Pabitra Mukhopadhyay

This conversation is closed.

Mind exists outside of physical world - will you agree?

Mind exists outside of physical world and can influence the physical states of brain altering behaviour in a way not fully understood by cognitive sciences that tend to avoid the idea of existence of qualia. Will you agree to such a claim?

Is there any way one can argue 'scientifically' in favor of an individual (human) mind, a group mind or mind of living systems other than organisms?

If one cannot, Andrew Soloman's brilliant experience will be no more than an art.

Closing Statement from Pabitra Mukhopadhyay

Sorry, it took me awhile to write a closing statement.
It had been a great debate and I thank all who contributed for and against the OP. Despite strong and forceful arguments against the idea, I conclude that there IS a strong possibility that mind does exist outside of physical world. I would clarify my position by defining 'Mind', 'existence' as widely as possible and 'physical world' as objectively as possible.
In passing I will mention that Carlos's assertion that brain functions do not fall within quantum scale just as a figure of measurements is not possibly correct. I shall also thank Brenden Maloney for pointing out the recent success of Anirban Bandyopadhyay, PhD, at the National Institute of Material Sciences in Tsukuba, Japan (and now at MIT) on quantum vibrations in 'microtubules' in brain neurons upholding Hammeroff-Penrose Orch OR hypothesis.
Mind, in its most social meaning is acquired from environment. It's functional manifestation in brain does not prove its residency there.
Unless otherwise convinced in future, this debate made me accept the OP as true, at least for now.

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    Jan 18 2014: I believe, separating the idea of mind from the idea of the brain is a convenient, practical, and intuitive model to explain complex phenomena involving trillions of neurons. It is similar to separating the contents of a book from the physical media - ink and paper or a computer disk. Media can change, the contents remain the same. In the same way, ideas and emotions can be transfered between people independently of physical methods: via audio waves, electromagnetic impulses, digitally, in analog form, on paper, etc. Emotions are transferred even through smells and facial expressions.

    It is similar to wave-particle dualism in physics. Electron is not a particle, per se. But imagining it to be "a particle" allows some useful predictions. Electron is not like waves in the ocean. But imagining it to be "like a wave" allows to explain other phenomena and make useful predictions.

    In this sense, I believe, "mind", "spirit", "soul", "free will" are useful models allowing people to understand each other's complex emotional and neurological processes. In this sense, thinking of a body having a "mind" or a "soul" is as useful as thinking of an electron having a "spin" or quarks having "color". I don't see a problem with it.

    Whether it's scientific or not is not a useful question. What science is doesn't seem to be a settled question.
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      Jan 18 2014: Well reasoned. My question is linked with Andrew Soloman's talk. It is difficult to argue against the fact, in my opinion, that 'mind' is useful and it works in some ways we are in tacit agreement with. So when people have experiences like Andrew's or experience like having someone close in their life like Andrew it is somewhat obvious that they will want to turn to science for relief. The other option is turning to supernatural nonsense.
      So when people turn to science for a mind that is supposedly 'malfunctioning' they are left unfortunately with behavior. The idea that mind is actually reduced to neurons sounds nice but doesn't help. It didn't help Andrew.

      What do you think?
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        Jan 19 2014: I like Andrew's analogy with cancer. The symptoms of depression are psychological. Science comes with a paradigm that psycological conditions depend on physical conditions. Which is true, to some extent. E.g. when I'm hungry, I tend to be grumpy and irritable. But I see nothing wrong with "treating" my grumpiness and irritability with "supernatural nonsense" -- e.g., meditating on the relevant passages from the Bible, beating drums, or singing psamls, like in Andrew's example regarding some African "spiritual" practices. The goal of treating depression is to make people feel loved, energetic, purposeful, and happy. If this can be achieved with "supernatural nonsense", why not? And those who love the material side of the dualism can always reason how physical activity, singing, or beating drums caused changes in hormonal levels, stimulated brain areas, etc. "Whatever tickles their pickle." I, personally, like the idea that human spirit can achieve more than drugs can. This idea has more appeal to me. But I won't enter into involved arguments with materialists. If they want to take drugs, they can take drugs. In case of psychological problems, what we believe in is what helps.
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      Jan 19 2014: Arkady, Hello friend

      I think that the mind do resides "in" the brain. Since there is no mind in the absence of a functioning brain and every functional human brain has a mind. To me the mind is an extension of the natural world explainable in purely physical terms. I dare say that in our hunger for immortality - or fear of death- mankind creates this "vehicles" in which our persona lives on; disembodied mind, astral bodies,resurrections etc.
      I'm lost at the use and usefulness of such concepts as soul(except for Ray Charles),spirits (unless there is alcohol involved), let alone what it has to do with the standard model of Physics.
      The mere fact that the human organism may be approaching death is not going to suddenly transform the mind into an independent entity which no longer needs the brain to function. The dependence of mental states on the brain during life strongly implies that when the brain dies the mind dies with it.

      "fight against destiny, even though without hope of victory"-Unamuno


      Cheers in microgravity!
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        Jan 19 2014: I am not advocating anything "supernatural" here. However, your interpretation of a "mind" as a part or a property of a living human brain seems too narrow. For example, one can talk of a "collective mind" or "a spirit of a nation" without any supernatural meaning. Such narrow interpretation of mind and consciousness also implies that artificial intelligence is impossible to implement using silicon transistors -- we would need to replicate the neurons of a human brain to create an "artificial mind". When we sleep, we are "unconscious" -- sleeping people or people in a coma don't seem to have a "mind" despite having a living brain which supports their bodies. And if you google "plant intelligence", you may realize that idea of a "mind" without a "brain" is not so crazy or supernatural.

        I also do not undertsand what "spirit" and "soul" have to do with physics. This is why claims that science has proven that they do not exist is somewhat strange to me.

        Again, I do not promote existence of anything supernatural here. My point is that "mind" and "spirit" appear to me as valid models, if not to explain, then, at least, to describe certain things (which is a big part of understanding).
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          Jan 19 2014: Arkady,
          The allegorical use of mind and spirit is just fine. I like the narrow interpretation, an apple is an apple, a tree is a tree-and she is the apple of my eye. Is playing a la Fred Astaire with words & meanings.
          Ai directs traffic missiles,installs software-it picks the best choice but is not "intelligent" as we are nor artificially human-we make more mistakes- and have a mind to boot.
          Every functional brain has a mind -that scratches out folks in comma out of the list-, those normally asleep are just fine.
          Do plants have minds? Of course not. Mindlessness is part of our very definition of what a plant is: we even use the term 'vegetative state' to describe a loss of the power of thought. Are plants well adapted to their environments and do react to external stimuli in "Intelligent " ways -yes- Is a far jump from that to a "brainless mind". Specially when our measuring ruler is the Human mind-brain duo. But I'm not a Biologist -or whatever new field sprang from that research, I will ask about it.
          Science has not proved or disproved that spirits exist or not , they are just irrelevant, that is they are not needed to explain the world we live in.Science just gives us approximate answers-no absolute truth-.
          Artful use of language to convey meaning is a great tool if it leads to lucid understanding.

          Cheers!!
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        Jan 20 2014: Re: "Artful use of language to convey meaning is a great tool if it leads to lucid understanding." - yes.

        Re: "I like the narrow interpretation, an apple is an apple, a tree is a tree-and she is the apple of my eye. Is playing a la Fred Astaire with words & meanings."

        All language is metaphoric, if you "see" what I mean. To understand something new means to draw an analogy with something we already know and understand. This is why new terms in language are, usually, derived from some familiar terms. This is why electrons have "spin" and behave like particles and waves, and this is why quarks have color. If you use language, you use metaphors. Period.

        "Literal interpretation" is a figure of speech, if you think about it. "Litera" is Latin for "letter" - a printed sign. If you disassemble language into letters, the meaning is gone. Letters don't mean anything except the sounds they are meant to represent.
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          Jan 20 2014: Arkady,

          Agreed,

          I think that habitual language-as used by a culture or subculture- does mold world views, but that aside-the pitfall that I see in this thread is that folks use scientific concepts from Quantum Mechanics and mysticism and--> voilà: our everyday world is explained.
          It is cool to think by analogy to better understand abstract concepts, making comparisons and finding similarities between two dissimilar things-is all good-. however,when analogies are stretched too far, they can lead to misconceptions!-and that is my point - not all analogies are good analogies(not yours in particular) but when using concepts that are not fully understood to describe something that is less than understood -or not at all- it leads to confusion-no matter how good it sounds-

          Cheers!
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        Jan 21 2014: Check out this "quasi-scientific" paper from Improbable Research regarding "comparison of apples and oranges" :-)

        http://www.improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume1/v1i3/air-1-3-apples.html

        This article shows that such comparison is, very much, possible and valid and, in fact, the two have many similarities. So, saying that "this is like comparing apples and oranges" is, itself, an invalid comparison. Hehe.

        Well, I agree that we need to be careful with similarities. Any idea taken too far becomes nonsense.
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          Jan 21 2014: LO-thanks for the link,-that will take a lot of context setup before content. A case when specificity does not espouses elucidation instead of eschewing obfuscation. Who knows?

          That said today's science takes language to it's limits, technology creates new concepts (Like thinking about 8-Tracks or phonographs) . And science also builds these theoretical explanations, models that defy common sense sometimes obtuse to grasp by most folks(even thou the models are available for all to learn) And since they are difficult to grasp some folks grab lingo from QM like "wave collapse" and add it to consciousness and "non-locality" & "Infinite potentiality "& supernatural to (I think at times) mislead others in lieu to quiet down some dissonance pinned to our own mortality. Who knows?-It sells books & videos, folks are all too eager to consume the "new" trend by DR So&So.

          Cheers!!
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        Jan 21 2014: "specificity does not espouse elucidation instead of eschewing obfuscation"

        I need to remember that. This is awesome :-)
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    Jan 19 2014: All organisms living are derived from one kind of cell. Nothing really has changed since apart from more organization and complex relations.
    The cell membrane interacts between inside needs versus outside opportunities. It is the interface of action that defines a living being while the mind writes its story by internalization of the outside world.
    To be is the quality of matter as in fact matter is energy meaning the potential for change to create and experience the story of life.
    The universe is broadcasted by consciousness while our body is on the receiving end.
    • Jan 20 2014: "The universe is broadcasted by consciousness while our body is on the receiving end."
      It's a half of the equation, it's not complete.:)
      The receiving end has the capacity to broadcast back to consciousness
      It's the act of breathing, hail/inhale.

      Hi, Frans ! Happy to see you again ! :)
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        Jan 21 2014: I hope you don't think you're your body, Natasha.
        What we are is being itself.

        Thank you Natasha, it's nice to see you too.
        • Jan 21 2014: Hi, Frans,
          i mean the pattern, it's like breathing, the scale is different, but the process/pattern is pretty much the same.
          You take in and give into and take in again slightly different stuff with a tiny drop in it of what you've given. Consciousness whatever it is , is structured organismically, it grows through our experiences.
          Probably not, but then we are totally out of business here :)

          edited
          What we are is being itself.
          Sounds true.

          Thank you !
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    Jan 14 2014: I think the concept of "mind" being separate from a brain comes from our lack of scientific understanding of how the brain works. This separation goes way back to the Greeks. Consider how much of our nervous system is so much better understood now : vision, hearing, fear response , memory, neurons , subsystems of the brain. Any book on neuroscience gives incredible description of the human nervous system. The progress is absolutely amazing.

    A comparable analogy is the concept of a "God" who creates the universe. It is only in the last ~150 years that so much knowledge has been obtained about stars, solar systems , the expansion of the universe. Before that, humans understandably thought there must be a creator to explain the stars, life and ourselves. Now there's not much room for the concept of a "creator God".

    I would predict that even though the brain seems unbelievably complex now , knowledge will advance and understanding of human "thinking" and "feeling" will continue to advance. Just think of the work of the Brain Institute where a atlas of the brain is being developed. Gene expression related to certain brain areas is being included.
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      Jan 14 2014: I agree people can make up and believe all sorts of contradictory and speculative rubbish if they forgo evidence and reason.

      it seems we like to address our ignorance, fill in the gaps with claims whether reasonable or not.
    • Jan 19 2014: "Now there's not much room for the concept of a "creator God"".

      Just wondering what took that room away from you?
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        Jan 20 2014: It has been the accumulation of knowledge - whether about quasars , finding planets in solar systems in distant stars, molecular biology, evolution or neural systems. When I was young the world appeared mysterious and from that it is easy to develop beliefs, like believing in a creator God. In acquiring knowledge the need for beliefs diminishes.
        • Jan 20 2014: Thanks for your response Brian. I'd like to think we are more than computers. We can set our own path, for some reason. Computers can't. In fact, I do not think anything outside the human perimeter does have that choice.

          All the best
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    Jan 9 2014: Human consiousness is entirely about primordial art put together by our own primordial creative abilities granted to every living creature by nature. Without these abilities to imagine no researchers or scientists, laymen or social workers can think or memorize anything at all. This natural process of perceiving may effect our brains but No brains can show any image or a thought.

    Whether living forms have some brains or not, they have invisible to any microscopes minds/spirits that are to produce internal energies Within every form of life for to integrate this form of life as one unique composition.

    However, the most interesting characteristic regarding postmodern sciences is that their recycling mentality did not go anywhere since Descartes time. We absolutely cannot apply our physical devices to find something beyond physical. The most shallow and fantastically deceiving sense-perception of all we may possess - our very corporeal sight. The whole evidence (images, logic and calculations) that is brought out by sciences are based on that
    ephemeral sight!!

    I believe that the future for our scientific research may become endlessly facsinating if the thick restrictions in understanding our own human nature of perceiving would be "deleted" forever. Scientific arrogance is quite astonishing today, no learning from precious philosophy, beginning from the Greek sages, Heraclitus instant Change, and Protagoras'
    teaching about unavoidable limitations in perceiving, to the great W. Heisenberg who's philosophy on perceptions opens the gate to a new era of discoveries. When we understand that the observer unavoidably effects what he observes and no data can be recorded as exact evidence, then we might comprehend that our so-called physical evidence does not have that value as we imagine.

    I'm lucky to be involved in a pioneering research on human perceptions - the material I can share with you is breathtaking
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      Jan 10 2014: In Gratitude for your submission I give you a Heisenberg treat.

      “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.” ― Werner Heisenberg (father of Quantum Physics)
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    Jan 9 2014: Dear Pabitra,
    if you ever had a situation of being outside of your body and watching it from above, there is no more such question. It is one of those things that one can not prove physically. But once you had such experience no psychiatrist can convince you that you have been hallucinating.
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      Jan 10 2014: Hi Tobias!
      I do not have any such personal experience, only heard it from others. However, when I was in late teens I was into many adventures and practicing 'Raj Yoga' was one of those. I had no 'guru' or mentor to guide me at that time. I remember to have 'struck' by something like a laser beam right between my eyebrows when I was trying to do 'Nirbikalpa Samadhi' with my eyes closed. And I could feel clearly that it was like a warning. I still remember that I was perspiring heavily and my pulse rate soared. When I contacted a monk of Ramakrishna Mission, he advised me to stop the practice immediately.
      I am fairly convinced I was not hallucinating.

      Hey great to see you in TED. Welcome. :)
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        Jan 10 2014: Hi Pabitra,
        I think i told you when we met in the restaurant that my mother had a lot of those experiences due to her near death experiences when she grew up as prisoner in Siberia.
        Regarding your experience, this is a very dangerous one that happened very long time back and you should not attempt to go though it without an experienced guide.
        (maybe i should check for synonym of 'experience' ;-)
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          Jan 10 2014: Yes you did Tobias. I look forward to share such stories over cups of coffee once again. :)
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          Jan 10 2014: Tobias, Why should one not engage in such a practice without a guide?? What is the danger??
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        Jan 10 2014: Pabitra, I am very curious why were you advised to STOP the practice??
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          Jan 10 2014: The monk explained to me that such practice carried out unaided by a competent teacher runs the risk of making the practitioner lose his/her mind or becoming insane. Nirbikalpa Samadhi, in simple words is a practice of training the mind of being completely thoughtless but awake and aware.
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      Jan 10 2014: Tobias, I could not put this more clearly than you did.
  • Jan 8 2014: Yes.
  • Comment deleted

  • Jan 20 2014: I am afraid I cannot agree.

    I am attracted to the Socratic "tuning of a lyre" analogy... The music, and tuning of the individual instrument has both unique and coherent, but not independent identity. Once the physical construct is gone, that specific tuning is also gone. It is a harsh reality to some, but it does imbue a deep value to each passing moment, no matter how mundane.

    Regards
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      Jan 20 2014: When one recognizes a relationship between two entities does it not tacitly imply an independence of the entities?
      • Jan 20 2014: Pabitra
        Thank you for the question.
        A cognitive independence perhaps, each being it's own discrete idea, but I would argue this does not establish independent reality, or longevity. The construct is a prerequisite to the effect, in this case the tuning allowed by the lyre. I can establish a cognitive difference between fire and heat, but without the former the latter simply disperses into the background.
        That being said, there is more to your original question than my plagiarizing of Plato can answer. I would agree that mind is more than it's physical constraints. Humans are gestalts of trillions of cells, each a construct of innumerable atoms, each atom with a history as old as the universe. The heavier elements in our bodies were actually forged by stellar processes billions of years ago and then dispersed by rare supernovae across space to eventually coalesce into something that can think about how amazing that is. This complex cosmic dance can be described in a single page of equations.
        The gestalt of mind is an order of magnitude more complex than the universe that spawned it. It cannot be explained by any equations yet known. The human brain holds more possible information routes than there are atoms in the universe. It's basic biological principles may be well mapped, but even were the biology entirely understood the relativism of individual thought makes the matter to complex to contemplate... literally. So I assert that the mind is more than the sum of it's parts, as a lever is more than a stick, or a diamond more than a stone, but for all of it's stupefying wonder, it is still finite, mortal. As in Dryden's Lucretius.

        Nay, tho’ our Atoms should revolve by chance,
        And matter leap into the former dance;
        Tho’ time our life and motion could restore,
        And make our Bodies what they were before,
        What gain to us would all this bustle bring?
        The new-made Man would be another thing;
        Once an interrupting pause is made,
        The individual being is decayed.

        Regards
  • Jan 18 2014: Hi, P.M.

    We are not a body with a spirit ... but rather, spirits within a body.

    Science is getting closer and closer to this realization

    http://sedna.no.sapo.pt/death_scresearch/pdf_docs/12.3_cook_greyson_stevenson.pdf
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      Jan 19 2014: daniel,
      The Journal you cite for your article is the Journal of Scientific Exploration.The JSE provides a forum for research on topics "outside the established disciplines of mainstream science;" These folks promote but not investigate fringe science.The JSE is not indexed in Web of Science (http://thomsonreuters.com/thomson-reuters-web-of-science/), an indexing service for scientific journals.
      The JSE may appear neutral, but they tend to ignore evidence to their borderline science, they seem to be more akin to "The X Files". I mean the JSE promotes the reality of dowsing, neo-astrology, ESP, and psychokinesis. Most of the prominent and active members are strong believers in the reality of such phenomena.This Journal is a major outlet for Ufology, paranormal activity, extrasensory powers, alien abduction and such.
      Be more selective daniel,I know a scientist or two,bona fide guys, they won't publish there. And that said take what I say with a grain of salt -cum granu salis-

      Be well-


      Cheers!
      • Jan 19 2014: Carlos,
        Even science once believed the world to be flat. In 1492 this "blackbox" assumption was proven false.
        Of course when Galelio proposed the Earth not to be the center of the universe, the existing scientific paradigmes shifted.
        Which "scientific journal" of that time would have printed that the earth might in fact be circling round the Sun ..? Or perhaps give a stipend to Christopher Colombus ...??

        The SSE claims to be a "peer reviewed journal". It's the report that I present through the link. Nothing more. What they otherwise do is up to them. Although they seem to want to break down the borders of what the traditional materialistic standpoint of what conventional science might otherwise like to hold the boundries on. I have no personal investment in their work.
        As their "Edge Science" name of their magazine seems to imply, the seem to go specifically after the things that traditional science simply casts aside because it doesn't fit into their existing world view.
        Regardless, the link is still very interesting. It shows that science is taking the phenomena of NDE's/OBE's seriously. There are more resent studies that are looking for so called "veridable evidence"

        The point is, science is now working on this ground breaking new paradigm.

        http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(01)07100-8/fulltext

        One can easily understand that the traditional scientific way of perceiving the world is resistant to a serious look at this phenomenon. It's world view might be severly shaken if not completely broken. So the resistance is to be expected. It comes as no surprise that traditional science almost refuses to take interest in a phenomenon that may assist in collapsing the very throne they themselves are sitting upon.

        But besides all this. Attacking which scientific journal that published the report is only shadow boxing. The interesting thing is of course the phenomenon itself.

        Are you interested in addressing the phenomenon
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          Jan 19 2014: daniel,
          With few exceptions no educated person in the history of Western Civilization from the third century B.C. onward believed that the Earth was flat. Galileo came into conflict with the Catholic church for his support of Copernican astronomy. You correctly point tacitly that there were no peer reviewed scientific publications in Galileo's era, the world view was top-fed by the church.
          It's a good thing if there is honest ongoing research into the NDE phenomena. Every morning (and throughout the night) many,many theist & Atheist scientists the world over are looking to "shake" the foundations of science. And I agree that the Scientific community is a pretty skeptical & hard to win over crowd (even to its own) . That's why the scientific method exists. There is no "throne"(maybe an ergonomic chair) or "ivory tower" . But there is work-lots of work- and there is plenty of elbow room for those willing to play the game.
          As to the NDE reports-I'm no expert- I'd say that folks reports are sincere. But the first I 'd would ask myself is : Can Nde's be explained in purely biological naturalistic terms? Do all persons under similar situations experience NDE if not why? What are the mechanisms involved? set up a hypothesis & go for it. In science when you have a "pet idea" instead of build it you try to find every reason why is not so.
          The domain of science is limited to what can be empirically studied. And yes there is more to life than what science can explain, but at the end of the day (at least for now) Science and the supernatural are disconnected.
          For now imo NDE's is just a biochemical response of the brain in some individuals and that we as a species are still largely terrified of death and have yet to learn how to deal with the reality of our own mortality. Based on this fear mankind builds an elaborate scenario in which we "cheat" death by having a consciousness that survives the demise of our bodies.

          Correlation does not imply causation...

          Cheers!
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          Jan 21 2014: Hi Daniel, I'm not sure the flat earth hypothesis has been taken seriously even well before the evolution of the modern scientific method.

          even with the modern scientific method we didn't have the tools to discover other galaxies until the last hundred years or so.

          it's probably fair to point out we still have a lot to figure out and add or scientific understanding increases there will continue to be surprises.

          suggest the natural explanations backed by evidence may be even more counter intuitive and surprising than many speculative supernatural beliefs.
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      Jan 19 2014: Hi Daniel:>)
      You write...."We are not a body with a spirit ... but rather, spirits within a body."

      One of the challenges with this label, is that "spirit", or "spiritual" is traditionally connected with a religion, or a god. So, right away, when people hear this, they assume an NDE is about a religion/god, when it is not always so. I imagine you know that some atheists have experienced NDE/OBEs? I personally did not experience it as religious or spiritual.

      The article you provided the link for, started out by saying something about "survival of human personality" and "evidence for survival", so I didn't even read the rest of it. With my near death experience, there was absolutely NO "human personality" or human characteristics (except the beat up body on the bed in ICU that I observed), nor did I feel like it was "survival of human personality".

      I experienced energy, and perceived the change in the form of the energy. In my perception and experience, once the body is dead, the energy that fuels the body changes form (goes back into the universal grid - for lack of a better term), and no longer has human personality or characteristics.

      The experience felt very natural to me, as opposed to supernatural, metaphysical, or spiritual. We know that energy runs through our body and out into our world. We know that energy changes form. There is nothing supernatural about that.

      The energy that powers the body, also powers the brain/mind activity. The body is a "carrier" for energy, just like our power lines are carriers for energy, which is used in different ways. As energy flows through the body, it powers all functions, and when the body dies, the energy goes back into the universal "grid"......in my humble perception and experience:>)

      My observation is that people make this way too complicated:>)
      • Jan 19 2014: Hi Colleen,
        Long time !

        Semantics will always be a problem I agree.

        But as far as I can see
        I do agree
        That you and me
        seem to be
        a living part of an energy
        that flows like the river to the sea
        because, not like everybody
        we
        .....are free !!
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          Jan 23 2014: I LOVE that Daniel.....thanks.......and I agree:>)
      • Jan 20 2014: Colleen,

        The problem with the "immaterial world"... for lack of a better word ... (trying not to use the word ... spir ...... you know) is of course that it becomes very difficult to set a word to it. Natural, supernatural, unnatural, overnatural

        Might this link below also include a description of what might be what you call the "universal grid"?


        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etheric_body
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          Jan 23 2014: Hi Daniel,
          What is referred to as the Etheric body, could be part of what I refer to as the "universal grid".

          However, the definition seems contradictory and confusing.
          It is described as "body or subtle body propounded in esoteric philosophies as the first or lowest layer in the "human energy field" or aura.[1] It is said to be in immediate contact with the physical body, to sustain it and connect it with "higher" bodies.

          The definition also states..."According to Theosophists and Alice Bailey the etheric body inhabits an etheric plane which corresponds to the four higher subplanes of the physical plane."
          And...
          "In popular use it is often confounded with the related concept of the astral body as for example in the term astral projection - the early Theosophists had called it the "astral double". Others prefer to speak of the "lower and higher astral".

          My questions are....
          *Is it the "first or lowest layer in the "human energy field" or aura.... in immediate contact
          with the physical body, to sustain it and connect it with "higher" bodies."?

          *Is it corresponding to " four higher subplanes of the physical plane."?

          *Have we determined that there are, in fact, four higher subplanes?

          *Is it the "astral double", as some seem to believe?

          *Is the Etheric body " in immediate contact with the physical body, to sustain it and connect it with "higher" bodies?

          *Or is it more of the "astral double", which leaves the body?

          *Could it be both, or all of above?

          *How does the "mind", either inside or outside the physical world, fit in with the etheric body?

          Yes Daniel, it might be what I call the universal grid, it might be part of it.....or not
  • Jan 10 2014: As with majority of tough questions the answer is simple: It does and it doesn't.

    As an atheist and a sceptic, having some experience with meditation and other mind-state altering approaches and philosophies I must say that mind is not your brain, it is not made of chemicals, atoms or electricity, but it does not exist without it, outside of it, spacially or otherwise. This the diffrence betheen the book and the text, signal and information, processor and process, the fist and the punch. One is concrete, touchable, the other is abstract, but it is an abstraction on the concrete object.

    Mind is not outside of the physical world but it is not the atoms, it is the movement and interactions between them. It is in the equations of the physicist, in the measurements, not in what is measured.
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    Jan 9 2014: Consciousness and the physical world are interdependent - not mutually exclusive.

    To interpret any kind of outside physical world, you need mind.
    To have mind, you need to be born out of the physical world.

    That's not to say they are different, they are one and the same.
    The problem is that whenever you try to probe the human psyche with the scientific method, you find that there are dialectics that won't go away.

    There are no "agreed or accepted" views on your subjective experience because it is precisely so.

    Objectivity and the scientific method is a consensus of what we can agree on subjectively about the physical world that we find ourselves in.

    Subjectivity on the other hand, is not an object and cannot be observed or analysed in the same way.

    I suggest reading up on the hard problem of consciousness: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_problem_of_consciousness

    Most scientists don't make any difference between consciousness, awareness or mind - they are using them all in the same way.

    It's not language that's the problem though - it's the fundamental belief that there is nothing "inner".

    Most scientists don't believe that their experiences of the world are individual and so their whole education and their faith is based around objects and matters of fact.
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    Jan 8 2014: Hi Pabitra, I never came across a question like this but

    I would have to disagree.

    It really depends on what we are talking about though. If mind is synonymous with consciousness then ultimately there is no way to prove this. I would first have to ask what is meant by "mind"? Is it mind like the one's us homo sapians and other organisms possess or something similar to what eastern mystics believe (such as pure consciousness?) I'd watch the video but my computer is way too slow for it to play.

    Personally I believe that our minds (our expereinces) are linked to our brains. There is many reason's to suggest why this is the case ranging from Darwinian evolution to just the mechanistic nature of our brain. The only issue here is that philosophers of the mind and cognitive neuroscientist do not know what properties in the brain (if there are any) result in us having the experiences (or minds) that we have. What I do believe is that things external to our minds(brain) influence our brain but I wouldn't call this mind.

    So to answer your question, I think we can argue the science all day and I believe that there is much scientific evidence and reasoning to suggest that our minds exist in our brains but when it comes to metaphysical claims, that is where I think science is unable to answer.
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      Jan 9 2014: Hi Orlando,
      Does that mean you do not reckon brain, mind and consciousness as three distinct entities?
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        Jan 9 2014: Hi Pabirtra,

        I like to keep an open mind whenever I'm talking about the brain and consciousness but personally I think they are all one and the same. Any damage or modification to our brain affects the experiences that we have. But as I've admitted before there is no way for me to prove this at the level of the brain. And if I took the introspective approach I don't think this will yield results as well. All I'm doing is seeing the contents of my consciousness but its not telling the me the relationship that my experiences have with my brain.

        If it is the case that they are all distinct I would love to know how that is the case
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          Jan 10 2014: Plants do not have brains. Do you think they are unconscious? Please do not feel compelled to be leaning on scientific logic etc. I am interested in your gut feeling.
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        Jan 10 2014: Hi Pabitra,

        well my gut feeling is telling me that I do not know what its like to be a plant..as I've stated before I keep an open mind and I admit ignorance.

        Is it possible that plants are conscious? yes...is it possible that mind and consciousness exist outside the brain? Yes...

        so my honest answer is I have not clue but I just don't think it can be proved that plants have consciousness as well. I just know we have every reason to doubt that they are conscious
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          Jan 10 2014: Thank you for being honest. Most of us will assume a position like you do.

          However, our ideas of consciousness, mind, intelligence, information processing etc. with respect to environments (and I am not even talking about ‘rich internal life’ or qualia) are unfairly based on neuronic hierarchy of sentience. Like for consciousness to be handled by a scientist, his/her field has to be neuro-biology. In order to discuss consciousness and mind legitimately we are supposed to be within the boundaries of cognitive sciences – and these do not offer much of explanation at all.

          If I understand it correctly, consciousness is all about being aware of the environment to start with, intelligence is the capacity to interact with it to survive at the most basic level and mind is the information processing software of conscious life. It is very unclear to me why sentience has to be sole territory of neurons, brains and nervous systems. There is much evidence of hormonal sentience of plants.

          It appears to me that we tend to monopolize the ideas of consciousness, mind and intelligence in an anthropocentric way where human brain figures as the last word.
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      Jan 23 2014: There may be forces, or stuff, or dimensions we currently don't have any strengths or limited evidence of their existence.

      some things are perhaps border line like dark matter and dark energy that are hypothesised to explain observations, but problematic to measure and detect and understand.

      I just suggest recognising where different hypotheses sit on the speculation and evidence scale. The amount of credence we give to an assertion might ideally reflect the reason and evidence in support of it.

      Suggest there might be better reasons to not discount dark matter than say claims of devils, demons , angels, gods , goddesses, heavens, hells, vahalla, nirvana, the seventh realm of articus etc, but not to treat the edges of science as having the levels of confidence compared to make established areas such as evolution, germ theory, atomic theory etc.

      .
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      Jan 21 2014: Are you talking about evolution limb?
      • Jan 21 2014: Pabitra, take a look at this link


        http://www.sciencemag.!org/content/210/4475/1232
        • Jan 22 2014: Daniel just a note, the link works when the .lorg is changed to .org

          Would this indicate that we are not our brain, but we are our mind?

          Is this a no-brainer or what? :)
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          Jan 22 2014: Perhaps the scientologists are right and we only use 10% of our brain,.

          I guess the10% is usually dispersed. Seems there may be redundancy and plasticity, assisting to the circumstances. Eg a blind person may develop exception hearing even sonar like abilities.

          I also note in many cases when the brain, is damaged via, injury, or stroke there are functional impacts.

          We can't ignore the examples where functionality continues cuddle despite significant deviations from normal brain status. But you should not ignore the cases where brain damage does impact cognitive abilities, personality.

          whether there is a supernatural element or not, it seems clear there is a physical dimension.

          Dementia is terrible to behold, as the person you know fades to a shell. Is this the spirit of the person fading, or the brain, failing?
    • Jan 21 2014: This shows we have a problem. The more we know about something, but the less we can create it, the more arguments we're going to have.

      Has anyone created an apple yet?

      If everything was physical, how easy it should be by now to do just that? Especially, if we could then claim copy rights and sell it to the whole world.

      I still hold the conviction that there is a reason we are limited to the physical world for proving anything.
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        • Jan 22 2014: Hi Brendan,
          Would there be even the slightest possibility, that you could even consider that we may have our mind and brain to be used and prepared for a next life?

          If we are apes, how come we have to pay income tax? :)

          My personal opinion is that we have our large brain to practise freewill and using our freewill to decide what to love, and what not to love. We are the only species that starts life with a clean slate. It takes years for us to learn to eat, let along being nice to someone.

          We go through so many stages of learning, from KGarden to Univ. each stage is for the next stage.
          It may indeed take a life-time but I'd like to think, eventually, we become nice people. And then we die. I like to take the reports regarding NDE's seriously and prepare.

          But we should indeed cut back on the Uzis :)
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        Jan 22 2014: Why should every thing be easy if it is physical, material, ie matter, energy, natural forces.

        why would primates on one particular planet be expected to perfectly under stand everything let alone create complex biological systems from nothing, or the raw materials.

        seems a false dichotomy to say if we can't manufacture life it must be supernatural.

        We can't manufacture gravity, so it must be supernatural. W can't manufacture stars, so they must be supernatural.
        • Jan 22 2014: Easy in the sense that the usual reaction to what science doesn't know is: Give us time!

          "seems a false dichotomy to say if we can't manufacture life it must be supernatural."
          What's false about it? Give us time? :)
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        Jan 22 2014: I didn't give the usual reaction.

        what about the point I made.

        just because we can't make something, doesn't mean it is supernatural.
        • Jan 23 2014: Well, I suppose we both will have our 'usual' reactions. I cannot proof to you that our thoughts are not from our brain, and you cannot proof to me that our thoughts are from our brain. There are enough scenarios that can make us go one way or the other. The choice is ours.

          As a response to your comment, I asked you why? And then I expect a response like, that's what evolution is all about, right?

          I have no problem with evolution, life is adjusting to life. But not changing life.
          When people have a NDE life does not change, because life is spiritual. Any material without spirit is dead matter.
          But again that is my opinion.
        • Jan 26 2014: Sorry Obey for not seeing your comment below.
          Personally I think both, Evidence and revelation.

          As evidence would qualify any personal experience that is interpreted correctly. If a thousand people had an experience and 950 interpret it as a legitimate, spiritual experience then I'd see that as a correct way of grading it. Each of course has his/her own reason for seeing it that way.
          The IANDS.org I like, although it almost looks like they are selling spots on a cruise ship LOL

          Included with evidence were his several, recorded accounts of proving his connections with the other side. One was with the queen of Sweden, the other with a widow of a jeweler, another with a group of people he could describe a fire to, which burned in a city three days away (on horse back).


          Revelation applies here, in my opinion, because we believe he was invited to write the amount of books he wrote and their consistency, applicability, not only with the Bible, but also with every-day-life. For one thing explaining the 'connection' of correspondences between mind and brain.
          A major change when we change our mind is changing what we love and/or except as truth. In fact that is the basic and consistent subject of each page in the Bible. Including the Creation Story, which has nothing to do with this planet or universe. It is all about how we can change and grow our mind (not our brain :) ) through 6 stages, all the way from Egypt to Canaan.


          I prefer this revelation because it makes total sense to me. To me!! One of the things I really like is that there is a reason for there being 12 gates into Jerusalem. The number 12 and Jerusalem is explained as, every good person has excess to heaven, whatever their religion.
          There is not just one way to be a good person. Many can do the very same physical action but have very different mental/spiritual reasons for doing it.

          His most popular book is about the mind, Heaven And Hell.

          Also
          http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/documents/Ess_Swed.pdf
      • Jan 22 2014: Adriaan,
        I'll rrespond to your last comment here. There was no window remaining for me on the last thread.

        Most people use the term "mind" as something which is closely linked up with personality. Our thoughts and memories, our temeprament, likes and dislikes, all these we generally call the mind. But these are in my opinion, not what remains after death. They are also shed off with the memory body or etheric body. I guess your farmiliar with the term "etheric body" You can take a look at Wikipedia if not. This is what remains as the eternal element of our being. The "I" or the "I am" the self-conscious ego element. These things are a little too esoteric to go into here on TED. I don't think they would get much positive response from the readers here. I mention it to you because I know you are interested in E. Swedenborg.
        Although I guess we share a few fundamental concepts about the spiritual world, there are few that can relate to them here. I have been away from TED for a long time now. Maybe a year or so. But it could be interesting to start a discussion on the basic principles of estericism. But people just don't seem to be ready for it.
        Greetings,
        Daniel
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          Jan 23 2014: Hi Daniel,,, I suggest there may just be a few of us that find various spiritual realms proposed often conflicting, to be highly speculative. Often based on revelation or intuitive connections etc, not sufficient ton or evidence.

          Which probably helps explain why there are so many mutually exclusive spiritual beliefs, tied together by underlying reality and human experience.

          Let me give an example. I spoke with the operators of a factory that had a problem making defective product. they had developed a complex explanation intuitively of what was happening, completely ignorant of the reality of the crystalline structure of metals, of the impact of grain growth, and dislocations on the mechanical properties etc. In short their model kind of correlated with the outcomes, but was compete rubbish.

          I suggest alot of intuitive spiritual type beliefs suffer the same sort of issues.
        • Jan 23 2014: I fully agree with you Daniel. There is no mind identical to another, as we can all 'shape' our own. There is no marriage the same, no love of a sport the same, etc, etc.
          But indeed to go even further into what the mind is and what we take with us and what we don't, is beyond any interest on this site.

          On the physical level 1+1=2 while on the spiritual level 1+1 could be 1 or 4 or a thousand. This applies as much to the number 144,000, so often used in relation to literal Bible interpretation.

          I had to look up the word 'esoteric' and it seems applicable to Swedenborg. Access to spiritual truth is only for those that are positive toward the spirit. This is not only to protect the truth, but also to protect that individual.

          Although there have been a number of cases where people have started reading Swedenborg's books to proof him wrong. But over time realized that he made total sense to them. Swedenborg does say there is nothing wrong with doubt, after all we cannot know everything. But let it be positive doubt, which allows growth, while negative doubt can only go down hill .

          Someone recently asked TED permission to start a session on NDE's but it was a no.

          Swedenborg does give a detailed account what happens to our mind when our body dies. How it goes through 3 stages on the way to heaven. Two stages if we have decided to go to hell.

          Thanks Daniel for your link above. The problem with anything, or everything, on this planet is that no one can proof any details about the spirit, one way or the other. Death doesn't change that either.

          Just had the thought, 'how solid is matter?? If one looks close enough, all we see is a cloud. :)


          Sorry Obey, I know people make mistakes in their interpretation of whatever they see or what happens to them. But the many thousands of NDE's, experienced by completely different people, different in race, age, food, injuries, beliefs, habits, etc. are too consistent to totally disregard as rubbish.
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          Jan 23 2014: Adriaan, how did Swedenborg figure out what happens after we die ? Evidence or revelation.

          why do you take his revelations over others that come to different conclusions.
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    Jan 21 2014: There are spines on the apical dendrites, which do not participate in the formation of synapses. The synaptic density of the human cerebral cortex is .incredible. The number of neurons/gm of brain tissue (neuron density) in the human is 10.5 (Abeles 1991) and in the mouse it is 142.5. Then what makes the human brain far better than that of a mouse? The number of synapses, the variety of the neuro-neuronal junctions, and the complexity of their networking make the synaptic network in the human brain a crowning achievement of the process of evolution.
    By traditional Darwinism, what is the purpose of this evolutionary achievement? I hope none will argue it is to develop philosophy, art or poetry? It can be somewhat acceptable argument to me that these are completely unintended bye-products or exaptations. But then the question will be what is the evolutionary 'gain' in having such a complex and sophisticated physical organ at all?

    Edit:
    @Obey: If a physical system (biological is physical basically) can get so complex as to develop something such as mind, I think we have technology now to configure substantially complex systems that should have rudimentary mind too. Then societies, nations, economic systems can have 'mind' too as Arkady argued.
    Do we accept that as valid hypothesis?
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      Jan 22 2014: Hi pm I guess it depends on how broadly you define mind. Whether you test mind as one big group or recognise groupings. Collective minds might share some similarities with the minds of individuals, but there may be problems if you assume they are similar in ask regards. Even with individual species there are a range of mind capabilities.

      Suggest it is important to recognise the differences not just the similarities of what period refer to as mind, and nde clear about the context.

      I don't find there to be sufficient evidence to support supernatural spirit type beliefs, but I guess this highlights some off the weaknesses of trading a collective mind the same as an individual mind. Plenty of people assert thor human mind, personality has some supernatural elements. Does any one assert collective minds have supernatural elements?
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    Jan 20 2014: Pabitra, can anything exist outside or inside anything else? Everything that exists, is energy in one form or another. That is all. But the finest energy, is that which perceives the one that is more coarse than itself. Consciousness is the finest energy, from which the perception of all things is possible. Every experience takes part in Consciousness. Nothing is separate from Consciousness, the purest level of energy. That is the ground of perception. The content of perception is whatever comes to be experienced in Consciousness. The two, form the mind. One is not separate from the other. The content of consciousness is forever changing but Consciousness as the ground of experience does not, as it is the Presence within which experience is being revealed. Presence is Eternal, Consciousness as Presence. Consciousness as Form, is changing. Ultimately both are one. Thought, can change aspects of the experience as it can alter perception. Thought as emotion, or biased experience, can also affect the body, somatic wise. Only awareness-based consciousness can reveal the true experience, not thought-based consciousness which is biased. Our job is to bring thought based consciousness to an end and become Pure Consciousness, the Source of All Experience. I don't care myself much for science as it is still in the kindergarten. Science will never be able to touch the source of life, let alone measure it. Let Andrew's experience be a passing moment in a history that knows no limits.....This is how it is in my world.
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      Jan 20 2014: Johnny, I am not as sure as you are about what science will or will not be able to do in time. It's an open book to me. It's just that i start to smell something fundamentally wrong when the principle of a study does not really change for three centuries.
      I can define the boundary and scope of my inquiry and jolly well exclude any idea that does not fit the bill. But the question remains and haunts us.
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      Jan 23 2014: I'm not sure space and time are energy, and they exist
  • Jan 20 2014: That's correct Ben, but that is what we used to think. Science has made a lot of leaps recently. The Nour foundation for one, talks about the science behind OBE's and NDE's (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vf7qC_JOaVY). These are very much a real phenomenon. We might not be able to fully explain it or the process, but if one is honest with the proof presented, there is every reason to think that the mind can exist outside the body.

    "With lack of evidence for any other theories for NDE, the thus far assumed, but never proven, concept that consciousness and memories are localized in the brain should be discussed. How could a clear consciousness outside one’s body be experienced at the moment that the brain no longer functions during a period of clinical death with flat EEG? Also, in cardiac arrest the EEG usually becomes flat in most cases within about 10 s from onset of syncope. Furthermore, blind people have described vertical perception during out-of-body experiences at the time of this experience. NDE pushes at the limits of medical ideas about the range of human consciousness and the mind-brain relation.

    Another theory holds that NDE might be a changing state of consciousness (transcendence), in which identity, cognition, and emotion function independently from the unconscious body, but retain the possibility of non-sensory perception."

    http://pimvanlommel.nl/files/publicaties/Lancet%20artikel%20Pim%20van%20Lommel.pdf

    You should look into the International Association for Near Death Experiences. They have the "only peer-reviewed scholarly journal (ISSN 0891-4494) devoted exclusively to the field of near-death studies. It is cross-disciplinary and published quarterly."

    http://iands.org/research.html

    Science has been discovering some pretty fascinating things recently.
  • Jan 20 2014: mind does not exist outside of the physical world, in the same way that digestion doesn't exist without your intestinal tract. many people make this mistake, erroneously believing that a mind is a thing, it's not, mind is a process that ends when the brain no longer functions.
    • Jan 20 2014: To some degree, it seems like you are defining "mind" as "Brain." But if a Mind has an Idea, where does that idea come from? And if that idea is transferred from one mind to another, just what was transferred? Is an Idea part of a mind, or is it separate from the mind?
      • Jan 21 2014: i'm not defining mind as brain. the brain is a thing, the mind is a process, which cannot occur without the physical structure of the brain. ideas also arise thanks to the physical structure that is the brain. without a brain, we cannot have ideas or a mind.
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        Jan 21 2014: Just like breath comes from breathing and breathing needs lungs.
        • Jan 21 2014: Essentially this comes down to a matter of definition though. If "mind" is a process that requires a brain, then it is easy to end the discussion there.

          Now I don't think that you need to invoke something outside of the physical world to start the process of questioning it or evaluating it though. I interpret the question to mean "what affects our thinking, and could there be some as yet undetected force that impacts our thinking?" said force for lack of a better name at this point being labeled as "mind."

          I propose that there is an indirect observation of such forces in the form of ideas. I think that we do agree that ideas exist, although quantifying just what an idea is remains elusive. Ideas affect us when we are properly exposed to them. Ideas do interact with each other in our selves, and in our societies, effecting quantifiable changes in behavior, but we remain unable to measure just what an idea is, or why some ideas are more influential than others.

          Now saying that ideas exist but can't currently be measured opens up the question of how to measure an idea, which also gives rise to the possibility that ideas are not measurable using our current level of understanding of the "physical" world. Now invoking things outside of the "physical world" seems like something of a copout, if you believe it can never be observed or measured, than it is beyond our understanding, and we pretty much have to give up on it from a scientific point of view. But if you believe that we have to come up with some way of measuring these things, and propose mechanisms for doing so, then you can start something like a scientific investigation.

          So, how do you measure an idea?
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          Jan 21 2014: Carlos,
          We do have an accepted definition for idea..."an indefinite or unformed conception; a formulated thought or opinion".

          I suggest that ideas cannot be measured because they are subjective, indefinite and unformed conception.

          That being said however, science has the ability to detect and measure brain activity when ideas are presented and/or being formed. It is possible to detect and measure brain activity as the process of forming ideas takes place in the human brain. Have you heard of the real time MRI? Fascinating!

          Just because something may be "beyond our understanding" at this point in time, does not mean we "pretty much have to give up on it from a scientific point of view". I don't think that is how science operates:>)

          Obey,
          I could not get anywhere near your other comment (to respond) in which you mentioned people's fear of not knowing, and I agree with that:>)
        • Jan 21 2014: Colleen

          It appears that you have just stated that a "Brain" is an idea detector. Or is it an idea creator? Or both?

          Using the definition you have given, can we say that the idea of a creature is expressed in its DNA? What do we call information that can act on its environment in a way to manipulate it? What is an idea when it exists in a medium apart from a brain? How does that definition apply to the information in a book (or in a strand of DNA). And it seems that definition fails to measure any difference between ideas.

          My point about giving up was based on the idea (apparently poorly transmitted) that it would always be impossible to detect something. If you can't detect something, you can only postulate its existence rather than "prove" its existence.
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          Jan 21 2014: Carlos,
          My statements are pretty clear.

          "The function of the brain is to exert centralized control over the other organs of the body" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain)

          Perhaps if you do some research you can answer some of your own questions:>)

          Edit:
          Here is another link that might help with your exploration and research....have fun:>)
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind
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        Feb 6 2014: Let's back up a minute.
        In order to have an intelligent discussion of mind and brain perhaps Carlos needs to provide his reference point so I will pose this question: How much do you currently understand about how the brain forms mind?

        For starters:

        http://www.ted.com/talks/rebecca_saxe_how_brains_make_moral_judgments.html
        http://www.ted.com/talks/antonio_damasio_the_quest_to_understand_consciousness.html

        I would highly recommend Damasio's book "Self Comes to Mind."
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      Jan 20 2014: Ben and Carlos,
      I agree that "mind" is a process, and when the body is no longer functioning, that process cannot take place in that body....just like the digestive process ceases along with all other body systems.

      I believe the body/mind is fueled by energy, and as such, the body/mind is a carrier of energy. I suggest that when an idea is transferred from one mind to another, as you mention Carlos, the idea continues to exist because of the thoughts, feelings (energy) in the body in which the idea exists. Therefor, the process remains part of the physical world.

      I suggest that everything is interconnected with energy, so in addition to a process being part of the physical world, it could also be interconnected with other processes in our universe, which is still the physical world. Perhaps the answer to the question is dependent on what we perceive as the "physical world"?
      • Jan 20 2014: Colleen:

        Once you define "Mind" as the process, then it is easy to conclude that the process ceases at some point. That's fine, but you still have the question of what "Personality" is, and what an "Idea" is. It is clear that given your definition of "Mind," a "mind" can be influenced by the thoughts or actions of others, but we are still left with the question of what an "Idea" is. And that also leads to the question of what is the "self?" Is there a "self" that exists and affects how we interact with the physical world we experience that neuroscience has yet to detect/and or understand?
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          Jan 20 2014: A very valid question. The mental functions of a person ceases with her death. But 'mind' continues to influence and work on other minds in a non local way. This infulence is so powerful that even the most rational person finds it difficult to agree with counter intuitive reality.
          Even in the physical reality, that a particle can exist at two different locations at the same point of time or two particles can occupy the same location (violating exclusion principle) is one observation that was very difficult to accept to start with.
          Something called 'mind' (and not an individual mind) needed to be rebooted to include that kind of reality.
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          Jan 20 2014: I really don't understand the difficulty of accepting physical brain processes alone with supporting senses (mainly sight and hearing) could support labeling patterns of observed behaviour as different personalities. Or thinking and the development and transmission of words and ideas assuming you can speak or write and the receiver can hear or read.

          Does there need to be magic to vocalise you are hungry, or that it might be a good idea to make lunch?

          Even dogs and cows have different temperaments we label based on their patterns of behaviour.
        • Jan 21 2014: an idea is not dissimilar to a thought. both things are a result of interactions between neurons in our brains. personality is also something that is contained within our brains, a result of genetics and experience. this is also what your 'self' is. you've probably noticed that unconscious people don't have much personality or self!
      • Jan 21 2014: i agree that an idea can live longer than the brain in which it formulated, but only as long as it is kept in other brains.

        how does this 'energy' connect thing?
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          Jan 21 2014: Ben,
          I wish I knew how energy connects things! In another similar conversation on TED, a science minded person suggested that there are energies in our universe that have not yet been identified.

          There is energy in the earth, energy in the atmosphere, plants, water, and animals, including humans. With a near death experience, I perceived everything/everyone as interconnected with energy. I am not a scientist, cannot explain it, and am not presenting it as proof of anything.... simply an experience that I cannot explain, and yet makes sense to me because of the energy in everything all around and through us that we are aware of.
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      Jan 20 2014: @ Ben: I see two problems in your comparison of mind with digestion in respect to brain and alimentary system.
      First is about the level of sophistication and complexity. I find it very difficult to comprehend why as organs the two systems differ so much evolution wise.
      Second is when one recognizes a relationship between two entities does it not tacitly imply an independence of the entities?
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        Jan 20 2014: Pabitra,
        Please excuse me....I realize your question is for Ben, and hopefully he will answer.

        I agree that the digestive system is less complex than the brain/mind system, and that is perhaps because we can monitor and evaluate the digestive system, as we can other body systems like the skeletal system, muscular system, etc.?

        Science knows some things about the brain, and one theory is that the brain organizes and orchestrates all the other systems of the body. That would cause the brain to be more complex....would it not? I suggest that the evolution of something less complex is easier to understand and explain, while that which is more complex may take more time to understand and explain? The human brain is growing in size, and I suspect that is part of the evolutionary process?

        I would say that when one recognizes relationship between two entities it demonstrates interdependence:>)
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          Jan 20 2014: I accept interdependence because it recognizes the independence of two entities. A considerable part of brain handles abilities that are not required, as it seems to me, for survival, which is cornerstone of biological evolution. So I am baffled as to why a physical organ which is certain to be under selective pressure will develop such complexity (and complexity comes at a price mind you, it consumes resources and power to run).
          A rational explanation of that will help me to understand it better.
        • Jan 21 2014: well explained colleen!

          pabrita just because something isn't necessary for survival doesn't mean it is not helpful for better survival. speaking in terms of evolution, one of the things that has helped us humans survive so well is our 'simulator' - we can try things out in our mind before doing them, and avoid danger this way. animals on the other hand don't know until they try. spending resources on this 'mind' gives us a huge advantage.

          an appropriate quote from TED speaker dan gilbert: "Ben and Jerry's doesn't have liver-and-onion ice cream, and it's not because they whipped some up, tried it and went, "Yuck." It's because, without leaving your armchair, you can simulate that flavor and say "yuck" before you make it."
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        Jan 20 2014: Pabitra,
        OK, we have to be more clear as we use quantum physics concepts. For a system to be described quantum mechanically the system’s typical mass m, speed v, and distance d must be on the order of Planck’s constant h(6.62606957 × 10-34 m2 kg / s), So If mvd is much greater than h, then the system probably can be treated classically-and that will average out to the world we all live in, that is why we all see the same football game in the stadium.
        Also the mass of neural transmitter molecules, and their speed across the distance of the synapse, are about three orders of magnitude too large for quantum effects to be influential.
        The microscopic world of subatomic particles as described by the mathematics of quantum mechanics has no correspondence with the macroscopic world in which we live as described by the mathematics of Newtonian mechanics. These are two different physical systems at two different scales described by two different types of mathematics. The hydrogen atoms in the sun are not sitting around in a cloud of possibilities waiting for a cosmic mind to signal them to fuse into helium atoms and thereby throw off heat generated by nuclear fusion. By the laws of physics of this universe, a gravitationally collapsing cloud of hydrogen gas will, if large enough, reach a critical point of pressure to cause those hydrogen atoms to fuse into helium atoms and give off heat and light in the process, and it would do so even if there were not a single mind in the entire cosmos to observe it. No compelling argument or evidence requires that quantum mechanics plays a central role in human consciousness or provides instantaneous, holistic connections across the universe. Modern physics, including quantum mechanics, remains completely materialistic and reductionist while being consistent with all scientific observations.
        The observer effect of quantum physics isn't about people or reality, is gripping stuff but it has nothing to do with our daily lives.

        Cheers!!
      • Jan 21 2014: i'm not comparing mind and digestion, they are 2 completely different processes.
        the mind is a process which depends on the brain, digestion is a completely different process that depends on a completely different physical thing - the digestive tract. if you can understand that digestion is dependent on your stomach, intestines etc, then you should also be able to understand how the mind is dependent on the brain.
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          Jan 21 2014: Ben,
          2 completely different and interconnected processes. While the digestive tract depends on the stomach, intestines, etc., it also depends on the brain. If there is no brain activity, there is no digestive system.....I know you know that:>)

          Regarding your other comment....
          " one of the things that has helped us humans survive so well is our 'simulator' - we can try things out in our mind before doing them, and avoid danger this way. animals on the other hand don't know until they try".

          I agree that our "simulator" helps us survive in the way you mention. I also think that other animals have a "simulator"....probably not as complex as humans.

          A predator, for example, somehow "knows" which animal in a herd is the weakest and easiest to take down for lunch. A female animal often protects her babies at all costs....hiding them in appropriate areas where they will not be seen by predators, and animals will often help another species in distress. We can say this behavior is instinct, and/or perhaps they also have some level of "simulator"?
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  • Jan 19 2014: Carlos,

    It will of course be the confirmation of "veridable evidence" that will tip over the first domino, When there is enough veridable evidence, then the first brick will fall. Later to be followed, one after the other, by all the rest of the one sided materialistic view of the world.


    I can see it now.....

    Science will feverishly fumble through its best playing cards, ... perhaps a "multiuniverse" explanation, perhaps a cosmic inflation theory, ... an MWI (many worlds interpretation) ... a mathematical universe hypythosis, ... or TOE (theory of everything) ... desperately trying to save face.

    In the mean time, Let it be known, that the spiritual realities are not only something that arise in our realm of experiences after the moment of death. The spiritual realities are here and now. Everywhere around us. In the plants, the animals and in mankind. We are just too blunted in our consciousness to discover it.

    Well, well, ... enough of that. Back to the point here, about the phenomenon NDE's

    Do you see how research and testing for "veridable evidence" can support the theory of a "real OBE" that people are reporting under NDE's ? Can you make the connection between the two?

    Namely, If and when one single episode of an OBE can be confirmed through significant amounts of "veridable evidence", then the old story about "all crows are black" will fall into its own footprint.
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      Jan 19 2014: daniel,
      When and if that day comes and the "first domino falls" I will gladly read all about it (if I'm around). Then the supernatural will become ...natural.
      I don't know if you have a correct picture of how science is "done" but it follows where the evidence leads to, take for example the Michelson-Morley experiment science had to shed the aether notion that was though- but see where we are now and many more examples like it.
      You claim to know about "spiritual realities"-I don't- By what method of knowledge you arrive to those conclusions? You state: "We are just too blunted in our consciousness to discover it" does that mean that you are not and if so do you have some "special mechanism" to detect these realities? Sounds like special pleading to me.
      OK I can demonstrate to you that the boiling point of of a substance is the temperature at which the vapor pressure of the liquid equals the pressure surrounding the liquid and the liquid changes into a vapor( for water 212F).
      If there is research that follows the scientific method and they are willing to be open to scrutiny then---> Onwards! Research should be conducted with a neutral stance towards the "spiritual realm" but to go where evidence leads and if research hits a wall (IE: I don't know) this should not be filled with esoteric woo-woo, but empirical testable evidence.
      In the meantime you are right :all crows are black.

      Cheers! (in this world)
      • Jan 19 2014: The freedom to disregard and not believe the spirit and spiritual level exist, will never be taken away from us because it can never be scientifically proven to (not) exist.
        That freedom is what makes us human. One level above the animals. We are humans because we can grow or limit our own future. We have a choice what to love and what to hate. There is no individual animal that can decide to commit suicide, we can.

        The only thing that can influence someone to believe the spirit exists, is a spiritual experience and then only with a proper interpretation of what happened.

        Another indication, and that's all it is, is the number of NDE's reported. With the similarities of the experiences, while the people that experience them can be very, and completely different.

        The people that want to see this life as useless and not having any purpose, are the people that are stuck in the 'body approach.'
        As humans we can make the choice to become 'unstuck'.
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          Jan 19 2014: Adriaan,
          What is "a proper interpretation of what happened"?

          Would that be YOUR interpretation? Or Swedenborg's interpretation?
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          Jan 19 2014: Adriaan,
          Indeed people the world over may believe all sorts of things as they fancy- that is just fine.

          Subjective religious experiences like Nde's are ubiquitous but our lack of understanding is not carte Blanche for the supernatural is an argument from ignorance (and everyone and all are welcome to it-it is better to say I don't know). "Spirituality" should not be the default position.
          I'm not an expert on NDE's but I'm willing to state the data is the opposite to your claim , that is NDE's vary according to culture & epoch-but is just a hunch. What do I know?
          I'm stuck in the body approach and life is just great! Life has the purpose that I give to it-And I'm having a blast! You see Adriaan blanket statements like:"The people that want to see this life as useless and not having any purpose, are the people that are stuck in the 'body approach." are detached from reality- not everyone fits in your "shoe-box" because they just so happen to disagree with you...there ...there.

          Like daniel said: All crows are black.


          Cheers! (Football is on!)
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        Jan 19 2014: Carlos,
        NDEs are NOT necessarily a "religious experience", nor, in my humble perception and experience, is it supernatural. I experienced it as very natural, and there have been NDEs reported by people who say they are atheists.

        Adriaan, in his own personal perception, seems to want to make it religious/spiritual/supernatural, and that is his own personal belief.....his own personal choice.

        I totally agree with you Carlos..."spirituality should not be the default position", but it is to some people. If they cannot adequately explain it, then it is supernatural, metaphysical, spiritual, etc.

        Cheers! Enjoy the football!
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          Jan 19 2014: Collen,
          I'm sorry that you had such an experience. The closest I've come to NDE is to be in an explosion during a terrorist attack years back while in the Military, I blacked out and all my mind went into survival mode, may be the reason I'm here today(plus luck). But no NDE.
          And that said it seems an ubiquitous phenomena.

          Our theist friends are completely free to asses reality as they may see fit.It is a right that I will stand to defend.

          Nice to hear from you again Colleen and thanks for sharing your experience.

          Cheers! ( I think broncos are taking this one!)
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          Jan 20 2014: "Adriaan, in his own personal perception, seems to want to make it religious/spiritual/supernatural, and that is his own personal belief.....his own personal choice."

          Really? And that would be your perception about WHAT YOU THINK that Adriaan meant which is "in your humble experience" something that you will acknowledge and take back. And the world will live to fight (talk) for another day.
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          Jan 21 2014: I agree colleen. Humans seem to be very uncomfortable with not knowing, with not having an explanation, and very readily accept conflicting rationales not bad on reason and sufficient evidence.

          there have always been unknowns that have been plugged with explanations not supported by sufficient evidence. Sometimes we leap to supernatural agents. Sometimes to pseudo science or other intuitive connections.

          when you think about it, it is interesting how assuming an unexplained supernatural agency, or event happened, for which the mechanics are unexplained, is often preferred and provides a higher level of psychological comfort than accepting we don't know.

          brains and minds are complex. So we plug the gap with a supernatural plug that itself is not explained. God did it, or it's magic.

          to me there are parallels with so many other natural phenomena from disease to floods and earthquakes, lightning that we now have a good foundation of understanding, but previously had conflicting supernatural explanations.

          I guess this reflects that the universe is complex, life has some strange and unusual experiences.Low probability events happen and humans evolved to see patterns and make connections and assume agency even if they're is no actual compelling evidence of any
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        Jan 19 2014: Sorry you had that experience Carlos, and I'm glad you are here to talk about it today. I agree.....everyone is free to asses reality as they see fit, and you were in the military protecting that freedom.....thank you for that.

        I did quite a lot of research on NDE/OBEs after my experience, and one thing I discovered, is that people often interpret the experience, based on their beliefs before the event. If one believes in a god, heaven, religion, etc., the experience will be colored, and influenced by that belief....I suspect in an effort to "fit" the experience into existing beliefs. I did not have any established beliefs, and was open to possibilities, therefor, my experience was not connected to any pre-established beliefs.

        Cheers Carlos:>)
        • Jan 20 2014: "Would that be YOUR interpretation? Or Swedenborg's interpretation?"
          Swedenborg's. He spent close to 30 years in the spiritual world while here.

          What I'm wondering is how can one interpret a NDE as a body experience when we look down and see our body?? As you mentioned in one of your comments.

          Your very last paragraph about what you discovered, is an indication why your interpretation is the way it is. They are not only based on beliefs, but also on unbeliefs. We are what we are.
          If we are willing to change, we can. Like the recent story of the Atheist surgeon.

          Did you already not like religions before your NDE, or did that come later?
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        Jan 20 2014: I am aware of Swedenburg's teachings and the religion he started Adriaan, because you are preaching and posting that "stuff" all over TED conversations. As I've told you many times, I respect YOUR beliefs, as YOUR beliefs...it is YOUR choice regarding what to believe.

        I have not EVER said I experienced the NDE as a "body experience". I said I experienced it as very natural. I perceived myself as energy, and that energy, as the carrier of information, observed (for lack of a better word), the body on the bed in ICU.

        I agree Adriaan, we are what we are, we choose to believe what we choose to believe, and we can change if we so desire.

        I have NEVER said I do not like religions Adriaan. In fact, I have said many times, on TED, and everywhere else, that religions are a beneficial life guide for some people, and for some people religions are a means to dominate, control, abuse and violate the rights of others.

        I have said over and over again, that there are many people in my life...good friends and relatives...who I love and respect very much, who believe in, and practice various religious and philosophical beliefs. It depends on HOW one uses and practices the religious beliefs. Unfortunately, too often in our world, some folks use it to control and dominate others.

        I have told you many times Adriaan, that I respect YOUR choice of religious/philosophical beliefs, and I DO NOT appreciate your constant effort to preach your beliefs and/or try to convert everyone here on TED.

        Honestly Adriaan, I think it's kind of foolish for Swedenborg to have spent "30 years in the spiritual world while here", because MY belief is that we are HERE, NOW for a reason, and MY choice is to be fully present with the human experience.

        That also debunks a previous statement of yours claiming that it is "impossible" to connect spiritual and physical. Swedenborg would have had to keep disconnecting back and forth from physical to spiritual....spiritual to physical....that is not probable.
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        Jan 20 2014: Dear Johnny Atman,
        This is a response to your comment....

        "Johnny Atman
        20 minutes ago: "Adriaan, in his own personal perception, seems to want to make it religious/spiritual/supernatural, and that is his own personal belief.....his own personal choice."

        Really? And that would be your perception about WHAT YOU THINK that Adriaan meant which is "in your humble experience" something that you will acknowledge and take back. And the world will live to fight (talk) for another day".

        Johnny,
        I perceive all of us on the same playing field with comments here on TED. We are ALL expressing our own personal thoughts, feelings, ideas, perceptions, perspectives and beliefs....sometimes supported by evidence....sometimes not. I usually write....my perception, my belief, my perspective, my experience, etc., to specifically clarify that I KNOW what I am expressing is only my perception/belief.

        I'm not sure what you are suggesting I "acknowledge and take back".
        • Jan 20 2014: "{Honestly Adriaan, I think it's kind of foolish for Swedenborg to have spent "30 years in the spiritual world while here", because MY belief is that we are HERE, NOW for a reason, and MY choice is to be fully present with the human experience."

          Just wondering Colleen, tor what reason are you/we here?
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      Jan 20 2014: Hi Adriaan!
      I have no idea why you are here Adriaan....that is a choice YOU make for YOURSELF.

      I am here, on this earth, to learn, grow and evolve as an individual, while contributing to the whole:>)


      EDIT
      I just noticed in another comment Adriaan, you write...
      " We can set our own path, for some reason"

      In my perception Adriaan, it is more beneficial to accept each person's path as their/our personal choice, as long as the practice and belief does not adversely impact others. There is no good reason to try to convince everyone that YOUR personal choice is the RIGHT one for everyone.

      YES.....absolutely......I agree....we can set our own path:>)
      • Jan 20 2014: Can anyone set their path to 'somewhere' they do not exists??

        I've always been saying that we have to set our own path, and do so in freedom!! Whatever we do not choose in freedom, never becomes ours, never becomes part of us.

        So all I'm 'preaching' about is telling people what's available so a choice can be made. We cannot make a choice about something we do not know. When we hear something we do not want to know or follow, don't follow.

        Please get one thing strait. I'm not trying to change your mind or anyone elses mind. We can only change our own mind. I'm just giving information, and explaining it. Nothing else. I know the traditional Christian and most other belief systems approach is like that. 'Believe what we believe or you go to hell'. That is a totally wrong and loveless approach.

        We are what we love. And your research about how NDE's can be influenced by what we love or don't love, seems to support that.
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          Jan 20 2014: People can "set their path" to anything s/he wishes Adriaan, and that has been demonstrated over and over again.

          What you are constantly promoting and "preaching" is Swedenborgianism, which is your personal chosen belief.

          Please get one thing straight Adriaan....I remember when you started on TED, that you stated you were here to promote your personal religious beliefs. You've had numerous comments removed by TED for that reason, and although you have softened your approach somewhat, you are still promoting/preaching your religious beliefs. With all due respect for what YOU choose to believe, Swedenborgianism is not the answer to everything for everyone.

          I did not say anything about research regarding what we love or don't love influencing the NDE, and I appreciate it when you discontinue twisting my words. Thank you in advance for that consideration.
      • Jan 20 2014: You don't get it, do you??????
        You started your comment with the same thing that I said!!

        This is what I said please do read it this time, maybe you finally get the message!!!
        "I've always been saying that we have to set our own path, and do so in freedom!! Whatever we do not choose in freedom, never becomes ours, never becomes part of us."

        BTW the topic is Mind exists outside of physical world - will you agree?
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          Jan 21 2014: Adriaan,

          The concept of something-anything -"outside the physical world" - makes no sense. Is like postulating that non-existence is- , I'm sorry, I can't follow to a non-physical realm (where?) populated by the non-physical "no se que".
          If I were to tell you that I've visited Tolkien s world (as a non-physical entity). And spoke to Gandalf & Frodo & had a drinking binge party with the whole gang- and then-I'm trying to convince you of such as a matter of fact; -and then- I'm trying to convince you to come with me; Well, you will probably have me committed to the nearest paddy wagon and I won't blame you if you did(even if I went kicking & screaming).
          But if millions believed what I described-then- by consensus it will probably be OK. And I bet you that neither of us want to be ruled by Gandalf.
          The other thing is what methodology anyone will use to arrive to the positive affirmation that the non-physical exists... sounds like a Nobel Prize to me, But what do I know?
          And you are right everyone and all are and should be free to choose in these matters as they see fit.All have a right to their own opinion but not to their own facts ( like denying that the earth is round) ,But hey this is TED there is someone out there that "knows for a fact" that Earth is as flat as Grandma 's blueberry pancakes-syrup and all-

          Cheers!!
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          Jan 21 2014: I "get it" pretty well Adriaan, and I am aware of the topic of the conversation, which I have been trying to encourage you to address, rather than continuing to preach and promote your personal religious beliefs. I "get it" Adriaan, and I do not agree that YOUR personal beliefs are the answer for everyone and everything all the time.

          Do you understand that there is a difference between not getting it, and not agreeing? It is common for people to say one is "not getting it", or "not understanding", when the fact is, I am not agreeing with you.

          FYI....I read your comments very carefully, as I do all comments I reply to. If I did not read them carefully, I would not discover the contradictions.
      • Jan 21 2014: "And you are right everyone and all are and should be free to choose in these matters as they see fit.All have a right to their own opinion.."

        Thank you Carlos, at least you got the idea. Each his/her own.
        A question just popped into my head. An apple is indeed an apple, but how come no one, not science or any organization can create one apple? If it is all physical.. how come we cannot create one single piece of food?
        I know we can alter and modify just about everything, we could even change our mind. :)

        That too, when we change our mind, what do we change? Our neurons, or do they change 'us'? :)
  • Jan 19 2014: When I was at the university I read about this idea: The human mind is an experience produced by the adition of the neurons activity plus the micro-electromagnetic field they generate all over and in the nervous system. Taking that as a valid hipothesis (it seems to me) the brain induces microvariations in the electric field surrounding the brain. That extension of activity outside the brain exist but is very very weak. That electromagnetic field is everywere (like the gravity is) but is still "physical".
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      • Jan 19 2014: I know who I am. You don't know me so don't talk about me . Don't take it personal. Talk about the subject. I'm talking about neurobiology so quit that rude attitude and open a book.

        I'm trying to talk with Pabitra not you.
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    Jan 13 2014: Pm are you saying mind can exist without a brain

    to me realm of consciousness, mind, ideas, meaning, feelings, is immaterial but still requires a material brain to support the process of thinking, imagining, feeling.

    damage the brain and you may damage the mind and other functions such as muscle control.

    I don't know if we will be able to predict or model all the elements of mind, we have a lot to learn. but making speculative assertions based on ignorance is often a logical fallacy.
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      Jan 13 2014: No. I have explained before that I am only saying that neuronic brain is not the only organ that can give rise to mind. For humans (and most animals with something of a brain) mind and its function are emergent qualities of the architecture of brain (and I have this feeling, not substantiated yet, that this quality is not a designed end of brain). For plants it may be kind of hormonal sentience.
      But that does not necessarily mean that mind and its function can be reduced to anything physical, like neurons.

      It is essential for us to know if mind body question is reducible to any material basis. We do not spend money or time anymore to predict the radioactive decay of an atom.
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        Jan 13 2014: Hi Pabitra,
        I think you can look at the brain like an antenna with a switch board.

        You talk so inferior of plants thinking. Attach a lie detector to a plant and it will react like any other animal. This has been tested already.
        Of course if it all 'stems from a brain' where is the brain in a plant ;-)?
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          Jan 13 2014: You got me entirely wrong my friend. I do not talk inferior about plants thinking. I am updated with works of Jagadish Chandra Bose on plants plus gone through the book 'The secret life of plants' by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird. Have also seen the documentary by the same name.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_X2Z9v8-6Q

          Unfortunately this book and the movie is dabbed as pseudo-scientific.
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        Jan 13 2014: Thanks for clarification pm.

        we seem to agree there is at least a connection between mind and brain, at least in some cases.

        to me it seems most likely thoughts result from physical processes.

        Others speculate that the brain odds receiver of thought from some spiritual or supernatural realm.

        do you agree that the brain is active when we think and feel and dream and pray and meditate?

        It's probably impossible to determine if there is some supernatural connection, but from my understanding of what we currently understand it seems most likely mind and consciousness is just a natural phenomena from brain processes.

        I'm open to any compelling evidence that indicates otherwise but not aware of any yet.

        I'm comfortable with the mind being a physical process of the brain. I don't see a need to jump to supernatural expansions just because it is complex and not fully understood by humans at this time.
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          Jan 14 2014: We are walking on a thin like here Obey :)
          Of course there is a connection between mind and a brain. I am not certain that only organisms with brain have mind.
          Thoughts result in the mind when physical processes are perceived. A test tube nurturing living cells in it (a lot of physical processes) does not think about it.
          I think brain is always active as long as there is enough oxygen supplied to it and its cells are alive. Even in coma, the brain stem maintains vital functions of the body. It is only at certain state of function it allows thoughts, emotions and inspirations emerge from it. And all those are contained in something called mind - the processor and the storage.
          I have no interest in the supernatural. I believe the emergent quality that is mind of a very complex physical system that is brain is quite in the realm of natural. It's just non-material and needs some advanced treatise.
          I am very unsure if mind is a physical process of the brain. At least such claim is logically untenable. had it been so, there would have been a theory of mind, an understood and generally agreed with dynamics or mechanics of it with mathematical formulation of it.
          At best I can agree that mind may be an emergent property of the physical processes in the brain.
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        Jan 15 2014: Hi pm I guess there is a continuum of mind across different species and over the evolution of modern humans.

        Most would agree the great apes have some sort of mind.

        fish might have something that meets a reasonable definition of mind, to a lessor extent.

        as for plants, I don't know. I suggest being careful not to project human qualities onto something that may be unconscious reaction to external stimulus. I'm not sure if plants are self aware in any meaningful way.I guess the flip side is not ruling out possibilities that might be very different to the human example.

        For example of conscious life evolved elsewhere it might be completely different to local animals.

        as for the immaterial aspects of mind, the way I look at it is day when we dream or imagine some fantastic scene, e.g. we are flying through space, w aren't actually flying through space, it's just like a movie, it's a projection s supported by physical processes, neurons are firing generating the image and perceiving the image in our minds, for me no issue accepting that mind is based on physical processes, as far as we can tell.
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    Jan 12 2014: Consciousness is the thing that is aware that one exists - What we call 'I am' and a part of us, the mind, thinks while 'I' only decides. If you go into yourself (e.g. with meditation) you might even notice that at least some of these thoughts don't seam to originate from yourself but somewhere, something or somebody else. That's why everybody can read other peoples mind but hardly anyone recognize it. Then sentences like "Gosh, I just thought the same. What a coincidence." come up.
    • Jan 12 2014: 'Decide' is not a proper verb, but are there any proper words when we are dealing with Consciousness ?Consciousness, in the way i've used the 'term' , is impossible to define for it is all inclusive. There is nothing outside of Consciousness. In a sense it's not you/me/us that have consciousness, but it's Consciousness that have us, actually everything that is. If it is the case, then it's not us who pretended not to know and plunged into the game, but... hence the question ' who decides ?'
      I would say Consciousness itself. It is not the major player in the game, it's game itself.

      Thanks for responding ! :)
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      Jan 13 2014: How do you know these other voices are not from your unconscious. How do you know they are from someone else.

      when we dream of other people speaking isn't this just a product of our minds, not external beings.
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      Jan 14 2014: I suggest the idea of incarnation is speculative.

      We develop from a fertilized egg. The brain. develops in the womb and after we are born. Our cognitive abilities develop as our brain develops.
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    Jan 11 2014: Hi Larry,
    you can go through many incidents yourself, i agree, but not the one that Pabitra narrated.
    Actually you are right. Mental illness has to do in a way with if the mind is part of the physical universe. If you look how 'stupid' the unconscious thinks it should be physical. But then you have to separate the consciousness from the mind where the 'thinking' is located. I'm convinced that the consciousness does not think. It only knows. But knowing has a big problem: there is no game. A game has to have unknown factors for it to be a game. That’s why we pretend not to know and instead installed a mechanism called 'thinking'. Then the mind would be therefore part of the physical world. A problem that comes with it is that the consciousness is always right and in this situation it does odd things to 'prove' it.
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      Jan 12 2014: Thanks Tobias for pointing out the heart of the question. In western philosophies sometimes mind and consciousness are taken as synonymous.
      Consciousness has no executive function but mind has. It processes information. In order to do that it has to make a distinction like internal-external (like system files of your OS). Consciousness-as-such has no such distinction, it is only when phenomenal experiences are referred as distinct from 'self' mind is required to process the data. That is I think what you are insightfully describing as the game.
    • Jan 12 2014: "...we pretend not to know and instead installed a mechanism called 'thinking'. "

      Who decides ?

      Isn't it Consciousness itself ( whatever that means ) installed this mechanism?
      Consciousness 'knows'; man ' thinks '
      Consciousness knows, that man thinks.
  • Jan 11 2014: Hi Dorian,
    If you want to unprogram yourself on a deeper level I'd recommend you reading Sequences from LessWrong.com

    Definitions can be devided in two broad categories: intentional and extentional - the former is about describing things, the latter is about pointing to examples. So you can try and define love with somewhat abstract words or give exaples of little or big gestures that prove love. By the way warmth, touch, effort and so on is how I myself would start defining love.

    The same way science does not deny existance of God it does not deny existance of love or art or calendar for that matter. With love you can only show physiological arousal and some brain activity patterns. Art is just stone, dead plants and vibrations of air. Calendar is just a culturally accepted construct suited for nature, fitted into the way things happen to be.

    As for the evidence of God's existance I'd like you to try and find some books or pictures that metion him. Ask people around, go outside of your circle, maybe ask some authorities on the matter like people of the Church.

    I would argue that God does exist just not where scientists want to not find him, not in the way they expect.
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    Jan 10 2014: As far as I know the concept regarding the spirit/mind/soul temporary attached to one's physical body as its spritual consciousness, is a very ancient concept. We see many old paintings depicting souls flying above their bodies, or departing their bodies.

    When a newborn child arrives "here" he/she does Not identify its Self with an alien to it body. As a matter of fact the newborn does not feel the body yet in the same "direct" way as we, adults, do. A newborn is still a spirit, who is only about to experience the body.

    Unlike ourselves, the rest of Living forms experience their existence Without Separating physical and none-physical or spiritual. This wholsome approach to their existence makes them quite fantastically sensative to their environment if compared to our "thinking and calculating" approach.

    When we loose and suppress the sensitivity and intuition granted by nature, we become blind to the complexity of the world.

    We, humans, separate what we observe into different "sections" of our knowledge and experience,
    and then when we get to nowhere, we try to put some broken pieces of that experience back, together, but to glue these already loose and overdigested by consciousness parts, is a very difficult task...
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    Jan 10 2014: I would agree that mind is present outside the physical realm. I am not aware of any scientific evidence I can provide. There may be some in the areas of quantum physics, telepathy, reincarnation or other non physical similarities. The links below may give some insight. There is also the collective consciousness of a group such as the one assembled, following the Principal of Unity within the realm of Spirit.

    Consciousness- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrcWntw9juM

    Reincarnation- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4S_Tg4-_WVk
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      Jan 10 2014: What a beautiful treat!

      Always enjoy your company, Larry :)
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    Jan 9 2014: Hi Dear Pabritra:>)
    I do not agree that mind exists outside of the physical world, if you are using most of the accepted definition of "mind"...

    "the element or complex of elements in an individual that feels, perceives, thinks, wills, and esp. reasons; the conscious mental events and capabilities in an organism; the organized conscious and unconscious adaptive mental activity of an organism; intention, the normal or healthy condition of the mental faculties".

    This all suggests that the "mind" is in the organism, in the person, in the physical world.

    Another part of the accepted definition of mind is...
    "a conscious substratum or factor in the universe"

    This might explain why some folks believe the mind is outside the physical world?

    My belief, is that there could be a substratum (underlying support) in the form of energy in the universe.
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      Jan 9 2014: I know it's a bit risky, but I am not so sure Colleen. If mind is entirely rooted in physicalism its functions need to correspond to physical realities only. Take imagination as one principal function of mind. We can imagine events that are physically impossible or improbable - like say i can imagine the Empire State Building vanishing into thin air without having any reason whatsoever.
      Mind needs a brain or a brain-like system to manifest, but that may not make it necessarily reducible to neurons only.
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        Jan 9 2014: I didn't suggest that the "mind is entirely rooted in physicalism" Pabitra. What I wrote, is that according to our accepted definition, the "mind" is part of the physical world (in an organism), and there may be a substratum (underlying support) for mind activities in the form of energy in the universe.

        I agree that mind is connected to the brain, and I suggest that imagination, intuition, instinct may be fueled by energy in the universe, which runs through all of us, with the brain/mind organizing the information. Along this same idea, would be collective consciousness, or universal consciousness....in my perception, there is a connecting energy.
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    Jan 8 2014: Happy new year~!
    My personal answer is "no". I don't think mind exists outside of one's body. Mind is the reflexion of the outside world.
  • Feb 7 2014: When the subtle mind emerges through the brain and the senses, the gross names and forms are cognized. When it remains in the Heart names and forms disappear... If the mind remains in the Heart, the 'I' or the ego which is the source of all thoughts will go, and the Self, the Real, Eternal 'I' alone will shine. Where there is not the slightest trace of the ego, there is the Self - http://www.arunachala.org/ramana/teachings/

    That which rises as “I” in this body is the mind. If one inquires as to where in the body the thought “I” rises first, one would discover that it rises in the heart. That is the place of the mind's origin. (Ramana Maharshi, WHO, 13.)

    If one inquires as to where in the body the thought “I” rises first, one would discover that it rises in the heart. That is the place of the mind's origin. (Ramana Maharshi, WHO, 13.)
    http://www.angelfire.com/space2/light11/diction/ramana.html#13

    Question: The mind is said to be from the brain.
    RM: Where is the brain? It is in the body. I say that the body itself is a projection of the mind. You speak of the brain when you think of the body. It is the mind which creates the body, the brain in it and also ascertains that the brain is its seat. [4]
    http://auromere.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/brain-not-mind-yoga-psycho/
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      Feb 7 2014: Thanks Prakar. That insight was missing here and as an Indian and author of this talk I wanted this to be coming from someone other than me. I don't want to sound elitist, but to the uninitiated the idea of a 'mind' outside of physical realm may be difficult to appreciate. For example, your comment above is the reflection of an oriental mind and I do not think that mind resides in any particular Asian brain.
      We go through epochs. Of two scripts of theater that I am writing now one is named Galileo 3000. It's about a man talking about the essence of 'Rasa' in a future world where a painting is just a collection of colors, music is a collection of notes, mind is a collection of neurons and poetry is banned as meaningless expression. In 3000 AD this Galileo is under trial for his apparent 'misconception' about life and world and since the society has progressed by a great extent by that time he is not harmed in any physical way only his communication channels are closed down to save truth and science.
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    Feb 6 2014: There is a rather lengthy discussion below about how ideas are formed and while only briefly reading over the comments I don;t see that the concept that the mind is made up of networks of millions of neuron has come up.

    Are new ideas formed when connections are made between neurons?
    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_neural_network

    This video from a team of Japanese researchers shows neurons lighting up when they are active. This gives us a unique glimpse into a brain that is actively thinking. Alas, it isn’t a human brain – it’s the brain of a zebrafish. But the video represents a huge leap forward in understanding exactly how brains of all kinds function.

    http://gajitz.com/fishy-science-worlds-first-video-of-thought-forming-in-a-brain/
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      Feb 7 2014: Theodore, I think it has been mentioned somewhere down below and the idea of the connectome too.
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    Feb 4 2014: "In appreciation of complexity of the Indian philosophy, T. S. Eliot wrote that the great philosophers of India "make most of the great European philosophers look like schoolboys". Arthur Schopenhauer used Indian philosophy to improve upon Kantian thought. In the preface to his book The World As Will And Representation, Schopenhauer writes that one who "has also received and assimilated the sacred primitive Indian wisdom, then he is the best of all prepared to hear what I have to say to him". The 19th century American philosophical movement Transcendentalism was also influenced by Indian thought." Wikipedia

    I'm far from qualified to add something of value to this discussion. However, contributors to this forum ask questions which, I suspected, they also know the answers, more or less.

    Having said that, may I request that Mr. Pabitra should "ANSWER" his own question.
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      Feb 7 2014: Brendan, sorry I was a bit away from the discussion. You seem to draw me into threads that would otherwise be a conversation between us two :) Thank you for your inputs and I like the way you think. I am just reserving my energy for the conclusion that will be due in 5 hours from now.

      Cheers.
  • Jan 30 2014: To: Pabitra Mukhopadhyay

    3) You says: "Now please re-read my question and try answering."

    There is no answer to yours affirmation that "mind exists outside the physical world". Because nobody can prove its answer, as you can't prove that affirmation. You should ask: My theory today is..... which is yours theory? Why? These should be an optimal initiative from yours, let's go changing informations and knowing what others are getting about a phenomena that will be solved only if and when the first human can go outside the physical world that is this universe observable by our limited sensors. My method of investigation is not "officially scientific" and I started with no previous concepts. The final result is suggesting that consciousness and human body is explained by an observable phenomena here and now: the mind of Bill Gates ( existing outside computers) the software windows ( a production/reproduction of something existent in the mind of Bill Gates that are projected inside the computer) and the computer's hardware ( the physical human brain). Remembering that there is an evolutionary process of feed-back between hardware and software, that hardwares are discarded and changed but the software is not, it is growing, becoming complex.
  • Jan 30 2014: To: Pabitra Mukhopadhyay


    1) You says: "For a theory that seems too descriptive to me and I honestly am making no sense of it."

    My comments: When reading you I have the suspect that you are coming to this issue with a previous preference, with bias founded upon something that you want to believe. If i am right, yours attitude would explain why you think my theory is too descriptive. There are no limits on descriptions when talking about mind because "mind" is the most complex phenomena observed here and now by a limited brain. So, mind must have inserted into it all aspects of this Universe and probably, beyond the universe. There is no way for applying Occam's razor on this issue. If you think that you will already understood or will understand what mind is before yours death, forget it. If you wish to study this phenomena, you need be very patient and trying to know every detail of the Universe where mind emerged ( or the universe that mind created...). It is good trying to understanding others' theories because they are discovering things that you didn't. Then, you conclude that you are not making sense of my theory. Of course, you don't know nothing about it, about 30 years of research that you never made. The appeal to "don't make sense" is yours Occam's razor, a tool that is not appropriated by an student of consciousness.

    2) You says: " Only problem is scientific concepts have practical applications with predictable results."

    My comments: Which practical applications and predictable results had quantum theory or general relativity or evolution theory at the time they were launched? The study of mind need be supported by the real facts of this natural world, despite knowing that our brains and scientific resources will not reach tomorrow the whole knowledge about the mind. Id you does not follow the search and lessons step by step, you will fall into a belief system of the mind and then, you will go far away from the final knowledge.
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      Feb 7 2014: Louis,
      No offense meant really. It may not be necessary to be within scientific principles to explain/understand 'mind' in a meaningful way. But I was just wondering if we can try to fit the idea of 'mind' within science and write a 'theory' in a scientific way. :)
      I think we both agree that at this point of time and within the current paradigm of science the best that we seem to do is to describe the physical make up of brain (neurons etc.) and observable behavioral thinking which is like describing Botticelli's 'Birth of Venus' as a mere configuration of colors, brush stokes and canvas missing entirely the essence of it. Worst still is the fact declaring that there is no essence really except a meaningless conjurement.
      I find Einstein's quote quite relevant in all this.
      'Whether you can observe a thing or not depends on the theory which you use. It is the theory which decides what can be observed.'
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    Jan 27 2014: I believe the mind that exists both inside and outside of physical world is the 'soul'.

    'Is there any way one can argue 'scientifically' in favor of an individual (human) mind, a group mind or
    mind of living systems other than organisms?...'

    During the early 80s, Guru Maharishi proposed the use of Unified Field or collective consciousness for world
    peace and prosperity. Until now, some scientists are still confirming it would be effective.
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      Jan 28 2014: Then you may be interested to check this TED talk.
      http://www.ted.com/talks/guy_hoffman_robots_with_soul.html
      I see this as supplying the 'mind' to the robot. We are supplied with 'mind' in much the same way. From outside, the environment. Brain does not contain it.
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        Jan 28 2014: Yes Pabitra. Various scientists are creating different ways of 'supplying' artificial intelligence to robots and humans both. Now some are even claiming they have made robots to have and feel emotions!
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      Jan 27 2014: Memory is not the sole territory of brain. Our immune system is a kind of memory and I don't think it is stored in the brain. Inanimate things can have memories, we measure that in bytes.
      But mind is not memory rather it is the capacity to recall memories for lack of it and in all those magnificent functions making up a self who remembers or forgets. That mind of the self, Brendan, is probably not in the brain.
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    Jan 26 2014: @Adriaan
    Thanks for the link. But I am confused about 'invitation' to your book. Will you explain please?
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      Jan 25 2014: Brendan, nothing can be ‘created’ without violating the 2nd law of thermodynamics which says that for isolated systems the entropy can never decrease.
      In fact biological evolution and evolution of brain are against entropic principle, if you look at these in isolation. Order and complexity can arise only when there is some equal or more disorder or simplicity in adjacent environment to compensate for it.
      The materialist or physicalist would insist that the entropic principle is nature's property. Some others may insist it is nature's own 'mind'.
      I wish to tell you that I believe you and possibly 'know' what you mean despite the clumsy barrier of language. Thank you for sharing your thought.
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          Jan 25 2014: I am yet not decided. Children come from parents but they are independent beings, aren't they. Mind comes from brain's activity, does it mean it is in the brain? Does it really die when the brain dies? I think it lives in entanglement with other minds and in the connectome. A dead person's mind can manifest in arts, science, society or just in other peoples' minds.
          Trust me, I know the science part of it. It explains the reception of stimulus and processing of it in the brain. It gives an electrochemical basis of thoughts in relation to external stimuli. That's fine. But it is also accepted by science that it needs a 'person-on-board' for referencing those thoughts. If it is argued that that 'self' is just a convenient illusion to make mind work, then the argument becomes invalid; it comes from the same illusion. If it is argued that that 'self' is not an illusion then where does it reside? In the brain?
          Why do I think of Halle Berry, in the first place?
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    Jan 24 2014: I remember to have asked everyone about any known scientific analysis of mind. I have not received any comment on that.
    Here is one researched article by A.K. Mukhopadhyay on behalf of All India Institute of Medical Sciences shared from my own collection.
    https://app.box.com/s/zn9ft8f1pirxlzoa8jtv
    The author is accessible through email and telephonic contact.
    The author described brain-mind-consciousness as an indivisible singular entity quite like space-time. This is rich stuff and will require serious reading.
    Interestingly, the author has heavily referenced ancient Indian concepts of Kula Kundalini in his scholarly writing.
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      Jan 24 2014: Edge.org has a book called Mind that is a compendium of essays from the scholars represented in their conversation series about Mind. The Mind: Leading Scientists Explore the Brain, Memory, Personality, and Happiness

      Here are statements from some of these participants in the Edge community: http://www.edge.org/conversations/topic/mind
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        Jan 24 2014: This is the kind of material I was looking for! By the way, I don't believe you referred this source just as a guess. I believe you somehow know my 'mind' and it has a eerie feeling that immediately links me to my question in a non local way.
        Thanks anyway, Fritzie :)
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          Jan 24 2014: It is the best resource I have seen for getting a current picture from a variety of perspectives.

          I can also recommend with enthusiasm the new release from Edge (John Brockman editing) on Thinking: Thinking: The New Science of Decision-Making, Problem-Solving, and Prediction [Paperback]
        • Jan 26 2014: Pabitra, just downloaded your link and will spend some great time reading it! thanks.

          There is one link you just might have seen before, but this is the Swedenborgian perspective on the human mind. Based on someone who spent close to 30 years in both realms, consciously, who should have a pretty good idea about mind and brain. Hope you like it.

          http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/documents/TheHumanMind.pdf

          BTW did you ever get my invitation to a book?
  • Jan 23 2014: Ooh, big problems with such "Dualism"! How could a "mind existing outside the physical world" cause physical changes - like your mind moving your arm at will? Conversely, why would a non-physical mind "outside" the body be affected by physical injury, implanted electrodes or chemicals e.g. drugs / alcohol?

    For that reason, I think mental and material must be different aspects of the same stuff. Research on Near Death Experiences (NDEs) and Out of Body Experiences (OBEs) - like AWARE at the University of Southampton UK, has sought in vain for evidence that mind can exist outside the brain. NDEs and OBEs are undoubtedly very vivid, but that does not prove their reality.

    Yet, everything we hold dear is mental. IMHO neither mind nor matter are reducible to the other. They are dual aspects. Hence, Science is a poor methodology for the study of qualia. For that we need to take up Phenomenology!
    • Jan 24 2014: Jim,
      No it's not a dualism were talking about here. It's a monism.
      As water can manifest in several forms. Solid, liquid and gas, so it is with the spiritual. Water is present in all its forms.
      The dichotomy you speak of only "appears" as a seperation of the two realities. The spiritual is present at all times within the physical realities. The problem is we are not sensitive enough to see it or be aware of it. So we(dualism) jump from "this assumption" that we are considering two realities but in fact there is only one. The spiritual is nothing that is without, away, or on the side of the physical. Matter is only first manifest from the supersensible spiritual reality that is here, now, surrounding us all the time.
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        Jan 24 2014: Hello Jim, hello Daniel,
        let me tell you my viewpoint. I (like many others) belief that the brain is just an antenna for the spirit. You place an electrode on it, of course you can influence the result. Same as chemicals can influence it in the path to the body part. And of course you damage it, it malfunctions.

        Now in the statement 'moving the arm at will' you consider the body as one single unit. But when I look at the fact, that with regression methods you can track back the thoughts to the point of being a single cell (e.g. the sperm) and even can recall the words your parents uttered during intercourse, it seems to me that this unit is made up by many single conscious cells (animals, bacteria, or whatever you want to call it) and one unit controlling them as one thing.
        It's like concentrating on a single ant in a hive to make it move another direction and you somehow get the feeling that there is something that is getting awfully angry with you. I wouldn't thereby call it monism. Also as I mentioned earlier: this reality is made by agreement. Look at an accident that has been viewed by 5 people. Each one has a different reality on the accident and only what they agree upon is considered physical. Of course to it you have to add the reality of the 'forensic' people.
        • Jan 24 2014: Hello Tobias and Daniel,
          I agree with you Daniel - dual aspects of the same stuff. Dual aspect monism.
          However, that view puts mind with matter, not outside it (as Pabitra's question asks).
          The latter very common view is dualism, which runs into obvious difficulties.

          Tobias, your view initially sounds similar to Rupert Sheldrake, with the brain as an antenna for the soul. However, you go on to talk of the emergent mind made of "many single conscious cells", which is much more like Daniel and my view - that mind emerges with complexity, and is not "outside" the brain, or ant colony, but integral to it.

          The latter would be monism, because it supposes there is only one mind-matter "stuff", of which cells are made, whereas your first paragraph sounds like dualism - that matter (brain) is just an antenna for the external soul (mind).

          My key question for you is: do you believe your mind will still exist once your body is dead?
          If yes, you are with Sheldrake as a dualist, if no, you are a monist (like me).

          One problem I have with regression methods, is "false memory syndrome". In experiments, people can be induced through suggestion to remember all sorts of things that never happened. We are ace confabulators, and arch fantasists. It is hard to see how a sperm cell could have memories of a conversation going on at the time of conception, in a language it hasn't learned yet, immersed in seminal fluid, and surrounded by a billion other sperms (even assuming it is conscious). Isn't it just much more likely that the regression "memories" are fantasies?
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      Jan 24 2014: Hi Jim,
      in my case these memories happen to be in Russian as my parents are grown up in Siberia. As I don't know any Russian I guess it's pure coincident the fantasy of the sounds that I recorded (recording of sounds do not require understanding of it) when later asking a Russian actually made sense.
      As I said already: Religion claims not fitting experiences to be a devils work and Psychologist say it's fantasy.
      Well, can't argue against it.
      • Jan 24 2014: Hello Tobias - I'm intrigued when you say you remembered sounds, not understood by you, but later translated as meaning something in Russian...

        However, ask yourself - is it likely that it was you as a sperm who recall them? Wouldn't it have been more likely you as a very small child?

        Even assuming a sperm is conscious - it has no ears, no way of storing the sound. A child has both.
        Most telling of all, a sperm lives in a world so much tinier than our human scale - conversational sound vibrations would be many times drowned out by Brownian motion - it's immediate environment would be other cells, and the fluid it is submerged in, inside our bodies - not a conversation going on outside.

        Science does reject a lot - which is how we swapped burning witches for the ability to travel to other planets. However, science is based on scepticism, the assumption that we can know almost nothing with certainty. So, it is about asking yourself those challenging questions, and carrying our beliefs lightly.
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          Jan 24 2014: Hi Jim,
          if this would be my only inexplicable experience (by science) I would certainly agree with you. And I guess you do not challenge everything that you have learned from science otherwise you would be so busy that you wouldn't have the time to write this.
          My viewpoint of this subject is the result of my experiences which many I have listed in this conversation. You do not have to have the same viewpoint as you have different experiences. All your arguments are based on the idea that you are only a body and can only perceive with the body and everything else if fantasy and you don't challenge that.
          If you want to challenge my viewpoint then you have to start at the basic that spirits do not exist and thereby do not perceive. If you have a proper argument for that we can go along that line.
    • Jan 25 2014: "mind emerges with complexity"
      Isn't it a dualism ?
      It suggests the mind is a property of a complex stuff, which consists of simple mindless units which are not mind. Only when they are assembled into a construct complex enough, mind emerges. Clearly we have two stuffs here.
      I would say, mind unfolds.
      Mind doesn't emerge for it doesn't go anywhere. It simply IS.
      Where IS is a function of matter/body/brain... whatever, everything that IS is mind/matter stuff.
      And could you please elaborate on this :
      "you are with Sheldrake as a dualist."
      Where is Sheldrake on par with dualism ?
      Or how is the idea of the soundtrack of parents' intercourse, recoded in the conceived... could be associated with ' morphic resonance ' ?
      Please, don't take me wrong, i am not arguing with you, i am trying to understand.

      Thank you !
      • Jan 28 2014: Hello Tobias and Natasha,
        I'm not pushing any particular view Tobias, Just trying to understand and enquire.

        To answer you Natasha, dualism is the belief in two separable substances - mind and body. So dualists believe when you die, your spirit continues to exist e.g. in Heaven or Hell.

        That's different from saying mind emerges from a complex network - like a hive or a brain. Destroy the network and the mind is destroyed with it in the latter view. That's monism.

        In this view, the mind (or self) is what the brain does. Mind is a dynamic process, brain/nervous system the structure doing it. There is only one substance involved in the process.

        The question that divides dualism from monism is then - can mind exist without the body?

        My understanding of Sheldrake is he believes our brains pick up the morphic field transmitted by our souls, like a TV picking up a channel. He therefore believes we continue to exist after death of the body. He's the only academic I know of, who is a dualist, but he is a bright bloke.
        • Jan 29 2014: Hi, Jim,
          probably you underestimate Rupert Sheldrake.
          What he suggests is not immediately apprehensible by rational mind, because it is a fractal thing. Morphic resonance includes the things, that in each other are included, the whole.
          This idea resolves dualism with elegance. Monism is just another version of dualism, which is based on separation of 'to be' from ' not to be ' , it truly believes that visible is only that IS. It's naive.
          I could be perfectly wrong here :)

          Thanks for responding !
      • Feb 1 2014: I may have got Sheldrake wrong. However, his morphic field seems not to be amenable to physical "mechanistic" explanations as to how it retains memories, guides growth or transmits thoughts. I believe Sheldrake refers to its mode of action as "formative causation" as opposed to "energetic causation".

        So, morphic fields seem to be of a fundamentally different type of "stuff", not amenable to physics - hence the dualism. I take your point that e.g. "property dualism" is really a form of substance monism. Perhaps we should talk of substance dualism and physicalism. However, non-existence is not really a second kind of substance. (You may be referring to Dark Matter and Dark Energy, which though not understood yet, exert observable physical effects, and are still very much a part of and amenable to material physics).

        I think the part/whole gestalt thing is interesting with chaos and complexity theories etc., Whithead and Process Philosophy and Panpsychism too. However, I cannot see that morphic resonance can claim to be an emergent property of the Whole. It claims too specific an effect, and still leaves totally unexplained how this emergent holistic field e.g. guides the growth of a crystal or embryo.

        So, I cannot see that Morphic Resonance resolves mind-body dualism, or the mysteries of morphology or memory - elegantly or otherwise! It merely replaces one mystery with a greater one - and puts it beyond our means of investigation. What is naive is to believe that invoking an invisible, undetectable "morphic" field, explains anything. Why not invoke angels instead?

        I hope that's not too much of a rant...
        • Feb 1 2014: "It merely replaces one mystery with a greater one. "

          Mystery is the event horizon, it is irreplaceable, by definition. 500 years of scientific endeavour makes it rationally acceptable, that's the only news.:)

          "morphic field seems not to be amenable to physical "mechanistic" explanations as to how it retains memories, guides growth or transmits thoughts."

          How is ' non locality' amenable to physical "mechanistic" explanations of ...anything ? 'Morphic Resonance ' makes R.Sheldrake and D, Bohm comrades-in-arms. According to Sheldrake, morphic resonance is nonlocal 'thing', it doesn't retain memories, here ' thought' or ' change' is a verb, it spreads immediately at the moment of emergence across the whole field of resonance.
          Something like this ... :)
          Why Resonance resolves mind-body dualism ?
          Because it treats ' form' as a 'ghost' in matter/ energy, it appears and disappears but never leaves the domain of ' invisible ' , call it Dark e/matter or 2D field of information or Mind... God ...Consciousness, whatever, it's one universal 'stuff'.

          "I hope that's not too much of a rant..."

          Not even remotely :)

          Thank you !
      • Feb 3 2014: Hello Natasha,
        We may just have to agree to disagree...

        "Mystery is the event horizon, it is irreplaceable, by definition."

        Agreed, but progress means yesterday's horizon is today's understanding, and yet new horizons draw us forward. We don't yet understand entanglement, and "spooky action at a distance" but to invoke a "morphic field" doesn't help any. Bohm is less subject to Ockham's razor, because his "implicate order" is not something extra (like a morphic field), but a metaphysical reconfiguration. However, both suffer from being unfalsifiable - they make no testable predictions. Hence Bohm, though respected is not adding much more than speculation.

        Morphic Resonance is a return to "sympathetic magic", and his rejection of mechanism in favour of a mysterious field is a step backwards, not forwards.

        Perhaps we are entering the realm of Faith, which has its place, but not as science.
        • Feb 5 2014: Mind that created religions is the same mind that created science, it's the believing mind ; the act of separating religion from science is an exercise of separating cause from effect, nothing more.
          You are right we have to agree to disagree...
          Thank you very much for the conversation !

          Be Well !
  • Jan 23 2014: Hi Colleen,

    .. Sort of like reading the menu in a foreign languange, yes ...

    It wasn't meant to be easy.

    It's a lifes study for us "mortals" who have no direct admittance to this realm. I have been struggling with these ideas for about 35 years... and must admit that I still feel that I only have a "menu like" understanding of what it really is. It's sort of like a zoologist that has studied lions his whole life from a book. He may know every detail about lions. He might know even the most unknow facts. But in the end, he still doesn't know the true nature of the lion. The being-ness of the lion.
    Until one hears the growl of a lion, smells the breath of a lion, has felt the sharpness of its claws and seen the power of its blow, even the most knowledgeable zoologist still knows very little about the true being of the lion. His understand is only dry hard facts. Concepts that describe a reality that he has never experienced. Although the knowledge gives a deep sense of wonder and respect to the reality of the experience.
    The experience you are living and sharing with others here on TED and the people in your life.
    You have been so fortunate (not in the actual accident, but what happened as the NDE)in your lifes destiny that you already have a "foot in the door" so to say...
    Your experience has given you an enormous insight into a world that is becoming of huge interest throughout the world. Both in the scientific world as well as of popular interest.
    People are thirsting for such answers as to the shedding of light on some of the deepest questions that life brings. Why are we here? Where did I come from? What happens after we die?


    Are you familiar with Anita Moorjani ?
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      Jan 23 2014: Hi Daniel,
      LOL....yes....like reading a menu in a foreign language!

      I realize you have been exploring this topic for many years, and I have been exploring it since the NDE 24 years ago, but not struggling with it:>) Struggle really doesn't take us anywhere in my perception. To move toward understanding, sometimes it helps to stop "thinking" or struggling, and clear the mind/brain for a little while. When the brain is busy and cluttered with thoughts (which are often based on what we think we know at this time), there may not be enough room for new information to enter:>)

      Why are we here? Where did I come from" What happens after we die? Those are questions that are answered with each individual, based on how much (or how little information) one is willing and able to accept.

      I just checked out Anita Moorjani's web page....
      http://anitamoorjani.com/about-anita/

      I think this is the second person I am aware of who mentions having a choice....as I did:>)
  • Jan 22 2014: It seems to be untrue that memory resides solely in the brain. Organs too can hold memories.

    Check out the link below.


    http://www.open-source-cranio.com/resources/articles/transplant.pdf
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    Jan 22 2014: Hi Vera,
    I didn't get any answer yet.
    I't basically an idea, that I'm having since many year and now found a platform to discuss it. It would require a change in society. The basic behind it is to communicate in 'definitions' instead of 'words' and I hope it's provocative and that many people join in. I'm looking forward to see you there too.
    Thanks as well!
    • Jan 22 2014: ... In the beginning ... was the definition
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      Jan 23 2014: Tobias, Just make sure that Ted editors do not change the Meaning of your post - they have this tendency to do so.

      Best Luck!
      • Jan 23 2014: Vera,
        I think you and Tobias ziged when you should have zaged. Your on the wrong forum.
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          Jan 23 2014: Sorry if I have interfered… just wanted to follow Tobias's post.

          Thank you :)
      • Jan 24 2014: No problem Vera. You should stick around here though. It's a vera interesting discussion!
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          Jan 24 2014: Hope you'll stick around too :) Cheers, Daniel.
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        Jan 24 2014: Hi Vera,
        it's up in the original form : http://www.ted.com/conversations/22742/language_barrier_free_society.html

        Sorry Daniel for the interference,
        do you know which forum I should post this to inform other members?
        • Jan 24 2014: Hi Tobias,
          No I don't. But you can help us here with the definition of dualism. Jim needs to understand the difference between dualism and monism. As definitions are most inconveniently put together of just more and more words ... we never seem to get to the bottom of the real meaning of things.
          Semantics are just not to get away from.
          ... I mean, what is the Being-ness of a cat ...?
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    Jan 22 2014: Hi Carlos. It's pretty dense in the comments department below.

    I still don't see your rationale for ideas, thinking, feeling, etc leading to the conclusion their is something supernatural about the brain, mind, consciousness etc.

    I suggest we know that while thinking the brain, is active.

    Not sure why a physical process can't result in phenomena that is attributed with meaning.
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      Jan 22 2014: I guess it wouldn't be too surprising of many species developed enough intelligence to devise technologies that end up killing them.
  • Jan 21 2014: John Lorber, British neurologist says we don't need a brain at all. He found a math student with 126 IQ that had almost no brain ...

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/210/4475/1232
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      Jan 22 2014: Did he really say we don't need any brain at all to function?

      Suggest almost no brain is not the same as no brain.
      • Jan 22 2014: Obey,
        What did you think about the link? This kind of makes one look at the brain in a different light. The man must have had a little brain stem. But this is not thefirst and only example.
        Have you heard the stories where a memory can live in the heart? Some people, after a heart transplant, have the memories from the person the recieved the heart from. .... what does this tell us?
        It seemss to be saying that memories are stored in the living substances of the body and not just the brain as conventional theory will have it. I can find some links on this for you later.
      • Jan 22 2014: Obey,

        Here is something you might find of interest. They are finding out in organ transplants that memories can also be stored in the heart....

        http://www.open-source-cranio.com/resources/articles/transplant.pdf
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          Jan 22 2014: Hi I really don't know enough about these cases or the phenomena in general. to make a call on whether there is good reason to believe memories are linked to heart transplants or just some rare coincidences where people appear to have gained memories from the donar but haven't.

          I'm open to the possibility once there is sufficient evidence.

          l note the heart example still relies on a physical medium, not altogether immaterial or supernatural..
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    Jan 20 2014: I see no evidence for it. Is this something that people here have experienced?
  • Jan 20 2014: Not exactly sure what the “physical world” means in this case, but there is clearly a priori observable evidence that anyone reading this has experienced that there is more to our entangled consciousnesses than our individual living system.

    Our ideas have a chance of going on well past the time we enter the grave. Language and stories are the means of idea transmission that we use, but it seems clear that there are other methods of transmitting ideas. Experiments with Planaria show that their memory and learning isn’t limited to their brains. So it seems possible that there is genetic memory, but that would still be part of the physical world.

    Complex ideas can be transferred between individuals and groups through a number of media, but for the moment I will focus on writing. When we read Plato’s works, even in translation, Plato is conveying ideas into our minds that we can interact with based on our own experiences and biases. But it is clear that at least those ideas of Plato’s that have reached me exist apart from his physical self. The IDEA has some sort of existence, and affects us, but at this time there really is no way to quantify just what that idea is. Ideas exist, but can not be measured, weighed, or analyzed given current cognitive science tools. If we acknowledge the existence of ideas, and that they can be transferred from one mind to another, even if one of those minds is long dead, then we have to accept that there is something rather ephemeral that exists that is at least something like qualia.

    I also have to say that I find the last paragraph in the question here as being far too dismissive of “art.” Saying that something is “no more than art” seems to really denigrate “art.”
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      Jan 20 2014: Agree with about the 'art' part. I should have said 'artful imagination.' I have no intention of dismissing 'art' because Andrew's talk showed he was not helped by science (medicine) but by his own mind and 'art' is one great antidote when nothing works.

      Edit:
      Physical world is that one where everything has a material presence, tested and validated by science.
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      Jan 21 2014: I'm not sure why you think we couldn't have feelings and thought and ideas, and be able to vocalise or convey these ideas to other humans via writing just using our common senses, and brains natural processes.

      Why is it so hard to be open to the possibility that a.complex biological machine could associate meaning to perceived sensory inputs, be able to think and feel etc.

      while not as sophisticated as humans, other animals seem to be able to convey and understand basic meaning via body language or sounds. A warning call of predictors are seeing. Ever seen a dog bring a leash when it wants to go for a walk. Dogs also seem to be able to determine if you are angry or sad.
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        Jan 21 2014: Have you ever seen a dog under depression and then coming out of it by its own and then attempting to share the experience to other dogs?
        Have you seen any necessity for an animal to write poetry? What could be the evolutionary reason for asking difficult questions to create a whole faculty named science? I hope you will not argue it is because our brains are sufficiently complex to produce a mind to do such 'seemingly' unnecessary activities because then I shall ask under what natural reasons of survival or winning a biological race such complexity arises. Does that make sense to you?
        I argue that brain's natural processes are those that keep us alive and fit biologically and at best some kind of social fitness to increase the chance of survival of the genes. I argue also that common sense is to cheat, lie and do everything in our capacity so that we can live and our offspring can live. What natural reason is there for brain to evolve with complexity to allow a mind (its property or function) that can endanger its survival by developing 'unnecessary' traits?
        It really is very hard for me because human mind seems to be one of a kind. If it comes from a physical configuration entirely that configuration needs to be one of a kind too.
        There is a caveat though. There is nothing such as mind and we are completely deluded about it.
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          Jan 23 2014: Hi pm, I agree different species have different capabilities, differences in biology, as well as similarities.

          some animals can see, smell, hear, run, climb better than humans. Humans have greater cognative abilities. I note even humans have a range of cognative abilities.

          Would the ability to communicate better help a social species survive. Would the ability to solve problems help survival, to better predict the behaviour of other humans or animals.

          I suggest culture and tool use etc just leverages capabilities that evolved naturally. Kind of a by product made possible by our cognitive abilities,.

          Whatever attribute you look at there will be one species that will be the best. Fish swim better than us. Shi that makes them special right.

          There may be a mix of dramatic but also small but profound differences that have a huge impact.

          we walk upright leaving our hands free, developed oposible thumbs not that differentfrom other primates but revolutionary for tool use.

          how many similarities we share with other great apes. Some even use tools, mourning dead, group dynamics, just more simple.

          go back 50,000 years and the differences are not so visible in terms of culture and technology, but the small differences h ave lead to dramatic developments, fire, agriculture, animal domestication, the wheel, complex language etc.

          humans are very special in our way. I still don't see any disconnect with natural processes, etc. And other species could be deemed as being more special or successful in different measures. In terms of biomass, plants, fish, insects even bacteria are more successful than humans. Some species such as sharks haven't changed that much in millions of years, very successful.

          be care ful not to argue from ignorance or incredulity. We are special in our way, but also have so much in common with other animals, from DNA, to sexual reproduction, digestion, respiration, for context.
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    Jan 19 2014: Perhaps, the best way to explain why I think that body-mind dualism is a useful and practical model is to consider interaction between hardware, firmware, and software in modern integrated circuits (IC). My job is to resolve quality issues with these devices which can be compared to health issues in human body, except that we understand how IC work better than we understand human body.

    Hardware can be considered an analogy of human body. Often, IC don't work because of hardware issues: manufacturing defects or design flaws causing parts of the circuit generate incorrect voltages, currents, frequencies, etc. Hardware issues are the analogy of physical health problems, such as heart attacks.

    Firmware is the code which is "hardwired" in IC ROM (read-only memory). It's an analogy of the sub-conscious part of the neural system regulating vital functions of the body - heartbeat, digestion, etc. Although, it's "code", it can often be changed only by a hardware fix.

    Software is the code loaded into RAM (random-access memory) from an external source. It's the analogy of our conscious high-level functionality. Often, IC does not work because of a "bug" in this code. Software issues CANNOT be fixed by fixing the hardware -- there is nothing wrong with the hardware. Although, the code cannot be executed without the hardware, it cannot be considered to be a "part" of the hardware or a "property" of the hardware, and software engineers who fix the software may have little understanding of the physical hardware design.

    It is interesting to note that modern IC's are equipped with a microprocessor and lots of memory. Often, it is possible to compensate design flaws with software fixes - reprogram incorrect current and voltage levels. I don't see why in humans psychological treatment cannot cause real physical changes.
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      Jan 21 2014: Hi arkady. A useful illustration.

      I note this actually supports a material our physical view of a brain or it systems.

      in the end, the functionality of the it system comes down to tiny transistors switched on and off.

      Suggest out might be something similar with our minds and cognitive processes based on the state and networks of billions of neurons with trillions of connections. Complex, but physical.
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        Jan 21 2014: Yes. The software "works" only while current flows through the circuit. You turn off power, and "puff" -- it's gone. The screen is black, there are no "zeros", no "ones", no logical "highs" or "lows".

        But mind what I said: software is NOT the property of the hardware. Tinkering with hardware to fix software issues will not yield any results. The hardware is just passing the signals through the system. It is "unaware" of what the signals are, what they mean. If you take the hardware apart, without turning it on, you will get 0 information regarding the design of the operating system, you will have 0 insight in software design principles such as "inheritance" or "polymorphism" or "encapsulation". Hardware designers have no idea what software will run on the system. Software is "immaterial" and distinct from the hardware. Software can be stored separately from hardware. It can be transferred from one system to another and it will "exist" after the original system "dies" and is recycled. This is one of the reasons why I think, neuroscience is of little use to discover moral values, for instance. On the other hand, software can control the hardware -- change processor speed, turn the fan on and off, control output voltages, etc.

        Just, please, don't construe my words as an argument for intelligent design (God forbid). It's just an analogy.
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          Jan 22 2014: No worries. I didn't make any link to ID.


          as I said it's an interesting illustration.

          Although conscious life, such as humans, is probably some orders of magnitude more complex.

          in my opinion that is one the drivers of supernatural beliefs, plugging the discomfort about not comprehending the complexity and plugging it with magical gap fillers .
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        Jan 22 2014: Re: "plugging the discomfort about not comprehending the complexity and plugging it with magical gap fillers."

        Or using metaphoric language to describe the unknown. Here is my little dictionary for "supernatural" lingo:

        "God knows" - "nobody knows" or "nobody can be sure"
        "God willing" - "if I'm lucky"
        "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;" - "never be sure of your own opinion because reality will always be different than you imagine".

        Faith can (and, I believe, shoud) mean skepticism towards my own limited "self" and belief that this "unknown" (call it "reality" or "God") is greater than myself and greater than I can imagine. It's quite opposite to the proud certainty that "I know the truth" - be it from science or reading a "holy book". Just my point of view. I find the division of ideas into "natural", "unnatural", and "supernatural" quite meaningless.
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          Jan 24 2014: Interesting how we personify ignorance.

          I agree we often label our feelings of wonder at life and the universe, the feelings of oneness and connection as God

          I also find it ironic how the most speculative claims and unreliable sources are often held as the most important dogmas of religions. I guess this is how religions protect themselves.

          I also think this wonder and incomprehension is where the idea of mind being apart from the body may originate. The wonder and incomprehensibility of our minds and consciousness.

          It may be s part of our psychology that once we assign agency to something, even if we have no idea how the magical agency did it, we seem more satisfied.
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        Jan 24 2014: Re: "Interesting how we personify ignorance."

        We personify everything. Think how evolutionists speak. "We are programmed by evolution to do this or that." Evolution has no purpose and cannot 'program' anyone. It's just a metaphor.

        Re: "I also find it ironic how the most speculative claims and unreliable sources are often held as the most important dogmas of religions."

        Do you think, religion is unique in this respect? Think of this picture http://www1.union.edu/newmanj/Physics100/Light%20Production/Planetary%20Model.jpg
        which was used as an avatar for science itself not so long ago. What does it have to do with reality -- imagining electrons as particles orbiting a nucleus? As you may know, electrons are not like that at all. They are described by a probability function and cannot be found in a specified location at any given time, but rather form "clouds" which is another metaphor because electronic cloud is not like a cloud in the sky at all. That's how our brains work. I don't know any other way to describe reality (I wanted to add "unfortunately", but found it a useless word).
  • Jan 19 2014: Neurosurgeon Eben Alexander in an interview by Newsweek.

    http://www.newsweek.com/proof-heaven-doctors-experience-afterlife-65327
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      Jan 21 2014: Hi Daniel I guess I disagree that some sort of natural explanation is impossible, and that the only explanation is ebens interpretation of the experience.

      Perhaps other mammals have nde, obe, dreams, hallucinations

      I heard of a study where pictures have been positioned in operating rooms where only an out of body perspective could observe them. this is the kind of evidence that might help support the hypothesis.

      I suggest we don't know enough about how our brain, mind , conscious works under stresses such as those that result in nde, to jump to the conclusion something supernatural is happening.

      I have a friend that perceived words as sparks when he was on some medication. Maybe he was perceiving a hidden dimension of sound. Or maybe his brain was mixed up by the meds.
      for example perhaps the memory or experience happened in the period close to when he became conscious or before parts of his brain shut down. Maybe parts of the brain just slowed, not stopped completely.

      maybe dreams and hallucination processes are more complex or dispersed when we assume.

      also, it seems a very long stretch to assume the Christian interprets it's the only one.

      I wouldn't be surprised if nde and obe have been happening longer than homo sapians have been evolved
  • Jan 19 2014: Apropos again,

    Yet another, this time in The Lancet.

    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(01)07100-8/fulltext
  • Jan 19 2014: Apropos,

    Definetly no "scientific journal" here. But just the same.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-89926/Scientists-discover-near-death-evidence.html
  • Jan 18 2014: Well, I am currently choosing a theory of the mind that comes from outside cognitive sciences and the anthropocentric self-projection. This definition came from calculus, when applying comparative anatomy between living and non-living natural systems. First, was discovered an unknown system that fits as the evolutionary link between living and non-living. But, the link is an astronomical system, and despite the fact that it is half-mechanical and half-biological, the problem was, 30 years ago, to figure out why and how it was transformed or produced from itself a copy at microscopic dimensions and as biological system. Solving this problem, the researcher found a natural living software inside all systems and called it "the universal mind".

    Of course, the process used in that "self-reproduction", must be the genetic process in its primitive state. Then, it was revealed: the astronomical system is a closed system, which attacked by entropy have its degradation beginning at its periphery, producing fragments that are driven internally towards its center, the nucleus. But, the periphery was under radiation producing energy, in shape of light, emitting photons. Those photons worked like bits-information from the old system and at a new environment ( like the surface of an internal planet) those photons joining again reproducing at microscopic scale and with mutations evolving its biological properties. The photons worked as the ancestors of biological genes, the whole as the genome, but the picture of this genome is identical to a diagram of software that we build for operating a hardware. The crucial difference is that the natural software is a living thing. Evolution has worked in same way that worked the evolution of ours computers: the primitive first hardware did easier to get more informations from the external world, these informations went to a human mind that feels the necessity of improving the software, but then, need a more powerful ( cont.next post)
  • Jan 18 2014: ... powerful hardware, a process of feed-back.

    So, every natural system - from atoms to galaxias to plants to animals to humans - are composed by descartable hardware and a living software, and this includes the human brain as a system. This software is under evolution, its first amd primitive shape was the light wave emitted by the Big Bang, expanding, penetrating dark inertial matter and imprinting the code for life. Finally, the whole description of this software mind was described thousands years ago: there is a universal soul that was sleeping at atoms, dreaming at galaxies, began waking up at plants and animals, and now is an embryo of consciousness being nurtured inside this kind of egg that is the human head.

    The big question is: knowing that the hardware becomes old and "dies", what happens with this living software? Of course, our wish is that the software must survival, then, our research will be guided to find this result. Because now, we are not more watching the results revealed by an investigative method that worked by itself without human interference, then we can't avoid the anthropocentrism. We are focusing natural light because it started the process and we are suspecting that the acceleration of synapses is producing a kind of luminous plasma. If so, our mind must be like bubbles containing light and dust of a cosmic ocean of light. When we are alive, these bubbles are inside our heads, when the hardware dies, the bubble explodes becoming the ocean itself. Since that the ocean is the whole and known non boundaries, this theory fits with what people that had experience visions after-death are talking about. I am crazy looking to all theories, but I hope that you appreciate this theory, because we are in need of more people doing the research, more minds thinking together. Cheers,
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      Jan 18 2014: For a theory that seems too descriptive to me and I honestly am making no sense of it. Please appreciate that when I am saying 'theory of mind' I am asking it on the foundation of science and not the way psychologists (human psychologists or psychiatrists) use it. I am not sure psychology or psychiatry is science at all.
      http://www.arachnoid.com/psychology/

      It is acceptable to me that 'mind' is a concept akin to scientific concepts the way Arkady argued. Only problem is scientific concepts have practical applications with predictable results. 'Mind' as a concept does not appear to be so.

      It is difficult even to feel complacent that science will one day find out how exactly mind works. First reason being there seems to be no branch of science presently studying the 'mind' concept. Second merely knowing the exact architecture of brain or the physical basis of neurons can predict behavior, not mind.

      That makes perception, cognition, attention, emotion, phenomenology, motivation, brain functioning, personality, behavior, and interpersonal relationships floating without solid scientific foundation.

      Now please re-read my question and try answering.
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    Jan 18 2014: Hey Obey,
    yes, as I said already to Natasha. One can not argue against 'illusion'. When you are alone and disagree you can create those phenomena and depending on your strength, the degree you can disagree can involve more such factors of 'missing motor'. The moment another being watches you, that strength weakens due to counter force. That's why I can prove those things to myself but never to others. And as I said above: I can not argue against it, therefore I rather leave it.
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      Jan 21 2014: Hi Tobias, I guess I'm just wary of phenomena and claims that are not demonstrable or testable or repeatable. Under controlled conditions.

      I'm not sure if I'm overly skeptical or others jump to intuitive conclusions a little too easily.
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        Jan 21 2014: Hi Obey,
        I guess both are the case. Many believe easily crap. It's called 'Mystery sandwich'. Many religions are based on this (sorry if I step on somebody’s foot): I tell you some great truth and for that you belief all the crap that comes with it.
        Btw., to me these phenomena are repeatable but only to myself and part of the controlled conditions are, that there are no 'critical persons around' or better I am alone and have no doubt at all. As a known statement sais: 'Belief can move mountains' and that in the real sense.
        I'm also only telling my viewpoint as answer to the question in place. I do not have to convince anybody.

        I'll be soon starting another thread 'Language barrier free society' where I also appreciate critical comments. I'll be glad to find you there.
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          Jan 22 2014: Hello, Tobias. What do you mean by 'Language barrier free society' ? What are you suggesting in your future conversation? It looks to me - people, while using all newest gadgets and talkng all day long reaching almost any place on this planet, and on an internet, still cannot understand each other any better than millennia ago. I hope your conversation would be provocative and make people think… Thanks!
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    Jan 15 2014: Pabitra,

    The 'freak that defies logic" & "divinity" & "non-materialness" are totally irrelevant. Inside their frame of reference they make "sense" ,but objectively they are meaningless.

    At present there are many known unknowns Dark Matter, Quantum gravity , how to get congress to work here in the USA. There are no "new" parts of nature that we have not found yet that can exert any influence in our everyday life-No new particles or "forces" relevant to our daily living,there is room for new discoveries and such. But none of these are presently needed to understand how molecules and atoms work.

    How do I know that the Transcendental "Pukka particle" that is "immaterial" and has an interaction with the human brain as to create conscience & divinity etc. doesn't exist?
    Well all these statements are trying to say something. So we make a little Feynman diagram showing a proton (P) moving in the axis of time and the Transcendental Pukka particle (TPP) interacting with the proton (P) and TPP goes its own merry way, if that is so I can rotate the same diagram 90 degrees -and still be within the realm of reality. And when looked at it that way the TPP should be created in high energy collisions, that is I could smash protons to get TPP's; If indeed such a strong interaction actually happens that it would have an effect in brains- it would have been created & detected by now- and we have not. There is a possibility that TPP's may exists but if they do , they don't act strongly enough to be relevant. So you cant blame a TPP if you are having a "bad hair day".

    It's all electrons, Quarks with mass from the Higgs field interacting via gravity, EM & the nuclear forces-that is our everyday world.

    Cheers!
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      Jan 18 2014: Carlos,
      Object has no meaning. Its the subject where the meaning lies. I agree that there are many known unknows in science. My question is whether mind is in that list. And if it is, which branch studies it and where exactly we stand in terms of a theory of mind.
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        Jan 19 2014: Pabitra,
        The conceptual distinction between "knowers" & the "thinkers"and -of course- the objects-what "they" know or think about, may paint themselves into a corner for subjects can themselves be objects of thought and knowledge. I leave that to the Metaphysics Department.
        What is working for me is the traditional subject-object relationship that you may typically find in the philosophy of naturalism.In physics reality is described (& uncontroversially agreed upon) as existing independent of observation. You ask"Mind exists outside of physical world and can influence the physical states of brain..." hence I gave you the little Feynman diagram above. I'm not an expert on metaphysical models of cognition but I gather that you are presenting the mind as a nonphysical substance like Descartes or Plato. If so any action of a nonphysical mind on the brain would entail the violation of physical laws, Also-I ask- if the mind exists independently of physical reality it must be explained how physical memories are created about consciousness(in our brain, that is),in other words how the material and immaterial are able to interact hence my other post.
        The problem is that if there is something totally nonphysical causing a bunch of neurons to fire, then there is no physical event which causes the firing. This means that some physical energy is required to be generated against the physical laws of this universe — this is by definition a miracle- and there can be no scientific explanation of (repeatable experiment performed regarding) where the physical energy for the firing came from.
        How the mind works is not totally known, but this lack of knowledge should not be a platform for the "non-physical mind"(whatever that is) or the "supernatural"(go figure).
        Imo it looks as if the path to the non-physical is -for now- unknowable and irrelevant to explain our everyday world.
        I like the movie "Inception" - The mind creates & perceives fooling itself into a facsimile.

        Cheers!
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    Jan 14 2014: I will agree that the cognitive sciences (or art forms) know so little about the brain and even less about the mind.
    I understood that the "mind" if you will was a measured flow of electricity following paths within the physical brain.
    I understood that part of the brain functions as an autonomous operator of basic body functions; a nerve cluster that man shares in similarity with many living species.
    I will say that there can be no scientific argument about the mind or the brain or where they exist or don't exist.
    I based this statement on my understanding the ability to argue scientifically is to have knowledge of the subject.
    Which brings me back to my first statement, Man knows bupkiss about the brain and the mind... OK overstated, man knows where it is located, have a few pickled in jars and have many, many pictures.
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    Jan 14 2014: tobias are you asserting the brain. is an antenna coonnected to some supernatural realm.

    Which parts of the brain. are the antenna? How does this work? how do you know this is the case. Any evidence to support this claim or is this just an argument from ignorance.
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    Jan 14 2014: I make a distinction between non-physical and supernatural, the two ideas that seem to be used almost synonymously by some commenters here. Nature is the 'state of being' that is observable, can be studied, examined, discussed or theorized while supernatural is a freak that defies logic. Same goes with divinity.

    The statement 'Mind in outside of physical world' can be taken to mean the non-materailness of mind. Science does study non-material entities. Take the concept of wave for example. Energy is another. I wanted to know if mind has been studied like these entities. So far I received no such hint or comment.

    I see physicalism as a dead end. You can try moving both ways - towards the minutest or the super big - and see for yourself.

    Suppose we know the exact and accurate physical architecture of brain. Will that mean we know what exactly is mind? Will the epistemological subjectivity of mind go away?

    Some philosophers/scientists cut short the search. For example Dan Dennett believes consiousness is manifest behavior. Once we know the behavior - there is nothing left to know about consciousness.

    Well, that seems to me like I can declare I am wise if I own a library.
    • Jan 14 2014: "The statement 'Mind in outside of physical world' can be taken to mean the non-materailness of mind. "

      You are right mind is non-materialistic.

      Mind is not the mumbo jumbo of divinity

      Mind and Brain cannot be used interchangeably for each other.

      The person who is dead has also the brain and the person who is alive has also the brain.

      But, only live person has the mind.
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        Jan 14 2014: Seems like humans need a working brain to support mind processes.

        bit like lungs and breathing. Living and corpses have lungs but only the living are breathing.
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    Jan 13 2014: While the debate is on and thanks to all the participants new insights pour in, we may be interested to check back Andrew Solomon’s TED talk in light of my question.

    Andrew’s narrative creates a sensation of gloomy depression artfully. I keep on waiting to see if this discourse leads to any reasonably scientific deduction of the mental problem he went through.

    The talk ends with no medical or scientific insight. Rather, if I am getting it correct, Andrew describes a personal journey, a brilliant account of saving himself through his subjective experience and reconciling that with his life by coming to terms with depression.

    So, what do you think we get from this talk, if not my question? Is it not saying, we are on our own when it comes to our minds – there is no objective reduction of its functions, good or bad?
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    Jan 13 2014: Hi Obey,
    let’s take an example of colour. Science has explained it in the different frequencies of rays (somewhat) but is there really a proof that you see the same e.g. blue as I do? Or is it just that all your life people pointed at this colour and said that this is blue and you agreed?
    I think an interesting topic would be if researchers always find proofs of their work until someone comes who tries to disproof him, who than in turn finds proof of the disapproval. But that of course has to do with the fact, that most of us only see what we want to see (something that we can agree too).
    I'm not saying that this theory is the ultimate truth, but it has some logic to it by dint of my personal experience.
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      Jan 13 2014: Hi Tobias, I understand what you see saying about colour. However I think this reinforces my point. Electromagnetic radiation exists with different wavelengths. The stars are still shining during the day, just I can't see them. The different wavelength s can be measured. How we perceive them and interpret them and label them might be a bit different and is more subjective. But the light with different wavelengths is part of absolute reality.

      on colour we know humans have receptors for the primary colors, so the data input is reasonably consistent. I don't know how your brain interprets this, I don't know how you visually perceive the world. I do know that others describe and interact with the physical world in way consistent with my experience. We mostly dodge cars when cruising the road. You may perceive blue differently to me. But we can both point out the different colours.

      Unless color blind, and we understand that.

      to an extent we see what we want. Perhaps to be more precise we build models of reality consciously and unconsciously, our perceptions and interpretations involve a lot of predictions, filtering etc. Which may lead to optical illusions, the ability to catch a ball etc. Some of our interpretations are wrong e.g. assuming agency is behind disease and floods, as far as we can tell. We do tend to resist consecutive dissonance with our beliefs and models but if we see open to train and evidence our models may improve or change. Mine have over the decades.

      With reason and evidence we can begin to better understand the underlying reality. eg uv light exists whether we can see it or not.

      Some of the models may be effective predictors but incorrect. Eg the sun is not a fiery chariot, but day colts night fairly predictably.

      modern science relies heavily on people trying to disprove hypothesis. This helps us improve.
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        Jan 14 2014: Hi Obey,
        yes this is what 99% of people agree with. Science sais when you drive a car on a road with a constant speed of 100 km/h for an hr you get 100 km further. When you fiil a tank it can drive a certain distance. When the tank is empty you can't drive the same distance. This is science. Despite that I have experienced several times, that it can be different. E.g. I wouldn't have met my wife if I would have followed this science as the time available * by distance and the availale 'resource' to cover the distance at that time was absolutely impossible to make it to the appointment. But intention is cause and I made it. I do not have any proof but I know what I did. That's why I say: my words are not the ultimate truth but with all my experience the only explanation I have.
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          Jan 16 2014: Hi Tobias, so was there some supernatural agency at work impacting fuel efficiency, or could it be other natural factors, such as wind, air pressure, increasing friction. temperature impacting combustion efficiency. Putting in slightly more or less gas. Fuel gauge error. a different octane level etc.

          or simply human error in interpreting the information.

          It is very rare for all conditions to be identical.

          The tendency to assume agency, to cherry pick and make incorrect intuitive connections is very human.

          the scientific method is the best inventuon we seem to have come up with to address our weaknesses.

          did you pray that you had enough gas to make it and you made it? A miracle?

          Now if you made it with a completely empty gas tank, or no engine, or teleported then something really weird might be going on.

          Maybe there was supernatural intervention. But suggest it a little premature to conclude this is the case.

          I'm impressed if some supernatural agency, perhaps the creator of the universe made the effort to help you get better fuel efficiency that day. How'd I wouldn't rule out natural causes just yet. Others have a less skeptical perspective. Every time they pray and something happens they assume it is their god helping them out.

          on the flip side, I recognise it may be difficult to test three shirts of things in a way that strongly indicates some supernatural phenomena. But suggest you could try again withan empty tank.

          these supernatural agents seen quite shy when tested under more controlled conditions
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      Jan 13 2014: Chris Kelly,
      I respectfully responded to your statement....
      "Unfortunately for the sake of your argument, the brain does not store anything - the mind does. The brain is a processor, not a storage facility nor a generator."

      Science IS understanding some of how the brain works Chris Kelly, and the brain, as an organ of the body, is tangible and can be observed. If you do not want to accept that information, in favor of believing what was believed in the past, that is certainly up to you.

      The argument you use regarding "the current tag line" that science uses, can also be used to explain how and why certain "tag lines" (metaphysical, supernatural, etc.) are given when folks do not understand or accept science.
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      Jan 14 2014: Hi Chris, yes science is limited to reason and evidence. Not revealed claims.

      science is incapable of understanding disease, weather, tides, because invisible spirits are responsible for these things.

      science also struggles with claims about gods, demons, angels, fairies, invisible unicorns, the nature Doris responsible for volcanic eruptions and the invisible juju that is responsible for gravity.

      seriously the problem is your views and other conflicting supernatural beliefs are not supported by credible evidence as far as I can tell.

      The limitation and strength of the scientific method is it relies on reason and evidence. Claims of revealed truth and supernatural are just claims until they are supported by ereasonable evidence
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    Jan 12 2014: I think so. A few have expressed the idea of being exterior to the body and still being aware here on TED.
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    Jan 12 2014: Well decide isn't. The propper word would be 'postulate'. You create your own universe and it becomes 'physical' if others agree with it. It is us who play the game. Sorry, I don't think we can blame any other spirit, god or whatever for it. It was us who got us there and it is only us that can get us out again.
    If it's not us that have conciousness, then who thinks that 'I am'? (thinks here is not the right word, but it describes what i mean)
    • Jan 12 2014: then who thinks that 'I am'?

      Self, the sense of separate self. It's illusion. And 'thinking' is the invitation to the game. No wonder we can't find the answer to " who am I ?" question, because there are no answers inside the illusion and outside it there are no questions :)

      Sorry, I don't think we can blame any other spirit, god or whatever for it.

      Did i say anything about ' guilt ' for which anything/anybody could be blamed ?
      On the contrary, i think, even us, who messed everything up are not to blame. There is nobody to blame, absolutely no one.
      btw. for me god and consciousness are close notions. I am not religious and use both. But nothing saves from misunderstanding, wherever you say Consciousness or God everyone hears something different.
      Thanks for responding !
      If you choose to respond, could you please use the reply button ?:)
      It's in the right corner of a post.
      Thank you !
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        Jan 22 2014: Dear Natasha,
        well, I don't know everything, but I think I was so 'lucky' to collect quite some experiences that are not very common.
        I try not to upset people, but it is not always possible. That's why I rather say what I think and also mean it.
        The thanks are on my side :-)
    • Jan 12 2014: You create your own universe and it becomes 'physical' if others agree with it.

      I don't remember anybody have ever asked me,do you ? :)
      We were born into, but you are right , we are creating it instantly. What you mean by agreement is probably the interference pattern, and again i agree with you, but i don't think we do it consciously. We may have intent, but it's also a part of the game . When you are out of the game you are literally out of your mind, so you are not in the condition to do/think/will anything at all.
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        Jan 13 2014: don't we perceive the universe rather than create it. It didn't pop into existence when we became conscious or aware of parts of it. I've never seen the moons of Jupiter or Kenya but they exist independent of our perception.
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          Jan 13 2014: Obey, that's because you are choosing to make a distinction between your individual and collective consciousness. You believe that moons of Jupiter or Kenya exist because you are relying on collective perception of these of many others. That's a part of perception, isn't?
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        Jan 13 2014: Hi Natasha,
        thank you for the hint with the reply button.
        Sorry if I might invalidate you with that, but I don't use words like 'illusion'. It's an argument that makes anyone shut up as one can not argue against it, which shoes also the purpose of using it. Already the caveman had the viewpoint that we are helpless creatures that have no influence on our surrounding.
        Look around you and you find lot's of proof, that this is not the case. Just by dint of chance of e.g. being hit by a huge meteor our race shouldn't really exist. And something I am absolutely convinced of is 'no coincidence exist'. And I believe we are shaping our surrounding in a much bigger way than we believe as well with our fears as with our intentions. Of course you don't create your fears willingly and nobody asks you if you want to have them. Still you somewhat agree that you have them until you say 'No, I'm brave and overcome them' which means you disagree and they seize to exist. Doing this with problems you find that it works the same way. Only as log as you run from them they exist. Once you confront them the answer becomes obvious.
        Blame and guilt are personal feelings. I use the words only to explain my point.
        • Jan 14 2014: Hi, Tobias,
          It's funny, for me ' illusion' is the invitation to the conversation :) What makes me shut up is 'objective reality', i don't know how it looks like and feel no need to argue against it.
          'no coincidence exist'.
          I share your conviction. Cause and effect is one thing, separated by Time , which is the illusion of human mind. It's not me it's Einstein: "the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion."
          btw. what did you mean by ' game' ? If it is not synonymous to illusion ( in the context of our conversation ) ,most likely, i get it wrong.
          And i can't help asking you from where did you get this impression that "the caveman had the viewpoint that we are helpless creatures ..." ?
          I love upper paleolithic art, cave paintings are among my favourites and my impression is directly the opposite: there is no fear . Helplessness comes with fear, it's a package.

          "...thank you for the hint with the reply button."
          The pleasure is mine, now i can find your response with zero effort :)
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        Jan 14 2014: Hi pm,

        I'm just saying that Africa and the moons of Jupiter exist whether I'm observing them or not.

        it had nothing to do with collective awareness. The moons were there before humans looked through a telescope and perceived them

        let me put it another way, do the stars and planets no one has observed or thought of exist or not.

        if I was the only human alive, does the universe pop into existence as I observe it? Is it still there when I close my eyes or sleep.

        you know we can video stuff we don't see or see photos and Films before we existed. There are trees thousands of years old. Radiometric dating indicates fossils are millions of years old.

        The evidence suggests the universe exists independent of our collective or individual awareness or perception.

        Again I suggest people are confusing the existent universe with our perception of it. s

        what exists is not dependent on what I or others believe exists.
        • Jan 14 2014: Hi, Obey ,
          may i remind you , that matter is 99.999999999% of empty space.
          The chair you are sitting on, my post you are reading now, you yourself are literally do not exist . If you take it seriously, and try to create a model which can embrace this information without contradiction, Africa and the moons of Jupiter will be the least of your concerns :)
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        Jan 16 2014: Hi Natasha, I'm aware of that atoms are mostly empty space. But they are not 100% empty space.

        Also empty space is not nothing.

        as you are no doubt aware there are many aspects of the universe that are counter intuitive, especially on the cosmic and quantum scales.

        matter bending space. Relativity. How gravity works. I have developed mental models for these based on mylimited ability to comprehend the science, but I guess my assumptions may be simplistic and inadequate. I guess our brains developed to find food and avoid becoming food on a human scale. We have developed told that help us perceive and measure microscopic, even atomic scales but at some point my brain starts to struggle.

        It's amazing to me how we have figured out, that supports the technologies we have, that allow us to make reliable predictions.

        There is probably an optimal balance between recognising our limitations, but also leveraging our most reliable methods of figuring things out.

        We can observe matter such as moons (apple's, iPhones) and there is no evidence to suggest they disappear when no one is looking, as far as I know.

        we can actually make predictions on the position of planets and moons and when we look they are where we expect them.
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          Jan 18 2014: Hi Obey,
          In this regards you should not just consider 'looking' but 'perceiving'. You do perceive also with more sensors other than just eyes, ears, fingers...
          E.g. you can perceive somebody starring at you from behind and none of those common believed sensors are involved.
          Like this we perceive the universe. And we do our part in creating it by agreeing that it is the way the scientists tell us. Those who disagree are stamped crazy. Like a friend of mine always says: The great findings of today are the mistakes of tomorrow.
        • Jan 20 2014: Hi, Obey,
          you still think within the subject/object duality, this mindset, this neutral programming, was written by natural selection and by our own past experience. It's not easy to get out. But it is not in any sense absolute, and we can get out of it, and we'd better.
          Believe me or not , but i have a kind of a model, it doesn't mean that i think it's true, how could it be ? ! But it's true enough to understand the meaningless of the questions for which your brain struggles to find plausible answers, there are no answers within the old frame of reference, in a new one they make no sense.
          Thanks for responding !
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        Jan 18 2014: Hi Natascha,
        sorry for the late answer, I've been very busy and also your message did not have a reply button. That's why I replied to the message before that.
        I disagree that helplessness comes with fear. It does not when the person has accepted 'his condition'. There are still tribal cultures that still represent that. I also used the word in a definition like 'not being the cause' but the effect of other influences.
        • Jan 20 2014: Hi, Tobias,
          no need to apologise, or take my apologies this time :)
          Actually, what you are saying is that we set up a cause and it comes back to us as the effect. In this case self pity or fear is a kind of inappropriate behaviour.
          If it is what you are saying, generally , i agree with you. But it gets much more complicated when we ask the question how much we are in control. Does free will exist ? Sure , yes , but where ? How do we exercise it ? If you honestly analyse any of your choices, it will be turtles all the way down. How could you possibly take the responsibility for the choice that was not quite yours and was predetermined long before you were born ?
          In short , i think , that we are much more embedded in the flow than we think.
          But the illusion that you are behind your choices or 'being the cause' is a useful thing, because it's you who will face the music anyway :)
          Thanks for responding !
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        Jan 20 2014: Again no reply button, I must be doing something wrong. Sorry I’m still new to TED. Are there any settings where I can change this?

        Hi Natasha,
        basically we are at full cause if you consider your own universe. But here it’s like 2 people pushing a table in one direction and 5 people pushing the same table in the other direction and we know where the journey goes. There also strength and intention are determining factors. As I said already to Obey: It’s relatively easy to prove it to yourself but due to counter intentions very difficult to prove to others.
        Yes, free will exists, but it comes with a mountain of responsibilities and few want to take it.

        You were not born, your body was. You have at least agreed to things happened in the past or it would not really affect you, even if it was just because you were convinced that you could not do anything about it. This is all very theoretical and it takes a group effort to make a real change. This is why continuous peaceful demonstrations do work despite sometimes any logic.

        ‘To face the music’ is somehow an odd expression. Cause if you would really face a problem, it ceases to exist.
        • Jan 21 2014: "You were not born, your body was "

          If you mean what you say, and say what you mean,i don't think i can tell you anything you don't know yet :)

          Thank you !
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    Jan 12 2014: Clarification:
    By physical world I mean everything that can be reduced to some material constituent part, elemental and testable.
    The question is framed to examine the idea that mind cannot be reduced to such physical materialness.
    God or divinity is a too easy and uninteresting caveat in this discussion and I personally do not get inspired with such reference.
    For the ones who are arguing that science can one day know how mind works and hopefully show that it is nothing but some electro-chemical activity of neurons, it may be a point of consideration that science does differentiate between technical limit of reduction and intrinsic irreducibility of phenomena. Quantum indeterminacy is one such. So science has confirmed that one can never know and predict exactly when a radioactive decay will take place for an individual atom. This is not because we are deficient in knowledge and technology - it is just unknowable.
    Moreover, there are many non-physical things we are familiar with. Just because science cannot handle those do not make these non-physical things non-existent or false. For example there can be emergent quality of a system that is more than the summation of its constituent parts.
    • Jan 12 2014: I claim there is no such thing as something without a physical presence.
      Even abstracts like freedom, or fictional concepts like Harry Potter exist in the physical world in the same way a computer program exists as an electrical process happening inside a computer. The physical world is comprised of more then solid objects and other things you can pick up with one of your senses.

      The brain is just a big, complex electro-chemical reaction. Seeing as we've cracked how other elecro-chemical reactions work (say, nerves), and they're not fundamentally different then the brain, the failure to fully understand the brain is in technology, not in the process being unknowable.
      The brain is merely (very) complex, not fundamentally special in its ability to baffle science.
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        Jan 12 2014: Interesting claim. Everything physical must qualify for study under physics. Neither freedom nor Harry Potter does
        .
        • Jan 12 2014: The concepts themselves might have no scientific interest (at least in the hard sciences), but the manner in which they're stored and used in the brain (the reason I claim they're physical things) certainly does.
          If you bring a hard drive full of random cat pictures from the internet to a scientist 50 years ago, the cats would hold no interest, but the hard drive itself and the way it stores information certainly will.

          One is the language and one is the meaning, but as physical objects, the two are inseparable (as in, neither freedom nor Harry Potter nor digital cats would exist at all, abstract or no, if they weren't in someone's head, data storage or written on a page somewhere).
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        Jan 12 2014: Your argument seems to obscure the boundary between metaphysical and physical.
        • Jan 12 2014: My argument claims that no such boundary exists, for the metaphysical does not exist, at least not in the traditional sense.

          All non physical things (ideas, digital cats and such) exist solely in our heads or other physical storage devices, which are physically changed for storing said abstracts. That change (a different set of 1's and 0's for the cat) is their physical existence.
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          Jan 12 2014: I'm completely with Navad on this

          " My argument claims that no such boundary exists, for the metaphysical does not exist, at least not in the traditional sense."
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          Jan 12 2014: Pabitra,
          What do you perceive to be a "boundary between metaphysical and physical"? I agree with Nadav....no such boundary exists....except maybe in the minds of those who choose to believe there might be a boundary.

          Metaphysical:
          "highly abstract or abstruse"

          Abstruse:
          "difficult to comprehend"

          I suggest that many things which have been thought to be difficult to understand, have been given the label "metaphysical", and the idea is thought to be "out there" somewhere....outside the physical world.

          That is why I do not agree with your statement..."Mind exists outside of physical world". Just because we (humans) cannot fully explain or understand the processes of the mind, does not put it outside the physical world.
      • Jan 12 2014: Does physical world exist outside of mind ?
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          Jan 12 2014: It may be quite so that the physical world is a mental construct because I don't think there is any way we can define a physical world independent of perception.
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          Jan 12 2014: Exactly! They are interdependent.

          How do you know there is anything objective? Subjective experience.
          Where does subjective experience come from? The objective world.
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          Jan 13 2014: While our experience of perceiving the universe may be the product of some matrix like construct, brains in vats, a software programme etc most of us assume or live practically as if the universe exists even when we sleep, that the universe pops into and out of existence when we close our eyes.

          We generally don't jump off buildings or in front of cars based on the philosophical speculation that the universe is an illusion. we eat, also and work and interact with people and the universe as if it does exist.

          There seems to be evidence of existence before our conception.

          It seems infantile to assume the universe only exists when you perceive it. Like a child assuming you can't see it when it closes it s eyes.

          I suggest all the evidence we have largely indicates the universe exists independent of our perception

          yes it could be popping into existence as I perceive it but it seems reasonable to assume it exists independent of our perception. The universe could have been created 5 seconds ago with us preloaded with memories of the past. But the evidence white not absolute suggests otherwise.
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          Jan 12 2014: FYI Chris Kelly,
          "Throughout much of history, the mind was thought to be separate from the brain. The most promising approaches treat the brain as a biological computer...acquires information...stores it...process it in a variety of ways..."
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain
        • Jan 13 2014: I dismiss metaphysical matter because I have no evidence to suggest it exists.
          If I can't observe it with any sensor (whether natural like sight, or artificial like a Geiger counter), then I have no reason to believe its actually there.

          If new evidence presents itself, the theory will have to be reevaluated. Until then...

          The mind, and all the information stored on it, is a construct of the brain in the same sense the digital cats are a construct of the bits inside the hard drive. Its just more complex, is all.
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        Jan 12 2014: @Nadav, Jimmy and Colleen.
        Saying no boundary exists between physical and metaphysical will negate the whole of philosophy (Dan Denette will be out of work, I guess).
        This is known as Hempel's Dilemma.
        The metaphysical is not about difficulty of understanding but more about impossibility of reduction or computability.
        "The boundary between physics and metaphysics is the boundary between what can and what cannot be computed in the age of the universe." These are the words of a physicist named Carlo W.J. Beenakker. I think I indicated the issue of intrinsic irreducibility of some reality in a slightly different context in my earlier posts. I think I also clarified what I meant by physical world.
        Hope we don't get into semantic muddle.
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          Jan 12 2014: Pabitra,
          Philosophy (love of wisdom) evolves, as we evolve....does it not? As we are aware of new information, our philosophy may change and evolve:>)
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          Jan 13 2014: I suggest there is a transcendent realm of ideas, meaning, feelings, thoughts, imagination, that is a product of our brains.

          there is no spiritual realm in the traditional sense as far as we can tell.

          I can imagine things, ascribe meaning to symbols. This is the transcendent realm we have evidence for. But these imaginings, these meanings, these ideas don't exist physically.however my brain is physically measurably active while thinking or imagining or feeling

          I suggest people mix this up with supernatural speculations.
      • Jan 12 2014: Lachlan, you say :

        Where does subjective experience come from? The objective world.

        How do you know ?

        Objectivity is the illusion of every subject :)
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          Jan 13 2014: But to be a subject at all you must be 'posited' inside an objective brain/body - I don't think you can say it's just one or the other.

          I dont know for sure if consciousness was born out of the objective world but if we are to believe the stories of history - that the earth existed before we did and that we come from an evolutionary lineage of ancestors (who all shared the same human condition) then we must take on trust that the objective world has been around long before we were born into it.

          Though our own worlds seem to revolve around us, I think that is the real illusion. Humans have this incredible capacity for self-awareness and I think that's where we get confused.
          I believe we are all just manifestations of nature/the force of life :)
      • Jan 14 2014: Lachlan, you say :
        "I believe we are all just manifestations of nature/the force of life :)

        I do share your belief ! :)
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    Jan 11 2014: Pabitra,

    What is "outside of physical world"?

    What is the question, I don't understand it...

    But no, I would have to disagree since we're all, everyone and everything, part of the physical world.
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    Jan 11 2014: I have this new conversation here http://www.ted.com/conversations/22508/how_seriously_does_our_abilit.html?c=804895

    It's inviting to think about why our conscious minds are so theatrical. Let me know if you like it.
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    Jan 10 2014: Hi Pabitra,

    I'm going to start a new thread since TED never really allow you to respond past three post.

    Your response was interesting because I read something similar to that in this book called "The Science of the Mind" by the philosopher Owen Flanagan. He mentioned that lower level systems (he gave the example of a scallop) are aware of their environment because if they weren't there could be no way that they could survive. The same thing goes for plants. How this is the case I have no clue and maybe that is something you could answer for me.

    As for the concern that you have in regards to sentience I agree with you..As much as I rely on science in my post I am not one of those individuals who believes that science has all the answers but I do think science has allowed us to think of the mind/body a lot differently than in the past.

    Even still I would have to say that what separates us from a plant is our own self-consciousness. So it may be the case that plants have consciousness and are capable of knowing the difference between themselves and the external world but could you say that they are aware of their own existence?

    Secondly even if plants were sentient organisms I would have to assert that this position does not support your original question since plants are of the physical world like the rest of us.

    Keep up with these post Pabitra, I really like the way you think.
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    Jan 10 2014: Change of coarse, Mind is ever present, everywhere.

    "There is no knowledge of tomorrow.
    Observation implies no accumulation of knowledge, even though knowledge is obviously necessary at a certain level: knowledge as a doctor, knowledge as a scientist, knowledge of history, of all the things that have been. After all, that is knowledge: information about the things that have been. There is no knowledge of tomorrow, only conjecture as to what might happen tomorrow, based on your knowledge of what has been. A mind that observes with knowledge is incapable of following swiftly the stream of thought. It is only by observing without the screen of knowledge that you begin to see the whole structure of your own thinking. And as you observe, which is not to condemn or accept, but simply to watch, you will find that thought comes to an end. Casually to observe an occasional thought leads nowhere, but if you observe the process of thinking and do not become an observer apart from the observed,if you see the whole movement of thought without accepting or condemning it,then that very observation puts an end immediately to thought, and therefore the mind is compassionate, it is in a state of constant mutation."

    Jiddu Krisnamurti
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    Jan 10 2014: Hi Larry,
    the danger is to get stuck in it. It's like being in the situation continuously. You find such cases usually in mental insitutes.
    But I think we are diverting from the original subject.
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      Jan 10 2014: Hello Tobias, I am not seeing what you and Pabitra expressed as being separate from the subject matter but maybe something within the subject matter to be avoided.

      I have an understanding of what is being communicated. There is great fear associated with that experience. The fear of losing what one thinks is their own mind, maybe death, fear of the unknown. Fear has many names. I just let go beyond the point of telling myself to STOP! What is odd is there was no attempt on my part for such an event to occur, it just happened naturally rather unexplained and I followed wherever I was being led. I am not stuck in it, dead nor in a mental institution. I was led out as certainly as I was led in. I can not say it works the same for everyone. Enough said on my part.
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    Jan 10 2014: Hi Vera,
    if you happen to live in a hot country you can try what a friend of mine tried long back in Aftica: Ask a small child that has never seen snow to describe what is snow. You will be surprised of the answer.
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    Jan 10 2014: Q. to everyone.

    One plays the vague image of its own Mind, and perhaps, may imagine its own Brain, and its Body.

    Who is the Acttor who plays them all, where is the stage of one's conscious theater ?

    Please remember no one can jump out of one's mind in order to see objective reality "out there".
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      Jan 10 2014: Hi Vera,
      I believe I am the actor and director of my life experience. The body is the carrier of energy, which fuels the consciousness, brain, mind, physical body, mental capabilities, activities (both internal and external), and my ability, as a multi sensory, multi dimensional, multi faceted human, to think, feel, reason, intuit, act, and make informed choices/decisions while assimilating all information from many sources:>)

      The earth is the theater with lots of stages, and is the backdrop for my human life experience. In my humble perception, I am interconnected with all other actors, everything that is part of the natural world, and energy flows through all of it.
  • Jan 10 2014: Where is it "outside of physical world"? Can I C some photos or drawings? Maybe feel? Smell?
    • Jan 10 2014: You'd like to see a picture, or drawings of love? Can you smell hate? What colour does ignorance have??

      The spiritual realm is inside, around and near to the material realm. But since it is non-material it is not physically connected, attached. Very similar (not identical) to signals arriving and projected by a radio.
      • Jan 11 2014: "Love" i can see, touch, smell, feel, hear. I never felt in love with a girl that I never see (at least). "Hate" may not have smell (sometime does) - but visual at least appears to be present all the time.

        Electric/magnetic fields in physics are defined as "special" form of mater.

        By the way: science does not deny existence of any god. It just says - so far we don't have any evidence that any gods exists. By "evidence" here i mean "an experiment that can be repeated by anyone and prove the theory".

        Religion on the other hand presents only words as evidence. Words that have no connection to reality.
        If I ask you: define love please. Due your religious background you wont give me a definition that has words that describe objects from our environment. You will load the conversation with words that one may only guess what they mean.

        You will never define "love" as warmth, view, touch, smell, effort, spent energy and resources that comes from a human to another. Cause your mind appears to be programmed to stay there - in your imaginary world - denying the real one.

        To un-program it only one book (much thiner than bible) may be enough: "Tyranny of words". Sure to reach this book you'll have to make huge effort to assume for a moment that you need a little bit more info than what you have.
        • Jan 11 2014: --""Love" i can see, touch, smell, feel, hear."--

          Since you can do all that, what colour does love have? We can touch an object or material, but love is non-material.

          God is Love. Can you touch God?
          When you see one person looking lovingly at another, all you see is a facial expression. You don't know if that person loves the other person's hat or whatever.
          All I'm saying is that you can show someone your body temperature. You cannot show that person your love on a measuring device, because it is spiritual. We can only express something spiritual with physical movements of body parts.

          The essence of good love is loving others than oneself, wishing to be one with them and devoting oneself to their happiness. I suppose you could call it a spiritual attraction, magnetism.. :)
          It is also said, we are what we love. What we love governs what we do. Gives motives to what we do.
          A good thing is that our motives cannot be detected or measured by an instrument. Again, because it is on a higher level.

          Have a great weekend
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          Jan 13 2014: Love is a word that has several connotations or definitions.

          Saying god is love seems to be poor definition, or personofying what we normally refer to love.

          a person is not love.

          feelings of love are immaterial like all thoughts and feelings. That does not mean there is some supernatural spiritual realm. Feelings of love are products of our brain as far as we can tell.
      • Jan 12 2014: Love is just a word that tends to describe certain processes from our life. And yes - you are free to use in your imagination with your own imagined definition.
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    Jan 10 2014: "It is undeniable that some organisms are subjects of experience. But the question of how it is that these systems are subjects of experience is perplexing. Why is it that when our cognitive systems engage in visual and auditory information-processing, we have visual or auditory experience: the quality of deep blue, the sensation of middle C? How can we explain why there is something it is like to entertain a mental image, or to experience an emotion? It is widely agreed that experience arises from a physical basis, but we have no good explanation of why and how it so arises. Why should physical processing give rise to a rich inner life at all? It seems objectively unreasonable that it should, and yet it does."
    David Chalmers in 'Facing up to the problem of consciousness'.
  • Jan 9 2014: Since the physical can affect the mind, and the mind can affect the physical, I believe they are of the same.
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    Jan 8 2014: "Mind exists outside the physical world and can influence the physical states of brain" .....

    That makes it very much part of the physical reality, in my book.
    • Jan 9 2014: Gerald,
      "Mind exists outside the physical world......" then it cannot be part of the physical world!!!!
      It can and does however, affect it.
      Your mind and your physical are not the same realm.
      Your physical and your brain are, but no physical structure can process or provide meaning
      and meaning is qualia. It is not physical.

      Now, what about when you are "out of your mind?"
  • Jan 8 2014: If we knew how the mind works, we'd know how God works.

    Science cannot tell us anything about the mind because it is beyond the physical. It cannot be measured, tested or reset.
    One of the reasons this may be clear is that there is no bodily organ that can change, or repair itself. The brain seems to do that at times one section stops working and now there is another part of the brain that does, or tries to do the same thing.

    One thing not many may know is that the Ark and the Tabernacle are both detailed and accurate descriptions, or pictures, of the human mind, with its different levels and their uses.
    http://www.swedenborgstudy.com/books/G.deCharms_Tabernacle/index.htm

    No one can measure or detect what we think or love because these are spiritual activities. Only in so far these influence the brain can it be said 'there is brain activity' so he or she must be thinking, or feeling something.
    Science can tell us that we think, but not what we think. There is a reason for everything :)

    If this may help at all, this is a link to The Human Mind
    http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/documents/TheHumanMind.pdf
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      Jan 8 2014: "Science can tell us that we think, but not what we think."

      This claim is not a scientific fact.
      • Jan 9 2014: Why not?

        They know what you're thinking when you cross the border?
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          Jan 9 2014: I'm not saying we have the technology. I'm saying the claim itself is a wild guess, not something derived from any theory or understanding of what science can and cannot do.
      • Jan 9 2014: What I'm saying is that whatever is spiritual, science is not able to detect or 'read'. Our mind and it's activities are spiritual. Our brain is just the receiver of that input.

        When science says we're dead, many come back with a detailed account of a spiritual Near Death Experience..
        To me that is a clear indication of us living on a higher level than the body.
        But each his own, of course.
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          Jan 10 2014: "When science says we're dead, many come back with a detailed account of a spiritual Near Death Experience."

          So they were near-dead?
          Science says that no such dreams can occur to a brain that's been reduced to ashes. It doesn't say one can't experience specific kinds of hallucinations as the brain is being deprived of oxygen. Of course, science defines death as something you don't come back from, so there are no testomonies of what it felt like to think without a functionning brain.

          I don't mind getting out of my box, on a personnal level. I can read and understand your comments and some of them make sense. But science doesn't care. Science, not me, says that our minds work like computers, are the result of interacting matter, and that there is no mind when there is no brain.
      • Jan 9 2014: Sorry Gerald, you have to get out of your box, or body :)

        --"I'm saying the claim itself is a wild guess, not something derived from any theory or understanding of what science can and cannot do. "--

        It so very much is! The physical and spiriual realms are not one and the same, and somehow connected and on the same level of matter.

        Please see science as only being capable to regard physical matter and its interactions.
        It is impossible to have a physical connection between something physical and something spiritual!!
        Just because there is no physical connection, this does not mean it does not exist.

        There is an unconnected interaction between these two realms or degrees of existence. These levels are called 'unconnected degrees' or discreet degrees. These 'connect' through correspondence. There are "degrees" of two types. "Continuous" degrees are like the degrees of heat measured by a thermometer and "discreet" degrees are like the rungs of a ladder.

        For example, love on the level of the spiritual world corresponds to heat on the level of the natural world. Wisdom in turn corresponds to light. All things of the spirit have a corresponding counterpart in nature.
        As regarding the body and mind interaction, these are details of that 'interaction.'
        http://sites.google.com/site/liveitupspiritually/home/writings/interaction_of_soul_and_body.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1
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          Jan 9 2014: I think it is VERY possible to have connections between physical and spiritual Adriaan. People experience this ALL the time. I also respect that you have your own personal beliefs. However, just because you have your personal beliefs about something, does NOT mean something is "impossible".

          What kind of "correspondence" connects what you call "discreet degrees...like the rungs of a ladder"?
        • Jan 19 2014: Wow, what amount of speculations and fantasy. You lose touch whit reality man.
      • Jan 9 2014: Hi Colleen, I hope you get to see this..

        --"I think it is VERY possible to have connections between physical and spiritual Adriaan. People experience this ALL the time."--
        A 'connection' yes, but not a physical connection, like wires ot nerves. The same with saying you're close to someone. Your loves or/and interests are similar or the same. You would not express that closeness in feet or meters because it is on the spiritual, non-material level.

        When you see a head with a lightbulb over it, you know this is about getting an Idea, getting the picture. There is no literal light, it is an expression of something 'higher'.
        There are parables that use that 'system' of expressing a situation on a literal, natural level. While the reason fot the parable is a situation on the spiritual level. One level corresponds to, and so explains the other, non-material level.

        Because of the properties of water on the physical level, water corresponds to truth on the spititual level. Gold correspond to love, etc etc.
        How our lungs and heart relate and interact in our body corresponds, in every detail, how two parts of our mind interact and relate. Our digestive system corresponds with the process of 'digesting' ideas in our mind.

        I also respect the fact that you also have your own personal beliefs, as every human being does.
        Happy new year to you
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          Jan 10 2014: Hi Adriaan, and happy new year to you too!

          I clearly wrote, in comments on this thread, the connection I perceive is energy....not wires or nerves as you say. I'm sure you know that wires and nerves are simply carriers of energy.

          Love, in my perception, exists on all levels.....not just a spiritual level. So please do not tell me how I would, or would not experience love. My perception appears to be different than your perception.

          Ok....I now understand your use of the word "correspondence". You are saying "one level corresponds to, and so explains the other..."

          That is different than your other comments Adriaan, which say....
          "It is impossible to have a physical connection between something physical and something spiritual!!" "There is an unconnected interaction between these two realms"..."like the rungs of a ladder."

          I perceive ALL interactions as connected, so it makes no sense to me that there would be an "unconnected interaction". I don't know about YOUR ladder, but the ladder I use, is all one piece, constructed of interconnecting parts, and I believe that humans are interconnecting parts of the whole. So, your use of the word ladder, to demonstrate your argument, supports my argument.....thank you:>)

          I think you debunked your original statement, which states that interconnection is "Impossible".

          My belief, regarding this topic question, is that everything is energetically connected. It appears that when you start preaching your personal religious/spiritual beliefs, you often contradict yourself. My only point, in questioning your original statement, is to remind you that just because YOUR religious/spiritual beliefs say one thing, there is no reason to suggest that anything different is IMPOSSIBLE.
      • Jan 10 2014: Hi Colleen,

        --"I think you debunked your original statement, which states that interconnection is "Impossible"."--

        Taking words out of context to 'proof' a point, this is what makes discussions with you so difficult. Isn't this what religions do?
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          Jan 10 2014: I used your exact words in the context you used them Adriaan. Yes, I agree.,....this is what religions, and religious beliefs sometimes do.

          I suspect that what makes discussions with me difficult for you, is that I sometimes remind you of your contradictions.
    • Jan 9 2014: A hundred years ago, science couldn't tell us how the sun works either. Today, we teach it in high school (albeit with most of the mathematics glossed over).

      Give it time, we'll get there. The mind is taking a long time to figure out because its complex, not because its unknowable. Thoughts have just as much of a physical presence as something like a computer program--not a physical object per say, but a reaction inside a physical object--still has a presence just fine, though.
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        Jan 9 2014: But science will never be able to tell us exactly how each of us experiences the sun - in our own way - I think that's what Pabitra is addressing here.
        • Jan 10 2014: Nor does abstract ideas as "God".
        • Jan 10 2014: Why shouldn't it be able to?
          Just because we don't fully understand and haven't fully mapped out the brain before doesn't mean we won't be able to in the future.

          Besides, that has nothing to do with the question of whether it has a physical presence or not. We lack understanding and accurate models of plenty of things which are undeniably physical.
          Figuring out how you experience the sun is just a matter of a better understanding of how the brain is built and functions.

          I think the lack of a willingness to accept the mind and consciousness as part of the standard physical world is less to do with rational argument, and more because people like feeling special, and special doesn't seem half as magical when you can explain it.
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          Jan 10 2014: I agree Lachlan, that science cannot tell us exactly how each of us experiences something, and maybe that will, or will not happen....we don't really know what the future holds:>)

          However, science is learning more and more about mental/physical processes all the time, and science is discovering more about how the process works. To say that something will "never" happen seems unrealistic.

          I agree with Nadav, that figuring out how we experience something, is a matter of a better understanding. If we accept the information we have now as the "end result", we cannot delve any further into the question.

          That's very interesting Nadav, and it probably has some truth...."people like feeling special, and special doesn't seem half as magical when you can explain it."

          I suggest that it also doesn't seem half as controlling! That just makes me smile, after the number of times I've been told that if I do not accept a certain belief, I am going to hell!!!That looks like someone telling me that they are special because s/he "believes".....something which I supposedly do not know about!!! That is funny:>)
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        Jan 12 2014: You're right Colleen, just want to elaborate because I wasn't being precise with my wording.

        I believe that eventually science will explain HOW the process of perception works (in an objective, agreeable way) but that it still won't take away any of the mystery to do with qualia - the raw, subjective experiences that each of us have.

        There's a Buddhist quote - "the finger that points at the moon is not the moon".

        Science is based around objects and what we can agree on with consensus, but I believe that science will never explain my experience of the world because it's subjective - and subjectivity is not an object.

        I move through a passage of the objective world and create my own subjective reality based on my experiences in it.

        I am nothing more than a culmination of my experiences, thoughts, perceptions etc. and we each create our realities differently because we were born in different niches of the objective world, we each have unique brains etc.
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          Jan 21 2014: I agree with what you have written Lachlan...science may never explain our experience as individuals, because how we interpret anything is subjective....we create our own subjective reality....the culmination of thoughts, feelings, perceptions and experiences.

          I believe science is however, learning more and more about how the processes of the brain/mind work....as you insightfully say....and the information discovered with new scientific research, could contribute to changing some thoughts, feelings, perceptions and experiences IF/WHEN individuals are open to the possibilities? We see some folks who do not believe that which science has already proven, and they prefer to stay with their own subjective information as "truth". Science gives us information, which we can accept....or not!
    • Jan 9 2014: "...know how God works". Which one?
      • Jan 9 2014: Whatever name we give to the higher power we believe in. He couldn't care less what you call Him.
        • Jan 10 2014: "power" like what? where it is used? "higher" comparing to what? "him" male? where is "her"? do "they" multiply? He also can "care"? Does he have a brain?
      • Jan 10 2014: If you'd really like to know..

        Power like what?
        Power of infinite Divine Love and Divine Wisdom.

        where it is used?
        Everywhere in the spiritual and natural worlds or realms.

        "higher" comparing to what?
        Compared to the spiritual and natural worlds or realms.

        "him" male? where is "her"?
        This higher power created both and is above gender. 'He' sounds a lot better than 'It' You want to say 'she' go right ahead. For Christianity, because God came down in the form of a man, He is normally addressed as a male. Similar question, is the sun heat or light?

        Do "they" multiply?
        No, He does not

        He also can "care"?
        Yes Love cares, He created us to love not Himself but others outside of Himself

        Does he have a brain?
        At the time Jesus was born He had a brain. Before and after His resurrection His brain was, and became, spiritual.
        • Jan 10 2014: Do you know how to use scientific method?
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          Jan 10 2014: Adriaan,
          The information you provide is not "to know" except to you and those who believe as you do. These are YOUR personal ideas of what you think you "know".

          The topic question is...
          "Mind exists outside of physical world - will you agree?"
      • Jan 10 2014: --"Do you know how to use scientific method?"--

        That does not work in the spiritual realm. To maintain our human spiritual freedom, freewill, nothing spiritual can be proved scientifically.

        Could a partner scientifically measure your love for her/him?
        • Jan 10 2014: If 1) asking a question 2) make an hypotesis 3) set up an experiment 3) collect data and 4) make conclusion 5) repeat if necessary
          Does not work in "that" world
          then
          how you came up with conclusion that God exists if no:
          1) Asking if god exists 2) maybe bible has answer 3) read bible 4) make conclusion that God exists. 5) Continue reading
          Can you share your, non scientific way, to find out if god exists please?

          I can measure love by counting time one pays attention to another by carring his/her needs. How I do this in case of God love?
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          Jan 10 2014: Adriaan,
          That is exactly how and why people often remain "attached" to a religious belief...by believing that "nothing spiritual can be proved scientifically". That leaves it pretty open for religious leaders to tell people whatever they choose (which has been done), and people believe.

          It is not freedom, in my perception, to believe something that somebody directs one to believe regardless of any other information that may be available.

          In my humble perception, experience and practice, asking questions, exploring concepts or ideas and collecting data, is both scientific and spiritual. To exclude one or the other is limiting.

          How to measure love? There are lots of tangible measures with love...how one is treated... respected....etc. etc. etc.
      • Jan 10 2014: Hi Dorian
        --"Can you share your, non scientific way, to find out if god exists please?"--
        Your question sounds stuck in the scientific way. We cannot "find out" it God exists. As human beings we are, and must be, in 100% freedom to love somebody including God. Any proving or testing takes that freedom away.
        I follow, what I see as Revelation, because it makes total sense to me. Others follow theirs, if any.

        So part of the original question exists here too. If we could proof a disconnection between mind and brain, your freedom would be taken away to not believe that.
        • Jan 11 2014: You mean I dont want to imagine your imaginary world?
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          Jan 11 2014: Adriaan,
          I wholeheartedly agree....100% freedom to love is important for humans.

          Having additional information by testing, questioning, collecting data, proof, exploring, evaluating, etc., DOES NOT take away one's freedom to love who s/he chooses. Proving a disconnection between mind and brain DOES NOT in any way take away the freedom to believe whatever we want.

          It seems like you contradict yourself again, because in a previous statement, you write...
          "It is impossible to have a physical connection between something physical and something spiritual!!

          You apparently believe that physical and spiritual are not connected, and you still believe what you choose to believe in other regards. Having more information DOES NOT deprive a person of freedom to believe what s/he chooses. It simply provides information to make more informed choices.
      • Jan 11 2014: Dorian you are being silly. When you say:
        --"You mean I dont want to imagine your imaginary world?"--
        That wording, to me, means NO you don't want to.

        Colleen,
        Think about this for just a second or two.
        --"Having additional information by testing, questioning, collecting data, proof, exploring, evaluating, etc., DOES NOT take away one's freedom to love who s/he chooses."--
        In case I could show you proof of the existence of God, that would not take away your freedom to not believe in a God??

        Same here (talk about contradicting!)
        --"Proving a disconnection between mind and brain DOES NOT in any way take away the freedom to believe whatever we want."--

        Remember you said:
        --"The body is the carrier of energy, which fuels the consciousness, brain, mind, physical body, mental capabilities, activities (both internal and external), and my ability, as a multi sensory, multi dimensional, multi faceted human, to think, feel, reason, intuit, act, and make informed choices/decisions while assimilating all information from many sources:>) "--

        To me that means you believe our mind, body and brain, are one, there is no disconnection. If a disconnection could be proven, you'd have to give up that very belief.

        --"You apparently believe that physical and spiritual are not connected, and you still believe what you choose to believe in other regards."--
        Vague statements don't do very much. If you have to, reading something twice may help, which is based on my humble perception..

        --"Having more information DOES NOT deprive a person of freedom to believe what s/he chooses."--
        Agree 100% Colleen !! This, however, is not about MORE information, it is about information that shows a disconnect between the brain and the mind, between something material and something non-material. That information/proof would take your freedom away to believe your brain and your mind are one and the same.
        Unless you change your mind of course, then you could even believe in a God.
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          Jan 12 2014: Adriaan,
          I have been very clear. I believe the mind, body and brain (part of the body) are all interconnected, and of course I am not insisting that you believe the same thing. I respect YOUR choices for YOU.

          I agree Adriaan....vague statements don't do very much.....nor do contradicting statements:>)

          Having more information DOES NOT deprive a person of freedom to believe what s/he chooses to believe, and I'm tired of your insistence that everyone should believe in what YOU believe in! Now how about getting back to the topic question rather than trying to convince us that you and your beliefs are the one and only "right" beliefs!

          The topic question is..."Mind exists outside of physical world - will you agree?"
        • Jan 12 2014: Only "silly" people dare to question established views.
      • Jan 13 2014: "Only "silly" people dare to question established views."

        You are so right, for millions of years people believed in a spiritual realm. Until science came along and changed those established ideas.

        Science is all about, and limited to, matter, which does not, and should not be used as proof there is nothing byond matter.

        If you w(c)ould except a scientific indication, please read books about NDE's. These are experienced by millions of very, very different people all over the world. With 'scientific' I mean the detailed research that has discovered how very similar all those experiences are.
        The fast majority of those experiencing them afterwards accept the spiritual realm as a reality. Of course there are always a few exceptions, as you can see in this discussion..
        • Jan 14 2014: Religion "Love is God".
          "Science": "Love is care of someone else, is touch, is enjoy seeing, is smell...".

          Result: "I love a girl" - translated:
          Religion: "I God a girl".
          "Science": "I care a girl, touch, enjoy seeing, enjoy smelling her."

          Or if I have an imaginary world in where exists: "Baramsalaba, Foo, Duommamma". And you would ask me what "Baramsalaba" is? I may answer "Baramsalaba is Foo". And you ask what is "Foo"? and I tell you "Foo is Duommamma and also Duommamma is Baramsalaba" - we will run in circles forever. Until I don't point to something familiar to you and say "Baramsalaba" is a star in my world, just like sun in solar system.

          So "spiritual realm, love, God" may really exist - however it appears that you are not able to compile a clear definition/explanation of what it is.

          Also - if there are 2 separated worlds and there is no "bridge" between them - how you know about it?
      • Jan 15 2014: --"So "spiritual realm, love, God" may really exist - however it appears that you are not able to compile a clear definition/explanation of what it is."--
        I cannot show you on a screen what God or what love is. I can however explain that we have been created in God's image and likeness.

        God is Divine Love and Divine Wisdom. Those two combined create Life or Use.
        We have a will (to receive that love) and an understanding (to receive that wisdom). When we have a balanced will and understanding and put those to good use, we have a good life.

        God is above gender, as He created both. Just like the sun is not heat or light, but both.
        Men and women both have a will and an understanding, but the male uses his understanding first, and the female uses her will first. That's why they are so different. That's also why it is often thought that male and female are opposites. While they are really supplementing each other.
        This is an article on the subject
        http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/studies/Origin_of_Masc-Fem.pdf

        --"Also - if there are 2 separated worlds and there is no "bridge" between them - how you know about it?"--
        How would you connect a material world with a non-material world? How can you connect a shovel and its use?
        You have learned what shovels do, but we cannot put a detector on it which then would 'say:' "shovel" :)
        You can't see, by looking at someone, what they're good at or love to do, unless they show or tell you. Many people can be doing the same action, but each has their own reason(s) for doing it and they can be quite opposite.

        All of that whole situation has a reason for being that way. To guaranty our freedom to decide what we want and so shape our character. Make ourselves the person we like to be.
        This little book deals with human issues and just about any questions that may come up about God.

        Best wishes Dorian
        http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/documents/DLW.pdf
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          Jan 15 2014: WHAT???
          "the male uses his understanding first, and the female uses her will first"???

          Adriaan.....where the heck did you get THAT???

          A shovel and it's use are VERY connected......IF......one sees the connection! If one does not know how to use the shovel, then you're right.....there is no connection FOR THAT PERSON WHO DOES NOT MAKE THE CONNECTION!

          You are trying to promote your personal religious teachings again Adriaan!
        • Jan 15 2014: Language appear to be just a tool just like a screwdriver. You can misuse and hurt yourself/others.

          You can use screwdriver to scratch your ear (or someone else's). Sound may disappear and you may take it as normal because "all humans did the same before".

          You also can use language to "scratch" you mind as well. Hard to stop you - cause is your own tool - your own body/mind.

          "shovel and its use" - using it appears to connect you directly. You even don't need the word "shovel". Put your hand on it - start to use - connection appears. I cannot teach you how to use a shovel is you have no idea what it looks like. The same appear to be true about words you use and don't want to define.

          "we cannot put a detector on it which then would 'say:' "shovel"" - those who keep their nose in bible only are not aware of existence of micro-controllers that can accomplish just that.

          As long as you use in your research words only - it remains philosophy - thinking/speaking, thinking/speaking, thinking/speaking...

          "God is Divine Love and Divine Wisdom. Those two combined create Life or Use."
          "Divine Love + Divine Wisdom = Life = Use.

          "God is Divine Love and Divine Wisdom":
          God = Divine Love + Divine Wisdom.

          thus:
          God = Life = Use.

          Now I got it: "god" is synonym to "life" (sure if you are not going to "twist" now the word "life").
  • Jan 8 2014: The mind is a physical thing in the same way that a computer program is a physical thing. The latter exists in the physical world as a complicated electrical process, while the former is an even more complex electro-chemical process. Its still there, however, in the sense that it has a physical presence, even if its not what you'd define as a solid object.

    So in short, I wholly disagree. Everything that exists has a physical presence.