…

I do not think your anti-materialist argument is valid, because if I understand contemporary materialism, which asserts that there is not ideas but all ideas exist as entities in a physical support such as a brain, a piece of paper, a disk, etc. The materialism that denies the existence of separate ideas of any material support, as denying the existence of separate minds of any material support. The problem is that this last statement does not exclude the possibility of the afterlife, because after death, our mind can be a material vehicle other than an organic body that can continue [c.f. survive, at least in part] with some of its functions, which makes the afterlife compatible with materialism. The materialists will say however that there is no evidence that material vehicles exist, but this is simply false by the evidence recorded by parapsychological research.

On the other hand, the argument about the intentionality seems to work, because materialists have only two options: either to consider intentionality as an illusion, and then sinking all thought including speeches about materialism, or consider that the intetionality is an inherent property of certain materials structures such as nervous system, but then that is no longer matter. I think the solution is to become aware that we are moving in two very different conceptions of the world but that it’s also necessary to understand the reality: the naturalistic conception, resulting from the study of nature and where there is not intentionality, and the mentalist conception, the result of the interaction between humans and where there is intentionality.

I later overheard a follow-up:

“Nothing bypasses the brain. Identity, personality and behaviour are all absolutely implicated in what it does. If the brain is damaged, one or more of these will be compromised.
It does not follow, however, that physical brain functions are the ultimate source of these things. No matter how successfully we correlate brain states with mental states, that’s all we have - increasingly detailed and suggestive correlations. To argue that a correlation demonstrates fundamental cause is absolutely unwarranted.”

Quite correct. However, [the author of the above quote] does bypass the fact that many believers in dualism have very definite ideas about the nature of the soul. These beliefs are explicitly and implicitly expressed in the many books dealing with near-death experiences. Not surprisingly, these same beliefs are echoed in the holy texts of many religions. But as yet no-one has successfully applied these definitions to definitively disprove or prove the reality of a soul or of some sort of controlling extracorporeal conscious mind.

This made me wonder… if it is understood that the only real proof of survival would be to die and ‘see’ for oneself,
1) How would one know without a material vehicle for memory storage?
2) What material vehicle exists to explain patients with a flat-EEG implying isoelectric brain activity and no means of electrically recording or receiving any mental data?

Monitoring of the electric activity of the cortex (EEG) has shown ischaemic changes consisting of a decrease of fast high amplitude waves and an increase of slow delta waves, and sometimes also an increase in amplitude of theta activity, progressively and ultimately declining to isoelectricity. More often initial slowing (attenuation) of the EEG waves is the first sign of cerebral ischaemia. The first ischaemic changes in the EEG are detected an average of 6.5 seconds after circulatory arrest. With prolongation of the cerebral ischaemia always a progress to an isoelectric (flat) line is monitored within 10 to 20 (mean 15) seconds from the onset of the cardiac arrest (3-6).

In cardiac arrest global anoxia of the brain occurs within seconds. Timely and adequate CPR reverses this functional loss of the brain because definitive damage of the brain cells, resulting in cell death, has been prevented. Long lasting anoxia, caused by cessation of blood flow to the brain for more than 5-10 minutes, results in irreversable damage and extensive cell death in the brain. This is called brain death, and most patients will ultimately die.

In acute myocardial infarction the duration of cardiac arrest (VF) on the CCU is usually 60-120 seconds, on the cardiac ward 2-5 minutes, and in out-of-hospital arrest it usually exceeds 5-10 minutes. Only during threshold testing of internal defibrillators or during electro physiologic stimulation studies will the duration of cardiac arrest hardly exceed 30-60 seconds.

From these studies we know that in our prospective study of patients that have been clinically dead (VF on the ECG) no electric activity of the cortex of the brain (flat EEG) must have been possible, but also the abolition of brain stem activity like the loss of the corneareflex, fixed dilated pupils and the loss of the gag reflex is a clinical finding in those patients. However, patients with an NDE can report a clear consciousness, in which cognitive functioning, emotion, sense of identity, and memory from early childhood was possible, as well as perception from a position out and above their “dead” body. Because of the sometimes reported and verifiable out-of -body experiences, like the case of the dentures reported in our study, we know that the NDE must happen during the period of unconsciousness, and not in the first or last second of this period.

So we have to conclude that NDE in our study was experienced during a transient functional loss of all functions of the cortex and of the brainstem. It is important to mention that there is a well documented report of a patient with constant registration of the EEG during cerebral surgery for an gigantic cerebral aneurysm at the base of the brain, operated with a body temperature between 10 and 15 degrees, she was put on the heart-lung machine, with VF, with all blood drained from her head, with a flat line EEG, with clicking devices in both ears, with eyes taped shut, and this patient experienced an NDE with an out-of-body experience, and all details she perceived and heard could later be verified. (8)

So if there is plainly loss of brain function wherein experiences are reported by ‘I’s, and the only vehicle known to us capable of recording an idea such as ‘I think’ or ‘I am/I exist’, is OUT OF COMMISSION for the time being… What physical force or process could explain the recording and reception of sense data?

Perhaps a far more important question regards the reaction of a particular skeptic to the startling facts of this study… which looked at cessation of brain function under cardiac arrests. How could this study lead anyone to conclude that an experience during the period of brain cell isoelectricity and indisputably wholesale loss of brain function… indicates that the experience was only material in nature and did not involve ideas? How could anyone conclude that there was a physical process responsible for this experience?

In his “Skeptic” column in Scientific American in March, 2003, Michael Shermer cited a research study published in The Lancet, a leading medical journal, by Pim van Lommel and colleagues. He asserted this study “delivered a blow” to the idea that the mind and the brain could separate. Yet the researchers argued the exact opposite, and showed that conscious experience outside the body took place during a period of clinical death when the brain was flatlined. As Jay Ingram, of the ‘Canadian Discovery Channel’ commented: “His use of this study to bolster his point is bogus. He could have said, ‘The authors think there’s a mystery, but I choose to interpret their findings differently’. But he didn’t. I find that very disappointing” (Toronto Star, March 16, 2003).

Here, Pim van Lommel sets out the evidence that Shermer misrepresented:
http://www.skepticalinvestigations.org/New/Mediaskeptics/vanLommel.html

I most certainly welcome your comments and answers to these questions and am quite certain that you’ll find confirmation of the intimate relationship between loss of brain function and loss of electrical activity in the medical, physiological, and neuroscientific literature.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 October 2012 08:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 553 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  211
Joined  2008-01-27

Dear bl4kjaguar, here is my digest of your long post:

Materialists claim that thought is no more than a state of the brain. For materialists, intentionality is either an illusion or an inherent property of certain material structures such as nervous systems. Ideas and minds only exist in physical systems such as brains and cannot exist outside such systems. An afterlife is compatible with materialism only if our minds can continue after death in a material vehicle other than an organic body.

We need a functioning brain to experience ourselves and our personalities. If the brain is damaged, experience will be compromised. But it does not follow that physical brain functions are the ultimate source of our personal experiences. No matter how well we correlate brain states with mental states, we cannot prove causation from correlation.

Many mind-matter dualists have definite ideas about the nature of the soul. Reports of near-death experiences (NDE) often echo religious scriptures. But no one has yet applied these ideas to prove or disprove the reality of souls or out-of-body experience (OBE).

—-

Medical Evidence For NDEs
Pim van Lommel

Edited by Andy Ross

A near-death experience (NDE) is a reported memory of impressions during a special state of consciousness, including out-of-body experience (OBE), pleasant feelings, and seeing a tunnel, a light, deceased relatives, or a life review.

We performed a study of 344 survivors of cardiac arrest in which 282 (82%) had no NDE and 62 patients (18%) reported NDE. All the patients were clinically dead, unconscious, due to insufficient blood supply to the brain.

The physiological explanation is that NDE is a result of anoxia in the brain, possibly also caused by release of endorphins, or NMDA receptor blockade. A psychological explanation is that NDE is caused by fear of death.

Patients with cardiac arrest are unconscious within seconds. Complete cessation of cerebral circulation is found in cardiac arrest due to ventricular fibrillation (VF). Cerebral ischemia follows anoxia in the brain.

Cerebral function is severely compromised during cardiac arrest and electric activity in both cerebral cortex and the deeper structures of the brain is absent after a very short period of time. EEG monitoring shows ischemic changes consisting of a decrease of fast high amplitude waves and an increase of slow delta waves, and sometimes also an increase in amplitude of theta activity, declining to a flat line. Attenuation of the EEG waves is often the first sign of cerebral ischemia, with the first changes an average of 6.5 s after circulatory arrest. The cerebral ischemia always progresses to a flat line 10-20 s after onset.

In case of a cardiac arrest of more than 37 s, the EEG activity may not return for minutes to hours after the heartbeat is restored, depending on the duration of cardiac arrest, despite maintenance of adequate blood pressure during the recovery phase. Cerebral oxygen uptake may be depressed for a considerable time after restoration of circulation.

Anoxia causes loss of function of our cell systems. In prolonged anoxia, cell death occurs with permanent functional loss. During an embolic event, a small clot obstructs the blood flow in a small vessel of the cortex, resulting in anoxia of that part of the brain with loss of electrical activity. This results in a functional loss of the cortex. If the clot is resolved or broken down within a few minutes, the lost cortical function is restored. If the clot obstructs the cerebral vessel for longer, it can result in neuronal cell death and permanent loss of function of this part of the brain.

In cardiac arrest, global anoxia of the brain occurs within seconds. Timely and adequate CPR reverses this functional loss of the brain by preventing permanent damage to the brain cells. Long lasting anoxia, caused by cessation of blood flow to the brain for more than 5-10 minutes, results in irreversible damage and extensive cell death in the brain. This is called brain death.

In our study, the patients had EEG flat lines and loss of brain stem activity. Yet the NDE patients reported a clear consciousness, in which cognitive functioning, emotion, sense of identity, and memory from early childhood was possible, as well as an OBE. Evidence suggests that the NDE must happen during the period of unconsciousness, and not in the first or last second of this period.

The current medical consensus is that consciousness is the product of the brain. But this concept has never been scientifically proven. Research on NDE pushes us to the limits of our medical concepts.

For decades, researchers have aimed to localize memories inside the brain, so far without success. At least we know that different mental activities give rise to changing patterns of activity in different parts of the brain. Neurophysiologists show this using EEG, MEG, MRI, and PET technologies. An increase in cerebral blood flow is observed during thinking.

Most body cells, and especially all neurons, show an electrical potential across cell membranes, formed by the presence of a metabolic Na/K pump. Information is transported along neurons by means of action potentials, which are differences in membrane potential caused by synaptic polarization and depolarization. The changing potentials cause transient electromagnetic (EM) fields along the dendrites. The transient EM fields generated along the dendrites are crucial. They are shaped into briefly meaningful patterns that fluctuate over the neurons and over the entire cortical neuronet. This process can be considered as a biological quantum coherence phenomenon.

The influence of external localized EM fields on these constant changing EM fields during normal function of the brain is well explored. Researchers use TMS, which uses a localized EM field, to excite or inhibit different parts of the brain. They investigate the function in focal brain regions on a millisecond scale to study the contribution of cortical networks to specific cognitive functions. TMS can interfere with visual and motion perception by interrupting cortical processing with an interval of 80-100 ms. TMS can also alter the functioning of the brain beyond the time of stimulation. So localized artificial EM stimulation disturbs and inhibits the constantly changing EM fields of neural networks, and can even induce an OBE.

To understand this interaction, consider telecommunications. We live in a smog of EM fields broadcast to transmit information to electronic devices. We only become aware of these EM fields when we use those devices. The devices convert the information from the EM fields to a form we can observe. If we switch off the device, the information disappears from our consciousness but the transmission continues. The information remains coded within the EM fields and can still be received through another device.

Perhaps our brain are also devices for converting EM waves into images and sound. The information fields of our consciousness and of our memories may be present around us as EM fields, which only become available to our consciousness through our functioning brain and other cells of our body. We need a functioning brain to receive information into our waking consciousness. As soon as brain function is lost, our reception is lost. But the memories and consciousness still exist in the EM fields.

Our study shows that patients with EEG flatlines can have an NDE or an OBE.

—-

This digest is also posted on The Ross Blog.The EM story is exactly in line with “the Ross hypothesis” I worked out in the early years of the century and presented at various conferences: see Mindworlds. The NDE and OBE issues are serious ones for science, and have been addressed in detail by many scientists. The best approach may be via my brand of panpsychism.

 Signature 

New for 2009: see my godblogs here (PDF, 272 pages, 1.2 MB)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 October 2012 11:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 554 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  10
Joined  2012-10-13

Now I can see that your blog has a discussion which ends at the opposite place from which it began but is still useful for your synthesis. I am glad to have been of service and will briefly discuss some points from your PDF with a sincere attempt not to reference ideas beyond the basics that we can deduce through this communication medium since it is normal for you to first desire to find the works in which said ‘advanced ideas’ are present for yourself…

I say the fact that we are driven
by our genes finds its most vivid expression in our subjective mental lives in
spiritual or religious experience – in our awareness and celebration of a
numinous attractor beyond our individual and everyday lives. The experience
or inner phenomenology (autophenomenology, to use Daniel Dennett’s word)
of mystic states is evidence for this view. To cut a long story short, I say the
great monotheisms are fertility cults.

I strongly disagree—with progression of time consciousness is elevating itself through the learning process; every day it approaches closer to the numinous attractor WITHIN our individual and everyday lives; the level of awareness required here is fairly high; you will first have to experience a mystic state (a state of unity with Godhead, which is in some manner of speaking, the way things always are for everything) and/or verify the triune nature (personal, impersonal, divine) of monotheisms for yourself if you are to elevate consciousness beyond a Darwinian basis. This is necessary to explain a great many things specific to the afterlife and to enlightenment.

Any expression of faith occurs in a language community and against a set
of shared beliefs and defaults about life and the universe. The faith itself may
be a human universal, hard-wired by genes like the basic emotions, but if so,
it may be so protean that without a culturally determined expression it would
remain unrecognizable.

This is curious because those who are enlightened know for a fact that genes are not what hard-wire emotions but rather that emotions have an energetic nature which does not relate to bodily functions but only to the mind. In fact, the further one is enlightened the greater one can build awareness about subtle emotional bodies and their energetic purpose in relation to communion with the unity creation. A deeper understanding of what it means to express faith is useful here, which is why I am delighted at this passage:

I am sure that this kind of protean faith lies behind
the belief in science of people like Richard Feynman or Carl Sagan, who
were smart enough not only to see the epistemological problems at the
leading edge of science but also to see that only clear thinking based on
honest appraisal of natural phenomena can help us in the long term. In other
words, science done right is a faith too

Which is wise indeed for the future but not really a helpful perspective for our present era. The appropriate faith will gently remind of the unity behind all creation and bring with it the useful and effective techniques necessary for changing one’s circumstances by changing one’s mind and energetic processes.

[A]theism without science is a leap into the abyss. To deny a
worldview you need a better worldview. Scientists do their level best to stop
scientific doctrines from becoming dogma

A better worldview is that each part of the universe is conscious in its many-parts and yet these arose from a unity whose essence is love. Apparently, ‘scientists’ and skeptics like Shermer are doing their best to make the dogma of a material mind the basis for the cultural-level discussion, but one needs not know about NDEs to be aware that existence of an afterlife implies lessons to be learned, an order to the rebirthing process, and a being who is not born but manifest and who can guide you on a personal level to assist in your learning. Patriarch Hui Neng discusses this being from the Buddhist point of view (which posits that such a being is fundamentally empty, hence its similarity to monotheism):

“From the point of view of ordinary men,” replied the Patriarch, “enlightenment and ignorance are two separate things. Wise men who realize thoroughly the Essence of Mind know that they are of the same nature. This same nature or non-dual nature is what is called the ‘real nature’, which neither decreases in the case of ordinary men and ignorant persons, nor increases in the case of the enlightened sage; which is not disturbed in a state of annoyance, nor calm in a state of Samadhi. It is neither eternal nor non-eternal; it neither goes nor comes; it is not to be found in the exterior, nor in the interior, nor in the space between the two. It is above existence and non-existence; its nature and its phenomena are always in a state of ‘Thusness’; it is permanent and immutable. Such is the Norm.”

Xue Jian asked, “You say that it is above existence and non-existence. How then do you differentiate it from the teaching of the heretics who teach the same thing?”

“In the teaching of the heretics,” replied the Patriarch, “‘non-existence’ means the end of ‘existence’, while ‘existence’ is used in contrast with ‘non-existence’. What they mean by ‘non-existence’ is not actually annihilation and what they call ‘existence’ does not really exist. What I mean by ‘above existence and non-existence’ is this; intrinsically it exists not, and at the present moment it is not annihilated. Such is the difference between my teaching and that of the heretics.

“If you wish to know the essential points of my teaching, you should free yourself from all thoughts, good ones as well as bad; then your mind will be in a state of purity, calm and serene all the time, and its usefulness as manifold as the grains of sand in the Ganges.”

[ Edited: 14 October 2012 11:46 AM by bl4kjaguar]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 October 2012 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 555 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  211
Joined  2008-01-27

Jaguar (ed): As time passes, consciousness is elevating itself through a learning process. Every day it approaches closer to the numinous attractor within our lives. To rise above mundane consciousness, one must first experience a mystic state and verify the triune nature of monotheism.

A: Consciousness operates in time to realize virtual future states in the lived present and then to fix them into place in a layered past that accumulates strata. This is a process I have described elsewhere in physical terms, since it matches well with my ideas about quantum and classical physics. For unknown reasons we see the future states as numinous attractors and feel a passion to approach them or develop toward them. We apprehend a unity in the numinous future, reflecting our own unity as conscious agents. Religious believers may conceive the unity in the terms of monotheism, and may apprehend the choices that unfold layer by layer before them as forming a triune dialectic. The sensed elevation or learning in this process may be an illusion analogous to the hamster-wheel effect, where the poor animal runs as fast as it can to achieve no more than a more rapidly spinning wheel. Perhaps the wheel of karma is analogous here too, and Buddhist meditation the best response.

Jaguar (ed): Those who are enlightened know that emotions have an energetic relation to the mind. The more enlightened one is, the more aware one is of how emotions relate to communion with the unity of creation. A helpful perspective for our present era will gently remind us of the unity behind all creation and develop useful and effective techniques for changing one’s mind and energetic processes.

A: Emotions steer people by directing their energies: this seems to be good psychology. To see the growth toward enlightenment as growing awareness of how emotions work and relate to the numinous future seems good too. The unity behind all creation is an achievement of enlightenment that is worth holding up, gently, as worth striving toward for those who have not yet reached so far in their development. Suggesting that this fruit of enlightenment will result in techniques for better control of one’s mind and one’s energies is excellent, of course.

Jaguar (ed): Each part of the universe is conscious. These parts arose from a unity whose essence is love. The existence of an afterlife implies an order to the rebirthing process, and a being that is not born but made manifest.

A: Scientists are still groping for a concept of consciousness that can be handled using laboratory methods and instruments to make practical progress. But I think the idea that each and every part of the universe somehow participates in consciousness is correct (that’s why I started this panpsychism thread). The challenge is to say exactly how that works, and to spell out the practical consequences. As for finding the unity in love, this is certainly attractive from a human perspective. Whatever the ground state of consciousness is, and however it relates to the human karmic wheel of making temporal progress in conscious steps from the past to the future, an acceptance that occupancy of that state feels like love, and veridically so, is not something to deny. But the afterlife story is beyond human compass, by definition, and is better left uncharted here. Skeptical objections clamor for attention, and I for one see no way to refute them, or any particular desire to do so.

Buddhist patriarch Hui Neng (ed): Ordinary men say enlightenment and ignorance are two separate things. Wise men know they are the same. This same nature is neither lesser in ordinary men nor greater in enlightened sages. It is not disturbed by annoyance or calmed in samadhi. It is neither eternal nor temporal. It is not outside or inside, or in between. It is beyond existence and non-existence. It is this. Free yourself from all thoughts, good ones as well as bad. Then your mind will be pure.

A: This seems good, if the truth survives translation and editing. But the message is dismaying. Whatever you think you gain by enlightenment, forget it. Go for a pure mind and start life all over again. Clear your mind and move on. Good advice!

 Signature 

New for 2009: see my godblogs here (PDF, 272 pages, 1.2 MB)

Profile
 
 
   
37 of 38
37
 
RSS 2.0     Atom Feed