Friday, February 26, 2010

Where is The Mind?: Science gets puzzled and almost admits a non-local mentalscape.

This will be the last "home-produced" blog entry for a while [save the short "Everyday Spirituality" which will follow it as a sign-off] . West Virginia beckons tomorrow morning and off I will go to whatever that entails. As I said in one of the commentary responses the other day, I hope that reading two journal runs "cover-to-cover" will bring up a few thoughts worth sharing. This day's entry was inspired by two articles bumped into coincidentally which had scientists puzzling about a holographic universe and a non-local mind. Those scientists would cringe to see how I've taken their sign-posts-on-the-path, but that is their hang-up, not mine.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The first of these articles [both from the New Scientist] was "Where in the World is the Mind?" The "mind", as the article talks about it, is not the brain. It is not the specifically-dedicated "facilities" of the brain, such as where one feels pain, moves a finger, hears the musical note "C". The authors' view of what they're talking about is that aspect of our consciousness which seems to "observe" all of these bits of data and, perhaps, do something about them. A quote: " The mind-body problem is about where the mind is located. Is it bound by the confines of our skull or does it lurk nearby, non-physically?" After the required dissing of the "ghost-in-the-machine" sort of theories [or, in my tradition, the Soul in the body], the writers go on to remark how puzzling this all really is, and that "Minds are smeared out over more space than neuroscience would have us believe". The reductionist theory that the mind is simply bound within the brain as another part of the meat-machine is deemed insufficient to account for the facts. The writers really don't want to give aid and comfort to the spiritually-inclined "enemy", but even in their waffling they seem to be saying that some kind of wider view of the Mind and it's different nature from the stimulus-response brain is looking to be necessary. They are reduced to a bit of speculative babbling at this point, in my opinion, but it reminded me of someone who presented a clearer vision of this some time ago. ----I once attended a lecture by Karl Pribram. It was quite insightful, as far as I was concerned. Pribram was also a [even honored] member of the neurocognitive tribe, at least until he began scaring them with his ideas of a holographic mind. Pribram was very aware of the phenomenon that after certain, even extensive, surgeries, the patients didn't loose memories, but rather those memories seemed to get dimmer [if anything]. It was as if the memory storage was holographic in nature--not located in one place discretely, but rather "smeared out" as a holographic storage was. I even went so far as to buy a cheap hologram [plastic] and cut it up to witness that phenomenon for myself.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
That brings in the second serendipitous article. In this one, the New Scientist's cover screamed "YOU ARE A HOLOGRAM"! It talked about the "new" idea that our sense perceptions pick up not "direct" linear contact with commonsense solid stuff, but that the whole of our reality is composed of "force projections" [sort of concretely-solid holograms] being imaged on the stage of three dimensional space by whatever the underlying mechanics of the Universe is doing in its multi-dimensional ways. Strange as this might sound, it is where I think our understanding of "physical" reality is heading. It is what, at bottom, all the hype about superstring dimensions and theories-of-everything is about. What "Science" is not ready to stomach, and what will frustrate its ability to find that Theory-of-Everything, is the inclusion of "dimensions" of consciousness, and thereby [horrors] an element of reality beyond sub-atomic particles, the four physical forces, and their interactions. Such an admission would cast science into the bigger study of the realms of consciousness, the paranormal, and all that entails.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It reminded me then, also, of a moment when I was able to spend a [too short] time with David Bohm, the famous theoretical physicist. He, at the same time as Pribram was suggesting a holographic model of consciousness, was suggesting his version of a holographic model of the universe [to deal with quantum mechanical paradoxes]. I was, of course, not competent to converse on much of this [meaningfully] with him, but I asked him if he thought it was possible that whatever the "driver" was for the measurable actions of "light" in our three-space wasn't acting out of our three-space at all, but rather did what it did from another dimensional platform, and instead "conditioned" areas of our three-space so that we only detected light when we stuck some detection mechanism in there, and that there would be no "light" anywhere except where the "interfering material" had been inserted. He surprised me [because I was 99% sure that I was speaking nonsense] by saying: yes, you can envision it that way. That has continued to encourage me to view the universe as this sort of holographic [but much more "forceful"] projection from the other dimensions. And, with Pribram, that the Mind, the "Observer" within us, [for me, my Soul] operates similarly from the vantage point of its own sort of dimension/platform, equally part of the total reality. It is this privileged position in the scheme of things, which allows us "Quantum Observership", free will, altered states of consciousness, and occasional paranormal awarenesses. It is in fact the model of reality that allows me to imagine enough "size" in reality to allow all of "the biggest study". -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am happy to be [in body] a holographic projection of force dimensions--not from the "edge" of the universe but its core reality. I am much happier about that than the image of a clever meat-machine who blunders about fooling himself that he is making true choices and has any meaning at all. In an only slightly lesser way, I am happy that I live in a universe which allows the non-local healings studied by Larry Dossey, the range of encounters studied by Catherine Crowe, and the Global Consciousness Project of Roger Nelson to be real and not at all ridiculous to contemplate. To Larry and Roger [and all their exploring colleagues in the biggest study], GOD's speed and health. Catherine is there, in one of those "forbidden" dimensions, her consciousness still cheering us on.


  1. Hello, prof.

    Your essay today makes me hesitate a bit in commenting, feeling any comments might be superfluous. If you are familiar with it, may I ask your opinion of Nigel Kerner's book, 'Song of the Grays'? The tone of some of your sentences reminded me of it. Thanks for a consistently interesting blog.

  2. To Richard: i have not read the book. I have read a little [pro and con] about the book. My opinion is therefore marginal to say the least. What everybody seemed to agree to regarding the subject matter and the "empirical" basis for the speculations therein, does not inspire me with any confidence that this is an accurate presentation of the phenomenon of UFO on-board experiences. I will say only a small comment, for social reasons. I have spent several years trying to get David Jacobs and Budd Hopkins off of the theory that hybridization has anything to do with what's really happening, and [although both of them have been friends of mine for a long time] have been completely unsuccessful in budging them one iota. Well, that's the way it goes. But, if I don't buy the basis that Kerner uses for his added speculations, then you can imagine that his further arguments are getting pretty far afield for me. There are several other things that Kerner apparently talks about which, I believe do not match history very well, nor even my theology. And I can't find any strong relationship in what I know that he wrote with anything in the holographic reality post. So, I'm just confused.

  3. Whoa! An excellent post. I've had this sneaking suspicion in the back of mind for a really long time: that we don't really have a good handle on "consciousness". Over the years I've run across comments that nudge me in some direction that makes me thing; I'm missing something here. Whatever consciousness is, I don't really know what it is. Intuitively I have this sense it's bigger and different than what is commonly accepted. As I read this I felt that familiar nudge again. And, in this setting, I am reminded of something that has occurred to me before: understanding consciousness might, just maybe, be key to understanding some of the "stuff" in the so called paranormal realm.
    Thanks Prof. Hope your stay in WV goes well.

  4. Thanks Professor - it often seems that the main thing we moderns forget is the mystery itself. We resist the idea of mystery at all, since it feels safer and assures our ego if we "know." And yet the mystery is boundless. Wasn't it Issaac Newton he said he felt like a child on the seashore, rummaging amongst the shells and pebbles, while a vast ocean of mystery stretches towards the horizon. The scientists who speak to the heart are coming from a place of humility and reverence before this mystery that surrounds us.
    And in consciousness - I have experienced the mystery of prayers and how they are "answered," if you will, in a non-linear way, often by my perceptions, not necessarily the world itself, being changed. Yet quantum physics and other modern physics are starting to see that consciousness is part of the equation, that it does effect matter and the world around us.... stuff the ancients knew quite well, I think. The Hopi's ritual and ceremonial cycles were part of their reverence and responsibility for the upkeep of the world and universe - they felt and knew that our consciousness does play a part...
    Happy trails, professor!

  5. Thank you all. I will be back on line whenever I can. Just a few hours from lift-off now.

  6. I've been fascinated by the Holographic Hypothesis ever since reading Michael Talbot's book, and I appreciated the post.

    The evidence is mounting that our reality may very well be a giant hologram--see this article from New Scientist just last month:

  7. I don't get it. If the mind is non local why is it that brain damaged people often have impaired minds? If it could be explained that because the brain is like a radio set, merely tuning into the mind, and a damaged brain is like a broken radio set or TV, then why would we need a brain in the first place? If our minds are non local why bother anchoring our consciousnesses to one specific place and time?

    John W.

  8. John W., brain damaged people do indeed often have impaired minds, but what about the approximately 130 individuals known to have no brain at all, in spite of which they carry on careers as tax inspectors - I know, I know - or American university lecturers - I know, I know - and much else besides.

    One of the dirty little secrets of the history of science is that many of the 17th, 18th, and even 19th century explorers of brain research reported opening up the cadavers of individuals celebrated for the powers of their minds only to find their skulls devoid of brain matter.

    Among the explanations I've read for this my favourites are: 1) because this was early in the history of medicine the researchers didn't known what brains in situ looked like; and 2) during the process of popping off and placing to one side the sawn off skull tops, the proto brain surgeons failed to notice the brains'd inadvertently rolling off the operating table and dropping to the floor - which, for me, conjures up the image of some early medical researcher patting himself on the back for the wonderful paper he's just written up and sent off to some science society he's a member of, only to trip over a brain in the middle of his carpet and exclaim, "Ooh, don' I feel a fool!"

  9. To Anonymous/JohnW & borky: gentlemen--you are in deep waters and can not solve the debate over the mind/body problem in a few blog exchanges. This is heavyweight stuff and needs a serious personal study of both the spiritual/ paranormal side of the issue and the neurophysiological side if one is to come to a personally-satisfying position [note that I didn't say "conclusion"]. I will just say a small word and then let this go [because we don't have a college course to dedicate to it]: If one was living in a universe wherein one had easy control of paranormal abilities [ex. psychokinetic influence on macroscopic objects] then John W would be correct, one wouldn't need your brain--you'd just apply some form of quantum observership and the proper wave functions would collapse and what you intended would occur. Since it is manifestly obvious that our psi abilities are crude and weak, [note that I did not say non-existant], our efficient modus operandi for getting things done [macroscopically] is via utilization of the forces of physics textbooks [mainly the varieties of electromagnetism's functions [which include chemistry]. To do that, our consciousness must have a well-structured intermediary: the brain. This structure is sorted-out for best [fast/well-ordered] function into specialized bits. Strokes occurring in any specific bit affect only the function of that bit. Strokes occurring in more globally important bits affect globally. If one was able to achieve psychic mastery, one could probably just psi one's way around the problem created by the stroke, but that's not how the Maker made we "bodily" elements of the Creation. If this "separation-of-the-issue" doesn't make any sense at all to you as a jumping off point to begin your deeper studies on this, then, as I said, it's at least a whole college course and I tried.

  10. Philosophically, there is not only a mind/body problem, there's also a consciousness/knowledge problem. The creating (= interested & involved) God of the Jews, Christians and Moslems knows material things because He makes them, not because He has any degree of passive "observational" relation to them (which consideration doesn't negate spontaneity & free will in created things). He & His immaterial angels know things "in one big blast" (though a different "blast" in God & angels) which is a radically different "consciousness" (if you can really use that term). If ESP truly transcends our familiar bodily conditions, it's likely (yes, my mere opinion!) merely due to quantum entanglement or some such aspect of matter. One cash value possibility of such speculation: if "they" can actually produce quantum computers, will some sort of sheep/goat effect cause them to crash, or just glitch, too often? Oh well, as Arthur C. Clarke did not say, any sufficiently advanced magic will look like technology.

    Frank John Reid

  11. To all blog readers:Frank Reid is an old valued friend. However, if through reading this commentary, you just had a seizure, feel comforted in that you are not alone.

  12. What we are doing here is not simply finding a simple trail of breadcrumb clues left along the path in the forest of our very limited current life experience. What we are doing is nothing less than co-creating a tapestry of consciousness, a true work of Art.

    We are creating this across the vast reaches of what we naively call time and space and we are not doing this alone, but with the direct intent and cooperation of every other conscious entity.

    What we are doing is growing a holographic universe and with this realization will come a subtle ‘click’ as from the opening of a backdoor, as from the opening of the human mind, and with this, the rings of realization will began to radiate in all directions across the pond of time.

    Behind our time imprinted three dimensional reality is a mosaic of consciousness not held within the confines of a time line. We are a consciousness which has thrown out an infinitude of individual personal experiential realities and each separate me is cast out alone within a specific frequency or time line and immediately cloaked with a veil of forgetfulness. But embedded within this fog of forgetfulness is a pin point of Light.

    The more we experience, the more we know and the more we know, the more powerful grows our intention to manifest.

    Our brain, as awesome as it is, may not even be turned on yet. What we need is a new genre, a metaphorical language that is coherent to both the scientist and the metaphysician. For it to be relevant to both sides, there have to be truths which are held self evident by both sides. And one of these core truths has to be that we are MORE than our physical body.

    Consciousness, in some form, continues after the apparent demise of the physical body. A physical body is something we "choose" to inhabit. It isn't an accident and it isn't a random assemblage of molecules. To paraphrase that famous quote about evolution: ‘to believe in the theory of evolution is like believing that a tornado moved over a junk yard and assembled a 747.’ We are far more than an evolved germ.

    We have ultimate memory and we ‘choose’ to forget what we know so as to more directly and deeply experience our three dimensional adventure. This is a specific frequency of experience we are inhabiting and we have the creative ability to peel back and lift this veil of forgetfulness. It would seem that we are reclaiming our prime truth, metaphor by metaphor.

    It's not so much we are deaf, dumb and blind out of a state of ignorance as much as we are incredibly wise and have chosen to forget, so that we may learn at the deepest level. We are here to grow our Soul.

    But behind this veil of forgetfulness, behind our specific time imprinted reality, is a vast consciousness taking it all in and savoring and growing from the combined experience, as one by one the individual veils of forgetfulness thin and lift, eventually causing each representative consciousness to come on like an electric light. All in time.

    The veils are thinning, they are beginning to lift. But the metaphors are no longer coming from the Priests of science nor the hand maidens of psychology. The new metaphors which will trigger the lifting of the veil will come from the field of Radial Therapy, from the realm of the Spirit Tracker.

  13. This is a nice post, even though the words used make it extremely difficult to follow. Although I personally only agree with about half of the specifics, I feel that the felt direction towards the spiritual is moving towards the light. To go into what I find sympatico and what not would take a book chapter, so I'll let it stand for all to make sense of as they wish.



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