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"We ... do not observe our consciousness – we experience it."

If consciousness is defined by our thoughts (I think, therefore I am) then we can indeed observe it in meditation. Sorry, but I'm not a great fan of Anthony Peake. He's something of Jack of all trades, master of none.

Back in the 1940s and before, Edgar Cayce obtained information from the 'Akashic Records'. Perhaps this is the same plane of information Laszlo and Peake call 'The Akasha'? - AOD

Michael thanks - great blog,

Although the shift of information free from its classic thinking shackles of being bound only by the material/energy/state medium realm and into a new layer of Akashic Boundlessness (they should have chosen a different name for this postulated substrate, as the mere mention of the word Akashic triggers a virus which causes the eyes to roll to the back of the head and zombie froths of one-liners to spew from the mouth of its hosts) is a form of the Regressive Reduction Fallacy, or the Turtles All the Way Down Error, as skeptics of this idea might rightly point out; it really comes down to this. No matter which position you assign consciousness on the expressive spectrum, be it purely a phenomenon of material medium recursive neural networks, or be it extant as the substrate preceding reality - either pathway entails a Hidden Miracle Fallacy. Note please however, that if you talk a lot about the scientific method, decry Fox News, and then comment on anecdote and rationality a lot, know that your hidden miracle will be given greater leeway.

So to a degree, this is a matter of simply choosing one's (poison) miracle. Not that I have concluded that consciousness precedes reality just yet. Neither do I want to be told that I am stupid if I consider such an idea. And indeed, were one to postulate the idea that information can be structured in a medium-less frame of reference, then further as an M-substrate... what then DO we call that? I am at a loss to escape the context of consciousness as constituting that basis (again Turtles All the Way Down - the fabled reaction of an Indian philosopher when asked what the turtle holding up the earth was standing upon). I am keenly aware that it is my own ignorance, which limits me and precipitates this paradox.

So to sidestep such limitations, I have always regarded the observed 'red shift' of our universe's galaxies and physical features to possibly reside as an artifact of the dilation of time and NOT the physical inflation of space. The problem with the time dilation idea, which simply says that the Plank interval t(p) is expanding - and that electromagnetic waves correspondingly lengthen because they Hz cycle less, over the same distance traveled (a red shift) with a constant speed 'c,' is that it requires an external reference. This would also explain the Lorimer frequency dependent dispersion observed in Fast Radio Bursts, better than current space models.

But the net of all this is that we must seriously consider the postulate that at least ('consciousness' contentions would violate necessity of plurality right now), information might precede our expressed information-monist presumed realm. The dilation of time is purely an information related phenomena which would depend on an external standard (information) - whereas space inflation is an internal-only reference. Previously (possibly bound inside M-theory at best) this was impossible to consider in a purely closed material monist realm. Hence it had to be space which was expanding.

But with information at the very least for now, if we are honest, we know we are faced with a hidden miracle in each direction of consideration - and we can no longer contend with scientific chest thumping bravado, that any particular presumption of the role of information is ridiculous any longer.

Just my thoughts,
~TES

Michael,

Previous comment should read 'Planck' and not 'Plank' - geeze I am losing my mind....

~TES

The Indridi Indridason case has come under serious question, because it turns out that Marconi built a wireless telegraphy receiving station at Reykjavik in 1905 before the fire. Apparently, dispatches from this station started to be published in a local newspaper in the days right after the seance was held. This makes it at least possible that Indridason was able to access information about the fire from this source. The claim is that a leading Experimental Society member (a local newspaper editor) almost certainly had access to information from this Marconi station by the time of the sitting, and could have passed it on to the medium.

Of course this isn't too convincing, if only because it is extremely unlikely that the detailed information about the Copenhagen businessman Emil Jensen would have been on the wireless. And because the fraud theory would require that all the leading members of the Icelandic Experimental Society (set up to study mediumistic phenomena) including the scientist investigator Hannesson were in on it and part of the trickery.

“it may be more correct to say that the information field and consciousness are the same thing viewed from two different perspectives, as Laszlo and Peake suggest.”

I don’t quite follow this. Not so much “perspective”, as separation into different functional components – just as a computer has a hard drive and a processor, I would think.

Bernardo Kastrup talks of the difference between “consciousness” and the “contents of consciousness”, though in the underlying substrate, everything is One. He uses the whirlpool analogy, where consciousness gains personal perspective by enfolding in on itself, cutting itself off from the main stream. Once enfolded or cut off, everything else that enters the whirlpool's sensory apparatus becomes the “contents” of its consciousness.

I agree with Julie about Mr Peake, but Mr Laszlo is interesting.

Julie, I don’t think consciousness is “defined by our thoughts.” You are defining consciousness. The “you” that defines consciousness IS consciousness. The thoughts are contained in consciousness. In one word, “awareness.” Can you observe your “awareness?” I don’t think so. I don’t hold Peake too highly either, but Laszlo has some credibility, and has been writing about the information field for quite some time.

Michael, I agree,The Harsch-Fischbach episodes were more than dubious, they approached ludicrous.

GregL

"Apparently, dispatches from this station started to be published in a local newspaper in the days right after the seance was held. This makes it at least possible that Indridason was able to access information about the fire from this source."

Interesting, but as I understand it, "Jensen's" second appearance on the night of the fire coincided with the fire's being brought under control. Anyone who'd been sitting at the seance all night would not have known about this, though I suppose it could be dismissed as a lucky guess. And, as you say, the details about Jensen would not have been part of any radio transmission.

I don't know anything about Anthony Peake. Never heard of him before reading this book. In general, I judge authors of paranormal books by how accurately they report cases that I'm already familiar with. In this case the reports were accurate, so I was satisfied that the book is reliable enough in its treatment of psychical research. Whether or not it reports the discoveries and theories of modern physicists accurately is another question, one I'm not competent to answer.

GregL: Of course I can observe my awareness. The fact that I am aware of my thoughts makes me aware of my awareness. You can reach below everything into infinity. There is no smallest particle.

@Michael: Peake is a pseudo intellectual who pedals pseudo intellectual pot boilers. His profundity is truly underwhelmng: A watered down Colin Wilson minus the depth, breadth and scope.

Even so, I'm surprised you haven't come across his work. Doesn't 'Daemon' ring a bell? The words 'tosh' and 'total' spring to mind. Even so, he's very popular.

Interesting review, I will check this out.

I was thinking lately of duality a lot. It seems odd to me how much effort we often spend controlling our brain or mind - trying to control things like drinking or gambling too much, for instance. What is it that's trying to control these things? Maybe it's just the norms society imposes on us (don't drink or gamble to much). But then there's research that shows that we can alter the structure of our brains - what's doing the altering of the brain? Other research seems to show that the brains of sociopaths are different - but were these people born with abnormal brains or did they make these abnormal brains?

Are there any physicists who follow this blog?

"Just as particles and systems of particles in spacetime are projections of codes and relations in the Akashic deep dimension, so the consciousness associated with living organisms is a manifestation – a holographic projection – of the unitary consciousness that does not merely exist in, but actually is, that dimension ..."

However, sentient beings are multiple and cases of apparitions, mediumship, suggest that sentient beings retain their individuality after their biological death. How this relates to the unitary consciousness or Akasha?

“either pathway entails a Hidden Miracle Fallacy”

Hi TES, I not only agree I’d go further and say that some kind of ‘hidden miracle’ is unavoidable whatever the pathway. It seems to me that all explanations have to run out somewhere, leaving some sort of ‘given’ or assumed starting point. Perhaps in this regard the ultimate hidden miracle is how we answer Leibniz’s question: Why is there something rather than nothing? (Or, as Stephen Hawking so wonderfully put it, what ‘breathes fire’ into the mathematical equations that underpin physics?).

For me, I try and go for ‘hidden miracles’ that best fit with life and reality as I find it. That’s why I am deeply interested in the kind of idealistic (in philosophical terms) ideas, like Laszlo’s, which are under discussion here – they at least attempt to address reality as it actually is (as far as we can know). My problem with scientific materialism/physicalism is that is far too impoverished a starting point for building any sort of credible account of how things are. Yes, the scientific approach has produced the technically sophisticated society we have (and which would have been unthinkable a few centuries ago); but it leaves out so much (consciousness, feelings, values and so on – indeed, much of what makes up a human life).

Finally, I agree with Julie & Barbara concerning Anthony Peake’s books – they address the sort of issues that interest me, but always seem to do so in an uninteresting way.

While I like some aspects of the information theory and the "Immortal Mind" certainly sounds interesting I keep getting hung up on the image of a CD.

So there's the CD, there's information on it and...well, it does what CDs do, but *neither it nor the information on it are alive*.

As living humans and as departed spirits (evidenced by ADCs) we aren't just static records. In both settings we are more than just information. In fact, we process information. Even spirits talk about how they are *evolving*, how a new perspective gives them a lot to *think* about. They may express that they had been wrong about something and now *realize* that.

Thinking, realizing, evolving, feeling regret (feeling anything) is not the activity of data - data doesn't do anything - rather it is what an information processor does.

So, that is what I can't get my head around. It seems like some large amount of reality is indeed made of information and "stored" as such. However, I think it is going a little too far to say that living things, especially humans, are no more than information, but maybe I am missing something or am hung up on some metaphorical aspect.

Hi,

Been a reader here for a long while. Nothing really much I can add to the discussion - but just wanted to respond to Julie's critique of Peake - I think I've got about 3 books of Peake's here (and Immortal Mind is on my bedside table & queued up to be read soon!) - not really sure what a "master" of "trades" looks like, when it comes to subjects like these (I get the feeling about 99.99999999% of all people of all time are, ultimately, pretty clueless, regardless of the accolades, fans, reputations, religions, cults etc that have followed them), and wouldn't really call myself a "fan" of Peake (the 3 or 4 books of his I have, kind of just happened, over the years!) - but I have to just mention, his "Inner Daemon" book was absolutely fantastic, and highly recommended reading - and that's coming from somebody who has read huge amounts on the subjects of this forum, and more (probably, for eg. almost every book that's ever been mentioned on this EXCELLENT blog).

Anyways, cheers.

The functional hall effect shows that when magnetism is applied to a two dimensional system of electrons it excites them so the gas turns to a liquid under low temperatures to make a quasiparticle. Discovered in 1998? Quite how he makes the leap to Akasha records I don't know.

Loved your post Amos, gels with me that we both influence matter here - on earth and there - in the after life. Lyn x

Typing from ebook to laptop, as my ebook is asking for an HRL- and missed this bit.

If the storage is consciousness more than informing signals, this to me is simply another way of representing the consciousness of a "god" of which we can directly source by stilling our mind to free our ego. :) Lyn.

Yes, I’m a physicist, although I’m not a professional scientist or researcher anymore –I was for many years, though, before I moved to the US. Now I work as a software engineer. In my opinion, if you ask me or probably any other physicist, they will tell you that those physics phenomena and mathematical theories, i.e. fractional quantum Hall effect or BCFW Recursion in Twistor Space, have little to do with Information theory at large, and nothing to do with paranormal phenomena, much less with the afterlife. That´s what they would call ´quantum woo´ as a justification for beliefs that are not part of the physical sciences. And if as a physicist I wanted to talk to about Information Theory in Physics, first I would talk about the Liuoville´s Theorem in Hamiltonian Mechanics, which in its quantum version leads to some kind of ´law of conservation of the quantum states´, which *could* be interpreted by saying that the information ‘in consciousness’ can never be destroyed (although it can be scrambled beyond recognition) which with some extrapolation could suggest that consciousness survives the death of the brain and the body. And if I really want to get into deeper stuff, I would talk about David Bohm, the holographic principle and that kind of stuff, but not about the fractional quantum Hall effect or Twistor Theory.

Nonetheless, I should also that I do believe in the afterlife and in the spirit world, but not because I´m a physicist, but rather because of my direct experience with mediums and kardecian spiritists in my country of origin, and because of all the evidence that Michael and everyone have discussed in the blog for years.

"My problem with scientific materialism/physicalism is that is far too impoverished a starting point for building any sort of credible account of how things are. Yes, the scientific approach has produced the technically sophisticated society we have (and which would have been unthinkable a few centuries ago); but it leaves out so much (consciousness, feelings, values and so on – indeed, much of what makes up a human life)." - Simon Oakes

My sentiments exactly! I'm put in mind of the phrase, 'When all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail. Science often appears myopic.

no one said:

"However, I think it is going a little too far to say that living things, especially humans, are no more than information."

Michael seems to be saying that this book is moving away from such a simplistic notion, at least to some degree. But the very name "information theory" still bugs me. It seems faddish.

Humans always tend to model the universe by referring to the latest technology. When Newton's insights were driving the Industrial Age, we saw the universe as a great machine. In the computer/information age, some people think of the universe as being a vast system for storing and manipulating information.

The next step? Here's my hope: we'll see that what's fundamental is consciousness. In fact, that everything IS consciousness, manifesting in an infinite variety of shapes and forms.

These quotes from the book actually seem to approach that understanding, maybe even to have arrived at it:

"the unitary consciousness that does not merely exist in, but actually is, that dimension ..."

"But the information field called the Akasha is not simply a geometrical structure, cosmic hologram, or giant database; it is a cosmic consciousness — ultimately the only consciousness there is."

Michael, do Peake and Laszlo call themselves information theorists, or is that your label?

I don't place much credence in either of the two authors. They seem to me to be the kind of hucksters who keep producing books every couple years that promise to be the biggest groundbreaking revolution of all time, bigger even than the previous revolution they wrote about in all their other books!

ln 2004 Ervin Laszlo wrote a book Science and the Akashic Field that was in favor of super-psi. Memories of past lives and mediumistic communication was just the subconscious accessing an indelible field of information written into the fabric of the universe in the form of the quantum vacuum (physical electromagnetic energy).

Anthony Peake wrote a book in 2006 saying that consciousness was produced by the brain and at death chemicals in the brain slow down the perception of time and we relive our lives over again in what seems to us to be real time, including the replay, so while we may die, subjectively we keep reliving the same life, slower and slower every time, forever, so we never experience death. Life for Anthony Peake is the movie Groundhog Day. He also combines the Bohm and Everett interpretations of QM, even though they are contradictory. A later book of his is a misrepresentation of Julian Jaynes' bicameral mind hypothesis under a new name.

Maybe they have both changed their minds about the finality of death as a result of looking at the evidence. Maybe they have abandoned reductionist materialism. Maybe, but this book looks like just another ploy to make more money.

Off topic. Furtively tapping this out in the middle of work when I get spare moments. There is a proposed book that seems, at first blush, very worthwhile. It's an English translation of a collection of some 70+ verified cases of apparently non-physical verdical perception. IANDS is gathering donations to publish it. I am all ready to drop some dollars into the publishing kitty -- but, from what I am seeing, it's not that easy. You have to mail or fax your donation. I am scratching my head as to why they are making this hard? Why is there is not a simple, no-brainer donation button? Maybe there is a way to donate online and I am not seeing it...? Anyway, here's a link for your examination.

http://iands.org/news/news/front-page-news/1082-donate-to-book-translation-and-publication.html

some odd facts
1. the mind is not exactly the same as perception. There is perception, awareness and attention, which are not the same thing either.
2. continuity does not necessarily imply immortality. to "survive death" does not necessarily mean to "live for ever"
3. perception is essentially independent of the body/brain. it is fundamentally non-local. the body/mind is a special interface, a variation from the norm. disembodied perception is the norm and embodied perception is the exception, not the other way around!

Enoch, you explained all that very well indeed and with a patience that I sadly lack. Whenever I encounter groups of devoted Peake followers I'm always put in mind of 'The Emperor's New Clothes'.

There's a kind of sacrilege inherent in Peake's ideas which mutate, randomly, in all directions.

Bruce wrote, "Michael, do Peake and Laszlo call themselves information theorists, or is that your label?"

I don't recall if they use this term specifically in the book, but here's part of the book description: "[The authors] explain how the persistence of consciousness beyond the demise of the body means that, in essence, we are not mortal--we continue to exist even when our physical existence has come to an end. This correlates precisely with cutting-edge physics, which posits that things in our plane of time and space are not intrinsically real but are manifestations of a hidden dimension where they exist in the form of superstrings, information fields, and energy matrices."

Enoch wrote, "ln 2004 Ervin Laszlo wrote a book Science and the Akashic Field that was in favor of super-psi. Memories of past lives and mediumistic communication was just the subconscious accessing an indelible field of information written into the fabric of the universe in the form of the quantum vacuum (physical electromagnetic energy)."

I'd forgotten all about that. I remember flipping through that book in a bookstore, back when I used to go to bookstores. When I saw that he dismissed the possibility of personal immortality, I lost interest, because even then I thought there was good evidence to support that idea.

The present book stops short of insisting on personal immortality, despite the implications in the book description and parts of the text. It is mainly interested in arguing that the sum total of each person's experience is preserved in the Akashic field. Whether or not this is equivalent to personal postmortem survival is a tricky question, one the book doesn't address or even acknowledge. I guess I should have mentioned that in the review.

With regard to info theory etc., I don't expect luminous clarity in such discussions because we are in the early stages of working out these ideas. The amplituhedron, for instance, can be seen as suggesting that there is a geometrical simplicity underlying the superficial complexity of the spacetime universe, which could (perhaps) be taken as a point in favor of the idea that the world we experience is projected out of a qualitatively different and (in a sense) simpler substrate. By analogy, a 3D hologram is projected out of a 2D intersection of wave patterns; and a computer game is rendered with color and sound and movement out of a program consisting of 1s and 0s. And the basic laws of the universe, such as e=MC[squared], are remarkably simple and elegant. So *maybe* we can say that the elaborate complexity of physical reality is grounded in an elegant simplicity, and that this ground of being is nonphysical and mathematical in nature. Maybe.

Laszlo and Peake may or may not be hucksters; I know little about them, though what I'm reading in these comments does give me pause. Still, whatever their history or motives, their book does a decent job of popularizing evidence for an afterlife and tying it in (loosely and debatably, of course) with some developments in physics. It's not in the same league with the best books on the subject, but it's a good (not great) addition to the literature, and it did introduce me to a few case studies that I'd missed.

Michael - ".... it may be more correct to say that the information field and consciousness are the same thing viewed from two different perspectives, as Laszlo and Peake suggest."

The problem is that an "information field" is still a field, a thing (scientifically, a vector quantity of something that can be measured), not experience or awareness. I don't think Laszlo and Peake make any breakthrough in understanding consciousness.

The mysterious phenomenon of a being having an inner experience, that is, qualitative and subjective awareness and self-awareness, is fundamentally different than any possible data processing, no matter how complex. This is of an entirely different level of existence than either data processing or the data itself. This is the essence of the "hard problem" of consciousness.

At the very least, the "consciousness is data processing" idea runs into the infinite regression problem. How does the part of the data processing responsible for attention gain its awareness - an "I" consciously experiencing itself and other qualia? It is just a mechanism shuffling data around. So, there needs to be a sub process that gives it awareness, including that the content of the data refers to itself, but that sub process (still just shuffling data around) needs to get its awareness from a yet deeper level of processing. And so it goes on to an infinite regress that doesn't produce or explain qualia or subjectivity.

Science may never come up with an explanation. Certainly it can never provide one as long as it assumes that the mind is one and the same as what the brain does, that is, the mind is an illusion and is really merely very elaborate and complex data processing, computational loops, an "epiphenomenon", etc. This denies what is self-evident, that we have subjective experience. And if it is an illusion, there must be some entity being fooled by it, which goes back to the infinite regression problem.

I don't think Laszlo is motivated by making a cash grab so much as is he is by grief. Didn't his sister die in a car accident some years back?

This doesn't mean his ideas are intrinsically false, anymore than a materialist fundamentalist desperate to invalidate God is necessarily wrong about the lack of design in nature.

As I recall reading some of Laszlo's stuff he seemed to be mixing and matching different solutions to the collapse of the wave function so I remain wary even as - like Michael says - it at least gets the parapsychological data out there.

I also don't know about this use of information as an intrinsic entity - like Michael it seems to me information in the sense of mentally communicated ideas about things requires consciousness.

The other kind of information, as used in computer science, is just a particular way to measure data and has no intrinsic aboutness.

Thanks for the clarification, Michael. I guess for me the bottom line is that I'm pleased to see you giving consciousness at least as much importance as information, because that takes you a step closer to where I stand.

Now we just need to nudge you over the finish line. :)

By the way, I love this video recommended by Amos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W-PLmMwl2o

Wonderful insights on wholeness, the intentional spiritual forgetting I've talked about, the true nature of the tunnel, moving past Good vs Evil, and the universe as story-making machine.

He reminds me of Nanci Danison in terms of his articulateness and viewpoint, so I'm sure what he says will be embraced by everyone here. :)

Michael said:

"we are in the early stages of working out these ideas."

I just realized that phrases like that always leave me cold. I guess that's what makes me a mystic -- I resonate with the sorts of insights and understandings that arrive instantaneously and whole, like Rich Kelley's thoughts in the video I just mentioned.

Everything else, to my mind, is a a form of promissory something-or-other: "Believe me, this will make a lot more sense down the line."

In my experience, things just don't seem to work out that way, at least in regard to the biggest questions, which are the only ones we ask here.

Hope you're not taking offense at my bluntness today, Michael! Must be the truth serum they slipped in my almond milk this morning.

Actually, I want to temper my last comment just a bit. When I look at my history, there *is* a gradual evolution in my worldview.

But here's the thing -- that evolution is based largely on certain revelations that came to me suddenly and all of a piece.

So there is a balance of sorts, but without those experiences of wholeness and now-ness, I think I'd be nowhere.

"The problem is that an "information field" is still a field, a thing (scientifically, a vector quantity of something that can be measured), not experience or awareness. " I agree "Doubter."

We think in steps, using our materialism ideology and find it hard to think outside the square. As the guy in the NDE that 'Amos' posted suggests, its much more simple. We already have a workable theory shown by the slit experiments that tells us how we inherently manipulate and have a symbiotic relationship with the basic structure of the universe. Observation clearly changes the atom/universe, but science falls short of acknowledging that.

Our 3D world is an illusion formed by our thinking. We are what we think (it could be 5D if we thought it was), and so we are able to influence matter both here and in the afterlife. Lyn x.

I should change the use of the word symbiotic, as that suggests we are outside consciousness. As I feel we are all consciousness, every cell in us- inanimate things and the universe itself. We are all made of the same 'stuff', so to speak.

I know form personal experience, sometimes spirit has talked to me through my body, and it feels like a vibration. If I had to explain it, it feels like every cell in my body acknowledged the communication, orr heard, as it were. Lyn x.

"The problem is that an "information field" is still a field, a thing (scientifically, a vector quantity of something that can be measured), not experience or awareness. I don't think Laszlo and Peake make any breakthrough in understanding consciousness."

You're right, but your criticism seems misguided: Laszlo and Peake never try to solve the hard problem, but to develop a model to understand how is possible an afterlife. I have not read that book, but my question is whether that model effected testable predictions.

"We already have a workable theory shown by the slit experiments that tells us how we inherently manipulate and have a symbiotic relationship with the basic structure of the universe. Observation clearly changes the atom/universe, but science falls short of acknowledging that."

Quantum mechanics does not predict the existence of an afterlife and that the collapse of wave function requires a conscious being is an interpretation, but not part of the theory.

What we need are theories that make testable predictions about an afterlife, although I am afraid this is not very useful because most scientists still not admit that there is evidence of the existence of a kind of the afterlife.


" Observation clearly changes the atom/universe, but science falls short of acknowledging that.
Our 3D world is an illusion formed by our thinking.."

Lynn, I think you are on to something here. The double slit and its successor experiments (DCQE) can be interpreted as clearly indicating a mind (observer) that stands outside of the material universe. This was, at least, the interpretation that early quantum theorists took. Whether this mind individuates into us, is something that we will have to see. If it does, then theories such as the VR (holographic projection) etc may be the right way to go. We(mind) may actually stand outside the “physical” universe and create the projection as a learning experience. We may have no "real" material(as we understand it) component to us. Tom Campbell's theories explain the "afterlife" as yet another "level" or projection of the mind.

GregL

The book's title reminds me of Bertie Wooster's phrase for chutzpah: "the immortal rind" (to say or do something brash).

Juan - ||...your criticism seems misguided: Laszlo and Peake never try to solve the hard problem, but to develop a model to understand how is possible an afterlife.||

The authors say: ".....In the perspective of the manifest world the deep dimension is an information field or medium; it "in-forms" things in the world. But "in itself," this dimension is more than a network of in-forming signals. It is a consciousness in its own right."

They clearly imply the notion that consciousness is a "field" of some sort. This seems to invoke all the problems I mentioned.

For the reasons already posted I think science will probably never understand or have a valid explanation for consciousness. This would be sort of the "new mysterianism" philosophical position. This says that humans just don't have the inherent intellectual capacity to solve (or even comprehend the answer to) the hard problem of consciousness. The ultimate inner nature of the conscious self may simply not be knowable or discoverable. And this may be the case with other difficult problems. A number of prominent philosophers and scientists espouse this view, including Colin McGinn, who said that consciousness is "a mystery that human intelligence will never unravel". Others are Thomas Nagel, John Searle, Jerry Fodor, Noam Chomsky and Roger Penrose.

@GregL: Don't know if you've already seen this, but check out Arvan's Peer-to-Peer Hypothesis. Very much inline with the idea that the user (mind/soul/psyche/atman/etc) participates in "information sea" of reality but is also outside it in some way. I recall the physicist David Bohm also thought of reality as akin to the kind of interaction between the user and a video game.

I think this P2P hypothesis fits well with quantum consciousness ideas like Orch-OR (which has had predictive success since they did find the necessary vibrations in microtubules) and the relatively new idea from physicist Chris Fuchs of QBism- the idea each of us has a private reality.

@ Seth. " You are, each of you, All-That-Is experienced through your own individuality, and the transubstantiation of your flesh."

"Identity and consciousness existed long before your earth was formed....Consciousness is the force behind matter, and it forms many other realities besides the physical one....So much of your energy is used in the physical productions that you cannot afford to perceive any reality but your own."

"Matter is the shape that basic experience takes when it comes into your three-dimensional system. Your dreams, thoughts, expectations, beliefs and emotions are literally transformed into physical matter."

"Every nerve and fibre within the body has an unseen inner purpose. Nerve impulses travel outward from the body, along invisible pathways, in much the same manner that they travel within the body."

"These pathways are carriers of telepathic thoughts, impulses, and desires containing all the codified data necessary for translating any thought or image into physical actuality, altering seemingly objective events."

"This telepathy operates constantly at an "automatic" or subconscious level, providing communication to back up sensory data. Telepathy is the glue that holds the physical universe in position, so that you can agree on the existence and properties of objects." http://www.the-office.com/seth/

Seth makes total sense to me and is backed up by the double-split experiments I feel.

I also tend to think in terms of Bernado Kastrap's transcendental experiences of us- as a universe infolding on itself. That we are each 'All That Is' experiencing itself, but have forgotten we are of the source. Some however realise this by conscious experiences such as remote seeing, OBE'S, NDE'S, meditation and drug taking which free's our egoic thinking. Its only our belief's that supposes a 3D world, by our general consensus. An illusion that is our collective dream and takes any form we believe in. Not entirely separate as we tend to conceive of it as such, but a consciousness within a consciousness that is always in direct communication with its source.

Hopefully less typing errors today. In a hurry yesterday to have a bike ride. :) Lyn.

It's all so simple as the guy who had a NDE suggested, that 'Amos' posted. He connected to each and every living soul and those yet to be born, simply because we are each the source. This is why we can remote see, do PSI etc, as we are all connected.

I am enjoying experimenting with remote viewing, and I'm probably correct about 33% of the time as they suggest is the average. I'm sure it's a matter of meditating adequately though, so I think you can better that score over time. I'm amazed how accurate the drawings can be.Though I can see how you tend to make sense of the picture before it's fully revealed, as they found in the Stargate experiments e.g. I find it hard to stop from analysing the image and interfering with it's outcome. Lyn x.

"The authors say: ".....In the perspective of the manifest world the deep dimension is an information field or medium; it "in-forms" things in the world. But "in itself," this dimension is more than a network of in-forming signals. It is a consciousness in its own right."

They clearly imply the notion that consciousness is a "field" of some sort. This seems to invoke all the problems I mentioned."

And that goes double aspect monism? Consciousness can be experience to the experimenter but a field / body to an observer.

I had a rather strange experience this morning, although similar things have happened in the past. I had to be up early to send a pony off down to the South of England in a transporter and so had set my alarm for 6.00am.

When the alarm went off I was astonished to find myself woken from a dream in which I was already doing the preparatory things I would have to do when I got up. I was rather taken aback to realise that I had to start the work all over again because I'd only been dreaming.

doubter said:

"consciousness is 'a mystery that human intelligence will never unravel'"

Here's another way to think about this.

Each of us gets to know consciousness intimately, though we each specialize in different aspects of it.

That's what we're *about* -- investigating consciousness in our own unique way.

It occurs to me that exploring consciousness is what the universe -- all universes -- are about. In each one, and through each of its members, Source gets to examine consciousness from a different perspective.

"It's all so simple as the guy who had a NDE suggested, that 'Amos' posted. He connected to each and every living soul and those yet to be born, simply because we are each the source. This is why we can remote see, do PSI etc, as we are all connected."

Nicely said, Lynn! Since at one level we are all-that-is, psi is simply knowing yourself.

"When the alarm went off I was astonished to find myself woken from a dream in which I was already doing the preparatory things I would have to do when I got up."

Sounds precognitive, Julie. I often have similar dreams that reflect what I'll be doing immediately or soon after awakening. On many occasions, I've documented the dream, and then went on to have the experience in question, which included specifics I had no conventional way of knowing about beforehand.

In line with what I just said to Lynn, I see this as another example of psi = "knowing yourself." We ARE the future, just as we are the past and the present. And in dreams, we touch on the state of consciousness in which know our larger selves.

Juan - ||And that goes double aspect monism? Consciousness can be experience to the experimenter but a field / body to an observer.||

This still leaves the hard problem of consciousness unresolved. There doesn't seem to be any advance in understanding. An observer can only observe "things" and their interactions, which are of a fundamentally different and lower realm of existence. We can observe neurons and synapses interacting in the brain, but we just can't observe the "I" somehow embodied by this dynamic structure.

But there is an even deeper problem. According to Britannica,

"Double-aspect theory, also called dual-aspect theory, type of mind-body monism. According to double-aspect theory, the mental and the material are different aspects or attributes of a unitary reality, which itself is neither mental nor material. The view is derived from the metaphysics of Benedict de Spinoza, who held that mind and matter are merely two of an infinite number of “modes” of a single existing substance, which he identified with God."

The nature of this common substance is undefined even in principle, since it is the unknowable substance of God.

Therefore it seems that this philosophy is closely related to mysterianism.

Great writeup, Micheal! Followed, naturally, by great comments...

Michael wrote,

||The most common objection to the idea of a plane of pure information is that, as far as we know, information always has to be stored in some medium. So how can it exist independent of any medium, as "pure" data?||

And then TES wrote,

||No matter which position you assign consciousness on the expressive spectrum, be it purely a phenomenon of material medium recursive neural networks, or be it extant as the substrate preceding reality - either pathway entails a Hidden Miracle Fallacy.||

And Simon Oakes wrote,

||Hi TES, I not only agree I’d go further and say that some kind of ‘hidden miracle’ is unavoidable whatever the pathway. It seems to me that all explanations have to run out somewhere, leaving some sort of ‘given’ or assumed starting point.||

I think Michael's and TES's points are related. Even if one is a materialist, doesn't that "hidden miracle" inhere in any physical relationship? Hydrogen and oxygen come together--and then they are just water! OK, sure, we can break down some interesting things in the three atoms in a water molecule and understand some additional whys (e.g., hydrogen bonds help us understand why water expands when it becomes ice). But we soon come to the end of our breakdowns and we are left with seemingly arbitrary facts about things. Electrons have a charge of -1; they just do. Protons have a charge of +1; they just do. And so on.

Similarly with information. If information is to be the ground of reality (I would specify: a posteriori reality), then it can't have a medium. For if the medium has any properties that allow it to be influenced and rules for its organization to form data, then there would be some additional thing or things to investigate (i.e., the science of the medium), and the medium would not be the ground of reality, i.e., would not be fundamental. Which contradictions our postulate that it is fundamental. QED.


Bruce wrote,

||Michael seems to be saying that this book is moving away from such a simplistic notion, at least to some degree. But the very name "information theory" still bugs me. It seems faddish.||

And no one wrote,

no one wrote,

||Thinking, realizing, evolving, feeling regret (feeling anything) is not the activity of data - data doesn't do anything - rather it is what an information processor does.||

I have to keep expressing my opinion on this from time to time because the term "information" doesn't quite get the job done but is perhaps the best we can do without a neologism.

A posteriori reality is anything we can conceive of being otherwise, whether in the past, present or future. I exist, but we can imagine a world in which I don't exist. The walls in the room are painted beige and green, but we can imagine them being another color. I played one chess move, but I could have played another. And so on.

"Information" in the new sense simply *is* these facts, potentialities, imaginings, thoughts, and so on. It does not mean data that records them (for there is *no* medium); it *is* them.

So that beautiful day when you were 7 years old and had the family reunion picnic and Uncle John told you about fighting in WWII and the burgers tasted so great--all of that exists for eternity, as true now as it was then, as clear now as it was then, whether you or anyone else happens to be thinking of it or not. It is indestructible, unalterable--no power in the Universe can change it or make it not so. As Fitzgerald translated Khayyam:

"The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it."

Now your Uncle John exists in that time *qua* him in that time (with functioning organs, cells metabolizing, all the details), but when he died the sum total of all that was true of him--his "information," if you will--being indestructible continued to live *outside the constraints* of material existence and time as we know them. And that is why there is an Afterlife.

Bruce wrote,

||The next step? Here's my hope: we'll see that what's fundamental is consciousness. In fact, that everything IS consciousness, manifesting in an infinite variety of shapes and forms.

[...]

Thanks for the clarification, Michael. I guess for me the bottom line is that I'm pleased to see you giving consciousness at least as much importance as information, because that takes you a step closer to where I stand.||

I don't think you are really *wrong,* but there are a couple issues. First, consciousness is dependent upon a priori reality for any form it takes or action it performs. 1 + 1 = 2 being an example. This is true in all possible universes, and consciousness (however we define it) doesn't make it true and can't make it untrue.

Second, I think the i-Thought, aka Sat-Chit-Ananda, is the resolution of all potentialities that in turn influences all potentialities through backward causation. Yet, in becoming itself, the i-Thought must also be Non-Self, aka Void, aka the Self Looking at Self as Outside Self. Thus, it would be inaccurate to call consciousness "everything," since consciousness is paradoxically "dependent" on not being everything.

If you don't go that route, you are left with a crude monism in which you call everything "consciousness" just because "consciousness" sounds kinda cool.


Julie Baxter wrote,

||When the alarm went off I was astonished to find myself woken from a dream in which I was already doing the preparatory things I would have to do when I got up.||

Haha, I had the same experience recently! I had to get up, prepare for a meeting, drive nearly 5 hours, and participate in the meeting. I had a dream in which I was preparing for the meeting. Yet, I was actually able to use the work I had done in the dream in my preparations! The meeting was a huge success, actually.

@Bruce: "Sounds precognitive, Julie. I often have similar dreams that reflect what I'll be doing immediately or soon after awakening. On many occasions, I've documented the dream, and then went on to have the experience in question, which included specifics I had no conventional way of knowing about beforehand."

Yes, so have I. But this was very different in that it was more a feeling of blurred time - like a photograph of a moving object. I can't think of a good way to describe it. Momentary slip of time, perhaps?

@Matt: "Haha, I had the same experience recently! I had to get up, prepare for a meeting, drive nearly 5 hours, and participate in the meeting. I had a dream in which I was preparing for the meeting. Yet, I was actually able to use the work I had done in the dream in my preparations! The meeting was a huge success, actually."

That sounds very similar indeed. But, of course, since the preparation that I could have benefited from was physical rather than mental it didn't really help a lot!

It was a very strange feeling indeed. Strange in a similar sense to deja vous.

Michael, this is a skeptic book abut Gladys Osborne Leonard and others mediums regarding the case of Raymond:

http://www.4shared.com/office/1qXaGwbs/Walter_Cook_-_Reflections_on_R.html?

This is a very short book, I think you can read it in 20 minutes. I would like to see a review from you. The date of the book is 1917, there is no more copyright.

"Therefore it seems that this philosophy is closely related to mysterianism."

Maybe, but any theory accepts something as primitive, without further explanation, and therefore mysterious.

And my other questions? I do not think we go much further if the majority of the scientific community does not accept that there is evidence of a afterlife.

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