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Isn't this saying pretty much the same thing I've been ranting about for the last ten years? - Art

"For if the concreteness of the world is but a secondary reality and what is "there" is actually a holographic blur of frequencies, and if the brain is also a hologram and only selects some of the frequencies out of this blur and mathematically transforms them into sensory perceptions, what becomes of objective reality? Put quite simply, it ceases to exist. As the religions of the East have long upheld, the material world is Maya, an illusion, and although we may think we are physical beings moving through a physical world, this too is an illusion." - excerpt from online essay about the holographic universe - http://www.earthportals.com/hologram.html

"I literally had the feeling that I was everywhere in the universe simultaneously."
- excerpt from Mark Horton's NDE
- http://www.mindspring.com/~scottr/nde/markh.html


The hologram analogy clearly relates to what you've been saying, Art.

What interests me about the VR hypothesis is that it attempts to explain the seemingly paradoxical findings of modern physics. I wasn't able to derive that kind of explanation from Michael Talbot's books.

There was a young man from Trinity,
Who solved the square root of infinity.
While counting the digits,
He was seized by the fidgets,
Dropped science, and took up divinity.

Quite fascinating. This would seem to be an uncomfortable notion to materialists. The most important implication of this theoretical framework is that it embodies the notion of independent human "users"/"players" who interact with the cosmic computer's virtual reality programming for the entertainment, training or some other unimaginable purposes of either another higher being or of the higher essences of the humans themselves. This then preserves the mystery of consciousness as something entirely independent of mechanism, a form of interactional dualism. The human users are not discretely quantized themselves, but instead are analog or continuous in ultimate nature.

The cosmic reality simulation dualism hypothesis would also preserve free will, since the experiencer/player makes choices and controls the outcome independently of the actual game.

It seems to give a satisfying explanation for the universe appearing to be fundamentally tied to mathematics in the same way that a computer program is tied to its algorithms.

This would go along with the view that true consciousness cannot be achieved by a computational system. This implies that human consciousness is not a part of the program, not generated as subroutines: we are "other". There has to be a programmer, and we exist independently of the program, probably in the same realm as the computer itself, perhaps in the realm of the programmer.

This is in contrast to the strong AI version which would assume that human intelligences and their conscious experience are one with and the same as the cosmic computer processing, essentially the prevalent monistic materialism theory of mind.

There are some big problems though what does this mean for:

For a immaterial soul?
Will we see our loved ones again, pets as well who have passed on in these virtual realities?
Does this tie into the many world's interpretation?
Will there be pain, suffering, death in these other virtual realities, because this reality were in now obviously can't be virtual, we have only limited lifespans here, limited resources, famine, wars, pain, death.

As far as i know it would sorta tie into the many world's interpretaton am i right?

I mean is it could be a virtual reality appearing to be real but it's an awful painful reality with so many bad things, viruses, flus, diseases, wars, famine, bad weather, earthquakes, death.

"This implies that human consciousness is not a part of the program, not generated as subroutines: we are 'other'."

This strikes me as a major difference between Brian Whitworth's hypothesis and Ross Rhodes' hypothesis. Whitworth, if I understand him correctly, does think that consciousness arises out of the progam as some kind of subroutine, while Rhodes appears to hold that it is "other." As you might expect, I'm much more inclined to go along with Rhodes. However, both of them make very interesting and valuable points.

"it could be a virtual reality appearing to be real but it's an awful painful reality"

Not to be flippant, but imagine what reality is like for the avatar in a computer game! If the avatar were conscious, it would find itself immersed in an environment of extreme danger, faced with monsters or gun-toting bad guys and the ever-present threat of extinction. Yet without those elements, the game would be no fun.

I'm not trying to shrug off the pain and suffering of the world; I'm just saying there's no reason why a virtual reality would have to be pain-free or danger-free.

"Does this tie into the many world's interpretation?"

I suppose it could, but I don't think it has to. The MWI was designed to explain the collapse of the wave function, but as you can see, the VR hypothesis explains this differently.

However, it is certainly arguable that if one virtual reality can be generated, others can be generated also. A rough analogy might be the levels in a videogame, where the player advances from one level to the next. Each level is a different self-contained environment that offers different opportunities and challenges.

MWI theory doesn't require wave function collapse. The Copenhagen Interpretation implies wave function collapse and the attendant problems, while MWI posits many worlds where actualities replace potentialities such that there is no vexing question about whether the cat in the box is alive OR dead until observed. It is both alive AND dead at the same time in separate universes, caused by the cyanide gas in the experiment, neither case requiring an observer to collapse some wave function to reveal either a dead or alive cat in the box.

"If this doesn’t blow your socks off, then Hogan, who has just been appointed director of Fermilab’s Center for Particle Astrophysics, has an even bigger shock in store: ‘If the GEO600 result is what I suspect it is, then we are all living in a giant cosmic hologram.’"

http://blogs.monografias.com/sistema-limbico-neurociencias/2010/02/19/the-holographic-universe-when-it-pays-to-be-first/
--------------------------------------------

If the holograhic principle is true, then it means whatever is "here" has to be "there." Death would then become a simple switching of our consciousness from "here" to "there"; and it also means the physics of that place would be very different than this dimension which explains why near death experiencers say things like "I felt an overwhelming sense of oneness and connectedness" or "I literally felt like I was everywhere in the Universe at once" or "I had all knowledge" or "time and space didn't seem to exist" or "whatever I focused my attention on that is what I experienced" or "my thoughts became person" or "I thought of a mountain and it appeared."

It's so obvious and simple to me. We are presently living in a holographic projection - a place where we can't really hurt ourselves - because it's an illusion. Maya. The Creator of the Universe has created a Universe where the soul learns what it needs to learn, what time and space look and feel like, what it feels like to be separate, and what it means and how it feels to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time Universe - and it all happens holistically. It's not like in grade school where if a kid was uncooperative he could refuse to learn. In this life it is irrelevant whether you want to experience it or not. Duality and separation are inherent and inescapable. We don't need to cooperate for the soul to experience and learn what it needs to learn.

"The cosmic reality simulation dualism hypothesis would also preserve free will, since the experiencer/player makes choices and controls the outcome independently of the actual game." - nbtruthman
------------------------------------------

Our Universe may be designed for us to experience what we need to experience in order for the soul to learn what it needs to learn? The physics of the so called physical universe may be the way it is for the soul to experience what it needs to experience. Duality and separation to teach the soul what it means and how it feels to be separate because of those overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness that so many near death experiencers comment on. Time and space because so many near death experiencers say that time and space didn't seem to exist on the other side (in a hologram all the information is spread throughout the entire hologram - each piece contains the whole - and everything is infinitely interconnected to everything else) and what it felt like to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time universe because in the original holographic film everything - past, present, and future would exist all at once. Time as we know it wouldn't exist on the other side - which is exactly what near death experiencers report. Another words the physics of the other side will be very different than this side. The duality that we experience in this life won't exist in the next. Duality meaning stuff like race, religion, politics, language, culture, wealth, dialects, etc. All the stuff that causes us to experience separation. It can't or won't exist in the original holographic film. It reminds me of a quote I remember from a little 11 year old girl who had cancer and had a near death experience because of it. She came back and said to her daddy "you know that show 'Lifestyles of the rich and famous?" Well Heaven makes that look like living in poverty!"

This seems to reinforce the primacy of Mind and its irreducible nature, adding a further clarification to the concept of some form of Intelligent Design without the extraneous baggage of various religions. I like to think of us as collectively tip-toeing through the Mind Field, trying to avoid an explosively calamitous misstep, cautiously moving (progressively?) forward, developing (with hope) with the good and bad experienced along the way. I hope...

"I mean is it could be a virtual reality appearing to be real but it's an awful painful reality with so many bad things, viruses, flus, diseases, wars, famine, bad weather, earthquakes, death." - Leo
--------------------------------------------

Bad stuff happens to teach the soul what it needs to learn. Losing someone we love is the ultimate lesson in separation. The more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memory it creates. It has to learn what it means to be separate here because of those overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness reported by near death experiencers.

In a holographic piece of film all the information is spread throughout the entire piece of film. It may be impossible to learn what it means to be separate in Heaven. One near death experience I read the woman said "we here in the physical universe can't begin to comprehend the feelings of oneness and connectedness in heaven."

It is in the "not knowing" that the most emotion is generated. If we knew absolutely 100% for certain that there was "life after death" and one day we were going to be reunited with our loved ones we may not mourn quite as much and the death of someone we love would lose a lot of its power as the ultimate lesson in separation that it is.

Time and space - what it looks and feels like because it doesn't exist in heaven. NDE'ers report that time and space didn't seem to exist on the other side. In a holographic piece of film everything past present and future would exist all at once.

We experience pain and suffering to imprint on the soul the parameters of the physical body. Like pixels on a TV screen. Bits of information. The more pixels the more information and the clearer the picture. Little protected high school girls - who live in sterile houses with no bugs, or thorns, or briars or mosquitoes cut themselves in a desperate effort to imprint information on the soul of the shape of the body. What the body looks and feels like. The soul learns what it feels like to be inside a body. It needs to learn this because Heaven seems to be a place where thoughts are things and consciousness creates reality and it will use these bits of information to sculpt a body when it desires one. In order to empathize and identify with a character in much the same way that we identify with a character in a movie, losing ourselves and merging with the characters we watch in movies or plays.

In the Philipines men re-enact the crucifixion, literally having their hands and feet nailed to the cross, wearing a crown of thorns. In Malaysia religious zealots poke metal through their cheeks and lips and skin - which also serves to imprint on the soul bits of information on the shape of the body, perhaps like a sculptor takes up a hammer and chisel and chisels a statue of David out of block of marble. During the Middle Ages religious fanatics took whips and flagellated themselves till their back were bloody - and the deeper spiritual reason was they were teaching their souls what their bodies looked like - the shape of the body.

Today young people pierce their bodies and get tattoos - not only causing separation between the generations - but it also imprints on the soul enough pain to holistically teach the soul what the body looks like.

"Will we see our loved ones again, pets as well who have passed on in these virtual realities?" - Leo
--------------------------------------------

If this "physical" universe is a holographic projection from someplace else - then whatever is here will also have to be there. And not only that - it will seem just as real to us there as it does here. People who have NDE's routinely say that it felt "realer than real" or "I had more consciousness than normal." Now the reason I find this interesting is because just recently I read in the January issue of New Scientist magazine that a holographic projection has a certain inherent degree of blurriness. Some scientists did some experiments and found this buzzing that they couldn't explain and Hogan, the director of the Lab said that he thought it was more evidence of the holographic nature of our universe. He said there is an inherent blurriness in a holographic projection which would explain why near death experiencers say that in "Heaven" (the original holographic film) it was "more real than normal" and they had "more consciousness than normal."

So even though the physics of the other side will be different from this side, it will appear just as real to us as this side does. It will simply be a transfer of our consciousness from the holographic projection to the original holographic piece of film. Everything that is here will have to be there.

This explains why near death experiencers routinely say that it was "realer than real" or "they had more consciousness than normal.

"Since the volume of the spherical universe is much bigger than its outer surface, how could this be true? Hogan realized that in order to have the same number of bits inside the universe as on the boundary, the world inside must be made up of grains bigger than the Planck length. ‘Or, to put it another way, a holographic universe is blurry,’ says Hogan."

http://blogs.monografias.com/sistema-limbico-neurociencias/2010/02/19/the-holographic-universe-when-it-pays-to-be-first/

Art, according to your own sources:

No one - including Hogan - is yet claiming that GEO600 has found evidence that we live in a holographic universe. It is far too soon to say. ‘There could still be a mundane source of the noise,’ Hogan admits

So it might very well turn out that the hologram idea has no scientific base.

"This implies that human consciousness is not a part of the program, not generated as subroutines: we are 'other'." -nbtruthman

My Big Toe author Thomas Campbell does not think we’re “other” –he says this, for example:

We say that only consciousness is fundamental and that all reality frames are virtual…that consciousness is the source and all else is derived. The Source (Larger Consciousness System or AUM or The One) is an information system, that means that what it does is transmit information in the form of data and interpret information from data received. That is exactly what we as Individuated Units of consciousness (IOUCs) do, which is not surprising since we are subsets of the Larger Consciousness System. We are it (at least a part of it), and it is us. How much of a part, you ask? Well, isn’t any part that might be left over after all the IUOCs are counted also fit the definition of an IUOC? What else does the Larger Consciousness System have to do besides interact with itself in order to evolve rather than dissipate?

Art said:
“Time and space - what it looks and feels like because it doesn't exist in heaven. NDE'ers report that time and space didn't seem to exist on the other side. In a holographic piece of film everything past present and future would exist all at once.“

Art: You may well be right. But if you want to be Art and not simultaneously everybody and everything in the universe, Time has to exist. You can’t separate any event (or free will choice) from any other without time. But it may move at different rates in different realities. Space also has to exist, though ultimately it may be Consciousness space rather than simulated ‘physical’ space.

Personally, I can’t visualise what Consciousness space actually is. The analogy of the computer screen breaks down at the point where the pixels are projected (or in some other way literally transferred) to the screen. How does data literally get from database via algorithm to screen, or from one unit of consciousness to another? You could say ”the intention to transfer information” does the transferring, or “the desire to receive data” allows data to flow in. You could say that alignment of intention of participating entities allows the flow of information between them. Yet this is insufficient…I receive unwelcome information and rarely get really good news!

So what exactly is that flow of information, that data stream? What is it ‘made of’? If it is telepathic waves, what are these made of? If it is pure thought, what is pure thought made of? What is the literal means of its transfer (beyond the computer screen metaphors)? It seems to me that VR theory still leaves this missing link. Perhaps this is a perennial problem with theories about reality – they always leave a literal hole somewhere.

"So what exactly is that flow of information, that data stream? What is it ‘made of’? If it is telepathic waves, what are these made of? If it is pure thought, what is pure thought made of? What is the literal means of its transfer..."

Ben

Tom Campbell would probably say that the answer is "consciousness", and there is no need for a transfer mechanisim, as all is really one, albeit a segmented "one." What makes up this "one?" Probably beyond our human comprehension. What is mathematics made of?

So it might very well turn out that the hologram idea has no scientific base." - sbu"
-----------------------------

So how do you explain the thousands of near death experiencers who describe their experiences in a holographic way? Saying things that are congruent with what one might expect in a holographic universe. Why is the near death experience the ultimate holographic experience? About 1/3 of near death experiences that I've read (and I've read a LOT of them) say something that has a very holographic flavor to it.

People who have NDE's routinely talk about overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness, feeling like they are everywhere in the universe at once, time and space not existing, buildings that are "made out of knowledge", 360 degree vision, seeing colors they've never seen before, hearing sounds that they haven't heard in this physical universe, and during the life review seeing their whole lives flash by in an instant (bolus of information)and being able to hear the thoughts and feel the feelings of the people they interacted with (the life review is a holographic experience par excellence), and how the other side will feel even more real to us than this side does, and feeling the feelings and hearing the thoughts of the people they interacted with.

Dr. Ken Ring has a chapter in his book Life At Death about the connection between NDEs and the holographic universe theory, Dr. Melvin Morse in his book Where God Lives devotes several pages to the connection between NDEs and the holographic Universe, Dr. Oswald Harding wrote a whole book about it called Near Death Experiences: A Holographic Explanation, and Michael Talbot talks about the connection between NDEs and the holographic universe in his book The Holographic Universe.

It's like having two witnesses in a trial who don't know each other and have never talked to each other come into the courtroom and each one tells the exact same story and paints the exact same picture of what happened. The likely hood of that happening are by chance are quite small.

I have read literally hundreds of books about life after death and numerous popular physics books about quantum physics and the holographic universe and also spent the last ten years surfing the internet gleaning information on the question of life after death and quantum physics and the holographic universe theory. It's like a puzzle with the outside pieces made up of quantum physics and the holographic universe theory and the inside pieces made up of things like the near death experiences, death bed visions, the work of some Mediums, EVP, after death communications, mystical and transcendental experiences, etc. And when I step back and view the picture I see something that looks very different than the old Newtonian mechanistic universe.

Or as Niels Bohr said, "Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real."

It's time to let go of the old mechanistic Newtonian Universe. It's just an illusion.

"So what exactly is that flow of information, that data stream? What is it ‘made of’? If it is telepathic waves, what are these made of? If it is pure thought, what is pure thought made of? What is the literal means of its transfer (beyond the computer screen metaphors)? It seems to me that VR theory still leaves this missing link." - Ben
----------------------------------------

Just because we don't have all the pieces to the puzzle doesn't mean we can't step back and see the big picture. It's like that game show where they guess letters and they are put up on a board and after they get enough letters they guess what it says. They don't need all the letters to make out the saying. And what is interesting is that after we are told the answer it is so simple and we wonder why we couldn't have seen it all along. Once someone guesses the answer it just pops out at you. You think "Ah yes! It's so obvious!"

So how do you explain the thousands of near death experiencers who describe their experiences in a holographic way? Saying things that are congruent with what one might expect in a holographic universe.

And how do you assess that these accounts really are NDEs and not something people make up? None of the aspects you mark as important, bluriness etc, are mentioned as an established feature of an NDE as it is described on the IANDS homepage and other credible sources of NDE science.

Ofcourse there are loads of speculative elements to your theory but one obvious flow is why people not always consciously experience the interconnectivly rather than only close to death if we really live in a holographic universe. But I guess this is the place where you have added a religious aspect about we are in the world to experience separateness?

There are a plethora of experiments that have been done that all point in the direction that our Universe is some kind of strange holographic projection. It all depends on how many hoops you wish someone to jump through to satisfy your disbelief. Personally I'm satisfied and have a high degree of confidence that it is true. If you can't wrap your mind around it that's okay because life is short and we are only here for a little while and soon enough our souls will be shedding our physical bodies like an old worn out suit of clothes and merging back into the Spiritual/holographic universe. We are simply spiritual beings having a physical experience. This is only a temporary place our souls come to learn a few simple lessons and then go home.

"why people not always consciously experience the interconnectivly rather than only close to death if we really live in a holographic universe" - sbu
----------------------

Because it's in the "not knowing" that we experience the most emotion and the more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memory it creates. We are here to learn, and it's important that we believe that this reality is all there is because the death of someone we love is the ultimate lesson in what it means and how it feels to be separate - something the soul can't learn in heaven due to those overwhelming holographic feelings of oneness and connectedness. If we knew absolutely for certain that one day we would be reunited with our loved ones in Heaven we might not mourn as much and the death of someone we love would cease to be the powerful lesson in what it means and how it feels to be separate. I reiterate - the more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memory it creates.

Not knowing is an integral aspect of the learning experience. We are like actors in a play, only actors who think that the part they are playing is real, when in actuality this is not who we really are. After we cross back over into the spiritual universe we will view our mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and friends as fellow actors, all playing a part to help teach us the simple lessons we needed to learn. We come here to experience duality and separation, time and space, and imprint memories of what it was like to inhabit a physical body and live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time universe and we will use these memories to recreate or conjure up our own reality in heaven because it seems to be a place where thoughts are things and consciousness creates reality. Or as it says in Proverbs "As a man thinketh, so is he." Jesus told the pharisees in the gospel of John "did I not tell you? You are gods?"

"MWI theory doesn't require wave function collapse." - dmduncan

You're right; I phrased it badly. I meant that MWI was designed to resolve the paradox of wave-particle duality. The MWI solution is that every path the particle could potentially travel is actually traveled, each in a separate universe.

The VR hypothesis suggests instead that only one path is taken - the path that is calculated at the time when the particle is observed.

"There was a young man from Trinity,
Who solved the square root of infinity.
While counting the digits,
He was seized by the fidgets,
Dropped science, and took up divinity."

- Zerdini


This selfsame young scholar from Trinity
Never did lose his virginity.
Consumed with abstractions,
He'd permit no distractions,
So for women he had no affinity!

"The VR hypothesis suggests instead that only one path is taken - the path that is calculated at the time when the particle is observed."

Yes, the appeal of VR theory is that it easily sidesteps the MWI (where Occam never shaves).

"What is mathematics made of?" -GregL

Nice one, Greg. I know Tom Campbell says we're all binary ones and zeroes, but
I'd like to ask Pythagoras that one, or Plato. Apparently Plato saw numbers and geometry as numinous and transcendent, existing apart from our minds and apart from physical phenomena. He saw mathematical ideas as perfect and changeless. He had the door above his Academy inscribed with the words, "Let no-one unacquainted with geometry enter here". (Sorry, J9, not calculus) ;-)

But, apart from Numbers and geometry, at other times he thought the Good, the One, Existence, Beauty and Truth to be the Supreme Idea.

I wonder what Socrates would make of reality television? I think he'd reach for the hemlock.

"What is mathematics made of?"

At some point, don't we have to say that there's an irreducible primary? Otherwise we will always be asking, "What's this made of?" in an infinite regress. There must be some fundamental is-ness that is not made of anything else. Of course I have no idea what it might be.

"The analogy of the computer screen breaks down at the point where the pixels are projected (or in some other way literally transferred) to the screen."

If I understand him correctly, Brian Whitworth argues that the screen is the surface of a hypersphere, and that the information transfer takes place through a vast network of local nodes that serve as processors. Pure conjecture, of course ... but interesting.

This selfsame young scholar from Trinity
Never did lose his virginity.
Consumed with abstractions,
He'd permit no distractions,
So for women he had no affinity!

But a femme of fulsome cupidity
(An expert on male frigidity)
Approached him one day
In her own special way
And finito'ed our fellow's flaccidity.

Sorry, there has to be a happy ending, MP!


"I wonder what Socrates would make of reality television? I think he'd reach for the hemlock."

Maybe, but I think Plato would be a VR man myself.

GregL

That's great, Ben!

A "happy ending," indeed.

M. Prescott: "This strikes me as a major difference between Brian Whitworth's hypothesis and Ross Rhodes' hypothesis. Whitworth, if I understand him correctly, does think that consciousness arises out of the progam as some kind of subroutine, while Rhodes appears to hold that it is "other.""

Whitworth's concept seems to be discredited because it has all the problems of strong AI. There are many things that make consciousness special and not able to be generated by computers and computation.

1) Consciously perceived "things" have meaning. Things in a computer memory and CPU do not. Meaning is mysterious as of yet, we really don't understand it.

2) Consciously perceived things evoke qualia. Consciousness itself is self awareness with intentionality. These can't be reproduced or embodied by computers, they are fundamentally, ontologically different from material things and their processing.

3) Conscious minds can have intuition: sudden gaining of insight, or understanding: we know that we have found a solution to a problem, even though can not formally prove it yet (this seems to be related to Turing's halting problem: we know that the calculation ended with a result without executing the calculation/proof itself).

Basically Chalmer's Qualia argument, the
related philosophical Zombie arguments, and Searle's "Chinese Room" argument.

Of course there is finally 4), paranormal phenomena, telepathy, precognition, etc. do exist (at least most of the posters in this forum seem to accept the overwhelming evidence). Clearly they are outside of the realm of computers and we have
absolutely no idea how could they have this ability.

Information theory seems closely tied to this subject, and something I've found very interesting to read about. A good introduction to information theory is the book Decoding the Universe.

very useful information

Ben: No worries, I teach Geometry as well.

"what is mathematics made of"

I have this argument with my department chair. She is always telling the kids that math is made up. I don't believe this thought. I think the math is here in the universe and we (well, not me personally, lately) discover it. Without the math, nothing can exist. The Pythagorean Theorem was always there. It will always work. Pythagoras was just smart enough to discover, prove, and make up the symbolism for it. The only real universal constant is the math.

"I think the math is here in the universe and we (well, not me personally, lately) discover it."

J9, that's what my wife told me - she said, "I never bothered with maths because God used it to create the universe. I couldn't ever tell him anything about maths, he knows all that. But I could tell him a thing or two about men."

"Tom Campbell would probably say that the answer is "consciousness", and there is no need for a transfer mechanisim, as all is really one, albeit a segmented "one." -GregL

On reflection Greg, what you say makes perfect sense to me. The Universe may well be a dimensionless point (as is supposed before the Big Bang and Inflation), so no travel or movement of information is literally possible except in the dimensionless point's imagination. Everything we experience in the so-called phenomenal world would therefore be on account of "the dream of separation".

very useful information

I came across this and thought Art might enjoy reading it.

http://parasociology.blogspot.com/2010/08/reading-notes-holographic-paradigm.html

Thanks Sandy. I went and read the article. It's interesting to me how different everyone's mind works. What is important to one person may not be to someone else. We do not all think alike. Imagine that!

One reason I am fascinated by the holographic paradigm is that it implies that whatever is "here" also has to be "there." At death our consciousness simply changes it's orientation or focus, switching from "here" to "there." I have read many NDEs, death bed visions, and readings from Mediums which imply the same thing. There is no doubt that the Physics of the other side will be different than the physics of this life, but it will still feel just as real to us as this side does and the things we loved "here" will also be "there." I find that very comfortting. All those things that we lost on this side will still exist in the "Spiritual" dimension.

I love this quote from little Daisy Dryden's (age 11) death bed vision:

"she said, "It is all a mistake; there is no river; there is no curtain; there is not even a line that separates this life from the other life." And she stretched out her little hands from the bed, and with a gesture said, "It is here and it is there; I know it is so, for I can see you all, and I see them there at the same time."
http://www.survivalafterdeath.org.uk/books/barrett/dbv/chapter3.htm

Maybe I'm the last one to discover this, but the Huffington Post has a new, magnificent Science and Religion section. I normally don't sync with the opinions on Ms. Ariana Huffington's blog, but for me, this is a different kind of read.
Whatever your political persuasion, it maintains a continuing stream of articles about current thought concerning science as it relates religion and/or spirituality, by some pretty credible authors. The credibility part may vary, based on the readers opinion, but they seem to cover a wide field of thought. Check it out!
Here's a link to an article that (more or less) pertains to the topic in the above post by Micheal.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopra/can-science-explain-the-s_b_675107.html

Hi Rabbitdawg, I went and read Deepak Chopra's essay on science trying to explain the soul. It was interesting and probably contains some of the truth. I'm sure we are viewing it all through frosted glass, only getting glimpses of the truth, but it is fun to try. I'm sure we don't have a complete picture. Perhaps to different people different metaphors are understandable or make sense to them? Maybe they all contain some of the truth or we are just using different language to say the same thing? Just like different languages use different words that mean the same thing?

I think that any idea that conflicts with the prevailing worldview is bound to appear a little bit nutty. But I am in agreement with MP that the more one thinks about the virtual reality theory, the more it grows on you. This posting started me thinking about the possible relationship of VR to NDEs. If one is to take NDEs seriously (which I do) then it is helpful to pay attention to the hints they provide as to the nature of the game we are caught up in.
One NDE that has stuck with me comes from Kenneth Ring’s book, Heading Toward Omega. It relates the experience of a woman in the presence of a “being of light.”
And then I asked him, “Since I can’t stay, since I’m going to be going back, I’ve another question to ask. Can you tell me--what it’s all about”? [Laughter from the audience. In other words, she was asking, she said, how does “the whole thing” work?] And he did tell me. And it only took two or three sentences. It was a very short explanation and I understood it perfectly. And I said again, “Of course!” And again, I knew it was something I had always known and managed to forget. And so I asked him, “Can I take all this back with me? There’s so many people I want to tell all this to.” And he said, “You can take the answer to your first question--which was the one about sin--but,” he said, “the answer to the second question you won’t be able to remember.” (And she found in fact that when she returned to physical life, she could not.)

A similar example comes from the collection assembled by NDERF.

…I said earlier that I was clearly shown my purpose here on Earth and the work I had left to do during my Life Review. When the accident was over I couldn’t remember why I chose to come here or what I had left to do. It’s still, right on the tip of my tongue. The knowledge was taken away as soon as I said I have to stay. So I am back to a little mouse in a maze with everybody else trying to find my way.

Dr. Pim Van Lommel in his recent book Consciousness Beyond Life provides another instance of forgetting of knowledge temporarily granted.

That very same moment, in a split second, I gained access to a wealth of knowledge, a complete knowing and understanding. All knowledge, Universal knowledge….”I see!’ I thought happily; “I get it. It’s all so simple. So obvious. It all makes sense…” No, I wasn’t allowed to bring back the knowledge itself. Why, I don’t know….Perhaps we’re not supposed to have such universal knowledge in the here and now, in our physical form? Perhaps we’re here to learn? Perhaps there’s another reason?

I have bumped into cases of enforced amnesia so frequently that I am beginning to think the phenomenon should be added to the list of standard features of NDEs. They make it appear as if we may, in fact, be involved in some sort of game and that our lives are choreographed from behind the scenes. This seems to be an inescapable conclusion to be drawn from the “life review” that is a part of so many NDEs. It is as if we are being told, “Okay, you played the game. Let’s see what your score is.”

Again, from NDERF:

As for the universal knowledge I got, I was not allowed to come back with the answers. I remember I knew and I recall some little things like the fact we are eternal beings, we always existed and we shall always exist!


Let me finish this rather lengthy posting with two quotations with which I tend strongly to concur. The first is a well-known statement by William James:

I confess that at times I have been tempted to believe that the Creator has eternally intended this department of nature to remain baffling, to prompt our curiosities and hopes and suspicions all in equal measure, so that, although ghosts and clairvoyances and raps and messages from spirits…can never be fully explained away, they can also never be susceptible of full corroboration.

And the second is Colin Wilson expressing his view of the human conditon:

As I look at this apparently normal, solid world around me, I feel an odd kind of suspicion that someone is pulling my leg. I can so easily imagine it other than it is…I do not seem to be able to share the view of the majority of my fellow human beings, that the world is a fairly straightforward place. So even if I convince myself that life after death is a proven fact, I cannot accept that this has in any way “solved” the riddle of human existence. It seems to me obvious that we are like blinkered horses, totally unaware of the reality that surrounds us. I still feel “there’s something bloody fishy about human existence.

Very interesting comment, W. Vogt. I suspect you're on to something regarding NDE amnesia.

If we "knew" it would affect the emotion that is generated by everything we learn and experience in this life and there is a very close connection to emotion and memory. All we are allowed are brief glimpses.

Knowing absolutely 100% for certain would mean that when someone we love dies we might not mourn quite as much and the overwhelming feeling of separation might be affected.

Life is one big long lesson in separation from the moment we separate from our mother's wombs and the umbilical cord is cut till the day we die and our death's become a lesson in separation to the loved ones we leave behind.

“Life is one big long lesson in separation from the moment we separate from our mother's wombs and the umbilical cord is cut till the day we die and our death's become a lesson in separation to the loved ones we leave behind.”--Art

I would not deny that if we possessed certain knowledge it would affect our attitude toward all of our experiences. My suspicion is that we are not permitted to have such knowledge. But to say that the reason for this uncertainty is to impress upon us the experience of separation is to assert that we have an explanation of our ignorance--the answer. But the testimony of NDErs seems to be that we do not have the answer. I can think of several other explanations that are equally as plausible as is separation, but for me to maintain that any one of them is the right answer is merely speculation.


Not for me! I obtained it magically! It was downloaded into my brain holographically! And speaking of holographic... I'm on page 134 of Dr. Pimm Van Lommel's book Consciousness Beyond Life and I got to wondering if he mentioned the holographic universe so I turned over to the Index and looked up "hologram" and there it was! Van Lommel devotes several pages explaining the connection between NDE's and the holographic universe.

We have to learn separation in this life because of the overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness in Heaven due to it's holographic nature. You can't become a separate unique individual in Heaven - it has to be accomplished here. We experience separation in every way, shape, and form possible in order to overcome those overwhelming feelings of oneness in Heaven.

And now I need to go get ready for Church just in case they ask me to lead singing because I've got a pretty good voice, sort of like Ed Ames (for all you older people on this blog).

"sort of like Ed Ames (for all you older people on this blog)."

The only thing I know about Ed Ames is that he participated in what may have been Johnny Carson's most celebrated on-air moment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSUQ3qnwCFU

Ha ha ha! That was pretty funny! He circumsized that cowboy! I was a weird kid growing up in the late 1960's. I was a big fan of Neil Diamond, Ed Ames, Bobby Goldsboro, etc. When all my friends were into the Rolling Stones and The Who I was singing along with Petula Clark. It's no wonder everyone thought I was gay!

"I was singing along with Petula Clark."

"Downtown" is a good song. That was Petula Clark, wasn't it?

My mother was a big fan of Tom Jones in that era. At the time I had no interest in his songs, but recently I heard some of them again and was surprised at how good they were.

Another great '60s song is Shirley Bassey's rendition of "Goldfinger."

Today's music mostly stinks, in my opinion. No melody, no good lyrics. Too much emphasis on crude physicality and shock value.

Jeez, I'm starting to sound old ...


"We have to learn separation in this life because of the overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness in Heaven due to it's holographic nature."

Art

Have you ever considered the alternative?
That we have come her in order to increase consciousness? Perhaps the "all that is" has developed our universe, our VR if you will, in order to develope separation, not to just experience it. More specifically, maybe this universe, as a VR, is needed for "God" to develope self awareness and to lower its entropy. It must get pretty boring and self defeating to be a big "one", with no one to talk to. Our existence may be the result of a drive to increase self awareness via a the segmentation of consiousness in this VR. I am saying that separation may be the end product, not just a learning experience.

If you wind up a rubberband it becomes a much more complex item, but still remains "one." I think that this may be what "God" is doing. Creating separation for conscious developement,driven by its own evolution as a primary force, but still "one" beneath it all.

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