Religion vs. real development of consciousness

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Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby Molecule » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:23 pm

During a previous thread I expressed my opinion that it is about time that mankind learns to control consciousness or the tools for doing so instead of giving away most of their "spiritual" power away to a religious belief system.
With this I do not want to say that there is no higher power in reality but merely want to provoke discussion around the possibility that we ourselves are that God, higher power or whatever you want to call "it".

What is your take on this?
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby Summerlander » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:09 am

Religion can be a real hindrance (with the exception of Buddhism and similar philosophies that condone the practice of meditation) to the practice of phase states, the pursuit of altered states of consciousness and mystical experiences in general. Not too long ago, I came across a Jehovah's Witness who attempted to convert me before it was too late in her mind. She conveyed a sense of urgency in her attempt to persuade me to accept Godly salvation before a series of doomsday prophecies came to pass. She listed a number of sins and "things of the devil" and I was surprised to discover that "astral projection" was one of them - something that God forbade.

When my mother was in Africa, in Angola (where voodoo is widely believed), she came across some Christians who were also aware of "soul travel" and believed that when the deceased are seen in such experiences, one should run because they are not who they seem to be - according to them they can only be demons in disguise as the dead will remain unconscious until Judgement Day.

On the other hand we have the secularists, atheists, agnostics, materialists and pragmatists who practice the phase with great success and pursue spiritual experiences without being encumbered by silly beliefs and religious dogma.

Belief that you are being watched by a deity who has punishment in mind for those who don't follow rules expressed in religious scripture can be a confidence killer. Many religious people fear that they might be doing something wrong by entering the phase. Many think that God might deem it a sin. When I first started, I came across a few on forums who would typically ask questions like: "Is God okay with me doing this?"; "Will I get stuck in the lower astral realms?"; "Am I going to hell for this?"; "Where was God when I was attacked by evil spirits in Hades?"

In saying all of this, there appears to be a few phase experiences described in the Bible which suggest that the people that wrote such passages might have inadvertently entered the phase and mistook it for divine intervention.
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby Molecule » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:18 am

Amen, Amen, Amen!

First of all I would like to say that I am a strong believer in a higher power that governs the universe. There is simply too much order down to the smallest bits and pieces to deny this fact.

I currently live in a country where the catholic church still has immense power (Poland) and is also exercising it as we can see in the case against Behemoth's frontman "Nergal" who dared to rip apart a bible on stage (http://www.metalunderground.com/news/de ... wsid=53826). I also witnessed outright "invasions" by the catholic church in this country which I would like to give you some examples for:

1. Every year the district's priest "announces" his visit after new years eve. I have tried to find out what this is for except collecting money from the masses for the oh so poor church. Turns out that he wants to check on the flock and that everything is "alright". I don't know the guy in person and I have no grudges against him personally but the sheer fact that such an announcement is something you can neither decline nor protest against is outrageous. You will simply find a little note at your door saying: I am going to visit you on XX.XX at XX.XXpm. So far I stopped this invasion 4 times in a row by simply not opening the door. Initially my thought was to let him in and let him dare to ask only one "wrong" question like: "You guys are living together in one home but are you married yet?" to take him apart verbally and politely ask him to leave, but out of respect for my partner I have not done that.

2. Call me a hypocrite but out of love for my partner (and other community related reasons like future children of ours) I agreed to a catholic wedding as it is something really important for her. As a preparation it was mandatory for us to attend:
- 3 sessions to "learn" about how to take care of a marriage.
- 2 one on one sessions which were mainly dealing with the sexual part of the marriage making damn sure that no condoms etc. are used during intercourse, how natural conception control is practiced (that was actually interesting!) and a general lecture on respect and what your role as husband or wife is for that matter.

Before that we had a one on one session with the local priest who made sure that none of us was forced into this marriage, that we aren't sinners who cannot be married, carry deadly diseases which we are hiding from each other and several other things which I cannot clearly recall at the moment.
Then of course there was the confession...

It is the middle ages all over again!

Don't get me wrong. In case of social and welfare work the church is doing amazing and honorable things (even if it takes most of the funds to achieve such things from the general populace beforehand) and I have no personal grudge against any priest as I choose to believe that they mean well....BUT when it comes to spirituality or enabling mankind to develop mentally or emotionally I see "red" to say it politely. In my personal point of view I think it is time that this institution is wiped from the face of the planet and this belief I share for most other religions which work with dogmas to imprison the human mind with hogwash-pseudo-knowledge making us believe that there is an entity in the skies which is watching our genitalia all day to check what we are doing with them, being omnipotent and all-knowing at the same time.

To translate a saying we have in German: Ich kann gar nicht soviel essen, wie ich kotzen möchte! (I cannot eat as much as I want to puke!)

Sorry for not staying so politically correct as Summerlander did before but I sometimes feel utterly helpless to see how much it imprisons mankind around the globe.
Belief is good but it should start with oneself as the most powerful mind in one's own reality.
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby Summerlander » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:51 am

I had no idea you were into metal (I love it!). In that link I couldn't agree more with Simon when he says: "Seriously? People do much worse than rip a copy of a Bible up and get away with it. Religion causing more problems for metal..." :))

I read about some of Norwegian's history regarding black metal and church burnings which I think was a very immature reaction coming from the youngsters. Nevertheless, I must say that the Church only experienced an itsy bitsy taste of the evil they have unleashed over the centuries - from the fulmination against Jews, the killing of heretics, the Inquisition, to the subversion of scientific discoveries.

It's okay if people follow the rituals of a religion in a traditional sense, there is nothing wrong with it, and, if you love your partner, I can understand why you would go along with it - especially if it means a lot to her. I don't think you were hypocritical on that front at all. After all, you are respecting your partner and everyone should be free to believe what they want. At the same time, without implying anything about your partner, there is nothing wrong with getting someone's attention to reason, especially if they are fanatical and obdurate about crazy ideas and beliefs.

Many religious people believe that morals come from the supposed word of God in holy scriptures, for example. Although religion did contribute in helping to bring people together at the start of civilisation and enforce some necessary control, our morals did not come from it at all.

Morals don't come from religion, they developed from our interaction and sociology. If you want a lesson in ethics, religion is the last source you should be looking at. You don't need to be religious to behave, and, if history has taught us anything, is that the opposite is quite true. Faith is the ultimate evil. It denies logical thinking and reasoning. If there was a devil, faith would be its masterpiece. Faith makes people ignorant and compels them to embrace ignorance. Moreover, it insults them by telling them what to do and not to do as though people can't work that out for themselves.

The fact that you have feelings and can intuit that others have them too should incite empathy within you. The knowing that everyone you meet will lose everything - from their material possessions to their loved ones - and ultimately die should be good enough a reason for you to feel sympathetic towards them and to make their time worthwhile in the way that you treat them. It shouldn't be too hard to avoid upsetting them and if you do by accident let them know how genuinely sorry you are.

We can do all of this without religion. There is no place for faith in the world of today and things are only getting worse. Now we have fanatically pharisaic nations empowered with dangerous arsenal and they won't hesitate to use it whenever they get the chance to do so because they hold certain beliefs about the origins of our universe and how it works. In this day and age, you can almost guess the religion of a suicide bomber and the concept of Jihad should be a cause for concern in our civilisation.

On the other hand we have science, which is a method of inquiry and doesn't hold on to dogmas. Scientists will be the first ones to say that they don't know when they genuinely don't know and will do everything they can in order to discover the truth. The faithful, on the other hand, have already given up on searching for answers as they have "faith" that what they have been told by the tenets of their religion is the unquestionable truth. To be faithful is to live in ignorance and feel proud.

To be pious is to believe in something that is no more feasible than fairies and unicorns and make the affirmation that it is true without proof. It's absolutely irrational. Religion poisons people's minds and twists the truth. The only philosophy that has really explored human spirituality to its full potential and has not chastised those who pursue the exploration of altered states of consciousness is Buddhism in its purest form (before the corruption of irrational mysticism). Meditation is a great tool and a great start for those who pursue this. It is also been scientifically established that meditation can promote well-being as it effects individuals physiologically and psychologically.

Meanwhile, religion as a whole, apart from inciting war, is completely retrograde when it comes to scruples. The faithful (especially the religious moderates) are, after all, only paying attention to the pleasant bits of their holy books, the passages that promise a heaven to the kind and a hell to the wicked, and are using that as motivation to behave in our civilised society. Meanwhile, believe it or not, the fundamentalists look at the religious moderates as false adherents (I won't even mention their many schisms which make the notion of organised religion sound even more ridiculous).

According to the Bible's book of Deuteronomy, a Christian is supposed to kill a Hindu because this one is guilty of idolatry in being polytheists (and the commandment "You shall not murder" doesn't apply here). Worship the monkey god Hanuman and you will burn in hell according to Christian faith. In a similar vein, in the Koran, it is your duty to kill the infidels, even if they live in the furthest reaches of the earth, and to die as a martyr is your quickest way to heaven. According to the Koran, the men who committed the 9/11 atrocities will bypass judgement and gain immediate access to heaven. Meanwhile, the moderate Muslims who live mostly in the West and have not harmed a fly have to be judged. Fundamental exegesis even condemns them for befriending the "infidels", the enemies of Allah (God).

Actually, the behaviour of fanatics is influenced by specific passages from their sacred books. So religion should not be immune to judgement in any way. The people who brought down the World Trade Centre, who have been labelled "terrorists", were acting upon their faith and beliefs. And many of the religious moderates even found it admirable.

Bin Laden only behaved the way he did because he believed in the literal word of the Koran. He and his men were influenced by clear instructions in such book that one must seek out infidels and expunge them. He who does this and dies in the process will be gloriously rewarded with virgins in a hedonistic heaven. No wonder then that martyrdom is an attractive prospect to many Muslim men when their own religious doctrine promises heavenly compensation for what they perceive as heroic acts against the enemies of Allah.

This is not something that Bin Laden or Al Qaeda came up with to subjugate their warriors against the West. There was no need for inventions. All one needs to do is take the Koran literally (and let's face it, how else can one interpret such specific instructions).

Religious moderation has come about with the rise of secularism and the promulgation of scientific discoveries. Because of that, a portion of the religious have been forced to ignore great portions of their holy scriptures and adapt their exegesis accordingly. This, in itself, should tell the whole world that religion is a giant farce. If people want to use this farce in order to learn how to behave because they lack imagination, then they seriously need help as they waste their lives. They have not learned or have not been given the chance to think for themselves.

Then there is the question of where or not we should allow any kind of belief. There are many grey areas we should consider when we attempt to answer this question. What if you know those beliefs are certain to bring about an action that will cause the deaths of tens of thousands? Are you not going to do anything to prevent the dangerous action? Will you just wait for it to happen and continue to allow the root cause to go on knowing fully well that if it happened once (that such adherents of those beliefs acted upon what they believed), in all likelihood more similar atrocities will be committed?

Nobody is talking about policing thought, I'm talking about beliefs that demand action against others. And religion has discriminated against others who hold different worldviews and continue to do so.

Religion can undoubtedly impede progress - as I mentioned earlier in a different thread about what is happening in Mali, Arab nations prioritise religious chanting and penitence over rebuilding their war-ravaged lands. If we take a country like Spain, we immediately see that it produces more in a year than all the Arab nations put together. Spain has translated more books into Spanish than the entire Arab world translated into Arabic since the 9th century. But Western civilisation has also suffered with religion. If not for Christianity, for example, we probably would have had the Internet by the 16th century.

It's very simple and logical...

If you have a rat infestation, you don't just take out the few that have caused damaged, you take out the whole colony and leave no room for procreation. Please note that in my analogy, the word "rat" is not being used as a dysphemism for a Muslim person. The suicide bombers, who caused much terror, were faithful to their creed. Their holy book demands that they become murderous zealots as the quickest way to heaven and they believe killing is fine as long as God has ordained it. These people have been robbed of any sound reasoning and their beliefs compel them to reject any form of real edification.

I'm not saying the people who subscribe to Islam are the problem here. I am saying that the tenets of their religion is what needs to be removed... or at least RADICALLY changed. If Islam was more like Jainism it wouldn't be so bad as Jainists wouldn't harm a thing, not even a flea (although this belief might be detrimental to crops if agriculturists became Jainists as they would not be able to do anything about pests ;D).

All types of people rape and kill, be they theists or atheists, but religion also helps these criminals to mask themselves. How many priests and bishops have sexually molested minors? And what's more, the Pope tries to brush it all under the carpet...

Now...

I like the fact that you have chosen to independently believe in a higher power, even if the truth is that we end up formulating our beliefs based on what we are exposed to and how we ultimately process the information, but, I hope you won't mind me challenging your reasons for believing. We must taking into account that the reality we see around us wasn't always like what we see today. It evolved into this. Please feel free to refute what I say here but I'm guessing that you are basing your belief on the fallacy of intelligent design in nature. Correct me if I'm wrong and you may have different reasons that I have not thought about or may have even discovered something that I haven't come across (if so, please do enlighten me).

But if it is this notion of intelligent design then it is a fallacy because people who support it provide the wrong evidence to back it up. It is usually along the lines of "complexity". Creationists point at complexity as evidence for intelligent design but complexity is something that comes about with evolution in a world that abides by natural physical laws. The reality of the situation is that everything is as it should be according to Darwinian evolution. I'd also recommend that you check out physicist Lawrence Krauss and realise absurd the creationist argument is.

There is no fine-tuning. Life evolved within a thin layer of atmosphere (compared to the deadly vastness of space) that surrounds a tiny planet because it could (just like bacteria can develop when the conditions are right). And even so, our world is not exactly the most hospitable environment as we consider: war, disease, birth defects, famine, killer weather etc. Complexity only evidences millions and millions of years of evolution in the dance of cause and effect and natural selection.

Secondly, as Krauss will reveal and CERN scientists would back him on this, it is perfectly natural for something to arise from nothingness. The problem with these Evangelists, who keep changing their exegesis in accordance to new discoveries and twist the truth, is that they mistake physical nothingness for absolute nothingness and are quick to jump the gun in using this as a plausible refutation for the explanation that the universe arose from nothingness without requiring the aid of a deity. The vacuum is charged with energy. It's like a zero followed by decimal places. Absolute nothingness is when there is no space. This is the equivalent of what's between two objects that are stuck together. Scientists also know that in the early stages of the universe, vacuum was highly charged with energy.

Once again, I will iterate to the religious that God remains a mere hypothesis in the realm of science - I think this is a polite way to put it. The likelihood of God existing is equivalent to that of fairies hiding in the woods or people's gardens. You can't prove they don't exist but you can't prove they exist either. To maintain a rational stance we have to follow evidence. There is no reason whatsoever for me to start rationally believing in God and plenty of evidence for me to conclude that the Almighty, as described by holy scripture and the faithful, is bogus.

It's patently obvious. This charade began at a time when people knew less and needed a quick answer. It's so outdated that I can't believe most of us still look to the past for answers about the nature of reality when we are now in a better position to make better assessments and derive superior logic. We should also be concerned with those who seek to spread their belief and use tactics of persuasion. Theists have a duty to prove to the rest of the world that a God exists when they vehemently make such assertion and so far they have failed miserably. Science has even tried to help them and so far nothing. You cannot claim that something exists without evidence. The onus is on God-believers to prove it because they are the ones who tend to spread their beliefs literally like gospel and expect everyone to adhere to religious doctrine.

They are the ones who have missionaires who speak about "salvation" like the rest of us are ignorant and doomed if we don't convert. Moreover, they want their faiths taught at schools. By exposing our children to their doctrine they can hinder their freedom to think for themselves. They owe the rest of the world a good reason to believe or something realistically substantial that gives them the right to spread their hocus pocus and to mentally abuse young human beings.

Some people have religious backgrounds. Some don't. Some will uphold their religious beliefs for the rest of their lives. Others will promote secularism. Some are born of faith and break away from it. Others seek refuge in faith when their lives don't go as planned.

Ironically enough, I was raised a Catholic. My mother still goes to church every Sunday and still believes in God. My father doesn't. He is a degenerate gambler and I think he is a waste of space. So why then, do my beliefs agree with my father's and not my mother's when she was the one who was good enough to raise me up? Perhaps I've always been that way inclined. Maybe I inherited my father's genes in that respect. Or perhaps the fact that I saw a kid sobbing when told by a nun that he would go to hell for not being baptised prompted me to think for myself as a child.

Even as a kid, I thought that god was being unfair, and mind you, at these schools they teach you that you must not question the ways of God let alone doubt Him. I thought that it wasn't that kid's fault that he wasn't baptised. How could God let him go through such suffering? As I grew older and wiser, I also developed a partial interest in science. It gradually dawned on me what was going on. There was no evidence of God whatsoever.

I apologise for the essay but I did warn you that I could discuss this extensively! ;)
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby Molecule » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:52 am

That was indeed a lengthy reply which was very well worth reading. Thank you for that :-) I will try to tackle a few of the topics you mentioned but am sure to fall short in being as specific and eloquent in my phrasing as you are ;-)

I need to clarify one thing first. My personal "belief" system can hardly be categorized in any of the mentioned ones as I usually tend to evaluate the most logical parts of any system and see if those make sense in my own reality. The only thing I truly believe in though is cause and effect with the twist that cause has its origin in thought and that the very first thought might have an intelligent source (I am shaking hands with parts of the system of buddhism here). I personally believe that such an origin has its roots in conscience. I applaud science for the vigorous research of all there is but to be fair we all should be aware of and also admit that science is still in its childhood with a clear manipulation going on which is comparable to the manipulation in the religious systems to achieve control (energy and health are just 2 of the sectors which are corrupted deeply to assure the current hierarchies stay in power). Same as you mentioned that we might have had the internet in the 16th century already I am going so far as to say that we would have free non-polutant energy already and no disease if there weren't certain tendencies of control instead of free research for the sole reason of the betterment of mankind.

In general science has yet to explain consciousness or life itself and as long as this is an unfinished task the following of science and/or a higher power (or whatever you want to call "it") is nothing more than that.....a belief to a certain extend. I fully agree with you though that science is a LOT more mature in explaining "things" than religion will ever be and I despise the latter one because it only leads to the imprisonment of the mind. Same as you I see no other use for it than the control and the dumbing down of the masses but I disagree with the approach of "if science hasn't explained it yet it is impossible" per se....and I certainly don't want to say that fairies should be considered a reality as long as science has not proven that they are not. The question is if it is useful to waste energy in this area and if so would the results serve mankind to advance on a physical as well as a spiritual/mind level or not.

We all make choices what to believe is the "truth" even though science has proven that absolute objectivity cannot be achieved as our perception is and always will be an interpretation of our physical senses and that our observing is influencing the outcome of a perceived reality. This becomes evident in the simple example of someone explaining to someone else how the colour "red" is perceived or how "love" feels or from a much more scientific point of view if you look at the double-slit experiment in the area of quantum physics. One's personal interpretation will determine how such a person will try to describe the topic or the outcome. So in the end our choices will be personal no matter how far science is with explaining reality and all things in it. There are no absolutes.

For me personally science will not be able to explain "everything" as long as the "forces" in power have no interest in the general populace waking up and realising its own power and potential which is the MIND.

We seem to have quite some similarities about our perception of a "God" in our early childhoods. I can still remember the actual moment where I came to the conscious conclusion that the present (catholic) system has to be flawed because how can God be everywhere and then punish something outside of "him" without actually punishing "himself". This flaw was and still is so fundamental for me that it leads the whole system ad absurdum. Why would an omnipotent "being" go to such lengths to put a system of punishment in place if it can only punish itself as a logical consequence?

My personal conclusion based on evidence found by science as well as personal experience and common sense is the following: My reality is what I choose it to be because I choose to interpret what my senses experience in a subjective way. As a logical consequence I am the only cause that leads to any effect in my reality even though I might not be able to consciously perceive all cause(s) which lead to a specific outcome in my reality. To put it shortly: I am a semi-conscious God in my own reality.

I am sure that this system can be challenged in specific areas but this is also true for belief systems which are purely based on scientific evidence. A simple "I don't know" has the same meaning for a scientist as well as a religious person. The only difference is, as you also mentioned, that the scientist has more of a tendency to admit that he/she doesn't know or is wrong. I have rarely met a strong believer of religion who said: The bible (or whatever scripture) might be wrong.
Fact is that the tendency for control is much more present in religion as it is in science and therefore science should be considered the superior choice for explaining the reality we are living in. At the same time we need to give mankind the freedom to choose freely with the exception of causing harm to others which religion has proven to do in many areas of our development. Intention is the key here.

I really don't mind people celebrating their (mis)conceptions as long as they don't try to involve (or even force) myself or other free thinking human beings into such or even harm us in the process. Having experienced what the mind can do I wouldn't be surprised if consciousness will serve all of us in our beliefs in the end when "the light goes out" creating heaven or hell for the christian fundamentalist or providing 42 virgins for the islamic one who has just pulled the trigger on the bomb.
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby Summerlander » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:46 pm

Molecule wrote:That was indeed a lengthy reply which was very well worth reading. Thank you for that :-) I will try to tackle a few of the topics you mentioned but am sure to fall short in being as specific and eloquent in my phrasing as you are ;-)


I'm flattered. :P

I have read through your posts and you have made some valid points yourself and I can fathom your stance on certain matters. There are some things, however, that have clashed with my worldview, though I am prepared to concede that I may have overlooked pertinent aspects which may be critical in our discourse...

Molecule wrote:I need to clarify one thing first. My personal "belief" system can hardly be categorized in any of the mentioned ones as I usually tend to evaluate the most logical parts of any system and see if those make sense in my own reality. The only thing I truly believe in though is cause and effect with the twist that cause has its origin in thought and that the very first thought might have an intelligent source (I am shaking hands with parts of the system of buddhism here). I personally believe that such an origin has its roots in conscience.


I appreciate you using the word "might" but I will have to refute the idea that cause originates from thought with certain observations. For instance, we have sufficient evidence to believe that a fly is not as conscious as a human. A fly's brain only supports around 100,000 cells compared to 100 billion of them in humans. A cockroach will even beat a fly in brain power. These creatures are moved by what they pick up from their sensors, how the environment stimulates them, and their tightly consolidated system of brain cells permit them to possess extraordinary memory. But none of what they do requires intelligent thinking. Finally... humans are self-aware, insects are not.

There is a degree of subjectivity in insects, their biogical systems are indeed required to be aware of environmental changes and the being will try to sustain itself but consciousness and intelligence are two different things. The two of them, however, are not orthogonal to each other. To have a certain degree of intelligence requires a certain degree of consciousness. From this alone, and many other observations, we conclude that thinking comes later, as is announced by higher processing in the neoencephalon, and the primordial brain (which, unlike our most recent phylogenetic neuroanatomy, is slow to learn but quick to react) sits at the very base. Even consciousness is observed to be a secondary phenomenon...

If consciousness was omnipresent in the universe, no distinctions between consciousness and unconsciousness would be possible. And scientists wouldn't be devising units of measure like "phi" either. The universe existed prior to consciousness. The building blocks of life (see the SPONCH acronym) didn't always exist in the cosmos. Mostly, life is carbon-based. Carbon is a heavy element that did not exist in the earlier universe and life was certainly not possible. The universe could just as easily not have created life. Life occurred at random and once it started, it developed and natural selection kicked in (as described in Darwinism).

Humans were never as conscious as they are now and we certainly cannot intuit that thinking sources cause any more than philosophers did in the past. Science has refuted many ideas raised in past debate by demonstrating that we appear to live in a universe that evolved into complexity and where consciousness appears to be its byproduct. Just like a planet or star that forms in space and develops its gravity, so is consciousness developed by organisms.

If an asteroid struck the Earth and wiped us all out, the universe would still exist. This is only logical. Well, one need not go that far. A blow to the head can render anyone unconscious. Damage to the brain can seriously impair mental faculties. In fact, all mental properties are subject to expunction via damage to areas of the brain. Even a living thing can become unconscious. Where has consciousness gone then in such cases, the vitalist might ask...

Without getting too bogged down in this subject, there is some forthcoming, groundbreaking work by Christof Koch and you may also want to check out Giulio Tononi's integrated information theory of consciousness:

"...approach is anchored in the principle that there is a minimal set of neuronal mechanisms that are jointly sufficient for a specific conscious percept—the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC). According to this definition, most neurons are not part of the NCC. For example, activity in the retina is correlated with visual consciousness, but is not sufficient to cause it. In fact, most retinal activity never makes it into awareness. In binocular rivalry, activity in early visual cortex (V1) does not predict conscious awareness, whereas activity in higher areas such as inferotemporal (IT) cortex does. Thus, Koch concludes that some neurons in IT are likely to be part of the NCC whereas neurons in the retina or V1 are not. Further, he notes that “large parts of the cerebral cortex can be destroyed without any overall loss of function after recovery” and these are thus not part of the NCC either. The cerebellum, for example, contains more neurons than the human cortex, but its loss does not impair consciousness but rather fine motor movements. On the other hand, a comparatively small bilateral lesion in a particular area of the brainstem leads to irreversible loss of consciousness, leaving the person in a vegetative state."

http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/12-05-0 ... oQ#feature

I applaud science for the vigorous research of all there is but to be fair we all should be aware of and also admit that science is still in its childhood with a clear manipulation going on which is comparable to the manipulation in the religious systems to achieve control (energy and health are just 2 of the sectors which are corrupted deeply to assure the current hierarchies stay in power).


Anything that is not conducted properly in the scientific realm is bound to be criticised. I wouldn't say science is manipulated per se, I would say that sometimes funding is not available for necessary research and here again religion, not just politics, can be a hindrance. Religion condemns stem cell research, for example, because it requires the destruction of embryos that can potentially become human beings. However, the belief that stem cell research is wrong lacks rationale. An embryo is not conscious, it contains far less cells than a fly's brain alone, a human being removes more cells by scratching off skin from their noses, and, most importantly, by sacrificing a few embryos in the grand scheme of things will be better for humankind in the long run.

With stem cell research and our growing understanding of our DNA, think of the many lives we will save and improve by preventing and curing cancer, birth defects, Parkingson's disease, Alzheimer's, aphasia etc. etc. What matters most? A fully grown human being or a tiny conglomerate of a small number of cells that are not conscious but have the potential to become many things? What is more important? Preserving a house or a brick? Still, the use of embryos in stem cell research is banned by the Council of Europe's Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine.

We also here of cases where scientists are displeased with how their work has been distorted by the media and information is twisted or exaggerated when journalists get hold of suggestive studies. We cannot pinpoint science with the blame of misinformation when at times mediators are not doing the expression of new discoveries justice.

It is also not surprising that bad science and pseudoscience, which is often promulgated by the media, comes from doctors or professors with religious beliefs or are biased by strange notions. These individuals often try to make their tests fit their worldviews but subsequent experimentation by other scientific bodies quickly disclaim their erroneous conclusions. Let me illustrate here the example of Duncan MacDougall:

To say that the human soul weighs 21 grams is ridiculous and I am not surprised that his test has never been repeated with the same results! He was known to be very imprecise in his measurements and very biased. Some said he was suspect from the get-go. Anyway, we can now ascertain that the 21-gram soul notion is all hooey. One can see him mistaking the loss of weight due to evaporation of moisture in respiration, evaporation of sweat, the evacuation of some urine etc. for that of the departure of the soul. Very unscientific and not deserving of merit.

It is not surprising then that no loss was reported for dogs as this corroborated his religious belief that animals don't have souls! Further down the trough, it was found that this doctor had failed to take into account the sudden rise in temperature at death when the blood stops being air-cooled through the lungs. It is also a known fact that in humans, the sudden rise will cause sweat and moisture evaporation (hence weight loss) and why this did not register in dogs (dogs cool themselves by panting, not sweating!).

This guy demonstrated nothing but natural port-mortem weight loss - nothing to so with souls!
The only credit I would give him was that he admitted that his experiments would have to be repeated many times with similar results before any conclusions were made. They weren't. There was weight loss but he had even got the amounts wrong. For starters, even the scales were found to be erroneous.

I disagree with the approach of "if science hasn't explained it yet it is impossible" per se....and I certainly don't want to say that fairies should be considered a reality as long as science has not proven that they are not. The question is if it is useful to waste energy in this area and if so would the results serve mankind to advance on a physical as well as a spiritual/mind level or not.


I agree. We shouldn't jump the gun and say that something is impossible if science has not proved it. We may say highly unlikely. This is the reason why science remains neutral on the God subject. But most scientists will say that they don't believe in God (after all, why believe in something that is not evidenced, right?) and can you blame them when the concept of God has remained a hypothesis (lowest level of credence in science) for millennia and remains at this level even at present. I doubt that the notion of God will ever become a plausible and rich scientific theory.

In quantum theory I trust, as it has been verified and you can make predictions using it, in God I do not...

We all make choices what to believe is the "truth" even though science has proven that absolute objectivity cannot be achieved as our perception is and always will be an interpretation of our physical senses and that our observing is influencing the outcome of a perceived reality. This becomes evident in the simple example of someone explaining to someone else how the colour "red" is perceived or how "love" feels or from a much more scientific point of view if you look at the double-slit experiment in the area of quantum physics. One's personal interpretation will determine how such a person will try to describe the topic or the outcome. So in the end our choices will be personal no matter how far science is with explaining reality and all things in it. There are no absolutes.


Subjectivity is indeed a reality. But at the same time, a number of things can be objectively verified and should not be dismissed nor overlooked. It is true that the mental model of a creature will differ from that of another but they can verify certain things to be true about the world using their own individual perceptions. A human being will perceive a mountain at a distance with his visual sense whereas a bat will sense its presence using sound waves. Both detect the presence of a mountain. We have gone as far as mimicking the sensory capabilities of animals via technology...

Now, on the double-slit...

Quantum physics happens to be an area of interest of mine, so much so that I will recommend "The Quantum Universe: Why everything that can happen does happen" by Brian Cox who has worked at CERN. The book will expose a lot of tripe that unfairly distorts what the quantum realm is all about by a lot of pseudoscientists out there. One is better off listening to the experts that deal directly with the area of research. Quantum mechanics are weird but that doesn't mean that something supernatural is going on as many out there imply.

It's just that, for their calculations to make sense and predict an outcome, one has to assume that on a quantum level there is no such thing as possible and impossible, only probable and improbable come into it. Science does not yet have all the answers, but, let's not forget that quantum theory helped us to come up with the transistor, one of the greatest inventions of our time. The theory works even though there are many versions of it, some more hypothetical and others with more substance. The book mentions that the reader shouldn't be surprised if something like the Higgs boson was found - and surely enough they found it.

There are some pseudoscientists out there, like Thomas Campbell, for example, who will assert that "consciousness collapses reality" or that observation will produce an outcome. This is false, at least in the sense that he conveys it when it comes to observation.

Let me explain about the word "observation" that they use in the realm of science. When physicists say "observation", they really mean making a measurement. Campbell, on the other hand, gets his lemmings to believe that the word should be taken literally. All this malarkey is done in the name of keeping Monroe's legacy and unfounded belief system alive. He claims to present a refined model including a theory of everything and, oh my lord he is so clever in his words that he even claims to hold the "big picture" while mainstream science has the "little picture" view. ::)

Consciousness has nothing to do with what happens in the behaviour of photons. Photons and electrons leave an interference pattern on the wall very much like that of waves after having gone through the slits. The measuring device consists of bulbs that will interfere with the photons' trajectory and thus changing the outcome. Make no mistake about it. There is nothing magical when it comes to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. What is uncertain about it is the fact that we can never know what route the quantum particles took because, whenever you measure (better to use this word to avoid confusion) something, you will inadvertently change its state.

Think about this analogy (which reflects what lies at the heart of the uncertainty principle of quantum physics): it is a dark night and you are trying to see what a tennis ball looks like in a vast field. You can't see where it is and have no idea what it looks like so you use a torchlight (to make a measurement). You shine a light on the ball and see that it looks bright green and it is very well lit. But this is not what the ball looked like prior to the measurement. You have changed its appearance. It probably looked dark and shaded before but what you see now is a different picture as photons bounce off its surface and your eyes pick up on this.

Consciousness did not play a role in changing the ball's appearance any more than it did in changing the trajectory of electrons/photons. The only part it played was being aware of the experiment and the individual deciding to shine a light on it (and it was this measurement that changed its state). In a similar manner, the measuring device changes the state of electrons or photons - not conscious observation.

This flaw was and still is so fundamental for me that it leads the whole system ad absurdum. Why would an omnipotent "being" go to such lengths to put a system of punishment in place if it can only punish itself as a logical consequence?


Bull's eye! ;D

I am sure that this system can be challenged in specific areas but this is also true for belief systems which are purely based on scientific evidence. A simple "I don't know" has the same meaning for a scientist as well as a religious person. The only difference is, as you also mentioned, that the scientist has more of a tendency to admit that he/she doesn't know or is wrong. I have rarely met a strong believer of religion who said: The bible (or whatever scripture) might be wrong.


Me too. My mother is a Catholic but after I showed her some passages in the Bible she conceded that the Bible might be a forgery. But her belief in God remains and that is as far as it goes. As it turns out, it is harder to relinquish God than Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy.

I really don't mind people celebrating their (mis)conceptions as long as they don't try to involve (or even force) myself or other free thinking human beings into such or even harm us in the process. Having experienced what the mind can do I wouldn't be surprised if consciousness will serve all of us in our beliefs in the end when "the light goes out" creating heaven or hell for the christian fundamentalist or providing 42 virgins for the islamic one who has just pulled the trigger on the bomb.


There is much evidence supporting the scenario of a spiritual or mystical experience when we die. The brain's psychedelic compounds will kick in, endorphins will be released and this will cushion our way out. It is very likely that a traumatically induced phase experience will result (aka NDE - although 'pre-death experience' is a more suitable term). The experience will protect you in the throes of death and consciousness will be fully localised in a dream world. What we will see, be it a tunnel at the end of which we apparently meet our deceased loved ones, Jesus, Buddha, god etc. is subject to our beliefs. We may even realise things about reality that we weren't even aware of before and a realisation that we are the universe itself is possible before we are freed from conscious existence.

As I said before, the spiritual experience can and does exist apart from the tenets of religion.

The problem with religion is that it harbours dangerous beliefs and promotes dangerous thinking. To illustrate, this has recently come to light, Molecule, would you believe it in this day and age: In Papua, New Guinea, a young mother was accused of killing a six-year-old boy through sorcery. She was stripped naked, doused with petrol and burned alive in front of a crowd including schoolchildren. Meanwhile, Iran's Ayatollah refused to discuss with the US on issues of nuclear standoff (wonder why? Why wouldn't you talk to the infidels and come to a compromise on important matters?) In Baghdad, within the Muslim community, Shi'ites and Sunnis continue to fight. Both sides are religiously irrational.
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby CKing71 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:19 pm

To all, Hello,

I’ve been away for a time, although I cannot say how long it has been. I return from what I exprenced as our future, with a qustion, to anyone, to answer. What would do, if you reilized that god was only a rudamentrey concept to help cevilize human beings like your selves, so that we may make our selves known?

be well.
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby Summerlander » Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:40 am

Hi and welcome back, CKing71!

I'm not sure I understand your question... or at least I think I partially do. I do think that a concept such as God (or gods) did help to form our civilisation aeons ago. Religion was undoubtedly useful - although I still think that even if it hadn't come about we would have eventually got to where we are if not closer to a secularist utopia.

Religion, nevertheless, played its part in bringing us together. It was useful. Was! But it's so outdated and we cannot ignore the fact that it has also caused much suffering (and continues to do so). I'd like to think that we have grown up enough to put it past us.

Anthropologically speaking, I have come to realise that God is a fabrication of the human mind. Such concept as a belief has proved to be one of the hardest ones to let go. But one only needs to assess the character of the theistic God to realise that it is implausible and incompatible with what is observed to happen in reality. Then, as we take into account the Deist argument (that the creator abandoned his creation), which would apparently explain his absence in the world, we come to realise upon analysis that nothing about Nature is compatible with a designer God but that it evidences millions and millions of years of evolution. Darwin was right.

Everything appears natural and no evidence for the supernatural is found. But that doesn't take away from the fact that the world is truly awesome and for this reason, and this reason alone, many scientists today empathise with Einesteinian religion. When Einestein spoke of God, he meant it in a poetic sense. He subscribed to pantheism - which is really just another form of atheism.

When Einestein said, "God does not play dice", he really meant, "Randomness does not lie at the heart of all things". Of course, his statement can be disputed by physicists today with the advent of new discoveries in the field of quantum theory but the point is that he did not mean the God of Christians or Muslims in his statement. The usage of the word "God" as a substitute for nature or the universe has caused much confusion and I would advise any scientist today to avoid it (unless you're John Lennox! ;D )

What I would do is what I have been doing ever since I discovered that God is only imaginary. I just get on with my life while it lasts and marvel at the fluke that surrounds me and which I'm a part of. That, to me, is beautiful even in the poignancy that it may invoke in deep philosophical thinking.
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby CKing71 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:01 pm

I have met others, out to 2075, who know nothing of religions and nothing of conditional precepts to continued existence, they live and they share their bodies there out of bodies too. I have three but have spoken with 100s. all dead in our terms.
Would you like to know more???
Be well
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby Summerlander » Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:41 pm

Can you clarify? I'm a bit confused by that statement. Who are these "others"? :o
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby CKing71 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:00 am

When I come here, I have fun. Mostly because I meet others who are here, who are like me, who also talk of travels out of body and with other-travelers?
I allowed another, actually, three other entities, to co-habit my body, to teach and learn how it is done. So I could teach and learn. It’s a little unnerving when you realize there are entities standing by to assist you on exiting the physical and cop-ing with the formlessness of the irrational.
Be well.
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby Summerlander » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:41 pm

Here's a quote I'd like to share with you all regarding the universe, evolution and where we stand:

"Man must at last wake up out of his millenary dream and discover his total solitude, his fundamental isolation. He must realise that, like a gypsy, he lives on the boundary of an alien world; a world that is deaf to his music and as indifferent to his hopes as it is to his sufferings and his crimes."

- Jacques Monod (molecular biologist)
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby NOVA » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:59 am

I like that Summer.
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby Summerlander » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:28 pm

Me too.

Here another one which is quite profound:

“I'd like to widen people's awareness of the tremendous timespan lying ahead--for our planet, and for life itself. Most educated people are aware that we're the outcome of nearly 4 billion years of Darwinian selection, but many tend to think that humans are somehow the culmination. Our sun, however, is less than halfway through its lifespan. It will not be humans who watch the sun's demise, 6 billion years from now. Any creatures that then exist will be as different from us as we are from bacteria or amoebae.”

- Martin J. Rees (cosmologist and astrophysicist)
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby NOVA » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:12 pm

Umm... can't go with this one tho.
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby Summerlander » Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:40 am

That's ok. I prefer the other one too!
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby NOVA » Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:46 am

:>)
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby _#~ » Sat Jun 15, 2013 2:14 pm

One old school Tibetan Buddhist fellow suggested that whenever you have a "teaching", a "practise", and a "community", you are a religion. Maybe this could be labelled a "TPC".

My view is that as people evolve, not only at the level of conciousness, but culturally and with ramping up our left hemisphere capacities, old TPCs become obsolete and new TPCs emerge, in a fractal explorative process, which then goes through the Darwinianesque meme filter.

The Phase might be considered to be another TPC, very appealing for the modern mind.

Sticking with the science of this, one thing I would be curious about is if Phasing is correlated to empathy, or if there is an observed causal linkage.

Do Phasists or Phasist opinion leaders have any sort of karma like belief, hypothesis or justification for not being a sociopath?
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby eroxy » Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:03 am

All the inputs here are interesting to read!

I just like to put out a question here:
If we have developed awareness or consciousness because of our long process of evolution, as Darwinian theory posits, and if evolution makes adaptations to the species evolving because it is necessary, what made it necessary for the human species to be self-aware in the Phase state?

I mean, what makes being self-aware in the Phase state more conducive for the greater chances of survival of the human species?
Is it because people can possibly be given hope that they are more than just brains with bodies/bodies with brains? And this hope gives a greater chance of survival?

Also, I'd like to ask what makes organisms adapt anyway? Yeah, we would say that organisms want to adapt to survive even longer and better, but why would they want to survive? And on the case of humans, why would we want to survive if there was no life or consciousness after death, anyway?
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby _#~ » Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:07 pm

yeah, I think we ask a lot of the same questions.

I think developing a list of things that make no apparent sense under the evolutionary hypothesis is a valid tool. I ask myself, by what evolutionary motivation does music arise? Or even more bizarre, the apparent animal response to music? Or dreaming and the Phase as you say.

I agree that the reality of what happens after death may be a very different thing than our belief of what happens after death and our possibly large capacity to construct comforting but delusional beliefs. The skepticism of the Phase approach is very reassuring this regard.

There may also be validity to the idea that the overall system we operate in is intentionally deceiving us regarding our true purpose, if any, and our true destination after death, if any.

I think what makes organisms adapt is that the ones that don't adapt are not around to talk about it. There is a spectrum of adaptability that is generated randomly, and the optimally adaptive are the only ones around to talk about it in the following generations. There is also a thing of overadaptability and lack of conservations of biological resources. Survival itself is the core game, at least to this biological process of creating human platforms.

I think the bottom line, you wake up each morning and have a choice, walk into the bathroom and kill yourself, or wash up and go into work. The instinct to live is likely evolved, but the higher mind at some point stumbles on these higher questions we eventually ask.

Is not life though even more valuable if awareness/consciousness ends at death? I am not sure that this atheist-ic hypothesis of no higher realm to die into (nor reincarnation) renders life more or less meaningless. Take for example the closing scene of American Beauty. This speaks to the meaning of going through the drama of life, and that the bad stuff is just as interesting as the good stuff.

I think beyond this is jumping into the rabbit hole of the strangeness of living and embracing the mysteries rather than landing on solid answers. An interesting hypothesis that explains a lot of the data, including the phase, is the fringe physics Virtual Reality model, which would suggest that dream, lucid phase/NDE/OBE and physical life are just different experiential VRs. This model is loosely represented in the film The Thirteenth Floor.
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby eroxy » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:06 pm

Yeah, there are those things worth thinking about.

I wonder if there are any machines that make those worlds. Maybe we're in those machines? Hahahaha.

Anyway, I think that maybe we are the ones who will attribute value into life anyway, regardless of whether there's life after this one or not.

Yeah, as you said about music, is our brain adapting or over-adapting to the needs of survival?

This might sound cheesy or cliche, but I'm thinking, what prompts people to do really altruistic deeds, to the point of sacrificing their own lives, if they have no certainty of what happens after death?

Also, personally in my experience, whether there's a life after this one or not, it feels good to be able to contribute to the welfare or betterment to humanity. Simply put, it feels good to be benevolent. Maybe I'm programmed that way, for some reason, but I've had my share of experiences that can possibly make me be otherwise, and yet I choose to still be as helpful as I can to my fellow humans, even if the good treatment I give to them won't be returned.

For me, altruism gives somewhat of a hope that there's something more than the physical. Also, even if it doesn't give hope, then at least I made the short stay here of some of us humans a little bit brighter and more enjoyable.
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby _#~ » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:12 pm

Summerlander wrote: Ironically enough, I was raised a Catholic. My mother still goes to church every Sunday and still believes in God. My father doesn't. He is a degenerate gambler and I think he is a waste of space. So why then, do my beliefs agree with my father's and not my mother's when she was the one who was good enough to raise me up? Perhaps I've always been that way inclined. Maybe I inherited my father's genes in that respect. Or perhaps the fact that I saw a kid sobbing when told by a nun that he would go to hell for not being baptised prompted me to think for myself as a child.

Even as a kid, I thought that god was being unfair, and mind you, at these schools they teach you that you must not question the ways of God let alone doubt Him. I thought that it wasn't that kid's fault that he wasn't baptised. How could God let him go through such suffering? As I grew older and wiser, I also developed a partial interest in science. It gradually dawned on me what was going on. There was no evidence of God whatsoever.


By my experience Catholicism is much better preparation for the larger reality than protestantism or athiesm, so rather than irony, I see you following a well worn path. When someone says they believe in God, they almost never mean they believe there is an old man with a beard in the sky, rather they mean there is more to life than meets the eye, and they cannot tell you what this is. The word God is like a koan, or the word up in flatland.

Liberal intellectuals write off theists as being members of DumbFuckistan, but this may be due to not looking beyond the surface of things, the words and metaphors, rather than feeling your way through life, and giving more weight to how your mother's life feels, how your father's life feels, intuitively, and then working back to the mental maps that they are prospering or degrading under. If the their map is perplexing, the thing to do is to dig deeper.

Everything in life has a core, which is either profitable or unprofitable, and all profitable elements have aspects of abuse. If your mental digestive system is not calibrated accurately, we slowly drift into rejection of everything and nihilism due to failing to parse out assessment of core versus perception of tangential abuse.

The rational solution is to rather detect order and peace and love and profitability, then follow this back to the mental map that animates this behavior. A great deal of order, peace, love and profitability that we encounter in western life traces back to Catholicism, and you and your presence as wise man on this mountaintop, is one more datapoint for this hypothesis.

If belief in God = belief that there is more to things than meets the eye, and then we start to read quantum physics, which confirms the breaking of the Newtonian delusion that most persons believe in, we resolve the conflict, and become the same as the simple minded theist, one in our belief that there is more to life than meets the eye, and in this we are part of the same club, apart from using different koanic metaphors.
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby _#~ » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:41 pm

eroxy wrote:Yeah, there are those things worth thinking about.

I wonder if there are any machines that make those worlds. Maybe we're in those machines? Hahahaha.

Anyway, I think that maybe we are the ones who will attribute value into life anyway, regardless of whether there's life after this one or not.

Yeah, as you said about music, is our brain adapting or over-adapting to the needs of survival?

This might sound cheesy or cliche, but I'm thinking, what prompts people to do really altruistic deeds, to the point of sacrificing their own lives, if they have no certainty of what happens after death?

Also, personally in my experience, whether there's a life after this one or not, it feels good to be able to contribute to the welfare or betterment to humanity. Simply put, it feels good to be benevolent. Maybe I'm programmed that way, for some reason, but I've had my share of experiences that can possibly make me be otherwise, and yet I choose to still be as helpful as I can to my fellow humans, even if the good treatment I give to them won't be returned.

For me, altruism gives somewhat of a hope that there's something more than the physical. Also, even if it doesn't give hope, then at least I made the short stay here of some of us humans a little bit brighter and more enjoyable.


However unthinkable, the VR hypothesis is the only plausible explanation for the physics of the small being completely different than the physics of the large, which completely baffles physicists. If there are two measureable physics rulesets operating, there must be a higher more universal physics that these two local physics operate within, i.e. a higher level computer, like in The Thirteenth Floor.

If you want to really blow your mind, read up on the Quantum Eraser and the proven scientific fact that reality reacts to whether a human is looking at it or not. This starts to strongly suggest that reality is a virtual game designed to take you through a VR experience.

Altruism will likely be partly sourced in survival of tribe and kin, and be written into the genetic code. It will also have creeped into mental software, as cooperative altruism is actually what works best for personal and community prosperity. Where it gets spooky, and here is the Catholic/Christian angle, is love of enemy, and doing good to those that curse you stuff.

When you do this overtly with an enemy, this often as not breaks the pattern and flips them to being a cooperative friend, and this too works at the level of simple pragmaticism. The pure thing is when you do something good for someone, a stranger or an enemy, in absolute secret, which is the higher zen of Christianity, and then you feel the emotional feedback.

It may simply be that the practical benefit of cooperation, being so profitable for life, ends up overshooting and giving you irrational positive emotional feedback.

The main take away from this is that if you feel like shit, try being less of a self absorbed asshole, and see if it makes you feel better. That's the core message of Christianity as well as AA, apart from Jesus emoting a lot of anger toward religious hypocrisy and sanctimonious priests.

The one fly in this ointment is the data we get from NDE reports and difficult to explain impacts on lives. This evidence suggests that consciousness does have an eternal aspect, and that when separated from the body in certain ways, there is a connection to our apparent eternal aspect and eternal homeland, and this appears to be a strong wakeup or reminder of the connection and love between all that lives. Dannion Brinkley youtubes are instructive on this.

It likely does not matter why one invests in becoming a more empathetic individual, the key is to try it as an alternative to papering over the pain and isolation that arises from selfishness, with self harming vice.
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby eroxy » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:45 am

If you want to really blow your mind, read up on the Quantum Eraser and the proven scientific fact that reality reacts to whether a human is looking at it or not. This starts to strongly suggest that reality is a virtual game designed to take you through a VR experience...


I didn't know the double slit experiment was also called the Quantum Eraser. Hahaha! Yeah, it seems the particles or waves are aware we're observing.

Altruism will likely be partly sourced in survival of tribe and kin, and be written into the genetic code. It will also have creeped into mental software, as cooperative altruism is actually what works best for personal and community prosperity. Where it gets spooky, and here is the Catholic/Christian angle, is love of enemy, and doing good to those that curse you stuff...


Yeah, it makes sense that aggression becomes obsolete to a mechanism that makes survival more likely, along with the age of societal norms which protect one from physical violence, enforced by the government.

The one fly in this ointment is the data we get from NDE reports and difficult to explain impacts on lives. This evidence suggests that consciousness does have an eternal aspect, and that when separated from the body in certain ways, there is a connection to our apparent eternal aspect and eternal homeland, and this appears to be a strong wakeup or reminder of the connection and love between all that lives. Dannion Brinkley youtubes are instructive on this.


Yeah, I wonder how we can necessarily prove that NDE's are not just simply brain activity and that they have a reality independent of physical matter.

It likely does not matter why one invests in becoming a more empathetic individual, the key is to try it as an alternative to papering over the pain and isolation that arises from selfishness, with self harming vice.


I guess we live in a community more harmoniously if we learn to be more selfless.

Anyway, I'd like to pose a certain question to all. I've been thinking about this last night and I also watched this youtube documentary on Hidden Human History which piqued my interest even more:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAm-kbzT ... re=related

The question is this: Granting that The Phase is a certain state of consciousness in our brain which can apparently simulate anything from God, aliens, sexual fantasies, shape-shifting, telekinesis, getting our dreams fulfilled, etc; does this really disprove that the things we simulate there can actually happen in our waking state, in real life? I mean, what if we can simulate those things in The Phase AND experience them in our waking state, without any altered states of consciousness?

What possible implication am I hinting at? This: that being able to simulate certain things in The Phase, doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't actually unreal in instances OUTSIDE THE PHASE.

Thoughts? Opinions?
What is truth?
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby Summerlander » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:59 pm

eroxy wrote:All the inputs here are interesting to read!
If we have developed awareness or consciousness because of our long process of evolution, as Darwinian theory posits, and if evolution makes adaptations to the species evolving because it is necessary, what made it necessary for the human species to be self-aware in the Phase state?

I mean, what makes being self-aware in the Phase state more conducive for the greater chances of survival of the human species?
Is it because people can possibly be given hope that they are more than just brains with bodies/bodies with brains? And this hope gives a greater chance of survival?

Also, I'd like to ask what makes organisms adapt anyway? Yeah, we would say that organisms want to adapt to survive even longer and better, but why would they want to survive? And on the case of humans, why would we want to survive if there was no life or consciousness after death, anyway?


Perhaps consciousness is a by-product of what we currently possess which gives room for something else that will emerge in the not too distant future in the course of evolution. Before we can tackle this question we must first solve the problem of how consciousness arises in the first place. Science never claims to have all the answers but it does have a good shot at trying to solve problems. Some by-products might not be so fortunate for us in the gene pool. What is the use in schizophrenia, for example? Check this out: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 222910.htm

Whatever the reasons for why we become self-aware in states such as the phase, it is certainly not to give us hope. This is certainly not my case and it certainly isn't the case in Raduga's or LaBerge's mind. The phase state can have enormous value for us in that we can rehearse for waking life, we can develop skills that can help us to live more efficiently, we can deal with psychological issues, we can broaden our view of the subconscious and we can self-integrate and improve, or maintain, overall health. All of this, incidently, so, why not?

Evolution does not have us in mind. It is not an individual that decides who will thrive and who will perish. Evolution is a phenomenon which is observable and determined by the process of natural selection. Emphasis on "natural". Survival is the instinct of the species and it is all about the level of proficiency with which they carry out their adaption. Despite the efforts of living beings to survive, they can only survive for so long. We might be thriving unimpeded at this point in time, but, all it takes is a nuclear war or a massive asteroid from space to make a drastic change. Likewise, bacteria may thrive on a warm and dirty surface, but if you get the bleach, all the thriving will have been in vain.

The adaption only occurs, naturally, if creatures are given enough time to change. This occurs when the environment is changing slowly and provided that it is compatible with the organism in the first place. The conditions have to be right. Organisms will self-preserve in the process. In fact, Darwin could have called natural selection "natural preservation".

Another thing... On an evolutionary model, you don't even necessarily need natural selection. A gene may spread through a population not because it is a good gene but simply because it is a lucky one. It is called "genetic drift". In any case, the use of altruism is a natural phenomenon which evolved socially as we saw the profit it could bring. In certain cases, however, it does not work - Gandhi with his pacifism knew it would have not worked with the Nazis and Tibetans could not prevent the Chinese invasion and the onslaught that followed with their Buddhist precepts.

On "why would we want to survive" if there is no life after death...

I live and survive like this. I don't believe in life after death and don't see any meaning or purpose for our existence other than that which we conceptualise in our minds. I want to survive, however, for a number of different reasons. To see my kids grow and thrive and so they have me around as their father, to love them, teach them, and to guide them. To be around my loving wife for as long as possible. To be there for my mother. To enjoy the wonders of life while it lasts and while I'm still conscious. To contribute and express myself to the world with my ideas and art. To see how much more science discovers in my lifetime, etc.

There is no lack of motivation there and one does not have to believe in the untenable for that.

To the person without a name that addressed me earlier:
By my experience Catholicism is much better preparation for the larger reality than protestantism or athiesm, so rather than irony, I see you following a well worn path. When someone says they believe in God, they almost never mean they believe there is an old man with a beard in the sky, rather they mean there is more to life than meets the eye, and they cannot tell you what this is. The word God is like a koan, or the word up in flatland.


First of all, it's atheism, not "athiesm". Secondly, you seem to be going by the assumption that good moral values come from Catholicism. I beg to differ! If you haven't read the passages of immorality from its sacred texts, go and check it out. Not to mention that its authorities and revered representatives almost always get it wrong when it comes to matters of what is good and what is bad for us. From embryonic stem cell research, to abortion (with their terrible pro-life views), to contraception, and the list goes on... You really don't want to go there, my friend. Your view of Catholicism is as narrow as your view of quantum mechanics, or, dare I say, a rather distorted view promulgated by pseudoscientists. Pay attention to reliable material published by serious people who worked at CERN and other scientific institutions and then come and talk to me. :))

The word God, regardless of what you say, did not set out to mean what you say is meant by people of today. Koan my arse (you either take part in an intelligent discourse or you don't)!! To clean this argument of needless and pointless metaphors, God simply does not exist and the notion that there is more to life than meets the eye is nothing but a product of human delusion. It's a dream that many of us cling to. nothing more. It's a solipsist notion, self-centred by nature, that postulates the absurdity that the universe had us in mind even before we came along. Whatever that means! As you can see, I'm as atheistic as the lion, the zebra, the dog, or Sammy - my inlaws' cat.

Liberal intellectuals write off theists as being members of DumbFuckistan, but this may be due to not looking beyond the surface of things, the words and metaphors, rather than feeling your way through life, and giving more weight to how your mother's life feels, how your father's life feels, intuitively, and then working back to the mental maps that they are prospering or degrading under. If the their map is perplexing, the thing to do is to dig deeper.


Here we go again with metaphors. If the intellectuals say theists are dumb I only have one thing to say to that: there is no smoke without fire. In fact, intellectuals would say deists hold a more respectable if not defendable position - but one that is as hypothetical as the Centaur or the tooth fairy on vacation. ::)

Everything in life has a core, which is either profitable or unprofitable, and all profitable elements have aspects of abuse. If your mental digestive system is not calibrated accurately, we slowly drift into rejection of everything and nihilism due to failing to parse out assessment of core versus perception of tangential abuse.


Ah! Your fear of nihilism is your impetus for your argument. Not reason then. Where is the core in onions? ;D

The rational solution is to rather detect order and peace and love and profitability, then follow this back to the mental map that animates this behavior. A great deal of order, peace, love and profitability that we encounter in western life traces back to Catholicism, and you and your presence as wise man on this mountaintop, is one more datapoint for this hypothesis.


You can detect order, peace,love and profitability without Catholicism. And much more eloquently! Apart from the atrocious discrimination one finds in Catholicism, apart from its numerous contradictions, you find a set of verses that basically tell, today's populace, "don't be a cunt". As if people can't figure this out for themselves. What an insult to our intelligence not to mention that, in the Dark Ages, such verses had different meanings and were applied in different contexts - the purposes (of the pious) were almost always tyrannical. By the way, as an atheist, I donate to charity and do charity work myself. I get great pleasure from helping others. The good comes from me. I'm not doing it because some book written centuries ago implies that that is the right thing to do or because I have a desire to go to heaven or escape hell. That's the difference between you and me, mon cherie! 8)

If belief in God = belief that there is more to things than meets the eye, and then we start to read quantum physics, which confirms the breaking of the Newtonian delusion that most persons believe in, we resolve the conflict, and become the same as the simple minded theist, one in our belief that there is more to life than meets the eye, and in this we are part of the same club, apart from using different koanic metaphors.


Erm... no. It doesn't work like that. You don't get to fill in the gaps with nonsense which science hasn't yet covered. I've already talked a great deal about quantum physics before and specifically addressed to my fellow members here to be wary of those who make wild claims about knowing how it all works, what it means, and what beliefs it purportedly supports. This is "God of the gaps" syndrome all over again... ::)

For those not familiar with it, it is basically the assumption that, as God runs out of places to "hide", according to theologians He must precisely be the missing pieces of the puzzle... until, of course, science finds those pieces and they turn out to be something more mundane.

But let's continue...

Newtonian delusion? LOL! Seriously? Newtonian laws may go out the window in the quantum realm but they are still applicable to the macro. Moreover, conscious observation does not determine the outcome of the double slit experiment, as you, and others like Thomas Campbell, seem to imply. For starters, "observation" in scientific circles really means making a measurement, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out that measuring something, especially at such a small scale, will inevitably effect upon its original state. Read books like Brian cox's "The Quantum Universe" to have those quantum theory myths dispelled, my friend. Also, look up Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and how it all relates.

And if you think that God had something to do with the universe coming into being, think again about the absurdity of this proposition and the infinite regress you imply. The universe is the product of quantum fermentation, so to speak, and did not require the aid of a Creator.

Suppose alien beings seeded our universe to evolve complexity. They, too, would have to have evolved their own complexity to become as incredibly advanced to the point of creating an entire universe. The same would also have to be logically applied to the so-called explanation that God created the universe. It is not an explanation. Rather, it is a copout and it only aggravates the origin of the cosmos conundrum. You might as well say, regardless of the absurdity, that reality is the work of magic. Who or what created the creator? If a God created the universe, then he must be extremely slow, because, it took Him billions of years to build atoms and the heavier elements that would eventuate the right chemistry leading up to our existence (Seventh Day Adventists, hide). If He is all-powerful, or omnipotent as the pious describe Him, why did He not manifest the complexity of reality that we see today on the first day of creation?

Instead, we see the slow process of evolution in a universe that is indifferent to our intentions, thoughts and actions. An impersonal universe where justice only exists subjectively in the minds of humans. A universe that couldn't give a monkey's (well, it did, lol, pardon the pun). You want the explanation for why evil sometimes wins? Why innocent children die in the devastation of extreme weather while a child molester and killer wins the lottery? Here it is. It is a fact that we must all face and reconcile with: There is no God. The one you read about in ancient scriptures is man-made. God did not create man in his image, it is the other way around. There is no good reason why we should believe in a deity in blind faith any more than we should believe in the faun, the centaur, the unicorn, the fairy, or the flying spaghetti monster. The theologian will argue that, though God's existence cannot be proved, it cannot be disproved either. So is the case of the folklore characters I've just mentioned. The onus is on the believer to prove or demonstrate the veracity of what he claims to believe in. Any Joe can claim flying pigs exist. Likewise, the belief that a supernatural being wants his followers to wage a holy war against infidels should be ridiculed. Let me reiterate: there is no God. Only the exploitation of minds. "Religion is what keeps the poor from killing the rich" a politician once said. What a tool, isn't it? But even if religion is a tool that can be used as a means to control, it doesn't make it true. Atheism proves that we can be mature enough to remain civil and pay attention to what really matters. We can be humanists, better humanists even, without God, His law, and His zealous minions. And Jesus, if indeed he existed (though everything that was written about him was suspiciously long after the fact) was a cruel, callous, and murderous cult leader. Check your Bible and you will find where he orders his devotees to slay those who doubt him. >:D

And dear, in George Bernard Shaw's words: "The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."

If you want a scientific view which begins to resemble an explanation for the origin of the cosmos, check out physicist Lawrence Krauss:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EilZ4VY5Vs

You may want to ask: Why are we here? I prefer to ask "how" rather than "why". But if one insists on the "why", well, here is a mundane explanation based on paleontological evidence: We are only here because 530 million years ago, the Pikaia Gracilens, the earliest known vertebrate, survived the Burgess Shale decimation. If this now extinct eel-like creature hadn't survived during that period, we would not be here today. Life seeks shelter, evolves, and adapts with the goal of survival. But it's not invincible and certainly not perfect. If today the Earth was struck by an asteroid as potent as the one that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, we could all be annihilated leaving only the chance for the bacteria that exist to evolve into more complex organisms provided that the environmental conditions allow for that to happen. In about 4 billion years from now, the collision between our galaxy and Andromeda could wipe out all life on Earth and render it inhospitable for any form of life. There is a good chance that the Earth will be ejected out of the Milky Way mass in the process. And the moral of the story is that our existence here, today, is pretty random. We are nothing but evolved bacteria that thrived overtime on a warm planet.

Finally, let me leave you with a quote:

"Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody - not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms - had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance, and other infantile needs)." - Christopher Hitchens

And, what the heck, listen to the man speak:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwiHkM126bk
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby _#~ » Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:31 pm

Summerlander wrote:
Secondly, you seem to be going by the assumption that good moral values come from Catholicism. I beg to differ!


Yeah, this reminds me of encountering a colleague who was a Mennonite convert who was in love with that, but myself having grandparents who were Mennonite, and living through that BS and what it did to my father, well, I never had any taste for it. So someone who comes to something in adulthood has a different perspective than being raised in it. I dunno, I start from the experiential observation that Catholic raised dudes are different, and then try to figure out why. I am pretty sure it does not relate to the mental level, the nominal beliefs and laws, but more likely relates to the rituals that draw out the right hemisphere in the primitive mind, or it relates to the mental conditioning of the mass and other sacraments. Or its simply a correlation to the Roman Empire and the fact that Catholics have been living in villages and complex society for a couple of thousand years longer than protestant zones. Not sure.


Summerlander wrote: From embryonic stem cell research, to abortion (with their terrible pro-life views), to contraception, and the list goes on


All institutions and people for that matter have BS aspects and get part or most of the story wrong. I see it like gold mining, and a mine can be 99% rock, but its that 1% we are digging for that exists nowhere else. Talking about rock is a distraction.

I am not sure that anything in life is absolutely binary, black and white right or wrong. Cultural values like the debate around abortion is complex. Though I am prochoice, I understand and appreciate the counter arguments. Religion is largely a business of managing the mental game of life for the uneducated, and the uneducated definitely have this need. Religion for an educated (self or otherwise) person is like a hat on a donkey. The fact that this intention is subject to the corruption and ineffectiveness of the priests does not necessarily negate its usefulness.

Summerlander wrote: The word God, regardless of what you say, did not set out to mean what you say is meant by people of today.


Ask your mom to define what she means by God.

Summerlander wrote: d the notion that there is more to life than meets the eye is nothing but a product of human delusion.


that there is more to life than he who dies with the most toys wins. You had the benefit of at least one parent who exposed you to the importance and supremacy of relationships over materialism and ego, and could see an alternative to being your father. Religion, when it functions properly, and often it does not, is there for the primitive mind that does not have this example of a parent or grandparent to teach them this. It also provides mental conditioning for the inherently good person going through a lot of stress. Philosophy is there to teach the modern mind in the same arts. Psychology is there to teach the modern mind how to cope with stress.

Summerlander wrote: If the intellectuals say theists are dumb I only have one thing to say to that: there is no smoke without fire.


and this is the point, they are dumb, its not their fault, and need to be told what to do. When they are told helpful things, the society gets stronger, and when they are told stupid things, the society gets weaker, and they are eventually overtaken by a stronger meme. [/quote]


Summerlander wrote: Your fear of nihilism is your impetus for your argument. Not reason then.


I believe below absolute truth is the fundamental of fundamentals of life, which is your emotional experience of life. Nihilism is the absolute enemy, even if it is true. Happiness and serenity, and strength when under stress, however won, is the ultimate victory over the perplexing situation of consciousness we find ourselves in.

Summerlander wrote: "don't be a cunt".


what I am interested in is the many ways people learn this. I am less interested in my personal requirements for being told this or telling this in the particular way I am comfortable with. I am intrigued by mental frameworks that appear to be effective at reminding a lot of people of this, particularly over several millenia, if you for example see Catholicism as being actually a Jewish breakaway Sect. I am equally interested in the effectiveness of athiestic humanism in teaching this. [/quote]

Summerlander wrote: As if people can't figure this out for themselves.


Well, evidence would suggest that no they cannot, and each culture and type needs a custom approach [/quote]

Summerlander wrote: What an insult to our intelligence


the entire point of religion as well as quantum physics is to indeed insult our intelligence and expand our awareness, mentally as well as experientially, precisely as you are doing. The core thing I think you may be missing is a theory of the primitive mind and how they cope with life, and have a presumption that everyone is like yourself or would benefit from the same approach.

Summerlander wrote:
Newtonian delusion?


mainstream culture and your average jock lives within the belief boundary of Newtonian physics, and the belief that the scientists have pretty much everything figured out, at least all the important stuff. A little bit of curiosity and reading disavows one of this comfortable and commonly held but limited view. One response to reading physics is to be very open to alternate models of reality, rather than digging down into intransigent conviction, regarding anything.

Summerlander wrote: LOL! Seriously? Newtonian laws may go out the window in the quantum realm but they are still applicable to the macro. Moreover, conscious observation does not determine the outcome of the double slit experiment, as you, and others like Thomas Campbell, seem to imply. For starters, "observation" in scientific circles really means making a measurement, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out that measuring something, especially at such a small scale, will inevitably effect upon its original state. Read books like Brian cox's "The Quantum Universe" to have those quantum theory myths dispelled, my friend. Also, look up Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and how it all relates.


Sure, I am not so much concerned about the bleeding edge debates regarding the Quantum Eraser (which is much more than a simple double slit, or Entanglement), more the implications that such areas of measureable reality exist, and beginning to live with that larger uncertainty beyond the Newtonian belief system that most people presume.

Summerlander wrote: And if you think that God had something to do with the universe coming into being, think again about the absurdity of this proposition and the infinite regress you imply. The universe is the product of quantum fermentation, so to speak, and did not require the aid of a Creator.


Everyone must accept the absurdity and impossibility of first cause, subject to the science and the mental capacity to work back ever further. I dunno says the same thing as "God did it". Food fights over the labels we put on these things does not get at the intention and meaning layer below the nominality of language.

Summerlander wrote:Instead, we see the slow process of evolution in a universe that is indifferent to our intentions, thoughts and actions.


Yes, this appears to be close to the Campbellian model, at least in this aspect, which works for me as well.

Summerlander wrote: Atheism proves that we can be mature enough to remain civil and pay attention to what really matters.


for some yes, for some apparently not so much.

Summerlander wrote: We can be humanists, better humanists even, without God, His law, and His zealous minions.


it is a very powerful model for those ready for it

Summerlander wrote: And Jesus, if indeed he existed (though everything that was written about him was suspiciously long after the fact) was a cruel, callous, and murderous cult leader. Check your Bible and you will find where he orders his devotees to slay those who doubt him. >:D


yeah, there is a whole science related to the various scrolls and what he said or might have said. Like with gold mining, I focus on nuggets like "do good to those that curse you". Its a very powerful way to live. I suspect it would be like lets say you are this wise man with all sorts of helpful ideas, but 20 years later I am trying to figure out your philosophy based on your idiot cousin's recollection of what you said at Thanksgiving dinners. Not an exact science.

Summerlander wrote: And dear, in George Bernard Shaw's words: "The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."


I suspect we have a fundamental disagreement here. I am mostly interested in being a happy competent human, not the most effective scientist. Where there is large uncertainty, I lean into Pascal's Wager and dial up what works, what creates happiness and serenity, sustainably.

Summerlander wrote:
If you want a scientific view which begins to resemble an explanation for the origin of the cosmos, check out physicist Lawrence Krauss:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EilZ4VY5Vs

You may want to ask: Why are we here? I prefer to ask "how" rather than "why". But if one insists on the "why", well, here is a mundane explanation based on paleontological evidence: We are only here because 530 million years ago, the Pikaia Gracilens, the earliest known vertebrate, survived the Burgess Shale decimation. If this now extinct eel-like creature hadn't survived during that period, we would not be here today. Life seeks shelter, evolves, and adapts with the goal of survival. But it's not invincible and certainly not perfect. If today the Earth was struck by an asteroid as potent as the one that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, we could all be annihilated leaving only the chance for the bacteria that exist to evolve into more complex organisms provided that the environmental conditions allow for that to happen. In about 4 billion years from now, the collision between our galaxy and Andromeda could wipe out all life on Earth and render it inhospitable for any form of life. There is a good chance that the Earth will be ejected out of the Milky Way mass in the process. And the moral of the story is that our existence here, today, is pretty random. We are notI hing but evolved bacteria that thrived overtime on a warm planet.


My view is this attention to creationism relates to the sophistication of the thinker. We are all ultimately creationists or agnostics just tracing back further along the causal vector.

Summerlander wrote:
Finally, let me leave you with a quote:

"Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody - not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms - had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance, and other infantile needs)." - Christopher Hitchens

And, what the heck, listen to the man speak:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwiHkM126bk


Sure, I have a lot of time for Hitchens who documents one side of the elephant in the dark very well indeed. My point is that yes indeed this is true, and many still operate at this primitive level, are not capable of more, so why this obsession with fixing them? I believe a more mature view is to seek to understand that dynamic, where it works and does not work so well, and then let it gently be, and tend to our own mental knitting.

Where there can be disturbance, is where we arrive at a place where we value relationships, empathy, duty and love, by whatever path, and then we see these primitive minds doing these things better than us. Sometimes things just work and the mechanism is as yet beyond our current understanding.
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby _#~ » Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:54 pm

my response follows ##

eroxy wrote:
If you want to really blow your mind, read up on the Quantum Eraser and the proven scientific fact that reality reacts to whether a human is looking at it or not. This starts to strongly suggest that reality is a virtual game designed to take you through a VR experience...


I didn't know the double slit experiment was also called the Quantum Eraser. Hahaha! Yeah, it seems the particles or waves are aware we're observing.

##if I understand this correctly, the quantum eraser is a mainstream physics experiment (you can wiki it) that suggests reverse time causality. Through beam splitters and photon counters, two ways to measure "which slit" are set up. One way is so indirect, the physics does not trigger probability collapse and particle behavior. The other conventional way, is direct and the physics of the universe detects that it is being observed, and this yields a particle response when the measurement is observed. The VR theory explains this as everything is held in probability suspension until a consciousness observes, such that, even though burning the direct measurements before looking at them appears to reverse the collapse of probabilities and particle behavior, in actuality, the physics algorithm does an observer assessment at the moment that consciousness looks at it, irrespective of what came before. The proverbial tree does not fall in the woods, until someone goes and looks at it. The Quantum Eraser is system glitch that permits humans to see this in action. I think I am describing it somewhat accurately.

Altruism will likely be partly sourced in survival of tribe and kin, and be written into the genetic code. It will also have creeped into mental software, as cooperative altruism is actually what works best for personal and community prosperity. Where it gets spooky, and here is the Catholic/Christian angle, is love of enemy, and doing good to those that curse you stuff...


Yeah, it makes sense that aggression becomes obsolete to a mechanism that makes survival more likely, along with the age of societal norms which protect one from physical violence, enforced by the government.

## a healthy redirection of this energy is sport

The one fly in this ointment is the data we get from NDE reports and difficult to explain impacts on lives. This evidence suggests that consciousness does have an eternal aspect, and that when separated from the body in certain ways, there is a connection to our apparent eternal aspect and eternal homeland, and this appears to be a strong wakeup or reminder of the connection and love between all that lives. Dannion Brinkley eiare instructive on this.


Yeah, I wonder how we can necessarily prove that NDE's are not just simply brain activity and that they have a reality independent of physical matter.

## there is some work being done to prove this objectively, I think in operating rooms. Part of investigating this is to interact with the NDE community. You can view the video material attached to Dannion Brinkley, and hang out on NDERF.com. Tom Campbell and Bob Monroe OBE people are very big on confirmation protocols. I am interested to know if Phasers have ever experimented with Phasing in environments that appear to be reality based, and testing if they are interacting with a dream and imagination or actual physical reality, as some OBErs believe. Like observing action in physical reality from the Phase and then asking if it really happened after the fact.

It likely does not matter why one invests in becoming a more empathetic individual, the key is to try it as an alternative to papering over the pain and isolation that arises from selfishness, with self harming vice.


I guess we live in a community more harmoniously if we learn to be more selfless.

##there is a positive economic feedback loop from dialing up selflessness and the perception of being a fair trader, committed to long term economic interaction, hard to anger and quick to forgive. This is the basis for operating in groups, and groups rule.

Anyway, I'd like to pose a certain question to all. I've been thinking about this last night and I also watched this youtube documentary on Hidden Human History which piqued my interest even more:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAm-kbzT ... re=related

The question is this: Granting that The Phase is a certain state of consciousness in our brain which can apparently simulate anything from God, aliens, sexual fantasies, shape-shifting, telekinesis, getting our dreams fulfilled, etc; does this really disprove that the things we simulate there can actually happen in our waking state, in real life? I mean, what if we can simulate those things in The Phase AND experience them in our waking state, without any altered states of consciousness?

What possible implication am I hinting at? This: that being able to simulate certain things in The Phase, doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't actually unreal in instances OUTSIDE THE PHASE.

Thoughts? Opinions?


For disclosure, this is merely theoretical for me. I have never Phased or OBE'd, but look for motivation to do so by hanging out here. Perhaps I am not understanding your point. The Campbell model suggests that so called normal physical life is just another variant of Phasing, like OBE or NDE. Much of what you can do in Phasing is possible in physical life, its just the results take more concentration, take longer to manifest, and require more personal power and discipline. I think, things like healing and the Law of Attraction, the placebo effect, these are all things related to controlling your environment with your mind and expectations, or directed intention and power of mental focus. Meditation possibly disciplines the mind to be a more effective pilot of this apparently more physical dream state.
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Re: Religion vs. real development of consciousness

Postby Summerlander » Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:42 am

For starters, Campbell is a crackpot pseudoscientist and quite dishonest about the meaning and the context in which the famous quotes he included in his TOE were used. Also, consciousness has nothing to do with what happens in the double-slit experiment. The man seems to promote mysticism and sensationalism of the kind against physicalism under the same Goswami-like guise that science is somehow compatible with spirituality. It is a post-New Age cult. It's like saying, look at what happens to Schrodinger's cat, it defies human logic by necessity, without even considering relational theories that do not, and would not in a million years, require consciousness. The phase state doesn't have anything to do with travelling to other universes or planes of existence either - let alone being proof or being a glimpse of an aterlife. It is simply an altered state of consciousness and thus a condition of being alive. Also, more on REAL quantum theory later but first...

The Law of Attraction is all tosh. I can't even believe they promoted that silly book on Oprah! To be positive about your life and learn to grab opportunities is one thing that could get you ahead in life, although some things are still beyond your control and plans might not pan out. But to invoke something through an unrecognised law that some claim to be a tool with which to manipulate cosmological events is entirely different. I'm pretty sure many victims of natural catastrophes were believers and that didn't save them. I'm sure millions of the victims' family members who were aggrieved were believers too. What happened there, one might ask? Moreover, if the law of attraction makes any sense and can be set apart from crazy superstition, what would happen if everybody on Earth used it? It just seems to me that it can be proved as inefficient as praying (the latter having been scientifically tested in double-blind experiments with the pious). There is even the ridiculous notion that celebrities know "the secret" as the so-called law can provide limitless potential.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/com ... 63923.html
I take it that the criminal in question must have wanted to win so badly, more so than his previous desire to evade adjudication... And while some who get lucky and claim that they used the law of attraction, you will never hear from those who were not so lucky but were believers too. If you do hear from them the explanation must be that they were not doing it properly. It seems like this "secret" is no longer a secret either. It also seems like the author of said book has sold a convenient and deliberately intriguing interpretation as a pseudo-explanation for other people's successes and fortunate events. Why can't "The Secret" be just another fancy way of looking at things that someone had the gall to sell? In a world where anything can happen beyond our control, there are those who sell and provide the gullible with what they'd like to hear: something for them to make sense out of the tragedy and successes of others and something wonderful to believe in. "Look guys, those people made it because they believe in magic..."

Think about the case of Elizabeth Fritzl, who was held captive by her father and was beaten, abused and raped for over 20 years. During that time she prayed for freedom. She dreamed of it constantly. Where was the law of attraction then? Some believers of this nonsense will say the victim is to blame because she had a negative image in her mind of the father being abusive and it only perpetuated her suffering. To which I say: It was her fault that the father behaved in such a despicable, vile, condemnable manner? It was her fault that he reminded her of it everyday? Is it logical to think that she, prior to the age of 11 - when her abuse began, constantly thought about her father being abusive before the scenario manifested in reality? What about him? Is he not to blame? Is he not responsible? He continued to torture her for a lifetime because she kept thinking about it?

I've had this debate before and adherents of this fantasy even proposed that the victim should forgive her father. Forgive her father? Really? He never asked to be forgiven. He saw her as inferior. Moreover, he, too, had negative thoughts and he still had his wicked way with her and the other victims for well over three decades (starting way before Elisabeth which really should exempt her from any sort of blame implied on the secretists' part). By the way, I found this article whilst looking on the Grand Valley State University website. This is a must read about "The Secret" (with videos too): http://www.dbskeptic.com/2008/03/09/the ... -delusion/

To think that you are going to pass your driving test and then it happens because you feel confident is one thing. Your success simply depends upon your focus, determination, and confidence - not necessarily some mystical cosmological law. You are merely behaving according to what you have visualised in your mind. But to think constantly about getting a car and then later your friend, who knows how badly you want one, wins the lottery and buys you one as a gift still does not warrant the certainty that everything happened according to a "law of attraction". The fact of the matter is, some of your wishes are met and some aren't. Chance is still a better candidate. The only people that will go bankrupt are the punters. The odds are against them from the get go. There are even a few who believe in the law of attraction and try to apply it. but they still cry when they lose more than they win. Others play roulette and slots on terminal machines. They believe in all sorts of superstitions but never really acknowledge the fact that those machines come with random number generators that are designed to avoid (totally and anthropically undeciferable) recurrent patterns. It is a simulation of randomness which depends on the mechanism and can never be affected by human thought (as much as some fancy the idea) as this would defy the computerisation itself. These gaming devices, by the way, make over 60% of the company's profit. There are no winners in the bookies. They all perish regardless of their beliefs. If you told Fred Done that his business was at risk of succumbing at the hands of adherents of some alleged cosmic law of attraction he would laugh in your face. The money keeps rolling in, and, the more the punters lose, the more they chase in the hope of recovering their losses. In the process, many of the superstitious ones don't know when to stop and end up losing their jobs, their partners, friends, and families. The losing end of the spectrum, generally speaking in many risky walks of life where the odds against individuals are overwhelming, far outweigh the lucky end. The losers cannot be ignored. The evidence does not reflect the reality of some New Age-like superstition, it reflects odds, statistics, and a few coincidences that are bound to happen (if they didn't happen then it would be really weird).

I happen to have read a lot about quantum theory. I love the subject. It certainly doesn't make me an expert and it certainly doesn't mean I have everything sussed out but I know a fraud when I see one. There are many myths that are easily dispelled just by reading the right books by the real experts. For example, some dodgy individuals will claim that teleportation has been demonstrated and it is possible because quantum physics makes that possible. Teleportation has not been demonstrated yet so there is no reason to believe that it is possible yet, and (especially on a classical level) it is the stuff of science-fiction. If it is possible, hypothetically speaking, it will most certainly be achievable technologically by taking advantage of quantum entanglement, nothing supernatural there. If you imagine the universe as a huge gravitational well, and the tiniest particles of baryonic matter being marbles, the quantum entanglement effect would be like removing one of the 'marbles' to have another one fall into its place. The analogy may not fully encompass the nature of quantum mechanics but it does reflect, in part, the natural principle (emphasis on natural as opposed to supernatural). No information travels faster than light, so, in quantum entanglement, what is going on is a cosmological effect in a great gravitational 'well'. This is the extent to which things are truly connected apart from the fact that everything originated from the same bang. The connection, however, does not extend to wishes being granted to massive atomic structures mostly perceiving the macro scale as conscious agents, such as us, as though there is some intelligence behind the cosmos. That's wishful thinking and it were true it would not only violate the laws of physics, but would also be demonstrable in the prayer experiments that have been conducted - not to mention that scientists would have clocked on from experiments and statistics. There are other misguided examples...

Some people believe that Masaru Emoto's research is evidence for mind over matter. Really? The pseudoscientist from India who refused to reveal the details of his experiments and whose work is open to error? It's a valid as the PEAR work that I have refuted before (as if punters at my workplace could really change the deterministic patterns of RNGs in terminals with their minds!) And John Hagelin? Biased by his yogi friends who assigned him a great position at the David Lynch foundation whose only role of 'transcendence' is to help individuals with problems such as PTSD, ADHD and other conditions. The fact that meditation can alter brain activity isn't news to anyone who has an ounce of understanding. And then there is Hagelin's affiliation with the Maharishi university whose questionable blend of religious ideologies and science and the outrageous distinctions they make such as "modern science" and "Vedic science" (science is science!) comes with a spate of chicanery and New Age wish-wash. No wonder his academic peers have largely ostracised him. Here's an excerpt from the Dallas Observer regarding Hagelin and his belief that his mental powers can change the world (and do check out the link):

"Beyond this largely laughable claim, critics say the Maharishi has a larger goal: Secure government funding to build the TM dominion under the rubric of improving health care, education, and other areas. The U.S. Natural Law Party, one of more than 80 chapters worldwide established by the Maharishi during the '90s, is a political vehicle with the apparent aim of bagging more tax dollars for TM, even though a federal court declared it a religion in the '70s. As well, the Maharishi has made comments that he believes democracy to be a "corrupt" form of government in need of elimination. Hagelin plays a starring role in this nuttiness. In 1993, he took legions of meditators to Washington, D.C., in a failed attempt to lower the city's notoriously high murder rate, and he (unsuccessfully) offered contingents for peacekeeping missions to Kosovo and the Persian Gulf. Since Hagelin's '92 and '96 campaigns flopped, he adopted a new strategy of sweeping his stranger metaphysical claims under the rug and trying to swallow other third parties. In part of a divided and desperate Reform Party, he found a sucker."
http://www.dallasobserver.com/2000-10-0 ... ibrations/

Imagination happens with a mishmash of thoughts. The bricks of an idea are made up of stuff that our organisms have been previously exposed to. Like a child seeing a pig and then an eagle and eventually imagining a flying pig with wings. Nothing to be excited about. What we see is merely the natural evolution of physical bodies and the evolution of consciousness a result and a byproduct. It is also extremely unfair to call Newtonian physics delusional when they are still applicable and hold true to our level of reality... the level that matters (even if its roots are quantum mechanical). Let me elucidate with the following example (which I have mentioned before) propounded by professor Brian Cox, who said the following: "Quantum mechanics is weird, but not weird enough to allow a grain of sand to hop unaided out of a matchbox." Have you noticed the word "unaided" in the quote? On a sandy beach, there is a chance that there will be "aids" to make the "hopping" out of the box possible. The wind could pry open the matchbox. A smoker could pick it up in search of matches and empty it out in frustration. A crab could come...

The beach context teems with possibilities that make the hopping practically possible. However, lock away the matchbox in an empty vault and chances are that there will be no hopping. If we think of quantum particles and acknowledge that they behave somewhat like a particle and somewhat like a wave in a probabilistic framework, we will find that, within the inner and outer cluster of peaks and troughs, the waves cancel each other out in certain points. This will quickly take place as we make the measurement, because, things on a smaller scale "secretly" play out all scenarios before settling on the most likely outcome. Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle hinges on this. We must also remember that, on a quantum level, it is apparent that nothing is at rest, even those particles which are not effected upon by force - this is where Newton's laws (which although logical and very applicable on a macro scale) are thrown out of the window. The more precisely you know the position of a particle at some instant, the less well you know how fast it is moving and therefore where it will be sometime later.

Now, we live in a quantum universe, and, a grain of sand is a relatively ginormous object in the quantum realm. It is so huge that it no longer appears to obey quantum laws and conforms to classical physics. However, it is made up of those tiny packets of energy that move and jump all the time. The bigger the object gets, the more time is incremented in their unaided motion. Make no mistake about it, according to quantum theory, the grain is moving unaided (because like everything else, it stems from the quantum realm) but it is too big for any noticeable movement and its properties can be easily measured. This lies at the heart of quantum physics. It is encompassed in Heisenberg's breakthrough formulae. This is how things really work. Newton was not wrong, but, his picture was incomplete. Imagine a grain of sand inside a 3cm-length matchbox. Physicists can calculate how long it will take for the grain to hop to the confines of a 4cm radius - beyond the matchbox (!) - unaided. Do you know how long it would take? Over a thousand times the current age of the universe! Meaning it won't happen! You might as well say that the grain is not moving and be content with that. Quantum mechanically speaking, not impossible but improbable. Hence where Cox is coming from with the matchbox and grain quote. The scenario proposed by quantum mechanics is hard to swallow and often hard to understand, but, that is the nature of the universe.

Now, back to religion...If religion is largely a business of managing the mental game of life for the uneducated, it is doing a terrible job. Isn't it better for the uneducated to simply educate themselves rather than adhere to doctrine that, for the most part, is dangerous and plain wrong? The debate about abortion is very simple. The sooner the mothers do it, the better, and mothers should always have a choice after weighing the pros and cons. The killing of 150 celled embryos for the sake of medicine that could save millions shouldn't shock anyone either. When you swat a fly, you kill more brain cells for sure. You can also remove more cells when you scratch your arse. It is not a question of culture, it is about being pragmatic and improving the human condition. The only use religion provides is some misguided comfort (I can't even utter the obvious without being oxymoronic) and it doesn't even do a good job at that. There is still the threat of hell, the sense that you are being watched by the almighty 24/7, and the fear of thought crime. Christopher Hitchens? Need I say more? Perhaps the religious should look up to the humanistic atheists (like AC Grayling) and take notes.

My mum has defined God for me. For her God is the Creator, a higher power looking out for us, a supernatural spirit, the only source of good, and her guide. She adheres to all those silly ideas that I find abhorrent. No amount of reasoning will be sufficient to make most theists abandon their ridiculous dogma. When the core of their beliefs is threatened, they get defensive. In the end, there is only so much you can say in an attempt to make them see the "atheistic light". Many secularists lose patience and start calling them "stupid" - which they are!! The day they realise the fallacy of their position is the day they stop being stupid. You can be an atheist and be happy, if not even stronger in stressful situations. While the pious cries out "Why oh why is this happening to me?", the secular mind thinks, "It's unfortunate but I have to move on and make the most of it." It's not an exaggeration to say that religiosity is linked to mental illness. Moreover, even in the healthy person, religious belief can have drastic consequences (Michael Adebolajo and Adebowale recently anyone?) Religion can make otherwise good people commit terrible atrocities - the most insidious today being Islam.

Nihilism is not an absolute enemy, only if you make it so. If you uphold illusions of immortality for comfort, then you are not only a coward but also somewhat of a solipsist. Accepting the reality of nihilism is the real victory and you are sticking to the truth rather than avoiding it because it currently hurts. Furthermore, the complete annihilation of conscious experience can be seen as the ultimate freedom. You will no longer suffer. You will no longer be plagued by terrible memories. You will not get bored of doing and thinking the same things an infinite number of times throughout eternity (I can't even begin to fathom this eternal hell). You will not suffer in heaven (if you're religious) when you think about those who could not be saved. You fear nihilism because your ego wants to hold on and you can do nothing but to look at things from the conscious perspective. If you are interested in the proposed (and far superior) ten (or more) commandments of atheistic humanism, read Richard Dawkins's "The God Delusion". It's a very good book that will teach you about biology and sociology besides pointing out the fallacies of theology and theodicy. Learn about the memes and the genes! Evidence suggests that people can figure the golden rules out for themselves. The rule of not doing unto others what you would not want them to do to you is pretty self-evident for the sane mind and precedes the Bible! Follow this and everyone gets on. It's not rocket science!

By the way, I have said time and again that science does not have everything figured out but what goes on quantum mechanically certainly does not give weight to silly beliefs that people love to cling to for dear life. It also does not give weight to the dishonest Campbell. Consciousness does not collapse the wavefunction! 8)
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