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To go one step farther, Cora, we can enter the world of qualia or of magik and leave the world of hard logic behind for a little while. Then certainly 2+2 may = 5 or may = 19,265..........

For example, we have all heard - and probably experienced - that the whole may be greater than the sum of the parts. These feelings can manifest materially under certain conditions, just as UFOs can.

2+2 = 4 is an objective reality only as long as one buys into the entire foundational concensus supporting that reality.

People can re-live lifetimes in a second. This is a frequent feature in NDEs.

50 years X 365 days X 24 hours X 60 minutes X 60 seconds = 1,576,800,000 seconds. Or = 1 second.

OOOH...just had a thought:


"BTW, I don't deny no one's thoughts on the astral body. I think there *is* one! And I think this not only for philosophical reasons but because it matches the phenomena from NDEs, crisis apparitions, etc.

But my thought is that the astral body is the form of the body, the information content of the body, the "fact of the matter" of the body."

Ok:

(11) Jesus said, "This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away. The dead are not alive, and the living will not die. In the days when you consumed what is dead, you made it what is alive. When you come to dwell in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?"

This part:

"When you come to dwell in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?"

The first sentence is the same question as the last. This is the "after death" part where you return to "Source".

On the day you were created (in the womb?) you became two. Your spirit/astral body became attached.

But when you become separated from your physical body at death and "dwell in the light" what will you do?

We have no idea really. And Jesus didn't explain any further in this document.
He just gave you the heads up about the spirit/astral body/consciousness.


The Remote Viewing may be just precognitive feedback from the conclusion of the experiment. Retrocausal.
Theres a lot of evidence for precog' influence in all PSI research.
SO the coordinates dont mean anything!
Youre missing that Michael.

MP said: "I do think that some kind of binary scheme is necessary for information. The division could be one/zero, yes/no, true/false, black/white, heads/tails, up/down, good/bad, right/wrong, plus/minus, or any other pair of opposites."
Or Yin/Yang.

Guys,

There is a difference between the laws of physics and the laws of math. Not the same at all.

The laws of physics *seem* arbitrary and I think they *are* arbitrary. IOW, I think Michael is positing a "fiat reality," and I believe that's basically true. E.g., if the gravitational constant were different, it would (through the laws of math and logic) cause other things to be different, but the gravitational constant itself does seem to be something that could be different than it is. There is nothing a priori wrong with it being, say, 50% higher.

But the laws of math and logic do not work that way. They are not arbitrary. That is why we do not run experiments to see that 5 + 5 = 10. We do not do experiments at all in mathematics; we do proofs.

Now, I mean this all ceteris paribus. If you redefine what the symbol "2" means, then 2 + 2 = 4 will not be true unless you also redefine what "4" means. It's true that there are non-Euclidean geometries and whatnot, but as poster Cora noted, they still have to be internally consistent. That's the key point.

Here is a thought experiment for you. Could God/Source/consciousness keep everything in the Universe the same but make pi 3.15 even, or make September have 31 days? Unless you're really fighting me here, you'll agree that it's impossible. If September had 31 days, then the year could not continue to have 365 days, so that could not remain the same.

I agree that, if it the kind of power to do so, God/Source/consciousness could change anything that is *arbitrary* in the world (which would cause a cascade of changes in other arbitrary things in the world, as necessary), but God/Source/consciousness cannot change that which is not arbitrary.

no one, it might interest you know to know the only apparition I ever saw, when I was about fix or six years old, was made of light, its whole body was made of light, and it gave off light. It was quite incredible.

KK,

That is all really interesting stuff, thanks! Is that the Gospel of Thomas?

(The GoT is great, although there is a scene where the child Jesus strikes another child dead. Oops!)

Cheers,

Matt

"Does Source make 2 + 2 = 4 in your view?"

Yes, because there are no other actors or makers around. Without consciousness (or Source), there is nothing. No math, no laws, no void, not even the *potential* for those things.

This is how I see it, along with many of us who believe--because we have experienced it--that all that ultimately exists is the Universal Mind dreaming up the whole shebang.

"but God/Source/consciousness cannot change that which is not arbitrary."

Sure. There is a "strange perfection" to the way things are arranged. Math concepts were derived from nature observations. That's a whole other tangent to get into ;)


As a side note, the thought of what is arbitrary or not made me think of the Tao:

http://thebigview.com/tao-te-ching/chapter11.html

"Thirty spokes connect to the wheel's hub;
yet, it is the centre hole that makes it useful.
Clay is shaped into a vessel;
yet, it is the emptiness within that makes it useful.
Doors and windows are cut for a room;
yet it is the space where there is nothing that makes it useful.

Therefore, though advantage comes from what is;
usefulness comes from what is not."

"That is all really interesting stuff, thanks! Is that the Gospel of Thomas?

(The GoT is great, although there is a scene where the child Jesus strikes another child dead. Oops!)"


Yes it is...but there is no scene of the child Jesus in it at all:

Gospel of Thomas (Lambdin Translation) -- The Nag Hammadi Library - http://bit.ly/N61DYY

-------------------

"Yes, because there are no other actors or makers around. Without consciousness (or Source), there is nothing. No math, no laws, no void, not even the *potential* for those things.

This is how I see it, along with many of us who believe--because we have experienced it--that all that ultimately exists is the Universal Mind dreaming up the whole shebang."


It's weird...but I do see bits of Matt's deal in there. Things are very "set" so to speak, yet I also agree with Bruce.
Guess I'm personally glad that the "source" wants to keep things predictably boring by default. And why not?
Billions of human minds running wild is enough fun and chaos for anybody.

It's good to see this interesting discussion continuing. One of the main points has been that we can explain afterlife phenomena adequately with the idea of the astral body. I think there are a few problems with this approach.

1. The concept of an astral body has been around for hundreds or even thousands of years, yet it remains on the fringes of thought. Most people, certainly in the modern world, do not accept such an idea, which they find redolent of theosophy and occultism. It just doesn't seem to be advancing the conversation or getting us anywhere.

2. A related point: In order to seem persuasive to the modern mind, ideas about the afterlife probably have to be couched in modern terms. "Information" or even holography would meet this challenge. Astral bodies belong to another era, and many sophisticated moderns will simply tune out the idea.

3. It would be helpful if the idea of an afterlife could be integrated into our contemporary understanding of physics, or at least if some common ground could be found between physics and postmortem survival. The astral body idea doesn't seem to relate to anything in modern science. Information theory, on the other hand, is increasingly seen as useful in understanding some very elemental physical processes.

To elaborate on the last point: Experiments show that a subatomic entity can sometimes behave like a particle and other times like a wave. But when we say wave, we're not talking about a physical wave, like a current in the ocean. Were talking about a probability distribution. The so-called wave is a range of “potentia,” or possibilities, none of which is actualized until the subatomic entity begins to act like a particle again. We don't know of anything physical that behaves this way. But this behavior is completely consistent with mathematical calculations in which the result of the calculation is held in abeyance until the calculation is completed. In other words, subatomic entities really do seem to behave more like mathematical constructs–bits of data being processed algorithmically–than like teeny-tiny physical objects.

If this information-based approach can help to make sense of the mysteries of quantum physics, maybe it can help make sense of other things. At the very least, it offers a bridge between some cutting edge thinking in modern science and the idea of life after death, which otherwise strikes many people as a holdover from the Dark Ages.

This is why I've been interested in books like James Beichler's To Die For, which attempts to explain life after death in terms of physics and math. Whatever the problems with this approach, it strikes me as more likely to be productive than simply repeating old mystical tropes that increasingly fall on deaf ears in the 21st century.

"This is why I've been interested in books like James Beichler's To Die For, which attempts to explain life after death in terms of physics and math. Whatever the problems with this approach, it strikes me as more likely to be productive than simply repeating old mystical tropes that increasingly fall on deaf ears in the 21st century."

Just because you change the marketing terms does not mean the product being sold has changed.

Now, this is not to say that math and physics is not involved....it is...it's just that the ancient books used different terms. That's all.

If people in the 21st century can't acknowledge and build on the past..they will fail.
They will wind up reinventing the wheel and just calling it something different. To little effect.


For example:

Check out this carving from the Aten worshippers in Egypt:

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/52187564/stela_s_top_large.jpg

Hmm...sun *rays* literally hand delivering tiny ankhs (photons) to the Pharoah and the people, giving them life.

The Egyptians worshipped those life giving rays and called them whatever name that fit at the time.

When were those concepts rediscovered by so-called "modern" people and given a "modern" marketing name?

In between, the Roman church probably killed off anybody even trying to study said concepts. Cause they had their own marketing scam they wanted to impose.

So, if the people have deaf ears in the 21st century...they themselves are the only ones to blame. Willing ignorance or laziness? Dunno. Don't care.

A guy in a clown suit might have the most dead to rights mind blowing info for you...but...you'll miss it if you don't look past the appearance.

Maybe Jesus was goofy looking too. Or maybe the problem was not with his messages:

(28) Jesus said, "I took my place in the midst of the world, and I appeared to them in flesh. I found all of them intoxicated; I found none of them thirsty. And my soul became afflicted for the sons of men, because they are blind in their hearts and do not have sight; for empty they came into the world, and empty too they seek to leave the world. But for the moment they are intoxicated. When they shake off their wine, then they will repent."

Mystical trope? Or real-life situation still happening in the 21st century?

I mean, people take any information and make it too sensational or whatnot. It's gonna happen. It's a minefield out there.
But I'll listen to the pitch for a bit. If it's crap...I'm outta there. If some information is compelling...regardless of it's outward appearance..take it.

It's all about the search.

As Jesus said above, "Stay thirsty my friends".

Information is only information in the context of consciousness. If the Universe were devoid of any consciousness there could not exist any information. All the text conveyed in books, all that computer monitors display, would all be literally without any meaning.

Moreover information can only directly convey that which is quantitative. Consider the thought experiment regarding Mary the brilliant neuroscientist. She has lived her entirely life in a black and white (and the shades between) environment. She has assimilated all possible information about the science of colour vision, sounds and smells. Yet until she ventures outside her black and white environment she could never know what it is like to experience greenness or any other colour. Never know what it's like to hear the sound of a waterfall nor any other sounds. Never know what it's like to experience the smell of a rose, nor any other smells.

The qualitative aspects of reality can only be conveyed by information by assigning some symbols to a particular characteristic colour. 1000101000 stands for turquoise or whatever. And we have to remember that string of symbols stands for that particular colour. But we don't get to remember by further information as that generates an infinite regress. Rather we have to directly remember it. So no knots in handkerchiefs allowed. But I digress . .

The point is that the essence of physical reality is not captured by information. Information is merely something created by conscious entities in order to communicate with other conscious entities. So it is *literally meaningless* to claim the physical world is itself information. The quantitative aspects maybe, but the quantitative aspects shorn of any qualitative aspects is an empty shell.

The claim that consciousness is itself merely information is even worse (in as much as that is possible). If this were so then computers would be conscious. But we have no more reason to think any computer is conscious (no matter how complex) than a stone. A computer just processes information. It merely follows instructions. In no sense whatsoever is any consciousness hinted at.

Moreover it is of course extremely easy to destroy information. Take a sheet of page with writing on it, and throw it into a fire :-)

"Information is merely something created by conscious entities in order to communicate with other conscious entities. So it is *literally meaningless* to claim the physical world is itself information.'"

Excellent comment, Ian, in its entirety!

Would it be proper to add to that first sentence "and to operate machinery like computers"?

KK,

Sorry, it's a different book called:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infancy_Gospel_of_Thomas

"curses a boy who falls dead and his parents become blind"

Yowch.

Bruce (or anyone who wishes to argue the point),

I still challenge you to answer how consciousness (which you seem to be calling omnipotent) can make September have 30 days while keeping everything else in the Universe the same.

The more I think about it, the more your viewpoint sounds just like classic monotheism. Source/consciousness sounds like a different name for "God." Can you explain the difference?

Thank you, my friend.

"I still challenge you to answer how consciousness (which you seem to be calling omnipotent) can make September have 30 days while keeping everything else in the Universe the same."

Why does it have to keep everything else the same?

Why not one organization of infinity where Sept has 30 days and another where it has 31 days, each with all of the ramifications that follow from that arrangement?

"Information is only information in the context of consciousness. If the Universe were devoid of any consciousness there could not exist any information........."

Well said.

I'll repeat, as a question, what use is information without an awareness to observe, interpret and make use of it? Also, where does information come from, unless emerging as a byproduct of the activities of sentient beings?

Awareness, life, sentience must be primary and information merely a byproduct.

If this leads us back to a god like source, then that's where it leads. Such a conclusion really does answer a lot of questions and really does fit with the evidence we have.

I don't really know what the alternative is other than a bunch of bits and bytes somehow self organizing (perhaps in Darwinian fashion?) into various units and, somehow, having achieved a critical mass, becoming aware and conscious.

There are too many somehows in the chain of events to leave me convinced. And it's a long and winding path to take to avoid the concept of astral bodies and god.

This sounds a lot like classic evolutionary theory substituting bits and byts for DNA (and accompanying primordial ooze and lightening strikes, etc) and attempting to explain the development of consciousness as opposed to the development of physical morphology.

Sure, it's a theory couched in modern terms, but I don't see how that helps get us any closer to any answers.

An abiding mystery indeed.

Michael,

Tell me what you think:

I think one of the primary distinctions you're making is between what I am going to call "deterministic reality" (DR) and "fiat reality" (FR).

"Deterministic reality" would be the worldview of the materialist. Things are the way they are for purely material reasons. Far from being the ground of reality, mind and consciousness are emergent properties of the physical via evolution and have no other meaning or purpose other than their contribution to the survival of a species.

In DR, we don't know the reasons for the values of the various constants in nature, but we know there are reasons: physical, "scientific" reasons. E.g., if we understand how "branes" worked, we might understand why the gravitational constant is what it is, and so on.

One could have a quibble with the name "deterministic reality" in that quantum scientists recognize the existence of the probabilistic. Here, however, "deterministic" refers to the faith that one natural property or law is determined by the next, and nothing is arbitrary. Thus, there is a "reason" that determines the gravitational constant that we simply don't know yet. Perhaps another word is better.

In contrast, in FR we can see at the subatomic level that, for example, electrons have no color, shape, or other reassuring properties we associate with objects apparent to our senses but instead have a list of seemingly arbitrary properties that fit nicely into a data table: mass, charge, etc. And so on with quarks with their flavors and whatnot.

As you note with regard to quantum mechanics, photons have properties that, while fitting nicely into a data table, do not fit nicely at all into our everyday conception of physical objects. Rather, we seem to be able to understand and process their workings only as data or information.

Ultimately, the closer we look at our physical world, the more it looks like an arbitrarily, though artfully, constructed virtual reality program. Fiat reality--so only because something has made it so.

Then when we look at spiritual phenomena, we find that they jibe exceptionally well with reality as conceived as a virtual reality program. This gives us your "click list." I think I can add a few more:

*Life review*

It could be that the person, upon crossing over, does not have a life review *imposed* but, as the arbitrary limitations of the physical are shed, the consciousness gains full access to the information content of the person.

*Astral Plane as total information content of this dimension*

When I use psi, I feel as though I am seeing into the Astral Plane, which to me does feel like a world of information. The Astral Plane feels not so much to be a place where things *happen* but a place *about* other things. If we think of dreams as happening on the Astral Plane (as more and more people do), we also see that dreams tend to be *about* things. I'm not saying that new and original events can't unfold--they do--but dreams in general seem to be arrows pointing at something else. A channeler friend described the Astral as the fourth dimension, where thoughts become things (not necessarily her original thought but perhaps an understanding that is working its way through New Age thought?). I think this is quite apt.

*Spiritual dimensions are actually informational dimensions*

Also, to throw a new twist in all this, could it be that information has dimensionality analogous to geometrical dimension? Moreover, could the dimensions we talk about with regard to spiritual matters actually be informational dimensions and not geometric dimensions? If this were so, it would help explain why spirits are always "here" for us regardless of time, since the higher informational dimension would include *all aspects* of the lower at all *times.*

As far as information processing is concerned, the Astral Plane (4th dimension) can be seen as differing from our own 3rd dimension in that there is one extra dimension in which to manipulate 3rd-dimensional data. This would explain why physical laws can be broken at will and why time loses its meaning. In exploring the 4th dimension in my own mind, one interesting thing is that you can maintain the same 3D object in your mind's eye but nevertheless get "closer" to and "farther" away from it.

My mind is getting fatigued from just thinking about this stuff, but perhaps some of this will make sense.

"This would explain why physical laws can be broken at will and why time loses its meaning."

So, are you saying that, at least in the astral, 2+2 might not =4?

Not being snarky. I am re-grouping and leading into a cogent argument.

Matt - yes, I lean toward Fiat Reality. For one thing, a whole lot of the parameters for our cosmos had to be of the Goldilocks variety ... not too hot, not too cold, but just right. I doubt it happened by accident.

Ian - consciousness as an emergent property of information doesn't imply that computers must be conscious, since the information would first have to achieve a certain level of complexity. The qualitative things you mention are indeed exclusive to consciousness, but if consciousness arises from information, then qualia would follow. I agree that meaning depends on consciousness, but I would distinguish between meaning and information. For instance, if a photon traces a probability distribution, that distribution includes information on every possible path the photon can take. This information will exist whether or not it is known to any consciousness. Or, to take a different example, the human genome is packed with information that guides the manufacture of proteins by cellular machinery. This information is there, and is useful, even if no conscious mind is aware of it (and, for most of history, none were).

KK - I'm not saying we should throw out the old mystical traditions, but we may want to carry them further. Why should we just keep repeating statements made thousands of years ago? And how much do we know about the astral body anyway? What is it made of? Is it physical or nonphysical? How does it relate to anything we know about our physical world? If we have no answers to such questions after two (or more) millennia, maybe we need to try looking at the problem from another angle. We don't need to discard the idea of an astral body, but we may need to reinterpret it.

"The more I think about it, the more your viewpoint sounds just like classic monotheism."

Matt, I can't really say whether or not I'm a classic monotheist because I'm not well acquainted with theological categories. I'll get back to this conversation next weekend when I have more time to ponder this stuff!

no one,

You wrote,


||"I still challenge you to answer how consciousness (which you seem to be calling omnipotent) can make September have 30 days while keeping everything else in the Universe the same."

Why does it have to keep everything else the same?

Why not one organization of infinity where Sept has 30 days and another where it has 31 days, each with all of the ramifications that follow from that arrangement?||

No, I'm saying that *no entity* has the power to change September to 31 days while keeping everything else the same. I'm showing that there are rules that God/consciousness/anything *must* follow and that God/consciousness/anything therefore did not create these rules.

||"Information is only information in the context of consciousness. If the Universe were devoid of any consciousness there could not exist any information........."

Well said.

I'll repeat, as a question, what use is information without an awareness to observe, interpret and make use of it? Also, where does information come from, unless emerging as a byproduct of the activities of sentient beings?||

Unless we presuppose some kind of God watching over all, where was consciousness when trilobites ruled the seas? Or if you think trilobites were conscious or sentient, how about when there was nothing but protozoa on the planet, or when when there was no life at all?

Yet, there was still information. DNA is information that operates (apparently) without any consciousness, sentience, or awareness.


||Awareness, life, sentience must be primary and information merely a byproduct.||

I think this is philosophically backward. Consciousness as we know it in human beings requires some sort of content in order to be conscious at all.

I could see perhaps the I-Thought or some type of Atman being more or less primary. I can see someone coming out and saying God is conscious and primary. But these are all concepts that transcend the ordinary concept of consciousness. I think it's an important distinction.

||If this leads us back to a god like source, then that's where it leads. Such a conclusion really does answer a lot of questions and really does fit with the evidence we have.||

I thought you were not a top-down monotheist. When did this change?

||I don't really know what the alternative is other than a bunch of bits and bytes somehow self organizing (perhaps in Darwinian fashion?) into various units and, somehow, having achieved a critical mass, becoming aware and conscious.||

I think the answer is much more complex. I think "before" the Universe existed, there was pure potentiality and the Universe "tried" everything that worked and some stuff stuck. The boundaries of this "trying" were the inviolable laws of pattern/number/logic/etc. I think the vector *was* toward self-awareness in that only a self-organizing system could form anything out of chaos, and the evolution of such a system would be higher and higher levels of awareness. Time is a construct for development in our universe. There could and almost certainly are many universes that exist based on completely different principles (I think I got a glance into one of them once). So consciousness is emergent but also outside of time in the macro. It could, paradoxically, control its own emergence *in some sense.* I think, however, it is not an *it* but a *we*, and each of us is adding to and controlling to some extent this emergence. Thus, insofar as we are in the dark, Cosmic Mind is in the dark. But in the macro, in the fullness of things, Cosmic Mind is complete and effectively omniscient. Paradoxical indeed. But this is the beauty of bottom-up/paradoxical top-down. I find it very crude to say, "God/Source/whoever just created a bunch of stuff!" It's not only philosophically crude but doesn't match the facts on the ground IMO.

||There are too many somehows in the chain of events to leave me convinced. And it's a long and winding path to take to avoid the concept of astral bodies and god.

This sounds a lot like classic evolutionary theory substituting bits and byts for DNA (and accompanying primordial ooze and lightening strikes, etc) and attempting to explain the development of consciousness as opposed to the development of physical morphology.||

Why not explain both?

||Sure, it's a theory couched in modern terms, but I don't see how that helps get us any closer to any answers.

An abiding mystery indeed.||

Oh, I do think it's an important part of the puzzle, but some de/retemplatization has to occur before it starts to make sense.

"This would explain why physical laws can be broken at will and why time loses its meaning."

So, are you saying that, at least in the astral, 2+2 might not =4?

Not being snarky. I am re-grouping and leading into a cogent argument.

Whoops, no one, didn't comment on this:

||"This would explain why physical laws can be broken at will and why time loses its meaning."

So, are you saying that, at least in the astral, 2+2 might not =4?

Not being snarky. I am re-grouping and leading into a cogent argument.||

No, because 2 + 2 = 4 is *not* a physical law!

Michael, if the astral body is outside the limits of thought, is because it does not seem to fit with the concept currently has on living things, not because we do not have evidence of its existence. The modern parapsychology has largely rejected the concept of astral body, but I think that this rejection was a mistake, because the psychic researchers were largely agree that the majority of psi phenomena make sense if we accept the existence of something like astral body.

It is also true that the term "astral body" is outdated, but I use it only because it is widespread. You can call the astral body as you want to sound more modern and scientific, but that does not change the reality behind the name.

We also note that the astral body is not something exclusively reserved for occultism and theosophy today, but there are modern experiments about establishing the reality of the astral body. A notable example is found in the experiments of Karlis Osis:

http://www.alextanous.org/sites/default/files/172_370278175.pdf

If modern parapsychology generally has not followed these ways, I think that was more to follow trends set by Rhine, not because there is something interesting. I think nature is very complex and there are always many paths to follow, and if science chooses a path, is simply because it is the trend, that is, for reasons largely irrational.

Finally, the notion of astral body can be integrated into modern physics as I have previously written by notions of quantum mechanics and the holographic paradigm. I would recommend the book The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot, which I discussed above. Whether you call this astral body or holographic blueprint, it is the same reality. I think some parapsychologists and physicists of today are like Columbus, who thought he had discovered something that many people before him had already discovered.

But you're right about the need to advance and we should not get stuck in the past. Continue experiments of Karlis Osis, find out what kind of matter would be the astral body, what is special people can perceive the astral body of other individuals, and so on.

Wading across the road today In Bangkok, too much rain!

My 2 cents, I believe closer to consciousness ideas of a theory and like the Hindu's, that we are an Atman, or spark of god.

I don't think everything has consciousness, e.g. inanimate objects, but that the universe is made from the source, and we have a close relationship with matter which is able to be manipulated, and acts as a potential.

Therefore electrons become organized when observed, and the universe responds to intent. I don't believe we have different "yous" in a parallel universe, but that we have to action that, rather than observe for it to become a reality.

In remote viewing, those organizing the experiment have allocated meaning to the numbers. Like the tarot cards, the cards remain the same, its what I project onto them, that becomes an outcome e.g. whether I want what is happening that week, or that year.

Evolution has some part to play I think, apes evolved bigger brains as bipeds. But entomologists say how little neurological matter is necessary to reason, as bees do complex behaviour with very little. And we have evolved from invertebrates to vertebrates etc and ultimately more complex life forms. So what was simple in the beginning, became more complex.

Synchronicities, I feel spirit often tells me over the day, that which is about to happen.

Spirits, I have been given an image of earth as a plane flying over a city at night, and told that spirits know those who have ability, as they shine to them like that. I guess that sense is just more developed, and some can hear and see spirits, while others can't. And Spirits just represent a change in material form.

Like I say,just what I think, my 2 cents.

Cheers Lyn.

No MP. I'm afraid I regard information as only applicable and only existing in the context of conscious understanding.

Information is that whereby meaning is conveyed. Otherwise a glass of water would contain terabytes of information since the water molecules have particular states in terms of speeds, positions etc. But it's only information if some *meaning* is associated with a given state. In the absence of any meaning there is no information. And meaning can only obtain in the context of a conscious understanding.

If all conscious beings were to suddenly cease to exist then there would be a complete absence of any information. Books would contain no information etc. Many physical patterns might exist. But, in the absence of consciousness, physical patterns and ordered states do not convey any meaning, and hence no information either.

Hence if information is only information in the context of consciousness then information could not exist beforehand to give rise to consciousness.

One might advance the hypothesis that consciousness emerges from complex physical patterns. Here it depends what is meant by "emerge". There is what are labelled "weak" emergence and "strong" emergence.

Here's a very quick illustration of the difference:

Imagine we have a printer which uses black ink only. That printer will print off pictures and the like, but only in black and white. This is an example of *weak* emergence. But suppose the printer spewed forth colour picture despite only using black ink? Now that would be *strong* emergence!

The "emergence" in weak emergence is strictly speaking incorrectly labelled. If we followed all the chains of physical causes and effects in the underlying mechanism then we can derive the phenomenon that "emerges". It's only labelled an emergent phenomenon because in practice the underlying mechanisms might be too convoluted and complex to follow, so that the phenomenon which "emerges" is surprising.

But we know that consciousness cannot weakly emerge. As Chalmers points out, the physical realm is wholly characterised by structure and dynamics. No matter what the arrangements and interactions of the parts of some whole, it can only result in a whole which is the resultant of such structure and dynamics.

No, if consciousness emerges it has to be a genuine emergence like the colour picture from a printer using black ink only. Such strong emergence is often described as magical.

Ian, I am in 100% agreement with your 6:49 am comment. Well said.

"I thought you were not a top-down monotheist. When did this change?"

I'm not, not in the traditional religious sense. I do believe in god as a fundemental first mover in an atman sense (+ a little extra).

I'm going to leave off with Ian's last comment. I can't state my own position any better than Ian has.

I have to attend to an analytical database that has grown to 1.5 terabytes. It has reached the limit on that server .....and now I am worried it may start emailing me demanding lunch breaks and vacation days.

Ian, I like what you say a lot. But I think the question that really needs to be answered is - what is emergence, how can it happen, how can mind come out of electrochemical doings in matter, how can the whole be greater than the sum of its parts? There would have to be a priori laws which make the "social" (etc) an order more powerful than the "individual" (KK might say, "wherever two or three are gathered together in my name" etc, etc). Wouldn't such laws of complexity have to be created by fiat? How could they ever just arise freely out of the structure of reality?

Addressing Barbara:

How can emergence happen? Well I think if the brain produces consciousness the only viable option is strong emergence. For reasons which I won't go into here reductive materialism and non-reductive materialism are simply not satisfactory (and *weak* emergence is compatible with reductive materialism).

So either the brain doesn't produce the self/consciousness or strong emergence must hold. But if consciousness is a strongly emergent phenomenon then it seems to be the *only* strongly emergent phenomenon that exists. And as I said in my previous comment it is essentially magical. We would just have to accept as a brute fact that when matter is arranged in a suitable manner, then consciousness magically arises.

So given that brains produce consciousness the implausible strong emergence is the only viable option, I'm inclined to think that brains do not in fact produce consciousness. I'm inclined to think that brains act as a kind of "filter". I write about this possibility at the following link:

http://existenceandreality.blogspot.co.uk/

"We would just have to accept as a brute fact that when matter is arranged in a suitable manner, then consciousness magically arises."

"how can mind come out of electrochemical doings in matter,"

Yeah. That is a question to be answered.

(29) Jesus said, "If the flesh came into being because of spirit, it is a wonder.
But if spirit came into being because of the body, it is a wonder of wonders.
Indeed, I am amazed at how this great wealth has made its home in this poverty."


#29 is tricky. Jesus is saying that indeed, the "great wealth" (spirit) *made* it's home in the "poverty" (body), not the other way around. That last sentence seems clear.

Hope the translators got that Coptic right ;)


What do other traditions say about this?
What clues can we grab from them?


And to Michael:

"Why should we just keep repeating statements made thousands of years ago?"

If they are *true* statements...we *must* repeat them...and make sure everyone understands them. If found to be false...toss them out.
Religions and churches do have a problem with this. But that's another discussion.

Lay people and scientists are *still* (to this day) trying to determine the truth or falsity of #29 I quoted above. And this statement was possibly written down in 140 AD!

We got a lot of work ahead of us.

Side note - The Indians have done some thinking about truth. I'd love to dig into this more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anekantavada

Gets complicated fast, as there are 7 versions of truth:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saptabhangi

"Assertions affirmed by independent evidence prune equivocation and enhance the degree of belief."

Yeah. What he said.
That's gold right there.


Ian - so you're saying DNA does not contain information?

Juan wrote, "I would recommend the book The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot, which I discussed above. Whether you call this astral body or holographic blueprint, it is the same reality."

I've read it. The holographic hypothesis is not too different from the information hypothesis. After all, what is a hologram but information? The hologram is projected out of a plate that records wave-interference patterns. All the information necessary to reconstruct a physical object is contained in those patterns. The beam of coherent light that projects through the plate reconstructs a 3D image from that information.

The same information can be stored in binary form. See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer-generated_holography

Note this line from the article: "Computer generated holograms offer important advantages over the optical holograms since there is no need for a real object."

Presumably in a holographic universe there is no "real object" that serves as a template for the cosmic hologram, since the hologram is the precursor of all physical things. This has always been a weakness of the holographic universe idea - the place where the analogy fails. But if we think in terms of computer generated holograms, we don't need anything but information to get started.

Either way - hologram or raw information - it all boils down to ones and zeroes, or whatever your preferred metaphor may be.

Oops. When I wrote, "All the information necessary to reconstruct a physical object ...", I should have written: "All the information necessary to reconstruct a *3D image* of the physical image ..."

Or in the case of computer-generated holography, to construct (not reconstruct) such an image.

Great post. Reminded me of this paper:

http://journalofcosmology.com/Consciousness149.html

I don't know, I personally can see an opening for an emerging theory of consciousness displayed in the world today. We have basic organisms such as protozoa who although simple show responses to stimuli, as well as invertebrates with rudimentary brain functions, to man who evolution says evolved from apes by means of frontal cortex development.

To me there is a process of change and complexity. We see genes evolving so the brain produces different patterns of function such as synesthesia, to schizophrenia, as well as huge increases in neurological function seen in geniuses. So I think there is a case for rudimentary consciousness to become more complex.


Magical, I'm not sure of, I know from personal experience that information is with held from me by spirit. One process they use is to freeze information in my head so I repeat the data over and over as a ditty without comprehending it. Only to find later (when I suspect they have decided I can know ) that it is what I have been repeating for days.

What I am not sure of, is whether the intelligent mass (god) obeys the rules of the universe, or can work outside of it i.e. magically. If he can paint information out of may brain with a little brush, can he not paint it in. Cheers Lyn.

Love it...http://www.tecca.com/news/2012/07/27/500-million-genetic-error-spine/

Perhaps god (the intelligent mass) was a mistake, a mutation many ions ago before our young universe developed. And this intelligence enabled him to understand the structure of the universe allowing him to manipulate and create.

There are number of young genius's today pushing the boundaries of science, and it is perhaps these people who will advance science into the future. Lyn.

Here's a story on one genius of interest at the moment, if anyone wants to read.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/a-beautiful-mind-12-year-old-boy-genius-sets-out-to-disprove-big-bang/

This boy also has a huge understanding of science, and is beginning to create new technology.

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-02/boy-who-played-fusion?page=all

Cheers.

Job fit done guys, wellborn content.  

It’s never too late to improve your information and your contents inspire me.

Your writings, articles, blogs I mean over all contents is must read matter.

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