Science Deals with the Intangible

206 posts / 0 new
Last post
Fidel

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Not to mention that what science is intended to understand - the physical world - isn't malleable either.

Science is interested in understanding the truth. If everything that we are, meaning atomic matter, the planets, solar systems, galaxies etc represent about 4% of everything, then scientists are surely interested in understanding and categorizing the other 96 percent of matter in the universe. Most people don't stop reading a 200-page novel just 8 pages in to it. They tend to have some faith in the author that the plot will build.

6079_Smith_W

Who said anything about refusing to accept what is in the natural world Fidel?

The only thing I have a problem with is making stuff up. Your challenge to my point that not everything will be true someday is not based at all on reading the book of what is in the universe.

I can certainly see that it is driven by some sort of faith, though.

 

Fidel

Yes, certain ideas are impossible to implement in the here and now, I agree. But if we have faith that science will someday solve human consciousness, then why can't science and technology advance in other areas? Science text books have been revised at an increasing rate in recent years. And it's not going to cease happening, Smith. New laws of nature will be discovered. The standard model will either be completed someday or perhaps an entirely new model of reality established. And it may well be that consciousness will be explained in scientific materialist terms. But I also think, as some scientists do, that people of the future should be prepared to discover that the universe and consciousness are not only more than we can know - they are stranger than we can ever know.

What I would suggest is that you try giving it some thought before clicking the save button in future. This is not a contest, Smith. Neither of us can point to science to prove our point of view either way. What we are left with are our own thoughts and opinions and those of others. There is a certain amount of evidence for survival of human consciousness post clinical death, Smith. It`s what we are discussing here. You say it`s impossible, but apparently an increasing number of people believe otherwise after being resuscitated into the land of the living. Is it really as simple as passing through a doorway... Where in nature does this ever occur...

6079_Smith_W

You're right. (about clicking the button, and I see you have crossposted a bit since then)

I forgot to ask if there was some special meaning to your comparison of the universe to a book written by an author.

And how the physcal laws of the universe are supposed to roll themselves out like the linear plot of a novel? I don't know if an astrophysicist would agree. After all, we can see things that happened 13 billion years ago, and I don't think the physical laws have changed all that much since we condensed out of plasma. The laws are consistent enough that we know what kind of stars created the various elements ithat make up our bodies.

Again... if you are talking about our understanding it's one thing. Certainly it was a big revelation 90 years ago when we realized the universe was much bigger than our galaxy. But again, the change was in our heads. Nothing at all happened in the universe.

By the same token, you aren't going to come upon any amazing revelations that aren't there to be found.

(edit)

And I agree its not a contest. I'm not challenging the possibility of any of this stuff. But if  something is put on the table I expect a bit of evidence (really a few anecdotes would be a breath of fresh ait IMO).

And really, if what is put on the table is something as outlandish as a so-called news magazine publishing a vision of a Christian heaven and claiming scientific proof, you can bet there's going to be a bit of skepticism.

 

 

Fidel

6079_Smith_W wrote:
And how the physcal laws of the universe are supposed to roll themselves out like the linear plot of a novel? I don't know if an astrophysicist would agree. After all, we can see things that happened 13 billion years ago, and I don't think the physical laws have changed all that much since we condensed out of plasma. The laws are consistent enough that we know what kind of stars created the various elements ithat make up our bodies.

I don`t know, either. But I do know that  just a few years ago scientists believed that the universe expanded after the big bang, and it surely has done so for 13+ billion years. And so scientists thought that the universe should be observed to be decelerating not expanding at a million mph and accelerating as it is currently known to be. Any thoughts on the matter, Smith? They don't really understand gravity, Smith. Not really, and it's partly why they are studyng the fundamental building blocks of matter. Your absolute world of physical impossibilities in all things except scientitic advances limited to knowing human consciousness only is, in all likelihood, not the future, Smith. At least it's not a future I would bet on.

6079_Smith_W

No idea Fidel,

THough I can say for sure that whatever the universe is doing, it has been doing it all along; it didn't change when we learned about it.

And again, I know there are plenty of things which are true, but which we don't know yet. I have not said otherwise.

 

Fidel

Alright, then. Just checking.

Fred Hoyle wrote:
"It looks like a put-up job"

My thoughts exactly. That's as much an answer as I can give wrt what I meant by "a book author." And I think that the Fermi paradox is looking less and less likely some 50 years later. I think that we will discover that none of the earth or Toronto or Vancouver or even NYC is the centre of the universe. I think we are like those Central Americans and Caribbeans who first spotted ship sails on the horizon and wondered who or what they might be. Our's is a third generation sun, and surely there are civilizations older than this.

A long time ago in a multiverse far, far away....

 

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

Spectrum wrote:
Lets not forget his training and how he is looking at his experience. Who better qualified?

His particular area of expertise was already fleshed out in the Sam Harris rebuttal, and so in that sense he's just as qualified as anyone else on the topic of Monadology.

On the contrary, he is not as qualified. He neither had the experience or attempted to explain it so that sorts of makes just another subjective qualifier just a Eben was. What is Sam Harris's opinion on consciousness and his paradigmatic view that is universal that he accepts and what he proposes has some objective qualification as research and the attempt to explain what consciousness is. Nice web site:)

So I guess for me none have shown anymore or really have nothing to offer as to evidence as to what consciousness is,  so really if I try to put any proposals forward its just more of the same recycled conversation that has gone loop de loop here.

Fidel's right about almost 200 pages in. :)

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Spectrum wrote:

 

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And really, if what is put on the table is something as outlandish as a so-called news magazine publishing a vision of a Christian heaven and claiming scientific proof, you can bet there's going to be a bit of skepticism.

 

Constructive skepticism and you have to do more then just read a magazine article. Jesus.:) And another thing, it is the perceptions that are greatly enhanced from the way in which the universe has been looked at, as to imply the greater implication is spectrum allocated all the way up to gamma.  We may see into this deeper nature. Matter reducible,  to it's finer decay chain components. All tried tested and true:)

So what do you do? You look back out int the cosmos and you look at the events, Dark energy or dark matter, and you begin to appreciate the motivations for what the universe is doing. How do we explain it?

How does consciousness fit into this? Well,  if the depth of what you see around you had never been appreciated then how might consciousness be appreciated if we cannot see it out amongst the stars as well?

What if and of course we are now catering to the speculations of what the driving force is, and is it worth the effort to wonder why that universe needs to be explained? Well?:) A need for the universe but not for consciousness eh?

 

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

.

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

....oops

6079_Smith_W

Spectrum wrote:

So what do you do? You look back out int the cosmos and you look at the events, Dark energy or dark matter, and you begin to appreciate the motivations for what the universe is doing. How do we explain it?

How does consciousness fit into this? Well,  if the depth of what you see around you had never been appreciated then how might consciousness be appreciated if we cannot see it out amongst the stars as well?

What if and of course we are now catering to the speculations of what the driving force is, and is it worth the effort to wonder why that universe needs to be explained? Well?:) A need for the universe but not for consciousness eh?

 

Right, because none of this makes any sense unless WE are at the centre of it all to go oooh and aaah and pass the popcorn. That is really just a new agey update to the same human-centred way of thinking that condemned Galileo.

And it also doesn't make sense. The universe existed for over 10 billion years before our brief 4 million year tenure. It existed for billions of years before ANY life could exist. And when our sun gets hot enough to melt everything we have done here it will still keep going on without us (though we'll likely be long gone, or certainly turned into something else, by then).

Sure it's pretty and fascinating, but that is neither here nor there, and it proves nothing about our consciousness.

As for that driving force, a number of physicists have kicked around a theory that flies in the face of immortal souls, and suggests that life was a byproduct of entropy (not strictly a force, I know), and we are just the universe's way of finding a quicker and easier path to grinding everything to a halt.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy_and_life

..just a theory of course. I don't assume it is true just because it is an elegant and ironic nose-thumb at the idea that the universe exists just so it could create us and our immortal souls.

Of course, it's not a nose-thumb either; It doesn't mean anything. It is just likelihood that we may just be the easiest path for the ball to roll down the hill, just like in one of Mandelbrot's pretty pictures.

 

 

Fidel

6079_Smith_W wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy_and_life

..just a theory of course. I don't assume it is true just because it is an elegant and ironic nose-thumb at the idea that the universe exists just so it could create us and our immortal souls.

Of course, it's not a nose-thumb either; It doesn't mean anything. It is just likelihood that we may just be the easiest path for the ball to roll down the hill, just like in one of Mandelbrot's pretty pictures.

And let's not forget current theories describingmultiple universes. The estimated total amount matter in the universe since the big bang apparently flies in the face of the mathematics for a single universe. And so we have multi-dimensional theories of reality today.

This isn't as scholarly as wikipedia, I know, but it's the best I could do:

The Fabric of the Cosmos PBS

Many Worlds of Brahman wrote:
Out of the elements thus quadruplicated, He created many millions of Brahmandas, fourteen worlds appropriate to each (of these macrocosms) and globular gross bodies appropriate.

6079_Smith_W

@ Spectrum

What is Ptolemaic (that is, Me-centred)  is the sophistric argument that the universe is fascinating and complex (it is) and therefore must have some purpose (no, it doesn't),  and that consciousness must be infinite (no, it musn't necessarily).

And Alexander's "doors of perception" revelation? It's interesting, but not exactly a news flash, and it is certainly not supernatural.

Read Huxley or Leary or Alpert, or talk to people who have experience altered states, and many will tell you that it can change the way you see the world, sometimes permanently (never mind needing some device to get back to some realm). But again, there is nothing about it that defies physical laws, or suggests that the consciousness can survive without the body.

 

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

In my journey of understanding after my coma, Hemi-Sync potentially offered a means of inactivating the filtering function of the physical brain by globally synchronizing my neocortical electrical activity, just as my meningitis might have done,to liberate my out of body consciousness. I believe Hemi-Sync has enabled me to return to a realm similar to that which I visited deep in coma, but without having to be deathly ill. Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, Page 159

 

Well it seems this paragraph sums up some of the issues I had here about consciousness in terms of the focus as a challenge to experience. Again I am not selling anything.... and just as amazed that such abilities can be procured in other people by technical means.

The journalist standing in a position of recognizing "a place"  in which his observation and perspective can offer up a return too,   a connection too, a correlative and potential experience as a exploration into understanding consciousness.. This is not about prayer or religion, but about recognizing the potential offered by journeying inside.

It is not a Ptolemaic model issue about what has been graduated too and from, but more the recognition that such differentiation by venturing inwards , brings outward an understanding of what is true and abiding by the loosing the reins of our preconceptions. What one assumes to be,  a Ptolemaic model about ego but more about, "a means of inactivating the filtering function of the physical brain."

Conciousnes then is an intangible that you cannot explain by physical means in terms of your observations? Observation,  plays a great part in our understanding of the reality? If you see such association to what formed in Jill Bolte Taylor's mind in terms of perspective/observation and her right brain......then,  Eben surpassed that restriction and explains that most people can.

What is Heaven Like?

The distinction here has been taken along side of "the Focus."  Yet,  Eben said that there was no electrical activity at the time of his near death experience.

6079_Smith_W

Well seems to me we have gone through a dimensional loop and are back at #49, where I made the observation that if this is all just about neuroplasticity and the nature of consciousness, fine. Interesting subject.

But none of that is evidence of afterlife or demonstrates that the consciousness can survive without being sustained by the body.

 

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ Spectrum

What is Ptolemaic (that is, Me-centred)  is the sophistric argument that the universe is fascinating and complex (it is) and therefore must have some purpose (no, it doesn't),  and that consciousness must be infinite (no, it musn't necessarily).

That's your argument and that is what I was refering too by being Ptolemaic?:)

6079_Smith_W wrote:
And Alexander's "doors of perception" revelation? It's interesting, but not exactly a news flash, and it is certainly not supernatural.

Yes exactly. So why do you treated the awareness as such?

Spectrum wrote:
If you see such association to what formed in Jill Bolte Taylor's mind in terms of perspective/observation and her right brain......then,  Eben surpassed that restriction and explains that most people can.

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Read Huxley or Leary or Alpert, or talk to people who have experience altered states, and many will tell you that it can change the way you see the world, sometimes permanently (never mind needing some device to get back to some realm).

Yaaaaa.......what have I been saying,  and now your telling me?:)

6079_Smith_W wrote:
But again, there is nothing about it that defies physical laws, or suggests that the consciousness can survive without the body.

Spectrum wrote:
Yet,  Eben said that there was no electrical activity at the time of his near death experience.

Eben said Hemi-Sync was the closest, which left the question for me. :)

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

 

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Well seems to me we have gone through a dimensional loop and are back at #49, where I made the observation that if this is all just about neuroplasticity and the nature of consciousness, fine. Interesting subject.

But none of that is evidence of afterlife or demonstrates that the consciousness can survive without being sustained by the body.

So you being assertive of your position just thought to remind me of the observation I am making?:) Eben Alexander said there was no brain activity. So he was pointing out where his experience in terms of the NDE was different. Have you read about NDE's..?

NOw,  by pushing forward through your protracting attitude it may have indeed helped. That's great:) You have now been CLiffed.:)

 

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Cool

6079_Smith_W

He was in a coma; he was not dead.

And yes, of course there is a lot we don't understand about that state, but I am not so sure about the claim there is no brain activity.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=do-brain-scans-comatose...

My "protracting attitude"? Good one. I suppose the proper response is to not question and just accept all this pap. Is that what we mean by no brain function, and the supposed enlightenment that comes from it?

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

He used Hemi Sync?  Well, that ups his credibility. 

I have a magic Dumbo feather.  Perhaps he can use that so he can remember how to fly.

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Timebandit wrote:

He used Hemi Sync?  Well, that ups his credibility. 

I have a magic Dumbo feather.  Perhaps he can use that so he can remember how to fly.

 

Useless banter....ummm.....I mean babble.

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

He was in a coma; he was not dead.

That does require whether or not brain was measuring activity...yes?

6079_Smith_W wrote:
And yes, of course there is a lot we don't understand about that state, but I am not so sure about the claim there is no brain activity.

My point exactly.

 

6079_Smith_W wrote:
My "protracting attitude"? Good one. I suppose the proper response is to not question and just accept all this pap. Is that what we mean by no brain function, and the supposed enlightenment that comes from it?

In a way while you try and declare my position you reveal much about yours. Arrogance. The protracted attitude is one that said that while you can continue to show your own attitude, I did appreciate when you had something to offer.

 

Months after her infection cleared, Bainbridge was diagnosed as being in a vegetative state. Owen had been using positron-emission tomography in healthy people to show that a part of the brain called the fusiform face area (FFA) is activated when people see a familiar face. When the team showed Bainbridge familiar faces and scanned her brain, “it lit up like a Christmas tree, especially the FFA”, says Owen. “That was the beginning of everything.” Bainbridge was found to have significant brain function and responded well to rehabilitation. In 2010, still in a wheelchair but otherwise active, she wrote to thank Owen for the brain scan. “It scares me to think of what might have happened to me if I had not had mine,” she wrote. “It was like magic, it found me.”  http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=do-brain-scans-comatose...

 

This does raise certain issues about what Eben relates as part of his experience in terms of faces that he identifies as he relates the remembrance of. Even in a comatose state the individual is aware at some level, "it lit up like a Christmas tree, especially the FFA."

An EEG lacks fMRI's precision, and it cannot look as deeply into the brain, so the regions active in the tennis study were “off the menu”, says Owen.

Owen's methods raise more difficult dilemmas. One is whether they should influence a family's or clinician's decision to end a life. If a patient answers questions and demonstrates some form of consciousness, he or she moves from the 'possibly allowed to die' category to the 'not generally allowed to die' category, says Owens.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=do-brain-scans-comatose...

 

So what we have done then is identified that certain brain waves can be reached by using a method that may be similar to taking people to comatose states and having relevant experiences. What's the benefit? What's the benefit of studying a Leary?

6079_Smith_W

Again, none of this comes even remotely close to suggesting that there is life after death, that the consciousness can exist independent of the body, or that heaven is real.

What it suggests is that our brains can function in ways that are very subtle. People do go into comas and revive from them; Doctors sometimes induce them to help healing. They advise loved ones to talk to the person in case there is some perception. But the person remains alive, and usually with consciousness intact and unimpaired after he or she emerges from the coma. That means that there is enough going on in the brain to sustain life.

As for what, if anything, the person imagines is going on during that time, or even what span of real time those dreams cover, or whether they took place while the person was in coma or emerging from it, that is harder to say.

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Again, none of this comes even remotely close to suggesting that there is life after death, that the consciousness can exist independent of the body, or that heaven is real.

What it suggests is that our brains can function in ways that are very subtle. People do go into comas and revive from them; Doctors sometimes induce them to help healing. They advise loved ones to talk to the person in case there is some perception. But the person remains alive, and usually with consciousness intact and unimpaired after he or she emerges from the coma. That means that there is enough going on in the brain to sustain life.

As for what, if anything, the person imagines is going on during that time, or even what span of real time those dreams cover, or whether they took place while the person was in coma or emerging from it, that is harder to say.

I'll come back to this later. What use to understand what your own consciousness is capable of if you did not recognize its limitations according to some measure. So all measure is not sufficient to say that it is capable, yet one might be persuaded to say indeed that consciousness has certain capabilities just that we are not using drugs to find out. It is to recognize that the accidents in life that put us in a bed reveal some potential about the healing and what consciousness is able to do.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Spectrum wrote:

 

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Well seems to me we have gone through a dimensional loop and are back at #49, where I made the observation that if this is all just about neuroplasticity and the nature of consciousness, fine. Interesting subject.

But none of that is evidence of afterlife or demonstrates that the consciousness can survive without being sustained by the body.

So you being assertive of your position just thought to remind me of the observation I am making?:) Eben Alexander said there was no brain activity. So he was pointing out where his experience in terms of the NDE was different. Have you read about NDE's..?

NOw,  by pushing forward through your protracting attitude it may have indeed helped. That's great:) You have now been CLiffed.:)

 

Eben Alexander claimed there was no brain activity.  He had no way of knowing that.  From the Harris article I linked to earlier:

Quote:

Everything—absolutely everything—in Alexander’s account rests on repeated assertions that his visions of heaven occurred while his cerebral cortex was “shut down,” “inactivated,” “completely shut down,” “totally offline,” and “stunned to complete inactivity.” The evidence he provides for this claim is not only inadequate—it suggests that he doesn’t know anything about the relevant brain science. Perhaps he has saved a more persuasive account for his book—though now that I’ve listened to an hour-long interview with him online, I very much doubt it. In his Newsweek article, Alexander asserts that the cessation of cortical activity was “clear from the severity and duration of my meningitis, and from the global cortical involvement documented by CT scans and neurological examinations.” To his editors, this presumably sounded like neuroscience.

The problem, however, is that “CT scans and neurological examinations” can’t determine neuronal inactivity—in the cortex or anywhere else. And Alexander makes no reference to functional data that might have been acquired by fMRI, PET, or EEG—nor does he seem to realize that only this sort of evidence could support his case. Obviously, the man’s cortex is functioning now—he has, after all, written a book—so whatever structural damage appeared on CT could not have been “global.” (Otherwise, he would be claiming that his entire cortex was destroyed and then grew back.) Coma is not associated with the complete cessation of cortical activity, in any case. And to my knowledge, almost no one thinks that consciousness is purely a matter of cortical activity. Alexander’s unwarranted assumptions are proliferating rather quickly. Why doesn’t he know these things? He is, after all, a neurosurgeon who survived a coma and now claims to be upending the scientific worldview on the basis of the fact that his cortex was totally quiescent at the precise moment he was enjoying the best day of his life in the company of angels. Even if his entire cortex had truly shut down (again, an incredible claim), how can he know that his visions didn’t occur in the minutes and hours during which its functions returned?

Alexander made an unscientific claim and supported it with more unscientific claims.  If you bring Occam's Razor to bear on his account, it's far more likely he had a hallucination.  A very nice one that affected him profoundly.  But as Smith points out repeatedly, that doesn't make his assertions any sort of evidence for an afterlife whether he says so or not.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Spectrum wrote:

Timebandit wrote:

He used Hemi Sync?  Well, that ups his credibility.

I have a magic Dumbo feather.  Perhaps he can use that so he can remember how to fly.

 

Useless banter....ummm.....I mean babble.

I was being flip, but let me spell it out for you.  Hemi-Sync is a device that its makers and marketers, the Munroe Institute (Men Who Stare at Goats project with US armed forces) sell on the basis unproven claims.  Pure, unadulterated woo of the sort that parts fools and their money.  If Alexander's tying in with them, his credibility is even more in question than it was simply making the claims he was making.

The longer you look at it, the more it seems that the case for Alexander's experience being anything more than a hallucination is very, very weak and highly improbable.

6079_Smith_W

Besides, there are way cooler brain toys that are endorsed by William Burroughs and Iggy Pop, and not made by K-Tel (and which you can in fact build at home).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreamachine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYs0p6Ee_Qo

And of course, there are free brainwave generators to be found online.

 

 

Slumberjack

What I read from it is that there is a new rehabilitative possibility that has been derived from scientific analysis and experimentation.  In cases where motor functioning and speech are impaired, and where certain results or acknowledgements can be ascertained from a patient by having them listen to or absorb visual stimulus, while demonstrating a reaction through diagnostic measurement, the research could lead to promising breakthroughs with applicability across a wide range of cases and diagnosis. 

There are of course different levels of impairment, where various capabilities cease to function altogether and entirely, such as speech, visual, hearing, etc.  For the purpose of this discussion, clearly we'd have to be vigilant as usual in terms of implications that consciousness has an innate ability, all on its own, with which to entertain and respond to Q&A sessions under an MRI scanner, when the normal ability to process stimuli, via sight, smell, hearing, etc, are non-functional or of non-ascertainable functionality.  What this case suggests is that some level of ability continues to be present, which can facilitate the transmitting of information via a receptacle for sensory input, the eyes in this case. 

Obviously, to suggest that everything is shut down completely, but that the consciousness is able to reach out from the confines of the skull to receive and process information fed to it, the curious case of Dr. Alexander for example, is what we'd need to maintain our suspicious about.

6079_Smith_W

I'd say that's a reasonable degree of caution, SJ.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

This was in the news today:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/nov/13/brain-damaged-man-aware

As we have new technology with which to measure brain activity, our understanding of the brain's function changes.  It still has nothing to do with consciousness outside the body, however.

Fidel

Timebandit wrote:
It still has nothing to do with consciousness outside the body, however.

 Apparently until now medical science was wrong about vegetative state patients about 20% of the time. That's all they are saying in the article. The author may or may not have considered out of body experiences. And it's not apparent that the doctors interviewed were questioned about OBE's.

And I'm not sure we can speak for the people previously thought to be in vegetative states. Did anyone ask these patients whether or not they'd had OBE's while in hospital? Call it babblers' intuitition or hunch, but I think it's possible they were not asked, either.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Perhaps finding out if they were in pain or if they could respond at all was a bigger priority.

Slumberjack

Fidel wrote:
 Apparently until now medical science was wrong about vegetative state patients about 20% of the time. That's all they are saying in the article. The author may or may not have considered out of body experiences. And it's not apparent that the doctors interviewed were questioned about OBE's.

And I'm not sure we can speak for the people previously thought to be in vegetative states. Did anyone ask these patients whether or not they'd had OBE's while in hospital? Call it babblers' intuitition or hunch, but I think it's possible they were not asked, either.

Well, there's no determining what might occur when a patient is discharged from a hospital, or who they might encounter, but while in hospital isn't it the case that only family members, a few friends, and medical professionals would be present at any given time?  Unless one of the family members is a quack.  The health professionals where I work would be derelict in their responsibilities if they were to waste valuable time asking questions of this nature to a patient who has just emerged from a coma for instance.  I know if I were one of the family members present and heard such a question being posed, I'd be off in search of the nearest hospital administrator.

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Timebandit wrote:

Eben Alexander claimed there was no brain activity.  He had no way of knowing that.  From the Harris article I linked to earlier:

 

Jesus....welcome to the conversation. This has already been mentioned as a need to clarify that indeed he was dead. Smith's link and Owen's use of fmri helps to highlight this issue as to see the perspective about death as another way in which to perceive a comatose patient. So Eben might of not had that research available,  so this helps to clarify the experience with a new measure.

It also raises a ethical question as mentioned in the article,  and which I had mentioned previously,  now given this information.

Fidel wrote:
Apparently until now medical science was wrong about vegetative state patients about 20% of the time. That's all they are saying in the article. The author may or may not have considered out of body experiences. And it's not apparent that the doctors interviewed were questioned about OBE's.

The measure and research helps to highlight what consciousness is doing so to that degree the measure helps to see what was not possible before as you imply.

Slumberjack wrote:
The health professionals where I work would be derelict in their responsibilities if they were to waste valuable time asking questions of this nature to a patient who has just emerged from a coma for instance.  I know if I were one of the family members present and heard such a question being posed, I'd be off in search of the nearest hospital administrator.

I can see that now given the medical research and given to the understanding here about what is perceptive about comatose states would require hospitals now to measure.  The demand from relative with signing authority to request this method before pulling the plug. In that sense I would be calling the hospital administrator to answer that question.

Slumberjack

You're muddling two separate questions together, which causes me to suspect that you're simply confused.  There's a difference between asking that this new testing method for cognitive responses from a patient be attempted, and asking the doctor to use this experimental form of inquiry to make our representations to the consciousness of an otherwise unresponsive patent regarding OBE.

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

You're muddling two separate questions together, which causes me to suspect that you're simply confused.  There's a difference between asking that this new testing method for cognitive responses from a patient be attempted, and asking the doctor to use this experimental form of inquiry to make our representations to the consciousness of an otherwise unresponsive patent regarding OBE.

No I am not confusing it. New evidence ala' smith suggests that research method can identify different locations of the brain being used while under Owen's measure. It would have shown up under Eben's too. I brought up the face issue recognition or how someone else delves into levels of consciousnesses as to imply that consciousness works indeed at subtle levels. Eben was relating his experience in this context as well. When you read the book,  if ever you will, you will understand what I mean.

Secondly, the research level shows signs of life.

Slumberjack wrote:
What this case suggests is that some level of ability continues to be present, which can facilitate the transmitting of information via a receptacle for sensory input, the eyes in this case.

Question for you slumber jack. Do all comatose patients have their eyes open? Does the light when moved across the eye cause reaction in the pupil. Sensory reaction to pinprick?

If consciousness dreams, where does it go? Does it always stay with the home body and measures would indicate that it does, but what information is consciousness grabbing that would make it worthwhile to see that consciousness could work to gain access at that subtle level?

Perspective of NDE's as to locations and to looking from,  other then the home body, was pointed too, with regard to Jill Bolte Taylor. That was her perspective as she related her experience on the glider about experiencing fro her right brain. About speaking about creativity as a right brain benefit....while there are questions around this for me about that perspective with regard to location. It is as the consciousness looks as Being "outside the parameters" of the three brains.

This raised a question for me about what is "self centered and self less" as Eben experiences. This represents a evolution in the development of consciousness and recognition of the observer? Not a progression of a Ptolemaic ideology, as it relates to science.

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Spectrum wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Again, none of this comes even remotely close to suggesting that there is life after death, that the consciousness can exist independent of the body, or that heaven is real.

What it suggests is that our brains can function in ways that are very subtle. People do go into comas and revive from them; Doctors sometimes induce them to help healing. They advise loved ones to talk to the person in case there is some perception. But the person remains alive, and usually with consciousness intact and unimpaired after he or she emerges from the coma. That means that there is enough going on in the brain to sustain life.

As for what, if anything, the person imagines is going on during that time, or even what span of real time those dreams cover, or whether they took place while the person was in coma or emerging from it, that is harder to say.

I'll come back to this later. What use to understand what your own consciousness is capable of if you did not recognize its limitations according to some measure. So all measure is not sufficient to say that it is capable, yet one might be persuaded to say indeed that consciousness has certain capabilities just that we are not using drugs to find out. It is to recognize that the accidents in life that put us in a bed reveal some potential about the healing and what consciousness is able to do.

Again we are talking about whether Eben was dead and we have surmised given use of measure that we can see somewhat deeper into the state of a comatose patient. That consciousness is still measurable. That consciousness can appear to be in the "same state as mention by Eben" with regard to method used to explore consciousness and the similarity of experiences.

I purposely read Eben's book while we were holding this conversation in the thread. Have any of you?

So as I questioned Eben's experience,  I had asked if consciousness could have the same focus.  As I penetrated the book of Eben's,  he raised that question himself about delving into his experience. I didn't know that until I read of the association to Hemi-Sync so this was news to me with regard to "the Focus."

Brain wave correlations,  as they are produced do help to identify some of what consciousness is able to do regardless of the sleep state or dreams. The question about what can be developed in terms of what consciousness can do. So that indeed is enlightening from my perspective. But what is this understanding of consciousness good for, even if you Smith see it as subtle?

Again what use a Leary, or the use of drugs to induce such correlative states of brain waves? Is that what drug inducement is doing, then I would say that any research method that helps to point toward the development of consciousness as a viable means of measure is a good idea given the context of drug related.

 

6079_Smith_W

Spectrum wrote:

I can see that now given the medical research and given to the understanding here about what is perceptive about comatose states would require hospitals now to measure.  The demand from relative with signing authority to request this method before pulling the plug. In that sense I would be calling the hospital administrator to answer that question.

But again, saying that the signs are more subtle (perhaps even imperceptible) is not the same as Alexander's claim that there is no connection at all:

"For me, it's become clear that the best way to look at it is to turn it around and realize that consciousness exists in a much richer form, free and independent of the brain, which has everything to do with the eternity of our souls and the fact that our awareness, our consciousness, our soul, our spirit, does not depend on the existence of the brain in the physical universe. In fact, it's freed up to a much richer knowing when we're outside."

If you buy that claim, what is the point of any test, and for that matter who cares if anyone pulls the plug? Or should we keep brain-dead people alive artificially indefinitely just in case they decide to come back from their heavenly vacation spots?

Slumberjack

If it's going to be all of that it should be spread around equally at least.  But that's just me not wanting to be left out of anything.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Spectrum wrote:

Timebandit wrote:

Eben Alexander claimed there was no brain activity.  He had no way of knowing that.  From the Harris article I linked to earlier:

 

Jesus....welcome to the conversation. This has already been mentioned as a need to clarify that indeed he was dead. Smith's link and Owen's use of fmri helps to highlight this issue as to see the perspective about death as another way in which to perceive a comatose patient. So Eben might of not had that research available,  so this helps to clarify the experience with a new measure.

It also raises a ethical question as mentioned in the article,  and which I had mentioned previously,  now given this information.

I wouldn't have brought it up at all if you had taken notice of it in the first place.  (Nor am I the only one to bring this up repeatedly.)  However, you keep going back to the "no brain activity" argument and base your "questions" and suppositions on the premise that Alexander's claims are correct.  They are not.

I'll be happy to move on from the point when you are.

I'd also like to note that I'm the only female participant in this thread and the one that you are the most patently nasty to and dismissive of.  Tread carefully.

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Timebandit wrote:

I'd also like to note that I'm the only female participant in this thread and the one that you are the most patently nasty to and dismissive of.  Tread carefully.

To tell you the truth I do not know whose what gender. I wasn't being selective,  now that you know that. That you feel victimized I respect that and will try to be nicer to you.

The tread lightly does not work here with somebody who is flippant all the time,  male or female. With the military in my background as well I always see the female gender as my equal(soldier), especially marrying a wife in the military at the same time, some decades ago.

 

6079_Smith_W

... except that Alexander was not declared brain dead. He was in a coma.

 

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Owen hopes one day to ask patients that most difficult of questions, but says that new ethical and legal frameworks will be needed. And it will be many years, he says, “before one could be sure that the patient retained the necessary cognitive and emotional capacity to make such a complex decision”. So far, he has stayed away from the issue. “It might be a little reassuring if the answer was 'no' but you can't presuppose that.” A 'yes' would be upsetting, confusing and controversial. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=do-brain-scans-comatose...

6079_Smith_W wrote:
If you buy that claim, what is the point of any test, and for that matter who cares if anyone pulls the plug? Or should we keep brain-dead people alive artificially indefinitely just in case they decide to come back from their heavenly vacation spots?

The point is not as clean cut as to say that one is brain dead by assessed doctors, or such questions as to whether one can be pulled off life support is done with full recognition that there is no mri imaging being detected in areas of the brain(this is new research that has not spread through the system).

This discussion was going on with Eben's family after feeling distressed as time went on, even though they suggested the bedside vigilance to encourage Eben back from his comatose state. For the life of me I can't see why this isn't seen by you Smith?

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

... except that Alexander was not declared brain dead. He was in a coma.

 

Oh, the Doctors had the research material at the time of Eben's diagnosis?

6079_Smith_W

Well you're the one trying to argue that this might prevent doctors from pulling the plug on people (though I'm not sure why). I'm just saying that although they were wondering what more they could do for him, he wasn't in danger of that happening, because he wasn't brain dead.

(edit)

cross posted with you.

And whatever speculations you might want to make about life after death and luring souls back from the brink, it is nothing more than speculation.

 

 

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Spectrum wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

But again, saying that the signs are more subtle (perhaps even imperceptible) is not the same as Alexander's claim that there is no connection at all:

"For me, it's become clear that the best way to look at it is to turn it around and realize that consciousness exists in a much richer form, free and independent of the brain, which has everything to do with the eternity of our souls and the fact that our awareness, our consciousness, our soul, our spirit, does not depend on the existence of the brain in the physical universe. In fact, it's freed up to a much richer knowing when we're outside."

I have tried to explain at length that the recognition of the experience by Eben does not have parameters like you and me when it came to assessing his experience. Eben looked at his experience more critically then you think you do. Your are hand-waving and being superfluous with your statements without challenging the framework that NDER's are experiencing. 

Maybe offer a suggestive framework that makes psychological sense so that they can feel connected with themself again having to return to the earth orientated construct we live in. That is the difficulty, because the constraints that they felt while being alive, did not feel this way for them as they were having the experience. Suggestively,  some do not want to come back and how does a soul have any finality in the saying of? Do you think that such a decision cannot be made?

Jill Bolte Taylor became inspired after her experience and she speaks quite highly of the praises of what was experience through the right brain. A right brain world she said.

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Well you're the one trying to argue that this might prevent doctors from pulling the plug on people (though I'm not sure why). I'm just saying that although they were wondering what more they could do for him, he wasn't in danger of that happening, because he wasn't brain dead.

I give up.....thick as mud. :)

 

6079_Smith_W wrote:
And whatever speculations you might want to make about life after death and luring souls back from the brink, it is nothing more than speculation.

Yes, speculations in your mind:)

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

double post

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:
this might prevent doctors from pulling the plug on people

Not Doctors,  but them saying that there is no further life so the relatives pull the plug. The diagnosis in my view has to include the research work that you pointed too. That's the ethical question now. That's the legal question with such evidence that there is no subtle activity as the fmri can see.

Relative: You told me he was brain dead?

Pages