'Death' violates widely accepted physics.

Discussion in 'Meditation, Mindfullness, Religion, Spirituality' started by Spokey, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. Spokey

    Spokey Member

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    I think the idea that consciousness in the sense of that which is experienced, as solely a product of the machinations of living systems and self aware brains is completely nuts. I have done for some time. I think people are confusing memory and the cognitive functions for 'being' when they say this. For this reason I will use the word 'being' instead of 'consciousness' to avoid confusion with cognitive things. (I am actually fascinated with cognitive processes, since I'd someday like to be good friends with R2D2 or something similar but anyway..)

    If that's true, then 'being' is a property of all things in the world, living or dead, a property of energy and matter and space. And the existential annihilation which people think of as death, is a physical impossibility. The laws of conservation of mass, energy and information utterly forbid it. The idea of 'Being' is quite literally 'to be present'. When someone dies, they don't go anywhere, they're all still here, every bit of them. Ask a physicist. So why do we think that 'being' suddenly stops? It's actually not a terribly rational idea in the face of the laws of conservation.

    So what does it mean?
    I once saw a neuroscientist scoffing at the idea of peak experience because to his measurement (MRIs I think), the common state in all the people* who experienced it was greatly reduced brain activity. It was on TED, and he was delighted with his discovery. Unfortunately he had failed to realise, as I'm reasonably certain many long time zen practitioners would have been able to tell him, that this, is exactly the point.

    So I think it all means, you can know what being 'is' in this life. We're just lucky as humans to have faculties that keep recording, so we can remember and tell our loved ones. And then get promptly accused of being bonkers and then burnt at the stake for being a witch or some such.

    *Mostly meditators, mystics and drug users.
     
  2. SaltGirl

    SaltGirl Member

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    Considering the studies of Ian Stevenson, Erlendur Haraldsson, and Jim Tucker, there is some evidence that consciousness might in some shape and form continue. Then look upon the stuff Sir Roger Penrose and David Hameroff have proposed and you have a system that might be considerably more complex than pure materialism.
     
  3. OP
    Spokey

    Spokey Member

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    I'm not familiar with David Hameroff, but I'm aware of Penrose's work. I know Penrose wrote The Emperors New Mind I think he denies the possibility of self aware computers. But I've yet to read his book, I've been putting it off as I worry he might be shooting down my childhood hopes of an R2 unit. Since I'm relatively familiar with some of the modern machine learning paradigms, I have some reason to hope he's mistaken.

    Materialism: "In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that all things are composed of material, and that all emergent phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material properties and interaction"

    I got that definition from wikipedia. It's definitely not what I was trying to say. What I'm saying at is that at a minimum, the idea of non existence the way some people view death, just doesn't seem very reasonable. I could add baubles to that. But, I suppose I am starting to think all of reality is alive in a profound sense, not just the islands of meat and vegetation that share this planet.

    I may have encountered one of the studies you're talking about in a documentary, years ago. Can't remember who it was though. It was hard for me to rule out many explanations for what they were describing.
     
  4. SaltGirl

    SaltGirl Member

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    I wasn't trying to imply that you were arguing for materialism, but just adding the names of some scientists who have done some research into phenomenons and related subjects that go counter to materialism. If anything I just wanted to add to your discussion rather than oppose it.

    Then there is Rupert Sheldrake who has some interesting(an big and wild) theories/hypothesis. Much like Ray Peat, Rupert argues that current science(especially biology) are going into a dogmatic direction that ignores the evidence we have. Rupert was of course a big friend of Terrence McKenna(psychonaut) so that should hopefully give you an idea of how much of a wild spirit he is. Now, if it weren't for the ***t diet Rupert has(he is a vegan, he isn't as physiology focused as Ray Peat) I think the two would share a lot of interesting thoughts with each. Rupert, like Ray Peat, appears to have an opinion on almost every scientific system.
     
  5. OP
    Spokey

    Spokey Member

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    Sorry, I didn't think you were in opposition, I just thought I'd been misunderstood, but as it turns out I hadn't.
     
  6. Slappy Hands

    Slappy Hands Member

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    Hey there!

    Don't ask me why this caught my eye, I'm digesting lunch and have a few minutes haha!

    I remember when I was big into lucid dreaming, I came across some studies that demonstrated people had lowered frontal lobe activity while lucid, which should suggest they had less self awareness, which completely contradicted the evidence demonstrated by Stephen La Berge's experiences when he proved that people could have full self awareness while in deep sleep.

    Life and death are just illusions. It's the way we're educated to think, within dualistic concepts of this and that, instead of holistic, that see beyond the separation of materialism. By our own logic, clouds "die" when they turn into rain, yet we can measure the chemical reactions that take place and even track the mollecular processes from one form to another. That's life and death. It's just change. One of the tenets of Buddhist thought is that nothing is permanent. You can interpret that in two ways, either everything is transient, or everything is illusory and emptiness is the only true reality...

    Then the semantics of what emptiness implies gets brought up, because people instinctively interpret it as some nihilistic philosophy when it is as far removed from nihilism as it's possible to be. Emptiness provides the space for everything to exist, and our little baby minds look at everything and think of it as "alive or dead" because we're so easily attached to things and get upset because they don't stick around indefinitely.

    Life and death have no basis in logic. Life doesn't begin at birth, or at conception, because the egg and sperm must exist in advance etc...and death just provides the environment for more "life" to pop up via yeasts and worms and buggies.

    The way I see it, every expression of life is like a ubiquitous camera lens, and each expression of life has a unique filter that morphs via experience, and at the moment of death, the filter is removed. The camera doesn't turn off. It's still recording via every other expression of life. It's the objective director that never gets tired of watching us play :D

    It's interesting that consciousness is also only one of five aggregates that Buddhists apply to the mind. Perception, Sensation, Cognition and Matter are the other four, and these five things can be applied to everything else in the known universe via interdependence.



    Lunch over!
     
  7. gretchen

    gretchen Member

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    The Buddhists have their concept of heaven which they call Devachan; it's a place where the higher self can go in between life times:
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devachan

    You could wander from this world to various other planes and realms for a long time, and most definitely at no time ever be "dead".