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Metaphysics & Psychology

Psychology and NDEs – Light at the end of the tunnel?

I’ve had three encounters with near death experiences (NDEs) in the last week.
The first was reading an article in the Telegraph by Colin Blakemore who was very dismissive of the paranormal claims of NDErs. Then last Thursday I attended a talk as part of Sheffield’s Off The Shelf literary festival. Author Linda Hoy was promoting her new book The Effect in which she argued that science and spirituality are converging. She spent a lot of time talking about NDEs. Finally today I read a very well-argued, enjoyable, but skeptical blog post by psychologist Christian Jarrett. His line of reasoning was that NDEs, are simply brain activity along the lines of certain types of drug use. He remains firm in the belief that the mind exists within the brain.
Dr Jarrett makes a strong case and argues well, however my view is that the opposing thesis – i.e. that the mind somehow exists beyond the brain – cannot be ruled out. The arguments presented by Jarrett and others are simply inconclusive. I hasten to add that there’s nothing empirical to support the idea that NDEs are real or that the mind can exist in a yet-to-be identified dimension. Therefore for me at least, it remains in the ‘possible but scientifically unsubstantiated’ category.
It seems to me that many take a position on this subject based on aspects of their psychological make up. It’s the old Carr (1961) dictum – “before you study history study the historian”. This is true for some historical theorising and also areas of psychology where there is a lack of good empirical data. So in this case materialists, atheists and others view the mind as being a physical neurological entity, whereas those who enjoy contemplating the metaphysical and spiritual allow for the possibility of as-yet undiscovered mental modus operandi.
The psychology of psychologists if you like.
The British Psychological Society magazine published a letter of mine earlier this year (BPS, 2012), in which I argued for a theoretical psychology similar to theoretical physics. The rationale for this was that there are some constructs that are very difficult to test (the idea of the big bang could not be adequately tested by physicists, so for many years it remained simply the best theory). At some point however, a methodology or serendipitous sequences of events may allow empiricism to be applied to the theory. Particularly note that it was the creative theoretical physicists who drove huge progress in the field (for better or worse) culminating in the splitting of the atom and nuclear power – and weapons.
Personally, I am attracted to the idea that a new concept of brain-mind would “shake our understanding of natural laws of science to its very foundations”. Anyone who has ever read Kuhn (1970) will know that huge leaps of scientific progress take place via such revolutions (paradigm shifts). I mean we haven’t had a Copernicus for a few centuries now (although Einstein probably counts) and I think we’re due one. Furthermore, there’s so much about human mental functioning that we don’t fully understand: psychopathy, dreams, and NDEs themselves. If a new paradigm helps answer some of these questions, then perhaps it is something to work towards – not to be afraid of. Heresies such as the brain-mind disconnect are simply a contemporary equivalent of those that Galileo and Copernicus expounded.
I agree that NDEs are weird. But so is quantum mechanics, and some of the theories at the far edges of astro-physics; indeed Copernicus’ idea of the Earth not existing at the centre of the universe led to some labelling him mad (Kuhn, 1970). Perhaps what is needed in psychology are more imaginative researchers, able to devise well-argued theories to explain many of the weird phenomena that occur in relation to the mind.
Ultimately psychology is about people. As Dr Jarrett accurately states, to the experiencers NDEs are psychologically significant events. A constant theme that runs through NDE reports (both positive and negative) is how real they feel to the experiencer. Perhaps it’s slightly high-handed of psychologists to ignore this element of the self report (when in so many other instances we completely rely on the self-report – I give you the Likert scale).
Therefore to dismiss aspects of these experiences because they challenge our current ideas about the universe is I feel, folly on so many levels. In the same way that medical researchers such as Dr Sam Parnia are performing scientific studies in this area, I think many more psychologists should have the courage to explore the weird too.
And for the record I guess I fall into the metaphysical/spiritual camp, however that aspect of my makeup (like my race, sexuality etc.) can co-exist quite happily with my respect for scientific principles.
References
Carr, E.H. (1961) What Is History?
Kuhn, T. S. (1970) The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions
BPS (2012) Letters: “Theoretical Work Psychology?” The Psychologist, 25 (4), p. 257

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Metaphysics & Psychology

A new way of manipulation? (Video)

For decades they have manipulated us. They ensure that the masses follow the fashions they want or vote for the candidates they want, but would they reach the point of implanting memories?

Although it sounds like a science fiction story, different actors, both politicians and philosophers, have expressed themselves about the existence of this practice.

One of them is Robert Duncan, a member of the Association Against the Abuse of Psychophysical Weapons, who was also a contributor to the United States Department of Defense.

He says that there are states that have perfected this practice and with it, induce false memories in the population in an artificial way to generate emotions in the citizens with the aim of manipulating them more effectively.

During the last years, although it has gone unnoticed by the media, there is a belief that the CIA has been experimenting with ultrasound.

This as part of a project to codify the sensory data located in the cerebral cortex. Same case happens with Russia and the creation of an Artificial Intelligence capable of coding and drawing people’s thinking.

What is the end of this? According to the journalist Isabela Herranz, it is to generate visions or hallucinations in the public through the direct and remote stimulation of the brain circuits.

Herranzz suggests that, these machines could also know all our thoughts and remotely control the activity of the brain to choose what we think, creating programmed memories.

We know this sounds like a conspiracy theme taken from the air … but no, unfortunately, it is not.

In fact, leaving a few years ago, remember that Sony acquired a patent that, through ultrasound touch screens, gave users the feeling that they really felt what they were touching.

They stimulated the senses so much that many declared that they could even taste and smell what they saw on the screen.

Jenny Hogan and Barry Fox covered this in the New Scientist magazine, where they described the device as a “non-invasive patent” that interacts with sections of the brain to generate these sensations in users.

A device like this, improved, more developed, much more powerful and used on a large scale. What could it generate in people?

As we mentioned at the beginning, the technique of manipulation is not something new, even we do it sometimes to acquire what we want.

But this is something that goes far beyond what we all think and know. What do you think about it? Watch the following videos and leave your comment below.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

I saw my father’s spirit leave his body

I saw my father’s spirit leave his body when he passed away.  Yea, I know.  Sounds a little strange.  But I really did.

My father passed away in May 2017 from alcoholism.  He was a chronic alcoholic for my entire (and his entire) life.  Although he was a crappy father, of course I still loved him and felt very connected to him as his daughter.

His entire life I never knew him to ever be sober.  No actually, that’s a lie.  He got sober for about two weeks after hitting and killing a motorcyclist two blocks from his home in NJ.  And during that time, he was a very depressed, angry, and quiet version of himself.  I was almost relieved when he started drinking again.

When my dad got sick and towards the end of his life, I knew he didn’t have too much longer.  It’s happened several times that I’ve dreamt a person had passed away only to have it come true shortly thereafter.  I began having dreams that my dad had died, so I wasn’t so surprised when he ended up in the hospital.

I myself had an NDA (near death experience) when I was 19.  I experienced a heart attack and cardiac arrest (which is another story I won’t get into).  Ever since that moment, I’ve had a much stronger intuition, perhaps even psychic ability.

When my father went into the hospital in May, he found out he would need to have a surgery.  He had been feeling ill and wasn’t able to eat.  What ended up happening was the lack of alcohol made his organs shut down.

Once he was admitted and had gone through a minor surgery, they realized the severity of what was happening.  He began having DT’s and hallucinations.  He deteriorated very quickly.

Perhaps the only thing that could have saved him would have been if he was given alcohol.  But no one in the hospital was going to do that. And I wasn’t going to do that either although it did cross my mind.

When my dad was on life support and we got the phone call that it was time to take him off, I went with my now fiancé to the hospital.  There was a moment where I was left in the room with my dad.  I can still remember that moment very clearly even though I was distraught.

When everything was happening, I didn’t realize it on a conscious level.  But my dad was laying there in the hospital bed and seemed to be glowing.  There was literally a ring of light encircled around my father laying in that hospital bed.  In retrospect I know it was his spirit going through the process of leaving his body.

When my father took his last breath that night, the light was no longer there.  None of the lighting in the room had changed, however he didn’t have the glow I had seen earlier.

Several months later, I was walking through Midtown Manhattan when I saw a neon sign that said NYC Psychic Readings.  With everything that’s happened in my life, I think I may have had a tarot reading about ten years back.  But I was drawn in to see this psychic.

When I sat down, I got a strange feeling.  Pretty early on in the reading, she described my father.  She said “I see a tall man.  He has dark hair and dark features.  His name is Serge.”  I got the chills.  My father’s name is Sergio, and she described him perfectly.

She then proceeded to tell me, “You saw something when your father died.  He wanted to tell you what you saw is real.  He’s with you all the time and he loves you. “

That was an amazing moment for me.  Even with everything I had been through it confirmed to me there’s so much more out there that we don’t really know about.  And even if you’ve seen signs in the past, sometimes you just need to see the right sign to know that it’s real.

*This is a guest post 

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The universe can be part of a large quantum computer

Recently, two physicists from the Baltic Federal University Immanuel Kant (IKBFU) in Russia have proposed a whole new view of the cosmos. Their research catches the crazy idea that we are living a simulation in computer and mixing it with the astonishing “many worlds” theory to say that essentially our entire universe is part of an immensely large quantum system encompassing “countless” Multiverses.

The universe could be part of a large quantum computer, say Russian scientists

When you think of quantum systems, such as the quantum computers of IBM and Google, we usually imagine a device designed to work with subatomic particles – qubits – to perform quantum calculations.

These computers may one day perform advanced calculations that classical computers today cannot, but for the time being they are useful as a way of researching the gap between classical and quantum reality.

Artyam Yurov and Valerian Yurov, the IKBFU researchers behind the study mentioned above, postulate that everything in the universe, including the universe itself, should be viewed as a quantum object. This means that to experience ‘quantum reality’, we don’t have to look at subatomic particles or qubits: we are already there. Everything is quantum!

Yurov and Yurov begin your job claiming that they turned upside down currently popular theoretical views of physics:

We present a new view on cosmology, based on the quantum model proposed by Michael and Hall. Following the idea of ​​this model, we consider finite many homogeneous and isotropic classical universes whose evolutions are determined by the standard Einstein-Friedmann equations, but which also interact with each other in quantum form.

The article goes on to describe mathematically how our entire universe is itself a quantum object. This means that, as a tiny subatomic particle, it exhibits quantum properties that must include overlap. Theoretically, our universe should be in more than one place or state at a time, and that means there must simply be something out there for it to interact with – even if it means that it uses non-intuitive quantum mechanics to interact with itself in multiple states simultaneously. .

The problem with expanding quantum mechanics to large objects – such as a single cell – is that other theoretical quantum characteristics stop making so much sense. In this case, decoherence, or how quantum objects collapse from various states to the physical state we see in our classical observations, does not appear to occur on the cosmic scale.

Yurov and Yurov have a simple solution to this: they state unequivocally in their work that ‘there is no’ decoherence ”.

According to an article by Sci-Tech Daily, the lead author of the article Artyom Yurov said:

At that time I was skeptical of the idea. Because it is known that the larger the object, the faster it collapses. Even a bacterium collapses extremely fast, and here we are talking about the universe. But here (Pedro Gonzales Diaz, a deceased theoretical physician whose work partially inspired this study) asked me, “What does the universe interact with?” And I answered nothing. There is nothing but the universe and there is nothing with which it can interact.

But the more Yurov and Yurov explored the “many interacting worlds” theory (MIW), which says that all quantum functions physically manifest themselves in alternate realities (the cat is dead in one world, alive in another and dancing Cha Cha in another, etc.), but they realized that not only does this make sense, but math and science seem to work better if you assume that everything, including the universe, has quantum characteristics.

According to study:

This implies that the reason why quantum phenomena are so fragile has nothing to do with a ‘collapse of a wave function’ (whatever that means) – indeed, an object such as a wave function is essential and can be completely avoided in MIW formalism. No, the existence of quantum phenomena depends solely on the mutual positions of neighboring “worlds” – when they are close enough, quantum potential is alive and kicking; when they depart, the quantum potential diminishes and the particles become effectively classic again.

The researchers then used their assumptions to come up with calculations that expand the “many worlds” theory to encompass multiple universes or multiverses. The great idea here is that if the universe is a quantum object, it must interact with something and that they are probably other universes.

But what research does not explain is why our universe and everything in it would exist as analogous to a single qubit on a gigantic quantum computer spanning multiple universes simultaneously. If humans are not the magical observers who cause the quantum universe to collapse into classical reality, by measuring it, we could be gears in the machine – perhaps the universe is a qubit, maybe we are the qubits. Perhaps we are just noises that the universes ignore as they perform their calculations.

Maybe we live in a computer simulation after all. But instead of being the “non-playable characters – NPCs”Favorites of an advanced creature, we are just a few pieces of math that help the operating system work.

You can read Yurov’s article, “The day the universes interacted: quantum cosmology without a wave function”  here at Springer.

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