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Whats inside your head when nobody's observing it?

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posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 05:29 AM
There seems to be a lot of threads concerning concepts such as Reality and Consciousness.

My question may sound ridiculous with obvious answers. Let me explain, it's a little more complicated.

I got curious about this originally through meditation, and more recently by reading about event horizons. So I'll get to the point, through my various forrays into quantum physics I came across the idea of event horizons and how matter at the sub-atomic level behaves in accordance with the expectations of the observer. I am no expert in the field of quantum physics so I may be misinterpreting this but presumablely this means that when I expect to see something I see it. So now my question is this: When my brain is not being observed, that is it's not being expected to behave or appear in a certain way, is it actually there in my skull?

Sounds a bit silly I know, but I'll see if I get any interesting replies before going further.

Ciao. Thanks for checking.

posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 12:31 PM
Im gonna have to say thats a pretty good question. Im gonna have to go with it is both there, and not there. But then again, I dont know if it being the conscious brain would be subject to superposition or not. Someone with greater knowledge than I can come along and shed any ignorance that may lie here.


posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 12:41 PM
when is your brain not being observed?

even when you are not "conscious" (what ever that really is) your brain is still being "observed" by many other parts of your body. or at least that is the way i see it. i know what you are talking about though it is fact that some key word some atoms act diffrently when they are being observed but what makes you believe that applys to your brain. just asking not saying you are wrong. maybe that applys to certian parts of your brain but would it effect your brain as a whole? all good questions, but what is the realivance..

posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 01:08 PM
OK, I see. You have a valid point. My brain/mind is being observed by many different factors.

Still I think the contents of my skull may not always be the same. My brain may be being observed by something but is it being observed with the same expectations as when someone else is observing it. I say someone else because under most circumstances I can never see the inside of my skull.

posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 01:12 PM
Sorry I forgot to say thank yous.

Thank you very much for the replies. rekar, Dalegribble hats off to you.

posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 05:05 PM
Okay, I am late to respond, and not knowlegable about quantum physics. (wish I were) If you are talking about the brain matter being in your head whether someone is observing it or not, I would have to say yes the brain is there. If you mean your thought, then I would say yes again. A person who is in a coma, still has hearing, even they cannot respond, so just because someone observing them thinks there is nobody there, we do not know if they are thinking about what they are hearing. If the person comes out of the coma, they usually respond to painful stimuli first, and though they may not say ouch, they flinch or squeeze their eyes which is an observed response to pain stimuli.

Is that even close to what you are talking about?

[edit on 21-4-2009 by catamaran]

posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 05:27 PM
Let me say thank you. I appreciate your reply.

So, you are of the opinion that my brain (as a physical manifestation) is there all the time, whether there is anyone observing or not. Do you have anyway to prove this?

posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 05:33 PM
It is my understanding that according to some interpretations of QM, "to be is to be percieved". In other words, everything is always under observation, expect maybe when you are in deep dreamless delta sleep, that state is a mystery.

posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 05:46 PM
reply to post by rekar

Yes, interesting point. You just may have something there.

I have always thought that it just may be possible (although unverifiable) that an object could both exist and not exist at the same time. When I started this thread I was wondering what does the inside of my head look like from the inside out (as opposed to what it looks like from the outside in). To me looking at the brain from the outside would be an act of observation. So if quantum physics is correct then that act of observation is what cause the inside of my skull to be filled by brain matter. The same with MRIs or brain scans or what have you, one is observing the contents of a skull expecting to find brain matter.

I'll get back to you on this, somethings come up.


posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 06:56 PM
What is observing the vacuum in deepest space?

From where the electrons and sub atomic particles seem to just appear from, from current scientific experiments on earth seem to indicate?

What observes the photon that splits into two in the split experiment, when in fact it is not being observed?

Observation does not create the way things are, it just defines and gives a nudge one way or another as schrondingers cat experiment shows/postulates.

Now the question you ask is a deep philosophical concept in both Indian and Buddhist philosophy, and many great Masters of the past have spent their entire lives trying to figure it out.

Most of the accepted current inner realisations have found that in fact there is a paradox.

The aim of most meditation unlike most people think is not soo much the Subject / Object relationship or single pointed on one thing, but just being mindful of things. Being aware in the now, and not focusing on any one thing, like watching thoughts and then focusing intently on them, or pushing them away. Just to watch them, be aware of them, but have not aversion, or attachment to them.

This is Shinay in Tibetan Meditation, and really the best type of meditation you can do.

If you do this or, further subject object meditation or single pointed concentration, the great paradox lies in the following, and like the chicken and egg, or light and dark questions means that the question you ask can never really be answered if you look at it logically and closely,properly.

Who Observes the Observer when you meditate?

Who Observes the looker when you focus on an image?

If you take many modern false beliefs and lack of understanding of Quantum Mechanics, where the Meme is it says that if something is not observed it does not exist, then the observer could never exist in the first place!

It would be impossible to meditate, as no one can observe themselves observing!

You could maybe say that the universal subconscious mind is observring the observer, or the observed knows it is being watched and observed, and like the Goethe philosophy, " if you look into the Abyss long enough it stares back", so looks back, is aware of the observer.....

However until it is observed that would be impossible, so we all know that there is a casual time frame whereby in observation, like in meditation before the Shinay wide awareness of all, or more focused or observation Subject Object practise there is not a immediate focusing, so how could the observer grasp anything to observe before it was fixed into being by being observed in the first place?

You cannot watch yourself observe, the observed has to exist before it is actually observed, even if in only a "possibilty" of location, or reference, however it is still there, or the potential of its manifestation is still there before being observed. Otherwise it could as showed never in the first place be observed. And further as shown the Observer has to exist previous to that without being observed by anything else, in isolation.

This is a real problem of the mainstreaming of Quantum understanding, and is used to by many to postulate lots of nonsense about the way the universe is, and our experience and relationship to it, in our consciousness.

To surmise, the Observer independently of ever being observed first by any other observer becomes aware of something before it is actually observed properly.

Therefore the phenomina observed exists independently(of the observer) and prior to being observed, even if in a different state/way/ etc before being observed.

The Observer can never truly observe itself observing.

Observers therefore would cease to exist before the phenomina is observed is they are doing so in isolation, and independently.

HOWEVER, this also is backwards and not true, because as non locality proves, and Emptiness in Buddhist philosophy and experiences shows or "One taste" everything in the universe that is observed and observes is actually linked together beyond the notions of both TIME and SPACE.

So it appears in finality that we are just parts of a whole observing itself from different points of view, part of the one great mind, and as said already by another poster, like the cells in a body, who are aware of the body, their environment, and are affected by, and affect it also, but unaware that they are within this body, so likewise our consciousness is part of the universal mind, but unaware of being so.

So all things are always being observed really, by the universe they co habitate, and all are part of the same thing and not seperate.

All these things can observe other parts of this system, and doing so does indeed seem to affect the outcome of how and where these other parts of the system behave.

Kind Regards,


As a very wise Indian sage once said, "It is all the dream of God"

posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 08:05 PM
reply to post by MischeviousElf

Thank you very much. Excellent! Just the sort of reply I was looking for. Let me think about it for a bit. I agree with most of what you said. I'm a little too busy to give you a decent reply, and I feel that a reply so thorough deserves a half decent answer. I'll get back to you after observing the observer for a bit.


posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 07:31 AM

OK, I have given it some thought and I am going to try to make a half decent reply, although I will probably just make a fool of myself.

"Most of the accepted current inner realisations have found that in fact there is a paradox."

Yes, I agree, it is a paradox. Just WHAT the paradox is and WHY it's a paradox is something we disagree on. Let me just say that I have no truck with religion. I study many religions and do meditation and Yoga and so forth but I don't belong to or believe in any religions. As far as I am concerned the paradox is this: the universe/reality as we know it seems to exist inside the mind of the observer.

Let me quote Terry Pratchet, "People believe in all sorts of other things, though. For example, there are some people who have a legend that the whole universe is carried in a leather bag by an old man. They're right, too. Other people say: hold on, if he's carrying the entire universe in a sack, right, that means he's carrying himself and the sack INSIDE the sack, because the universe contains everything. Including him. And the sack of course. Which contains him and the sack already. As it were. To which the reply is: well? All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true.'"
This is how I see the paradox concerning reality. If the entire universe including the observer is inside the observer where and how do the observer exist. I am afraid that this is only vaguely related to my original question. And this is also very abstract and one can only get a faint glimpse of this in deep meditation.

As for the aims of most forms of meditation, you are right. However I would like to point out it is as you say, it is the aims of MOST forms of meditation, not necessarily all forms of meditation. Developing non attachment is a preliminary, after which comes the much tougher task of over coming one's limited human perception/consciousness. I would venture to say that this is the true aim and value of any meditation practice. As far as "Shinay in Tibetan Meditation" is concerned I have never done it nor heard of it so I can't really say anything about it. Can you give me some links or any info regarding it?

Let me cover one more thing.
"Who Observes the Observer when you meditate?" This relates back to the paradox concerning reality. In order to answer this question with any sort of accuracy and for it to have meaning one must ask an important question, namely: WHO is the observer? Let me quote a poem or limerick or whatever (I don't know who the author is, the title of the poem or anything), "I know that I know. What I would like to know is who is the I that knows I know I know?" Who observes the observer? Easy enough to answer, the Observer is observing himself. The real question is who is the Observer. It's sort of like not knowing your identity and looking in the mirror and saying: "who is this in the mirror?" If you knew your identity, you wouldn't ask who Observes the Observer. One meditates and one comes to the realization that I am the Observer and I am Observing myself. And yet you are bewildered by what you see because you realize that you do not know yourself. This is the process of overcoming one's limited human consciousness and realizing a higher form of consciousness.

I hope that you find this intriguing or useful. I realize that I am way off topic. But in a way this was the sort of discussion that I wanted to have. OK, it was a little one side as far as discussions go. Sorry.


posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 08:00 AM
reply to post by Most Infamous

Interesting Post. I wouldnt totally call it off topic though, as it still deals with the initial subject.

That was a pretty good post, and I am not sure how to reply to that, lol.... Might take me some time to digest that. I know I am in the process of learning QM/QP, which does help understand quite a bit about the unknown.


posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 09:22 AM
Glad you enjoyed it. Take your time. I wouldn't expect anything less, these concepts are abstract and take time to digest.

Let me get back to what I was trying to say earlier.

When an MRI or brain scan is done the results show that there is a brain inside your skull because that is the expectation. I think it's safe to say that most people expect to find the inside of any skull (at least a living human, or recently deceased human) would contain brain matter. Call it conditioning or what ever. But maybe it's possible that not all things that observe your brain would think of your brain as well, your brain? Does that make sense? Maybe your...I don't know, your blood for example...sees the brain in a different way. So for your blood (or maybe something else), the brain exists in a different form. Maybe at any one time (or only sometimes) your brain is in one sense your brain (for an observer expecting to see your brain) and at the same time it is not your brain but something different for a different observer? So the brain might exist and not exist at the same time? but we can never be sure no?

OK, think it over and get back to me. Thanks.


posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 09:29 AM
reply to post by Most Infamous

I say that, yes, different things perceive the brain differently. So maybe the brain is what we see it to be from our frame of reference, but different from the point of the blood cells. But could we bring in, say a blind, deaf person? How different would there observations be to ours? Id say a crap load, obviously.

They would have no clue to what the brain looks like, and wouldnt be able to perceive it, So how would it exist for them?

Does it both exist and not exist? I say it exists, but in many different forms. When its not being observed, it may be another form. But it always has been there, just a different form of it.

EDIT: To add to that last statement. I guess it can kinda be compared to a spoon, if you will. It has always existed, but a different form. Once it was material liquid, and now its metal/plastic. Hope that made some kind of sense...


[edit on 22-4-2009 by rekar]

posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 10:11 AM
OK, maybe this is semantics but if the brain exists as one thing for me and another for something else, does that mean there are two skulls? Or maybe there is one skull in which my brain is there and also not there while at the same time there is another form also there and not there, in the same space? make sense?

posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 10:24 AM
reply to post by rekar

Blind people? Now were talking. This is sort of why I got interested in this. In meditation your eyes are closed so your visual input is almost nil. It's not that you're not seeing, You still see stuff with your mind's eye, but it's not the same as seeing with your eyes. To make a long story short, it sort of feels like you're inside your head and looking at the space inside your skull. But what you see is not what you expect to see. You don't see red/gray/green/purple bloody brain matter. You see something else (hard to explain).

Also I wonder if blind people, blind people who were not born blind, do they see stuff with their mind's eye? What if you were born blind? Do you something different with your mind's eye

posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 10:32 AM
reply to post by Most Infamous

when you can see inside your skull let me know cause i want to do it.

thanks for the calrification. im gonna ponder the subject for a few more hours and then ill let you know what i come up with.

posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 10:49 AM
reply to post by Most Infamous

About the brain part, lets try to put it another way. Lets use the ocean. To us, the ocean is just a body of water, we cross it all the time with planes, boats, and whatnot. Bacteria and small fish on the other hand, its the only thing they know, its this huge world. They dont know about the land, trees, or anything else. Hope that worked out like I had planned, heh. So, the ocean to us is nothing really, while to a fish, is the planet.

On to the next post. Im going to have to go with Blind people whom werent born that way dont see much of anything. I would say they see what we do when our eyes are closed in a pitch black room, for the sake of argument. On the other hand, people born blind might see differently, they might see sounds, forget the medical term for it, instead of light. Not like Echolocation, not exactly what Im trying to get at.... I dont know too much about blindness other than you cant see light and things the way other people would....

So I hope that got out the right way, ehe.. Thoughts?


posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 11:23 AM
reply to post by MischeviousElf

Therefore the phenomina observed exists independently(of the observer) and prior to being observed, even if in a different state/way/ etc before being observed.

What I know about quantum mechanic can barely fill a thimble but I had a strange experience recently that may lend some weight to what you have stated.

I noticed that I was having problems with my vision. I would periodically look at objects that were quite well known to me and fixed, like the tree stump in my back yard, and for 10 to 20 seconds sometime longer then a minute I would not know what I was seeing. The closest description to what I saw would be as is I was seeing it in its negative view. I can't completely describe it for it is just too odd of an experience to explain fully to someone who has never had the experience. However, if you have ever seen the pictures of the old lady and the pretty lady then you have a general idea.

This visual distortion comes without warning and is usually very brief so I ignored it until I noticed that my body ever vigilante to abnormalities and quick to attempt compensation would oft time present me with two images of a distant view. I would see one the way it should be seen and the other I would see with the distortion. Not one in one eye and the other in the other eye but I could tell the stimulus was being processed on the brain level because I could switch from one side of the brain to the other to get a clearer understanding of what I was seeing and when I was doing this I was quite positively using both eyes for focus. Upon medical examination if was found that I have a lesion to the optical nerve of my right eye, origin, cause and prognosis unknown.

I say all of this to offer proof that things exists whether they are observed or not. What they become when observed may be different depending on the observer and what the observer is expecting to see.

Many factors can change how the brain processes the information it receives. The image doesn’t change only the perception.

Could it be that the state of the mind, be it conscious or unconscious is the ultimate decider of what exists and what does not exist as well as when it exists, at least to each of us individually.

Observation becomes simply the acknowledgement of an impulse sent to the unconscious stimulating it into consciousness.

If the unconscious mind receives, accepts and responds to the impulse it can proceed to make it what it chooses at the time.

Other factors and influences in the world that we live in can influence what direction that takes.

So within the realm of our minds nothing is impossible. Whatever the blind person sees is just as real to him and as anything that we see. Actual vision is completely subjective and is only important when you are trying to make someone see what you see, which is nigh onto impossible, so we settle for close.

The closest we have ever been to truly controlling the impulses of our universe without the contamination of the conscious mind and our earthly influences is when we were children and why meditation can be so powerful for those that can truly master the technique.

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