Dr. Gregory Shushan, NDEs Vs. Transhumanism |556|

You could also say reality is composed of Mechanisms and the boundary between the Mechanisms which is Choice. To be observed by science something must reliably repeat. Mechanisms reliably repeat. So through the lens of science, everything is a mechanism. But there is always ambiguity at the edges of the mechanism at the boundary and it is upon this ambiguous uncertain boundary that choice enters.

Another fascinating post!
I'd been wondering about what we're taught regarding what science is, that it has to have controlled, repeating phenomena observed

But isn't this a huge limitation on knowledge?

It was especially the shape-shifting ET subject that got me thinking about this. The phenomena is notoriously elusive. It seems it's the entities' CHOICE to be elusive. Take skinwalker ranch, for example, with the entities reportedly messing with recording equipment etc.

Considering at least some of these entities can walk through walls, what are the odds that it's going to be exceedingly difficult to keep one in a lab...

So using 'science' (according to the standard definition), isn't it going to be extremely difficult to provide evidence for these entities' existence?

But what if many people have reported such entities, throughout time and across the world... Is it therefore 'unscientific' to say this is a real phenomenon?
 
  • Then once the NDE'er revives, the other realm transmits the legit-non-physical data to this realm legit-non-physically.
  • If so, the human experience of the NDE all occur locally/physically "in the mind" per Randall's argument.

What specific evidence is there from NDEs that supports this?
 
... regardless of the exact definition of 'death' between jurisdictions, would you not agree that in the overwhelming majority of cases, a patient declared "dead" would not be in a mental state to be able to "see" what the medical staff were doing / i.e. giving a visual description, typically from an out of body, floating above the scene perspective.
Yes I would agree that in the kinds of cases that we're talking about, the patient's optical sensory input systems would not be the source of the visual stimuli. That's probably one reason why zero patients have been able able to correctly describe the visual targets in studies specifically setup for the purpose of correlating NDEs with objective reality.
As far as I can tell, there are only a few possible reasons for this:
(1) the reports from patients describing this are false / falsified,
or
(2) consciousness can exist beyond the brain
or
(3) some entity could be giving this info to the patient telepathically

Option (1) is probably true in some cases, but for the sake of discussion, it can be taken for granted that they're not the cases we're discussing. Option (2) is rather fuzzy and needs clarification. That is a much longer conversation. Option (3) is theoretically possible if assume that the patient's brain is functioning ( which it must be in order to remember the experience ).

There is also another explanation, which is that when some people dream, their dreams are as lifelike as the outside world, and often reflect things that are relevant to the outside world. So it's entirely possible that the patient's brain spontaneously generated the imagery based on unconsciously received audio signals and prior expectations from past experience or exposure to similar environmental conditions.

This makes sense in most cases because unless it's an unexpected emergency, patients have been prepped for their hospital visit, often having a number of tests performed and interviews with the doctors involved. So they know what's supposed to happen, have had it on their minds, and have been in the general environment. Then while under anesthesia, their brain would subconsciously receive audio signals that it could pick queues from to create imagery to match — and in some cases ( like specific words or phrases ), the audio may match exactly.

This may sound a little far fetched, but it fits the situation because our auditory senses are among the last to go before true brain death. Plus it's a lot less of a reach than the idea of a person actually floating out of their body. I've had dreams so lifelike I wasn't even sure it was a dream. Surely I can't be the only one. The brain is a very powerful imagery generator.

Again, telepathy is a possibility, but so could some sort of technology, and this is where it gets really interesting ( for me ), because it implies some kind of surreptitious third party intervention. How might the aliens fit into this picture? I have an idea or two.

In the meantime — just for humor ...

FarsideNDE-01a.png
 
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What specific evidence is there from NDEs that supports this?
The fact that carving a memory into the brain involves a living human.
If the person is dead during the NDE then the experience must wait to be introduced to the brain until it’s revival. Nobody has explained that part yet, so I must leave the possibility that it’s transmitted.

Edit:
In my opinion this leaves 2 possibilities
1. the "spirit" comes back to the revived body-mind and brings the NDE experience with it.
2. the "spirit" was always non-local and just transmits the NDE experience to the revived body-mind.
 
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Only a materialist could make such an assertion. You probably won't watch this, but no matter, it's not too long (c 13 mins) and others might:
What would make you think I wouldn't watch the video or haven't already considered the same sorts of arguments? Also, the statement. "Only a materialist could make such an assertion" is a variation on what's known as the No True Scotsman fallacy. In this case, the issue of a brain based explanation has been hand waved in favor of an argument that arbitrarily assumes a position that I don't personally hold, and presents it as counterpoint. Therefore the claim that "Only a materialist could make such an assertion." is false.

There are issues with the reasoning Rupert presents, but ultimately, the same argument can be made for whatever thing we want to put into the role of the fundamental element that forms our reality.

In other words instead of saying this:

"What the materialist does is presume a substance outside consciousness called matter which nobody has ever found, Scientists have been looking for it for 2000 years, they haven't found it — they won't ever find it. They abstract or imagine this substance called matter outside consciousness. They then consider that substance ( matter ) the fundamental reality, and then they imagine in a convoluted line of reasoning, they then imagine that consciousness is derived from matter."​

We could just as easily say this:

What the non-materialist does is presume something other than matter called consciousness which nobody has ever found, Scientists have been looking for it for 2000 years, they haven't found it — they won't ever find it. They abstract or imagine this thing called consciousness outside the material. They then consider consciousness the fundamental reality, and then they imagine in a convoluted line of reasoning that what we assume is material is derived from consciousness."​

This is basic philosophy — classical materialism versus subjective idealism. In the end there's no way to be sure what the actual situation is at the most fundamental level. Personally I think it's neither matter nor consciousness — but nature.

In the meantime, we are only left with what we can perceive in our immediate realm, and no matter which way you spin it, upside down or right side up, there is a bridge that leads us out of this conundrum called The Cogito — but do you see it?

 
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What would make you think I wouldn't watch the video or haven't already considered the same sorts of arguments? Also, the statement. "Only a materialist could make such an assertion" is a variation on what's known as the No True Scotsman fallacy. In this case, the issue of a brain based explanation has been hand waved in favor of an argument that arbitrarily assumes a position that I don't personally hold, and presents it as counterpoint. Therefore the claim that "Only a materialist could make such an assertion." is false.

There are issues with the reasoning Rupert presents, but ultimately, the same argument can be made for whatever thing we want to put into the role of the fundamental element that forms our reality.

In other words instead of saying this:

"What the materialist does is presume a substance outside consciousness called matter which nobody has ever found, Scientists have been looking for it for 2000 years, they haven't found it — they won't ever find it. They abstract or imagine this substance called matter outside consciousness. They then consider that substance ( matter ) the fundamental reality, and then they imagine in a convoluted line of reasoning, they then imagine that consciousness is derived from matter."​

We could just as easily say this:

What the non-materialist does is presume something other than matter called consciousness which nobody has ever found, Scientists have been looking for it for 2000 years, they haven't found it — they won't ever find it. They abstract or imagine this thing called consciousness outside the material. They then consider consciousness the fundamental reality, and then they imagine in a convoluted line of reasoning that what we assume is material is derived from consciousness."​

This is basic philosophy — classical materialism versus subjective idealism. In the end there's no way to be sure what the actual situation is at the most fundamental level. Personally I think it's neither matter nor consciousness — but nature.

In the meantime, we are only left with what we can perceive in our immediate realm, and no matter which way you spin it, upside down or right side up, there is a bridge that leads us out of this conundrum called The Cogito — but do you see it?


Excellent post!!
 
Personally I think it's neither matter nor consciousness — but nature

This sentence especially stood out.
After talking about pattern, vishishtadvaita (qualified non-dualism), and now reading this....
Maybe it makes more sense, that NATURE is fundamental (encompassing both matter and consciousness, particle and wave, division and oneness)
 
In other words, "pattern", "vishishtadvaita", "nature", are all terms that essentially have the same meaning

Very interested to hear feedback on this
 
The fact that carving a memory into the brain involves a living human.

I must admit that neurology isn't something I'm that familiar with. But am I correct in saying that memories haven't been isolated to a particular part of the brain?

I'm trying to tread carefully here, but I had the impression that it's just an assumption that to have a memory depends on the brain

If the person is dead during the NDE then the experience must wait to be introduced to the brain until it’s revival. Nobody has explained that part yet, so I must leave the possibility that it’s transmitted.

Weird though, that the most common reported description of NDEs is (to paraphrase):
"more real than real"...

That pattern is so overwhelming. And as reported, the NDEs are typically profoundly life-altering, and the memory of the NDE stays fresh in the memory, even decades later...

I think these are extremely important data points.

In those regards, we can then compare them with reported UFO encounters etc.

Furthermore, Cherylee Black said something important in that regard. Does anyone remember? She compared the FRESH memories of her NDEs to some other unusual phenomena that DIDN'T stay in her memory. She said she'd even forgotten about many of those occurrences until she read it in her diary years later

https://skeptiko.com/cherylee-black-nde-psychokinesis-548/
 
the statement. "Only a materialist could make such an assertion" is a variation on what's known as the No True Scotsman fallacy. In this case, the issue of a brain based explanation has been hand waved in favor of an argument that arbitrarily assumes a position that I don't personally hold, and presents it as counterpoint. Therefore the claim that "Only a materialist could make such an assertion." is false.

You're the one doing the hand-waving -- bringing up the No true Scotsman fallacy as, ironically, itself a No true Scotsman fallacy. I said what I said because your initial statement ("Logically, brain function is the first most rational explanation") is what materialists would say, elevating rationality as they conceive of it to the unassailable sine qua non of logicality. There is the implication that if one quibbles with the words logical or rational one is de facto not worth consideration. Everything that materialists assert is based on their giving preeminence to logicality and rationality.

However, notions of what is logical/rational is based on conditioning and that in turn is based on the presupposition that axiomatic "truths" exist and rule reality. One such, for example, is causality. That is, that everything has a cause, and the only cause worth considering is material in nature. But, as stated, that is merely an axiom. It can't be proven, and instead has to be accepted as a self-evident fact. A fact that is based on the supremacy of human perception. If I perceive such-and-such, then it must exist exactly as I perceive it. So when an apparent object A hits another, B, and smashes it to smithereens, it must have been A that caused the destruction of B.

I would put it differently. The smashing to smithereens of B by A is how an event is interpreted. On the screen of our perception, it is useful to look at what happened that way, and to deduce, for example, that should another object like A smash into another object like B, it too will likely disintegrate. This could have design implications for an engineer, and there's little doubt it's useful, but it explains little about causality.

Turning to the brain, materialists interpret its appearance as indicating it is a massive body that has existence independent of perception. It is what in some way causes thought through, ultimately, the interactions of what are imagined to be tiny particles, too small to actually perceive, that are thought of as comprising the brain.

But, Donald Hoffman would say that the screen of perception is akin to a computer desktop. We don't actually perceive the world as it truly is, but only as an iconic, simplified representation of reality. The brain is how our icon-based perception interprets the sum total of a set of processes from a third-person perspective. When one sees a surgeon cut into a brain with a scalpel to excise, say, a tumour, and the patient subsequently improves, the materialist will say that that's literally what actually happened.

Hoffman and idealists like Bernardo Kastrup/non-dualists like Rupert Spira would say that it's only the appearance of what happened as interpreted according to inculcated materialist preconceptions. It's a very useful interpretation, and without it we wouldn't have science or the scientific method, but it is nonetheless only an interpretation of what causes what.

BK and RS would say that brain surgery is one way humans respond adaptively to the iconic representations of reality to aid survival of the species. (I think) BK thinks that we as humans have intentions, which are non-material, but which we can usually only carry out through taking advantage of what our (limited) perceptions reveal to us of the world. So the surgeon, seeing a brain, may think that performing an operation will acheive a certain desired end because his perception of the brain is actually what is there, and that his scalpel is the way to remove a tumour. And, it may indeed transpire that his intervention acheives his intention, but that's no proof that his interpretation is correct.

There are issues with the reasoning Rupert presents

Don't be coy: spell them out instead of saying:

but ultimately, the same argument can be made for whatever thing we want to put into the role of the fundamental element that forms our reality.

In other words instead of saying this:

"What the materialist does is presume a substance outside consciousness called matter which nobody has ever found, Scientists have been looking for it for 2000 years, they haven't found it — they won't ever find it. They abstract or imagine this substance called matter outside consciousness. They then consider that substance ( matter ) the fundamental reality, and then they imagine in a convoluted line of reasoning, they then imagine that consciousness is derived from matter."​

We could just as easily say this:

What the non-materialist does is presume something other than matter called consciousness which nobody has ever found, Scientists have been looking for it for 2000 years, they haven't found it — they won't ever find it. They abstract or imagine this thing called consciousness outside the material. They then consider consciousness the fundamental reality, and then they imagine in a convoluted line of reasoning that what we assume is material is derived from consciousness."​

-- Following that up with:

This is basic philosophy — classical materialism versus subjective idealism. In the end there's no way to be sure what the actual situation is at the most fundamental level. Personally I think it's neither matter nor consciousness — but nature.

--Which implies, in typical no true Scotsman fashion, that I don't understand even basic philosophy and so my interpretations can be hand-wavingly dismissed with an assertion that nature, whatever the heck is meant by that, is the sole cause of -- well, everything really.

In the meantime, we are only left with what we can perceive in our immediate realm, and no matter which way you spin it, upside down or right side up, there is a bridge that leads us out of this conundrum called The Cogito — but do you see it?

I agree that we generally rely on what we perceive, usually interpreting it literally. You ask if I "see it" in the video you posted. See what exactly? Again, please do be less coy and spell it out. I see quite a lot in the video, for instance that I have some sympathy with the empiricists like David Hume, but also some sympathy with the rationalists like Spinoza.

And as for Decartes, I have sympathy with his view that the one thing we can be absolutely certain of is that "I think therefore I am", or maybe "I am thinking therefore I am" (if the French has indeed been mistranslated). Ultimately, the only experience I can be certain is true is that I am a being who has thoughts, feelings and emotions. The world represents itself to my perceptions in an apparently concrete way, but does that imply it is is actually concrete? I think not.
 
"I think therefore I am", or maybe "I am thinking therefore I am" (if the French has indeed been mistranslated). Ultimately, the only experience I can be certain is true is that I am a being who has thoughts, feelings and emotions.

As far as I know, English is quite unusual in having a present continuous tense. For example, French and Latin don't have this. So it could be translated as either "I think" or "I am thinking"

The world represents itself to my perceptions in an apparently concrete way, but does that imply it is is actually concrete? I think not.

I appreciate your contributions as usual Michael. You and Randall are at a higher level of using technical language in philosophy... but nevertheless, to me it's the thing that bugs me about idealism and non-dualism / advaita. It seems to lack common sense / the appreciation of probabilities, that we can experience that there's a concrete, divided characteristic of nature, but the idealists & non-dualists discount this evidence by saying that it's not certain or just an illusion. It has never really made sense to me. Highly intelligent individuals such as Kastrup are saying such things. But it seems to me that they're essentially dodging the fact that there is a perceived solidity/divisiveness/particle characteristic of nature. I haven't seen any explanation from an idealist or from advaita that convincingly takes this into account
 
the most common reported description of NDEs is (to paraphrase):
"more real than real"...

That pattern is so overwhelming. And as reported, the NDEs are typically profoundly life-altering, and the memory of the NDE stays fresh in the memory, even decades later...

I think these are extremely important data points.

To add another data point. There are people who experience NDE-type phenomena without "dying"

For example, when I was about 12 years old, I was in a car crash. I was in the front passenger's seat as our car waited at an intersection. I then saw a car coming from the other direction getting out of control and come hurtling towards us. I realised it was going to hit us. Then time slowed down to what seemed like maybe 1/10th the speed. The thought flashed in my mind that maybe this is the end. Then my vision was filled with an electric white light and I saw what seemed like my entire life flash before me. Then my normal vision returned and the car smashed into us.

We were ok. Just bruised. But the front of the car was smashed up

The point is though, when I went through the NDE literature I saw parallels to what I experienced just before the car hit us and NDEs.

That doesn't seem like a coincidence
 
To add another data point. There are people who experience NDE-type phenomena without "dying". For example, when I was about 12 years old, I was in a car crash ...

Thanks for sharing your experience. OOBEs are basically the same idea as you're describing. I recall listening to a PSI researcher way back when who was living in one of the old campus dorms in Europe. Unfortunately I don't recall all the details like the exact school or the researcher's name, but her story was that she had one of these OOBEs and went floating out over the roof of the old dorm where she could see the old roof tiling and architecture in great detail.

Being a true researcher, she got the maintenance man to get access to the roof so that she could verify her observations, and when she did that, she discovered that the original roof had been completely replaced and upgraded to modern standards, and was nothing like what she observed in her experience. The thing about this sort of research is that people's confirmation bias is so thick that it's sometimes impenetrable. Rarely do we hear all the accounts where experiences don't reflect objective reality.
 
As far as I know, English is quite unusual in having a present continuous tense. For example, French and Latin don't have this. So it could be translated as either "I think" or "I am thinking"

True - I did both Latin and French at school many, many moons ago, but though the languages don't have the present continuous tense, they may imply it in a specific context. There's an interesting article about it here.

I appreciate your contributions as usual Michael. You and Randall are at a higher level of using technical language in philosophy... but nevertheless, to me it's the thing that bugs me about idealism and non-dualism / advaita. It seems to lack common sense / the appreciation of probabilities, that we can experience that there's a concrete, divided characteristic of nature, but the idealists & non-dualists discount this evidence by saying that it's not certain or just an illusion. It has never really made sense to me. Highly intelligent individuals such as Kastrup are saying such things. But it seems to me that they're essentially dodging the fact that there is a perceived solidity/divisiveness/particle characteristic of nature. I haven't seen any explanation from an idealist or from advaita that convincingly takes this into account

I really, really understand your reservations. At times, it's tremendously difficult to challenge perceptions. That's why Ben Johnson kicked the stone and said: "I refute it [idealism] thus". He couldn't help but experience the sensation of kicking a stone as a concrete, possibly painful, event.

You're right. Kastrup is a highly intelligent individual. And he isn't an advocate of idealism arbitrarily. He cites evidence for everything he claims. It's just whether one has an open enough mind to look into that evidence. I was just as dumbfounded ten years ago as you are now, until I started to become familiar with his work, then Hoffman's and Spira's. And there are many other intelligent individuals in the physics community who lean towards idealism -- Bernardo speaks of them in his many videos.

He's not "dodging" anything. If you haven't seen anything from an idealist that takes into account the way we perceive things as concrete, then I think you need to take a deep dive into Bernardo's work. There you'll see that he acknowledges time and time again that perceptions seem to be concrete, but both he and Hoffman maintain that they aren't, and I find their arguments persuasive. If anyone is dodging, it's materialists/dualists who are ignoring the stacks and stacks of evidence against their world view.

Lots of stuff that seems commonsense turns out not to be. We have the words "causation" and "correlation" for a reason. Does one event cause another, or is it correlated with it? My view is that when brain activity is considered, it's correlated with consciousness, but it doesn't cause it. The material doesn't give rise to consciousness, so much as consciousness gives rise to the impression of concreteness or materiality.

Idealism only seems to turn commonsense on its head -- but remember, your senses tell you that the sun goes round the earth when it's the other way around. And for that, there is masses of evidence which is now almost universally accepted. It's something to bear in mind -- what if the impression of concreteness, similarly, arises in consciousness rather than consciousness out of something concrete?

Your unaided perceptions would have a hard time distinguishing between geocentricity and heliocentricity, but wrt the latter, you have nonetheless already been convinced despite never personally having gone up into orbit to observe it yourself. The evidence for most of us is indirect, or simply accepted on the word of experts. What I support is the view that one day in the not too distant future, idealism will be as widely accepted as heliocentricity is now. There is certainly already huge amounts of evidence to support it, and more is appearing every day.
 
The remote model could also serve the scriptural idea that a creator successfully built this realm with no evidentiary connection to any outside realm.

Sure... "full retard" (e.g. Flat Earth, Consciousness is an illusion, materialism) is always going to be an option... and a pretty darn attractive option. science's greatest discovery is that science is obsolete... science can't measure anything. there is no other way to interpret the double slit experiment.

so, from there we can launch into "full retard" and postulate AI simulations and all sorts of other stuff... and there's absolutely no way to prove it's not true... because, hey, we just proved that you can't measure anything. this is where the post-modern folks were going only they got there from another Direction.

To me, this becomes a "why evil matters question." it becomes how we use logic reason and science to make the best decisions about who we are and why we're here so that we can lead Better Lives... whatever that means :)
 
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This sentence especially stood out.
After talking about pattern, vishishtadvaita (qualified non-dualism), and now reading this....
Maybe it makes more sense, that NATURE is fundamental (encompassing both matter and consciousness, particle and wave, division and oneness)
The more I reflect on it, the more it seems to me that nature must be the turtle at the bottom of them all. But then again, if I were religious, I'd probably be a Neopagan, so there's probably some bias there. Occasionally, I inexplicably find myself outside during the full Moon performing rituals around a fire pit — usually involving the roasting of a meat called "hot dogs", that no sane person would normally consume, followed by the drinking of a customary elixir called "beer".
 
To me, this becomes a "why will matters question." it becomes how we use logic reason and science to make the best decisions about who we are and why we're here so that we can lead Better Lives... whatever that means :)

I like that — it rings true ( for me anyway ).
 
Sure... "full retard" (e.g. Flat Earth, Consciousness is an illusion, materialism) is always going to be an option... and a pretty darn attractive option. science's greatest discovery is that science is obsolete... science can't measure anything. there is no other way to interpret the double slit experiment.

so, from there we can launch into "full retard" and postulate AI simulations and all sorts of other stuff... and there's absolutely no way to prove it's not true... because, hey, we just proved that you can't measure anything. this is where the post-modern folks were going only they got there from another Direction.

To me, this becomes a "why evil matters question." it becomes how we use logic reason and science to make the best decisions about who we are and why we're here so that we can lead Better Lives... whatever that means :)
My thinking on this is based on a basic creationism model, with use of Alan Watts' narrative as a metric (of You/God becoming bored and creating an Unknown future: human existence).
In this model, if You/God accidentally left evidence, it's discovery would cancel the Unknownness, full stop - which would mean either You/God failed, or this is not the model of human existence, both of which I doubt.. So to me this signifies that there may be more beyond the consciousness reality we're in/measuring, to the Kastrup-th degree.
It's seems extremely likely that the consciousness involved in NDE is the same consciousness which was measured by the double slit experiment. But it's absolutely not full retard to attempt to work out where the boundaries might be between our-consciousness / NDE-consciousness / potential-Higher-Realm. This is not "consciousness is an illusion" stuff. This is "we should be trying to pin down exactly where the finite ends and the infinite begins" stuff. Isn't that the next step in NDE research? I don't believe we're only looking for and satisfied upon confirmation "That there's more than this life.".
When I listen to the NDE stories (and I think I've listened to over 100-150 of them on Chaz Hathaway's The NDE Podcast and others) I'm not just saying "oh neat infinity, timelessness, omnipresence". I'm trying to picture the How. and so far in doing so I haven't stumbled on to any reason to disregard the Unknown Future Creationism model.
 
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