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"In the same way you, even when in the body, are, in the same material sense, one yet many. There are myriads of little entities within you but there is only one mind or one channel for the mind."
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This reminds me of something that Randy Gehling, age 10, said in his NDE description: "That was really cool! I kind of felt as though my body exploded - in a nice way - and became a million different atoms - and each single atom could think its own thoughts and have its own feelings. All at once I seemed to feel like I was a boy, a girl, a dog, a cat, a fish. Then I felt like I was an old man, an old woman - and then a little tiny baby." http://near-death.com/experiences/animals04.html

and also Michelle M's NDE: "I remember understanding the others here.. as if the others here were a part of me too. As if all of it was just a vast expression of me. But it wasn't just me, it was .. gosh this is so hard to explain.. it was as if we were all the same. As if consciousness were like a huge being. The easiest way to explain it would be like all things are all different parts of the same body." http://nderf.org/michelle_m%27s_nde.htm

I noted Greg's posting on the Grail site and read the chapter proffered, which interested me enough to go to Amazon and try to pre-order the book (not yet able). Penrose is right about the new CERN collider: without explaining consciousness, no Theory of Everything could be considered in any way complete, confirmation of the Higgs boson notwithstanding. Regardless of all the danger from various financial machinations and the threat of perpetual war, this is a fascinating time to be sentient.

What I don't understand about the microtubules theory and other explanations of how consciousness arises from the brain is that it is based on the belief that there is no spirit.

It seems to me we need to understand how a spirit can exist first, and how a spirit thinks and communcates. That is the simple case. Once we understand that then we should go to the more complicated case of how does a spirit interact with a physical body.

This physical theory that stars are conscious seems to disagree with what we know about spirits. Spirits are very light and immaterial while the interior of stars are very dense.

If a spirit were made of nutron star material it would be extremely massive. I'm not a physicist but wouldn't even a small amount would have noticable gravitational effects?

I may be wrong but I suspect that terms such as "light (weight)"and "immaterial" don't necessarily have any meaning as far as consciousness or 'spirit' are concerned.In which case the physical density of a star or its gravity might not present a problem. As an aside presumably if the spirit doesn't have 'mass' in the conventional sense - there wouldn't be any gravitational attraction anyway ? :)

Large energy = lightning flashes?
Brief time = incredible speed, inconceivable rapidity?
High intensity = ecstasy, astonishing transitions

Nice cross-correspondence, MP (as William would say). Chalk and cheese, though, comparing the opaque language of modern physics with the quaint language of Victorian England!

I think the physicists must be on the wrong track. Ptolemy thought that planets, not only stars, have souls –and there’s no ORCH-OR going on there. Gaia as the soul of Earth is an enticing idea. If Gaia is a lifeform, she will at some point need to reproduce. Carl Sagan said that by sending out satellites, it looked as though she was a planet going to seed. Perhaps humans may eventually reach out to terraform other worlds in Gaia’s image. Alternatively, we could try to heal the sick lady we’ve got by understanding her biologic.

We live inside the mind of God. We are God's dream. The whole Universe is conscious. From the plethora of NDE's that I've read there really isn't such a thing as "minds" but just "mind" and our separateness is an illusion created by our brains. When we dream every character in our dreams is us because it's created by our mind, and in the same way, when God dreams every character in His dreams is Him. We are all God's children. We are God's dream.

"heal the sick lady" -Ben
"We are God's dream." -Art

Or nightmare.

I've had this long running "little" argument with my fundamentalist Christian father-in-law (FIL) about just how much God interferes or controls our lives. I'm of the opinion that everything, past, present, and future has all ready been preordained, and that God is in control all the time. Of course my fundamentalist FIL believes in "free will", whatever that is. There is no way I can really explain to him about my "holographic" belief system, since he is 84 years old and if it's not in the Bible it's meaningless to him. But, according to Michael Talbot, in a holographic universe, everything, past, present, and future, is all ready there. I am deeply suspicious of free will and lean heavily towards fate and predestination. I am in the process of reading a book right now, The Haunting of the Presidents, by Joel Martin, and accoring to Martin President Abraham Lincoln also believed in Fate and Predestination. Lincoln had been warned that he was going to die and that someone was going to make an assasination attempt, but he believed that if it was preordained that there was nothing that anyone could do about it if it was all ready preordained.

"At its deeper level reality is a sort of superhologram in which the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously." http://www.earthportals.com/hologram.html#zine

I am deeply suspicious of free will and lean heavily towards fate and predestination. -Art

Mystics (like materialists) say that our external fate is unavoidable. Eckhart Tolle gives the impression that we can nevertheless find freedom by choosing not to identify with our mind/ego. Peter Kingsley agrees that we must move beyond the mind/ego, but, unlike Tolle, he does not think we are free to do this by choice – we cannot act until the gods allow us to. From Reality P469:

“The important thing to understand is that even if the blame for what once happened or happens now is not really ours, we still have to take full responsibility for our illusory failings and suffer all their illusory consequences in this world of total deception. All our apparent choices have been made for us. And yet we are still obliged to go through the routine, the charade, of seeming to make them. Everything is decided for us –even whether to go on reading this book or not, whether to move our arms, object or agree, get up or stay sitting, think about next week. Even the longing to become free, to grow in awareness, to be more conscious, is predetermined by our inner nature; is our own divine self drawing us to itself. And to become one at last with that inner nature is to realize everything is bound by absolute laws. Then we are free: free from the illusion of having to choose, free simply to be ourselves. But when the soul is dragged out of heaven once more at the beginning of a new cycle, as it most definitely will be, the illusion will start all over again.”

“Resistance is Futile” –Borg Collective
“Nonresistance is the key to the greatest power in the universe” –Eckhart Tolle
“Do you want to know my secret? I don’t mind what happens”. –Krishnamurti.

“Do you want to know my secret? I don’t mind what happens”. –Krishnamurti
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I've got an older sister that is driving me nuts about politics. It's all she wants to talk about right now. I've found it very difficult to convey to her that the above quote is exactly how I feel. I'm a fatalist. I believe that whatever is preordained to happen, will happen. I honest to God believe that. I am a very deep believer in the holographic nature of the universe, that the souls lessons are embedded in our everyday lives, and it learns holistically what it's supposed to learn whether we want it to or not. All that's important is that we experience duality and separation, time and space, and imprint memories of what it's like to live in a 3 dimensional + one time universe. From the moment we are born and separate from our mother till the day we die and our deaths become lessons in separation to those loved ones we leave behind life is one endless lesson in separation. Separation in every way, shape, and form possible. You will become unassimilated. We come here to become separate, unique, individuals and "resistance is futile."

I'm a fatalist. I believe that whatever is preordained to happen, will happen.

I'm not inclined to believe this, but what I try to tell myself in order to keep from getting too worked up about politics, etc., is that I can't be sure my opinion is correct. In other words, if my candidate loses, maybe his opponent will turn out to be the better choice. Or if the government follows what I think is a disastrous policy, maybe it will turn out to be the right policy - or at least to have some unanticipated positive effect. "Maybe I'm wrong" is a good way to keep things in perspective.

People who can't say "Maybe I'm wrong" tend to get overexcited about controversies, because they sincerely believe that if things don't go their way, the world is doomed - rather than realizing that their own opinions may be mistaken.

On the comments thread of a political blog, someone wrote that if the presidential candidate he opposes wins the election, he will kill himself. He seemed to be serious; he said he has a gun and will turn it on himself rather than live in the nightmare world he envisages if "the other side" wins. This is a person who badly needs to realize that his opinions don't equal absolute truths.

Maybe he would benefit from this old parable.

Maybe 'freewill' could be defined as the ability to choose our thoughts.

We are the thinker in our mind.

Then, as Marcus Aurelius said: "Your life is what your thoughts make it."

@MP -

I completely disagree..:-)

There is such a wide and disparate amount of personality defects that run through most of us....worrying about being wrong on a political issue is probably less relevant to that particular guy, than the significance he places on his own place in the scheme of things.

I tend to believe that MOST of us sort of silently hope our worst prognostications come true...because of the inherent excitement in the status quo being a bit shook up.

I was a huge Gore supporter....and predicted the apocolypse if George W won way back when. (maybe this is going to be a bad historic example..;-) But somewhere deep down, I remember when Bush won the florida recount - a strange sense of excitement at the nuttiness and uncertainty that might follow.

Your post on this is ironic - I just celebrated the Jewish Holidays with a family who is devoutly democratic ....and the tolerance for the opinions and ideas of the "other side" of the political fende are occasionally so low and disparaging that it makes me re-consider my own views.

After all - I'm finding more and more truth in the Wilberian (sp) "integral" model of perspectives - the more of them you can integrate, the more truth you end up with when your done..:-)

Maybe 'freewill' could be defined as the ability to choose our thoughts.

We are the thinker in our mind.

Then, as Marcus Aurelius said: "Your life is what your thoughts make it."

Zerdini's observation deserves to be acknowledged. Choosing thoughts may become especially important as life unfolds over the next few months and years.

Choosing our thoughts. Who or what does the choosing? Are our thoughts influenced by other factors i.e. variables. I believe there is a whole host of variables that influence our thoughts and even our ability to choose our thoughts.

Society.

Family.

Religion.

Significant emotional events.

Soul maturity.

The list of variables I suspect is long.

The ego loves the idea of free will and control over choosing its thoughts.

We do have choices but those choices have factors that influence our thoughts. *This does not mean we do not have some control or influence over our thoughts. It is a matter of degree and I suspect that degree has much to do with soul development. I.e. soul maturity, which might be defined as levels of divine intelligence and compassion, etc.

Take a very young child raise them in hate and to hate a certain group of people and see how much control they have over their thoughts. Some will have more control than others. That is the nature of variation in all things except of course Isness.

* Free will is one of those hot button issues such as religion and politics. Free will is not an absolute but it is in degrees of our ability to express ourselves as love and divine intelligence.

Ignorance hinders our ability to have total freedom in our ability to choose our thoughts without bias but without that ignorance (unawareness) there is no us: just Isness. Ignorance is not the enemy but it is a necessity for Oneness to express itself in an infinite variety of expressions.

"Maybe 'freewill' could be defined as the ability to choose our thoughts."

If we have the freedom to choose our thoughts, then we have the freedom to choose actions arising from them.

If as Art said, everything is simultaneous, then there is only the illusion that we have a causal sequence of events.


Simultaneous means not actually happening:

http://www.ial.goldthread.com/lineartime.html

"Choosing our thoughts. Who or what does the choosing?"

WE are the only thinker in our mind.

Thoughts produce actions and actions produce consequences.

It's really very simple and its unnecessary to try and complicate it.

If we don't like the result change the thought.

“It's really very simple and its unnecessary to try and complicate it.”

The appearance of the simplest things in life are usually the most difficult. Some have stated it is easier to conquer a country than to conquer your mind.

If it was really that simple we would not have had to spend 700 billion on a bailout and our prisons would not be overflowing and we would not have a drug problem.

We are influenced far beyond our wildest imagination by our societal conditioning, beliefs, paradigms, desires, attachments, cravings, grasping, perceived individualism, and most of all our ignorance. I.e. unawareness.

"The appearance of the simplest things in life are usually the most difficult."

Yes William, very true. And if we can just change our thoughts to change our lives as New Agers say, then the mystics are wrong, aren't they -because it would mean we have free will.

Teri - One doesn't have to be a New Ager to realise that, unlike animals, we have the ability to think and further the ability to choose our thoughts.

That is the true meaning of 'free will' whether we like it or not or agree with it or not.

We can choose to change or remain static and stagnate and/or apportion blame elsewhere instead of taking personal responsibility.

“We can choose to change or remain static and stagnate and/or apportion blame elsewhere instead of taking personal responsibility.”

1. If the world is illusory, then ‘personal responsibility’ is meaningless.

2. If we have been pressganged into incarnation (or repeated incarnations), then we have no personal responsibility for our lives, we are simply God’s pawns.

Who said the world is illusory, Teri?

Just bang your head against a brick wall and you'll soon find out whether it is illusory or not!

Who said we are 'pressganged into incarnation'?

That is contrary to all spirit information.

Zerdini, you're having me on.

Illusory = maya, remember?

“pressganged into incarnation” - that’s my take on the wheel of life we’re trapped on according to Buddhists and Hindus –for example:

“All beings within the six realms are doomed to death and rebirth in a recurring cycle over countless ages -- unless they can break free from desire and attain enlightenment.”

“Who said we are 'pressganged into incarnation'? That is contrary to all spirit information.”

This statement is untrue. Not “all” spirits that come through a medium state that reincarnation does not exist. From my point of view it is the very advanced spirits that appear to support the concept of reincarnation.

I have some theories as to why this is so but at this time only theories. This is a great mystery (to me at least) but hey what would life be like without these mysteries.

“All beings within the six realms are doomed to death and rebirth in a recurring cycle over countless ages -- unless they can break free from desire and attain enlightenment.”

The word “doomed” is interesting here. From my research not all six realms are as harsh as this physical environment of our earth experience. Many spirits that come through in these higher than earth realms find much love and fulfillment in their lives compared to their earth experience.

It also appears that each higher realm offers more to the soul in happiness and fulfillment. This movement to higher realms is what many call the law of progress.

Maybe the best is yet to come and we are not doomed but expressing the dynamic potential of this Isness vitality as we live and progress through these realms of existence. If there were no law of progress maybe then we would be doomed for countless ages.

Break free from desire? Without that desire to advance we would indeed be doomed. It is not desire but misdirected or misapplied desire that most call evil or sin. *All misdirected or misapplied desire is based in ignorance. I.e. synonym for ignorance is unawareness.

*Yes I meant to use the word “all”.

Not at all Teri. I am aware that maya means illusion in Sanskrit and various eastern religions.

If you believe you are trapped on the wheel of life that's fine by me.

I have very little interest in beliefs other than from a behavioural psychological point of view.

William: I was not discussing reincarnation.

I am fully aware of differing spirit points of view regarding reincarnation and their interpretation of what it means.

My comment referred to being "pressganged into incarnation".

I thought I had expressed my view in very simple language so that it would NOT be misinterpreted.

C'est la vie!

'I have very little interest in beliefs other than from a behavioural psychological point of view.My comment referred to being "pressganged into incarnation".' -Zerdini

In that case (unless you are a materialist, which I thought all behaviourists were) you will be aware of the original research of Helen Wambach. In case not, I summarise from "Life after Life": 750 cases regressed to before birth, all joined the fetus between conception and 2 days after birth, most regarded incarnation as a very unpleasant duty.
“Pressganged into incarnation”: QED.

Not all of us Teri!

I have studied Helen Wambach's work - I am not convinced by regression. It's too dodgy in my opinion.

What suits one doesn't always suit another but thanks for trying anyway.

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