OBE's vs lucid dreams

Discuss paranormal activity linked with sleep and dreams, such as out of body experiences, astral projection and psychic dreams.
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Summerlander
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Re: OBE's vs lucid dreams

Postby Summerlander » 25 Apr 2016 16:29

And yet people still PM me nonsense like this:

lucidity4life wrote:in response to your doubts about stones, "This is bullshit. If you manage a lucid dream with these shitty pebbles it is because you have been thinking about it and something like the placebo effect could be at work. You stand more chances of lucid dreaming if your perform reality checks throughout the day.

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prove it. before lucid dreaming was popular people would say it's b.s. but now we know it's not. quartz does have piezoelectric properties, and is used in all electronics.(just one example of how stones do have some sort of interesting properties ) it's been scientifically proven that they can hold memory, as can water. google dr emotto water crystals. so i find it plausible"

and open mind is a growing mind


To which I replied:

Summerlander wrote:I don't have to prove anything. You are the one who thinks stones aid lucid dreaming. If you make such a claim, then you have something to prove. Yes, lucid dreaming used to be doubted. But it was eventually proven to be true by the scientific community. The same cannot be said by such stones. Emotto is a pseudoscientist who committed career suicide when he refused to describe in detail his so-called scientific experiments for peer-reviewing. The thing about being a scientist is this: If you are not doing science you will get found out and be exposed! :D

Emotto was also invited on the James Randi show to recreate his experiment and refused. He could have won a million dollars! :)

Don't let your brain fall out with that open mind, as the proverb goes. Here's a great quote by Max Tegmark--in a conversation with the neuroscientist Sam Harris--that I think you should heed:

'...some people tell me sometimes that the theories that physicists discuss at conferences, from black holes to parallel universes, sound even crazier than a lot of myths from old time about flame-throwing dragons and whatnot, So shouldn’t we dismiss the physics just as we dismiss these myths?

'To me, there’s a huge difference here, in that these physics theories, even though they sound crazy, actually make predictions that we can test. That is really the crux of it. If you take the theory of quantum mechanics seriously, for example, and assume that particles can be in several places at once, then you predict that you should be able to build this thing called a transistor, which you can combine in vast numbers and build this thing called a cell phone, and it actually works.

'Good luck getting some useful technology using the fire dragon hypothesis or whatever. This is very linked, I think, to where we should draw the borderline between what’s science and what’s not science. Some people think that the line should go between that which seems intuitive and not crazy and that which feels too crazy.

'I’m arguing against that—because black holes seemed very crazy at the time, and now we’ve found loads of them in the sky. To me, the line in the sand that divides science from what’s not science is—the way I think about it is, what makes me a scientist is—that I would much rather have questions I can’t answer than answers I can’t question.'


Until you concretely demonstrate that stones really do work in lucid dreaming, and win a Nobel Prize, I will doubt it. 8-)


:mrgreen:
"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

Samwise
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Re: OBE's vs lucid dreams

Postby Samwise » 05 May 2016 18:01

Sorry for the delay in comms!

I disagree with this. They are not reporting anything whilst unconscious. The reporting only takes place when they wake up--and by this time the brain will have had enough time to confabulate subconsciously.


Huh? Of course they are reporting when they are awake, how else would they?? There are numerous NDE accounts where people in deep states of unconsciousness/with a flat line EEG are able to report events and happenings around them to a very high degree of accuracy and in chronological order once the regain consciousness.

Three words: hearsay, sensationalism, and coincidence.


As Dr Ian Stevenson once said:

"The wish not to believe, can influence as strongly as the wish to believe."

I personally perceive this as sloppy, lazy scientific thinking, and not true scepticism which requires one to examine all the evidence before coming to a conclusion. There are numerous such veridical reports, and also numerous documented cases of people going through otherwise miraculous healings following an NDE. If it is just a hallucinatory aberration of brain function, how and why does this happen?

This is an ontologically subjective statement, not an epistemically objective one. I know people who have had NDEs who feel that the experience does not come close to that of LSD. Indeed, such psychedelics can dramatically change a person, too. But even if NDEs were somewhat distinct from most hallucinations ... so what? It doesn't mean anything. It could be that they are just a different type of hallucination involving a different range of emotions. Just because a type of experience feels different doesn't make it more echt than the rest.


Well given their very nature, NDE's are deeply personal and subjective experiences, and this partly why they are so difficult to study with the scientific method. I think you are skipping over some interesting stuff here, with regard to why exactly do people of different ages/genders/cultures/religions etc seem to experience so many parallels through OBE's. And if your reply is "well obviously its due to the brain going through a certain regimented order of states during the experience...but why do so many people forever lose their fear of death through these experiences. One study by Flynn et al. found that up to 98% of NDE'rs lost their fear of death. What is going on here, and if it is just the brain misfiring, why is it misfiring in such a profound and lie changing way for the vast majority of people that experience it? Why are atheists and agnostics who lack any prior belief in anything forever changed by the experience?? The NDE can be so powerful it transcends people's beliefs, or lack of them.

Why do all of these NDE researchers, after being sceptical of the NDE and taking a materialist, hallucinatory view of the experience, why have they all changed their stance with regard to the experience, and take the view that consciousness is something more than than an epiphenomenon of the brain, and will likely physical death?

Dr Raymond Moody
Dr Phyllis M.H. Atwater
Dr Jeffrey Long
Dr Bruce Greyson
Dr Pim van Lommel
Dr Janice Holden
Dr Sam Parnia
Dr Kenneth Ring
Dr Peter Fenwick
Dr Michael Sabom
Dr Penny Sartori

...are you claiming to better acquainted than the sum total of all of thee people when it comes to knowledge of the NDE?

I don't follow.


You were stating that nobody has shown NDE's to occur when the patients brain has no measurable brain activity, which is true. I was simply stating, again, that the accurate and chronological NDE reports do kinda put a nail in the "REM intrusion on coming round" hypothesis you subscribe to.

This isn't what happens, but even if consciousness arose with negligible brain activity, who are you to say that it shouldn't. Do you know how consciousness arises in the brain?


Huh?? Well people do commonly report highly lucid, hyper conscious states, with higher thinking abilities intact, which not be feasible if one is flat-lining on an EEG or in a deep state of unconsciousness. A fully functioning consciousness should require a fuly functioning and operational brain, is this not basic neuroscience 101? How can one experience states fully conscious or hyper conscious states when their brain is effectively offline? And no I don't, you don't and nobody knows how consciousness arises in the brain! Which is probably why we shouldn't neglect the study of an experience as interesting and far reaching in effect as the NDE.

I believe you are painting an inaccurate black and white picture of human consciousness. I just want to remind everybody about an important differentiation between lucid and non-lucid dreams which you seem to overlook. A dream can be extremely vivid and yet the dreamer is mindlessly fuddled. Conversely, a dream can be ill-defined but the dreamer is lucid.


Huh?? There is a VERY big difference between experiencing a lucid dream (in a fully functioning and operational brain, whatever the level of awareness in the dream), and experiencing vivid or hyper vivid multi sensory experiences during an NDE when an EEG shows flat line, or following 20 seconds into cardiac arrest when this occurs. So you really aren't comparing like with like.

How many? Also, who knows what a dying brain is capable of. There is usually a surge of brain activity before a person dies which many scientists posit is the equivalent of its 'last breath'. It is possible that consciousness is heightened before its permanent extinction.


Enough of them for it to be an issue not be overlooked! And yes there does seem to be a gamma wave surge before death, which is quite intriguing.

Enra Traz
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Re: OBE's vs lucid dreams

Postby Enra Traz » 05 May 2016 18:28

The REM bursts hypothesis has not been ruled out as you claim, Sam. This is the same argument all over again. As I said before:

Oh there you go again with NDEs and OBEs. Newsflash: None of them are death experiences. They are products of a living brain. As for those qualified people and so-called experts ... many are liars and have been ousted by the scientific community once they decided to stop doing science and pander to fantasists.

By the way, that saying by Stevens isn't always applicable. Many sceptics would like the afterlife to be true and would love to believe but they just can't bring themselves to do it due to a lack of evidence. Since neuroscience has been around, we can see that every mental faculty depends upon a working brain. Period.


Ignoring the sensational claims of liars and pseudo-scientists who think they can get away with hoaxes, there is no evidence whatever for such claims. Also, the reporting does indeed occur when they are conscious, of course (!), but very likely so does the memory of something that never happened. There is no reason to believe that NDEs happened during negligible brain activity and plenty suggesting it originated during cortical arousal.

The electrical surge in dying brains is only intriguing insofar as the poor individual's experience goes in that moment. It does not necessarily indicate an afterlife. Also, what you call sloppy thinking comes after examination of specific cases. If there was any truth to paranormal claims, they'd be common knowledge by now. Like lucid dreaming! Time and again, those who claim OBEs are real and not illusory fail to prove it. Many of us sceptics want to believe, Sam, but we have searched and found nothing but the finality of death as a strong contender. It's time to move on, let go, or you will be forever here!

As for consciousness, there is indeed an integrated information theory by Tononi, a theory which is being tested and hasn't been falsified thus far. But who knows! According to you, any identified neural correlates of consciousness are irrelevant as you seem to believe that consciousness exists independent of brains. You claim to have enough to suggest this but what are you doing about falsifying your theory? It seems to me, suspiciously, that you want the Cartesian dualism to be true no matter what contradictory evidence may come up.

Huh?? There is a VERY big difference between experiencing a lucid dream (in a fully functioning and operational brain, whatever the level of awareness in the dream), and experiencing vivid or hyper vivid multi sensory experiences during an NDE when an EEG shows flat line, or following 20 seconds into cardiac arrest when this occurs. So you really aren't comparing like with like.


Erm ... disclaimer: You don't know when said experience happens let alone how vivid NDEs are in general compared to what lucid dreams can be. Moreover, you can only be sure about the vividity of your experiences. There have also been reports of vague NDEs which you are conveniently not taking into account. Nothing further here.

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Summerlander
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Re: OBE's vs lucid dreams

Postby Summerlander » 05 May 2016 19:20

It would be a mistake to think that we haven't been discussing, or even looking into, the subject of consciousness, Samwise. Take a look at how this thread progresses:

http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=16533
"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

Samwise
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Re: OBE's vs lucid dreams

Postby Samwise » 06 May 2016 14:12

Enra Traz;

The REM bursts hypothesis has not been ruled out as you claim, Sam.


Of all the NDE hypotheses I've read about, this to me is the most promising one. But it is not without some major holes. People experience REM intrusion immediately recognise their perception are not reality based, where NDE'rs describe the experience as "realer than real". The REM intrusion hypothesis also fails to explain the documented cases of veridical perceptions, the profound and long lasting after effects of the NDE (which don't occur with REM based dreaming), reports of visual like perceptions in the blind, or the profound cases of healings that are documented with NDE's. Also, all REM states we are aware of require a fully functioning brain to manifest. REM based visuals would also be described as hallucinations, while past NDE research has found there are clear distinctions between NDE visual experiences and hallucinations.

Ignoring the sensational claims of liars and pseudo-scientists who think they can get away with hoaxes, there is no evidence whatever for such claims.


All of the NDE researchers I mentioned, among them highly educated physicians, cardiologists, resuscitation experts and neuropsychiatrists are not all liars and frauds. To make such a statement shows you are coming from a highly biased viewpoint and it is very obvious you have not examined all the evidence available. Like I stated previously, all of these researchers very much subscribed to a materialist reductionist hallucinatory view of the NDE, but changed their stance based on their research findings.

There is no reason to believe that NDEs happened during negligible brain activity and plenty suggesting it originated during cortical arousal.


What about the cases where people have a flat line EEG but on regaining consciousness are able to describe in detail and with a very high degree of accuracy, the chronological order of events that took place when they were deeply unconsciousness with minimal brain activity, as mentioned previously?

The electrical surge in dying brains is only intriguing insofar as the poor individual's experience goes in that moment. It does not necessarily indicate an afterlife.


I was never claiming that it did. It is just intriguing that the brain goes out with a bioelectrical bang, as oppose to a whimper. The high frequency gamma waves that are emitted are associated with brain synchronisation and altered states such lucid dreaming, ayahuasca intoxication and advanced Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice.

If there was any truth to paranormal claims, they'd be common knowledge by now. Like lucid dreaming! Time and again, those who claim OBEs are real and not illusory fail to prove it.


Why do OBE's have to be paranormal? I firmly don't believe in the paranormal, or the supernatural, but in principle at least I'm open to the possibility that some phenomena now considered as supernatural will in the future be found to be natural once an explanatory mechanism is found. Your example of lucid dreaming is an interesting case in point...before their existence was proved beyond doubt in sleep labs by Keith Hearne and Stephen LeBerge, scientists considered them "paradoxical and impossible", despite the many centuries of literature describing them, and of course people having their own experiences with them for very much longer. On the "proving" OBE's front, yes this is a challenge, but a fair number seem to have proven their objectivity, at least for themselves. if you try and obtain physical proof for what seems to be a non-physical experience, you're gonna run into problems! Besides, compared to other areas of consciousness experiences, scientific research on OBE's is lacking.

As for consciousness, there is indeed an integrated information theory by Tononi, a theory which is being tested and hasn't been falsified thus far.


Yep I know this theory is the current darling of the brain = consciousness side of things, and it does seem to make sense, given the complexity of the human brain. But we're still a long way off from having a proven theory for how the brain = consciousness.

Erm ... disclaimer: You don't know when said experience happens let alone how vivid NDEs are in general compared to what lucid dreams can be. Moreover, you can only be sure about the vividity of your experiences. There have also been reports of vague NDEs which you are conveniently not taking into account. Nothing further here.


In terms of vividness, we can only go by the subjective experience reports. And yeah of course NDE's are going to range in vividness, but to the people that experience them they often far transcend the vividness and clarity of waking life, which seems like a dream in comparison. A key point you are neglecti8ng here, is that taken the experiencer's perceptions into account, all lucid dreamers by definition know that they are dreaming, irrespective of how vivid the experience can be. NDE'rs often report their experiences to be "realer than real" and not remotely dream like. Also, as I've said repeatedly, there are documented cases of NDE's where people are in cardiac arrest or flat lining on an EEG and once they regain consciousness they are able to describe with great accuracy and in chronological order the events that occurred around them, and medical professionals working on the patients in question have corroborated these reports.

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Summerlander
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Re: OBE's vs lucid dreams

Postby Summerlander » 06 May 2016 21:29

Samwise wrote:People experience REM intrusion immediately recognise their perception are not reality based,


This is false. You can be vivid dreaming in REM and mistake it for reality. I think you are confounding the REM phase with lucidity. The two may go together but they are not the same and can be independent of each other. (REM doesn't necessarily encompass lucid dreaming and lucidity is simpatico with--though not always--the waking state.)

Samwise wrote:NDE'rs describe the experience as "realer than real".


What does that even mean? Lucid dreamers also talk about lucid dreams sometimes having hyper-real qualities, like 'reality on steroids'. It doesn't mean anything. These are only statements concerning the vividness of experiences which can be brought about by bursts of REM anyway. Also, you have disregarded memory of such experiences which often doesn't match the original as the brain is vulnerable to hyperbole, confabulations and false memory in general.

Samwise wrote:The REM intrusion hypothesis also fails to explain the documented cases of veridical perceptions,


What veridical perceptions? You mean organised hoaxes, sensationalism, and hearsay vouched for by quacks and pseudo-scientists? Of course it wouldn't. REM bursts are a possible explanation for those genuine cases where the brain comes back to consciousness and generates the NDE narrative which might later be mistaken to have happened during the equivalent of delta sleep.

Samwise wrote:the profound and long lasting after effects of the NDE (which don't occur with REM based dreaming),


Says who? Many lucid dreamers have had experiences which had a long-lasting impact. It is also not clear whether the NDEs are what had the most impact or the subsequent way in which they are interpreted which often panders to the fantasist--making him/her feel special. Meditation-born epiphanies can be just as impactful and yet they are nothing more than brain-generated as one's mental default mode is interrupted. Profundity is not a measure for the supranormal in conscious experiences. (I won't even mention the inspirational, ordinary dreaming of figures like Einstein!) :!:

Samwise wrote:reports of visual like perceptions in the blind,


'Reports'! You said it. Also, there are many types of blindness and alterations in the brain which could produce the belief that vision was experienced. There are peculiar cases of people who are blind but refuse to believe it and claim perfect vision. Recently, I came across the paralysis case of a woman who claimed that her right arm was the doctor's, not hers. When the doctor asked her, 'Do I have three hands, then?' she replied, 'Perhaps!' You really want to talk about the reliability of reports, do you? :lol:

Samwise wrote:or the profound cases of healings that are documented with NDE's.


There you go again with the 'profound' and the documented hoaxes.

Samwise wrote:Also, all REM states we are aware of require a fully functioning brain to manifest.


Same argument, again? I've already explained when the experiences could have really arisen (as the individual is coming to) and REM bursts, or something like it, then becomes feasible.

Samwise wrote:REM based visuals would also be described as hallucinations, while past NDE research has found there are clear distinctions between NDE visual experiences and hallucinations.


What are you talking about? What a load of cobblers! You seem to be playing with semantics here. There are many types of hallucination. You get them in the waking state; you get them when you dream (sleep hallucinations); and NDEs could just be traumatically induced. Regardless of whether one chooses to call them hallucinations or not (going by some precise, and in my opinion, parochial definition), NDEs are most likely generated by the living brain. Your perception of the world and your body are entirely created by your brain, hence why it is said that a pain experienced in your arm really happens in your head (the brain's body image). This has been demonstrated in peculiar sciatic cases where phantom pain was experienced in limbs but the damage was found to be in the spine. One could, in fact, describe perception of the world as a very elaborate hallucination constrained by sensory input. I don't even see a sound basis for your argument here other than obscurantist semantics.

Samwise wrote:All of the NDE researchers I mentioned, among them highly educated physicians, cardiologists, resuscitation experts and neuropsychiatrists are not all liars and frauds.


Their qualifications and past credentials mean nothing if they suddenly stop doing science once they commence their cheating ways. You get frauds in all professions, Samwise. I shouldn't have to tell you this. But in science they all get found out sooner or later as exposed by peer-review. Sorry, but again, your statement does not reinforce your biased opinion. There cannot be a conspiracy theory in the scientific community hell-bent on hiding some paranormal truth, as you seem to imply, because what is out there is discoverable by everyone. I've already provided examples where mundane things, such as the light bulb and heavier than air flying machines, were doubted by sceptics and these were subsequently proved wrong. This isn't happening with the paranormal, my dear, because such claims simply aren't true. (What's worse, they've been around longer than those mundane things that science proved possible.)

Samwise wrote:To make such a statement shows you are coming from a highly biased viewpoint and it is very obvious you have not examined all the evidence available. Like I stated previously, all of these researchers very much subscribed to a materialist reductionist hallucinatory view of the NDE, but changed their stance based on their research findings.


Oh, come on ... You are wrong, Samwise. That's what those knavish experts claim. I could say the same thing about you being highly biased. I don't believe in the paranormal, or that OBEs are real as opposed to being mental illusions, not because I'm a physicalist of some sort--far from it!--I do not believe because I have not seen one shred of convincing evidence for a transcendent metaphysical realm and plenty, in neuroscience and neurology, suggesting the finality of death.

Samwise wrote:What about the cases where people have a flat line EEG but on regaining consciousness [my italics]


You said it! 'On regaining consciousness ...' Nothing further, Your Honour. :D

Samwise wrote:are able to describe in detail and with a very high degree of accuracy, the chronological order of events that took place when they were deeply unconsciousness with minimal brain activity, as mentioned previously?


Are you familiar with the philosophy of David Hume? We can't possibly check the veracity of all cases when they happen but ask yourself what is more likely: Hysterical sensationalism akin to the 'dance of the Sun' as sold by the Vatican (which happens all the time in tabloids and the media in general), or that an immaterial soul exited some body and could see and hear things independent of a brain--contradicting everything gathered so far neuroscientifically. Moreover, how could something non-physical ever interact with the physical? It would have to be physical by definition and thus we would be pressed to examine it in order to figure out how consciousness comes about. Since the brain, as the most complex organ we know, affects consciousness if we deliberately toy with it, what are we to conclude if not that awareness comes about through specific physical signatures in reality? Your dualism could never explain consciousness, it would only perpetuate the mystery.

Samwise wrote:I was never claiming that it did. It is just intriguing that the brain goes out with a bioelectrical bang, as oppose to a whimper. The high frequency gamma waves that are emitted are associated with brain synchronisation and altered states such lucid dreaming, ayahuasca intoxication and advanced Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice.


It doesn't matter. The experience of a dying brain would then be nothing more than a pseudo-afterlife, the individual's last dream before the brain conks out.

Samwise wrote:Why do OBE's have to be paranormal? I firmly don't believe in the paranormal, or the supernatural, but in principle at least I'm open to the possibility that some phenomena now considered as supernatural will in the future be found to be natural once an explanatory mechanism is found.


I very much doubt that an afterlife or a soul will be discovered as extensions of physical reality. Something like the Higgs boson has been discovered which explains why particles have mass. And yet, a hypothetical soul, which is supposed to grossly control complex organisms such as our bodies, is nowhere to be found. You are persisting in entertaining an idea which has remained insubstantial with the advent and progression of the scientific method of enquiry.

Samwise wrote:Your example of lucid dreaming is an interesting case in point...before their existence was proved beyond doubt in sleep labs by Keith Hearne and Stephen LeBerge, scientists considered them "paradoxical and impossible", despite the many centuries of literature describing them, and of course people having their own experiences with them for very much longer.


So? This is what I mentioned before to show that eventually science gets there if it is something to be discovered. Scientists can make mistakes in their presuppositions too. But the beauty of science is that it formulates theories which are then tested against reality. This is a search for truth. Lucid dreaming is a truth and so it was found. Dualistic expressions are older than the first descriptions of lucid dreaming, and yet, the latter was found to be true whilst the former seems more preposterous than ever.

Samwise wrote:On the "proving" OBE's front, yes this is a challenge, but a fair number seem to have proven their objectivity, at least for themselves.


It shouldn't be a challenge if it is true. In fact, it should be easily demonstrable. And proving something to yourself means nothing when you are trying to convince the world. Stephen LaBerge knew this, which is why he used science to recreate and popularise the relevant scientific experiments. LaBerge knew that simply claiming to be a lucid dreamer would not do. Where is the equivalent for OBEs as real out-of-body viewpoints?

Samwise wrote:if you try and obtain physical proof for what seems to be a non-physical experience, you're gonna run into problems!


A non-physical experience could have physical origins. The brain appears to generate your experience of colours. You won't find those colours inside the brain but you will certainly find the meaty circuitry responsible for it. Tweak it a bit and one might become daltonic. Likewise, you won't find the realistic software images on your computer screen inside the hardware. You will find the circuits and mechanisms that help to create the illusion. Consciousness has a cause. Whether we have the capacity to understand it as human beings is another matter. But it is something which is, in principle, discoverable. And its explanation will have to start out with unconscious elements in reality because an explanation that starts with consciousness itself is no explanation at all. 8-)

Samwise wrote:Besides, compared to other areas of consciousness experiences, scientific research on OBE's is lacking.


I disagree. It's been well looked at in the realm of cognitive science an found to be an illusion thus far. The thalamus is a good candidate for distortions in proprioception for example. Also, hybrid brain states compounding wakefulness and dreaming can explain lucid dreaming (when one knows it's a dream) and OBEs (which are often erroneously interpreted to be real out-of-body travels).

Enra Traz wrote:As for consciousness, there is indeed an integrated information theory by Tononi, a theory which is being tested and hasn't been falsified thus far.


Samwise wrote:Yep I know this theory is the current darling of the brain = consciousness side of things, and it does seem to make sense, given the complexity of the human brain. But we're still a long way off from having a proven theory for how the brain = consciousness.


No theory will prove that the 'brain = consciousness' because the statement is simply a fallacy. A simple syllogism involving dead brains--as well as living, but unconscious brains--would refute such claim. The question is how the phenomenon comes about in the brain. There are many physicalist theories, the most convincing employing functionalism. Consciousness could be a phenomenal by-product of the working brain, but not necessarily an epiphenomenal one as we see that memory of certain experiences can influence future behaviour, hence an indirect influence in the physical world.

If percepts are illusions, then they are the greatest ones the world has ever seen. But I would contend against the idea that consciousness is an illusion because if you say that you seem to be conscious, then you are in fact making an admission that you are in fact conscious. Consciousness cannot be an illusion as some cognitive scientists, like Daniel Dennett, claim in an attempt to dismiss a hard problem. See? I can disagree with the philosophy of certain experts and more in favour of that of others such as John Searle and David Chalmers. And yet, despite their differences, Chalmers does not disapprove of Dennett's research as he still wants all possible routes to be explored in their search for the truth.

Enra Traz wrote:Erm ... disclaimer: You don't know when said experience happens let alone how vivid NDEs are in general compared to what lucid dreams can be. Moreover, you can only be sure about the vividity of your experiences. There have also been reports of vague NDEs which you are conveniently not taking into account. Nothing further here.


Samwise wrote:In terms of vividness, we can only go by the subjective experience reports. And yeah of course NDE's are going to range in vividness, but to the people that experience them they often far transcend the vividness and clarity of waking life, which seems like a dream in comparison.


The analogy that NDEs make waking life seem like a dream is fallacious and misleading to say the least when we observe that dreams can emulate, or even exceed, waking life in perceptual quality. Lucid dreams don't even have to be mentioned in my rebuttal.

Samwise wrote:A key point you are neglecti8ng here, is that taken the experiencer's perceptions into account, all lucid dreamers by definition know that they are dreaming, irrespective of how vivid the experience can be.


Nope, this point wasn't neglected. It was mentioned earlier. Everybody who has experience with lucid dreams knows that knowing the experience to be a dream doesn't necessarily make it vivid. Likewise, an ordinary dream can be vivid whilst the dreamer is mindlessly inebriated in confusion or delusion. 8-)

Samwise wrote:NDE'rs often report their experiences to be "realer than real" and not remotely dream like.


You're repeating the same fallacy. Come on, Samwise ... :D

Samwise wrote:Also, as I've said repeatedly, there are documented cases of NDE's where people are in cardiac arrest or flat lining on an EEG and once they regain consciousness they are able to describe with great accuracy and in chronological order the events that occurred around them, and medical professionals working on the patients in question have corroborated these reports.


Have corroborated reports in agreement with the media. Don't be so naive. They have not proven anything and their stories are apocryphal. Andrew Wakefield's hoax about vaccines causing autism was published in The Lancet as a verified fact and people bought into it and spread the rumour with serious repercussions--the result was that many children died because some parents refused to inoculate them. Wakefield's work was peer-reviewed, discredited, and he lost his licence (as he should).(And yet, even today you still find the odd doughnut who still believes that vaccines are harmful in that way. The truth is that there is no evidence that vaccines cause autism. Its causes can be genetic and sometimes intoxication (drugs/alcohol) during gestation. If you are not doing science, you will get found out. :)
"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

Enra Traz
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Re: OBE's vs lucid dreams

Postby Enra Traz » 06 May 2016 22:27

NDE'rs often report their experiences to be "realer than real" and not remotely dream like. Also, as I've said repeatedly, there are documented cases of NDE's where people are in cardiac arrest or flat lining on an EEG and once they regain consciousness they are able to describe with great accuracy and in chronological order the events that occurred around them, and medical professionals working on the patients in question have corroborated these reports.


I hope you won't repeat this invalid argument again, Samwise, seen as it's been refuted like a thousand times here. 8-)

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Summerlander
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Re: OBE's vs lucid dreams

Postby Summerlander » 13 May 2016 02:35

I believe the case is closed here. :mrgreen:
"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

Samwise
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Re: OBE's vs lucid dreams

Postby Samwise » 13 May 2016 15:22

Haha oh on the contrary my dear Summerlander!! I'm currently out in Ethiopia and have highly temperamental internet connectivity but I've been looking forwarding to getting back to you!! I will not be slain so easily I'm afraid! :D

This is false. You can be vivid dreaming in REM and mistake it for reality.


Is REM “intrusion” the same as experiencing REM while asleep and dreaming?? REM intrusion to me sounds like the experience of a REM state of consciousness while awake, hence the addition of the label “intrusion”.

What does that even mean? Lucid dreamers also talk about lucid dreams sometimes having hyper-real qualities, like 'reality on steroids'. It doesn't mean anything.


Yeah but as I’ve said previously, the thing about lucid dreamers is that they KNOW they are dreaming, that their dream experience isn’t based on physical reality, no matter how incredibly hyper vivid and realistic it may be. NDE’rs don’t share this perspective at all, and have an overwhelming tendency to view their experience as GENUINELY real, and not remotely dream like. I hope I’ve made that clear now.

What veridical perceptions? You mean organised hoaxes, sensationalism, and hearsay vouched for by quacks and pseudo-scientists?


I don’t know of these quacks or pseudo-scientists, and it looks to me like you’ve not examined the veridical evidence. Dr Pim van Lommel states: “Based on the many corroborated cases of veridical perception from a position out and above the body during NDE it seems obvious that perception really can occur during OBE…”. What about the research findings of Dr Janice Holden (2009), which clashes with this perspective: “Of the 111 cases of apparently nonphysical perception, I found that 92% contained absolutely no errors, 6% contained minor errors, and 2% were completely erroneous [not matching actual events]. Thus, the vast majority of these apparently nonphysical perceptions were veridical”.

Do you know of the case of Pam Reynolds, whose body was cooled prior to her brain surgery, and she was connected to an EEG, and effectively put in a state of near death suspended animation, from which she was able to report with a high degree of accuracy and precision the occurrences going on around her in chronological order once she regained consciousness. Based on what neuroscience knows of the brain, it should not be possible for the brain to receive any incoming data when in a super chilled state with a flat line EGG, let alone highly accurate information of goings on from a different perspective than said brain.

Regarding NDE’s, there are also the intriguing “Peak in Darien” cases where people who are dying encounter dead relatives that they had no knowledge were dead at the time. There are numerous documented cases of this.

Says who? Many lucid dreamers have had experiences which had a long-lasting impact.


Well says the overwhelming consensus of the research conducted so far dear boy, which very clearly shows the long term effects NDE’s have on people, which tend to be substantial and they tend to be life long, even growing over time. I’ve not encountered any convincing evidence that this applies to lucid dreams. Furthermore the personality changes induced by NDE’s are not random, but highly specific and uniform, and occur independently of a person’s age, race, gender, religion and socio-economic status. For example nearly all NDErs reported a strong decrease or complete loss of the fear of death as the result of their NDEs (Sutherland, 1990). One study found that up to 98% acquired a certainly of life after death (Flynn, 1982). Another interesting thing to point out here is that one’s beliefs, or lack of beliefs , makes absolutely no difference with regard to the transformative effect of the NDE. Religious or atheist, it makes absolutely no difference to the experiencer concerned. Why?? When people have hyper-vivid lucid dreams, they know they are dreaming, that what they are experiencing isn’t part of physical reality. When people are under the effects of psychedelic drugs, they know the visions they are experiencing are due to the effects of the drug on the brain and are not part of physical reality. If NDE’s are so clearly a hallucinatory aberration and nothing more, why is this not the view of the overwhelming majority of people that experience them? Also, there are the long term electromagnetic aftereffects of NDE's which are unique to them and are not reported in association with lucid dreams.

Meditation-born epiphanies can be just as impactful and yet they are nothing more than brain-generated as one's mental default mode is interrupted.


ALL phenomena experienced in life are brain generated/edited/censored. That doesn’t mean the experiences themselves aren’t real and valid.

You really want to talk about the reliability of reports, do you?


Science has to start somewhere. Science really struggles in its study of phenomena like NDE’s and OBE’s as the scientific method likes reliability and repeatability. Not only do these experiences fall outside of these specifications, they are also some of the most deeply subjective and personal experiences a human being can undergo, making them very hard to study scientifically. So one needs to start somewhere, and documentation in the form of reports is a start. Were the scientists who proved lucid dreaming in their respective sleep labs, not originally acting on reports and decided to investigate further?

There you go again with the 'profound' and the documented hoaxes.


This is much more telling of you than it is about the research in question! It is clear you have no desire to examine all the evidence there is and have already made up your mind on the issue…this is NOT the path to true knowledge or understanding, nor that of true science.

Take this case documented by Dr Penny Sartori as part of her research:

"In Sartori’s (2003) prospective research, the case of Patient #10 is one of particular interest, not only for its verified factors, but also as it involved the spontaneous healing of a ‘claw hand’ and hemiplegic gait that the patient had suffered with since birth. Sartori applied many possible models, including the mental reconstruction theory or some form of confirmation bias put forward by sceptics, but in fact found they cannot explain all the details of cases such as this one. She writes, “The veridical details of this case are corroborated by the medical notes and the testimonies of the patient, his nurse, and physiotherapist, who were present at the time the experience occurred”, and concludes “there are many aspects of this case for which our current brain/mind models cannot provide an adequate explanation”."

…this is just one of numerous medically documented cases of sudden and spontaneous healing events associated with NDE’s. For you to consider these as all “hoaxes” very clearly shows you’ve not bothered to look at the evidence.

Same argument, again? I've already explained when the experiences could have really arisen (as the individual is coming to) and REM bursts, or something like it, then becomes feasible.


Again, we seem to be going round in circles here, but this “REM burst when coming round” hypothesis fails to explain the documented cases of people being able to describe with a high degree of accuracy occurrences around them in chronological order PRIOR to the REM burst.

Their qualifications and past credentials mean nothing if they suddenly stop doing science once they commence their cheating ways.


Automatically referring to people as liars and frauds because they don’t agree with your take on an experience of consciousness, having researched it much more extensively than you have, and simply following where their data findings are leading rather than blindly following the mainstream scientific consensus seems pretty ignorant to me. I know you see me as biased here, but I mirror this sentiment regarding you strongly because this and other statements you have made. You should actually delve into the parapsychological literature…there is a heavy bias against parapsychology from many scientists, and also the media, but the bulk of parapsychological research is conducted to very high standards because of constant flak by sceptics, and there is actually a fair amount of solid evidence for psi phenomena.
Take the view of sceptic Ray Hyman (1995) reviewing the Stanford Research Institute remote viewing studies conducted by Jessica Utts. He admitted he had no ready explanation, and that he did not believe there was an issue with the methodological protocols, he stated:

“The case for psychic functioning seems better than it ever has been. The contemporary findings along with the output of the SRI/SAIC program do seem to indicate that something beyond odd statistical hiccups is taking place. I also have to admit that I do not have a ready explanation for these observed effects.”

“Dr Dean Radin, Senior Scientist at The Institute of Noetic Sciences has pointed out that in some replicated studies, such as in telepathy and precognition research, the level of evidence in favour of psi abilities exceeds discoveries in mainstream physics (Bem, Tressoldi, Rabeyron, & Duggan, 2014). Put simply this means that by accepted standards within science, psi or some form of non-local perception is a genuine effect.”

I do not believe because I have not seen one shred of convincing evidence for a transcendent metaphysical realm and plenty, in neuroscience and neurology, suggesting the finality of death.


Well that’s fair enough. But why do otherwise rational and sceptical people of scientific and engineering backgrounds – researching NDE’s or exploring OBE’s – come to such different conclusions about this do you think? Also, what exactly would constitute “evidence” for you in regard to the existence of a metaphysical realm?

It shouldn't be a challenge if it is true.


Why shouldn’t it be?? This is a biased and baseless assumption.

A non-physical experience could have physical origins.


It seems you take the view that if one cannot generate physical proof of OBE’s, they are by default not real, or objective in any sense. But could that not be a potentially limiting view? People with science and engineering backgrounds who pursue OBE’s tend to take the view that the universe is multidimensional, and that there are different zones/places all intersecting each other but vibrating at different rates. These people tend to come up with a very similar model despite their own individual explorations. I personally am doubtful that OBE’s occur in what we refer to as physical reality, maybe in extreme NDE situations they can, but I don’t think people do project into physical reality, and this is why it is so hard to prove these experiences. Rather than “out of body” I view this as experiences “into consciousness”. But just because they don’t occur in physical reality and so “physical” proof cannot be obtained does not by default make OBE’s non real. Absence of evidence may not be evidence of absence in this case.

Also, I know it is only a single case, but what do you make of the “Miss Z” case documented by Dr Charles Tart?

“On the final night of the experiment, Miss Z had an OBE. At 5:50am, Tart noted that the occipital channel showed an enlarged, slow wave artefact, and the EEG looked like stage 1 (hypnagogic) tracing, with an irregular mixture of theta waves, random low-voltage activity and occasional isolated alphoid activity (brain waves of 1 to 2 cycles per second slower than her waking alpha) and occasional normal alpha. There was no REM at the time. At 5:57am, the slow wave artefact stopped and the EEG looked like stage 1 sleep with some eye movements, but she might also have been awake. At 6:04am Miss Z called out that the target number was 25132. This was the correct number [with all digits in the correct order]. The odds of doing this by chance are around 1 in 100,000.”

I disagree.


Hogwash. The bulk of lab based OBE research has focused on a distortion of body image awareness via cameras and models. Yes this research has induced a displacement of body awareness, but to say this research has succeeded in inducing a full blown OBE makes no sense. It’s akin to having a look at the moon through a telescope and claiming you know all these is to know about the moon based on that one aspect of it. A full blown OBE may share the displacement of body awareness aspect of these lab studies, but that is the only thing it has in common! OBE’s are highly immerse, multi-sensory experiences, very distinct to this, so in this respect, much of this lab based “OBE research” isn’t even on OBE’s!

“Some have pointed to experiments that mimic aspects of the OBE as evidence of their illusory nature (Blanke, Ortigue, Landis, & Seeck, 2002). Yet, the OBE is characterised by rich phenomena that cannot be adequately reduced to one or two sensations. If we were to isolate one or two aspects alone in a laboratory, such as seeing oneself at a distance through a camera and head display, this would not equate to an OBE. A typical OBE takes place during the sleep state and can involve many more sensations, such as:

• the distinct sensation of exiting the physical body
• floating through the ceiling
• travelling to what looks like a completely different place
• seeing in 360°
• feeling light
• not having to breathe
• observing ‘para-arms’ or ‘astral arms’ that are luminous and translucent
• having the distinct impression of telepathic exchanges with someone else

The OBE cannot be characterised by merely vividly imagining that one perceives someone else’s body or to see one’s own body through a headset display, and OBEs typically do not take place while one is fully awake.”

If percepts are illusions, then they are the greatest ones the world has ever seen. But I would contend against the idea that consciousness is an illusion because if you say that you seem to be conscious, then you are in fact making an admission that you are in fact conscious. Consciousness cannot be an illusion as some cognitive scientists, like Daniel Dennett, claim in an attempt to dismiss a hard problem. See? I can disagree with the philosophy of certain experts and more in favour of that of others such as John Searle and David Chalmers. And yet, despite their differences, Chalmers does not disapprove of Dennett's research as he still wants all possible routes to be explored in their search for the truth.


I know Summerlander we do not see eye to eye on all, but in total agreement with you here. :)

Have corroborated reports in agreement with the media. Don't be so naive. They have not proven anything and their stories are apocryphal.


I think that naivety goes both ways, my dear Summerlander. The media overall is actually pretty anti NDE’s, as it is with numerous things of a parapsychological nature. But no, I say again there are corroborated reports of veridical experiences and profound healings linked to NDE’s in the medical literature, and they do not require your belief in them to remain as documented corroborated reports. ;)

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Re: OBE's vs lucid dreams

Postby Summerlander » 14 May 2016 02:46

My friend ... :roll:

I've read so much literature about consciousness like you wouldn't believe. In fact, we have explored it quite a bit in the currently active thread 'The Shocking Truth'. I am Summerlander, a veteran of these forums. I was once like you---obstinately insisting that there is more to OBEs and NDEs than meets the eye---young, naive, excited and not lettered on the subject; I used to quote 'Pam Reynolds' and 'Miss Zs'. But such stories are nothing but sensationalist frauds concocted by dissimulators. :mrgreen:

If you really take into account all that parapsychological information in a perspicacious manner, you will realised that everything those slyboots have done is suspect---from their evaluation of probabilities and conclusive corollaries to their questionable methods and subjects. Trust me, I've been there! It's not my intention to patronise you but I see my younger self in you. :-D

Like I said before, NDErs taking their experiences to be real is redolent of dreamers erroneously mistaking ordinary dream scenarios for reality. In fact, your aforementioned distinction only tells me that NDEs are inferior states to lucid dreams and very much akin to hallucinatory delusions. :roll:

I don't think you can accuse me of being biased as much as I've accused you of being dogmatic. My stance is that if you have something to prove, prove it! I am waiting for it. But you can't because what you want to believe simply isn't true. You ask me what would constitute proof? Well, perhaps more Miss Zs around constantly getting more than just numbers right, repeating the experiment several times in succession and never failing. Hence why it shouldn't be a challenge (if it were real). The odds you provided for getting it right at least once are nothing when you consider population size and number of dreams experienced. :-D

Also, DMT/psilocybin/ayahuasca users, for instance, can believe the drugs help them to contact spirits and aliens; so what you were alluding to earlier that NDEs can't be hallucinations because many experiencers take them to be real is patently a non sequitur. It is simply a matter of people wanting to believe ... I am also speaking from the experience of taking drugs, practising meditation and having had an NDE myself---which I never believed, even at the time, was anything other than a traumatically induced subjective experience. 8-)

Lucid dreaming was discovered, investigated and demonstrated to be real because ... guess what ... it's real. The same cannot be said for conscious perspectives existing outside bodies. That's not how consciousness works; as much as we know about it, the phenomenon definitely requires certain physical conditions, i.e. a functional brain, in order to emerge. ;-)

Consider yourself annihilated. :mrgreen:
"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


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