Digitalvygr Blog

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Re: Digitalvygr Blog

Postby digitalvygr » Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:36 am

[Consciousness And Death]

Thought provoking article, I do not see how they 'proved' what they set out to, I doubt there may ever be a real proof as such. However, the experience of an OBE can give you a sense that is like a personal proof that consciousness can survive outside of the body somehow...

http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics. ... -at-death/
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Re: Digitalvygr Blog

Postby Summerlander » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:01 pm

This is not science. This is speculation and pseudoscience in cahoots with Deepak chopra. Christoff Koch, a neuroscientist, is researching the neural correlates of consciousness and evidence seems to support Tonomi integrated theory. Quantum states do not stay coherent enough to support a quantum-generated consciousness. Secondly, a soul is no explanation for consciousness as then one must ask: what makes the soul conscious?

Finally, don't you find it a little odd that only recently he's decided to dabble in quantum mechanics and all of a sudden he has the answer to everything? Proof? Don't make me laugh. Evidence weighs in favour of physicalism, not just in physics but in neuroscience too. Fact: everything about one's mind is effaceable via brain damage or malfunction. This is what is observed after 150 years of neuroscientific study. If even the living can undergo unconsciousness, what is more likely to be the case when one's brain is completely destroyed?

You may want to look at this too:
http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/ ... s-universe

I've said this before and I'll say it again: either there is no afterlife or there is one where we possess all the brain deficits and share it with deceased individuals as cerebrally impaired. What is the option that makes more sense? Forget about recognising the faces of your loved ones in a heavenly realm - the power of sight and recognition of shapes and forms died when your brain ceased to function. If this wasn't the case, then conditions such as blindness and prosopagnosia would not exist. But they do, you see...
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Re: Digitalvygr Blog

Postby digitalvygr » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:39 pm

Agreed, not science, which is why I stated they did not prove what they set out to. I see a lot of pseudo science articles trying to prove such things, and it is unfortunate. I think people like Chopra co-opt modern science to try prove what they feel intuitively. That is their perrogative though, just as it is for scientists to want to say that science is the be all and end all.

On the flip side though, I dont feel that the brain as a possible receiver model of consciousness has been disproved either. I have taken quantum mechanics at the graduate level so am no stranger to science, and I can truly say I love it, but personally I recognize that is is merely the new kid on the block as a way of knowing, only about 500 years of history at the most. It is but a blip on the history of our species, albeit a compellingly convincing blip.

It is largely anecdotal at present, but the reports of people with no EEG brain waves who report NDEs on operating tables who still manage to record the events that transpire during that time is hard for me to ignore. Conciousness is the "big" problem, has been since the beginning ;-) As such, I personally just keep an open mind...
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Re: Digitalvygr Blog

Postby Summerlander » Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:32 pm

Agreed, not science, which is why I stated they did not prove what they set out to. I see a lot of pseudo science articles trying to prove such things, and it is unfortunate. I think people like Chopra co-opt modern science to try prove what they feel intuitively. That is their perrogative though, just as it is for scientists to want to say that science is the be all and end all.

On the flip side though, I dont feel that the brain as a possible receiver model of consciousness has been disproved either. I have taken quantum mechanics at the graduate level so am no stranger to science, and I can truly say I love it, but personally I recognize that is is merely the new kid on the block as a way of knowing, only about 500 years of history at the most. It is but a blip on the history of our species, albeit a compellingly convincing blip.


Science is the best method we have with which to study reality. It is about inquiry, not dogmas and belief. Scientists are often the humblest people you will meet as they are honest enough to say, about certain characteristics of reality, "We don't know, we don't have an answer yet, but we are working towards a solution using experimentation and observation." You will find that pious zealots and spiritualists are quite the opposite as they say, "We know this to be the case, we are certain of this, our instinct is strong and tells us that this is real..." and go on attempting, very badly and clumsily, to make scientific discovery fit their beloved worldviews. It is no different to the religious zealot changing his exegesis in order to make it compatible with the newfound knowledge that science has provided, so, he might say, "I know the good book says the earth does not move and is the centre of the universe but it is not to be taken literally, you see..."

This is very suspect, and, if not deliberately knavish, it is a statement that might reinforce delusion out of desperation. The comfortable "belief" is under threat. Deepak will not recant his position like a scientist would. Scientists follow evidence while men like Deepak prefer to hold on to fantasies and delusions. Deepak is not a quantum physicist, yet he appears to claim to know more about that level of reality than the expert, and attempts to convince the layman to join him with his garbled mumbo-jumbo that centres around metaphor. Religion in general is the same. There is nothing in the Bible about DNA, genes, viruses and germs that can make people ill. Instead, you find the ramblings of superstitious Iron Age peasants. Even the so-called moral values in the Bible are inferior compared to what today's secular humanism can propose. The Bible is hardly practical and you will find more use in a book with a few cooking recipes.

Nothing in the brain has been identified as the essence of consciousness. For all we know, it is a strong illusion like the wetness of water (nothing about water molecules, let alone its atoms, is "wet"). Note that illusion does not equate with non-existent. It just means that it is not what it seems. I'd also like to point out that, when someone makes tall claims in scientific circles, the onus is on them to prove what they claim - not the other way around! The same principle applies in our courts: If you say that princess Diana was assassinated by prince Philip, the onus is on you to supply evidence to the jury to back up your claim. You cannot just make the claim without any evidence and tell the opposition, "Disprove what I've just said." This would not make sense and it could not be done in the first place. Even if Philip provided an alibi, it could be surmised that he conspired with others and put hitmen to it. If he sworn by the Bible or provided an affidavit, he could be accused of lying. You see how speculation has no power and should not be given any power when establishing facts?

I have been pondering over the afterlife concept for a long time now, and, if someone was to ask me if there is one, my answer would be: let’s review the evidence to date. I can’t be sure of anything solely on a strong feeling which could, without my awareness, be fundamentally illusory and experiencing the phase state is no reason to start believing. I suspect that, when we die, we go back to being in the same state that we were before we were born, whether existent or non-existent.

Many people fantasise about an afterlife of otherworldly exploration, contact with other beings and the eventuation of their wishes. The phase state is often surmised to be a glimpse of the immediate afterlife even though it is very much a condition of being alive in which the brain is active - more so than the delta waves of deep dreamless sleep - and the cerebral areas associated with waking states are often found to be functional during lucidity. If death really is the cessation of being - and thus the end of experience and cognition - then it is also the end of suffering. You won’t know that you are dead, you won’t know that you are not suffering, you won’t know that you do not perceive, and you won’t know anything. In conclusion: there is no “I”!

People find this hard to imagine and some even go as far as to say that such notion is more incredible than the idea of an afterlife in the spirit realms. Some even say that non-existence makes no sense and put forth all sorts of non sequiturs - which usually derive from overlooking or underestimating cerebral complexity and potential - in their desperate struggle to reimpose vitalism. But the truth is that we were dead before we were born, ergo, we should have a good idea of what death entails and common sense tells us that it is the absolute opposite of life. This could mean that death is simply going back to the pre-birth state. The fact that all our mental properties can be destroyed with the expunction of specific brain parts favours the abnegation of a spiritual, and thus conscious, afterlife. Either there is no afterlife or this one is fraught with deceased individuals possessing all the brain deficits.

Hypothetically speaking, what constitutes us becomes something else which gives rise to the possibility of rebirth. I’ll use the computer analogy in that, if death means deletion of a file (sentient being), the information it contains goes in the recycle bin, where, overtime, the data that constitutes it gets reconfigured. Being absent from life or any sort of interaction is a notion that can convey a sense of much needed rest from the living perspective, but, in death, you are not even resting - you are beyond that! When something as important as the cerebral cortex is damaged, for example, one may very easily slip into a long-term coma. Individuals who have woken up from these have often been oblivious to how much time had passed due to their lapse in consciousness. Because they were unaware of the time that passed while unconscious, the coma state from their perspective was losing their senses in one moment and regaining awareness the next. Confusion manifests as soon as they become conscious. Suffering usually begins when they realise how much time has passed, how much they’ve missed, and how things have changed. Their nightmare begins in consciousness and effort is required to get used to their newfound status of loss and overcome their problems.

If death is the cessation of being, then it is also the end of all problems. One should not, however, see death as an escape from an apparently harsh reality and commit suicide, as this could be psychologically detrimental to loved ones and one should make the most of life and be the best person one can be. On the other hand, consciousness could survive death if we consider the possibility that the existence of “I” is not dependent upon brain or bodily functions, and that thoughts may operate on another frequency of reality - however, there is no evidence for this and the solid evidence available seems to point in the opposite direction. An afterlife then, would perpetuate experience and bring everything that comes with it. Do we tap into this hypothetical frequency of reality when we enter the phase, or is it all an illusion produced by electrochemical functions of the brain?

Another theory, which seems somewhat more feasible to me, is one which completely discards esoteric cosmology, or the existence of a soul for that matter, but holds the twist that we can return to consciousness after death as a different life form. This does not involve a spirit reincarnating, but rather, the natural revival of our awareness if the universe stumbles upon the right coordinates in space. In this theory, the universe intrinsically holds us in a pristine unconscious state (at death we go back to being zero) until the chance presents itself for us to become something else. But, am I a fatalist if I feel that, considering all the evidence available, we die and that’s it? Not necessarily.

Science could one day render us immortal in our present physical condition, which, in my opinion, is the only possible condition to be in as a living human being. But I also think death is a blessing in disguise. Would you really want to live forever? Think about the mental torture as you run out of things to do and think and gradually become bored of repeating the same experiences an infinite number of times. Soon you’d be saying, “Get me out of here before I lose my mind!” If you don’t think life can become boring after living for a long time spare a thought for those centenary folks who are pretty fed up. If the stream of experience in a posthumous eternal life is different to the earthly one to the extent that tedium doesn’t enter the equation then I assume that we’d have bad memories preventing the death of novelty. And I don’t think it’s a matter of choice to not get bored either. Everyone has a threshold and everybody breaks. Like I said, living forever would plague one to ask the same question an infinite number of times: “What haven’t I done yet?” If you don’t feel the need to ask such question and are quite happy with repetition, if you don’t feel like you are wasting your time by not bothering to find novelty as you struggle to stretch your imagination beyond what you have already been exposed to, then hats off to you. When it comes to the hereafter, here and now is all I know and the only thing I can be sure of.

The limitations in the realm of the living are real enough. I don’t want to be a naysayer, but, even if there is an afterlife, there is no reason to assume that it will be good. We can’t even rule out a version of extreme boredom or one that is similar to earthly experience just as there is no good reason to rule out real death (unconsciousness/non-existence). I’ve made my peace with the last strong possibility. If I am as unconscious at death as I think I was before birth, I am no longer susceptible to worry, fear, desperation, ego-preservation, bad thoughts, and death itself. I no longer feel the need to chase my needs and wants in order to survive and be happy simultaneously. If I am completely absent from the realm of experience, I am completely free even from myself. Ergo, there is no “I” anymore. I think it’s the best scenario, because, if dead means dead then the deceased are immune to any further mishaps.

I don’t think consciousness can survive physical death when we observe a real dichotomy in cerebral activity indicative of a spectrum where sharp consciousness lies at one end, unconsciousness the other, and death appearing to be the point of no return right at the latter’s end. (Not to mention the degenerate cerebral illnesses that can take away so much from the living.) To claim, without evidence, that the physical universe is localised somewhere in reference to someplace “non-local” (as some dualist mumbo jumbo goes), or lying outside of it, and assuming such hypothetical realm to be the land where the dead consciously dwell, is a temerarious statement to make. Such claim is the equivalent of proposing that a perspective outside space and time is possible. Think about this proposal for a minute. How can one acquire such perspective when there is no time, let alone space, to house the observer?

Space and time are properties of the universe itself and thus a coherent outside perspective is undoable. Unless, of course, there is space and time outside (or beyond) the universe - in which case it wouldn’t be outside it, but rather, an extension of physical reality (and since the dead have expired their conscious living existence in such reality, as one only gets one shot in physicality, they cannot exist anywhere else). Let’s not forget that space itself, even as the purest of vacuums, is still something physical and containing energy: it’s abuzz with quantum particles. Thus, something outside of the universe with the same properties would be an extension of physical reality itself, if not a continuation of our observable universe, and therefore, a part of all there is. We’d be forced to define “universe” as “observable universe” and the word “outside” almost loses its application when we see that the acquired perspective is still encompassed by the tangible structure that constitutes everything. The very essence of space and time, it seems, is what defines us as illusory selves and observers. If the “outsider” perspective (meaning outside “all there is”) could be attained, we would be able to see, within a little portion of the universal structure, our birth at one end and our corpse at the other. This implies that time, as something that passes, is an illusion, and that past, present, and future (or any point within the space-time structure) is equally real.

From the impossible outside-of-it-all perspective, one would be able to see all the frames of space (with all their objects) that are not synchronised (as we say, “occurring at different times”). Within the universe, time is like a river that flows one way. Hypothetically outside of it, however, one must assume that such illusion is shattered. Nothing flows, it is all static. Perspective and perception is everything when arriving at conclusions. In a similar vein, memory most likely helps to produce the illusion of a continuous self. What seems intuitively real to us may not be so objectively. Hence the need to think outside the box sometimes.

It is largely anecdotal at present, but the reports of people with no EEG brain waves who report NDEs on operating tables who still manage to record the events that transpire during that time is hard for me to ignore. Conciousness is the "big" problem, has been since the beginning ;-) As such, I personally just keep an open mind...


I know what you mean and those people are not necessarily lying. But we must be careful with a number of things: First, how the media likes to sensationalise events (so many scientists have complained about distortion or exaggeration of facts by those in the limelight who are not qualified to make sound judgements); secondly, religion likes to take advantage of what, at first, seems to be amazing - and often like to claim numinous experiences as "proof" of what they preach; thirdly, and equally important I might add, hospitals are often ill-equipped to dig as deep as science labs when it comes to the living human brain. You will often hear doctors say, "no measurable brain activity" while someone of the likes of Michael Persinger can tell us that in the lab they can detect deep reverberations in cerebral activity with special equipment not available in hospitals. Fourth, it is sometimes argued that, the NDE may be a product of a brain coming out of the trauma-induced inert state and bursts of "REM" activity caused by low blood pressure can generate phase states - which infers that nothing was really experienced when the brain was largely inert.

If you think about it, some NDEs could even be the product of false memory, something that the brain concocted at the threshold of consciousness as an explanation for what might have happened when it was out. Similar to what it does in those moments when we use a "separation-from-the-body" technique while entering the phase, and, the illusion of moving away from the perceived physical stencil forces the brain to concoct a hallucination that resembles the immediate physical surrounding, i.e. an inaccurate bedroom replica.

It should also be mentioned that NDErs are people who were well enough to recuperate from their trauma and their accounts are, therefore, from a living perspective. Near-death does not mean dead. They have been alive all along. Moreover, it should be noted that only 10-20% of individuals who have approached clinical death recall conscious experiences. This is something that should make NDE enthusiasts and afterlife believers very uncomfortable. ::)

If new evidence proving the reality of the afterlife beyond all doubt emerges, I shall recant my sceptical position. So far, however, evidence weighs strongly against it and it seems that it will continue to do so permanently. Meanwhile, pseudoscientists, parapsychologists, and the religious, continue to make a mockery of themselves as they strive against science and reason. ;D
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Re: Digitalvygr Blog

Postby digitalvygr » Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:58 am

Wow SUmmerlander, that was a long and detailed post, and please forgive me if I cant do it justice with an equally long reply! Definitely some things I had not considered in there, especially with regard to NDE etc. I can tell you have given the subject a great amount of thought, and appreciate you visiting this lonely blog haha.

For my part, the whole experience of having OBEs has forced me to have a more open mind than I used to. That together with reading a bit of Rupert Sheldrake's book Science Set Free makes me think "hmmm, maybe, just maybe, the world view I have held for so many decades has some wiggle room".

I find it really interesting that you are able to still stay so objective despite your many ventures into OBE land. I know that I can explain it all away as a construct of my subconscious mind, but at the moment the novelty of it is winning. I can ask myself "what evolutionary advantage is conferred to us humans in having this ability?" and of course I can answer "well, it may make us think there is more to life than what meets the eye, and make us potentially believe in things like an afterlife, which is comforting and thus allows us to focus..." or some such line of reasoning. And then I can start to question why it is not ubiquitous, I mean I think everyone has the ability, but why has it stayed relatively hidden for so many thousands of years. Is it still evolving and it will add some other survival benefit? But then when I read about Dream Yoga, I cant help but find it compelling somehow... anyway, I am all of 2 months into this so still trying to process it all.

I suppose I am going to make a mockery of myself on occasion in your eyes if I talk about things like Tibetan Dream Yoga or the like, but I hope you will realize that I equally value science :-). So while I won't jump on board with those who randomly subvert aspects of science to qualify of proof of certain spiritual ideas, at the same time I plan to dabble in them a bit, get my feet wet so to speak, keep an open mind to them and see where it leads. Science and Spirituality don't play well together and for whatever reason, I feel like the world might be a better place if they did. Neither are going away anytime soon, so might as well figure out ways to bridge the gap a bit.
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Re: Digitalvygr Blog

Postby Summerlander » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:58 pm

You have not made a mockery of yourself whatsoever. (Pragmatic researchers such as Stephen LaBerge have dabbled in Tibetan Dream Yoga.) You have an inquisitive mind and that is very healthy. Nothing wrong with wanting to find things out. Perhaps the phase state phenomena has not been as hidden as we think. I think it has been misinterpreted throughout the ages and only recently, since we began to mature intellectually on a general scale, are we getting to the bottom of things. Perhaps the phase state is more prominent now and has something to do with us evolving our awareness. Or, it could be that the phase state is something that is dwindling. Perhaps consciousness itself is becoming atrophied as more and more machines "think" for us and hence why children tend to frequent the phase more and more (though I doubt this possibility).

Rupert Sheldrake is another one whose peers laugh at him and he is very unscientific. He clings to his weak hypothesis of morphic resonance in order to support his Christian beliefs. His so-called "science dogmas" can easily be refuted. I would love to spend more time on this hypocrite but I gotta pick up the kids. >:D

On evolutionary advantages. Not everything that has evolved remains valuable. In fact, what is useful in certain environments can lead you astray in others. I'll use the moth analogy (Richard Dawkins used it once) in that a moth's biological compass can capture light from stars and the moon to find its habitat, but, it soon becomes a misfiring by-product of an otherwise useful thing once faced with our artificial lights, which, needless to say, disorientates the moth and makes it spiral towards our precious bulbs. Their evolution could not predict that another species (humans) would become advanced enough to invent artificial light. (Suddenly, Sheldrake's idea does not seem so convincing...) You see what I'm saying? There is no real entelechy in nature. Either organisms succeed in adapting to the environment or they don't - this is what is really meant by "survival of the fittest."

The human species has been successful...so far...

On science and spirituality... The first deals with facts and tries to uncover the truth about reality. The second is older and is deeply ingrained in our being. Its source is fear. We can trace it back to the times when our ancestors knew squat and were afraid of the future. In those times, we thought that invisible agents were at work. What we could not explain needed a quick explanation so we came up with gods, demons, and all sorts of superstitions. It was comforting to live under the delusion that we knew what was causing the unexplained and "knew" what to do when we took the solar eclipse to be a divine sign and sacrificed animals and human life in order to appease wrathful gods. Such actions gave us hope and then we moved on to faith. And after praying, when things didn't go as planned, we assigned mystery to our maker's mind. He is beyond our understanding therefore there must be a good reason for the misery that has befallen us... (what a terrible way to live!)

Religion was even better as it provided control and gave us a sense of purpose (not to mention the fancy idea that the creator had us in mind when He created everything - a highly egocentric proposal). Religion was our first attempt at everything. It was our early "philosophy" and our early "science." But now it's dying as real science continues to uncover material that discredits fantasy and provides what is actually practical for our survival. Thus, astronomy replaces astrology, chemistry replaces alchemy, and physics shows us that a universe could in fact have arisen without the need of a supernatural creator. Hence, religion, like the moth's biological compass, becomes a misfiring by-product of an otherwise useful thing.

I will not mention spirituality, because, (and note the words I use) one can still be spiritual without subscribing to spiritualism (which to me is a form of religion), but, the reason why science and religion don't get along is due to the fact that they are complete opposites. One works for reason and truth. The other does not.

Religion is becoming an increasingly dangerous concept because it stultifies our intellectual growth. Religion often alludes that the search for knowledge is a thing of the devil. Religion persuades you to give up the quest for knowledge and to accept its tenets, calling them the "unquestionable truth," to have faith and accept its teachings without evidence. Religion also fancies some eschatological ideas that attracts certain individuals to commit atrocities in the belief that they are doing God's work. Religion makes good people be unreasonable and act bad. Religion degrades the human spirit by treating it like a child that can't tell right from wrong. Religion hijacks our nobility by telling us to behave or else...(no heaven, hell for sure) Religion can even convince some that the victims of some catastrophe somehow deserved it. It defies science, reason and morality.

So shame on people like Deepak Chopra, John Hagelin, Duncan MacDougall, Rupert Sheldrake, Amit Goswami, Thomas Campbell (cult leader! :)) ) and many other pseudoscientific crackpots out there... ;D

EDIT: And here is something that makes Sheldrake look like an idiot:
http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/our- ... of-science
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Re: Digitalvygr Blog

Postby digitalvygr » Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:30 pm

Please forgive the late reply, and thanks again for your well considered reply Summerlander!

Yes, I guess I can feel a bit better having seen various papers published by LaBerge related to Tibetan Dream Yoga. I even came across one interesting study where they got volunteers to do breathing exercises through their left and right nostrils, which corresponds to a Tibetan Dream Yoga practice, so it was actually a form of testing a spiritual practice with science, awesome!

And I like your take on being spiritual without subscribing to spiritualism. I too have long rebelled against overly structured forms of religion and spiritualism. It just does not sit well with me because what invariably winds up happening is that even if the original teachings had usefulness, they often get corrupted as they are passed down. The teachings of Jesus probably had a lot more to do with self empowerment and inner divinity but these days are a lot more hell fire and brimstone and are all centered around *going somewhere* (to a church) to get the spiritual experience. I was raised Catholic but have not been to a church in decades for this reason.

In the meantime, I am going to concentrate on finding spirituality in my own way, and look for science to assist me in the process and where possible the interpretation as well. Towards that end, my next post about 9 Hz peaks in lucidity... :-)
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Re: Digitalvygr Blog

Postby digitalvygr » Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:42 pm

[9 Hz Bursts Correspond To Lucidity]

The author of the book Advanced Lucid Dream Supplements, Thomas Yuschak has written some interesting papers where he analyzes EEG data from self experimentation in lucid dreaming. In the following article:

http://lucidconsciousness.com/wp-conten ... cidity.pdf

He finds a definite correlation in his lucid dream states with bursts of 9 Hz frequency.

Other data we have suggests peaks around 40 Hz, so this is an interesting result. He does see increases in peaks at higher frequencies vs control nights, but they do not have such strong signal strength. There is also a decrease in the prevalence of lower Delta range brain frequencies from the 0 to 2 Hz range on nights he is lucid. This is in line with his reasoning that a supplementation regime in which deep sleep is purposely suppressed with small doses of caffeine can enhance lucid dreaming. Here is his conclusion:

"Discussion / Conclusion:
Lucid dreams represent a unique mental state that is likely characterized by unique mental
activity. Thus far, in my study, it appears that 9Hz mental bursts characterize lucid dreaming better
than any other variable. Suppressed lower frequencies correlate well with the level of lucidity and
increases in the number of distinct EEG peaks in the beta/gamma ranges seem to indicate an
increase in vividness and recall. It is noted that this study was limited to only four channels of EEG
data which were set up to try to estimate an overall average of brainwave activity. Future studies
should try to better pinpoint the brain regions most involved in lucid dreaming. Perhaps using more
modern methods such as fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) we can better elucidate the
exact mechanisms involved in lucid dreaming."


Regardless of where one stands on the idea of Lucid Dream Supplementation, this work provides a rare and clear view of brainwave frequency patterns while lucid dreaming...
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Re: Digitalvygr Blog

Postby Summerlander » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:31 pm

Thanks for that link, buddy! It's quite informative and I do hope you find your own kind of spirituality. I too was raised a Catholic but I've always had an inquisitive mind and from an early age it began to dawn on me that, although science did not have all the answers, it provided clear ones where religion provided none and merely made assumptions. Today, exposure to science, reasoning, free-thinking, and experience, has made me secular and atheistic. Experiencing the phase state in the early stages always made me suspect that we could, after all, have a soul - particularly where separation from the body was concerned - but, the more I explored, the more I realised that, not only is the phase world incongruous with the real one, it is also hallucinatory in nature, thus, a mental product entirely.
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Re: Digitalvygr Blog

Postby digitalvygr » Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:48 am

Well we have that same rejection of the Catholic background and adherence to hard science, I spent most of my advanced education and most of my career in hard science and nanotechnology. I have seen gold atoms move and dance in tune with my voice despite being shielded by an air isolation table, a vacuum, and inches of lead and that was pure physics but somehow it made me feel an inkling of something more... but I digress.

I will post a link that I just came across about someone who is seeing things exactly as they are in OBEs, which I think will be of interest to you in your card experiments if nothing else. I am sure we would both like to refine our abilities to match those of this woman, and toward that end I hope we can collaborate on troubleshooting our own experiences Summerlander :-)
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Re: Digitalvygr Blog

Postby digitalvygr » Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:50 am

[OBEs validated by scientific study]

http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics. ... fic-study/

Skeptics will argue that all it really proves is Remote Viewing, but those skeptics would of course be people who have not themselves had an OBE ;-)
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Re: Digitalvygr Blog

Postby Summerlander » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:43 pm

You need to look at the pseudo-scientific source. Look at the name of the website. Also, Charles Tart is a parapsychologist which means that his reasoning is already compromised! LOL!

The Miss Z case is something that I encountered years ago and it proves nothing. The experiment that never been replicated with the same results and not to mention that it could be one of two: a hoax or a coincidence (only on the fourth night did she get the number right). It is also said that Tart was duped by a highly intelligent woman. Take a look at this link to know how this is, not only feasible, it is very likely in that case:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Alpha

On quantum entanglement, give Brian Cox's The Quantum Universe a go to understand the feasibility of it without the need or aid of the supernatural. It is not about information travelling faster than light - more like the universe as a gravitational well that enables connectivity and the illusion of transmission. Here's an analogy: If the universe is a bowl full of marbles, by removing one you will create a gap which will be replaced by another marble nearby and this will inevitably change the position of the rest.
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Re: Digitalvygr Blog

Postby digitalvygr » Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:02 am

Summerlander wrote:You need to look at the pseudo-scientific source. Look at the name of the website. Also, Charles Tart is a parapsychologist which means that his reasoning is already compromised! LOL!

The Miss Z case is something that I encountered years ago and it proves nothing. The experiment that never been replicated with the same results and not to mention that it could be one of two: a hoax or a coincidence (only on the fourth night did she get the number right). It is also said that Tart was duped by a highly intelligent woman. Take a look at this link to know how this is, not only feasible, it is very likely in that case:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Alpha

On quantum entanglement, give Brian Cox's The Quantum Universe a go to understand the feasibility of it without the need or aid of the supernatural. It is not about information travelling faster than light - more like the universe as a gravitational well that enables connectivity and the illusion of transmission. Here's an analogy: If the universe is a bowl full of marbles, by removing one you will create a gap which will be replaced by another marble nearby and this will inevitably change the position of the rest.


Well I admittedly didnt just read this and believe it because of the website, I admit they often co-opt any study to say it 'proves' x, y, or z thing that they would like it to prove. I also mentioned that it didnt prove OBE, at most a successful hit of Remote Viewing. I actually did a little bit of digging prior to posting and saw that Charles Tart was faculty at UC Davis so I had not seen anything saying he was a fraud. Can you link me to some sources claiming that?

Now I agree with you that it could be a hoax, but personally I would not go so far as to say that because he is a parapsychologist that his credibility is de facto undermined. As someone who has had OBEs, I believe for example that I have had positive psychological and even physiological effects as a result of my OBEs, and thus could be labeled someone how had dabbled in parapsychology, and yet I know from direct experience that what has happened to me is real and a shared experience with many people, yet others would quickly write it off as quackery.

https://word.office.live.com/wv/WordVie ... iences.doc

Six Studies of Out-of-the-Body Experiences

Charles T. Tart

Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto,

and the University of California at Davis,

Davis, California

(1997, Journal of Near Death Studies.)

We can of course question the journal in which the study was published, but I would also imagine that if you try to submit a paper like this to Nature it will hit the waste bucket without even being read faster than you can say "Foul", regardless of validity! (Weak attempt at Phase humor there :P )

I have to agree with you though, if you can repeat it once, why not on subsequent nights? OTOH, if you are going to go to the effort of faking results, why not just say it worked on multiple nights? Occam's Razor cuts both ways in that case...

Anyway, great working to sort the wheat from the chaff with you, I will view this more skeptically now. Glad you seemed to have liked the Thomas Yuschak paper in the meantime :-)
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Re: Digitalvygr Blog

Postby digitalvygr » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:06 pm

[OBE into a Mandala CEV, more galactic adventures]

I went to bed around 11:30 after doing hemisynch, and lots of affirmations that I would have a lucid dream, etc. At 4 AM I woke and tried techniques like looking for images, phantom wiggling, listening in, kept this up for a long time but no OBE. Did lots of energizing breathing, continued affirmations, was up for a full 2 hours trying to fall back asleep. Decided I might as well pop some Galantamine as it had been 10 days since I last used it, and now I had a lot of affirmations and energy work behind me so I wanted 100% likelihood.

Sure enough, fell asleep and was still somewhat aware in my dreams, I remember being in some snowy place, worried about getting to shore, but somehow vaguely aware there was nothing to worry about and that I was actually really in bed at home, waiting for OBE land.

I then felt myself becoming conscious, and fought my way into a half roll out. As with recent OBEs I felt a bit stuck, but concentrated on my field of vision which was now becoming this amazing 3-D mandala/vortex of beautiful pinkish or light purple color with white stitches. I found myself being sucked in at amazing speed, it was exhilarating but also a bit frightening at the same time. I really feel even now that I am simply unable to describe this part and the following part of the experience adequately, I felt like something very special was happening, and there were aspects of the scenery that were unreal in a way that words and concepts seem to be unable to capture...

When I finally came out to “the other side” I was disembodied consciousness witnessing a vast vista of this same purple/pinkish color everywhere, with these amazing white patterns morphing in and out. There felt like there was a deep presence or intelligence or something behind it all, and I actually was thinking something along the lines of “wow, this is all so beautiful, I am glad to be here, but maybe I am not fully ready or maybe I should not be here”. And as if on cue given my doubts I was whooshed out of this scene and into the cosmos, I seemed to tumble about in space as galaxies and stars careened around me everywhere. Again I had no form to me, but I was a bit more calm now despite the disorienting nature of spinning in space like something out of the movie Gravity. I yelled out into the vastness of space “Higher Self Now!” but nothing happened this time. At least I had remembered part of my Plan of Action.

Now suddenly I found myself dropping and I was randomly in a very well appointed, slightly futuristic looking mansion. I contemplated trying to translocate somewhere I desired, and grabbed a door in order to do so, but as I looked at the door I saw the outline of light coming through the other side and felt a bit intrigued about why I was in this particular relatively mundane place after the prior unbelievable landscapes. So I just opened the door normally, and had a quick glance of someone walking around the corner. Here I should have remembered to maintain the phase, but I guess I had been disoriented from the prior two scenes. Instead curiosity got the best of me and I walked after the person and came across a woman with her hair pulled back and wearing a white dress similar to what Sharon Stone wore in the infamous interrogation scene in Basic Instinct. I said something to her that I cannot remember because at that point I paid for my lack of maintaining, and whooosh I was back in my body.

Later I dreamt of being about to control metal objects telekinetically the way Magneto does in the Xmen movies. It was a great rush, and people around me were amazed, in fact David Copperfield himself was there asking me how I did it. He told me that I would need to learn to create light too, but I told him the only way I could think of doing that would be to spin magnets and use Faraday’s Law to induce current into a LED. Pretty proud of myself for actually having a valid physics idea in my dream :-)

All in all a very fun experience, the images of going through the vortex are still going through my mind and I feel the familiar 3rd eye throbbing nicely today!
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Re: Digitalvygr Blog

Postby Summerlander » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:45 pm

I wouldn't say Tart is a fraud conclusively, but he may have been duped. I have been having another discussion in another forum about something that may be of interest to you and it reflects how intellectuals can get things wrong. Have you heard of the Black Swan theory? I've researched it and this is what I have so far which was posted in Rebecca Turner's World of Lucid Dreaming:

First, let's be clear here that what we will be focusing on here is not so much Karl Popper's falsificationism, or the Black Swan problem, but rather, and to highlight the distinction, the Black Swan theory. (Although, I do want to make clear from the get-go that both falsifiability and positivism make good points.)

The advocator of the Black Swan theory is the Lebanese professor Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a man who has written works on randomness, probability, and uncertainty (and was also, in part, influenced by Karl Popper). To his credit, he was right about Syria:

"Dictatorships that do not appear volatile, like, say, Syria or Saudi Arabia, face a larger risk of chaos than, say, Italy, as the latter has been in a state of continual political turmoil since the second war."

Although the chaos in Syria cannot really be used as an example of a "Black Swan" if, A, Taleb saw it coming, B, its political repression, unlike the loose Italian voices, portended the chaos, and C, the status prognostication can be empirically derived even if the parties concerned don't see it. But let's move on...

His epistemological argument against theoretical approaches to reality based on the premise that we humans are noetically limited, and that this restricts our perceptual scope, is somewhat misguided. We need pragmatic theories about reality based on a posteriori observations. We cannot help the inferences we make but it must also be pointed out that scientific illations are not dogmas. If a theory proves to be wrong or impractical somewhere down the line, it will be accordingly jettisoned by the scientific community.

To illustrate, physicists were ready to discard the standard model of physics if something like the predicted Higgs boson wasn't found. In the end, the particle that gives all the others their mass showed up, even if not quite as what the experts expected, it was no cause for concern - it just means that there is more work to do in understanding the mechanics within the standard model. So, the scientific community is not as arrogant as Taleb claims it is. Scientists may say based on empirical evidence, "We think this may be what's going on..." - a form of saying, we don't know everything but we are working towards a better understanding of reality based on the best method of enquiry we can conceive.

There is a particular brand of opposition to empiricism evinced by Taleb which worries me. How do we reconcile his position with the empiricism relied upon by medical practice? Yes, medical practice kills, makes mistakes in the process of learning, something which is inevitable, but what Taleb seems to overlook is that it is moving towards sophistication and improvement. He attacks the method of enquiry and is quick to cherrypick the flaws that make part of its evolution, and yet, when it comes to criticism of religion and its atrocities, he says, "leave it alone, don't be a hypocrite, look at the scientific misconceptions and the errors of their ways." He really has some studying to do on the history of religious belief but I won't say anything further on this tangent. :roll:

There is a reason why comprehensive bodies of work are called "theories" in scientific circles, a testament to the fact that scientists have never professed to know everything with absolute certainty, or at least not to the extent that Taleb seems to allude to. But the focus is on evidence and what it means, not how it speaks to us and how much it could support our unfounded beliefs. I never thought I'd say this but, on first impressions, especially from seeing the man orate - particularly where he boasts his understanding of economics to profess a clearer perspective in other subjects that he scarcely comprehends (like biology, and daring to contradict Dawkins on evolution; and psychology, also opposing Hume on the human mind) - I am disheartened from looking into his literature.

Also, contrary to what Taleb believed (past tense; surprise: the man died of throat cancer despite never having smoked in his life - and no, this is not a Black Swan event!), I am of the opinion that bodies of research need a degree of competition to incentivise experts and researchers to learn more and fight for, erm... ostensibly pragmatic knowledge (since Taleb seemed to have a problem with absolute knowledge).

But I will concede where he had a point: we often overlook the fact that, specifically regarding how quantum mechanics can affect the world at large, not all relevant factors that can have an impact on observable events are considered. It is impossible to know everything that goes on in the universe at any given time. What I admire about the man is his endorsement of counterfactual thinking - a useful tool when philosophising, making predictions, and gaining a better understanding of the world around us. A sort of thinking outside the box, so to speak, which is what I was doing when I mentioned the "what if" scenario of the Pikaia Gracilens, our common ancestor who happened to survive the Burgess shale decimation (look this up, it's really interesting).

Black Swans, and I mean this in its figurative sense, do exist. Nobody disputes that. But they have logical explanations which include prior causes not so obvious to the human mind at the time but we may uncover them retrospectively. It is like looking at a crime scene and figuring out what happened. The loyal husband suddenly changed in character, had an affair and murdered his wife. This doesn't tally with the type of person he was observed to have been until we discover that he had a brain tumour: then everything makes sense... Things are only Black Swans from the limited human perspective. Then we study them and they lose their reputation of rarity and uncommonness. Suddenly we start seeing the black birds all over the place when we know where to look for them.

So you can see why I'm not so sure that the emergence of unprecedented events (such as 9/11, which Taleb considered to be a Black Swan, but, I can tell you that intellectuals like Christopher Hitchens, in the field of journalism and with a greater understanding of the conflicts between East and West, saw something of that magnitude coming) completely undermines previous educated conclusions. At the most, Black Swans call for a revision. We can only describe new things based on things that we are already acquainted with. We may say, "it was like a swan but it was black," and then, upon greater inspection, decide if the creature is so identical to a swan, or even related to it biologically, that it warrants the logic of being called a "swan." If the latter is the case, then we may say, "Well, black swans do exist after all..." and, much to Taleb's unwarranted satisfaction, append: "We were wrong about our generic conclusions."

Anyway, to widen the ambit of our discourse, here's Nassim Nicholas Taleb, proponent of the Black Swan theory, discussing the subject he supposedly knows best:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3e6UKCJt-g8
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Re: Digitalvygr Blog

Postby digitalvygr » Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:44 pm

I am familiar with the general concept of Black Swan events, and started to read Taleb's book Antifragile so have some familiarity with the author. From what I was able to search just now it didnt seem like he has died yet?

Anyway, if I follow you correctly you are saying that Tart might have had a Black Swan event in the one correct hit and contented himself with it as proof instead of trying to go for repeatability as he should have had he been a true scientist. And if so I would have to agree with that. One good hit can be exciting, but what makes science run is repeatability. I have to admit that it is hard enough for me to predict whether I will project into my room or some other world, much less reliably read a card in my room assuming I could control projecting into my room to start with...
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Re: Digitalvygr Blog

Postby digitalvygr » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:06 am

[OBE w/ Mantras, Mandalas, Deity Yoga, Emanation, Transformation]

Had a very long OBE Friday night which was the hardest to remember of all the OBEs I have ever had, there seemed to be a lot of gaps in how I got from one place to another. I had been having phase like experiences like CEVs and vibrations throughout the night and spent about 2 hours from 4 am to 6 am awake. I felt like I could maybe project from some numbness and vibrations, but had a lot of troubled thoughts so didn’t think anything was going to happen.

When I started to separate probably around 7 am after dozing off for a bit, I found myself in a sort of black cobweb space that was stifling and I sensed some sort of foreboding force around me. I thrashed around a bit and separated, ready to deal with some harsh situation, but instead I remember being in a room where surprisingly I thought I saw my wife talking excitedly to some women. Talked to her but got no answer, and figured this was just a dream character that looked like my wife but was of course not since she did not answer me.

So I ran off to another house near by, forgetting my POA for a moment. Got there and interacted briefly with another dream character but again no real meaningful response so palpated them to maintain the phase and enhance. Somewhere I encountered a group of people and remembered the idea of Deity Yoga so I tried to see everyone as divine/Buddhas. The only real thing I saw happened was their heads seemed bigger and sort of Ganesha elephant looking in some cases, so I guess it was moderately successful.

I left this scene and was outside in a busy area like by a street intersection and remembered the advice of Jurgen Ziewe to say “Ommmmm” so I sat down in a meditation posture and said Ommmmm!!! in the middle of all the hustle and bustle.

I remember that my voice seemed very powerful and resonant, and at that moment everything visual faded into darkness and I had no sense of any existence for a moment until familiar music started to play from a Hemisynch video called Blossoming Lotus, and from the darkness I saw emerge one of the Mandala symbols from that same video (I wish I could remember which Mandala exactly, it seemed maybe most like purple one at timestamp 1:11:30). Here is a link to the video which is pretty cool to watch all the way through as a meditation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1I4FqvfKODQ

I felt a calm sense of bliss for awhile but soon the mandala faded and I gently emerged out of this state and I went into another place nearby. There was a dream character there who wanted to kiss me and I remember feeling aversion so I left but felt like someone was trying to chase me. I flew to the bottom of a hill and whatever fear I had was concentrating in my solar plexus/root chakra area, and suddenly I jettisoned all this white light particles outwards into the air around me. They hovered in the air like luminous jellyfish made of white light, and some even looked like jellyfish or Portugese-men-o’war. I spent awhile marvelling at the beauty of this spectacle then flew away to a roof where there seemed to be men that looked like Agents from the Matrix as they were all dressed in suits. At this point I remembered to try what Tibetan Dream Yoga calls “Tulpa”, or Emanation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulpa

I decided to start small and just attempt to manifest another hand, and sure enough as I held out my right hand, a second hand emerged to the left of it. I continued and tried to create a third hand but this hand did not finish maturing and somehow looked more like a small chicken’s foot with just 3 fingers. From there I don’t remember exactly what happened with my hand but I do recall that as I decided to leave the Agents were talking about how frustrating things can be for them trying to create things in this realm. I decided to try to turn them into Buddhas again, but this had a somewhat comical result in that they all turned into circular stones that looked like Buddhas if seen from above, like some kind of a 2D representation of a Buddha figurine. So not exactly the mystical result I was expecting or hoping for again, but good enough for a newbie I guess, at least I was able to achieve Transformation of dream characters.

I had been periodically palpating my own body throughout the whole OBE here and there which I think helped keep this OBE going on so long. I came across a woman sitting on the side of the road wearing a red swimming suit. I went to talk to her but she climbed up a hill and as I climbed up the hill too I suddenly felt myself back in my body. I considered trying to return but I also felt that if I did not stop to try to record this the whole experience might be lost, so I took out my phone and dictated what I could remember into the recorder.
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Re: Digitalvygr Blog

Postby Summerlander » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:55 pm

Taleb didn't die, you are right! My bad! But he did have cancer and never smoked. Apparently he recovered. I was looking into different renowned individuals and I must've got the info mixed up when I put it into my own words. Still, the occurrence wasn't a Black Swan. The cancer could have been programmed in his genes or it could have been brought about by passive smoking. We are all different. (Though there is a statistical correlation between smoking and throat cancer. It could be argued that he did smoke, kept it hidden from the public eye, and, once he recovered from cancer he decided to concoct a "Black Swan." Not much is known about his personal life, btw. We'll discuss this more when I have time.
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Re: Digitalvygr Blog

Postby digitalvygr » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:10 pm

Sounds good, always happy to discuss these ideas with you Summerlander :-) And if you have time too, I always appreciate your perspective and guidance on my recent OBEs as you have been having them for years and I really value your input as an experienced practitioner!
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Re: Digitalvygr Blog

Postby digitalvygr » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:30 pm

[ OBE - "Enlightenment Now!" ]

"For the sake of all sentient beings throughout time and space, I will train in sleep and dreams and I shall attain perfect enlightenment"... I had remembered hearing something like this in the audio program on Tibetan Dream Yoga by Andrew Holocek. And recalling how the Ommmm mantra Jurgen had suggested seemed to have worked really well in my last OBE, I decided that in my next OBE I would try sort of a hybrid of that and William Buhlman's "Awareness Now" and yell out "Enlightenment Now!" to see what would happen.

So last night I knew it was my best chance to have an OBE for a number of days because I was able to go to sleep early and my wife is out of town. In my last OBE I posted about I did not use my Red Spider Lily Extract (Galantamine), but I didn't want to waste this ideal chance so when I woke around 5:30 I took 2 pills. After about an hour I feel back to sleep.

I then awoke to some powerful vibrations. I had done energy work twice earlier in the day so I was ready to move them, and I remembered the video that Jaime posted and I moved them down to my feet then back up my body. This really intensified them and I found that they were most powerful near my head and neck. I tried to separate by sitting up which seemed most logical given the concentration in my head. But this did not work and I decided to go with the roll out method which has become my go to method. This worked and I felt myself fall to the floor and could feel the carpet below me. I looked briefly at my body, palpated both my body and the carpet until I got more vision.

I stood up and looked out my window. It was dusk and I could see the tall buildings around me. I stuck my finger through the window as a reality check, and when it yielded I put my whole arm through, then my whole torso. I was drawn to the apartments across the way, I was about to fly out when something nagged me and I stopped. I remembered there was something else I should do. I looked to my left and saw inside the neighbors house and was again starting to get distracted when I remembered "I was going to try yelling 'Enlightenment Now!'"

I came back into my room and yelled out with as much conviction as I could "Enlightenment Now!"

I immediately lost all vision and just sensed motion upwards. It felt like I had somewhat returned to a laying position and that I was being lifted by some unseen force. What awareness I had felt like it was being concentrated stronger and stronger into a point that was in the distance ahead of me. Suddenly I was seeing the most amazing pink and white star shaped fractal mandala pattern morphing in and out of form, it was spectacularly beautiful!!

I can't say that I specifically "felt enlightened", but this vision simply felt right and pure and wonderful, and as my awareness returned to being in my body the image was still in my vision and I felt as though if nothing else it had been some kind of reward for staying focused enough to at least try for enlightenment instead of just flying randomly around and likely getting distracted.

So that was it, one of my shortest OBEs right on the heels of my longest just a few days ago. Worth the extra effort and of course I didn't become enlightened overnight, but it was still fun anyway :-)
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