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October 18, 2011

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I finally get the difference between the new age brain and the scientific brain. Thanks.

To Brian: Deepak Chopra is just another one of those self-help guru's who has accumulated great wealth in erm...helping himself...very clever how he has created a cocktail consisting of Vedic literature, hints of SantMat and then added quantum physics and choas theory to support his message....a message which is rather vague if you ask me....

Brian,

Not directly related to this post, but have you read a book called "Journey of souls" by Michael Newton ?

I came across it in a comment on another post here.

Michael is an hypnotherapist and stumbled across this discovery of 'Life between lives'...essentially the spirit world and hence the existence of souls.

it is a fascinating read and seems to answer some of the questions about life after death. There is also a sequel to the book called "Destiny of souls"

maybe you could do a new blog on the book and comment on this in relation to RSSB. I think RSSB seems to suggest going higher then what is given in the book....but that could just be the author has not hypnotised anyone who follows RSSB.

link to the book on amazon... http://www.amazon.co.uk/Journey-Souls-Studies-Between-Lives/dp/1567184855/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319493532&sr=8-1

Joro, I hadn't heard of this book. I took a look at the Amazon listing. It appears interesting, but not all that different from other books purporting to prove reincarnation and life after death.

I hope such is true, but the only way for anybody to know is to die. I'm skeptical about hypnosis being used to get people in touch with past lives. The human brain is capable of much self-deception. So I'll probably pass on this book.

Over twenty-five years ago I heard a presentation by Sir John Eccles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Eccles_%28neurophysiologist%29) in which he described an experiment with a patient who had dye injected into the bloodstream for a brain surgery. With the patient's consent they arranged prior to the surgery to ask the patient to move a part of the body, and observe the activity of the brain by blood flow. Then they asked the patient not to move that part again, but to think about moving it. The blood flow remained the same, which led Eccles to hypothesize that the soul is playing the mind like that dang piano. SHUT UP ALREADY. Sorry, talking to the piano.

I would consider this to be a hypothesis, and it sounds like we are no closer today to a theory. In order to be scientific, a hypothesis has not only to be testable, but those tests must be capable of falsifying the hypothesis. If you conduct all the demonstrations of your hypothesis which supports it, but never allow a demonstration to disprove it, then what is going on is not scientific; it is merely persuasion.

I find that hypothesis intriguing, and am interested in the science. But I am not convinced of the piano-player hypothesis either.

Everything I think of as myself is so connected to my arbitrary history, my undoubtedly embellished and burnished stories about myself, and my will to survive in physical form -- not to mention my name. What am I without those things?

If there is anything eternal in mind, in consciousness, then it existed before my body and name, and will continue to exist after my body and name are forgotten. Nothing individually manifest physically can have any real, permanent existence. My opinion...of course...

Over twenty-five years ago I heard a presentation by Sir John Eccles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Eccles_%28neurophysiologist%29) in which he described an experiment with a patient who had dye injected into the bloodstream for a brain surgery. With the patient's consent they arranged prior to the surgery to ask the patient to move a part of the body, and observe the activity of the brain by blood flow. Then they asked the patient not to move that part again, but to think about moving it. The blood flow remained the same, which led Eccles to hypothesize that the soul is playing the mind like that dang piano. SHUT UP ALREADY. Sorry, talking to the piano.

I would consider this to be a hypothesis, and it sounds like we are no closer today to a theory. In order to be scientific, a hypothesis has not only to be testable, but those tests must be capable of falsifying the hypothesis. If you conduct all the demonstrations of your hypothesis which supports it, but never allow a demonstration to disprove it, then what is going on is not scientific; it is merely persuasion.

I find that hypothesis intriguing, and am interested in the science. But I am not convinced of the piano-player hypothesis either.

Everything I think of as myself is so connected to my arbitrary history, my undoubtedly embellished and burnished stories about myself, and my will to survive in physical form -- not to mention my name. What am I without those things?

If there is anything eternal in mind, in consciousness, then it existed before my body and name, and will continue to exist after my body and name are forgotten. Nothing individually manifest physically can have any real, permanent existence. My opinion...of course...

Scott, I totally don't get Eccles point of view. Yes, it's well known that thinking about moving my hand fires up the same part of the brain that makes my hand move. What is so astounding about that?

I've never heard a neuroscientist say there is anything soulful or other worldly about this. It just means that mental practice is almost as good as physical practice, when it comes to athletic/physical activity.

I think Eccles may have been a bit boggled by the question of where that brain firing is "coming from" -- is it from that part of the brain? It comes down to the question of the nature of consciousness, and that was the topic of the talk. It was certainly not a scientific venue, and not a scientific talk per se -- the whole point of it was that he was a "Nobel Prize-winning neurophysicist talking about the nature of consciousness." It was well-marketed, and attendance was costly...need I say more? He saw an opening, or someone did.

I admit to being happily mystified by what is meant by "mental practice" or "physical practice" from a physiological point of view, or where in the brain consciousness may arise or be expressed. Everywhere?

As far as I can see, this is just a rewording of meditation instructions -- see the originless nature of your thoughts, and that they also are destinationless ... certainly true in this case! Return to the breath. heh

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