« Hurting children in the name of religion -- unacceptable | Main | This Idea Must Die -- great idea for both science and religion »

March 22, 2015


Another example of pseudo-science.

"Most believers expect their soul to be able to carry forward their mental life with or without the body."

"Most believers" Now that's a scientific survey if ever there was one. So a soul is whatever a popular vote among "most believers" says?

Maybe the opposite is true. Maybe mental life disappears with the brain's passage. But consciousness and awareness expands!

As long as we are tied to the limited and varying physical brain, we are blinded, and biased, and unable to see correctly.

And the more that brain prison cell is injured, the more poorly it functions.

But free of it, perception is instantaneous and expansive.

Where brain doesn't exist, consciousness does!

Your author does not site all the meditation studies supporting this.

Indeed, control over bodily functions, amazing degrees of control, and hyper subtle degrees of awareness of those functions, take place when a person learns to consciously shut down portions of the brain.

There are decades of that research, and in recent years conducted at Yale, UCLA and Princeton.

But anyone trying to make claims about soul and God on the basis of modern "science" is no true scientist, certainly they are reaching outside their profession, their respect for the scientific method, and their good judgement.

So why do people keep doing it? It is the religion of Atheism.

And your evidence for consciousness surviving the death of the brain/body is...?

(please fill in the blank)

As long as we are tied to the limited and varying physical brain, we are blinded, and biased, and unable to see correctly.

As long as we are tied to the belief that we are not "the limited and varying physical brain, we are blinded, and biased, and unable to see correctly".

Blogger Brian write:" And your evidence for consciousness surviving the death of the brain/body is...?"

A while back you were enthusing about the theory that consciousness is a fundamental constituent of the universe like space and time, in which case, consciousness would definitely survive death. But, hey, that was days ago.

Dear Brian:

You wrote:

"And your evidence for consciousness surviving the death of the brain/body is...?"

The evidence I provided demonstrates that less brain usage = greater awareness / consciousness.

That evidence completely dismantles the notion that consciousness grows or lessens due to the brain. Now, the brain's ability to handle complex tasks, and to build a more complete sensory mileau is most certainly proportional to the complexity and functionality of the brain.

But consciousness is a different animal, Brian. And there is quite a bit of research about it, that I have referred to above, which you have ignored.

Instead, you've chosen to argue against spirituality by asking about evidence of consciousness after death.

For that, and it's very specious, I refer you to the NDE anecdotal accounts.

But it's unscientific. You're asking about a realm of measurement that is not currently developed. And you know this. That is creating a circular argument.

And then you make the fatal and common flaw of folks who are themselves not scientists when they try to use science.

No scientist looks at a dark room and claims "There is nothing there". That's what a circular argument is.

That is your approach.

Newton had to deal with the same many times.

He said "I frame no hypothesis".

He invented a concept, "Gravity" to explain how bodies tend to be attracted to each other. But even today no one can actually detect gravity waves. Two bodies in space. Nothing connects them. They start moving towards each other. Why? How? No one knows.

Your logic would it can't be "gravity" but must be something else...those bodies must have been pushed in the past.

No, Brian. All science disproves your thinking. Even the most fundamental things cannot actually be measured. We must infer causal variables from their actions on other things. Most science deals with postulating invisible forces. Yes, that's what science does!

That's the limitation of this physical world. A limitation which every scientist accepts as they work to refine their instrumentation and observation skills.

But the relgion of Atheism rejects that. A dark room is an empty room to those who hold that faith.

It's unscientific.

Ancient Geek, actually there is no contradiction between Koch's view that consciousness is a fundamental property of the cosmos, and human consciousness being dependent on the brain.

Here's a Koch quote:

"You and I find ourselves in a cosmos in which any and all systems of interacting parts possess some measure of sentience. The larger and more highly networked the system, the greater the degree of consciousness. Human consciousness is much more rarified than canine consciousness because the human brain has twenty times more neurons than the brain of a dog and is more heavily networked."

The more material networking, the more consciousness. In this view, for example, a thermostat has a very minimal degree of it, not anything approaching self-awareness.

So when we die, the atoms that constitute us will, in Koch's view, continue to manifest their very minimal sentience, but we won't any longer -- because the complex integrated information made possible by the physical human brain won't exist anymore.

Brian, you wrote:

"Ancient Geek, actually there is no contradiction between Koch's view that consciousness is a fundamental property of the cosmos, and human consciousness being dependent on the brain."

Brian, I concede the first point. Yes, the entire creation is conscious: To the extent that the fields of energy that occupy it are in fact part of the whole that make up all things. That's largely a matter of some science, particularly atomic physics. It isn't particulary new or cutting edge.

But the second point is wrong. Consciousness does not depend upon the brain. Consciousness has been chained to it and constrained by it. However, like wearing a heavy pack or thick boots, it is a necessity for functioning in this cave of iron and smoke.

What you see as physical matter is largely empty space.

What you see as space is largely a concept.

So long as there must be an intermediary between item and perception, there is thought.

But when no intermediary is necessary, there is simply perception. No thought at all. But a much larger consciousness!

You might say there is no thought without the brain container. But conscious, immediate awareness of that...capturing that in an instant is what some have called hyper-conscious. Or "Extra-Sensory Perception."

To become "One" with the object of perception is to eliminate the intermediary, therefore no thought, no brain is needed. But absolute perception and awareness.

Because then the individual sees, feels, understands all in one step in a multi-dimensional moment what their linear, bio-chemical one cylinder brain pumping out one-dimensional thought pellets like a rabbit that ate too much of the wrong stuff, kind of thinking. And what is the destination of that thinking? Comprehension.

So the thought isn't the consciousness. It's the Comprehension at the end of it. And that's generally after the thought, or in tiny increments along the way. That part is instantaneous. That's how the biochemical brain works.

The human brain generates linear, sequential thinking over increments of time, along a single dimension of time, a single track to reach a moment of comprehension. And with direct perception, "Extra-Sensory Perception", that klunky process is simply replaced with comprehension. That's why meditation is so difficult for a while. How to fit A into B. But A has to be set aside. The B is, like a curtain pulled back to reveal well...see for yourself.

A is entirely unnecessary for comprehension and consciousness. But only someone versed in B knows this, and only for themself.

Good news, Track B is available to everyone. It's like those magic eye books. You have to apply just a little discipline to get there.

Then, you can go test it all for yourself. You can see whether that comprehension is just memory, imagination or something that really is direct, and has nothing to do with "thinking."

Does it replace what your senses report? No. It's different. But the two are connected!

One is flawed, the other isn't. So, naturally, they look entirely different!

At best the mind understands in concept the construction it has made. But that is not actually apprehending reality.It is apprehending your own artificial, gooey, crayon-drawing brain-created image.

Apprehending reality is direct perception, not thought.

Do you need senses for that?

Since you are immersed in those fields of energy, no.

Senses measure gross and separate items. An object is 10 feet away. Your eyes see it, they create a flawed but functional image in your own brain. That's your connection to the item. You perceive that image as the object. It's upside down, pock marked, discolored and curved in your brain. Your brain straightens it out, turns it right side up, fills in the pock holes, adjusts the color evenly, even before "you" see it.

You still aren't seeing "it". You are in your brain prison cell contemplating the crappy drawing your brain has handed to "you" through the prison bars.

From a Quantum perspective, in terms of fields of energy, "YOU" and the object ten feet away are entirely connected. You aren't separated at all.

There is a field of energy between you and the object and the two are simply nodes configured differently.

Without any senses, it is possible to "know" that object and yourself instantaneously as parts of one whole.

And atomic physics, even before quantum physics, revealed over 100 years ago how these fields occupy space...all space. And how we with our gross senses, we perceive only portions of it, as distinct matter. We perceive it wrong mostly...just right enought to function physically. It's a gooey chemical process. So it's not a wise idea to use those limited perceptions to extrapolate anything beyond. They don't describe the true reality that, say, sub-atomic and nuclear physics describes, at all.

So, does consciousness disappaer when the brain goes? Does thinking disappear?

The two are not the same, Brian.

I think a good scientist would investigate that before concluding one way or the other.

They wouldn't say "I don't really know, so I'll say NO." Or "No one has any evidence yet, therefore I say NO." Poor Einstein, Bohr and Fermi had to contend with a good deal of that flawed thinking. That isn't scientific.

Be the scientist you long to become.

Spence, I'm not sure how it would be possible to know that consciousness exists without a brain. Everybody who is alive has a brain, and those who are dead can't communicate with those of us who are alive.

Sure, I like the idea that consciousness is independent of the brain, since this implies that consciousness survives bodily death. This seem an unprovable idea, though, since it isn't possible to live without a brain.

consciousness is so easy to prove

just listen to that tiny sweet sound of your Self

might take a quarter of an hour to un-think Shakespeare's
"dream, thought by an idiot, signifying nothing !"


rather special that Gopals Jap Ji translation says :

"a SHEIK, a PIR Divine, , , even the blind will see the Path Sublime

Dear Brian:

You wrote:

"Sure, I like the idea that consciousness is independent of the brain, since this implies that consciousness survives bodily death. This seem an unprovable idea, though, since it isn't possible to live without a brain."

What I spoke about was testable hypotheses.

For example, while Newton Hypothesized about Gravity, he could only indirectly test "gravity's" effect on physical objects.

No scientist has yet been able to measure "Gravity waves" or "Gravity particles". They have no actual clue as to what physically connects two entirely separate objects floating in space, to bring them together. It's unnecessary. You don't need to go into outer space.

Your argument is that because you can't go into outer space, gravity apart from the earth can't exist. In your logic, it only applies to the earth because you can only measure the effect of the earth on other local objects.

Newton had to have other data. He had to formulate another means, a more sensative means, to test his hypothesis that gravity wasn't unique to the earth.

That's what science does much of the time. It hypothesizes things you can't actually measure or see directly. But you form a hypothesis about how that dynamic force effects things you can measure.

And usually that requires setting up a controlled experiment to test forces that are not testable in the normal world without such heightened levels of control.

What I wrote about was testing your own ability to perceive things beyond the physical senses, and to be able to consciously witness how your own mind functions.

If you can see and be aware of how your own mind functions while IT is operating separately, that certainly is one hypothesis you can test.

If your brain is shut down, if all sensory input is shut down, if thinking is shut down but YOU find yourself entirely aware of things you had no access to before...first and foremost watching your brain and thought itself function, then you have evidence that consciousness may exist separately from what you are calling the brain.

At least you have evidence of a level of conscious awareness that you have not yet experienced before. And if it's "real" whatever that heightened awareness is, you can repeat that experiment over and over again to further test what it is you are perceiving.

At least you have evidence that whatever consciousness is, it isn't quite as dependent upon those things you currently know to be the brain.

You can test that, if you are willing, like any good scientist, to conduct that experiment.

But, satisfied to read other people's opinions isn't science.

You have to want to conduct some experimentation in consciousness for yourself to be in a position to understand the strengths and limitations of what you are reading. If you can't actually alter your level of conscious awareness, you can't claim to have scientific understanding of consciousness.

It's that simple. Science is about controlling variables, not merely conjecturing about them.

Brian, you've lost that fundamental scientific concept in all the philosophy.

It's always better to actually see microscopic things through a microscope, not conjecturing about what they might or might not be with no actual interest in personal verification, as you gaze across the heavens.

You might as well conjecture that the sun rotates around the earth because that's how you see it, and what others have written for thousands of years. With no interest in better instrumentation, control and real experimentation, that's as far as one will get.

Thank goodness, someone chose to apply some hard criteria and test that themselves upon their own measurements of the heavens.

They were truly curious. Really interested in facts, not opinions.

How they must have sounded to pragmatists. Eliptical patterns? The geometry of celestial movements? Why all that complex explanation for something that was much easier to believe: The sun rotates around the earth, period.

Really, can't we get beyond that thinking into some really testable science?

If you want to understand consciousness at all, control it. Learn to raise it.

Then let's talk about what you find.

It's going to be difficult to prove anything about the soul if it exists at a layer of reality more fundamental than the mind, as proofs are just more mind machinations: dull, dead and lifeless. The soul is all about love, intuition and joy whereas the mind is just a computer.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


  • Welcome to the Church of the Churchless. If this is your first visit, click on "About this site--start here" in the Categories section below.
  • HinesSight
    Visit my other weblog, HinesSight, for a broader view of what's happening in the world of your Church unpastor, his wife, and dog.
  • BrianHines.com
    Take a look at my web site, which contains information about a subject of great interest to me: me.
  • Twitter with me
    Join Twitter and follow my tweets about whatever.
  • I Hate Church of the Churchless
    Can't stand this blog? Believe the guy behind it is an idiot? Rant away on our anti-site.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...