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Can consciousness exist without the brain?

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posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 10:51 AM
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This is the fundamental and the underlining question between atheists and theists. Discussing "God" isn't germane to this thread, it's only about consciousness or soul existing beyond the physical plane.

The idea of consciousness existing outside the brain is a plausible idea. In my personal opinion it holds true because of the materialism illusion concept, Near death experiences reports, and various concepts of the paranormal. Science say we are our brains, but is this true especially when there's cases that potentially contradict or has contradict this axiom? Some people believe that's it's innate to believe in a purposeful universe, which holds true to me.

“The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the power of all true science.” –Albert Einstein

Let's start.


[edit on 15-11-2009 by GrandKitaro777]




posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 11:00 AM
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I believe your mind is outside your brain, and your brain is a receiver and transmitter. So like the governments already know, you just use your brain to access your mind, lol. If you get what i mean.

Just read up on the brain, and all it is is just a receiver, or transmitter.



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 11:03 AM
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I am addicted to Stargate Atlantis and the theory is brought up in the show. In case you haven't watched it states that the Ancients ascended to a higher plane of existence via meditation in which they left their physical bodies and took on a energy based form of life. Now that being said I too believe this concept to be possible. Monks spend entire lives meditating but they die just as we do. Maybe the human body is not evolved enough to reach this point. However there is a lot of study into things like remote viewing and other ways to leave the body and travel elsewhere. If this is true or not I will not speculate. I am a spiritual person so my persona belief is that once I die my soul will leave this body or vessel and take on another form but there is no way to prove this will work the way it is advertised in the controversial books of the Bible...Yet I Believe Without A Doubt...kind of a conundrum?!?

LifENcircleS



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 11:05 AM
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Originally posted by andy1033
I believe your mind is outside your brain, and your brain is a receiver and transmitter. So like the governments already know, you just use your brain to access your mind, lol. If you get what i mean.

Just read up on the brain, and all it is is just a receiver, or transmitter.

WOW that is an awesome theory! I have never ever thought anything close to that...Now my mind is spinning with thoughts on EXISTENCE itself! Thank You...

LifENcircleS



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 11:14 AM
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reply to post by LifENcircleS
 


Just read up on what the brain does, it just receives information and transmits it out.

The governments already know this and we all have our own certain frequency. The only trouble i have with it, is where do we transmit and receive to and fro.

If you do look at how the brain works, that is all it does really, so ask yourself, where is your mind then, if its outside your brain?



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 11:25 AM
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Whose brain ?

You mean The Brain ?

Where is your consciousness ? How does it expand ? And, from where does it expand ? Can it condense ? Do old souls have a greater quality of consciousness ? How is awareness different then consciousness ? When you are aware of the difference between awareness and consciousness what are you ? Is this a state of awareness or a state of consciousness ?

If at the moment of enlightenment, after that blissful cosmic orgasmic pulse, can I choose physicality or total pure consciousness ?

I return home to my sense's,my brain and then onto something mundane !

Thankfully aware ! That I am aware !



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 11:28 AM
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To answer your question, I believe so.

Since your brain works because blood is pump into it and blood pumps into the brain because of the heart, and the heart pumps because of an electrical pulse...so yeah, the brain isn't the "all mighty" power for a human, there's something else...that light.

Edit; in NO way do I mean that light is God, pfft.


[edit on 15-11-2009 by Tomis_Nexis]



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 11:57 AM
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The ancients referred to the "source" of the soul/mind pool as the guff. The hall or library of souls (read - minds). I think of the brain more as a temporal localized storage unit as well as transmitter/receiver, I mean you do need to store recent information when you are on a trip or expedition (or for that matter in a game) and by "recent" I imply roughly 100 years worth. Maybe our life spans are encoded by the cellular storage limits of our bio-mechanical suit that might have a temporal range of only 120 years? We have a shelf life obviously encoded in our DNA that is controlled by telomerase and chromosome erosion which determines replication values and integrity in said replication of cells.

Back to brain/mind... It's thought that all "physical" brains are connected to the guff by way of some form of communications link that is outside of this reality, a gateway or portal possibly at quantum levels since quantum reality is totally alien to what we experience as classical reality based creatures. If that is the case, I guess scientists are hackers, trying to get to the final "code set" so they can manipulate it and thereby control this reality.

Whether this alleged guff is a physical thing outside this reality or a 5th state of energy/matter is up for debate since we can't test the hypothesis, one would have to be outside the "system." Certainly however, the act of clairvoyance or ESP tends to support the premise that we are all connected to "some common thing" in a non-physical sense. Recent experiments in BEC research [1] have indicated that the brain may open secondary and tertiary channels that produce pure or raw information transmission from one brain to another circumnavigating primary channels back to the "mind."

We'll never know for sure until we get out of this virtual reality video game or movie and find out what we really are. So in the meantime, while you "dream" your life from that big comfy chair in some other reality, just consider you are on a journey or vacation away from yourself.

My thoughts anyway...

Cheers - Dave

[1] BEC - Bose Einstein Condensates, a state of matter where through a defined spatial and temporal relationship between different particles, multiple particles obtain the same state and thereby produce an entangled relationship, thereby allowing casual effects from one particle to effect the other particles, eg. the transfer of information. First observed in NRC experiments in 1992/93 and then later confirmed at JILA labs by Eric Cornell in 1995.



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 12:18 PM
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Clearly the brain is an essential element in forming the experience of being a human animal. Anyone denying that is simply foolish as finding evidence of that is a trivial task. Just consider the effects of head injuries, dementia, chemicals, etc.

One problem (and major block in thinking) arises when considering consciousness to be equivalent to a particular experiential form. These forms include how sensory modes are experienced and synthesized, our thoughts, abilities and sense of self as a man, womanm, goldfish, etc. The brain itself plays a role in forming the perception that it is in fact complete, that nothing is absent. The shape experience takes is dominated by the processes in the brain in most individuals. Awarness is awash in the physical processes going on inside the complexes of neurons and synapses. The "mind" (not sure why this word is so odd in its connotations) is partially composed of brains and bodies and highly attentive to them at the level of an individual organism.

Another consideration is the conditioning of our thinking in such a way as to find it more agreeable to consider a mental theater built from the bottom up rather than the top down. Why would it be less objectionable to consider a universe without consciousness, composed entirely of "dead" matter rather than one built from mind where consciousness produces forms for its experiental purposes. Both are consistent with the brain plus body playing an essiential role in experience. Neither preference really has anything to offer as far as being a "simpler" explanation. Occam's razor fails to suggest which really should be preferred. Which seems preferable depend upon the mode of investigation, without to within (empirical investigation of others, medicine), within to without ("internal" investigation of one's self, spirituality).

"Within" or "without" seem like rather meaningless notions at that. Expansion or contraction of awareness is perhaps a better way to think of it. Two ways of expansion are possible: increase the degrees of freedom of the brain itself or remove focus from the confines of a limited brain. Both ways reduce constraints, one through increased complexity of form and the other through decreased restriction of possibility.

Mind also does not seem equivalent to consciousness. Mind seems more closely connected to experience and thus particular processes not necessarily limited to what is normally considered "material". Consciousness can exist without mind/experience but is unaware of itself. All processes of mind/experience are objective in relation to pure consciousness. They are veils that (somewhat paradoxically perhaps) provide consciousness a way for it to know that IT IS. A corny and inadequate metaphor might be to imagine a ghost wearing a bedsheet. The sheet both conceals and reveals whatever is wrapped within it and the ghost itself is invisible.

Truely conscious experience from dead matter is no trivial matter and neither is manifestation of the world from some etherial mind when one's intrest include bridging all apparent gaps and answering every question about the machine. Truely, consciousness and mind/form are intertwined on all possible levels, an inseparable mixture, neither one the cause of the other and yet they do exert mutual influence.



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 12:18 PM
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I think consciousness can survive the brain.

The thing that clouds this subject is materialism. We know there's an immaterial aspect to reality called information.

Everything you do involves information. Your memories, experiences and thoughts are all grounded in information. This information doesn't die when you die and we know information can manifest in different mediums.

People like Edgar Mitchell talk about the quantum hologram. Dr. Johnjoe McFadden talks about the CEMI field theory which says consciousness is found in the EM field of the brain.

This is why near death experiences say they become more aware as they leave the body. This is because your moving from a local medium(body) to a non local medium(EMField or Quantum hologram).



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 12:47 PM
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No it cannot, every animals is conscious in varying degrees..you know the type im talking about. Ours is more sophisticated and an evolutionary trait, completely confined within the brain..nowhere else. Just look at folks with severe brain trauma. In any case once the brain is starved of oxygen and rapidly dies our consciousness goes with it. No zooming off to some mystical plane, doesn't matter how much you want to believe it is any different. Course i will be called all sorts for not believing in the fantasies of the mind, but im no doubt correct.



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 01:14 PM
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Originally posted by Solomons
No it cannot, every animals is conscious in varying degrees..you know the type im talking about. Ours is more sophisticated and an evolutionary trait, completely confined within the brain..nowhere else. Just look at folks with severe brain trauma. In any case once the brain is starved of oxygen and rapidly dies our consciousness goes with it. No zooming off to some mystical plane, doesn't matter how much you want to believe it is any different. Course i will be called all sorts for not believing in the fantasies of the mind, but im no doubt correct.


I will just call you "substantially incorrect" instead of "all sorts of things". You are entitled to your certainty about the nature of these things. It's well within the bounds of my comprehension. What is beyond that makes it obvious to me that the certainty isn't well deserved no matter what one's particular beliefs, no matter what really happens.

Consciousness goes nowhere for there is nowhere for it to go. Experience of itself as your particular identity ends, even if somehow transferred into another form that has weak relative substance to this "material" manifestation (ie. such that we'd consider it "non-material").

Experience (thus the brain) is not equivalent to consciousness even if it is essential to consciousness experiencing itself. Note that non-equivalence isn't the same as "separate".

So, you say that consciouness is "confined" within the brain. Thus consciousness is then smaller than or equivalent in scope to the brain. What confines it? How does even this idea exclude the possibility of "out there" actually being effectively an extension of the brain where the mode of signalling is merely transduced from other signals into transfers of ions in myelin-sheathed tubes?



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 01:18 PM
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reply to post by Solomons
 


Anyone who calls you names would be guilty of what they percieve you to be. But you are wrong, there is a doubt you are correct. You just discount those that do. And incidently is it not concievable for animals to have souls as well?

[edit on 15-11-2009 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows]



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 01:21 PM
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Different parts of the brain can be injured with each injured part manifesting in different adverse effects on the functioning of the mind. The math area of your brain could get injured and only your mental functions regarding math and judgement may get effect. So I do believe the brain is a hardware "container" of the mind. But I also believe the mind/information can be "uploaded" to a spiritual brain "container." With the upload function getting triggered at death.

The idea of the brain used as a receiver/transmitter to the mind works for me as well.



[edit on 15-11-2009 by Phantomfire707]



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 01:51 PM
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I believe we think in spite of the brain. It kind of acts like a filter to reality. The "better" the brain, the less it filters out reality as it is...



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 02:16 PM
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reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 


You would need to define what a soul is before i could comment....If it is described as everything a being is,then..well again, we come down to the human or animals with severe brain trauma ie a blank slate. If a soul suddenly decides to whizz of to another plane because someone had an accident yet did not die i think you should describe the mechanisms behind such a thing. Then again, we could all use common sense and say that what we describe as *I* resides within the brain..not some magical energy field separate from biology.



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 02:45 PM
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reply to post by Solomons
 


That's easy. I equate a "soul" to be something akin to a "echo", to put it in a nutshell. Though your terminology was more than a little off in your use of magic. And besides you know what is said about "magic".


“Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.”
Thomas S. Szasz



"The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper."
Eden Phillpotts



The real name for 'science' is magic.
— Harlan Ellison
Jeffty is Five (1977). Quoted in Gary Westfahl, Science Fiction Quotations (2005), 322.



Where lies the line between sorcery and science? It is only a matter of terminology, my friend.
— Alan Dean Foster
Cyber Way (1990), 204.



“Many secrets of art and nature are thought by the unlearned to be magical.”
Francis Bacon, Sr. quotes (English Lawyer and Philosopher. 1561-1626)


Any sufficiently badly-written science is indistinguishable from magic.
Aaron Allston


And because I loved it though it has very little to do with the topic.


“One man's "magic" is another man's engineering. "Supernatural" is a null word.”
Robert A. Heinlein



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 03:08 PM
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Originally posted by Koyaanisqatsi
I believe we think in spite of the brain. It kind of acts like a filter to reality. The "better" the brain, the less it filters out reality as it is...


Which taken to a logical extreme suggests the only brain capable of being aware of reality as it is, is reality itself. Anything less encompassing must employ models of reality as imprecise reflections. Somehow I find it serves, depending upon one's predispositions, as simultaneously as a refutation of something and evidence of that something. What's that something?



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 03:13 PM
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reply to post by EnlightenUp
 



False Dichotomy
Arbitrarily reducing a set of many possibilities to only two. For example, evolution is not possible, therefore we must have been created (assumes these are the only two possibilities). This fallacy can also be used to oversimplify a continuum of variation to two black and white choices. For example, science and pseudoscience are not two discrete entities, but rather the methods and claims of all those who attempt to explain reality fall along a continuum from one extreme to the other.

SOURCE



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 03:29 PM
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reply to post by GrandKitaro777
 


Is this too far of a tangent question -> is "consciousness" what really drives us? There was a study (couldn't find it in Google) where two groups of people were given information about stock performance.

One group was given unrelated "play" tasks to do while the other was allowed to study the information they had received. After a short interval, the groups had to choose the better performing stocks. The group that had "studied" the material did worse than the group that didn't consciously analyze the material.

If the subconscious is the source of our conscious thoughts that bubble up to the surface, how would that impact the OP question.

What is conscious thinking without the underlying (or maybe overlying?) source?



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