Summerlander wrote:There is a false assumption in your claim here regarding my take on things, particularly where science is concerned. I don't adhere to hypotheses. I don't hold mere ideas to be true and I am not inclined towards materialism because it seems more attractive or because it is some dogma that has been unfairly ingrained in my mind.
I don't believe you do either, or you wouldn't be so open to dreaming. Let's face it, the vast majority of science types, along with the general public, chalk it all up to "overworked" neurons, or a brain cut loose from logic as the personality withdraws. I based my statement you are pre-committed on the statements you made in our discussions here and elsewhere:
Summerlander wrote:Consciousness is the epiphenomenon of functioning parts of the brain
Kill the brain and consciousness will cease to be permanently
consciousness is nothing but a brain state
Obviously, if someone makes these statements flatly, it would seem they are, in fact, committed to the idea, scientifically grounded or not, that consciousness arises from the brain. If that is the case, then consciousness could never be apart from the activity of the brain. Thus there would be a tendency to shy away from any possibility that says otherwise.
Now, you may not dogmatically adhere to that idea with no chance of changing your mind, but the reality is that it colors the pursuit anyway.
Summerlander wrote:Science is not committed to the idea that the mind equals the brain or that there is no afterlife or even that materialism/physicalism is true. That is a misconception. In fact, science has considered both physicalism and vitalism as it has always been open to whatever is in fact true.
If it were true that ectoplasm or some unknown substance (or something that we don't yet understand) could dissociate from the physical body, then that would be part of our growing scientific understanding about reality.
Herein the materialist commitment does indeed expose itself! Why does it have to be a substance or some "thing"? If it's not a substance, then we are doing nothing more than barking up the wrong tree as well as missing other possibilities altogether. I realize quantum physics has moved away from matter as foundational, but they've only moved toward consciousness as the basis!
Summerlander wrote:If you damage areas of the brain, you will lose mental faculties. You can cease to recognise faces, forget your name, the names of animals and yet remember the names of certain objects, lose some memories, lose the power of speech, lose the concept of words, lose subjectivity or even lose consciousness indefinitely while you are still alive.
But this certainly doesn't prove that consciousness cannot be separate (personally, I like the term awareness as it's much more free of baggage, and I often switch back and forth, just know I use them equally). One could easily argue that a damaged brain can now not serve the purpose of the awareness operating through it, that a damaged brain is a sort of limited vehicle for that awareness.
Summerlander wrote:Have you heard of a double-blind experiment in science? Nothing like that has occurred in your case and you certainly show no understanding of how fair trials are conducted. Again, what you described proves nothing.
Just so you have a little more about me, I have a degree in Physiology and Cell Biology. I considered myself widely read and understanding in the sciences in general. While physics is my weak point, I have nevertheless read more about it that I care to admit. I do know what a double-blind is, and I certainly wasn't describing one or inferring that I was! Nor was I saying it proved anything at all! It proves nothing, which is why I didn't say, "I find it more than conclusive". I said, "I find it more than interesting".
My point was that early on I was dreaming in isolation. There was no internet, and very few books to get my hands on to read about or understand the experiences of others at the time. I independently observed and investigated this buffer zone long before his book. When his book came out he, evidently, had observed a very similar phenomenon with very similar properties. I find that interesting! That's all. Now it may not be enough for a rigorous experiment, but what do I care? I'm not out to prove anything. I'm out to understand the nature of my direct experience, and I will gladly go down many pathways and see what they have to offer to that end.
Summerlander wrote:Which leaves you looking somewhat unoriginal and lacking imagination. Why not figure out your own definitions of what you experienced instead of just taking what somebody else said at face value when it doesn't even hold any water?
You seem to have the idea that I'm some kind weak-minded sap. I guarantee you you've got the wrong idea! As I've said before, direct experience is my first trusted guide. The scientists love their concepts, and the religionists their dogma. I guess you could say I like my understanding free of both, if it's possible.
Summerlander wrote:In light of the evidence and my own experience, I can confidently say that there is no real out-of-body state in its literal sense, no further than an illusory sensation
Awesome! Really, I mean that! But as you said, this proves nothing. These are merely YOUR concepts and ideas, they can hardly be said to be even close to conclusive.
Summerlander wrote:and those who claim that such really happens, well... the ball is in their court to prove it to the rest of the world
If that is what they are trying to do, then absolutely. Again, I'm not out to prove anything, I'm out to see if I can come upon my own concept-free, direct understanding. Of course, to communicate concepts are necessary, and they can get us into trouble.
Summerlander wrote:so I am previleged to have a great perspective on things and know what I'm talking about.
Again, awesome! And, again, I mean it! Personally, I've been through all the science. I've been through all the spiritual literature. I've been through all the kooky, entertaining nonsense you can find. And you know what? I still don't know a damn thing! It's all one big, beautiful mystery. Not only that, I've discovered that the only thing I know with absolute certainty is that "I Am", all the rest is mere concepts that in turn need other concepts for their support, but I've found that the awareness that everything appears in needs no support of any kind, and lies behind everything.
And know that I take nothing personally, even being called unoriginal, and lacking in imagination. That's actually not so bad considering what I've been called! In fact, if we were near each other, I bet we would be fast friends with many late nights of lively conversation. Last, I hope you'll pardon my propensity to push the buttons of science-minded individuals. It's just beyond my ability to resist!
P.S re: Tom Campbell. I'd never heard of him until someone posted that link on the other forum. I went over to his forum to see what they had to say. I noticed you were outlawed!