Dr. Eben Alexander, NDE Science Wins Out |504|

#61
If you use your brain and follow the breadcrumbs, ultimately you'll reach the conclusion that any God worthy of being worshipped would neither require or want to be deified.
Doesn't this presuppose that any individual brain (or mind if you prefer) has sufficient knowledge, intellect, experience, wisdom, etc to reach the conclusion you've put forth (i.e., following the proverbial breadcrumbs)? Alternatively, isn't it possible that your brain (and mine; and everyone else's here) is lacking in such capabilities making confidence in conclusions it draws from perceived breadcrumbs questionable at best?

I always find these logical/rational approaches to invalidate "God" unsatisfying; even egocentric or "arrogant" regarding our own insight/knowledge. Its obviously a very personal thing. For me it remains in the "I don't know" category.
 
#62
Doesn't this presuppose that any individual brain (or mind if you prefer) has sufficient knowledge, intellect, experience, wisdom, etc to reach the conclusion you've put forth (i.e., following the proverbial breadcrumbs)? Alternatively, isn't it possible that your brain (and mine; and everyone else's here) is lacking in such capabilities making confidence in conclusions it draws from perceived breadcrumbs questionable at best?

I always find these logical/rational approaches to invalidate "God" unsatisfying; even egocentric or "arrogant" regarding our own insight/knowledge. Its obviously a very personal thing. For me it remains in the "I don't know" category.
I always enjoy this debate.
Humans don't have the intellectual capacity to accurately relate with the emotions of our closest companion creature (dog) with which we've co-evolved for a significant period. Yet somehow some of us needn't hesitate when giving precise dimensions of the box which should contain God.
 
#63
If it's a lousy scientific theory, why are its tenets increasingly supported by scientific evidence?

I'll give you a truly lousy scientific theory -- the multiple worlds hypothesis. I know you don't accept it, but ask many people and they will say it's a scientific theory rather than the outrageous speculation it really is. It's only considered seriously because it's materialism's last stand against what is becoming increasingly obvious: the fundamental "stuff" of the apparent universe is mental, not physical.
OK If I put on a materialist hat, I can best explain what I mean. If everything is consciousness - like an immensely detailed daydream - then the dreamer can choose it intervene and change the daydream at any point - saying that something is produced by consciousness seems to imply that.

Now that makes idealism a lousy scientific theory, because whatever happens can be explained as being a whim of consciousness!

Science can only work with theories that are falsifiable, and in its simplest form Idealism can't be falsified.
I think Bernardo Kastrup dedicates a lot of energy to pointing out that modern science is trying to pull the same trick with Consciousness, that modern science pulls with the Origin of the Universe... that is, hijacking our curiosity for the contemporarily unexplained, and demanding faith and fanaticism.. cuz DeGrasse Tyson has a mustache and charisma or, cuz Bill Nye wears a bow-tie.

I don't think we humans want the "it's complicated" answer. We want the the trophy winning concept on our shelf so we can justify retiring from ignorance. Our internal desire to be regarded as important, often supersedes the desire to be accurate.

Most of us will happily sideline the pleasure of the basking in awe at we don't know, for the chance to rather brag about how close we think we are to knowing. (yours truly included/guilty)
 
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#64
Doesn't this presuppose that any individual brain (or mind if you prefer) has sufficient knowledge, intellect, experience, wisdom, etc to reach the conclusion you've put forth (i.e., following the proverbial breadcrumbs)? Alternatively, isn't it possible that your brain (and mine; and everyone else's here) is lacking in such capabilities making confidence in conclusions it draws from perceived breadcrumbs questionable at best?

I always find these logical/rational approaches to invalidate "God" unsatisfying; even egocentric or "arrogant" regarding our own insight/knowledge. Its obviously a very personal thing. For me it remains in the "I don't know" category.
Well said, Silence. Also, doesn't following "breadcrumbs" kind of follow a mindset of scarcity? What are we, rats in a maze or human beings? I think that the choice is out there to be either. I believe in God, but I don't think that main stream media, via Bible or television, is ever giving us the proper story.
 
#65
I think Bernardo Kastrup dedicates a lot of energy to pointing out that modern science is trying to pull the same trick with Consciousness, that modern science pulls with the Origin of the Universe... that is, hijacking our curiosity for the contemporarily unexplained, and demanding faith and fanaticism.. cuz DeGrasse Tyson has a mustache and charisma or, cuz Bill Nye wears a bow-tie.

I don't think we humans want the "it's complicated" answer. We want the the trophy winning concept on our shelf so we can justify retiring from ignorance. Our internal desire to be regarded as important, often supersedes the desire to be accurate.

Most of us will happily sideline the pleasure of the basking in awe at we don't know, for the chance to rather brag about how close we think we are to knowing. (yours truly included/guilty)
This is certainly the truth. Well said, Robbedigital! In the conspiracy theory world, we often here this acronym "psyop." I think that is a comfort zone for conspiracy theorists. Likewise, in the "S"cience world, we have words like "explained" and "experts." In the religious (or spiritual, for all you religious people that think that you are not religious), we have this idiocy called faith. I think that all of these belief systems are making similar mistakes.
 
#66
I think Bernardo Kastrup dedicates a lot of energy to pointing out that modern science is trying to pull the same trick with Consciousness, that modern science pulls with the Origin of the Universe... that is, hijacking our curiosity for the contemporarily unexplained, and demanding faith and fanaticism.. cuz DeGrasse Tyson has a mustache and charisma or, cuz Bill Nye wears a bow-tie.
I have kind of given up on modern science - and remember I was a postdoc before I skipped from science to software development! I think science comes up with answers that are sometimes useful, but often tissues of lies and half-truths. The 'scientific' handling of the 'pandemic' is a case in point.
I don't think we humans want the "it's complicated" answer. We want the the trophy winning concept on our shelf so we can justify retiring from ignorance. Our internal desire to be regarded as important, often supersedes the desire to be accurate.
Well scientists are very human - in good ways and bad ways.
Most of us will happily sideline the pleasure of the basking in awe at we don't know, for the chance to rather brag about how close we think we are to knowing. (yours truly included/guilty)
I am just re-reading Eben's book "Living in a Mindful Universe", and he struggles a lot between scientific ideas and other ways of thinking - you would like it, if you haven't read it already.

David
 
#67
Doesn't this presuppose that any individual brain (or mind if you prefer) has sufficient knowledge, intellect, experience, wisdom, etc to reach the conclusion you've put forth (i.e., following the proverbial breadcrumbs)? Alternatively, isn't it possible that your brain (and mine; and everyone else's here) is lacking in such capabilities making confidence in conclusions it draws from perceived breadcrumbs questionable at best?
There are usual a variety of ways to reason about issues, and some at least are open to everyone. The problem nowadays is that we defer too much to 'specialists' or 'experts' who have their own axes to grind.

I mean, you could argue that we don't know enough virology to contribute to the Coronavirus discussion. However, who can doubt that this overvation, copied from a placard at a demonstration, is relevant:

If lockdown worked, why do we need a second one?
If lockdown didn't work, why do we need a second one?
I always find these logical/rational approaches to invalidate "God" unsatisfying; even egocentric or "arrogant" regarding our own insight/knowledge. Its obviously a very personal thing. For me it remains in the "I don't know" category.
I feel that the term 'God' has too many associations - it just doesn't help in discussions.

David
 
#68
Well, Hurm. I still don't have much of a clue what you're trying to say. I still don't understand where choice comes in.
I'll try once more as succinctly as possible.

Everything is made of pattern and pattern is made of these three things:
1) Similarity
2) Difference
3) Choice

Choice is necessary to determine if the similarity or difference is great enough to be included or excluded from the set so choice and boundary are the same thing.

"Choosing" is something that only consciousness has the potential to do. If it's part of your trinity, it implies consciousness has always existed, perhaps is even coterminous with the "void".
Yes.

Or alternatively, consciousness had to be the first thing to arise in the void before anything else could happen.
Any attempt to make a chronology of the first events of creation can only be poetic. We are not literally exploring a chronology of events, but exploring the limits of concepts and imagination.

Consciousness is higher level and contains many other elements and concepts which is why it didn't get selected to be a member of the Trinity.

This isn't to say it isn't there at the beginning. It is.

The higher level concepts are dependent on the lower level concepts and vice versa. All reality is fundamentally irreducible. If it were reducible, it would have been calculated and compressed already. That which is computationally irreducible is that which is experienced.

Either way, consciousness had to come first, and every subsequent thing had to depend in its prior existence. Which is kind of part of what idealism posits, so I don't quite see why you seem so against it.
Again, chronology is not literal here, but the Trinity (similarity/difference/choice) is in a way the most rudimentary description of consciousness.

I'm against it for a few reasons. Consciousness is complex, not super well defined and exists as a kind of spectrum (eg. ants vs dogs vs humans). Consciousness also requires that you be conscious of or aware of something, so it sets up the subject/object duality and while I believe choice is an integral part of consciousness, for most people choice is not automatically implied with the word consciousness. Imagine you are paralyzed lying on a table staring at the ceiling aware of the ceiling and your location relative to it but unable to do anything... do you have choice?

Another reason I'm against it: it turns off the materialists. You don't defeat one silly position by asserting the opposite; instead you propose an alternative that integrates both.

Subject and object can only come to be differentiated when there is a consciousness able to make the distinction. No consciousness -- no subject/object distinction, or distinction of any kind for that matter. So again, consciousness had to come first.
When you use the word "consciousness" most people probably associate that with their own experience of consciousness which is rich, complex, heavily dependent upon or modulated by the brain, etc. It is like a fighter jet... very complex, lots of technologies on the technology tree have to get developed before you get to a fighter jet. So when you say consciousness came first, to the ears of most materialistic scientists that's like saying without fighter jets there'd be no bugs or birds or air.

So to sum it up, part of my problem with "consciousness first" is that consciousness can be broken down into simpler concepts. The other part of my problem with it is one of marketing it to those who are already opposed to it.

Actually, I doubt that consciousness had a beginning; it's always existed,
Agreed.

...and is the origin of everything,
I prefer to see it as nested loops of consciousness all running simultaneously.

The most primitive loop of consciousness is the Trinity: similarity/difference/choice which might look something like: "Me? Not Me. Okay. Me? Not me? Yes. Me? Not me? No. Me? Not me? Yes. etc."

Or you could fill in others like I did in the earlier post:
Black? White? Gray. Black enough to be black? Yes. White enough to be white? No.
Here? There? No. Move. Here? There? Yes. Move.

Then perhaps the next level up in the loops consciousness is the elementary particle:
Push? Pull? Yes. Push? Pull? No. Here? Or There? No, over there. Fast? Slow? Come? Go? Green eggs and ham?

Funny the similarity this primitive consciousness bears with Dr. Seuss...

so that every apparent "thing" must be a process occurring in M@L - apparent time, space and matter, object and subject, gargoyles and bunny rabbits, you name it. It's all mental, but not at its root metaconscious (aware of its own awareness). Metaconsciousness (self-reflection) is what arises when it dissociates. You might not like that word, "dissociation", because of its association with mental illness, but BK does stress that it's used analogically.
I just think it is bad marketing... it might be a good analogy though.

Looks like we'll just have to agree to differ and leave it at that.
No! You must agree with me! :)
 
#69
I'll try once more as succinctly as possible.

Everything is made of pattern and pattern is made of these three things:
1) Similarity
2) Difference
3) Choice

Choice is necessary to determine if the similarity or difference is great enough to be included or excluded from the set so choice and boundary are the same thing.
I'm not entirely sure I agree "everything is made of pattern". Pattern is a human concept, just like "chronology" -- and "similarity", "difference", and "choice" for that matter. These are all, to some extent, anthropomorphic terms. If M@L isn't metaconscious, its mental processes may not be anything like that of its dissociated alters. But still, one unavoidably has to use words to convey meaning, or at least, one's own particular understanding of things. Words denote concepts, and all words are, to a greater or lesser extent, mere approximations, ways to talk about the dashboard of dials materialists think of as the real world.

If BK is right, what we can perceive of M@L's inner mental processes is what (from across a dissociated boundary) it looks like, or we model as, agglomerations of matter at various scales -- from the submicroscopic to galaxy clusters to the whole universe. It has patterns (yes, I know -- your word) and regularities that have become the topic that scientists seek to perceive and describe, or at any rate should seek to do so. A lot of the time (I exclude most engineering since that demonstrably has to work to be taken seriously), they don't. Rather they make stuff up, allow themselves to think it's real, and go looking for any evidence, however preposterous, to support it. Confirmation bias gone mad.

I'm not suggesting that you approve of this kind of thing, of course. But bottom line, I don't accept your most basic premise about pattern. As I see it, that's just a word for how you're thinking about an aspect of consciousness, which you then go on to subdivide into three categories and develop your thesis from. Might make sense to you, but not to me. BK's analytical idealism, though it may turn out to be not entirely correct, strikes me personally as more consistent and rigorous, having the benefit of increasing amounts of verified evidence.

You're entitled to your thesis, of course, and I respect that, but I simply don't agree.
No! You must agree with me! :)
Good to see a little humour. In the end, either or neither of us may be right. You'll go your way, and I'll go mine until and unless something comes along to modify our respective views. Like I said, we'll just have to agree to differ on this particular matter.
 
#70
I'm not entirely sure I agree "everything is made of pattern".
You choose to differ?

Pattern is a human concept, just like "chronology" -- and "similarity", "difference", and "choice" for that matter. These are all, to some extent, anthropomorphic terms. ... But still, one unavoidably has to use words to convey meaning, or at least, one's own particular understanding of things. Words denote concepts, and all words are, to a greater or lesser extent, mere approximations, ways to talk about the dashboard of dials materialists think of as the real world.
Now you're speaking my language! Words have definitions (boundaries) and as such they are all examples of choosing to include or exclude from a set. Choosing to highlight similarities and ignore differences or highlight differences and ignore similarities. Everything real is a metaphor.

If we're trying to choose the best primitive notions, the best words, that give us the broadest insight into reality, what words should we choose that we can find them in everything else? What words we choose as our primitive notions influence how we see the world, so they are important to us even if they are not literally a chronology of creation which has no beginning or end.

Materialists have chosen "material" as their primitive notion which is an extrapolation of the sensory perception of hardness, heaviness, immobility, deadness, rock-likeness. This is their primitive notion because they have emphasized the objective aspect of reality. This began as a kind of humility: let's take out our biases and recognize that reality doesn't change on our wishes and whims and let's see what patterns we can observe if we stop assuming reality is as capricious as we are and is instead assume it is firm, solid, unyielding to whimsy.

Idealists choose "consciousness" or "mind" as their primitive notion which is an emphasis on the subjective and the need for a observer, but since our minds are capricious, ever-changing, easily deceived, this undercuts the solidity that is desired by the materialists and indeed the apparent solidity confirmed by our observations that the universe does seem to behave very regularly according to "laws" and does not seem to have the capricious element typically associated with consciousness. (Or at least if it does have this capricious element it is systematically removed from observation by the scientific method which requires something be repeatable to be confirmed.)

I have chosen "pattern" as the primitive notion which emphasizes both equally and assigns an essential role to choice. Materialists deny real choice even exists and Idealists have to explain why the universe "chooses" to do the same thing a near infinite number of times without being capricious.

By assigning choice an essential role - a select seat in the triumvirate of primitive notions - we establish the path towards power struggles and we infuse the universe with both meaning and frustration. Sin, judgment, righteousness, evil, feedback loops, truth as a tool, lies as manipulation, etc... all the messy human stuff enters our philosophy if we give choice a seat.

It isn't like I'm the first to notice this... It's in the Adam and Eve story... its in Pandora's box.

If M@L isn't metaconscious, its mental processes may not be anything like that of its dissociated alters.
It must bear some similarities and some differences to the processes of our own minds, right?

If BK is right, what we can perceive of M@L's inner mental processes is what (from across a dissociated boundary) it looks like, or we model as, agglomerations of matter at various scales -- from the submicroscopic to galaxy clusters to the whole universe. It has patterns (yes, I know -- your word) and regularities that have become the topic that scientists seek to perceive and describe, or at any rate should seek to do so.
I don't disagree with this at all. This is an old concept. The idea that we are inside the mind of a dreamer who isn't fully aware that he is dreaming. I am heavily influenced in my thinking by the hermetic principles, one of which is: all is mind.

BUT... if we stick to the same metaphors only, then we limit ourselves. Technology gives us new metaphors. The simulation and the neural network are new metaphors. One day they will be old too and something else will come up. Your brain is a neural network. Your brain can generate fantastically complex imagery just by focusing on one word. A GAN (generative adversarial network) can be trained to generate fantastically complex imagery just from inputting one word. So we can say the objective world is really just the dream of a dreamer or the dissociated mental process of M@L or the simulated environment of an unimaginably complex network of computations.

A lot of the time (I exclude most engineering since that demonstrably has to work to be taken seriously), they don't. Rather they make stuff up, allow themselves to think it's real, and go looking for any evidence, however preposterous, to support it. Confirmation bias gone mad.
I agree. But a lot of this is explained by what I said above about materialists starting out with the assumption that everything is rock-like as a matter of humility and making the assumption the universe is not capricious (a mind-like quality). The scientific method then systematically removes any data that is not repeatable, so if there was a capricious aspect to the universe science would be blind to it.

I'm not suggesting that you approve of this kind of thing, of course. But bottom line, I don't accept your most basic premise about pattern. As I see it, that's just a word for how you're thinking about an aspect of consciousness, which you then go on to subdivide into three categories and develop your thesis from.
Yes it is just a word, but so is "consciousness" or "mind". You could take ANY word, make it the FIRST word, and it implies the whole. (Just write an explanation of any word. Then write an explanation of the explanation. And so on... and three steps in you'll have to describe the whole universe).

But what word gives you the shortest path or fewest steps to describing the whole? Or conversely, take any object or experience and deconstruct it or reduce it to one word and what is the shortest path?

BK's analytical idealism, though it may turn out to be not entirely correct, strikes me personally as more consistent and rigorous, having the benefit of increasing amounts of verified evidence.
We seem to be saying similar things, we're just choosing different ways of saying it... ;-)

You're entitled to your thesis, of course, and I respect that, but I simply don't agree.
You may choose to differ.

Good to see a little humour. In the end, either or neither of us may be right.
I have defined terms so vague as to be universally applicable and therefore I can never wrong! What we may differ on is the utility of it.

BK has done the same thing you just have to get through an extra layer of definitions of terms to see it so I think it is a harder sell, requires more mental energy and therefore is less useful.
 
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#71
Good to see a little humour.
Alright one more dig before I get back to work...

The Third Eye. Why a THIRD eye? Aren't two enough? No, you need Three to be truly human and truly conscious.

The Third Eye is in the middle. Associated with the pineal gland which is said to be the seat of the soul and exists dead center in the brain on the boundary between left and right hemisphere's. It is said to be the source of intuition... a choice made not strictly with logic and not strictly with emotion but a balance of the two.
 
#72
Alright one more dig before I get back to work...

The Third Eye. Why a THIRD eye? Aren't two enough? No, you need Three to be truly human and truly conscious.

The Third Eye is in the middle. Associated with the pineal gland which is said to be the seat of the soul and exists dead center in the brain on the boundary between left and right hemisphere's. It is said to be the source of intuition... a choice made not strictly with logic and not strictly with emotion but a balance of the two.
For me, the Third Eye symbolises not ESP, or precognition, or some other extraphysical perceptual (possibly also in some sense conceptual) ability, but Volition - a power to turn potential into actual, to enact substantial change in existence - as opposed to the Second Eye of Conception (be it purely discursive or spiritually inspirational) and First Eye of Perception (whether somatic, or psychic, or both). It is with the awakening of creative volition, the true potential of an Anthropos, a fully self-actualised human being, is achieved.
 
#73
For me, the Third Eye symbolises not ESP, or precognition, or some other extraphysical perceptual (possibly also in some sense conceptual) ability, but Volition - a power to turn potential into actual, to enact substantial change in existence - as opposed to the Second Eye of Conception (be it purely discursive or spiritually inspirational) and First Eye of Perception (whether somatic, or psychic, or both). It is with the awakening of creative volition, the true potential of an Anthropos, a fully self-actualised human being, is achieved.
That's exactly what I'm saying: Volition or Choice or Will should be one of the three primitive notions and so it is fitting that the THIRD eye represents that and it is fitting that it exists on the boundary (boundary = choice) between left and right hemispheres.
 
#75
In the late 80s I participated in the Gateway program at the Monroe Institute. Their version of 'binary beats' is called Hemisync. Yes, I'd hoped to have an OBE, and no, I wasn't successful in that endeavor. The farthest I got was the 'body asleep, mind awake' state and it was quite powerful.

I'm not sure Eben really explained all that well how it works. To make it super simple, if you've ever had experience tuning one musical instrument to another, you'll notice that when the two pitches get extremely close, like if one instrument is playing A 440 and the other is at 442 (cycles per second), it will set a 'beat' of 2 per second, the difference between the two frequencies. So, the way all the binaural beats work is to put one note in the left ear, and another slightly different pitch in the right ear so the two brain hemispheres co-ordinate to the 'beat' or difference between the two pitches, thus bringing your brain into alpha, delta or theta brainwave state, whatever might be desired.

In practice, of course, it's much more complex than just one pitch in one ear and a slightly different one in the other. But that's the basic principle of it.

I enjoyed my experience at the Monroe Institute, not at all sorry I went even though I never had an OBE. But all in all, I have to say, I'd really just rather just do my own meditation. And as far as the 'body asleep, mind awake' state, I do that all the time anyway while 'napping'. It's great for creativity and I highly recommend it, and no, I don't need any binaural beats for that.
nice. thanks for the explanation.
 
#76
We want the the trophy winning concept on our shelf so we can justify retiring from ignorance. Our internal desire to be regarded as important, often supersedes the desire to be accurate.

Most of us will happily sideline the pleasure of the basking in awe at we don't know, for the chance to rather brag about how close we think we are to knowing. (yours truly included/guilty)
nice one :)
 
#77
Materialists have chosen "material" as their primitive notion which is an extrapolation of the sensory perception of hardness, heaviness, immobility, deadness, rock-likeness. This is their primitive notion because they have emphasized the objective aspect of reality. This began as a kind of humility: let's take out our biases and recognize that reality doesn't change on our wishes and whims and let's see what patterns we can observe if we stop assuming reality is as capricious as we are and is instead assume it is firm, solid, unyielding to whimsy.
This new video by Joe Scott illustrates my point above... he's taking the skeptic position on UFOs, but before that he reveals that he used to be so taken by flights of fancy that he had panic attacks about all sorts of things such as the fear that he would turn into a werewolf. He had a deep psychological need for finding some stability, something solid, something immovable in which to anchor his psyche so that he could get a grip. Science and materialism provided this for him, and just like with anyone who finds something that really helps them (new diet, new philsophy, new religion) they acquire a religious type of devotion to the thing that helped them and since the ground was hard fought, they won't easily give it back up.

For someone like Joe, materialism "saved" him in a way from loosing his marbles. So to him, idealism would be anathema... it would remind him of his younger more vulnerable years when he had nothing stable to hold on to and was taken by flights of fancy.

 
#78
do you think there is a hierarchy to consciousness? are some people / beings / entities add a "higher-level"

I mean, this does seem to be widely reported
The term hierarchy is some what fraught especially in post modern circles. I like Huston Smiths idea that certain levels of consciousness are closer to source(God) and are therefore more real or reflect a higher degree of reality. The pejorative "hierarchy" has more ego where as the spiritual has less.
 
#79
This new video by Joe Scott illustrates my point above... he's taking the skeptic position on UFOs, but before that he reveals that he used to be so taken by flights of fancy that he had panic attacks about all sorts of things such as the fear that he would turn into a werewolf. He had a deep psychological need for finding some stability, something solid, something immovable in which to anchor his psyche so that he could get a grip. Science and materialism provided this for him, and just like with anyone who finds something that really helps them (new diet, new philsophy, new religion) they acquire a religious type of devotion to the thing that helped them and since the ground was hard fought, they won't easily give it back up.

For someone like Joe, materialism "saved" him in a way from loosing his marbles. So to him, idealism would be anathema... it would remind him of his younger more vulnerable years when he had nothing stable to hold on to and was taken by flights of fancy.

great insight! thx
 
#80
To me the `I don't know' = unknown.
The use of the word 'void' should be swapped out for the Unknown - not Unknowable. As in the implicate order of David Bomm .
Why? Because the Unknown is that which becomes knowable. It is not a negative where-by nothing exists. The contrary to consciousness.
It feels better in the intellect as opposed to void or nothing (0). (Existence of nothing -contradition)
A true 0 state only exist as a theoretical concept, can not be proven to exist - since where-ever there is consciousness there is something....
and we can not get on the other side of consciousness or we can not get behind our own consciousness. There is no other side.
In any case, the unknown is our constant companion , if you think about it.
So much the better to step into a unknown then nothing, and certainly more plausible past.
 
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