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

But I am immediately suspicious about any ideas which are so profoundly self-serving as an immortal afterlife or that consciousness is fundamental.
By this logic, shouldn't you be suspicious of the myriad of self-serving aspects of our existence? That, for example, there is something rather than nothing? That random matter, spun into existence by nothing, governed by mindless random mutation and mysterious mechanical bias for fitness ended up spawning you and your consciousness?

I get what you're saying, but its sort of a silly, biased mindset to adopt considering the array of amazing, self-serving aspects of our existence. Sorta makes it seem less fantastical to my view. ;)
 
By this logic, shouldn't you be suspicious of the myriad of self-serving aspects of our existence? That, for example, there is something rather than nothing? That random matter, spun into existence by nothing, governed by mindless random mutation and mysterious mechanical bias for fitness ended up spawning you and your consciousness?
You find all that self-serving? You're weird. "You're nothing but happenstance" is not anything I'd go for, if given a choice.
 
I don't have a position on any of this beyond where we are now with the evidence (and my idea of evidence isn't anecdotes) one way or the other. But I am immediately suspicious about any ideas which are so profoundly self-serving as an immortal afterlife or that consciousness is fundamental. The discussion Alex had with Eben was so saccharin it made my teeth hurt. That's probably my only promissory note - I'm deeply suspicious of the idea the universe just happens to correspond to narcissistic humanism.
You might get something out of Thinking & Destiny by Harold W. Percival. He says he uses a 4 step method to learn whatever he needs to know & the book is a result of that method of inquiry. He begins his book w/ a discussion of that sense of missing or searching for something which he claims is a a common theme in ppl's lives. He also emphasizes that the way we talk about about our bodies is a clue that we aren't our bodies. I'll never forget how stunned my younger brother looked when I told him long ago that I experienced the world as if I were looking out at the world through two holes. I've only finished the first 40 pages, but there are already a large number of thought-provoking ideas proposed.
 
You might get something out of Thinking & Destiny by Harold W. Percival. He says he uses a 4 step method to learn whatever he needs to know & the book is a result of that method of inquiry. He begins his book w/ a discussion of that sense of missing or searching for something which he claims is a a common theme in ppl's lives. He also emphasizes that the way we talk about about our bodies is a clue that we aren't our bodies. I'll never forget how stunned my younger brother looked when I told him long ago that I experienced the world as if I were looking out at the world through two holes. I've only finished the first 40 pages, but there are already a large number of thought-provoking ideas proposed.
I know you're trying to help, and I appreciate that. But that is the kind of thing that I'm talking about. Introspection is self-centered. If you approach all this with the idea that the truth can be found by examining your own thoughts/feelings/perspective, you have to build some elaborate fantasy world to justify the approach. What use is "the way we talk about our bodies" without that fantasy world?

I don't know what it means that there is apparent consciousness. I don't know if it's important or not. If it's mysterious and miraculous and fundamental, or if it's unremarkable and banal. I'm still hung up at "apparent", never mind the fantasy world. That's just me.
 
NDE, OBE and RV suggest otherwise.
Actually, no they don't — at least not if the kind of seeing we're talking about is a process that involves optics rather than imagination. When we're imagining rather than observing ( having an optical stimulus-response ), the visual experience is an extrapolation from indirect information.

One of the best examples of this from OOBE cases I've heard was from an academic researcher in the UK ( her name escapes me now – sorry ), but in her interview she described having had an OOBE experience in which she floated out of her room at the campus residence and was able to observe the old architecture outside and above the roof in detail, which she found very interesting and quite incredible.

To follow-up, she contacted the caretaker who gave her access to the roof, and when she stepped out to investigate, it was nothing like her OOBE experience at all. In every case I've looked at, it's been entirely possible that the experiencer's mind was creating an extrapolated experience from indirect information. Such information is stored in memory from past similar experiences and learning. There is also research going on with so-called "genetic memory" which is a very interesting theory, but has nothing to do with our personhood being some discarnate element of our existence that survives death etc.

Genetic Memory: How We Know Things We Never Learned

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/genetic-memory-how-we-know-things-we-never-learned/
 
Actually, no they don't — at least not if the kind of seeing we're talking about is a process that involves optics rather than imagination. When we're imagining rather than observing ( having an optical stimulus-response ), the visual experience is an extrapolation from indirect information.

One of the best examples of this from OOBE cases I've heard was from an academic researcher in the UK ( her name escapes me now – sorry ), but in her interview she described having had an OOBE experience in which she floated out of her room at the campus residence and was able to observe the old architecture outside and above the roof in detail, which she found very interesting and quite incredible.

To follow-up, she contacted the caretaker who gave her access to the roof, and when she stepped out to investigate, it was nothing like her OOBE experience at all. In every case I've looked at, it's been entirely possible that the experiencer's mind was creating an extrapolated experience from indirect information. Such information is stored in memory from past similar experiences and learning. There is also research going on with so-called "genetic memory" which is a very interesting theory, but has nothing to do with our personhood being some discarnate element of our existence that survives death etc.

Genetic Memory: How We Know Things We Never Learned

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/genetic-memory-how-we-know-things-we-never-learned/
One case such as described can not explain away another case where the experiencer was actually correct in their observations. And it only takes one unexplainable case to make the skeptics wrong, but of course, there is much more then that.

BTW your example , the physicalist assumption ; there is only one reality.
 
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Alex

Administrator
Since the NDE is a non local event the idea that we can have a physical evidence as tasked by materalism to prove something is real may not be possable. We could say it's not real here. We wouldn't expect other systems of reality to translate materially in those terms here, because there two distict systems, different rules.
In materialistic sense it may not be provable, artifacts, DNA.
Either we believe the mind transcends or not. No arguments will prevail.
nice. and when we start putting together all the pieces of the extended consciousness puzzle it looks more and more like we're in the the absolute worst position to figure this stuff out.
 

Alex

Administrator
Exactly.
If we truly believe the NDE'er when they say "while my body was dead I saw, went, felt, was with, talked to, etc.. ", why would we assume the their out of body experience is even happening within our Realm Of Consciousness?
why? they are reporting the opposite of that. and the scraps of verifiable data bringing back confirm their observation.
 

Alex

Administrator
Actually, no they don't — at least not if the kind of seeing we're talking about is a process that involves optics rather than imagination.
I'm not sure I understand your point... can you explain? the savant article that you referenced seems to me like a different phenomenon.

there are a thousand nde stories where people are able to " see" things that wouldn't be in their range of vision
 
why? they are reporting the opposite of that. and the scraps of verifiable data bringing back confirm their observation.
The year is 1986. you're is sitting on the couch having a beer and enjoying a game of NES Super Mario...
when somehow, Mario dies in the video game and suddenly appears in our reality sitting next to you and looking at the TV screen with you.
You pause the game and look at Mario and say "Holy shit, how did you get here!?"
Mario looks at you and looks back at the screen and says "I have no idea how I got here! How the hell did you just pause my reality!?
You instinctively unpause the game, and Mario watches in awe his two dimensional reality where two turtles walk back and forth bumping into eachother between two green pipes.
Then POOF, Mario pops back into the video game.
You then watch Mario runs over to Luigi and a little cloud of text appears on the screen:

"Luigi, You're not going to believe this.. Mario World continues after we die."


I have not Idea how that demonstrates my point but it does in my head.
 
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I'm not sure I understand your point... can you explain? the savant article that you referenced seems to me like a different phenomenon ... there are a thousand nde stories where people are able to " see" things that wouldn't be in their range of vision
What I'm saying is that the evidence that NDEs and OOBEs are experiences that relay sensory information about objective reality is very weak in comparison to the experiences of normal sensory experience e.g. optical vision where photons are being reflected from an external surface and are detected optically by our eyes and interpreted by our brain. That's how we're able to make things such as lenses to correct people's vision. With normal vision, there is a direct measurable real-time correspondence between the external world and our subjective experience.

Not so with NDEs and OOBEs. Because the image generating process is happening non-optically, there is no reliable and direct correlation between the imagery and the real world. Any visual correlation can be explained as some form of mental extrapolation from past experience and/or other subconscious stimuli that is converted into imagery. Such imagery may therefore have a correlation to objective reality that is strikingly similar, and therefore may be useful, but it's not the same thing as actually being there, and I think this distinction is very important.
 
Isolating a sentence from its the context and striking out a key word makes your counterpoint irrelevant to the point I had made. So there is no "contradiction". When properly understood, the distinction I made is very important in relation to the underlying assumptions about NDEs and OOBEs.

That being said, I'm not saying that NDE and OOBE research isn't worthwhile. There may very well be some valuable insights to be had. The experiencers themselves often seem to think so. I'm just saying, let's consider what the evidence is really saying, as opposed to assuming that it's evidence for what we want it to say.
 
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What kind of proof do you
Isolating a sentence from its the context and striking out a key word makes your counterpoint irrelevant to the point I had made. So there is no "contradiction". When properly understood, the distinction I made is very important in relation to the underlying assumptions about NDEs and OOBEs.

That being said, I'm not saying that NDE and OOBE research isn't worthwhile. There may very well be some valuable insights to be had. The experiencers themselves often seem to think so. I'm just saying, let's consider what the evidence is really saying, as opposed to assuming that it's evidence for what we want it to say.
what kind proof do you need
To believe that the people relaying the account is true to their word?
What would constitutes solid evidence and make you believer.
I'll add that if you are a solid atheist, materialist i rather doubt such evidence exists..after all it can always be dismissed as anidotal or people lying.
 
What kind of proof do you need to believe that the people relaying the account is true to their word?
I believe that the majority of accounts that people relay firsthand are sincere. However sincerity, and the accuracy of how a person interprets their experiences, are two separate things. A person can be entirely sincere, and still be wrong about what they think.
What would constitutes solid evidence and make you believer.
The question there is, a believer in what exactly? Ultimately, from a logical and critical thinking perspective, there can be no evidence to support claims of life after death or notions of remote consciousness in the way they are often imagined. I know this sounds dismissive, but it's not. I wrote a short essay on it for The Paracast that explains it in detail.

Even if the AWARE study had produced consistently unambiguous and accurate results from their experiments, then that would only indicate that by some unknown means, the patients acquired information matching the targets, not that it constitutes evidence of life after death, or that their consciousness somehow floated up out of their bodies. Those are front loaded assumptions about explanations that fall apart rather quickly.
I'll add that if you are a solid atheist, materialist i rather doubt such evidence exists..after all it can always be dismissed as anecdotal or people lying.
As indicated in another post, I find my personal physicalist recipe ( not to be conflated with materialism ) to fit the objective analysis better than the rest, but also have to admit that there's a dash of Mysterianism in there. I certainly don't have all the answers, but I do think I've managed to shed light on a passage that neither the believers or the hardened skeptics want to explore. They're happier sticking with what they know than considering alternatives.
 
One case such as described can not explain away another case where the experiencer was actually correct in their observations. And it only takes one unexplainable case to make the skeptics wrong, but of course, there is much more then that.
Simply being unexplainable doesn't necessarily mean the assumed answer is the correct one. There are ways of looking at problems that can reveal what is and isn't possible based on what we already know, and from that analysis, we can tell whether or not a path is pointless or shows more promise. Afterlives as they're typically imagined distill down to an impossibility, and are therefore pointless to pursue from the typical afterlife perspective. Another approach will get us farther in understanding what is really going on.
BTW your example , the physicalist assumption ; there is only one reality.
That all depends on how you look at it. It's a matter of context. In one context you are correct. In another equally true context the overwhelming evidence is that relaities come in different flavors, the two primary ones being the objective and the subjective.
 
From NDERF:

"We investigated temporal lobe functioning in individuals who reported having transcendental "near-death experiences" during life-threatening events. These individuals were found to have more temporal lobe epileptiform electroencephalographic activity than control subjects and also reported significantly more temporal lobe epileptic symptoms. Contrary to predictions, epileptiform activity was nearly completely lateralized to the left hemisphere. "

The above is evidence for a brain based interpretation. Below is a diagram of an actual operating room experiment:

1633730364460.png
 
Simply being unexplainable doesn't necessarily mean the assumed answer is the correct one. There are ways of looking at problems that can reveal what is and isn't possible based on what we already know, and from that analysis, we can tell whether or not a path is pointless or shows more promise. Afterlives as they're typically imagined distill down to an impossibility, and are therefore pointless to pursue from the typical afterlife perspective. Another approach will get us farther in understanding what is really going on.

That all depends on how you look at it. It's a matter of context. In one context you are correct. In another equally true context the overwhelming evidence is that relaities come in different flavors, the two primary ones being the objective and the subjective.
'Afterlives as they're typically imagined distill down to an impossibility, and are therefore pointless to pursue from the typical afterlife perspective' ...if the
OBE experiencer relates a conversation that happened in another room accurately while technically dead or some version of coma I fail to see what other explication there is other then it's a OBE. Perhaps the experiencer imagines something which actually turns out to be correct, but the probabilities that a person could guess correctly are fantastical. To believe such a thing as true one would have to believe in something so remote possible as possible, believing in the fantastical.
Looking at some of the ideas of materlistic science one comes across this believing in the fantastical. An example of that is how one trillion atoms got together forming the first cellular life, by bumping into one another. A belief in the improbable, the fantastic, a miracle of accident. Or a believe in miracles.

In so far as there being two distinct realities, objective/subjective. This assumes that consciousness can actually be non-parcial . Not colored in any way by the individual. That beliefs are not part of the looking. Clearly we can not get out of ourselves to observe anything.
Your stating here consciousness independent of a body is a impossibility. Hence this is the set of conditions in which your going to be looking at the world/reality.
There is a set which allows for subjective mind to meld forming what we call consensus realities, but this is not strictly objective. But to get to that set we have to pass into immaterialality (consciousness=energy). But since you ruled that out as a possibility you are not able to examine these probabilities. Never the less that's where we're going.

I have to hand it to you for taking part in a forum which is not about materlism. Giving a contrary conception.
 
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