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I know this is a long quote but it sums up beautifully what I have been spending 18 years doing research into the mysteries of life. It does not go in to detail into the meaning and purpose of life but this quote does give one a concise overview of cosmic consciousness.

The last sentence of this quote is particularly interesting to me. As I have had one revelation in my life on something I called understanding variation and that one realization did more for me in an instant then I had learned in five years teaching Deming’s teachings. I also discovered that many consultants had spend their entire adult careers teaching from Deming’s books but still lacked that knowing beyond knowing that appears to come with a revelation.

I take no credit or should I be given any as it came in an instant and from where it came I have no idea. Maybe that mind-cloud. Never expected it did not wish for it and it can be more troublesome to the ego than if one just intellectually knows what others know.

Example most consultants taught that variation is our enemy but nothing could be the farthest from the truth as variation is our dearest friend even divine if we know how to listen to it as it speaks to us in data and phenomena. Besides without variation there is no us, just Isness. We owe our very existence to variation. It is misguided or undesirable variation that can be troublesome.

Without that revelation I would be like the rest teaching the ills of variation to an unsuspecting world.

The only change I would make to this quote below is the to words intellectual illumination to intelligent or cosmic illumination but I understand what they are saying with the word intellectual. I think intellectual can quickly become intellectualism. I.e. PhD speak.


My favorite story in Cosmic Consciousness is CMC’s life story and her illumination and how it also healed her and as her sister stated when she saw her a few months later CMC had a constant smile on her face.


“Simultaneously or instantly following the above sense and emotional experiences there comes to the person an intellectual illumination quite impossible to describe. Like a flash there is presented to his consciousness a clear conception (a vision) in outline of the meaning and drift of the universe. He does not come to believe merely; but he sees and knows that the cosmos, which to the self conscious mind seems made up of dead matter, is in fact far otherwise—is in very truth a living presence. He sees that instead of men being, as it were, patches of life scattered through an infinite sea of non-living substance, they are in reality specks of relative death in an infinite ocean of life. He sees that the life which is in man is eternal, as all life is eternal; that the soul of man is as immortal as God is; that the universe is so built and ordered that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all; that the foundation principle of the world is what we call love, and that the happiness of every individual is in the long run absolutely certain. The person who passes through this experience will learn in the few minutes, or even moments, of its continuance more than in months or years of study, and he will learn much that no study ever taught or can teach. "

http://newage.suite101.com/article.cfm/cosmic_consciousness

Someone should pass along to Chris that he needs to update his links in his e-book -- the site is now at www.survivalafterdeath.org.uk.

"Speculating even more freely, I wonder if the mind-cloud is responsible for collapsing the wave function in quantum physics. According to some interpretations of the new physics, an observation or measurement causes a probability wave to collapse into a specific particle at a specific location. But what kind of observation? I'm thinking maybe it's the subliminal self (higher self, mind-cloud) that does the observing. It seems unlikely that consciousness operating through the brain - consciousness canalized in a network of neurons - could directly affect subatomic particles, but the mind-cloud, which is not confined to the brain, may be able to interact with the quantum world."

I would tend to agree with this. Not only does it fit with paranormal phenomenon, but it disposes of both the Schrodinger's Cat implications of the Copenhagen Interpretation AND the Many Worlds Interpretation (currently quite popular), which gets rid of the Schrodinger's Cat problem by positing the real existence of alternate universes where any possible outcome is actual. The observer has no role in deciding the outcome in the MWI, because there is no wave function collapse in it: Every possible actuality, in addition to the one you observe, also takes place——each in its own alternate universe where the outcome is observed to be different than what you have observed.

No. There is absolutely no evidence to support it. It's just an exercise in mental gymnastics designed to escape the role of the observer in collapsing the wave function in the Schrodinger's Cat problem implied by Copenhagen. But I understand that the likes of Hawking now favor the MWI.

But if consciousness is a fundamental property of the universe, then there is neither a Schrodinger's Cat problem nor any need for many universes to escape the problem.

The universe is what it is because consciousness is a fundamental part of it always giving it precisely the form it has regardless of our measurements. Our measurements do not collapse the wave function, nor are there multiple universes where all possibilities are actualized.

The Schrodingers Cat problem is a problem precisely because consciousness as a fundamental property or feature of the universe is ignored as a possibility——the idea that the universe has an intrinsic subconscious omniscience that determines by its own seeing the shape the universe has is not even on the MAP as far as they are concerned.

If that's the case however, there is no Schrodinger's cat problem. Nor is the MWI necessary. Which would probably leave the principles of Copenhagen intact, and both without Schrodinger's Cat following from them or the MWI a challenge.

When the brain ceases to function, consciousness as processed by the brain must cease also, but if there is another locus of consciousness, then that locus may continue. - Michael Prescott
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If the holographic universe theory is correct than the idea that we only exist at one place and one time is an illusion.

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

http://blog.nj.com/njv_fausta_wertz/2009/01/weird_science_news_headline_of.html

I see the subconscious as information based such as the conscious mind. That information does survive death, the soul is the personality and subjectiveness of the person. I personally don't like the dual loci of consciousness theory because it adds even more entities. To say that one consciousness is produced by the brain, well the other isn't, is giving into the materialists.

"I think the "realer than real" and "universal knowledge" aspects of many near-death experiences are a consequence of removing the filtering mechanism of the brain and experiencing the subliminal self directly. - Michael Prescott
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Recent experiments have found a certain degree of "blurriness" in our Universe. Hogan, the director of Fermi-lab says that there is a certain degree of blurriness in a holographic projection (a hologram). The holographic film from which the hologram derives from would lack that blurriness.

"Hogan realized that if this boundary defines the total number of information "bits" that the space can contain, then each individual bit inside the space would have to be bigger than a Planck length ... in essence, the holographic universe is "blurry" compared to the surface."

http://physics.about.com/b/2009/01/16/are-we-all-holograms.htm

"The universe is what it is because consciousness is a fundamental part of it always giving it precisely the form it has regardless of our measurements."

The problem, though, is that the particles/waves behave one way when they're not being observed and another way when they are being observed. If some sort of universal conscisouness is always observing them, then they should behave the same way all the time. But they don't.

Some kind of human observation seems to be necessary to collapse the wave function.

"The problem, though, is that the particles/waves behave one way when they're not being observed and another way when they are being observed. If some sort of universal conscisouness is always observing them, then they should behave the same way all the time. But they don't."

Actually, that's the crux of the disagreement between the Copenhagen and Many Worlds interpretations. The implications of the double slit experiments can lead in several different directions. One direction is the Copenhagen Interpretation and the Schrodinger's Cat implications of that interpretation, but another direction is the MWI. The MWI denies that there is a wave function collapse at all; the notion of "many worlds" where every possible consequence actually occurs in an alternate universe was devised as an alternative theory that does not require wave function collapse, and which avoids its implications. So wherever an electron CAN hit on the detector in the experiment, it DOES hit——each hit occurring in an alternate universe, and each universe disconnected from and unable to communicate with any of the others. That's according to the MWI. The observer has no role in what happens according to the MWI.

There are many other interpretations as well, but the Copenhagen and Many Worlds seem to be the two most popular.

In quantum physics, the Heisenberg ‘uncertainty principle’ states that certain pairs of physical properties, like position and momentum, cannot both be known to arbitrary precision. That is, the more precisely one property is known, the less precisely the other can be known. It is impossible to measure simultaneously both position and velocity of a microscopic particle with any degree of accuracy or certainty.

Heisenberg did not focus on the mathematics of quantum mechanics; he was primarily concerned with establishing that the uncertainty is actually a property of the world — that it is in fact physically impossible to measure the position and momentum of a particle to a precision better than that allowed by quantum mechanics. To do this, he used physical arguments based on the existence of quanta, but not the full quantum mechanical formalism.

This was a surprising prediction of quantum mechanics, and not yet accepted. Many people would have considered it a flaw that there are no states of definite position and momentum. Heisenberg was trying to show this was not a bug, but a feature—a deep, surprising aspect of the universe. To do this, he could not just use the mathematical formalism, because it was the mathematical formalism itself that he was trying to justify.

In other words, according to the implications of Copenhagen, Schrodinger's Cat is in some theoretical state of being both alive and dead at the same time, and it only actually becomes one or the other when an observer looks to see which it has become.

No, says the MWI which, I believe, counts Hawking as one of its big name supporters. The cat is not both alive and dead at the same time; instead if it is possible for it to be both alive and dead, then there is an actual universe where you open the door and see that it is alive, and there is another universe where you open the door and see that it is dead. It isn't both at the same time. It's one or the other in any given universe at a time, and both in SEPARATE universes at the same time. So there's no reliance on the observer to solidify one possibility over the other, and there is no bizarre state of being both alive and dead at the same time as Copenhagen implies. That, again is according to the MWI.

Personally, I'm not agreeing with either of them. Instead, I'm pointing out that there are these two large groups of opposing experts who themselves differ on the implications of double slit experiments, so it really isn't a case of what we observe so much as a case of how we interpret what we observe.

The MWI, I should add, doesn't have the paradoxical implications of Copenhagen (the both alive and dead at the same time kitty cat), but it does posit the bizarre notions of really existing alternate universes as real as ours.

With deep apologies to the skeptics, perhaps the real moral of the story is that no matter what the final answer turns out to be: Copenhagen, MWI, cosmic consciousness——it is going to be really, really weird.

With deep apologies to those who prefer their reality vanilla, perhaps the real moral of the story is that whatever finally turns out to be true: Copenhagen, MWI, cosmic consciousness——it's going to be really, really weird.

Which will be no trouble for us at all.

“With deep apologies to those who prefer their reality vanilla, perhaps the real moral of the story is that whatever finally turns out to be true: Copenhagen, MWI, cosmic consciousness——it's going to be really, really weird.”

Many souls that come through from the other side claim that life on earth is a lot more “weird” than the life they are experiencing on the “other side”. Many state that life on earth was a mere shadow of life that they are experiencing in these higher realms.

Most people must prefer their reality vanilla, as the largest selling flavor of ice cream is vanilla. Has anyone ever heard if ice cream is available on the other side? That would be a shame if there were no ice cream.

Interesting post, Michael. I have a few things to comment on, though.

"I also suspect that the mind-cloud is what
accesses distant locations during remote viewing experiments, and that interactions of different mind-clouds result in telepathic thought transference."

I'm skeptical of any suggestion that telepathy would work through a process of actual transference of information from a sender to a receiver, as if there is something that travels from one mind to the other. I'd rather hypothesize that the two minds in some sense become one, or that one of the minds sort of "takes a look" at the other one. Otherwise, it seems you would have to assume that telepathy is a different process from clairvoyance, for instance, where a second mind "sending" information doesn't seem to be necessary.

"Perhaps a few great spiritual masters and teachers - Socrates, Buddha, and Jesus might be examples - have maintained this level of expanded consciousness consistently."

Socrates? He (if he even existed, which is controversial) may have been a wise philosopher, but I have never read anything that would suggest that he experienced expanded consciousness, much less consistently so. Have any arguments been made to that effect?

This may be my ignorance but I am not so sure why Jesus is viewed as a great teacher and spiritual master either. From reading the New Testament certainly there are one or two clever sayings attributed to him but as a propoportion of the Bible his actual direct teachings (overlooking the fact that even these are reported decades after the event by third parties) are a minute proportion of that contents. I really don't see what all the fuss is about Jesus and his supposed teachings.

Has anyone ever heard if ice cream is available on the other side? That would be a shame if there were no ice cream.- william
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Funny you should mention that? True story:
A few years ago I dreamed I was standing in the playground of the elementary school I use to attend in Garden Grove, California. I was standing and staring out a chain link fence and I noticed there was a hole in the dirt under the fence. So I climbed under the hole to the other side of the fence.

When I got there I had to go through this old house and I came out to this green grassy pasture at the top of a hill. I was looking down the hill and I noticed that there was an ice cream store on the other side of a road so went to the ice cream store and told them I wanted an ice cream. The problem was I didn't have my wallet. Well, the guy behind the counter said to me "Oh, you don't need your wallet or money here!" But for some reason I felt naked without my wallet so I turned around and went back up the hill, back to where I started?

The dream was very "NDE-like". I'm fairly old and overweight so I thought it might have been sleep-apnea induced? But, anyway, in my dream there was ice cream on the other side and you didn't need money to pay for it.

Ice cream in the afterlife? Hmmmm… That’s a good question.

The ghosts that I’ve talked to about food really miss it. One lady has a particular fondness for strawberry ice cream and I crave it whenever she is around. But these ghosts are the ones that haven’t really “moved on”, so maybe they don’t have ice cream where they are. That doesn’t preclude the possibility of ice cream after you have “moved on”.

When I had my NDE, I had tea and cookies with Grandma. If you can have tea and cookies, shouldn’t ice cream be possible too?

Sorry about the pseudo double post. I suddenly lost power before (I thought) I submitted the comment. When I got back online and didn’t see the post, I was sure I hadn’t submitted it. So I wrote what was still fresh in my mind, which is why there are two different versions of the post.

"Socrates? He (if he even existed, which is controversial)"

There's no controversy about the existence of Socrates. Not only is he mentioned frequently by Plato, he also appears in Aristophanes' "The Clouds" (as a real contemporary figure)* and in Xenophon's memoirs.

There is, however, some controversy about how closely Plato's depiction matches the real Socrates.

Socrates appears to have been familiar with Egyptian religious teachings, which he incorporated (in modified form) into his philosophy. He also, according to Plato, felt that he was protected by a daimon or spirit guardian, who guided him in all his decisions. Again according to Plato, he recounted a story often taken as the world's earliest recorded NDE (the story of Er, who "died" in battle, went to the afterlife, and then was resuscitated).

Edith Hamilton's "Witness to the Truth" makes a good case for seeing Socrates as a very advanced soul. (The book is primarily about Jesus, so it might also address Paul W's question about what people see in him.)

For a less sanguine appraisal of Socrates, see I.F. Stone's fascinating book "The Trial of Socrates."

---

*Aristophanes put references to many real Athenians into his plays, invariably for the purpose of ridiculing them. He seems to have genuinely despised Socrates, who also comes in for attack in his later plays "The Birds" and "The Frogs." Plato apparently felt that Aristophanes' hostility to Socrates contributed to the public animus that eventually led to Socrates' death sentence.

Thanks Michael. I have to say I have had enough of Jesus and his purported mates to last a lifetime so I may not follow up your suggestion. Appreciate the tip though.

"I'm not so sure why Jesus is viewed as a great teacher and spiritual master either"
(Paul)
I think Jesus was a wonderful guy...he may have even been THE son of God. I find it hard to believe that he was, but I can't say that he wasn't.Don't know.
As regards Jesus as a teacher, the Parables are brilliantly executed and easy to understand(on the whole) which is surely very difficult to achieve when your delivering add-lib or off the cuff.


For the last couple of weeks, I've been reading some "realist" objections and critiques against the Copenhagen interpretatiion.

Realists believe that quantum effects exist with independence of human observers.

Some of these objections are:

1-This interpretation of QM is based on a phenomenalistic and positivistic philosophy (it seems the Viena circle influenced some of the philosophical ideas of the founders of QM) and, therefore, it is anthopomorphic and subjetivist.

2-That interpretation doesn't explain quantum effects where, presumibly, no conscious observer exist (e.g. in remote galaxies). The implication is that all the observed quantum effects might exist too when they are not observed.

That "realist" objection is aimed at the idea summarized by Michael "Some kind of human observation seems to be necessary to collapse the wave function"

Realists ask: how do we explain the quantum effects previous to the apparence of human observers?

They suggest that collapsing of the wave function could be spontaneous too.

----My personal, non-technical opinion, is that consciousness is primary and previous to the emerging of "human beings". In my view, it is conscious intention, instead of human observation (this is only a specific case of conscious intention), that makes the work of collapsing the wave function. But I could be wrong.

3-The Schrodinger's Cat problem is a false problem, because QM doesn't apply to objects with emergent properties (like cats, which eat, sleep or have digestive processes), and nobody has defined the concept of "alive" or "dead" in the specific context of the quantum theory.

I don't feel myself qualified to judge these technical questions, but I suspect that all the above objections are not conclusive.

In any case, philosopher of physics Bradley Monton has some interesting ideas about it in this paper: "Spontaneous collapse theories of quantum mechanics (such as the GRW theory of Ghirardi, Rimini, and Weber, 1986) have great philosophical interest. They provide a possible way of solving the measurement problem by changing the dynamics of the theory, and they make wave function collapse philosophically respectable by having it occur independent of observers. Arguably, they can be used to solve fundamental problems in thermodynamics, explaining why entropy generally increases"

Paper:

http://spot.colorado.edu/~monton/BradleyMonton/Articles_files/problem%20of%20ontology%20SHPMP.pdf

It is interesting to note that Monton is one of the few atheist philosophers who defends intelligent design, or more precisely, its scientific respectability.

Finally, Chris Carter has suggested that Evan Harris Walker has developed the most detailed model of quantum consciousness.

Walker follows Von Neumman interpretation of QM.

Yes Steve they are pretty. They weren't written down on the cuff though and who knows whether this Jesus bloke ever said them. Interestingly most of the teachings attributed to Jesus' were very similar to teachings from other earlier religious leaders, and many reported features of his life reflected similar legends from the lives of earlier "gods". I just bridled as the use of his name as a 'spiritual giant'. As an long-time (and now ex) student of the Bible, I don't see it.

In any event I think this is probably taking the thread off-topic so I will refrain from further similar comments.

Hi,Paul,
"They weren't written down off the cuff"

....but they were obviously 'delivered' off the cuff. That is the point I was making. That is the genius of the Parables.
His followers would have been unlikely to have been be impressed by seeing Jesus reading from a scroll of papyrus that he'd prepared earlier.

"There's no controversy about the existence of Socrates. (...) There is, however, some controversy about how closely Plato's depiction matches the real Socrates."

Sorry, may have gotten those two things mixed up.

"3-The Schrodinger's Cat problem is a false problem, because QM doesn't apply to objects with emergent properties (like cats, which eat, sleep or have digestive processes), and nobody has defined the concept of "alive" or "dead" in the specific context of the quantum theory."

Schrodinger's Cat is a problem because it suggests that things are in contradictory states at the same time, and that objects do not become what we observe until we observe them. The being both alive and dead at the same time part is where the difficulty is, regardless of how loose or precise one's definition of life and death are. Or, to put it another way, how can something be both a sphere and a cube at the SAME time? It's easy to imagine an object that can morph from one to the other and be both at different times, but try to imagine it being both at the same time, and even if you get a picture of a sphere superposed over a cube, what you have is a mental special effect where two things are superposed over each other, so you still do not have something that is both at the same time, but one thing laid over the other like a special effect in a movie or photograph. The sort of thing implied by Copenhagen is the sort of thing you can't imagine at all.

It probably makes more sense to say that what is really there beyond perception is an ineffable something, i.e, it isn't both at the same time, but neither at all, that is to say again, there isn't even a CAT until it is perceived as "Cat," whether the perception is by the cat of itself, of the cat by another person, or of the cat by some cosmic consciousness. Buddhists would probably support that idea.

There's another implication: If things only have the form they do through consciousness of form, and things evolve, and the universe is in an eternal cycle of birth and death, then there must be an eternal consciousness that keeps it going in that way, birth, evolution, and death, giving form to all the things we ourselves know and see, in which case there would again be no wave function collapse because the universe would always be exactly what it is through an eternal consciousness of what is that gives form to everything forever. For a cosmic consciousness that was eternally and exhaustively conscious there would be no opportunity for anything to be in a superposed state, because that would mean that cosmic consciousness was not totally conscious.

Now, the MWI which, as I've said, is quite popular, DENIES that there is any wave function collapse, so the controversy isn't what the wave function collapse we observe means——because we don't observe it——but whether or not there really is a wave function collapse.

And the MWI is interesting. At the very least it makes for some intriguing fiction, because the implications of it are that there could be an infinite number of universes where all possible realities are actual.

Now this may be a slight against human imagination, but still I have sometimes casually wondered if incredible works of fiction like Dune were subconscious glimpses of real worlds in alternate universes that exist. That wouldn't necessarily mean the universes are communicating with each other, at least not if there were some cosmic consciousness, because if there were and it was aware of the other universes, for example, then we might be able to glimpse the other ones in the cosmic mind without any direct contact between the universes at all.

“I really don't see what all the fuss is about Jesus and his supposed teachings.”

Well I can understand that statement there was a time when I thought Jesus was just a hippy with long hair in a robe living off the masses and his teachings were not very realistic to say the least.

The meek shall inherit the earth when the world was so violent and Rome controlled most the known world. Give unto Rome what is Rome’s when Rome made slaves out of many of its captives and forced its conquered countries pay taxes to Rome. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle then for a rich man to get into heaven. Watch the responses yet today on that one.

The heart of materialism is very threatened by that camel going through the eye of the needle teaching. That is one teaching that even most “new age” folks don’t buy into. And why is that? Too threatening to the existing world paradigm?

Now his supposed teachings; if Jesus did not make them then whoever made them was very advanced in their understanding of reality.

“But these ghosts are the ones that haven’t really “moved on”, so maybe they don’t have ice cream where they are. That doesn’t preclude the possibility of ice cream after you have “moved on”.

I think you are on to something there Sandy at least I hope so. As I far as tea and cookies what I have read is that some spirits talk about eating their favorite food as an essence rather than actually physical food.

“For a cosmic consciousness that was eternally and exhaustively conscious there would be no opportunity for anything to be in a superposed state, because that would mean that cosmic consciousness was not totally conscious.”

Maybe consciousness is not the ultimate reality. Maybe consciousness is a created or manifested reality. Maybe what is ultimate reality has yet to be realized or discovered. Maybe not.

Maybe awareness is primary and consciousness is secondary or a manifested reality.

I think you are on to something there Sandy at least I hope so. As I far as tea and cookies what I have read is that some spirits talk about eating their favorite food as an essence rather than actually physical food.

That kind of makes sense, William. It wasn’t exactly like eating cookies here. It was better. Things were better anyway because everything seemed really awesome. Grandma was telling me funny stories about things that had happened to me when I was little. She told me stories about my entire life as we were sitting there having tea and cookies. Even about the parts that hadn’t happened yet. I didn’t even care about what she was telling me, because I was just so happy to be having tea with Grandma. I totally forgot that she had ever died. Those were the best tasting cookies ever.

"Mindful Universe" by Stapp is the best physics book for the non-physicist. Stapp gives an understanding of why people have trouble with the 'dual loci' concept, what consciousness has to do with the wave-function, and how conscious effort can modify brain function in terms of acceptable physics.
Read this book, it answers the questions about 'spontaneous collapse' and MWI too.
It is also usable in that understanding what is written can make for a better life.
(Sorry for the advert, it just a great book)

“It (Mindful Universe) is also usable in that understanding what is written can make for a better life”.

“because I was just so happy to be having tea with Grandma. I totally forgot that she had ever died.”

Truly there are many paths for the journey of the soul.

Steve the point I was trying to make was that you have only the writers' word they were delivered off the cuff.

I'll leave it there,Paul. Healthy disagreement. :)

I think you are on to something there Sandy at least I hope so. As I far as tea and cookies what I have read is that some spirits talk about eating their favorite food as an essence rather than actually physical food. - william
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"Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real." - Niels Bohr

The only reason this universe feels real is because our brains tell us it's real. The other side will seem just as real to us as this side does. Some say "more real".

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

Allan Kardec in the “The Gospel According to Spiritism” also makes a good case for Socrates as an advanced soul and spirit guide for many. According to these sources Socrates was one of the first philosophers who taught the Golden Rule in the Western world.

"you have only the writers' word they were delivered off the cuff."

Who really cares if the Sermon on the Mount was delivered off the cuff or not? Truth doesn't always come in the form of quick-wittedness. Oscar Wilde was unsurpassed at quips, but his moral philosophy was shallow at best.

I would assume that Jesus thought long and hard about the things he said - though, if the gospel stories are accurate, he was also capable of a quick response when necessary. (Aphorisms like "render unto Caesar ..." and "let him who is without sin ..." came in the heat of the moment, we're told.)

What I would look for in a spiritual master is not the rapid patter of a stand-up comic, but profound insights expressed in a succinct and memorable form. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" - it doesn't get much better than that.

Sandy's revelation about the tea and cookies certainly pokes a stick through my spokes. I'd always assumed one didn't need mundane sustenance in paradise.Mind you, I haven't been.
I don't remember ever reading about anything like that(from the accounts of NDEer's)...or maybe I did and dismissed as an anomaly.
I find it difficult to assimilate into a credible picture of what Heaven might be like. Do we have digestive systems etc,I really do hope not...then we'd have to have drains as well.
....and then they'd get blocked up....oh...shhhh.
Only kidding, Sandy, maybe you could enlighten me.


Steve, I’m the last person you should look to for enlightenment. This stuff confuses the heck out of me. The NDE place was awesome, but I never really thought of it as heaven. I was never religious, so that word didn’t have a lot of meaning for me at the time of the NDE. To me it felt like home. How could I be home without tea and cookies (and Grandma)?

Sandy's revelation about the tea and cookies certainly pokes a stick through my spokes. I'd always assumed one didn't need mundane sustenance in paradise. - Steve
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How could I be home without tea and cookies (and Grandma)? - Sandy

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The question is, what do you picture your afterlife looking like? Floating around on a cloud thinking profound thoughts? Existing in a black spaceless and timeless void feeling loved?

If we are not here to learn about what it means and how it feels to be in a physical universe than what the heck are we here for? If we are not here to learn what it means and how it feels to be separate than what the heck is the use of experiencing so much separation?

I think this life is more about just learning what it means to be physical than any profound moral or ideological stuff. No matter where you live or who you are you will experience time and space, duality and separation, and make memories of what it was like to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time universe. We will use those memories, and the memories of every other soul in the Universe to create whatever reality we might wish to experience. It will seem just as real to us as this life does. That is the purpose of life. It's a school to learn about the physical universe and what it means to be separate.

There is a Reason - Alison Krauss
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWXNm9b6pKs


Sandy,could you describe 'the NDE place' a little more. Or is your experience published somewhere? Love to read it.

Art,thanks, I'll have a look at that,now.

....a bit too sentimental for me, Art.

Art, no offence but it's too sentimental for my liking.

“That is the purpose of life. It's a school to learn about the physical universe and what it means to be separate.”

I don’t remember reading one book that a spirit that came though a medium and talked about the purpose of physical life was to learn about the physical universe and what it means to be separate.

I do believe the physical universe feels much more separate than most of these astral realms of existence. Maybe that is what you are saying about what it means to be separate. The communication process alone in the physical world makes one feel much more separate than a telepathic process.

I view physical manifestation as a stage or realm or school a soul moves through on their way to these higher realms of existence. And memories; most spirits talk about actually losing many of their memories after they are on the other side for some time. Not living out those memories.

But I wonder if we hold strong beliefs when we cross over; maybe we live out those beliefs. It appears that beliefs may have a large impact on our living conditions on the other side. Maybe beliefs are in that realm of memories.

I don’t remember reading one book that a spirit that came though a medium and talked about the purpose of physical life was to learn about the physical universe and what it means to be separate. - william
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Nor have there really been any near death experiencers say that. But I'm saying that. That is what I believe. Everyone is free to believe whatever they want to believe. I doubt it matters what we believe. I think the Creator of the Universe was so smart that He/She was able to create a world where we learn what we are supposed to learn whether we want to or not. The soul's lessons are embedded in our everyday lives and it is holistically imprinted with what it needs to learn whether we want it to be or not. It doesn't matter if you live in Siberia or Australia or the Amazon jungle or Canada or anyplace else in the World you will experience duality and separation, time and space, and imprint memories of what it was like to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time Universe, and imprint memories of what it was like to live in a body in the physical universe. And the more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memories it will create. And disagreeing and arguing on message boards is just another way of experiencing separation.

dmduncan said: And the MWI is interesting. At the very least it makes for some intriguing fiction, because the implications of it are that there could be an infinite number of universes where all possible realities are actual.

Apart from Stapp and Bohm, you might also like to know the views of physicist Tom Campbell. He says,

"A "many worlds" concept that executes or actualizes the logic that everything that can happen does happen, also leads to a denial of free will -- if every possibility is actualized, there is no choice, just process.

No free will implies no possibility of growth or evolution and thus no point or purpose -- i.e., no consciousness."

I am persuaded by this. The MWI is (as you suggested earlier) a desperate attempt to escape from the reality of consciousness. The psychology of why so many apparently conscious people would wish to do that will surely be worth a book (or two) in the future.

Steve, I gave a fairly brief description of my experience to the e-magazine Paranormal Underground (http://www.paranormalunderground.net/site/?cat=4 ). My NDE starts on page 54 of the January 2009 issue.

I don’t really mention anything about the conversation with Grandma because that part is too personal. I just say that we had tea. There is a lot I didn’t mention because I was really struggling with the experience about a year ago when I first wrote anything down. I had difficulty finding words, so I stuck to the easy parts. I would never have written it down at all except for the fact that I correspond with someone who teaches a university course that includes a section on NDEs. I described it for him. The magazine account is an edited version of that correspondence.

"No free will implies no possibility of growth or evolution and thus no point or purpose -- i.e., no consciousness." - Ben
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It depends on what one believes we are here for? Maybe the education of the soul is too important to leave it up to chance? It also depends on how stupid one believes the Creator of the Universe to be? Perhaps the Creator of the Universe was so smart that He/She created a Universe where the soul learns what it is supposed to learn whether we want it to or not?

I don't believe that we are here to "learn how to Love" or "become one with God" or "help our fellow man" or "make the world a better place." I think that is a bunch of made up hooey. People come back after their experience and try and make sense out of it and because that is what they experienced on the other side they figure that must be the reason they were sent back. I think they were simply sent back because they hadn't experience enough time and space and separation. Like sticking a cake in the oven and taking it out before it's done. If you stick the toothpick in it and it comes out with batter on it, it needs to go back in the oven. Perhaps those on the other side can just look at the soul that has come back too early and tell it needs more time in the physical universe. More bits of information, more pixels, separation.

My God was so smart that He/She created a Universe where every soul is imprinted with what it needs to holistically learn whether we want it to or not. The soul's lessons are embedded in our everyday lives and it is imprinted with what it needs regardless of who we are, or where we live, or what we believe. Every soul is instantly healed when it enters that Light. Every soul becomes instantly enlightened upon entering that Light.

When a fifth grade student is working in a workbook does the author and publisher of that workbook know what is in it? The student doesn't know, but the teacher, author, and publisher all know what that student is supposed to learn as he or she works through that workbook. By the time the student finishes the workbook they are supposed to have attained some competence in the subject of that workbook.

We are spiritual beings having a physical experience. Why? What does everyone experience in life regardless of who they are, where they live, or what they believe? Why? I believe that God is so smart that the soul learns holistically what it's supposed to learn regardless of who they are, or where they live, or what they believe. Perhaps in the same way that little children learn before they ever start school. As they go about living their little lives they learn all kinds of things, and it all happens effotlessly.

@ Ben:

Yeah, the MWI was initially proposed (by Everett) to get away from the disturbing implications of an observer role. Personally, I don't find the observer role objectionable. What I find objectionable is the notion that something can be two contradictory things at the same time. I think, however, this is a flaw in the thinking of those who propose it, and that Buddhist thought gives a solution.

As does Berkeley. Way before people ever invented Quantum Mechanics, Bishop Berkeley may have come up with the answer: That to be is to be perceived, and the world exists whether we perceive it or not because God is always aware of it.

That's also an alternative to Schrodinger's cat that leaves both free will AND logic intact.

But like I said earlier, whatever the answer is, there will be a large number of people who protest it as crazy or too weird to be true.

It's inevitable that somebody is going to have his Post Toasties pissed in.

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