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Is science coming to validate spirituality?

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posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 10:31 PM
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I found two articles on new scientist I found intriguing, allow me to share:

'Consciousness signature' discovered spanning the brain

Electrodes implanted in the brains of people with epilepsy might have resolved an ancient question about consciousness.

Signals from the electrodes seem to show that consciousness arises from the coordinated activity of the entire brain. The signals also take us closer to finding an objective "consciousness signature" that could be used to probe the process in animals and people with brain damage without inserting electrodes.

Previously it wasn't clear whether a dedicated brain area, or "seat of consciousness", was responsible for guiding our subjective view of the world, or whether consciousness was the result of concerted activity across the whole brain.

Probing the process has been a challenge, as non-invasive techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging and EEG give either spatial or temporal information but not both. The best way to get both simultaneously is to implant electrodes deep inside the skull, but it is difficult to justify this in healthy people for ethical reasons.

Brainy opportunity
Now neuroscientist Raphaël Gaillard of INSERM in Gif sur Yvette, France, and colleagues have taken advantage of a unique opportunity. They have probed consciousness in 10 people who had intercranial electrodes implanted for treating drug-resistant epilepsy.

While monitoring signals from these electrodes, Gaillard's team flashed words in front of the volunteers for just 29 milliseconds. The words were either threatening (kill, anger) or emotionally neutral (cousin, see).

The words were preceded and followed by visual "masks", which block the words from being consciously processed, or the masks following the words weren't used, meaning the words could be consciously processed. The volunteers had to press a button to indicate the nature of the word, allowing the researchers to confirm whether the volunteer was conscious of it or not.

Between the 10 volunteers, the researchers received information from a total of 176 electrodes, which covered almost the whole brain. During the first 300 milliseconds of the experiment, brain activity during both the non-conscious and conscious tasks was very similar, indicating that the process of consciousness had not kicked in. But after that, there were several types of brain activity that only occurred in the individuals who were aware of the words.

Lost seat
First, there was an increase in the voltage levels of the signals in their brains. Second, the frequency and phase of neurons firing in different parts of the brain seemed to synchronise. Then some of these synchronised signals appeared to be triggering others. For example, activity in the occipital lobe seemed to cause activity in the frontal lobe.

Because this activity only occurred in volunteers when they were aware of the words, Gaillard's team argue that it constitutes a consciousness signature. As much of this activity was spread across the brain, they say that consciousness has no single "seat". "Consciousness is more a question of dynamics, than of a local activity," says Gaillard.

Bernard Baars of the Neuroscience Institute in San Diego, California, who proposed a "global access" theory of consciousness in 1983 agrees: "I'm thrilled by these results."

He says they provide the "first really solid, direct evidence" for his own theory. He also says that having such a signature will make it easier to look for signs of consciousness in people with brain damage, infants and animals with the help of non-invasive techniques such as EEG.

Journal reference: PLoS Biology, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000061

SOURCE:www.newscientist.com...

My comment: Very very very interesting, could it be extrapolated further into the concept of a soul perhaps?




posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 10:33 PM
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And secondly:
Concept of 'hypercosmic God' wins Templeton Prize

Today the John Templeton Foundation announced the winner of the annual Templeton Prize of a colossal £1 million ($1.4 million), the largest annual prize in the world.

This year it goes to French physicist and philosopher of science Bernard d'Espagnat for his "studies into the concept of reality". D'Espagnat, 87, is a professor emeritus of theoretical physics at the University of Paris-Sud, and is known for his work on quantum mechanics. The award will be presented to him by the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace on 5 May.

D'Espagnat boasts an impressive scientific pedigree, having worked with Nobel laureates Louis de Broglie, Enrico Fermi and Niels Bohr. De Broglie was his thesis advisor; he served as a research assistant to Fermi; and he worked at CERN when it was still in Copenhagen under the direction of Bohr. He also served as a visiting professor at the University of Texas, Austin, at the invitation of the legendary physicist John Wheeler. But what has he done that's worth £1 million?

The thrust of d'Espagnat's work was on experimental tests of Bell's theorem. The theorem states that either quantum mechanics is a complete description of the world or that if there is some reality beneath quantum mechanics, it must be nonlocal – that is, things can influence one another instantaneously regardless of how much space stretches between them, violating Einstein's insistence that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.

But what d'Espagnat was really interested in was what all of this meant for discerning the true nature of ultimate reality. Unlike most of his contemporaries, d'Espagnat was one of the brave ones unafraid to tackle the thorny and profound philosophical questions posed by quantum physics.

Third view
Unlike classical physics, d'Espagnat explained, quantum mechanics cannot describe the world as it really is, it can merely make predictions for the outcomes of our observations. If we want to believe, as Einstein did, that there is a reality independent of our observations, then this reality can either be knowable, unknowable or veiled. D'Espagnat subscribes to the third view. Through science, he says, we can glimpse some basic structures of the reality beneath the veil, but much of it remains an infinite, eternal mystery.

Looking back at d'Espagnat's work, I couldn't help but wonder what the Templeton Foundation – an organisation dedicated to reconciling science and religion – saw in it that they thought was worth a £1 million. Then, scanning the press release, I found it:

"There must exist, beyond mere appearances … a 'veiled reality' that science does not describe but only glimpses uncertainly. In turn, contrary to those who claim that matter is the only reality, the possibility that other means, including spirituality, may also provide a window on ultimate reality cannot be ruled out, even by cogent scientific arguments."

But even if there is a partially unknowable reality beneath reality, I'm not sure how that implies that spirituality is a viable means to access it. I have a suspicion that this still comes down to good old-fashioned faith.

Unconventional 'God'
So what is it, really, that is veiled? At times d'Espagnat calls it a Being or Independent Reality or even "a great, hypercosmic God". It is a holistic, non-material realm that lies outside of space and time, but upon which we impose the categories of space and time and localisation via the mysterious Kantian categories of our minds.

"Independent Reality plays, in a way, the role of God – or 'Substance' – of Spinoza," d'Espagnat writes. Einstein believed in Spinoza's God, which he equated with nature itself, but he always held this "God" to be entirely knowable. D'Espagnat's veiled God, on the other hand, is partially – but still fundamentally – unknowable. And for precisely this reason, it would be nonsensical to paint it with the figure of a personal God or attribute to it specific concerns or commandments.

The "veiled reality", then, can in no way help Christians or Muslims or Jews or anyone else rationalise their specific beliefs. The Templeton Foundation – despite being headed up by John Templeton Jr, an evangelical Christian – claims to afford no bias to any particular religion, and by awarding their prize to d'Espagnat, I think they've proven that to be true.

I happen to believe that drawing any spiritual conclusions from quantum mechanics is an unfounded leap in logic – but if someone out there in the world is willing to pay someone £1 million for pondering the nature of reality, that's a world I'm happy to live in.

Source:www.newscientist.com...

My comment: Isn't it nice when those with PhDs agree with something you thought without knowing they may have thought it first?


[edit on 18-3-2009 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows]



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 10:42 PM
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Hi, Watcher-In-The-Shadows.

Do you know that the electron is **aware** of being
watched or not ????? Soooooooo, matter is conscious ?

If not, rent the 3 DVD set of "What the BLEEP!? down the rabbit hole!"
You will LOVE it !

Blue skies.



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 10:48 PM
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Oh it was a good movie but I think it focus's too much on the individual. It seems to me if this stuff is reality then as I stated in another thread we would serve to limit and all around mess with each other. But I thank you for the recommendation.


[edit on 18-3-2009 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows]



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 11:38 PM
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reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 


One question, why were people with epilepsy chosen to participate in this experiment?



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 11:56 PM
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Hope this helps:

Probing the process has been a challenge, as non-invasive techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging and EEG give either spatial or temporal information but not both. The best way to get both simultaneously is to implant electrodes deep inside the skull, but it is difficult to justify this in healthy people for ethical reasons.

Brainy opportunity
Now neuroscientist Raphaël Gaillard of INSERM in Gif sur Yvette, France, and colleagues have taken advantage of a unique opportunity. They have probed consciousness in 10 people who had intercranial electrodes implanted for treating drug-resistant epilepsy.


Basically, they already had electrodes in there for treatment of their epolepsy. They used the existing implants since putting implants explicitly for the purpose the experiment raised certain ethical problems.



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 01:10 PM
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Watcher, insightful post. S+F for you.

This is an area of particular interest to me, and I am still trying to put together an endless puzzle, (probably because the reality of this is indeed veiled).

There is so much information emerging now to indicate that consciousness is a far larger influence on EVERYTHING then we had ever imagined. Both of these articles point to the realization that science is expanding to include the power of consciousness, (both individual and collective).

I am sure you have already examined it, but there is a lot of good work coming out of Princeton's Global Consciousness Project. (GCP). Quantum theory is so expansive it is difficult for people to grasp, and when we combine the ideas of science and spirituality, a new idea emerges: humanity was long ago derailed from the truth. Specific dogmatic religions that assert the "true" answer only serve to polarize their believers, and create an even larger gap between what they "believe" and what their inner-knowing tells them. Organized religion is part of the veil, and it is refreshing that modern science has begun to peel back the curtian.

Additionally, this type of discussion goes to the root of our collective scientific "logic" as exlemplified in the book FUZZY THINKING: The New Science of Fuzzy Logic by Bart Kosko c1993.

Ponder:

"The fuzzy principle states that everything is a matter of degree...fuzziness has a formal name in science: multivalence. The opposite of fuzziness is bivalence or two-valuedness...true or false, 1 or 0. Fuzziness means three or more options.
In 1937 quantum philosopher Max Black published a paper on vauge sets or what we now call fuzzy sets. The world of science and philosophy ignored Black's paper. Else we might now be discussing the history of vauge logic, not fuzzy logic."

When we apply the acceptance of "fuzzy thinking" in science to that of consciousness, we see a clearly quantum relationship.

I am always turned off by the word "soul" because of its specific connotations, and I think that thing within each of us, (individual and collective) is not so easily defined.

Science is surely the key.....and that is no endorsment of Scientology.



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 01:16 PM
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That is very interesting and at the same time very scary.
If they figure out exactly what and where the soul is they'll probably use it against us.



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 01:22 PM
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Originally posted by locster
That is very interesting and at the same time very scary.
If they figure out exactly what and where the soul is they'll probably use it against us.


Maybe "they" already are.



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by locster
That is very interesting and at the same time very scary.
If they figure out exactly what and where the soul is they'll probably use it against us.



a star for the most paranoid post of the week.

interesting couple of articles. someone claimed in reference to the LHC that physics had very, very few questions left to answer where it knew the question being asked, that it was really stepping out into the unknown and unknowable, attempting to find answers so that it knew what questions were possible.

i welcome the departure, seems to be going well.

[edit on 6/4/09 by pieman]



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 01:55 PM
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reply to post by pieman
 


Nah more sarcastic



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 02:21 PM
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Wow! This is something i have been thinking about alot. This kind of adds fuel to my theory that there is something more too epilepsy ect. than meets the eye :

extract from the OP in my thread, questioning the connection:


Originally posted by MCoG1980


This made me look pettit mal and epilepsy up on the net. This has opened my eyes truly.

Firstly the visions problems i earlier mentioned:

postive and negative images, visual snow ext.
Symptoms same as those who suffer from hppd, this is also linked with epilepsy and brain tumors:

nodid.org...

Religious visions/Feelings of Enlightenment

www.bbc.co.uk...

Other experiences that are strangeley similar to those of some Epileptics are those who claim to have awakended their Kundalini and people who have taken the Hallucigenic '___'. '___' is a class A drug. It also is found naturally in humans and is produced in the pineal gland i think. It is what enables us to dream. I just find it all very strange, all sharing similar experiences - are they connected?????????

uk.youtube.com...
video.google.co.uk...#
uk.youtube.com...
uk.youtube.com...

dreams and '___':

uk.youtube.com...




[edit on 1-11-2008 by MCoG1980]



mid thread:


Originally posted by MCoG1980
reply to post by MCoG1980
 


There are still very little answers to the cause of SUDEP (Dudden unexplained death in Epilepsy]

I feel that it could be quite probable that the cause of this could be Kundalini awakening and being unable to control it. I personally would recommend chakra meditation for anyone who feels the way i do, I have only been doing it a short while but i do feel better somehow. Epilepsy is asscociated with the crown chakra and so could exlplain the intense heat at the top of my head, other experience this also.

source: www.patient.co.uk...


The risk of SUDEP is small for most people with epilepsy. It is estimated to cause about 500 deaths per year in the UK. This sounds a lot, but when you compare it to the number of people who have epilepsy, it is quite rare. (Epilepsy is common. About 1 in 30 people in the UK develop epilepsy at some stage. Most people with epilepsy have a normal life span and do not die of SUDEP.) Of those who die from SUDEP, it is most common in people who have generalised tonic-clonic seizures, especially in young adults. The most important 'risk factors' seems to be poor seizure control, and seizures occurring during sleep.

In people with severe epilepsy (frequent and severe tonic-clonic seizures), it is estimated that about 1 in 200 die of SUDEP each year.
In people with mild idiopathic epilepsy (epilepsy of unknown cause), it is estimated that about 1 in 1000 die of SUDEP each year.
In people who are in remission the risk of SUDEP seems to be negligible (very low). The term 'in remission' means that you have had seizures in the past, but have none or very few at present. This is either because of treatment, or because the epilepsy has settled down


There is still alot of unknown stuff surrounding epilepsy, to me anything that is unknown, deserves exploring further.

I'm not the onlyone taking notice of the simularities between epilepsy and Kundalini:


source:
www.yogamag.net...


What the epileptic actually experiences and what we imagine the process to be, are two distinct things. What we call 'fitting' may not be so difficult to understand when we view it in the light of yoga. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, a famous Russian writer, has this to say about fits in his book 'The Idiot':

"For a few minutes before the fit... I experience a feeling of happiness such as it is quite impossible to imagine in a normal state and which other people have no idea of. I feel entirely in harmony with myself and the whole world, and this feeling is so strong and delightful that for a few seconds of such bliss one would gladly give up ten years of one's life, if not one's whole life."

Dostoyevsky's description of fitting is not what medical science and our eyes have led us to believe.




To be honest, the heat did worry me slightly although i remained calm and went with it. I feel i have good reason to
I once said to a friend that i had a nagging doubt i would die a strange death like spontaneous combustion. This was about 5 years ago now. There are theories that the kundalni is the cause of those deaths. I found Uri Gellars site quite thought provoking:

source:
www.uri-geller.com...

Its that snake again......................




THE SERPENT FIRE WITHIN

If you know about Kundalini, then you already probably agree with Dr. Sannella. If Kundalini is a term unfamiliar to you, a brief foray into esoteric traditions that predate Western medicine by thousands of years will help you understand what Kundalini is, why it has been linked to these three cases of SHC, and how it can provide a general solution to the continuing puzzles of SHC.






[edit on 3-2-2009 by MCoG1980]




and the last post from the thread:


Originally posted by MCoG1980
the crazy side of me wonders if its all a big cover up, but one that is there to be found if would search it out, not a conspiracy but as someone somewhere said 'you have to ask the right questions to the get the right answers'.

As craziness goes, my wackiest thought could be that there are 2 truths.
The biological and the spiritual, and here also where the caduceus comes in, representing both sides.

Spiritual : Meditation and kundalini awakening



Biological: Medical (just type in medical symbol in google images)



Do these cater for each side of the brain, our medical to rationialise what our spiritual sides tell us - but were they meet.... that is the freaky part are they both truths or a fog for the real truth, doubt can only be there if there is nothing to rationionlise it.
.



www.abovetopsecret.com...

Hmmmn, worth looking into a bit more i think. Thankyou for the article, and a great thread. S&F's



[edit on 6-4-2009 by MCoG1980]



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 02:39 PM
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Originally posted by pieman

interesting couple of articles. someone claimed in reference to the LHC that physics had very, very few questions left to answer where it knew the question being asked, that it was really stepping out into the unknown and unknowable, attempting to find answers so that it knew what questions were possible.



[edit on 6/4/09 by pieman]


and for the questions they dont already know the answers for there are the robot scientists



Douglas Kell, of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, which funded the project, said: “Robot scientists could provide a useful tool for managing such data and knowledge, making scientific procedures easier and more efficient.”

— Researchers at Cornell University in the United States have developed a program that enables computers to work out natural laws. In tests a computer observing a pendulum worked out the laws of motion developed by Isaac Newton. The success raises hope a computer will be able to identify natural laws that as yet are unknown.



www.timesonline.co.uk...

scary possibitlies



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 03:15 PM
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reply to post by Torsion girl
 


According to Lear aliens on the moon have built a giant soulcatcher. That only himself can see apparently.



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 03:16 PM
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But I find it very interesting that there is a consciousness signature. Perhaps that is the "fingerprint" of the soul?



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 03:26 PM
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reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 


Then we could solve the question of the existence of soulmates.

Since they are believed to be the same soul, the "fingerprint" would be the same.

(I can see a whole new dating fad coming up
)

The possibilities when/if they discover that "fingerprint" would be endless

EDIT: By discover i mean learn how to read an interpet it

[edit on 6-4-2009 by locster]



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 03:38 PM
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Um. That sounds like your extrapolating a bit much out of my use of the word fingerprint. I meant more the physical signature *something that can be detected* of the soul as opposed to what a fingerprint entails. Sorry for not being clearer.

[edit on 6-4-2009 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows]



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 03:41 PM
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reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 


Indeed. I was getting a little ahead of myself. It has nothing to do with you not being clear

But something that can be detected can be researched.
That's simply what i ment.



posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 10:10 PM
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Originally posted by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
reply to post by Torsion girl
 


According to Lear aliens on the moon have built a giant soulcatcher. That only himself can see apparently.


I had to go have a look at that thread...wow.


I too am facinated by this emerging information about our consciousness "fingerprint" and I even like the use of that term. When I think of its applications, I am inclined to believe, (in so far as I believe anything) that it is related to ascendancy. (I don't know what I believe "ascendancy" means just yet). The remarks here about epilepsy also make me revisit my questions about the root and "purpose" of other physical "aliments" like autisim and even ADD, ADHD, and to some extent, OCD. Thoughts on the relationship of the consciousness fingerprint and what are now viewed as afflictions?

The dating thing cracked me up...who ever believes in soul mates anymore, anyway?? (I wish I were still so idealistic)



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 08:11 PM
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reply to post by Torsion girl
 



I highly recommend watching a movie called "What Dreams May Come" and thinking long and hard about what they are saying. It isn't of course were I got my beliefs but it gives me a illustration.



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