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Insightful, Michael!

I think the potential error, however, is to think that this world is a top-down "Con." Or as our friend Art puts it, a purposeful lesson in "separation"--or any such thing.

I think the data points toward human evolving organically and naturally in a *real* world that is nevertheless superseded by a *more real* spiritual world. We thus live in a kind of paradox.

Nice post, Michael!

I agree with you that storytelling is fundamental. As I've said, I think stories are more fundamental than atoms. (Atoms being just one aspect of the story we tell in this neck of the Woods.)

I'm reminded of this, from the book PIHKAL:

"Life is the One telling stories about itself to itself. It is all storytelling."

I like the Roger Ebert story, with one reservation: the word "hoax," which seems to suggest that we are the victims of a scam perpetrated by villains or pranksters external to ourselves.

My own experience is that when we get beyond this dimension, we discover that we ourselves created the circumstances in which we temporarily find ourselves. So rather than "hoax" or "con," I prefer "game."

The education of the soul is too important to leave it up to chance. Life is not supposed to be a bowl of cherries. Emotion and memory are connected. It takes emotion to remember the lessons we experience here on Earth.

We aren't allowed to know absolutely 100% for certain the truth because if we knew absolutely 100% for certain the whole truth we might not mourn and emote as much as we need to. It is through emotion that we remember the lessons we experience in this life. There is a very strong connection between emotion and memory.

Life has to be the way it is in order to overcome the differences in the physics of heaven; that lack of separation, time and space not existing, etc. The soul has to learn here what it's like to be inside a body and be in control of that body, and be limited by the body. The soul has to learn here what it means to be separate because it is impossible to learn or understand separation while living or existing in heaven. How can you learn separation in heaven when it simply does not exist there due to the holographic (film) nature of the place?

We simply come here to learn what can't be learned in heaven. It's as simple as that. It is irrelevant if you believe it or not, accept, or agree. Everyone experiences separation whether they want to or not. Everyone experiences time and space whether they want to or not.

And all the lessons that we learn will be shared in heaven due to those feelings of oneness and connectedness, the holographic nature of Heaven. I will know what it felt like to be you and you will know what it felt like to be me.

And we will be the masters of time and space because simply by focusing our attention on a time or place we will be there absorbing information about that time or period; and not just the Earth but the whole Universe - and maybe even the whole multiverse.

We have to believe it's all real because it's in the "not knowing" that we feel all the emotions that are necessary to imprint on the soul what it came here to learn. Emotion is the energy of the soul.

This is from Ebert in 2010

Ebert is dying in increments, and he is aware of it.

I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear, he writes in a journal entry titled “Go Gently into That Good Night.” I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence, and for life, love, wonder, and laughter. You can’t say it wasn’t interesting. My lifetime’s memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris.

There has been no death-row conversion. He has not found God.


This is a good example of the accepted unfashionable-ness of believing in silly notions like survival after death amongst the cognoscente.

But then we have this statement from his wife. Has she made it up? Doubt it, what would be the point.

It seems to it's a shame how many people don't know this and have been duped by this very illusion Ebert is referring to encouraged by back slapping rationalism.

Very thoughtful,Michael, but also very odd what happened as I've seen your post: I was talking with my wife of the same topic a few moments before reading it! Having seen a movie on TV where the whole story of a married couple was depicted from the beginning till to their oldness, we were just talking about our own lives, wondering if they're a dream or if we'll see them as a dream after our transition. We too -while ageing- are experiencing this odd feeling of unreality, as living in a movie.. .
Isn't this a very clear case of synchronicity?
Best regards.

this idea was articulated by the Buddha 2500 years ago. The world as we perceive it is an illusion, not that there is nothing real in it but that we fabricate an imaginary world by our thoughts and senses. I think this is best stated in the words of the Tibetan sage LOngchenpa,
Since everything is but an apparition having nothing to do with good or bad, acceptance or rejection, one could well burst out into laughter.

Art,

The main issue I take with your philosophy is that you treat human nature as though it is *necessarily* the way it is. Thus, in order (for the Higher Power) to teach us what we need to know (separation, I guess) based on that nature, the world has to be the way it is.

In such a case, why doesn't the Higher Power just change our nature or implant the teaching directly without all the Sturm and Drang of this physical universe?

This is why I find a top-down approach untenable overall. It's arbitrary.

Wonderful, insightful post!

I also don't like using the word "hoax" - I think "illusion" would be more appropriate. Everything seems "so real," and yet we know our senses are deceiving us virtually all of the time. For instance, it's been shown over and over that even our eyesight can't be trusted - we tend to see what we think we should see, or expect to see, rather than what's there. So even "eye witness" identification of a criminal suspect is notoriously bad.

I do think you are onto something, Art, too, with your ideas about separation. We need the contrasts here on earth in order to fully spiritually develop.

Terrific. You should include this in a parallel novella to your Chasing Omega.
Incidentally, re:

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream. [campfire song]
That was the theme song of Art Kleps's Neo-American church (psychedelic). His Boo Hoo Bible is $33 here. The reader reviews will give a sense of its contents.

I can guarantee there won't be any more Chasing Omegas from me! That book sold even worse than I expected (and my expectations were low to begin with). I had fun writing it, but if there's no monetary payoff, it's not worth the considerable time and effort involved.

Interesting 2010 excerpt, Duck Soup. It's possible Ebert's views changed in the succeeding years. Also, while at the end he seems to have had a powerful conviction that there is more to reality than the physical world, it's not clear whether this viewpoint translated into a belief in God or an afterlife (in the sense of personal survival).

Art, I have experienced and learnt all about separation! Now, to what possible purpose can I use these qualifications in the afterlife ? It just doesn't make sense to me

Steve Echard Musgrave, If "we fabricate an imaginary world by our thoughts and senses", does that mean your and my family and loved ones are mere figments of our imagination, and therefore are not real, and by extension neither are we ?

Very good friend who, when told I had begun to take an interest in the possibility that we survive death. 'oh, dear,Derek.You'l never get an answer to that one.We're simply not meant to have certainty to those kind of questions!

"Art, I have experienced and learnt all about separation! Now, to what possible purpose can I use these qualifications in the afterlife ? It just doesn't make sense to me."
- snorkler

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


Snorkler, have you ever seen a Star Trek The Next Generation episode about The Borg? The collective with a hive mind? There was an episode where "Hugh", a Borg drone, was captured by Enterprise and became unassimilated while on board the Enterprise. He had to learn what it was like to be a separate, unique, individual.

Before we were born we were part of our parents bodies. We had to be born in order to become separate unique individuals. And as we go about living our lives we become our own person; a separate, unique, individual.

In order to become a Borg drone you have to be assimilated. Well life is sort of like the opposite of that... we come here to become UN-assimilated. The soul learns here what means and how it feels to be separate so that after our physical body dies it can maintain that sense of separation after it merges back into heaven.

And because those feelings of oneness and connectedness in heaven are so powerful we have to experience a lot of separation in this life to overcome those feelings on the other side. Otherwise after the body dies the soul would just merge back with the universal consciousness on the other side.

"I was unique yet I was the tiniest part of the whole." - excerpt from Mark Horton's NDE, http://www.mindspring.com/~scottr/nde/markh.html

"I was going backward as if I was going away from that place of separation." - excerpt from Rosemarie's NDE, http://www.nderf.org/NDERF/NDE_Experiences/rosemarie_w_nde.htm

"In such a case, why doesn't the Higher Power just change our nature or implant the teaching directly without all the Sturm and Drang of this physical universe?" - MattRouge
--------------------

It may be? In actuality everything may be happening all at once. Past, present, and future may be happening all at one time. I have read so many NDE's that say after we cross over we look back at what happened in this life like it went by in the blink of an eye and that is was like a "dream in itself."

There is so much in life that can only be learned while doing it. For instance you can't learn to drive a car simply by reading a manual about how to do it or watching a video of someone else driving a car. You have to actually get in the car and drive it yourself in order to learn how to do it. Same with flying an airplane or even something as simple as riding a bicycle. Part of the learning process is getting in the bike, or car, or airplane and taking off and actually flying it.

Perhaps learning about how to control a body, what it feels like to have a body, and control that body you have to actually do it. When a newborn baby is born the first thing they start doing is exploring their own body, learning how to control it.

NDE'ers also oftentimes say that time and space doesn't seem to exist on the other side the way it does here. Perhaps just experiencing time and space is necessary in order to learn what it feels like to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time universe and what time and space look and feel like.

And notice that everything I talk about, separation, time and space, and 3 dimensions + 1 time are all related to each other? They are all aspects of the same something. The physics of a piece of holographic film is very different than the physics that we normally experience here. In a holographic film all the information is spread throughout the entire piece of film. Each piece contains the whole and all the information in the film is infinitely interconnected to each other.

Even time and space on that film is different than the time and space we experience here because on holographic film past, present, and future would all exist together. They would all exist at one time.

"while at the end he seems to have had a powerful conviction that there is more to reality than the physical world, it's not clear whether this viewpoint translated into a belief in God or an afterlife (in the sense of personal survival)"

Michael, since he talked about visiting "this other place . . where the past, present, and future were happening all at once," how could he not have come to believe in survival, personal and otherwise? If what Ebert learned is true, then I'm eternally alive in all versions of myself, past and future.

And the life review demonstrates that after "death," I can choose to focus my experience in whichever version of myself I please. I think we sometimes think of the life review as a movie which merely depicts past events captured on celluloid, as it were. But it's not -- it's a re-visiting of a past which is still in existence, still ongoing.

Moorjani: "I became aware of what seemed to be simultaneous lives playing out . . . In the NDE state, every moment in all our lives -- past, present, and future -- exists simultaneously as though outside of what we know as time."

I think it's impossible to experience oneself beyond linear time, as Ebert did, and still believe that death is truly the end.

"Also, while at the end he seems to have had a powerful conviction that there is more to reality than the physical world, it's not clear whether this viewpoint translated into a belief in God or an afterlife (in the sense of personal survival)"

True, Michael.
But it wouldn't matter if he had been clearer, either. It would still only be just another testimony that can be set aside as interesting but ultimately worthless as evidence.

These DBV cases still must be at least convincing for them, they light up, they are certain they're going somewhere just as certain as we are before our holidays. Even if they are a trick of the brain what difference does it make to the experiencer? Of course I don't think they are tricks of the brain.

You may be right, Bruce, but his wife also went out of her way to say that Ebert wasn't visiting heaven. She seems to be interpreting it in more of a Buddhist way - the Buddha is said to have stood outside of the phenomenal world and grasped that it's all an illusion, but a personal afterlife is not part of Buddhism.

Of course, her interpretation could be wrong. Ebert seems to have been trying to express the ineffable. Communication problems are to be expected.

Duck Soup, for me at least, it's not a question of having to be convinced, or of trying to convince others. The Ebert story is powerful for me because it dovetails with what I would expect someone in his condition to say, if he began to perceive the bigger picture. Enough of such anecdotes add up, not to proof, but to a coherent world picture, at least.

What happened with me was that after reading and studying about life after death for a while I just sort of woke up one day and realized that I had a high degree of confidence that something of who I am survives the death of my physical body.

It was around the year 2000, about 14 years ago, that I really invested myself in reading about NDE's and the holographic universe theory. About a year or so later I discovered death bed visions and there was just something about DBV's that I found very convincing.

I was also very impressed with the connection or congruence between NDEs and the holographic universe theory. The parallels between them just jump out at me and seem so obvious. I don't understand why others aren't shouting about them from the rooftop?

"You may be right, Bruce, but his wife also went out of her way to say that Ebert wasn't visiting heaven."

Right, but remember the next part:

"He wasn't visiting heaven, not the way we think of heaven. He described it . . ."

What is "it"? Seems like she's talking about a different kind of heaven.

I think she was being careful to differentiate his experience from the traditional Christian afterlife characterized by pearly gates, harps, and angels sitting on clouds. The talk about his visiting "this other place," timeless and vast, seems to me a reference to the sort of heaven NDErs and other mystics describe -- a state of consciousness, rather than a location in space.

WHO AM I?

Leave everything behind?
Yes leave it, wholly -
My self-loved personality?
It is your folly

What lives within my soul?
All gladness, praise,
The rest to be let go,
A glory stays

Things I loved to do
My life to spend?
It was a lesson learning
But time must end

What of some dementia
That leaves me empty?
More room within the spirit
For a joyous plenty

Who am I at last,
What reason for?
You are the hymn of adulation
Within the vacant core

You are the living spark
That burns within,
All else must be extinguished
By a mighty wind

The wind that you call death
Comes from the sea
Some call the Everlasting,
And some Infinity

A purpose for a reason
Being enters, comes,
Will never be fulfilled
Until it never ends


Pavel
January 21, 2014

It's another piece of the puzzle. We are looking at a puzzle with hundreds of thousands of pieces. The outer pieces of the puzzle are framed by such things as quantum physics and the holographic universe theory and the inside pieces are made up of such stuff as near death experiences, death bed visions, after death communications, some gifted Mediums, and perhaps EVP, mystical and transcendental experiences, and drug induced visions like peyote, mescaline, mushrooms, ayahuasca, etc.

When you stand back and look at all the pieces together they paint an amazing and miraculous picture of our Universe and about us.

I've been reading this blog, and the comments and everything, for a while, though this is the first time I've commented.

I apologize in advance for the fact that this isn't strictly on topic to the latest post.

I was wondering, what's the general opinion around here of the notion that, when we sleep and dream, our consciousness goes elsewhere, to the 'astral plane'/spirit realm/whatever you like to call it, even though we're usually not aware of it?

I have a personal belief that God exists, though I don't, and never have, follow any organized religions. A nightly prayer before sleep is something I always do. I pray for wisdom and guidance. Well, this morning, I woke up with a complete and utter conviction that everything had been explained to me. The meaning of the universe, life, all of that. I didn't remember it, I just had the certainty that it had been explained. I pretty firmly believe that we're not really meant to have absolute proof of the afterlife, at least not yet, because if we did...well, the consequences would be huge. I think we're not ready for it yet, so we only so far have just enough evidence that people who takes a while to think about it can reach the conclusion that death isn't the end, but not so much that everyone everywhere just KNOWS.

I've read plenty of NDEs where it points to something similar, that when they (the NDErs) come back, if they've learnt too much about life and the universe and the future, so on, they're not allowed to bring it back to this life because of the enormity of the knowledge.

So, I have the idea that perhaps we do go elsewhere when we sleep, and perhaps someone or something explained it all to me, and I just wasn't allowed to remember when I woke up.

Truth is, no matter how strong the evidence seems to be for personal survival beyond death the Dawkings, Hawkings and Randi's of this world will always come up with alternative explanations.
I remember a debate on the paranormal involving well known skeptic Johnathan miller and Micheal Bentine, who's father investigated mediumship. Micheal 's experiences at that time when sitting with all types of mediums convinced both himself and his father that we survive physical death. The things Bentine had witnessed during those times with his father and, till the day he himself passed from this world were really quite remarkable .Miller listened politely to all of this, shrugged his shoulders and simply said that even if there was anything true to all of this, he wouldn't really be interested ! He still didn't believe it was possible to survive death because consciousness was a by-product of the brain! Once the physical brain ceased functioning , so too consciousness ! so any evidence, no matter how convincing it appeared to be , in Miller's opinion, didn't matter one iota. I honestly think he was interested more in the gullibility, as he saw it, of people who believed all these fairy tales!

I can see how someone who went through life thinking the physical world and the ego personality were all there is to it would, upon experiencing mind expansion, use the words "con" or "hoax" to describe the life they had known.

After all, they had played "the game" prescribed by our very material society understanding that the game was "it". In a sense, that would represent having by the victim of a hoax.

Contrast with someone who had experienced mind expansion in their life, like Steve Jobs' (LSD use) "oh wow!".

I am writing this before I forget about this idea: What if those boring times in our life, when nothing seems to happen and seem to last forever are when an element of the Universe's Operative System takes too long to kick in or some player in a multiuniversal game takes too long to make his move? And those deja vu moments, those moments when you think about someone and then the next day that person is at your doorstep or turns up dead? What if they are rehearsals on the consecuences of such incidents that we get to remember to a certain extent? And if life is a "hoax", then how we can influence it for the better? All those philosophies and self help books may work to a certain extent in the reprogramation of our lives. Can I do it? Can you?

I love Roger Egbert's last words and have found myself pondering them ever since I first read this story. He was a writer, very careful about how he crafted his sentences to convey his ideas, so his choice of words here seems quite striking to me. A good writer to the very end.

On another point, someone above commented on the supposed idea that Christians believe heaven consists of "pearly gates, harps and ... clouds". I would like to point out that this seems to be a stereotype that doesn't hold up on closer examination (like the idea that Christians see God as "an old man with a white beard"). If you spend any time reading the works of Christian mystics, it's fascinating how many of their insights and visions dovetail with the visions of NDEs and spiritualists.

And p.s. I did write EBERT in my previous comment but my spell check seems to have been overzealous in (mis)correcting it - sorry!!

"I woke up with a complete and utter conviction that everything had been explained to me."

Hi Lin. I have had that exact same experience a few times. I do think that sometimes when we sleep we do travel. Other times - well - a cigar is just a cigar.

I think that with the paranormal - or really anything - it is best to not try to fit EVERYTHING into that perspective. Maintaining an open mind and critical reasoning skills and discernment leads to a healthy balance.

I have been doing extensive reading and research into the continuation of consciousness, survival, and afterlife whatever you want to call it. Not from the point of view of whether it exists, because that I am convinced of, given an examination of the evidence. I no longer even want to argue with people that have a worldview that precludes it. Scientific materialists or ontological reductionists are simply not open to the idea, for psychological reasons as well as philosophical ones.

Well here is my "conguesture" as I like to call it. It comes about as a combination of what I think is the most solid evidence or survival, combined with a metaphysical/cosmological structure that would allow it and is not out of line with our deepest understanding of the physical world that is also our most successful scientific paradigm in human history quantum mechanics. When you look at the evidence you immediately notice that in the near-death experiences there is a culturally familiar context to the experience. People who are from the Western European tradition experience some things differently than those from India and the Far East.
All this has been discussed here and elsewhere. cultural examples are such as the tunnel the light which is Western, the Indian God of death Yama's messengers bringing the wrong guy to Yama and having to return them and so on.

Of course if the brain produces consciousness which is a theory that has not been proven, in spite of materialist grandiose claims, then the whole idea of an afterlife is absurd. I feel the afterlife evidence is overwhelming and that therefore there can only be one answer for the brain and nervous system's role in consciousness, it transmits consciousness into a local arena appropriate for the individual organism to survive.
Carl Jung was very interested in the Yogacara (The Mind Only School) Buddhist idea of the Storehouse Consciousness. This idea fit well with his idea of a collective unconscious That idea also has some resonance with the Akashic records, the main difference being in Buddhism consciousness is always flowing and does not keep some permanent attributes that we would call a soul.

Now if you are idea which is called the Alaya Vijnana there is used a metaphor of seeds being planted and being perfumed by our actions and experiences, which eventually flower into more actions and experiences including being reborn into a world of name and form (Nama Rupa) once the consciousness we use the limiting factors of the body it perceives things in their hold this and timelessness, since everything that has ever happened and every potential action is stored in the storehouse consciousness are individual perspective is stored as a stream but at this point we are not limited to its individuality because it has joined the river of eternity.
Both in cases of rebirth recorded by Dr. Ian Stevenson and Dr. Jim Tucker there is a consistency of people being born in the same culture though perhaps to people of different status or even different religion, for instance can do instead of Moslem are Christian and instead of either one. In cultures where they expect their relatives to be reborn in their family like some Alaskan tribes and also among the Druze of Lebanon that is exactly what happens. Obviously our conscious decisions are cultural expectations etc. play a Cosmo-genic roll in our future existence.

This view of consciousness eternal, nonlocal (as experienced outside of the body) and entangled in the quantum physics sense so closely parallels the evidence that I believe consciousness itself is quantum.
Now there have been a lot of rants and ravings by the skeptics about this that there was an invisible line in the sand as it were between the physical atomic/molecular Newtonian world and the sub atomic quantum one. However, research has completely breached that line we know now quantum effects do occur in the brain, we can actually produce quantum effects in sheets of metal. Quantum effects exist in the eye of birds and control their flocking behavior, in photosynthesis, and now an entirely new science,has emerged and is ascending, Quantum Biology .

Albert Einstein though he was resistant to much of quantum mechanics had made a statement that "if this were true it would certainly explain such phenomenon as telepathy, he was particularly talking about entanglement. It's interesting that a movie critic would see things like projection a kind of modern-day Plato's cave shot in Cinemascope.

"I pretty firmly believe that we're not really meant to have absolute proof of the afterlife, at least not yet, because if we did...well, the consequences would be huge." - Lin
----------------------

The death of someone we love is the ultimate lesson in what it means and how it feels to be separate, nothing else comes close. If we knew absolutely for certain that there was life after death we might not mourn quite as much and death would cease to be the most powerful and emotional lesson for the soul in what it means and how it feels to be separate. Experiencing separation is one of the main reasons we are here. How else could the soul learn what it means and how it feels to be separate, unique, individual?

So we are only given hints about the other side. Little glimpses, like pieces to a puzzle, and we have to gather and put all the pieces together and make sense of them and because we are all different we interpret them differently and come up with different explanations and stories to go along with what we experience and these stories are the basis for various religions which then become another way for us to experience duality and separation in our lives.

"I was unique yet I was the tiniest part of the whole." - excerpt from Mark Horton's NDE, http://www.mindspring.com/~scottr/nde/markh.html

And yet even in the face of such testimony there are still legions of various brands of atheist militant, anti-theists, "Scientismists" and all manner of materialists who have not the least compunction in dismissing Ebert and his experience, just as they have myriad others who have had similar experiences, by saying his insight was merely the result of a "dying brain", blah blah.

Just think about that for a minute and contemplate the staggering degree of arrogance required for such materialists to substitute their own intellectual vanity for the internal, personal experiences of another. The mind boggles at the conceit - and the sheer intellectual dishonesty - of anyone who can so blithely reject evidence which he finds inconvenient.

'If we knew absolutely for certain that there was life after death we might not mourn quite as much and death would cease to be the most powerful and emotional lesson for the soul in what it means and how it feels to be separate.'

I think the consequences would be even more far reaching than that, Art. I can imagine people just giving up on life here and killing themselves if they knew for absolute certain that there was an afterlife awaiting them, one that, by most accounts (of NDErs, spirits via medium, and so on) is often much better and more loving than life is here. And I don't think that would be a good thing, because I am of the opinion that we're here for some specific reason. What that is for certain, I couldn't say (to learn specific lessons? As a test as to what we do and how we behave when we don't have to feel the pain and consequences of our actions? Who knows for certain), but I've read material that indicates it's not a good thing to kill yourself and end your existence here before it's meant to be (as I believe Silver Birch said, pretty clearly.)

Not to mention how it would absolutely shatter so many people's worldviews, all at once. It wouldn't be a few people at a time looking at the evidence so far available and reaching the conclusion many of us here have, if absolutely conclusive evidence was somehow reached, it would have huge, global effects as everyone learned the truth.

Suffice it to say...I don't think that we're ready, as an entire species, for that. I really do feel that 'they' (God, the higher beings, spirits, whatever you want to say is on the other side) are purposely keeping us from knowing too much too fast. The way it is now, there's just enough for individuals who get an interest in it for whatever reason (my own was triggered by intense anxiety sometime back) to look at it and say, "Well, it seems like there is simply too much that can't be explained away by modern science, in any non-paranormal terms, there's certainly SOMETHING going on."

Hi Lin. I have had that exact same experience a few times. I do think that sometimes when we sleep we do travel. Other times - well - a cigar is just a cigar.

I think that with the paranormal - or really anything - it is best to not try to fit EVERYTHING into that perspective. Maintaining an open mind and critical reasoning skills and discernment leads to a healthy balance.

I only just realized you can use italics in the comments!

I think that's a good philosophy. I agree, it seems reasonable and even likely that we sometimes travel when we sleep, but not always.

This is the first time I've gotten that feeling, and hey, it could be just a feeling. But I think things like that shouldn't be dismissed immediately as 'just' a feeling, because sometimes they are, sure, but sometimes they aren't.

I've not had many experiences that I'd describe as anything spiritual or paranormal or anything, aside from one occasion when, after becoming very upset and afraid about death and mortality and so on, I very clearly heard a voice in my head that didn't feel at all like my own speak my name.

Art,

||I was also very impressed with the connection or congruence between NDEs and the holographic universe theory. The parallels between them just jump out at me and seem so obvious. I don't understand why others aren't shouting about them from the rooftop?||

Because I think the holographic theory is irrelevant in the world of Spirit. Why is it irrelevant? Because it's understood that nonlocality reigns supreme and that any qualia or sensory experiences are, in essence, an "interface" for the benefit of the experiencer.

The hologram analogy only goes so far. Yes, it's cool that you can break a hologram in half and *both* of the new pieces will contain the entire image. BUT, the clarity of the image *is* degraded in both halves. There is no such relationship at work in the world of Spirit. There is nothing to divide, and there is no degrading of information under any circumstance. To say that all of the parts contain the whole is irrelevant, since there are fundamentally *no* parts. When people have NDEs and comment on the unity of all things, that really has nothing to do with a hologram.

As for whether the holographic universe theory has any relevance in the physical universe, I think that remains to be seen.

I think a lot of what you say is true, but the value-add of the hologram metaphor is basically negative. It obfuscates the reality instead of clarifying it.

"I only just realized you can use italics in the comments!"

You can, but I try to discourage it. It's all too easy to improperly close the italics, and then the rest of the thread is italicized. Quotation marks or bracketing lines (as in Matt's comment directly above) are the safer choice.

Thank you, Art, and thank you, Sardoni, for the above two posts. Here are two quotes I have to offer each of you in turn:

On grief: “There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endure it. At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled one remains connected to the other person through it. It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness. God in no way fills it but much more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus helps us preserve -- even in pain -- the authentic relationship. Further more, the more beautiful and full the remembrances, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

On sceptics: “Pride consists in a man making his personality the only test, instead of making truth the test. The sceptic feels himself too large to measure life by the largest things; and ends by measuring it by the smallest thing of all.”
- G. K. Chesterton

May all of us who have lost those most dear to us continue to affirm (against all unbelief and unbelievers), "They live! They live! And we will meet them again!"

Blessed are we that mourn for we shall be comforted!
Blessed are we who know the truth!

"Suffice it to say...I don't think that we're ready, as an entire species, for that. I really do feel that 'they' (God, the higher beings, spirits, whatever you want to say is on the other side) are purposely keeping us from knowing too much too fast." Lin.

From my own experience, and my little chats with my deceased dad and the omnificence people call "God". There seems to be no problem with understanding about "god" and the consciousness universe. More the opposite. But like a number of people here, I think its more the journey in understanding and coming to ones own conclusions about the universe that is the lesson, than the knowledge itself. And this was intimated to me as well.

I have had spirits turn up, talk inside/ outside my head, and so have no trouble in believing of an afterlife. I find when people die, like many, I have mixed feelings. And depending on the circumstances. If they are in pain, then I see as they do, the relief in death. I know they are fine, but it is not having them in your life which causes the sadness.

I think in situations such as when mediums talk to police etc. They are not always given all the answers, and although there can be exceptions, for the most part I feel it would interfere in the playing out of life, or free will as it should naturally fall. And I know from my own experience I am not always allowed certain information- I'm simply told I can't have it.

For me, not sure where you lie "Art". But i think separation is key to having a personal experience. But them I think we are all part of a conscious universe, and are all "god" experiencing life. Or as the Hindu's believe, and Atman or spark of God. I can see why a God wants to see how much consciousness can create. Whether it be plant life, insects, animals, or the human brain. I think the whole world,and creation is rather splendid. Lyn x.

"I think a lot of what you say is true, but the value-add of the hologram metaphor is basically negative. It obfuscates the reality instead of clarifying it." - Matt
----------------------------

It is evidential. People who have NDE's and say thing that are congruent with what has been written about holograms. How is it possible that a housewife from Kansas or a truck driver from South Georgia come back after their experience and make statements that parallel or corroborate the holographic universe theory?

and as far as the degradation when you cut a hologram in half? That is the whole purpose of life. That is why we are here. We are making or gaining information that is fed over into the collective consciousness that adds more information which souls can use on the other side to create their own reality.

Our lives have meaning and purpose. We don't live for just ourselves. We are here learning and gaining information and all that information is shared on the other side because of that holographic oneness and connectedness. I will know what it was like to be you and you will know what it was to be me.

I said earlier that the word "hoax" seems to me potentially misleading, as does "con." They both imply maliciousness, whereas I see the situation we're in as more of a game, the result of conscious choices we make on another level of reality.

I just remembered that there's a wonderful description of this scenario in Alan Watts's "The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are."

Here it is.

“God also likes to play hide-and-seek, but because there is nothing outside of God, he has no one but himself to play with. But he gets over this difficulty by pretending that he is not himself. This is his way of hiding from himself. He pretends that he is you and I and all the people in the world, all the animals, all the plants, all the rocks, and all the stars. In this way he has strange and wonderful adventures, some of which are terrible and frightening. But these are just like bad dreams, for when he wakes up they will disappear.

      “Now when God plays hide and pretends that he is you and I, he does it so well that it takes him a long time to remember where and how he hid himself. But that’s the whole fun of it -- just what he wanted to do. He doesn’t want to find himself too quickly, for that would spoil the game. That is why it is so difficult for you and me to find out that we are God in disguise, pretending not to be himself. But when the game has gone on long enough, all of us will wake up, stop pretending, and remember that we are all one single Self -- the God who is all that there is and who lives for ever and ever."

To complete my last comment:

It's hard for me to explain how absolutely right and fundamental that passage by Watts feels to me. I wouldn't change a word--and that's how I've felt since 1993 or so, when this way of looking at things began to take hold in me.

To clarify: I don't mean that malice and negativity never enter into the game. Clearly they do, as Watts himself suggests.

But the point is that *behind* all the layers of illusion is an intent that is pure, innocent, loving, and in short, everything we would want it to be!

Michael,

An interesting post. I must now look for that issue of Esquire. It doesn't sound like those were his actual dying words, but maybe they can be included in my collection of dying words, which include the following:

"If I had the strength to hold a pen, I would tell you how easy and delightful it is to die." – William Hunter, M.D.
***
"Thomas Jefferson survives" – John Adams (Jefferson died an hour or two before Adams on July 4, 1826; his spirit apparently looked in on Adams, his good friend.)
***
"Oh Wow! Oh Wow! Oh Wow!" – Steve Jobs
***
It’s very beautiful over there. – Thomas Edison
***
"Victory! Eternal Victory! – Eunice Cobb
***
O glory! O glory! O glory!" – Susan Kirland
***
"It is beautiful!" – Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
" ***
Earth recedes – Heaven opens before me!" – Dwight L. Moody
***
"Oh! Do you hear the music?" – Mary Wilcox
***
"Yes, yes, I come, I come!" – Lillian Lee
***
"George! Austin!" – Alec Harris (George and Austin were his deceased brothers).
***
"Oh, Arlene, it’s so strange here. I’m in a ‘never-never’ land. I’m halfway between to worlds. Ma and Pa are here and I can see them, but I can’t see you any more."
– Eleanor Herrick
***
"Pull me up... Please pull me up....Hold me tighter now."
– Richard Trimmer (speaking to his wife Nancy, who had died earlier in the day)


Love it 'Bruce'. Here's a little prose in lieu of that, that I made up the other day. Bit of fun, but would probably get me a D in my creative writing class. Ha ha.

//Who is me and who is you that mind that made eternity

Am I you who gets his way, on certain days when you're away

Can I be completely me, when you have made the essence you

And told me that on borrowed time, you let me think I'm me

Then later on you mix me up where no such me remains

And toss me in with other you's whose image has your name.//

Love your poetry Pavel. Lyn x.

This is off topic, but what do you think of this interview, Michael?

http://subversivethinking.blogspot.com.es/2014/01/interview-with-analytic-philosopher-of.html

My criticism is here under the name Juan:

http://monkeywah.typepad.com/paranormalia/2014/01/a-philosopher-tackles-survival.html

Duck Soup's quote from Ebert kind of sums what I think he feels about the afterlife. When "Hereafter" came out in 2010, he wrote a blog post that was skeptical about mediums, ESP, quoting skeptical sources such as JREF if I recall. I find his quote a bit nonsensical with regards to memories, and I recall I and another person pointing out the issue with what he said on his blog's comments, first he mentions about how memories are the important part of life but then immediately discards then as insignificant, calling them "trinkets" or "souvenirs" akin to what you would take home from a trip from Paris.

I would say there is more importance on memories then Ebert puts in them especially if you subscribe to materialism, his notion "of taking them home" makes no sense under that model, under materialism all memories are lost upon death, from a first person perspective there would essentially be no difference between having never existed and having lived and died because of that loss. If he wants to use the trip to Paris analogy with materialism, returning "home" as he calls it would be like if airport security confiscated and destroyed all your photos, souvenirs, etc. and then beat you until you suffered from amnesia, thus you would have no evidence or memories of ever visiting Paris.

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