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What is the opposite of Materialism - Spiritualism?

Spiritualism is consciouness.

We are spiritual beings temporarily inhabiting a material body to enable us to function on a material plane.

The fact that we know that we know.....is an example of consciousness in action.

Are we stuck with solipsism, the view that only our own individual consciousness exists?

I'd say that only our individual consciousness really exists, but that few are yet to grasp what their individual consciousness actually is - and it's not what most think it is.

I had a flurry of insights yesterday, not the least of which was that the thing responsible for creation might enjoy canoeing a section of the Rio Grande. A Bald Eagle welcomed me to the river, and a little copper butterfly joined me for lunch. While munching on a Braeburn apple, between slices of Jarsburg Swiss, I noticed the moon rising in mid-afternoon, and it occurred to me how remarkable it is that no matter what direction one looks - out or in - they discover the same thing - infinity.

That's not solipsism.

Consciousness is the elephant in the materialist's room, and it's standing on a pretty lumpy rug. What I find most amusing about materialism as a philosophical position is what Ulrich Mohrhoff loves to point out - if someone wants to hold that matter is all that exists, it might be helpful to know exactly what matter is.

We are spiritual beings temporarily inhabiting a material body to enable us to function on a material plane. - Zerdini
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I've been wondering lately if sentience or consciousness is even necessary for the soul to learn what it needs to learn? If the soul's lesson's are embedded in our everyday lives and it learns holistically what it's supposed to learn regardless of who we are are or what we believe than perhaps the "soul" can learn quite a bit or almost as much in a creature that for all intents and purposes is "non-sentient" (although I'm not sure there is any way to measure that). For instance as a guinea worm transverses the human body is it imprinting information on the soul of the paramaters of the host's body? Is it busy gathering information just like we are? And is this information just as valuable as the information we are gathering? Perhaps bacteria, protozoa, even yeasts, molds, and fungi are imprinting information on the collective unconscious (Akashic records?) of their surrounding environment? What time and space look and feel like, tastes, smells, temperature, etc. What it's like to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time universe and everything that goes along with that? Perhaps sentience and consciousness adds a whole new layer to what we can learn, but maybe it's not the be all and end all of "soul growth?" Maybe Tyranosaurus Rex also did it's part to teach the collective soul stuff about what it's like to be alive and live in a 3 dimensional universe?

Space and time exist within Mind not the other way round.

I don't think it's materialist as much as a logical issue.

"He suggested imagining a parallel universe, completely closed off from this one, in which there is no consciousness of any kind -- no animal consciousness, no human consciousness, no divine consciousness. Now, in what sense can this parallel universe be said to exist? How is it real?"

Because we cannot say it is real does not mean it does not exist anyway. It's just a logical issue and doesn't really bare on one's metaphysics. It's an excellent and legitimate question.

To me, three things are obvious:
1) consciousness affects the material world
2) the material world affects consciousness
3) we don't yet understand enough about either one to answer our questions

Bald Eagle welcomed me to the river, and a little copper butterfly joined me for lunch.

Michael, I'm so glad you noticed the butterfly!

:-)

I thought of you when he showed up!

I'm not quite finished reading it, but I have read enough of it to recommend a recently-released book, "To Die For," by James E. Beichler, Ph.D. He deals extensively with mind and consciousness.

He begins by discussing the evolution of science and philosophy, from Aristotle on through Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, and Newton and up to Einstein and the present. He is able to explain the conflicting theories better than anyone I have yet read.

Beichler doesn't pretend to have all the answers but he has come up with a model that seemingly puts all the pieces of the puzzle in place, offering us a universe of purpose and one in which mind and consciousness survive beyond death.

"It is hoped that 'To Die For' will teach people not to fear death, but to embrace it when it comes,” Beichler states in the Introduction. “Nor should people ever force death to come when it is not due. Death is natural and should be viewed as a celebration of life, neither welcomed nor forced before its time, but accepted for what it is when it comes calling.”

What I found especially interesting was Beichler's explanation of the problems encounered when mind and consciousness are not in synch, e.g., not realizing you are dead.

The Beichler book sounds interesting. Unfortunately, it's hard to buy through Amazon; there's a five-week wait, presumably because the book is print-on-demand. And it's not listed on Barnes and Noble's site at all.

However, it can be ordered direct from the publisher.

A fairly long presentation by Beichler, summarizing the book's themes, can be read here as HTML or here as PDF.

I thought of you when he showed up!

That is a wonderful compliment! Thank You, Michael.

"Yet even under these circumstances, science, as it now defines itself, will never accept the possibility of an afterlife or related paranormal phenomena, no matter how much evidence is gathered and no matter how convincing that evidence is, because science has developed neither the conceptual nor the intellectual tools to deal with such possibilities. Accepting such possibilities would force science to change at its most fundamental levels and that is the problem"

James E. Beichler, Ph.D

Materialism spins its wheels in an endless recursion by attempting to verify an abstract conceptualization (an "objective" world) with data from sensory input (a "subjective" experience). Even if the data is replicated and "generally" accepted, it remains inherently subjective. Objectivity is an intellectual abstraction, like "nothingness" or "infinity". We cannot escape the primacy of the Observer, the Mind, and therefore cannot conceive of any method of verification for any "objective reality" which would not require physical sensory input filtered through the brain to reach the Mind. A "mathematical proof" is only that: mathmatical. An abstraction. An artificial construct. So when we ask if there is some "thing" that we would describe as an "objective reality", we may be asking the wrong question. If such a "thing" could be said to "exist", we could only experience it with our physical sensory input. General agreement among various perceivers derives from general similarity of the sensory organs which input data to the brain and filter through to the Mind.

Regarding solipsism, perhaps the problem is more one of conceptual filtering of perspectives than actuality. If our sense of individuality is part of the filtering of Mind (the "experience of separation" Art often writes about) and all of Mind is a unified, non-electromagnetic, field, then Unity is the Observer and there is no "other". All would be One. These are offered only as suggestions for avenues of thought. I suspect MP has opened up the subject of an incredibly long thread.

"Space and time exist within Mind not the other way round." -Zerdini

So says physicist Thomas Campbell in "My Big Toe" (800 pages, but very easy reading).

"Space and time exist within Mind not the other way round." -Zerdini

So says physicist Thomas Campbell in "My Big Toe" (800 pages, but very easy reading).

A spirit communicator said this a long time ago!

Actually, and related to the last MP post, we can see the effects of solipsism in the world all around us today. We are a society of closet, if not outright, solipsists, of people who believe deeply in the practices of alienation, screwing over your fellow man, worrying only about oneself and one's narrow circle of reality and interests.

The sociopath is a crypto-solipsist because the only reality that is real to him is his own. And the economic disasters we are facing today? That's just the previously unrecognized real world coming to collect the rent.

“science has developed neither the conceptual nor the intellectual tools to deal with such possibilities.”

William, maybe it isn’t up to “science” to develop such tools. Maybe it is up to individual scientists. Waking up and accepting such possibilities isn’t an easy thing to do for anyone. A year ago I was just another socially challenged nerd playing with toys in the lab. I had an amazing talent for explaining away all sorts of things in very illogical ways that seemed to make sense at the time. Sometimes I miss that person; her life was much simpler than mine is.

I can understand how impatient many of you are when it comes to waiting for the rest of the world to wake up. I’d be happy if just my husband could do that for me, so I wouldn’t wake up to all these amazing experiences every day and have to keep them all to myself. I just continually remind myself that I woke up, and someday he will too. In the meantime, I take comfort in the fact that I’m very fortunate to experience the world in the way that I do.

“I can understand how impatient many of you are when it comes to waiting for the rest of the world to wake up”

I do not consider myself an awaken person but it may depend on one’s operational definition of the word awaken. I consider myself a researcher although I have spent many years in meditation hoping for such an awaking.

And from my point of view anyone that demonstrates impatience is demonstrating behavior that is not suggestive of an awaken person.

“so I wouldn’t wake up to all these amazing experiences every day and have to keep them all to myself”

This statement sounds as if you are having mystical experiences and you would in my mind be an ideal scientist to write about such things. Why keep them to yourself?

“William, maybe it isn’t up to “science” to develop such tools. Maybe it is up to individual scientists.”

If not you Sandy then who?

The tool that I use in my research is a cross validation approach with all the different teachings. Example the word love cross validates almost perfectly with all the teachings. Also compassion but most confuse compassion with sympathy and empathy.

Compassion is a rare phenomenon. Compassion I suspect has more to do with understanding reality then with emotional feelings.

This statement sounds as if you are having mystical experiences and you would in my mind be an ideal scientist to write about such things. Why keep them to yourself?

William, I have a long way to go in terms of understanding what I’m experiencing. I have shared some of my experiences with researchers in an attempt to make sense of things. I’ve even mentioned them in forums such as this one, although only very briefly. That just isn’t the same as being able to share what could be the most important personal experiences I’ll ever have with my family, and especially with my husband. I have tried, but they don’t want to hear about this stuff. They just want me to be who I was before.

I had an NDE 16 years ago. It was an amazing experience, but it came with a price. I survived, but my first marriage did not. I tried very hard to deny the experience, but it changed who I was. I was an artist and musician before the NDE. Now I’m a scientist. It seems a bit backwards to me. Funny thing, it was almost as if I was given a break from the anomalous experiences just long enough to forget about them and to become a scientist. They came back just as I’m trying to finish off my PhD. Really bad timing. Now I’m starting to question beliefs that were so comfortable just a year ago. Members of my thesis committee are wondering what is suddenly wrong with me, and I don’t know what to say. Out of the blue I need to come up with a new philosophical context for my work and my life; I don’t know if I’m up to the task.

I’ve been called a medium, and quite honestly I don’t like the word. It just doesn’t seem like something that should be applied to a scientist. I’m afraid that if I truly am a medium that I will stop being a scientist by default. Maybe someday I’ll be able to openly admit to my experiences, but right now I’m just learning to cope with them. These experiences are amazing, and I don’t really want them to stop… despite the fact that I sometimes say that I do. Such experiences seem to require a lot from the individual having them, and I worry that I just can’t meet those requirements.

I often run into the question-"What does the universe look like when nobody is looking?" from physicists.
It seems this is a question they think has a meaningful answer.
But isn't that the most anti-scientific notion there is?

"Space and time exist within Mind not the other way round." -Zerdini

So says physicist Thomas Campbell in "My Big Toe" (800 pages, but very easy reading).

This is also confirmed by high-level mystical testimony across all cultures and traditions.

None of which makes it any easier to believe, however.

. . . the only reality that is real to him is his own

The only reality real to any of us is our own, isn't it? We can draw all sorts of inferences about another's realty, but we can't ever really know what their world looks and feels like.

I certainly empathize with dmduncan’s frustration at how things are, but I don’t think the solution will come about from trying to change minds. I think the only way we’re going to see significant change is if more start seeing that we’re all experiencing separate realities to one degree or another. Once someone begins to see that, their minds will tend to change on their own.

Understanding that seven billion people are all experiencing separate realities does not suggest that any given individual’s reality is the only reality, although I’m sure we’ve all encountered people who appear to believe it is (“It’s her world – we’re just living in it”). The only approach I’ve found for those people is to refuse to participate in their world – it’s not like they’re going to miss me, or even notice that I’m no longer there.

"What does the universe look like when nobody is looking?" . . . It seems this is a question they think has a meaningful answer . . .But isn't that the most anti-scientific notion there is?

I agree with you sonic, but it’s not anti-scientific if one is working from the premise that reality is entirely objective. Max Tegmark has convinced himself that the genuine, objective reality is pure mathematics. In the paper On Math, Matter and Mind, which I’ve linked to in previous threads, Tegmark writes:

“I am a mathematical fundamentalist: I single out math as the underlying structure of the universe . . . I have no problem with the reduction of the world around us, including our minds, to mathematical laws of physics —rather, I find it elegant and beautiful.

“I adopt the formalist definition of mathematics: it is the study of formal systems. Although this pursuit itself is of course secondary to the human mind, I believe that the mathematical structures that this process uncovers are “out there”, completely independently of the discoverer. “

Anyone discouraged by that should know that Mark Alford and Pier Hut beg to differ in the same paper. It sort of ties in to the idea of separate realities, doesn’t it?

I can understand how impatient many of you are when it comes to waiting for the rest of the world to wake up.

Of course I’m impatient, Sandy. If the rest of the world doesn’t wake up, then I have to.

"If reality is inherently subjective, then what accounts for the general agreement among all the various perceivers?"-MP

Choosing to become members of the same species is like choosing to attend the same play. We take on the same basic sensory equipment and the same basic brain structures which allow us to play in the same agreement; each member with their own slightly different take on it. This does not enable us to 'learn more about reality.' Everything was known from the beginning. Learning is becoming aware of what we already knew and intentionally forgot. To be born and to become a member of a species is to sublimate enough of our knowledge to be able to play this game of life with roughly the same amount of ignorance as the other players of our species. If we didn't do that their would be no sense of discovery, no sense of excitement or drama in our lives; and if we didn't share basically the same biological equipment as the rest of our species, we would have no one to play this game with.

Somebody once commented that the universe is but a thought in the mind of a master mathematician which makes more sense to me than the anthropomorphic conception of a personal God.

I’ve been called a medium, and quite honestly I don’t like the word. It just doesn’t seem like something that should be applied to a scientist. I’m afraid that if I truly am a medium that I will stop being a scientist by default. - Sandy
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I think the answer to life's most profound and deeply spiritual questions can be found more in the realms of quantum physics and the holographic nature of the universe than in either spirituality or religion. You need to read Michael Talbot's three books, Mysticism and the New Physics, Beyond the Quantum, and The Holographic Universe. I think Talbot does the best job of anybody explaining how and why these "paranormal" things can and do occur. Did you know that in the January, 2009 online New Scientist they have an article about the holographic nature of the Universe? Everything (the total aggregate) of evidence I've read points me in the direction that the holographic paradigm is the best explanation for why we are here, and why we sometimes experience the supernatural?

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126911.300-our-world-may-be-a-giant-hologram.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news

Did you know that in the January, 2009 online New Scientist they have an article about the holographic nature of the Universe?

As I have pointed out before you abuse this article to support Michael Talbot's new age philosophy. That article in New Scientist have nothing to do with the properties of consciousness. It's hardcore physics within the paradigm of materialism that is discussed, about spacetime being grainy and not continuous. There is nothing more supported in this article. If this finding is confirmed it does not make Michael Talbot's philosphy more or less likely.

As I have pointed out before you abuse this article to support Michael Talbot's new age philosophy. - steen
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You need to read the short online essay about the holographic universe and then read Mark Horton's NDE. The parallels are so obvious! If you can't see the obvious connection than your mind is closed shut and you sir are no Scientist!

The Holographic Universe:
http://www.earthportals.com/hologram.html#zine

Mark Horton's NDE:
http://www.mindspring.com/~scottr/nde/markh.html

. . . your mind is closed shut

Am I the only one envisioning pots and kettles?

I wish I could recall who it was that said that it's a good idea to walk a mile in someone else's shoes before passing judgment. That way, by the time you do criticize them, you're a mile away.

Plus . . . you have their shoes.

You need to read the short online essay about the holographic universe and then read Mark Horton's NDE. The parallels are so obvious!
That's fantastic but these references have nothing to do with the article in NewScientist.

and you sir are no Scientist!
No and that's not what I'm claiming. I'm simply saying that the article in NewScientist have nothing do with your 'holographic universe'. Please start explaining what the definition of a hologram is and why that definition applies to the discovery in the NewScientist article? Then next maybe we can discuss which dimension(s) in Michael Talbot's book that is an illusion and then maybe we can see if we can make a link between these two.

"After all, if it [materialism] were true, we could never know it." -MP

And that's the truth! Well put, MP.

"Learning is becoming aware of what we already knew and intentionally forgot. To be born and to become a member of a species is to sublimate enough of our knowledge to be able to play this game of life with roughly the same amount of ignorance as the other players of our species. If we didn't do that their would be no sense of discovery, no sense of excitement or drama in our lives" Matt

Hello Matt!
This is a very interesting way of seeing it, and why I am surprised when I read in Eckhart Tolle that the right approach means that all the drama disappears from our lives. (Although ET can be a bit one-track, some of what he says is undoubtedly powerful, particularly his methods for identifying and countering the power and wiles of the ego.)

Out of the blue I need to come up with a new philosophical context for my work and my life; I don’t know if I’m up to the task.

I thought of this comment as I was skimming through Piet Hut's (of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ) on-line manuscript, http://lab.kira.org/lab/pref.html>Life as a Lab. As he writes in Chapter One:

In short, the readers are invited to join an exploration in which they are expected to use his or her own life as a laboratory. Anything that happens, in any moment in your life, can form a point of inquiry. This is how science got started, in often unexpected ways, and this is how we can continue the exploration, individually and collectively.

Chapter 2 opens provocatively as well:

Each moment a new reality appears. And each moment we manage to tame it, by projecting it back into our almost frozen framework of what we think reality can possibly be. Reality smiles, but does not protest. It has no agenda, and it is happy to wait for us to stop playing our taming game. We have a choice: we can continue playing forever, or we can wake up to the fact that we have been caught up in a game. But that's not quite right: with the sense of I being part of the play, the I as such cannot wake up. Illusions can't wake up, but reality can wake up to itself.

Seeing

The previous paragraph may strike one as weird, as a faint attempt at being poetic at best, or more likely as sheer nonsense. And within our conventional framework, it is indeed nonsense. Yet in the rest of this book I hope to unpack the meaning of this paragraph, and to show that it does make sense. Specifically, I hope to show that it contains the key to the answers of both questions posed at the end of the previous chapter: where is science going, and are there comparable ways of knowing.

It's just a guess, Sandy, but perhaps your scientific training may be very helpful in the evaluation and investigation of your anomalous experiences. It's also true that in our current society, the position of scientist holds a greater measure of respect and credibility than that of an artist or musician - "Ph.D". is today's equivalent of the medieval Bishop.

I am surprised when I read in Eckhart Tolle that the right approach means that all the drama disappears from our lives.

I wonder about some of his conclusions myself - but maybe it's just how he phrases things. I don't know if we can ever live without some drama - though I think we can see it as drama as it's happening.

I'm not wishing this on him, but it might be helpful for Tolle to experience some sort of ordeal - like being held up at gunpoint - and then see if he still claims to experience no drama.

Hi Michael.

I don't comment much on any blogs these days. I've been too busy working on projects to keep my family in MATERIAL goods. :-) But I still read this blog a couple times a week because you always have something interesting to say and say it in an interesting way. . .

It's just a guess, Sandy, but perhaps your scientific training may be very helpful in the evaluation and investigation of your anomalous experiences.

Don’t you think it might be a little too much like letting the lab rat build the maze?

It's also true that in our current society, the position of scientist holds a greater measure of respect and credibility than that of an artist or musician - "Ph.D". is today's equivalent of the medieval Bishop.

Michael, that really scares me. Having a Ph.D. doesn’t make anyone more sensible or useful to society. If fact, the opposite is often true.

Having a Ph.D. doesn’t make anyone more sensible or useful to society. If fact, the opposite is often true.

You know that, and I know that, but does John Q. Public know that?

What I'm suggesting is that you've no idea where you may find yourself in one or two or five or ten years - it may be that an opportunity may present itself to share something you've discovered about the spiritual nature of existence. If that happens, holding an advanced degree in the hard sciences will likely add to your perceived credibility - and perception is reality. :)

An example is Jill Bolte Taylor. If she were not a neuroanatomist, I doubt that the insights she gleaned during her stroke would have attracted the media attention they have.

I guess I don't see that an awareness of a wider aspect to reality is in itself a disadvantage to practicing science - it seems to me that it would be an advantage instead. Science isn't about proving materialism, despite the claims of the Richard Dawkins' of the world - it's about arriving at the truth about the world we inhabit, and looking past preconceived notions. You're in an ideal position to practice science, precisely because your belief system has been deconstructed. You can go about discovering what is without the burden of already thinking we know everything.

It's in this respect that science parallels mysticism - each are attempts to arrive at truth, and value getting past preconceptions. One method looks out, while the other looks in. As I wrote above, it seems that they each arrive at the same destination as well.

"I certainly empathize with dmduncan’s frustration at how things are, but I don’t think the solution will come about from trying to change minds.'

Actually, I haven't been feeling much frustration about the condition of things in society or the world at all lately.

That's because I know that if we're doing something wrong, it'll catch up to us eventually, and we appear to be living in a time when the chickens are all coming back home.

I've never been into changing people's minds either.

That's because I also know that we can't live any way whatsoever and be immune to the consequences. Oh, we can get away with it for a while, in the same way that you can ignore that scraping sound suddenly coming from the front wheel of your car when you drive, and get away with it——for a little while, that is. And it might even take a thousand years for things to come crashing down around us, but in all the time there is for things to happen, a thousand years is an awfully tiny bit of time; only ego centricity makes it seem like that is a long time.

Go figure: Soon as we find out we're not the center of the universe in one way, we make the same ego centric mistake in some other way, so it seems we are always in need of a Copernicus to spoil the fun.

So the beauty is, I don't think I have to change anyone at all. Reality does that.

In addition, Krishnamurti was the best and most radical teacher of the recent past, who appears to have lived in daily contact with what most of us here theorize about. I certainly don't know how to say better than him what he said, so I prefer to let him teach what he knew.

But I have different talents, and that's cool, because that's who I am, and those things I pursue because that is what is most natural for me to be, in the same way that Krishnamurti became what was best for him to be.

My focus is on seeing what's coming, and being ready for it. Reality will change minds, or destroy them, not me.

I'm just surfing.

You're in an ideal position to practice science, precisely because your belief system has been deconstructed.

Michael, I also feel kind of lost because my belief system has been deconstructed. Are good scientists supposed to feel that way?

I have no idea, Sandy, but it would appear Emerson might have http://www.rwe.org/works/Essays-1st_Series_10_Circles.htm>thought so:

"In nature every moment is new; the past is always swallowed and forgotten; the coming only is sacred. Nothing is secure but life, transition, the energizing spirit. No love can be bound by oath or covenant to secure it against a higher love. No truth so sublime but it may be trivial to-morrow in the light of new thoughts. People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them."

Hello Ben!

Are you as curious as I am about what all these characters that contribute to this blog (present company included) are like when they are not philosophizing? Screw philosophy! MP should organize a picnic! Zerdini could bring the cole slaw; Michael H brings the potato salad; you could bring the buns, etc.

But back to the topic: It's not that we don't learn things; it's that when we learn an important truth it is accompanied by a thrilling shiver of recognition (re--again; cognition--knowing). Down to the fibers of our being, we know that something is true because we recognize that it is true and that we are one step closer to finding our way back home.

And our sensory equipment provides us with the perfect amount of information that we need as a species (neither too much, nor too little). You've seen those Dawkinsesque diagrams of the 'evolving perfection' of the human eye. But perfect for whom? Replacing a human eye for the light sensitive membrane (which always begins these charts) of a microbe would be like replacing my golfing hat with a Himalayan mountain. Not only would the microbe be instantly killed, but if this were widespread,given that there are trillions of microbes for every one of us, we would literally be up to our eyeballs in eyeballs. What the microbe senses through its one membrane is exactly what it needs to survive and function in its environment, and the same is true for the bat, the eagle and the platypus. All this equipment cannot sensibly be evaluated except in the context of the being that it is serving. Each species gets the perfect sensory equipment to share the basically same perceptions that allow it to relate and function with each other as a coherent species. If you could sense what a bacteria senses on a microscopic level, that may be very interesting, but you would never make it across the street.

Michael H., in the past you have mentioned that you think materialism may contribute to the number of ghosts there are. In particular, the sort of person that doesn’t understand that they are dead when they are dead, because they just don’t think an afterlife is possible.

But what about animals? Sometimes they are confused by death too. Like a dog who has been hit by a car and is still trying to find his way home. His owners can’t see him, and he doesn’t understand why they have abandoned him. Dogs aren’t known for their great philosophical insights, so why do they have to suffer this way?

You know how many near death experiencers say that what they experienced was "realer than real?" Or "more consciousness than normal?" I think I've figured out why that happens.

It's another little piece of the puzzle that was resolved for me a few weeks ago. An article in New Scientist online magazine had an article about a machine that was invented to measure gravity waves. Well, there was this "fuzziness" that they found that they couldn't account for, and come to find out some other scientist had predicted that in a holographic universe at the smallest scales there would be a certain degree of fuzziness.

The reason I find this so intersting is because many near death experiencers describe their experience as begin super clear, and "realer than real." I used to wonder "how is this possible?" How can it be more real than what we normally experience. The above science experiment gave me the answer. In the holographic piece of film from which this reality is a projection of, that fuzziness wouldn't exist!

from the article
Quote:
Hogan realised 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://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126911.300-our-world-may-be-a-giant-hologram.html?page=2

"Fuzziness" would only exist in our physical reality because we are the holographic projection and the other side is the place from which this reality gets it's information. The other side is the film from which our reality is projected from.

Another words, the equations matched what the near death experiencers were saying! It's another example of the connection between NDE's and the holographic principle.

you could bring the buns
Who's bringing the booze, Matt? (OK, so I'd get drunk on your wisdom).

I also feel kind of lost because my belief system has been deconstructed. Are good scientists supposed to feel that way? -Sandy

Sandy, may I recommend two things to you?
1. Read Matt's website.
2. Read the trilogy Pete recomended earlier- "My Big Toe" (all 3 can be bought in one volume). It's written precisely to assist the change from the typical Western mindset to the New Paradigm. I am getting strong intuitive messages to let you know this.

Michael H: Sorry -over to you - I promise I'm not trying to intervene in the beautiful developing relationship ;-)


Who's bringing the booze, Matt?

Well . . . does anyone else like single malts? I think we should have a picnic just to see if Matt has tattooed “God Happening” on his forehead yet . . . ;-)

It's not that we don't learn things; it's that when we learn an important truth it is accompanied by a thrilling shiver of recognition (re--again; cognition--knowing). Down to the fibers of our being, we know that something is true because we recognize that it is true and that we are one step closer to finding our way back home.

It seems to me that this is the essence of the issue that every mystic (realist) is faced with in attempting to express what they've come to understand. We are conditioned from the earliest age to accept that knowledge is something to be acquired, yet the spiritual journey requires discovering that which has always been there. The idea has nothing to do about learning anything new, and everything to do about realizing what we already know, deep within ourselves.

Genuine truth arrives, without exception, as an insight, accompanied by a positive feeling. Those insights can range from a glimmer that provides a general sense of wellbeing, to the most profound realizations, which arrive with such force that we are left speechless, as Jacob Boehme struggled to convey when he wrote, ". . . it is that only Good, which a man cannot express or utter what it is".

Reading the balance of Matt’s post reminded me again of the consistency exhibited, across all time and cultures, between those who have caught a glimpse of the underlying reality. The mysteries of nature are deep and fascinating, and it is only normal for someone to respond to the suggestion that the entire cosmos, including space and time, arises from Mind with incredulity. To quote http://www.rwe.org/?option=com_content&task=view&id=112&Itemid=42>Emerson again:

“The frivolous make themselves merry with the Ideal theory, if its consequences were burlesque; as if it affected the stability of nature. It surely does not. God never jests with us, and will not compromise the end of nature, by permitting any inconsequence in its procession. Any distrust of the permanence of laws, would paralyze the faculties of man. Their permanence is sacredly respected, and his faith therein is perfect. The wheels and springs of man are all set to the hypothesis of the permanence of nature. We are not built like a ship to be tossed, but like a house to stand. It is a natural consequence of this structure, that, so long as the active powers predominate over the reflective, we resist with indignation any hint that nature is more short-lived or mutable than spirit.”

As “long as the active powers predominate over the reflective”, this will all seem like empty philosophizing. Conversely, when and if the reflective powers predominate, it will suddenly seem like simple common sense, and one will just as suddenly wonder why they hadn’t recognized it before.

Dogs aren’t known for their great philosophical insights, so why do they have to suffer this way?

I'm only guessing here, Sandy, but since everything exists in a world that is constructed of thought, it isn't inconceivable to me that an animal spirit couldn't also experience confusion following sudden death. Confusion doesn't necessarily equate with suffering, though, and I'd further guess that animals would tend to transition fairly easily once they gain their bearings.

I think that humans can potentially have a tougher time, simply because of our tendency to interpret our conditioned thoughts about reality as reality itself.

I would question the assumption about dogs not being capable of philosophical insights - or more accurately, spiritual insights. I've sensed a tremendous level of awareness in certain dogs I've owned. I'll never forget bringing home two Cocker Spaniel pups, a brother and sister, who were duly christened in honor of Tracy and Hepburn.

Kate grew ill at about four months of age, and Spencer took on the role of caretaker for her, which was interesting in itself, because his focus up to that point had appeared to be all about picking on her. (She was the runt, but she took him on anyway). It soon became clear that something was seriously wrong with her, and I needed to take her to a vet. As I prepared to gather her to go, Spencer walked over and sadly kissed her. It seemed like a goodbye; as if he knew he wouldn't see her again. He was right - her liver was failing, and she died the next day.

Several years later he grew ill himself, and seemed to sense his own demise. He had developed a form of cancer, and the vet told me that I would eventually need to put him down, which I really didn't want to do. At the same time, I didn't want him to suffer, either. A day came along when he seemed particularly interested in being with me, and spent the entire afternoon and evening by my side, laying his head in my lap. The next morning I let him out, and he just wandered off and lay down beneath a tree that had been his favorite outpost, curled up, and passed away in a few hours time. When I discovered that he was gone, it struck me that the previous day had been his time to say goodbye to me as well, and further, that he had sensed that I didn't want the responsibility of hastening his exit, so he just decided to leave on his own.

Most anyone who's had a dog would agree with me when I say that dogs are especially adept at unconditional love. I'd never really considered it before this post, but I guess it wouldn't surprise me to discover that their attachment to their families could lead to a period of confusion if they were to suddenly die.

As an aside, Sandy, I’d second Ben’s recommendations, and also suggest that the Piet Hut manuscript that I linked earlier is worth bookmarking – I’m only a third of the way through it, but he’s also trying to get people back to doing real science.

Most anyone who's had a dog would agree with me when I say that dogs are especially adept at unconditional love. I'd never really considered it before this post, but I guess it wouldn't surprise me to discover that their attachment to their families could lead to a period of confusion if they were to suddenly die.

The dog I was seeing/experiencing was hit by a car and he didn't understand why his family abandoned him. I felt so sad for him. He didn’t know they couldn’t see him anymore. I was very tempted to let him stay here with me. It is very hard to say goodbye to someone who can love so unconditionally. But a friend convinced me that right thing to do was to help the dog move on. He wasn’t here very long, but I really do miss him.

BTW, thank you all for the suggested readings.

. . . just because someone is a mystic does not mean the journey is over.

I’d be deeply suspicious of any mystic claiming that the journey can ever be over, William, at least in the sense of experiencing, nor did I suggest any such thing. (I’m responding to your post in the subsequent thread, BTW).

I don’t think there’s any end to the spiritual journey, which further leads me to believe that anyone who claims to have arrived at the end of the journey should be regarded with great caution. The great difficulty that is inherent in any attempt to express spiritual truth is well encapsulated by Emerson’s comment in his essay on Swedenborg, when he writes that although Swedenborg’s words are “true in transition, they become false if fixed”. I think this statement applies to all spiritual writings, without exception.

There may very well be a moment when we do finally arrive and remain at the highest possible perspective - that of absolute, total understanding - and it’s my best guess that when that moment arrives it will arrive with a feeling best expressed as, “Why didn’t I recognize this before?” It will arrive with that feeling because everyone on earth already knows everything that every mystic has ever tried to express, and the reason we don’t see that now is that from our current perspective, we’ve managed to convince ourselves that someone else knows more than we do.

we’ve managed to convince ourselves that someone else knows more than we do.

I’m pretty sure a lot of people know more than I do.

:-)

At least you're not certain of that . . .

:-)

:-P

re: materialism

I think we should make a distinction between "science"-a methodology for discovering how things work(and avoiding error in the process) and what I all "scientism"-the unprovable dogma that says that all experience comes down to currently measurable forms of matter and/or energy, that consciousness is merely and ONLY epiphenomena of brain processes, and that physical death is the end of any form of awareness.

The irony is that the tenets of "scientism" cannot, by their very nature, be proven by the scientific method, which demands that an hypothesis be falsifiable.

On the other side of the equation, we ought not to throw away the very rigorous methodology of science. It is very important to guard against wishful thinking, misinterpretation of limited evidence, and any one of dozens of natural tendencies towards error to which we humans are clearly prone.

I don't like James Randi, and I think he's clearly an advocate of "scientism", but I prefer his clarity to the sloppy New Age peddlers of crap you'll find in any Whole Life catalog.

As for the personality surviving death: how long do the proponents of that theory believe this continues? If the personality survives FOREVER, at what point does that personality so radically change in terms of learning, abilities, likes, dislikes, that it effectively ceases to be the same "person" that was around during physical life?

Are you really the same "personality" you were when you were five? Do you still like the same food, have the same habits, quirks, etc?

I think the notion of immortality by itself invalidates the prospect of anything like an identifiable ongoing "personality" being possible, since it would presume no change in who that "personality" was.

To be frozen forever as who I am now....I think that may well be a fate worse that complete extinction.

One more random thought: why would we assume or suppose that time passes in that other "realm" in the same way it does here? There is just something far too linear and "mechanical" in the way modern New Age thinkers talk about survival after death.

RJ

P.S. won't be checking back here, so if you have comments on what I've written, please email me:

sandworm77@ca.rr.com

As for the personality surviving death: how long do the proponents of that theory believe this continues? If the personality survives FOREVER, at what point does that personality so radically change in terms of learning, abilities, likes, dislikes, that it effectively ceases to be the same "person" that was around during physical life?

That's a good question, but it's been addressed in a lot of channeled material, such as The Road to Immortality by Geraldine Cummins. (The book can be read online.) Basically the answer seems to be that the changes are gradual enough to allow for continuity of consciousness from one stage of development to the next. But yes, at some point we are so evolved that our earthly experience is only a distant memory. How long this takes (in earthly terms) I have no idea, but the timescale is pretty large - centuries, at least, if not millennia.

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