New book ''Proof of Heaven''

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lumencryster
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Re: New book ''Proof of Heaven''

Postby lumencryster » 04 Dec 2012 19:00

KylePK wrote:Heaven and Hell are man made metaphors to make people behave in the way that the Catholic order wanted them to.

yeah, but then again every thing in you experience and know is a man made thought you create in order to conceive the world. i don't take the idea of heaven and hell quite so literally, but i think it does extend beyond the church trying to control the masses. if that's all you see it as then you'll never take any value out of learning about religion. and i assure you there is value in studying religion, even if you don't believe it.

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lucidinthe sky
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Re: New book ''Proof of Heaven''

Postby lucidinthe sky » 04 Dec 2012 19:24

Summerlander wrote:The physical universe DOES exist objectively and it is not a construct of consciousness. Consciousness is something that arose with time and the evolution of life...The energy that makes up the universe is very real and will go on existing even after we are all dead. It doesn't need conscious beings to observe it. It will still be there with its properties.


This is a very logical idea, unfortunately it's one which can not be proven so we just have to accept that it makes sense logically? It's equally logical to believe that consciousness is not part of the human brain so it predates human's short existence on the planet and also does not "die" without a human brain.

Science must also accept that the universe existed even before the "Big Bang" otherwise you could always say, "but what came before that?" So for me it's also logical then to also believe that consciousness always existed.

You can argue all you want that a "non-objective universe" is not science, but rather some sort of new-age philosophy. However, the fact remains that scientists are the ones proving it. There is no objective reality at the quantum level, this is an established science fact, not a philosophic theory. Please tell me about some experiments that have been done at the quantum level that dispute that fact, I'd really like to read about them.

When you talk about the "properties" of the universe that will always be there, I take it you're not refering to the particles that make up the universe because at that level, properties can not be defined.

Now you could argue that the universe that exists at the level of everyday existence is objective, that hasn't been proven (yet). If you believe that, then there must be 2 sets of laws that govern physics, one at the quantum level and one at what they call the "classical" level. So the nature of the particles that make up the whole are different from the whole and that is not very logical at all. And also where is line between these 2 worlds?

I do agree with you on at least one thing :) that is: consciousness is evolving. I believe that's a big part of why we are here.
Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world? Morpheus

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Summerlander
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Re: New book ''Proof of Heaven''

Postby Summerlander » 05 Dec 2012 01:32

danmc wrote:Have you every experienced the world apart from consciousness? How on earth could that be done? In point of fact, the only thing you have ever known IS consciousness. You don't ever know an objective world directly. All you've ever known is your experience of the world and that experience comes through the senses. So, the most you can say about an objective world is what you know and interpret of the information provided by the senses.


I know all our experience is in consciousness and its many levels. It is the only way we can get information about reality. But what we do know is that while awake, the information comes from the sensory organs and is an interpretation of the external world which exists objectively. Imagine being in a submarine and sonar tells you what is out there. The screens inside the sub will tell you what surrounds it (water, rocks, other subs etc.) but if the sub is destroyed, the underwater environment will still exist and can still be confirmed to exist by other conscious beings. Another great thing we evolved is communication - which enables us to agree on some things. In saying this, we must also acknowledge that the brain can tell porkies just like the faulty systems inside a sub can provide the wrong information. This can make us believe in illusions. But thanks to our wonderful methods of studying reality and testing our theories, we have certainly reached an unprecedented level of sophistication that cannot be denied. Hail science! Another thing: just because we cannot observe the world directly (no living being can because the very act of observing requires their organic functions) does not mean that we are entitled to assume that the objective world is a product of consciousness. What you experience, which is subjective, is the only thing that can be described as being a mental construct.

danmc wrote:The brain, encased in solid bone, sits in total darkness for its entire existence, and, yet, makes a picture of the light that it has never encountered. Remember, all it has encountered are the electrical signals, not the actual light which never makes it past the retina. The data the brain has received has been "stepped down" from the actual occurence. How is this picture of light produced when light is never known directly? Is the picture of the light it produces what light really looks like? How would we know? And just where the heck is it happening?


Don't forget the complex arrangements of light receptor cells, how sensitive to light frequencies they are, and the amazing creative potential of the most complex organ we know: the brain. I also wouldn't say that the brain is in complete darkness. The cells of living organisms are capable of producing weak biophotonic emissions. If you are interested: http://transpersonal.de/mbischof/englisch/webbookeng.htm

danmc wrote:I think its much more fair to say that even if an objective world does exist, there is no way to know that. But I would go further still and say that consciousness doesn't exist in the world, the world exists in consciousness. In that sense, EVERYTHING is a construct of consciousness. This is something every lucid dreamer finds out!


We know it is objective. It is there, it exists whether we like it or not, it can be measured and does not transmute like a dream. It does change but we can measure it and see why these changes take place. There are physical laws that govern it. We can all see it, share it, comment on it, and we all can imagine utopian versions of it.

Dreaming is simply the product of the same mental "clay" that you use to perceive the world when you are awake, only when you sleep this clay is free to express itself in a number of ways unrestrained by sensory input. The brain already has what it takes and 'knows' enough to invent its own realities for the ego to experience. To sum up what I've said, when you are awake, you perceive the real world that you share with other sentient beings (who also perceive it). In your sleep, you perceive illusory worlds - these don't exist anywhere else but in your head.

Consciousness, like life on Earth, emerged and evolved by chance. There could have been a universe without life/consciousness. A lifeless existent universe without conscious beings, only inanimate objects. In fact, this was the case when the universe was young and had not yet formed the heavier elements, like carbon atoms, which, today, in complex arrangements along with sulphur, phosphorus, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen is what makes life possible.

Consciousness is the epiphenomenon of functioning parts of the brain (check out the promising scientific integration theory for this and the work of Cristof Koch). Kill the brain and consciousness will cease to be permanently. In fact, even while we are alive we can lose consciousness in a number of ways (that's how delicate we are). Trust me, consciousness has been hyped up with a lot of mystical crap over millennia - I know the hype can be appealing - but we now live in a scientific age where there is enough evidence that it is nothing magical and certainly not intrinsic to nature.

The evidence suggests that it is even very likely to arise from complex neural networks and not, as it was recently thought, emergent from quantum mechanics. Yes, the brain, like every other object in the universe, occupies the quantum level, but, it does not exploit its properties when it comes to consciousness any more than electrochemical interactions describe the qualia of existent objects . Consciousness is very much a 'surface' thing arising from an extremely complex system and we can make this a posteriori deduction from experts telling us that quantum states would decohere too quickly in cerebral complexity in a quantum-based one! Whatever the case (even if it were a quantum phenomenon) we are really biological machines which have had enough time to evolve consciousness and it continues to evolve.

Here's a suggestion you can ponder/meditate on: imagine stripping away all your mental faculties, like an onion, and you will see that consciousness is nothing but a brain state, an integration of sensations, a significant sense as it were, and that the self is only an illusion. I'd also suggest reflecting on your definition of consciousness. How can there be this "intrinsic consciousness" in unconsciousness? Are inanimate objects conscious? No. It doesn't make sense, does it? Either something is living or non-living. Conscious or unconscious. Existent or non-existent. Dream or reality. Are we speaking the same language here?

Science must also accept that the universe existed even before the "Big Bang" otherwise you could always say, "but what came before that?" So for me it's also logical then to also believe that consciousness always existed.

You can argue all you want that a "non-objective universe" is not science, but rather some sort of new-age philosophy. However, the fact remains that scientists are the ones proving it. There is no objective reality at the quantum level, this is an established science fact, not a philosophic theory. Please tell me about some experiments that have been done at the quantum level that dispute that fact, I'd really like to read about them.


I highly recommend that you read Brian Cox's The Quantum Universe. It will dispel all the tripe that pseudoscience laces it with and will give you the real science behind it. The quantum level is weird but not at all magical. It will help you to understand what is going on with decoherence and why the Uncertainty principle is. Seriously, read it. Also, the universe, at least the one that we know, could have arisen from nothingness- this nothingness, of course, cannot be an absolute zero because absolute nothingness between two objects would mean that they are in reality stuck together.

The nothingness of a void (or physical nothingness) teems with quantum particles and is analogous to a zero followed by a dot and decimal places. In other words, if there is distance between two objects there is a "something". You can multiply an absolute zero by any number and you will always get zero but if that zero is followed by decimals it will soon become a whole number. Hence, the quantum excitations in the beginning could have popped significant and palpable energy into being (more precisely on our scale). Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaB-zq864-c

But I will agree that the Big Bang was not the beginning of everything - only our universe. Some physicists have suggested that the Big Bang was a "Big Bounce" from another universe and there may be more universes in a vast expansion of space also popping in and out of existence like bubbles in boiling water. It is also feasible that universes of different frequencies are superimposed on ours, like in the "Many-worlds interpretation" of quantum theory - although I think collapsing the wave-function with measurement suffices in explanation but I don't want to get into that.

Still, logically, I think there was a beginning for everything (not the one that occurred 13.75 billion years ago) but one that happened so long ago that it is now impossible to determine exactly what happened as all traces are long gone.
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

danmc
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Re: New book ''Proof of Heaven''

Postby danmc » 06 Dec 2012 04:22

Summerlander wrote:But thanks to our wonderful methods of studying reality and testing our theories, we have certainly reached an unprecedented level of sophistication that cannot be denied. Hail science! Another thing: just because we cannot observe the world directly (no living being can because the very act of observing requires their organic functions) does not mean that we are entitled to assume that the objective world is a product of consciousness. What you experience, which is subjective, is the only thing that can be described as being a mental construct.

...We know it is objective. It is there, it exists whether we like it or not, it can be measured and does not transmute like a dream. It does change but we can measure it and see why these changes take place. There are physical laws that govern it. We can all see it, share it, comment on it, and we all can imagine utopian versions of it


We can do all those things in a dream. We can see, share, comment, and form ideas with others about it while dreaming. By your standards, that makes the dream world just as real, but you also say it's illusory. Furthermore, even all the theories, measurements and tests aren't separate from consciousness ALL these things happen in consciousness as well. Schrodinger's cat is neither alive or dead without it!

Also, we can turn your statement around to say that just because it appears there is an objective world does not mean we are entitled to assume there is if all we actually know about an objective world are our perceptions and sensations of it.

I'm neither contending the objective world exists or doesn't exist. I'm simply pointing out that experience, which is all you know, is never separate from consciousness. Ever. This is so easily verified at any moment that pointing it out always feels strange. If you have never experienced a world apart from consciousness, and all experience is otherwise unceasingly changing, then consciousness is the only unchanging common denominator to every experience. Without it, there are no ideas of an "objective" world. Without it, there are no ideas of a "subjective" world. It is anterior to, and already present for, every experience, otherwise there would be no experience at all. And if all you can know, and all you have ever known, is your experience, then consciousness must be what you are.

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Summerlander
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Re: New book ''Proof of Heaven''

Postby Summerlander » 06 Dec 2012 18:35

I see where you are coming from to a certain extent but you must realise the fallacy of your argument. If you assume there is no objective world (i.e. independent from the mind) then you also have to assume that everything that you perceive in wakefulness including the people you've met are subjective. You almost seem to be subscribing to solipsism unless I have misconstrued your statements.

Solipsism is only true to the extent of affirming that there is certainty of one's mind or one's own existence. However, we cannot postulate that nothing else exists on that premise in the face of the eloquent theory of mind that we have developed since we came into being. Right now you are talking to me because you assume that, like yourself, I also have a mind and thus a real sentient being. You use your own mind as an analogy in order to intuit mine.

There is a difference between dream characters, and, for the sake of argument, waking life characters (I won't use the word "real"). The difference between these two species of characters, as it were, is not always immediately obvious. However, we can test this. Lucidity is one quality that often helps to determine that what is occurring is in our sleep. Likewise, we are able to tell who are the waking life agents from the dream ones by simply approaching them and testing their behaviour. Dream characters can display numerous traits that waking characters don't. They can transmute, communicate in strange ways, make the illogical seem logical in non-lucid states, and tend to behave erratically most of the time.

So you have to pardon the consensus that differentiates the world that follows the laws of physics from one that violates them. If you have a problem in waking life you know it is still going to be there when you wake up from a dream. The same is not true the other way around though. If you wake up from a dream where you were trying to solve a major problem, the most that you feel in relation to it is that you wish you had more time to get to the bottom of it before the sensation of relief in that it was only a dream takes over.

In relation to Schrodinger's cat thought experiment and Copenhagen's interpretation of quantum mechanics, it is stated that the wavefunction collapse from indefinite to a definite state occurs only when a measurement/observation is made. But there is often no clarity on who the observer and the subject is scenario. These are distinctions that we make, not the natural world itself. Hence the relational interpretation of animate and inanimate systems is so overlooked. It is also a fact that such experiment has only so far been demonstrated with quantum particles and those particles which are relatively large in relation to the quantum level. Superposition states on the latter were only ephemeral, so much so that scientists are not even sure that a cat-sized object can be superposed.

All is governed by wavefunction so why assume that the cat itself is not an "observer"? From this principle, we have objective collapse theories that consider other physical elements that can play a role on decoherence way before an experimenter opens the box. In this fashion, the wavefunction collapse does not require conscious observation/measurement. Measurement is an interaction. The environment can collapse itself through the immediate interactions of the quantum and the macro. Consciousness has nothing to do with it. Consciousness only serves as a perspective if you like. It provides the perception of what is already going on and the acknowledgement of outcomes from observed interactions.

There is also much science to be done in the study of neutrons and their energies. These objects will tell us more about how gravity works on a quantum level and experiments on them may even reveal axions (dark matter) and possibly a hint of the hidden dimensions proposed in string theory. That remains to be seen and much work is afoot. I'll tell you something though, Brian Cox's literature predicted the discovery of the Higgs field. You should give it a read and it will really make the quantum business a lot clearer for you. You will get used to the fact that on a quantum level, you don't say possible or impossible, you say probable or improbable, and, if a thing is highly improbable, then for practical purposes you may call it "impossible".

Image

Anyone that tells you consciousness alone (without any physical interaction) collapses wavefunctions in reality is being dishonest.
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

danmc
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Re: New book ''Proof of Heaven''

Postby danmc » 07 Dec 2012 06:37

Summerlander wrote:I see where you are coming from to a certain extent but you must realise the fallacy of your argument. If you assume there is no objective world (i.e. independent from the mind) then you also have to assume that everything that you perceive in wakefulness including the people you've met are subjective. You almost seem to be subscribing to solipsism unless I have misconstrued your statements.

There is no fallacy because I'm not assuming there is no objective world, nor am I assuming there is. I am say that the question cannot be resolved, so there's no need for theories of any kind that seek to confirm or deny it.

Summerlander wrote:Right now you are talking to me because you assume that, like yourself, I also have a mind and thus a real sentient being. You use your own mind as an analogy in order to intuit mine.

I am talking to you because it's entertaining and interesting. And, yes, I agree that the existence of others who have thoughts, feelings and sensations more or less like me IS an assumption. Like an objective world, this is unresolvable, though it can certainly be assumed.

Summerlander wrote:There is a difference between dream characters, and, for the sake of argument, waking life characters (I won't use the word "real").

Where does the differentiation happen? Where are the categories seen? In consciousness. There's no getting away from it! Right now, I'm testing to see if I am dreaming. This desk stops my hand (can't push it though). Am I awake or dreaming? What observes the attempt? What decides? It's like someone saying, since it's a possibility, "I don't actually exist". But in what is the statement happening? What sees the statement? Consciousness. Again, you have never had a single micro-moment where the world (or the dream world, for that matter) existed apart from consciousness, so why make theories to prove otherwise? For me, direct experience is far more relevant than complicated theories.

Summerlander wrote:In relation to Schrodinger's cat thought experiment and Copenhagen's interpretation of quantum mechanics, it is stated that the wavefunction collapse from indefinite to a definite state occurs only when a measurement/observation is made. But there is often no clarity on who the observer and the subject is scenario.
.....on a quantum level, you don't say possible or impossible, you say probable or improbable, and, if a thing is highly improbable, then for practical purposes you may call it "impossible".


If you begin your theory with the assumption, and it's pure assumption, that you are a separate entity in a world of separate objects and entities, then the nature of collapse of the wave function is a messy business. But if you see that there is no need to make such an assumption, then the collapse always happens in the only consciousness there is.

Consciousness is not personal. It obviously has the ability to believe in a personal, separate self (e.g. ego), but that ego appears in consciousness as well and so is not seperate either. Consciousness is the stage, the actors, and the story all at once. In this sense, Schrodinger's cat is not an puzzle that needs solving. Consciousness just opens the box and knows. And what it knows is only and ever itself.


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