Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

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Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby Phanes » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:53 am

I just watched a neat documentary on the above subjects on H2 (History Channel 2) which is called "The Science of the Soul", I tried to see if I could re-watch it on Youtube but only segments and some other videos uploaded on the matter.

Here's a couple of sites that sorta comes close to what they covered, it was an astounding documentary for about an hour to 2 hours long. It's highly worthwhile to check out.

http://scienceofsouls.com/
http://www.scienceofsoulmates.com/The_S ... e_Soul.htm

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_ ... f+the+soul
http://www.amazon.com/Science-Soul-Stor ... B0013WEKU0

http://www.amazon.com/The-Science-Of-So ... 1592980554

Here's an Amazon search for it if you find anything that intrigues you, it wouldn't hurt to check it out either. They had brain recordings of those who had NDE alongside lie detectors which showed significant help. Sadly I was cut short of the documentary but you know the name of it and what channel it comes on, it should

http://www.history.com/schedule/h2/#morning
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Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby bluremi » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:13 pm

Lately it has become apparent that people's obsession with the concept of "souls" and supernatural powers has to do with their egos. I don't mean "ego" in the usual connotation of "egotistical" or "self-aggrandizing," instead I'm talking about how people identify themselves as a single unique entity, with distinct borders that separate them from everyone and everything else.

When you think you are a real person, logically you must also assume that you have real agency and the real ability to make choices. People assume they have "free will" without ever thinking critically about what that logically means. Instead they instinctively invest in the concept of a soul or spirit that's sitting somewhere behind the scenes, pulling the strings.

It's a comforting thought, but historically it doesn't stand up to scrutiny. I don't want to get into detail about it here because that's not quite what the thread is about, but there's a thread on this forum where we discuss these ideas: viewtopic.php?t=1
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Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby Summerlander » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:22 pm

I was going to say something similar but you beat me to the punch, blueremi.  For most people it is definitely a comforting thought.  It was for me too once.  But as I grew older and wiser, thought deeply about it, weighed the pros and cons and gained some meditative experience I arrived at one conclusion: I'm not sure I want to be conscious forever... -

Why did I have a change of heart?  Because the more I realised I was intrinsically empty, the less noise there was in my mind, the happier I felt...  I feel 'lighter' when I get rid of the illusory chunks that make up my "self".

When nothing matters because there is nothing to matter, a sense of freedom is somewhat conveyed.  The cessation of being.  The absence from life.  The release from worry and suffering.  If one clings to the ego, however, they are bound to suffer.  It is not a novelty to say that the ego often feels threatened and tries to maintain itself as we strive to perpetuate that sense of dignity or self-worth.

To be ready to lose it all one day and to accept it is the best you can do.  Otherwise you are just lying to yourself.

And this is coming from someone who once deemed Descartes' dualism as the truth that was in need of solid evidence to back it up.  However, more and more it seems that Descartes was just plain wrong.  Not just from a philosophical or meditative point of view but also from a scientific one.
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Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby breadbassed » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:39 am

Have either of you actually looked into this? To gain absolute knowledge you need to look at all the evidence.  The first website claims to have scientific proof of a soul, not based on any OBE/NDE experiences but using science and maths. I have read other things that use the same basis of maths and science (the universal laws) and have come to the same conclusions.

The soul doesn't necessarily have to be 'conscious'.

If there is a soul and even if you are 'conscious' of it, i don't think it would be anything like being how, or who you are now.  Without any material existence you would very quickly lose any sense of self, we only have ways of describing ourselves in terms of our environment and our personality, with both of these gone, what is left?

Im not saying that you should blindly believe anything, but completely disregarding 'non physicality', and not looking into any evidence that supports it, is not very 'scientific'.
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Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby bluremi » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:19 pm

breadbassed wrote:The soul doesn't necessarily have to be 'conscious'.

If there is a soul and even if you are 'conscious' of it, i don't think it would be anything like being how, or who you are now.  Without any material existence you would very quickly lose any sense of self, we only have ways of describing ourselves in terms of our environment and our personality, with both of these gone, what is left?


You make a very good point, one I entirely agree with. Without a body and brain, you have no "self," no desires, no goals. If anything remains it would be simple awareness, without anyone being aware. One awareness would be identical to another's awareness, since there is nothing to make them distinct. When Sri Maharaj says "I was never born and I will never die" he is not talking about being a ghost, floating through walls and spying on his neighbors. This is the truth that meditation allows you to understand, but it goes against the ego-based concept of the afterlife and soul that most people find very comforting.


The "soul" argued for in the link and book you mentioned is the classical version with a free will, desires, etc. In fact, the author's entire argument can be summed up as follows:

A) If the universe is totally naturalistic and based on the causal relationships of matter and energy (no supernatural stuff) then there is no free will
B) Free will exists
C) Therefore supernatural stuff (the soul) exists

Obviously the key argument here is B), and his entire book focuses on proving this argument. In effect he is indirectly arguing for the existence of a soul by arguing for the reality of free will.


Since you asked, I have looked into this book and I can tell you the following: he is a religious scientist, meaning he has Christian beliefs and is starting with a conclusion (souls exist) and then looking for supporting evidence, rather than taking the scientific method of looking at the evidence and following it to the logical conclusion.

As a result, in the "scientific evidence" section of the book devoted, he tackles biology in a way that completely skips Darwinian natural-selection (the continuously proven theory accepted by the vast majority of scientists), and instead uses the theories of intelligent design, special creation, and theistic evolution to support the idea that a God exists and that he made humans with free will and souls.

If your scientific gorge is not rising yet, I think you're missing the point of his book.
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Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby Summerlander » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:06 pm

Since you asked, I have looked into this book and I can tell you the following: he is a religious scientist, meaning he has Christian beliefs and is starting with a conclusion (souls exist) and then looking for supporting evidence, rather than taking the scientific method of looking at the evidence and following it to the logical conclusion.


Bingo.  Biased all the way.  That theistic evolution and evidence of intelligent design malarkey makes me sick.  It's like seeing Jesus on a piece of toast and calling it a sign.  Oh, brother!  ::)

This reminds me of a debate I had with someone recently:

"This world is too complex for it to be a random occurance.


Nah. This won't cut it. You need something more substantial than this. Did you know that the world has changed a lot over thousands and thousands of years? A chaotic universe would have had enough time to stumble upon this complexity and apparent "order" from our beloved anthropological view. I'm not even going to mention the fact that a cloud of gas (simpler form) formed the solar system. I won't even go into detail about the fact that the sun converts 600 million tonnes of hydrogen (simple atomic structure) into helium (slightly more complex) every second. While this prevents our star from collapsing in on itself, it is also slowly effecting its demise. You want to talk about which of the effects has more meaning to you?

Saying it's random is like saying the dictionary was first created by an explosion in a printing press.


No, it isn't. It could still have stumbled upon what we see today. You forget that we used to be ape-like creatures that hardly thought about things and pretty much followed instinctive behaviour when stimulated by the environment. Overtime, our consciousness-lacking "lizard brains" evolved more complex layers and... voila! Now we have a thinking brain and self-awareness (most of the time). The computational power of the modern brain is such that it is capable of analysing itself and asking questions about reality in a profound way. Thus, your analogy is moot. We evolved language in order to communicate and aid our survival. Recently, it has even been proposed that our brains have evolved to argue and persuade people and not even to be rational. In this view, our biological systems have evolved to survive as best as it can with what it has and continues to adapt to the changing environment.

However you want to interpret this, it is still an environment stimulating an organism - particles interacting with particles - vibrating matter in motion - cause and effect - all energy. It only has meaning if we say so. Hence why, the dictionary, however you view it, ties in with the randomness of cause and effect (like boiling water bubbling up in a crescendo as the temperature rises).

If an alien being saw a dictionary for the first time, it might as well been "created by an explosion in a printing press". The text becomes meaningless if you change the context."


http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/ ... =11&t=1014
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Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby Oversoul 1 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:12 pm

+to NDE:
The memories of near death experiences: More real than reality?
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-03-m ... ality.html
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Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby Summerlander » Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:21 am

Not more real. They can make a lasting impression but they are certainly no more real than a dream or the last phase experience you had. Take it from someone who has experienced one! Oui... moi! This is all about the brain and it's power to hallucinatorily conjure up any scenario in great realism.

There is no afterlife. Period. All aspects of the mind can be destroyed with the expunction of brain parts. There is insuperable evidence for this. You either die and that is the end or you find yourself existing with all the brain deficits in a realm shared by deceased individuals as cerebrally impaired as you.

This warrants another revision of an excerpt from bluremi's wise post:

You make a very good point, one I entirely agree with. Without a body and brain, you have no "self," no desires, no goals. If anything remains it would be simple awareness, without anyone being aware. One awareness would be identical to another's awareness, since there is nothing to make them distinct. When Sri Maharaj says "I was never born and I will never die" he is not talking about being a ghost, floating through walls and spying on his neighbors. This is the truth that meditation allows you to understand, but it goes against the ego-based concept of the afterlife and soul that most people find very comforting.
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Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby Oversoul 1 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:41 pm

Summerlander wrote:There is no afterlife. Period. All aspects of the mind can be destroyed with the expunction of brain parts. There is insuperable evidence for this. You either die and that is the end...


But this is not exact:
Are you equal with your brain parts? Are you destroyed when a part of your brain is destroyed?
Here the analogy is like:
- even if you lose your finger, YOU will exist, but you can't use that finger
- now lose all body parts/the ears/eyes/and connected brain networks etc, so you couldn't move/hear/see... but YOU would be there (maybe : )
- now cut out one-by-one, so finally we get only one neuron, and that remaining awareness which could send a signal through that: two knock means 'I'm still here'.
- after this we burn that last one neuron, what happens?
Todays scientist says: 'Nah, you are fired, I'm done, nothing remained here, as everyone can see...'
- But is this the only option? Don't you feel some uncertainty here?
What if that awareness won't simple turn (burn : ) out from reality, but flies away after loosing that last anchor, and looks for a new one in a... where/how could that appear again? Where are all the new selfs come from?

And again the question: what is that, your, my awareness exactly? Measurable, (will be ever)?
Do you know how it works? Why exist? And why YOU have that unique viewpoint you have?
How did you get that? etc..

I hope you don't think that you are only a by-product of a chemical process..., or if that is so, than you - as everyone else - are only a non-player character in MY reality-game :D

Do you really think that, our partial knowledge about our existence is already enough to decide that afterlife question?

Many-worlds interpretation of quantum theory..., 2013
http://arxiv.org/pdf/1302.5545v1.pdf
p.20
"On the other hand nobody really knows what is the consciousness."
p.06
"the multiplicity of the alternatives, which is present already in quantum theory even for a relatively simple systems is something quite real.
It is already here, and to recognize that it is so, it is enough to take the many-worlds interpretation of quantum theory seriosly."

- Science knocks harder the door of parallel words? I hope someone will breach that door, and not only a blank wall hides behind that, but many-doors.
How is it connecting to our life? Many-me, many-you? etc...

Here is my really simple theoreticall modell:
- we can agree in this: we all simple jumped into existence, one time, somewhere, and will go out later
- now partly based on your post: when we die we lose our body, brain etc, only remains our awareness (if it is something, that can remain)
- then somehow we start to perceive a new life again (the same way we started this one, this problem is solved by nature, as we can see/experience),
and form a new body, brain, etc, and here is why we can't remember the other lives, because we lost that body, memories, etc
and this goes endless until existence exist... or not, who knows? :)

some other article:

Many Worlds Model..., 2011:
http://lanl.arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/ ... 8.1674.pdf
http://www.science20.com/profile/sascha_vongehr

A Snapshot of Foundational Attitudes Toward Quantum Mechanics, 2013
http://arxiv.org/pdf/1301.1069v1.pdf

A mailing list for discussion of the idea that all possible universes exist:
http://everything-list.105.n7.nabble.com/

Paul J .Werbos - Ultimate Priorities for Space Science - National Science Foundation, 2012
http://vixra.org/pdf/1209.0054v1.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-worl ... rpretation
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-minds_interpretation
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modal_realism

book: Bruce Hood - The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity, 2012

"Why did we evolve the self illusion? Like every other illusion our brain generates, it serves a useful purpose. If you think about the “I” and the “me” that we usually refer to as the self, it provides a focal point to hang experiences together both in the immediate here and now, as well as to join those events over a lifetime. Experiences are fragmented episodes unless they are woven together in a meaningful narrative. This is why the self pulls it all together. Without a focus, the massive parallel processing in our brain means that we would be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of computations if we ever had to deal with them individually. Rather, we get a summarized headline that relates all the outputs from these unconscious processes. Sometimes we can delve into the details of the story a little more closely if we scrutinize the content, but very often much of it is hidden from us.
The self illusion depends on stored information that has been acquired during a lifetime. These are our memories that are constructed as we interpret the world. That interpretation is guided by mechanisms that seek out certain information in the world but also by those around us who help us to make sense of it all. In this way, we are continually shaped by those around us. As the species with the longest proportion of life spent as juveniles dependent on others, human children are particularly evolved for social interaction, and much of what our brains compute appears to be dedicated to socially relevant information. In the absence of social interaction early in development, children can be permanently socially disabled even though their intellect may be intact. Certainly, the formative years leave a legacy of how we interact with others for the rest of our lives. It is through this social interaction with others that we construct our sense of identity and ultimately our sense of self.
We have not evolved to think about others as a bundle of processes. Rather, we have evolved to treat others as individual selves. It is faster, more economical, and more efficient to treat others as a self rather than as an extended collection of past histories, hidden agendas, unresolved conflicts, and ulterior motives. Treating humans as selves optimizes our interactions. We fall in love and hate individuals, not collections. We cannot abandon our morality simply because we decompose the individual self into its myriad of influences. Punishment and praise is heaped on the individual, not on the multitude of others who shaped the self. Those who reject the notion of a self in control of destiny, lead sadder, less satisfying lives. Those who embrace the self illusion feel fulfilled and purposeful.
Why is it so difficult to see through the illusion?"

"You only exist as a pattern made up of all the others things in your life that shape you. If you take each away, “you” would eventually cease to exist. This does not mean that you do not exist at all, but rather that you exist as a combination of all the others who complete your sense of self. These are the memories and experiences that shape you. The problem, as we have seen, however, is that these memories are not always that reliable and so the self that is constructed is not necessarily an accurate or consistent version. It is continually shifting and reshaping as the contexts change. We are so willing to accommodate others that we adapt to each role in a continuous, dynamic, shape-shifting ballet.

FIGURE 9-1 The self illusion is an emergent property from the cluster of external influences.
"This visual metaphor also makes a fundamental point about the nature of reality and illusion. The shape of “you” may be an illusion but our brains use illusions to recreate the world. Everything is processed and abstracted, with the brain putting in a large amount of effort to organize, interpret, and fill in missing information based on past experience. For example, we know that there are circuits of the brain that are firing as if the illusory circle in the diagram was really there. That’s why you see the invisible circle. What this means is that the brain considers the arrangement and decides that the only sensible explanation for the way each sphere seems to be missing a piece is because of the “you” circle in the middle. In other words, the brain hallucinates the experience of “you” by stimulating its own neural circuits to create that impression. It may be an illusion, but it is real as far as the brain is concerned. It’s not magic—it’s just basic neurophysiology describing how the pattern-seeking structures of the brain prefer order and create explanations.
So, why can’t you see that you are a reflected self? For one thing, that view is inconsistent with the narrative that our brain generates. Many of our thoughts and actions that we think reflect our self are not what they seem. We believe we have freedom to choose, but, in many instances, the choices occur in the absence of any deliberation and often under the influence of others. We are so dependent on maintaining our social inclusion that we readily conform to the will of the group. Because we are our brains, which create our sense of self, we have no privileged access to this invisible process from an outsider’s perspective.
One final mirror demonstration may leave you convinced that we are blind to how our brain creates our experience. Take a good hard look at your self in a mirror. Focus your gaze on your left eye and have a good look at it. Now switch and focus your gaze on your right eye. Notice anything odd? If you alternate your focus of gaze from the left eye to the right eye and back again, you cannot see your own eye movements from the left to the right and back again. Your eyes are moving—you just cannot see them move. Ask someone else to do the same thing. Now you can easily see their eyes moving but, like you, they cannot see their own movements in the reflection in the mirror. This is because our brains deliberately wipe out the visual experience of seeing the world every time we move our eyes. You may be surprised to discover that you are effectively blind for about an average of 2 hours on every waking day, but you would never know this.
This simple biological quirk is just one of the many different ways that our brain hides its true operations from our consciousness. We think we see a stable visual world but, in fact, it is constructed every time we move our eyes. In fact, unless you are paying close attention, we could switch objects in the world and you would never notice the change. This is because we assume that the world is stable, but that is an illusion. The self is the same. We cannot be aware of the underlying processes that create it and yet we feel it is coherent. You never see that you are a reflection of the others around you because you cannot easily see how you change. And we don’t easily see our self switching from one to another until it is pointed out to us by those around us or we recognize that the context has changed.
At the danger of overextending the metaphor, if we were able to see the world during our eye movements, we would become nauseous because it would become unstable and we would experience motion sickness. The world would smear as the visual input stimulated the neurons that process the light. Here, too much information can be a bad thing. So, our brain protects us from the true nature of the situation. Maybe this is why we do not see the cognitive illusions that create the self. Cognitive dissonance protects us from ruminating over failed goals, positive biases keep us motivated, free will gives us grounds for praise and blame, decision-making gives us the illusion of control. Without these cognitive illusions, we would not be able to function because we would be overwhelmed by the true complexity of the hidden processes and mechanisms that control us. And that, in the end, is a good thing.
What of the future of this self illusion? It’s unlikely to disappear. It is an evolved adaptation after all—but it may have to change. Currently, the world’s population is just under 7 billion. Within the next generation, the United Nations estimates that the majority of us will be living in a megacity—metropolitan areas with a density of at least 2,000 people per square kilometer and at least 10 million inhabitants. The expansion of the Internet means that the majority of the world’s population will have the potential to communicate with each other. Instantaneous language translation is just round the corner and will further erode another barrier to communication. These developments are a far cry from the Serengeti savannahs where our ancestors first appeared. One can speculate how changes will impact upon the individual’s identity, but it would seem that in an ever more crowded future, we are going to need a pretty strong sense of self to survive."

* * *

In parallel with the scientific view I read, I like Jane Roberts/Seth writings:
I think she could access her subconscious like the phasers, or maybe there was a glitch in her mind :D
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Roberts
Oversoul Seven Trilogy ;)
I have a lot of her books, if interested pm me.

from 83. session, 1964:

"When man realizes that he creates his own image now, he will not find it so startling to believe that he creates other images in other times. Only after such a basis [is established] will the idea of reincamation achieve its natural validity and only when it is understood that the subconscious, certain layers of it, is a link between the present personality and past ones, will the theory of reincarnation be accepted as fact."

from The Eternal Validity of the Soul, ch. 16, 1971:

"In your daily life at any given moment of your time, you have a multitudinous choice of actions, some trivial and some of utmost importance. You may, for example, sneeze or not sneeze, cough or not cough, walk to the window or the door, scratch your elbow, save a child from drowning, learn a lesson, commit suicide, harm another, or turn your cheek.
It seems to you that reality is composed of those actions that you choose to take. Those that you choose to deny are ignored. The road not taken then seems to be a non-act, yet every thought is actualized and every possibility explored. Physical reality is constructed from what seems to be a series of physical acts. Since this is the usual
criterion of reality for you, then non-physical acts usually escape your notice, discretion, and judgment.
Let us take an example. You are reading this book when the telephone rings. A friend wants you to meet him at five o'clock. You stand considering. In your mind you see yourself
(A) saying no and staring home,
(B) saying no and going somewhere else instead, or
(C) saying yes and keeping the engagement
Now all of these possible actions have a reality at that point. They are all capable of being actualized in physical terms. Before you make your decision, each of these probable actions are equally valid. You choose one of these, and by your decision you make one event out of the three physical. This event is duly accepted as a portion of those
serial happenings that compose your normal existence. The other probable actions, however, are as valid as they ever were, though you have not chosen to actualize them physically. They are carried out as effectively as the one you chose to accept. If there was a strong emotional charge behind one of the rejected probable actions, it may even have greater validity as an act than the one you chose.
All actions are initially mental acts. This is the nature of reality. That sentence cannot be emphasized too thoroughly. All mental acts therefore are valid. They exist and cannot be negated. Because you do not accept them all as physical events, you do not perceive their strength or durability. Your lack of perception cannot destroy their validity, however. If you wanted to be a doctor and are now in a different profession, then in some other probable reality you are a doctor. If you have abilities that you are not using here, they are being used elsewhere. Now, again, these ideas may seem impossibly rich for your mental blood because of your propensity toward serial thought and three-dimensional attitudes."

from book page number 322-end to 326:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/54938408/Seth ... t-vol2-OCR
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Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby Summerlander » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:41 pm

Oversoul 1 wrote:Are you equal with your brain parts? Are you destroyed when a part of your brain is destroyed?


A part of you can definitely be destroyed when the brain suffers damage or malfunctions. Research neurological diseases. Have a look at loss of consciousness in the living even when everything is ok. Have a look at dissociative disorders, vegetative states, and how evidence points towards consciousness itself being the epiphenomenon of functional brain parts. In the same vein, just because a TV's channel is not working does not mean that the others aren't and the TV is certainly not "destroyed". Damage could be minimal and the analogy applies to the brain. Things are not as black and white as you seem to think. The type of damage also needs to be taken into account besides the affected areas.


Oversoul 1 wrote:Here the analogy is like:
- even if you lose your finger, YOU will exist, but you can't use that finger


Are you serious? Of course if you lose a finger your waking self or ego will still exist. What you have to remember is that the finger and the brain have two different roles. You don't even need to use a finger as an example. Remove a bit of skin - more than a flake - from your head, and you will still exist. But try stabbing your brain (I'm not really advising you to do this) and you risk becoming unconscious forever.

Oversoul 1 wrote:- now lose all body parts/the ears/eyes/and connected brain networks etc, so you couldn't move/hear/see... but YOU would be there (maybe : )


It doesn't work like that, my friend. You are ignoring the fact that each body part has its role but the source of consciousness, as all evidence points to, is the brain - the most complex organ we know - so difficult to understand because this biological puzzle has been evolving for gazillions of years. I'm glad you at least added the maybe at the end of your sentence, which expresses your agnosticism, but the reasons for your agnosticism are flawed and easily refutable here.

Oversoul 1 wrote:- now cut out one-by-one, so finally we get only one neuron, and that remaining awareness which could send a signal through that: two knock means 'I'm still here'.


Gradually cut a computer in the same fashion until only a tetravalent molecule remains and see if the computer is still functioning. You see how your argument is flawed here and entirely based on a tenuous hypothesis? Where is your evidence or justification for the 'I'm still here' reasoning? Hit someone over the head hard enough and you can render them unconscious, or even comatose for decades. Time would not have passed for them, it would be like losing consciousness one minute and waking up the next (provided that they ever wake up that is). Consciousness, including the sense of self in humans, depends upon more than just a single neuron. Way more.

- after this we burn that last one neuron, what happens?


Nothing happens. You are already dead and dead means dead. ;D

Oversoul 1 wrote:Todays scientist says: 'Nah, you are fired, I'm done, nothing remained here, as everyone can see...'
- But is this the only option? Don't you feel some uncertainty here?
What if that awareness won't simple turn (burn : ) out from reality, but flies away after loosing that last anchor, and looks for a new one in a... where/how could that appear again? Where are all the new selfs come from?


Science is not about making assumptions, my friend. Science is about following evidence. The hypothesis you speak of has been tried and tested - and guess what - it remains as strong a hypothesis as the existence of unicorns. We can't disproved them but nobody expects us to anyway - there is not much reason out there for us to go out on a limb and hold on to such fantastical ideas when the evidence points the other way. Trust me, dualism is absurd in this day and age. The evidence weighs in favour of physicalism and monism. You really are your physical body (more precisely, your brain).

And again the question: what is that, your, my awareness exactly? Measurable, (will be ever)?


Actually, there are clearly different degrees of consciousness. A spectrum that goes from consciousness to unconsciousness and neuroscientists studying consciousness today can try to measure it according to brain activity and using units like phi. It isn't easy to study but we have certainly made progress. Scientists often use the wrong words when describing things to the laymen. They often describe consciousness as being a current mystery - the word they are looking for is "puzzle" - a puzzle that they can solve. The awareness may arise due to the interaction of physical states in your brain. Units of matter and energy will effect one another and in all its complexity awareness may inevitably arise. So much information is stored in an organ that has evolved incredible complexity over several millennia that the illusion of awareness, and self, has been fortified. At the core, however, it really is just cells communicating with one another. It's natural team work, a unit of many things that produce the illusion of "I".

Oversoul 1 wrote:Do you know how it works? Why exist? And why YOU have that unique viewpoint you have?
How did you get that? etc..


Nobody knows exactly how it works but we are taking great steps already in understanding the mechanism. As I said before, it is a puzzle that evolved for millions and millions of years. We've only just started seriously working on this puzzle in the last century or so. So far, over 150 years of neuroscience demonstrate that consciousness depends upon a functional brain.

My viewpoint here is not really unique. It is the scientific viewpoint. Any idiosyncrasies I may have are the result of my DNA sequencing plus my upbringing and any other life experiences that happened upon me beyond my control. Nobody can take credit for who they really are. Really.

Why should there be a reason for our existence, by the way? Life on Earth only emerged and evolved because our planet happens to be in the Goldilocks zone of our solar system, happens to have the right mother-star, a favourable tilt, and a generally friendly-to-life atmosphere. But even the conditions here are not exactly pristine (I don't have to mention the many natural dangers out there). The Earth is like a needle in a haystack. To have Earth-like planets elsewhere in the galaxy is simply not enough. For life, they also need the right conditions for the origins and evolution of life. Moreover, the energy of the universe is something like 0.007, enough to produce the right constants that will naturally favour life. Any more or less and the chemistry for it would simply not be possible.

I squirm whenever someone asks the question: "what is the meaning of life?" - Life is nothing but a friggin' fluke, for goodness' sakes. You can decide the meaning of your own life if you like but that still does not take away from the fact that the universe is indifferent to whatever you decide to do. Life on Earth can be likened to that of bacteria thriving in a warm or dirty place. I can offer you a realistic meaning if you want, far less fanciful than "we are stardust": we are nothing but nuclear waste - the remnants of the junk that helped our beloved sun to be born.

Why has a moth evolved its biological compass, sensitive to the light from the moon and the stars? In order to navigate at night. Natural selection permitted this. But note that this very same useful mechanism can mislead the creature. It did not evolve with the invention of artificial light by human beings in mind. Whenever it comes across our artificial lights, it gets confused and ends up spiralling towards them instead of finding its way to its natural habitat. As Richard Dawkins once said: a misfiring by-product of a normally useful biological compass. Even in evolution not everything works in your favour. Nature reflects its chaotic nature in every way. There is no intelligent design behind the fabric of reality and no real purpose. Such are concepts that have arisen from evolved and highly complex minds.

Oversoul 1 wrote:Do you really think that, our partial knowledge about our existence is already enough to decide that afterlife question?


I do. What sort of afterlife do you hope to have without a brain when we see that the mind can be impaired in every way with brain damage or malfunction while we are still alive. Your vision can be impaired. Your audition. Your memory. Your speech. Your power to recognise objects, faces, and your cognition in general. You can even lose your sense of identity. With what would you identify your deceased relatives in a hypothetical afterlife? If while you are alive you can have conditions like agnosia and prosopagnosia, who or what do you hope to see know or recognise without a brain?

"the multiplicity of the alternatives, which is present already in quantum theory even for a relatively simple systems is something quite real.
It is already here, and to recognize that it is so, it is enough to take the many-worlds interpretation of quantum theory seriosly."


I don't see how this pertains to what we are discussing here. First of all, the many-worlds is the other popular interpretation besides the Copenhagen theory of wavefunction collapse. There may be many other universes out there, many of which may even be devoid of life if their energy levels are something other than our own. Secondly, these other versions of reality, if the theory is realistically valid, have long decohered from our own. They are simply other natural flukes or failed monstrosities that have nothing to do with the existence of consciousness or life in our own universe.

Here is my really simple theoreticall modell:
- we can agree in this: we all simple jumped into existence, one time, somewhere, and will go out later
- now partly based on your post: when we die we lose our body, brain etc, only remains our awareness (if it is something, that can remain)
- then somehow we start to perceive a new life again (the same way we started this one, this problem is solved by nature, as we can see/experience),
and form a new body, brain, etc, and here is why we can't remember the other lives, because we lost that body, memories, etc
and this goes endless until existence exist... or not, who knows? :)


I had that idea once. But I've also read into quantum physics, the versions from real experts who worked at CERN, and they dispelled many myths and tripe for me regarding the mechanics. Your genome here, which is part of how things panned out in this reality, is what makes you, you. Once that structure is gone, you are gone. Unless, as I have suggested before, the universe stumbles upon the same coordinates in space that would bring back your awareness - highly unlikely seen as we as a species are constantly evolving and the generation of tomorrow will already be slightly different to us. If it did happen, it would not have anything to do with reincarnation or the existence of souls either. It would merely be something natural, the repetition of the same energetic configuration that defines you.

I'm moving this topic to Astral etc.
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Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby NOVA » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:11 pm

I encourage you to watch this.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... 0516,d.bmk

It is story about one women's experience when she had a stroke.
I am sure you will get something from it in relation to your discussion.
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Re: Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby Summerlander » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:26 pm

I'd seen that before. Taylor's "la-la land" sounds appealing. It is a frame of mind that the process of dying may bring us closer to and certainly not a bad 'place' to be. All your life's worries just have a tendency to fall away. Her experience gave her a good glimpse of how her mind works. I'm glad they fixed her brain as best as they could. Thanks for sharing that, NOVA.
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Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby NOVA » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:33 pm

So in saying that Summer, who what is it who received the insight, it obviously wasn't her brain/mind. (rhetorical)
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Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby Summerlander » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:39 pm

Her brain was still active albeit malfunctioning. She was still alive and conscious but clearly lacking certain mental faculties. It is possible that states such as these will cushion our way into deathly unconsciousness. The brain was still active enough to sustain the sense of self in this case. On this subject, it is said that the theory of mind is the last thing to go as one mentally deteriorates.
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Re: Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby NOVA » Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:20 pm

Sorry I can't agree with you here Summer, there is a conscious awareness that is not the mind/brain. I think that is who/what was seeing and aware.
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Re: Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby Summerlander » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:08 pm

Why do you think that? What makes you so sure that this conscious awareness is independent of brain activity?
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Re: Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby NOVA » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:57 am

You are not your mind. It is beyond mind. Too big to try and explain it. I can't explain it to you Summer, it has to be experienced. All I can see here in your discussions is the mind going around and around, without coming to any solid conclusion, because there will always be another person with a different view point and a valid rebuttle, peppered with some of the truth slowly being revealed.
Too much of a mind eff for me. I can follow it, but hell, what for. Let's just go phasing instead.
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Re: Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby NOVA » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:59 am

Well, I kind of like the theory of a holgraphic universe, it is close to a full explanation.
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Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby Summerlander » Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:06 pm

The holographic universe theory is certainly interesting but does not warrant Michael Talbot’s precipitation towards the notion that it somehow permits the occurrence of paranormal phenomena (with his book “The Holographic Universe”) or the existence of inexplicable things such as souls, spiritual realms or even astral projection in the sense that the name implies (the only evidence we have for the latter is that such experiences tend to happen during phase states of the brain).

Many will be given the impression by promoters of pseudoscience that any new wild ideas that possibly justify quantum mechanical behaviour must support parapsychology by default - a ludicrous stance similar to the theological “God of the gaps” perspective, where, if science has not managed to fully explain something then there’s the gap where the stuff of esotericism must lie. Of course many will flock to the notion that a holographic universe, even if science doesn’t advocate the idea as a certainty, can only be true and must support the existence of metaphysical realities that one must be able to visit during the phase state of the mind. It is an attractive belief and one that appears to fill in the scientific gap, but, it ignores the fact that any empty theory can fill it until scientific discovery manages to close it with something legitimate.

It is a shame that pseudoscience is often favoured by the layman over what the real experts propound. Knavish men often pass for wise! The holographic principle still propounds natural mechanisms, and, a hologram, after all, is something normal despite giving the illusion of something ghostly. Photons might be relatively massless from a macroscopic perspective but they are still physical, interacting and real. Neutrinos (subatomic particles that can be found in solar radiation), irrespective of their “ghost particle” nickname, are still physical units weakly interacting with reality and are, by no means, preternatural. In the same vein, a universe as a low-energy 3D projection of a high-energy 2D cosmological horizon (similar to the theorised surfaces of black holes), if indeed that happens to be the case, would still be a natural phenomena. The universe, as a natural hologram, would not be any less real.

Let’s remember that the idea, and it is only an idea, was put together by theoretical physicists as one possible explanation for certain quantum mechanical effects such as quantum gravity and fuzziness. It also needs to be added that the holographic principle does not appear to geometrically colligate with the universe at large. Gravity, for example, could still have a thermodynamic explanation within a universe that isn’t projected in any way. String theorists will say that it is possible to encode 3D information on a 2D surface at its boundary, but this, as an application to our reality, remains hypothetical. It’s an interesting possibility, but, we must also remember that by “possible” theorists mean via natural means - again, not preternatural.

The holographic universe theory appeared to have been strongly supported by the recorded blurriness at extremely small scales by a German gravitational wave detector - the data was indeed like “pixels” on a computer screen. Subsequently, however, a gamma-ray observatory unmistakably found no signs of blurriness at super-small scales whilst measuring a radiation burst. We’re talking about scales trillions of times smaller than a planck length and no blurriness detected. This, of course, does not rule out the holographic reality but it does seem to go against it. Nevertheless, the holographic principle remains a tool that scientists can use in order to understand quantum mechanics and by no means does it advocate the supernatural as a possibility. If it did, Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have conceded to the holographic feasibility.
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Re: Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby NOVA » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:44 am

Ok.
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Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby Summerlander » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:37 am

To me life is like music.

Music can convey feelings and emotions. Music can express melody and a sense of harmony. From music we can derive all sorts of interpretations and meaning. We find it sublime.

But all that music conveys is illusory. To ask if illusions are physical is the wrong question because what we think is there isn't there in the first place. It's a matter of perception.

Realistically, music is nothing but a composition of meaningless notes. I doubt any of us can derive much meaning from a single note, produced from a unique vibration.

The analogy is very fitting here. In a similar way, a quark, an atom or even a single molecule is not enough to convey a splendorous and baffling reality. A single cell is not enough to give rise to thoughts, consciousness or a sense of self - the greatest and most elaborate brain porkie.

Over a hundred years of brain science will not be enough to unravel what nature has managed to accomplish over millions and millions of years. We can know more about what is happening light-years away than what is going on inside our heads.

On the universe. We know a big bang started it over a dozen billion years ago because the afterglow evidence is still visible in our skies (we're lucky). But it is very likely that our universe is one of many, like a tiny bubble popping in a sizzling megaverse expanse.

The real beginning of everything that truly exists must have happened so incomprehensibly long ago that all traces of it are long gone. Because of this, we will never know how it all started.
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Re: Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby NOVA » Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:14 am

I like the dream theory the most. You posted it somewhere in Luna's blog Summer.
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Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby Summerlander » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:47 am

Can you refresh my memory? How long ago was it? How naive was I then I'm wondering. I'm evolving. The phase also inspires me to speed up my mental evolution. ;D
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Re: Re: Scientific Research on Souls, NDE, and telepathy

Postby NOVA » Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:20 pm

I don't remember Summer I was hoping you would. hehehe
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