Consciousness, Matter, and How They Connect

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posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 07:02 PM
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I've always been fascinated by this subject, but I've also been a tad bit skeptical. Nevertheless, my inquisitive side prevails in the equation. I want to know what all your opinions are of this, to create an interesting conversation.

The trouble lies in the age old problem between determinism and indeterminism. Science is based upon analyzing things which can be positively verified through the scientific method of experimentation. If something recurs again and again, its called "scientific" by us. On the other side, there is consciousness, religion, and mystical and magical traditions which make ostentatious claims about the nature of the world.

When we look at the spectacular success of science in the last 200 years, the last 40 especially, its hard to take the "metaphysical" or "psychic" realm seriously. How can something so concrete and definitive like science be related to something so mystical and nebulous like psychics and magic? How can both exist at once??? This is how I think it works.

Take our psychology for an example. Whenever we act our brains are involved in something called myelination. Myelination is what creates neural pathways. If we engage in a certain behavior over and over again, it becomes reified in our brains by myelin, which in turn strengthens the repeated behavior. There is thus a connection or mirroring between the process of myelination in the brain and the habituation of behavior patterns.

What else is science but the analysis of those reified behavior patterns of the world we experience? And yet, like in the brain, it's a human consciousness which etches out those behaviors which leads to their ossification in our brains.

Gary Zukavs "The Dancing Wu Li Masters" explores the intriguing connection between consciousness and the world of quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics and consciousness form a pair akin to classical physics and the behavior patterns of the world and body. Quantum mechanics operates on the principle of probability, while classical physics deals with events. Similarly, I think, ancient "sciences" dealt with the science of probability, as in the I ching, Tarot, and other divinatory methods of prediction, whereas modern science exploits facts of recurring experience.

In my own life, I met a woman who made some bold predictions about myself and my family. Interestingly, most of her predictions have panned out. Ordinarily, people would be skeptical of psychics. And, there probably may be good reason for it, given how commercialized it has become. Nevertheless, I do believe certain unique individuals are finely tuned to the workings of the psychic realm, imparting to them knowledge of "probabilities". on a theological note, since the sheer notion of the existence of psychics who feel impelled by whatever unknown source to share their insight with others begs the question: What meaning does this have for the people they share this information with? In my own experience, I feel such information is there to motivate us. If we respond reasonably, compassionately, and wisely, to the information shared with us, then the "better" probability is likely to pan out. Of course, I'm not recommending that every prediction a psychic makes is valid, as this world is a medley of truth and falsehood: who knows what creeps into the minds of the uncouth soothsayer? Nevertheless, the predictions made about me and my family are too eerily prescient to be ignored;

1) She claimed that my grandfather was speaking to her, and she made a movement at her nose, as if grasping for it. She said this was a joke between him and my grandmother. My mother knew nothing of it. But afterwards, when my mother asked my grandmother if her father did any jokes with her, lo and behold, my grandma reached for her nose and said "he used to try to take my nose, it made me laugh".

2) She claimed that my sister would go through something difficult, though she shouldn't worry, she'll be fine. 4 or 5 years after this prediction my sister went through something traumatic.

3) She made certain claims about myself, most of which have occurred.

Mind you, this isn't a case of self fulfilled prophecy, as I was always skeptical of her claims. My mother wasn't. In any case, the years went by, and I began to notice that my life seemed to be following the path she delineated in her prediction.

This profundity forces one to start looking at the world in a more religious way, after all, how does one make sense of such predictions without considering a grand architect directing it all?? As a sheer existential fact, it's amazing that some people can be used as messengers, angels in disguise, to convey important and life-saving messages to certain individuals.

I think in terms of a vertical axis, consciousness would be at the top while matter would be at the bottom. Consciousness is a world of probability, or potentia. After all, what we think is never made real until we act. Conversely, matter is the state of reified fact. At some point, still unknown to science, but seemingly expected by most to be at some future time to be discovered, consciousness and matter converge. The probabilities take on a determined form.




posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 08:03 PM
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maybe the vertical axis would have matter at the bottom leading up to electromagnetic energy at the top.
then an horizontal axis would have zero consciousness on left and Pure Consciousness on the right.
at the origin/intersection would be the sense organs of our physical bodies.

your mention of Mr. Zukav reminded me of his other book 'The Seat of the Soul' which delves into, among other topics, the nature of consciousness.... it's an interesting read and I recommend it if you enjoyed Wu LI Masters.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 12:45 AM
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Excellent OP. I think this should trigger a very interesting discussion.

First of all, I don't think we can discuss consciousness without including a discussion of the mind and brain. Is consciousness the result of humans having a mind, or is it simply the result of our superior brainpower?

If consciousness is the result of our mind, this leads to the Dualist dilema presented by Princess Elisabeth to Descartes,


"it would be easier for me to concede matter and extension to the soul, than the capacity of moving a body and of being moved, to an immaterial being.


Essentially, she is saying there is no viable way for an immaterial mind to influence our physical bodies. Therefore, if we are to believe in the mind, the mind must have some physical aspect that can physically interact with our bodies.

If you believe consciousness is a result of superior brainpower and you deny the existence of a mind, then that is simple enough, although it seems to me an unattractive belief to have.

If you believe in the existence of a mind separate from the body, it seems to me the mind must be physical in some capacity, and I am inclined to believe it interacts with our world on the quantum level.

To put my mind-body-consciousness theory in scientific terms, I believe consciousness is a manifestation of our physical minds that exist separately from our brain and body. I like to think of our mind and body as the Buddhists think of it, it is like water in a cup of water. Our mind is like water, and the cup is like our body. If the cup falls to the ground and breaks, the body is no more, and the water spills out. However, the water is still water despite the fact that is has spilled everywhere.

I believe our minds are minimally connected to our bodies upon birth, and as our life goes on it becomes more and more intimately connected. The "water" starts filling up the "cup" as we grow older.

How do I explain psychics and out of body experiences? Although most people's minds are only connected to their bodies, some people's minds have the ability to also connect with the body's surroundings at the quantum level. Through this connection with its surroundings, the mind can influence and experience things outside the body without the body actually being there.

That's all I have for now, just a lot of educated speculation on my part. Very interesting topic, looking forward to what others have on this.



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 09:46 PM
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reply to post by Wang Tang
 





To put my mind-body-consciousness theory in scientific terms, I believe consciousness is a manifestation of our physical minds that exist separately from our brain and body. I like to think of our mind and body as the Buddhists think of it, it is like water in a cup of water. Our mind is like water, and the cup is like our body. If the cup falls to the ground and breaks, the body is no more, and the water spills out. However, the water is still water despite the fact that is has spilled everywhere.


I appreciate the utility of the metaphor, but I think it's highly vague.

Our consciousness is like water, hence the ubiquity of the metaphor, for instance, in the Hebrew Bibles separation of the higher waters from the lower waters. But I still find the metaphor slightly misleading in that it can give people the impression that when one die one instantaneously becomes reabsorbed into the higher waters.

I like to think of the death of the body and the resultant consciousness to be akin to an echo in an open area. The voice may have left the mouth, but the "residue" of noise reverberates in the ether. When one days, there's still the memory of the the life lived, and this "reverberation" subsists beyond death, albeit, for a period of time before the final reabsorption into the sea of universal consciousness (or God). Of course, as scientists are apt to say, correlation is not causation; there is no proof for this claim, but there is plenty of anthropological evidence from a myriad of traditions which claims that an afterlife state does exist. The laws of this realm are again, unverified, as well as multifarious, and can only be known via "revelation" or a distillation of the various traditions to draw out common features. One such common feature is a prohibition against murder. Another is a prohibition of theft. There are certain actions that are so egregiously wrong that one, if he believes in an afterlife, could reasonably expect some sort of punishment.

I personally think reason and understanding is the greatest determinant in producing a heaven or a hell. The more ignorant you are, the less accountable you are to your errant actions. However, those who fully understand or "philosophize" away the evil of their actions have merely corrupted their moral sensibility to satisfy or pursue some selfish interest.



I believe our minds are minimally connected to our bodies upon birth, and as our life goes on it becomes more and more intimately connected. The "water" starts filling up the "cup" as we grow older.


Oh, completely agree. There is something tremendously mysterious about the malleability of our physical brains. It's amazing that brain function can operate one way for 17 or so years, to begin changing when the individual in question begins educating himself. Where does this growth come from? Isn't there something intrinsically enigmatic about the transition from "possibility" to "reality"? I know this isn't a logically secure argument since there's no reason to account for "where" reason comes from, since we use reason to postulate an explanation. But still, to think that a brain can change through simple experiences, to expand its abilities and widen its conscious perception, certainly deserves exploration.





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