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1151  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / Re: How can I bypass any remaining, yet undetectable doubt? on: March 13, 2011, 09:01:09
Ah, I see.

Well, to that, I would tell you that you don't need to forget your doubt, as your doubt will not hold you back. Instead, you must rather strongly believe in the possibility.

What if someone told you that they could walk through brick walls, and then demonstrated this to you?

When you went to try yourself following them, of course you would have doubt that you were going to smush your nose up against an unmoving surface. But if you were going to do it at all, you would also need to believe it was possible, or else you wouldn't try at all. You probably wouldn't slam into the wall merely because a small part of you expected you might, but you would definitely not try at all if you did not believe it was at least possible.
1152  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Re: Destruction of souls on: March 13, 2011, 08:52:12
You would do well not to accept answers to questions no one can end for certain, haha; can you really say anyone can answer something like this, and never need to be questioned?

I don't profess to know either, but much has been said on the matter that is interesting to consider.

Socrates and Plato had much to say, and here is one of their better arguments, from the Phaedo:

"Must we not, said Socrates, ask ourselves what that is which, as we imagine, is liable to be scattered, and about which we fear? and what again is that about which we have no fear? And then we may proceed further to enquire whether that which suffers dispersion is or is not of the nature of soul — our hopes and fears as to our own souls will turn upon the answers to these questions.

Very true, he said.

Now the compound or composite may be supposed to be naturally capable, as of being compounded, so also of being dissolved; but that which is uncompounded, and that only, must be, if anything is, indissoluble.

Yes; I should imagine so, said Cebes.

And the uncompounded may be assumed to be the same and unchanging, whereas the compound is always changing and never the same.

Basically Socrates is saying that in one sense there are two types of things- things that have parts or are composite, and things which have no parts at all, and are whole, and inalterable. Things which have parts can always be destroyed, since that would happen if the parts were separated, like the separation of our body's molecules, for instance. Things which have no parts cannot be destroyed or altered, since no change can be made to their composition at all.

So the question that leads us to is, is a "soul" a single uniform whole with no parts, or is it a composite of several parts? The answer you provide to that should tell you whether souls are destructible or not.
1153  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / Re: How can I bypass any remaining, yet undetectable doubt? on: March 13, 2011, 08:24:36
Hmm... perhaps I missed something in your post.

What is it that you are doubting, and how do you feel this is holding you back?
1154  Astral Chat / Welcome to News and Media! / Meltdowns occuring over three cores at Fukushima plant on: March 13, 2011, 05:01:02

The situation has intensified at the Fukushima Nuclear plant in Northeast Japan, one of two major facilities who's stability is in question at the moment following the 8.9 earthquake, and the subsequent explosion there Saturday the 12th.

There are now 2 cores at the facility believed to have undergone partial meltdowns, and a third which shows signs of following suit. The situation as it stands is as serious as the Three-Mile Island incident in Pennsylvania, and has the potential to become as serious as the Chernobyl accident if a full meltdown occurs.

Sea water and boric acid is being pumped into the cores in an attempt at cooling and radioactive absorption, and Iodine radioactive inocluations are being handed out.


1155  Astral Chat / Welcome to News and Media! / Re: Global Earthquake Situation on: March 12, 2011, 21:38:55
It only makes sense that there would be quakes all over before and after an event like Japan.

Tectonic events don't happen in isolation- it is all about push and pull, reactions and counter-reactions. Somethine like that would have warning signs well before-hand leading up to it, and ripples in other places well afterward. That was a cataclysmic-scale earthquake- something like that does not happen without an entourage secondary quakes and events around it.
1156  Bug Reports and Questions / Forums Bugs Reports and Questions / Re: Are profile pics not allowed? on: March 12, 2011, 04:16:19
I think there is a very small window of pic sizes available to use, and they need to be on the tiny side (80x80, or some such size), but I don't remember exactly how small- it could be that size, or somewhat larger. Take your pic, and shrink it down in an editing program to like 20x20, and see it you can submit it; that would rule out the size question.
1157  Metaphysics / Welcome to Metaphysics! / Re: why religious mantras work? on: March 10, 2011, 08:17:00
The way I think about, I think I take a somewhat altered version of what Xanth suggested:

I don't think that the meaning of the syllables is at all relavent, outside of causing you to contemplate a certain idea as you say them; the real force of a mantra probably comes from two places:

1) The focused intent: when we focus on a mantra, we are causing our concentration to take an object, which becomes the majority of our awareness, allowing us to better get into a meditative state.

2) The modulations of pitch: it has been shown that not only do binaural sounds have the ability to direct brain-waves, but that in in addition, strongly modulating sounds of low modulation frequency also can affect brainwave states (beta to delta, etc). The effect of larges numbers of monks chanting a powerfully reverberent sound which modulates at a 4-8hz range is a powerful aid to directing your mental state into the meditative brainwave of theta and delta. So it is not impossible that chanting a mantra in a certain manner might also help you entrain your brainwaves to one of these states.
1158  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Re: Robert Bruce is giving away Astral Dynamics EBook for free on: March 08, 2011, 19:09:06
Haha, I bet this is some kind of giant advert for other products, with the awareness that Astral Dynamics is showing flagging sales today; still really cool though, that Bruce is releasing his information, like he did with all those treatises years back- there is plenty in AD of value to any beginner.
1159  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Astral Consciousness! / Re: What do you know about isolation tanks? on: March 08, 2011, 19:01:07
They were much more studied and numerous around the mid-to-late 70's.  Most of the isolation tanks are now in psychology research departments, as it takes alot of effort and money to maintain them; they generally need saline-solution baths, and biometric monitoring equipment, so that a technitian can keep an eye the subject's vitals. I think there are a few private companies offering a similar experience with tanks, but it still costs a pretty penny.

I have never had any experiences with one, but from what I understand, most people have mild-moderate hallucinations within 20 minutes to an hour.

For me, OBE is linked intimately to the subconscious ( I would describe the intitial experience as immersing the concsious mind into the subconscious), and that is clearly the sort of experience you will have with the tanks, so there may be some similarity between what you experience in an OBE and the isolation tanks.  For me, I would just work on OBE and long meditation sessions, as it probably comes to the same thing, and does not cost nearly as much, but then I am sure the experience you have with the tanks is novel as well, so if you have the money, by all means.
1160  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Re: suicidal becsause of this area..... on: March 05, 2011, 00:04:11
Ah, ok- no problem then.

You should be take note though, that you posted in a public space, lol- people have expectations that the information was public if it was posted for all to see- there are private messaging systems on this forum, and there are other channels of communication.

It really doesn't matter to me one way or the other; I am just pointing out how people would easily be confused, as I was, lol.
1161  Astral Chat / Welcome to News and Media! / Re: Dalai Lama’s Nephew Killed on: March 04, 2011, 05:17:03
The funny thing is, this story will probably make a greater impact to people reading it from on far, than on the people who actually knew him; for most Buddhists, death is so inconsequential, they will just shrug his passing off.

I am sure he himself thinks it was just another day, haha. wink
1162  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Re: suicidal becsause of this area..... on: March 04, 2011, 05:08:40
Haha, fair enough, then!

Cheers!  wink
1163  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Re: suicidal becsause of this area..... on: March 04, 2011, 03:28:15
Some details are missing from the post ether, lol.

Perhaps you can fill us in a bit more as to why you think/know this?
1164  Psychic and Paranormal / Welcome to Psychic and Paranormal! / Re: Unexplained (nice) smell on: February 23, 2011, 21:51:53
Stillwater, nice tune but what's your point? See no connection

Not everything has a point  wink

World is full of events that result... mainly from events that resulted before them.

In other cases, perhaps a thing might be its own justification!
1165  Psychic and Paranormal / Welcome to Psychic and Paranormal! / Re: Unexplained (nice) smell on: February 23, 2011, 21:45:24
Yeah, I tend to think it would just be something like an open window that was nextdoor to your neighbors cooking rosemary potatoes. Lots of thing might have extraordinary explanations, but it definitely makes sense to consider simpler ones in cases like these.
1166  Psychic and Paranormal / Welcome to Psychic and Paranormal! / Re: Unexplained (nice) smell on: February 23, 2011, 19:59:37

1167  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / Re: how do... on: February 23, 2011, 11:02:43
Think we also need to consider that Bohmian mechanics may also be right though... people are too quick to just accept that quantum events are random or probability-based; they well be deterministic.
1168  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / Re: how do... on: February 22, 2011, 16:02:49
I will play the devil's advocate for a moment, and say that trace theory is not fully dead- there still remains evidence that memories are encoded in particular parts of the brain.

The experiments that show that memory loss is proportional to mass of brain tissue removed do not necessarily only have the potential to indicate that memories are entirely non-local; the modern trace theorists believe that memories are like bundles of perceptions that the hippocampus ties together, and solidifies as synaptic connections.

 For instance, if you had a birthday party at seven, your hippocampus might unite the visual memories of the colored balloons and the disturbing clown, the auditory memories of your uncle playing his guitar at the time, the olefactory memories of the cake and floorwax your father had left, and perception of thankfullness at having friends and family gathered to celebrate your life. Now if a part of your brain was removed, say the occipital part that processed the visual memories, the other parts would still remain, and still tell a fairly cohesive tale of what had happened at your party.

Thus, the same for these monkeys and octopi- even though parts of their brains had been removed, the memory consisted of elements stored in several parts of their brains, corresponding to the parts that had processed each type of perception.

I am not making an argument for the physicality of memories and mind, but I am denying the idea that no one has any idea how a physical system might store our memories.

The experiments you cited are far to simplisticly constructed and analyzed to rule out this possibility.

Both cognitive anthropologists and philosophers drawing on dynamical and situated approaches to cognition suggest a general framework for memory science incorporating traces both inside and outside the individual. This is not to collapse the distinction between external and internal representational formats: for a connectionist in particular, the kind of ‘storage’ mechanisms employed by the brain are quite distinct in format and process from those of most external linguistic or digital systems. The point rather is to see brain traces and external traces as potential parts of temporarily integrated larger systems, used by us so as more successfully to exploit and manipulate information in the environment. As Andy Clark puts it, “our brains make the world smart so that we can be dumb in peace” (1997, p. 180). Our interaction with different forms of external symbol systems and ‘cognitive technologies’ in some contexts alter our cognitive capacities. Culture and technology are products of cognition and action, but in the human case, as Merlin Donald argues, such products in turn “have direct effects upon individual cognition” (1991, p. 10).

So the best explanations of the form and content of specific personal memories may often refer not simply to the past episode itself, but to multiple causes which span internal and external factors. Cognitive scientists cannot legitimately ignore the transmission and transformation of external representations: conversely, some explanations in the social sciences of memory will refer to appropriately flexible internal processes of schematization or reconstruction.

How are Memories Stored?

We have seen that formation of one type of memory-episodic memory-involves a specific part of the brain: the hippocampus. However, other areas of the brain are involved in other forms of memory. "Memory is modular," says neuroscientist Patricia Goldman-Rakic (Service, 1993). For example, Wilson, Scalaidhe, and Goldman-Rakic (1993) found that one set of neurons was active when monkeys remembered the identity of a stimulus; another was active when the monkeys remembered the location of a stimulus. These findings converge with other data suggesting two distinct visual circuits in the brain, one for object recognition, another for object localization (see the discussion of blindsight in chapter 4). In this case memory is involved rather than perception.

Probably each part or module of the brain remembers its own role in each distinct type of brain activity. If so, each part of the brain involved in an experience should show activity during memory of that experience later. Dingledine (1995) notes that "long-lasting changes in synaptic strength are not limited to the hippocampus but are encountered in nearly every layered structure one examines from the cerebellum to olfactory and neocortices, in keeping with the expectation that memory storage areas are distributed throughout the brain."

Brennan, Kaba, and Keverne (1990) showed that a rat's memory for sexual attractant odor was stored at the first synapse after the odor receptor. In other words, the memory was stored in the same neurons that responded to the odor. Again, memory is in the structures that participate in representing the event in the first place.

If memory is a construction, then it makes sense that memories would be stored in the same neurons that originally constructed an experience, because they are the neurons that might be called upon later to help remember it. This is like the old principle of efficient workplace organization: store at the point of first use. In other words, store something at the location where you expect to need it later. In the case of memory representation, the unique brain region involved in the experience would be the first place to look for storage of that memory. The big exception, as earlier noted, is event memory of humans, because the whole person (so to speak) participates in each episode of life. Such memories apparently require processing in the region of the hippocampus, drawing information from widespread parts of the brain and knitting it together.
1169  Metaphysics / Welcome to Metaphysics! / Re: What part of the brain do we "Notice" our dreams? on: February 14, 2011, 07:00:39
Yes, but then how does our brain lead to perception?

I am not asking how an optical signal is transfered to the thalamus and angular gyrus, and to the occipital lobe for processing, etc; I am asking how a bio-mechinical machine creates an experience that a previously non-existant entity, your consciousness, undergoes? Where does this entity which is self-aware come from in all this, what physical process is capable of creating it? Don't say a network of neurons communicating, because that is a cop-out; tell me how these machines talking to one another with signals can create a self-aware being.
1170  Metaphysics / Welcome to Metaphysics! / Re: What part of the brain do we "Notice" our dreams? on: February 13, 2011, 20:45:36
Yeah, I think I read you post about the same way.

The thing was though, that because of the structure of the wording, it seemed to favor one possibility over the other, and I addressed that possbility ( the possibility that they were not encoded in physical body); the whole abscence of evidence not evidence of abscence argument, mainly.

But yeah- I think we are on close to the same page.
1171  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Re: If you live in the US... on: February 13, 2011, 10:52:52
Yeah, but even then, it is tough to get by without something processed in your diet. I mean you can grow tomatoes and lettuce, but what about the wrap you put them in, or the pasta in your stir fry, or the potatoes  you can't grow yourself, etc.

It is beyond the means of normal people to sustain their own diets without revolving their entire lifestyle around it, and even then, you cannot grow your full dietary complement.

The only way this can be resolved is legislatively, and we are heading in the exact opposite direction.

Our country is making people helpless, in yet another way.
1172  Metaphysics / Welcome to Metaphysics! / Re: What part of the brain do we "Notice" our dreams? on: February 13, 2011, 10:46:36
I am not convinced that memories are not stored in the physical brain at all, though. Just because we have not found the way they might be encoded does not mean they are not. It seems strange that they would not be there in any form, since dreams and other unconcsious activity reference memory to such an extent.
1173  Metaphysics / Welcome to Metaphysics! / Re: What part of the brain do we "Notice" our dreams? on: February 11, 2011, 23:07:10
I tend to suspect something similar. From a philosophical basis, I have difficulty with reasoning out a way that first-person, self-aware type experiences can result from a bio-mechanical machine. If you believe whole-heartedly in materialsm, you must also accept that computers, when they are sophisticated enough, may harbor consciousness, and that it is also possible to make a machine out of magnets and tinker toys that is self-aware, if it is complex enough. It is an absolute mystery to me that most of the scientific community accepts without questioning that what they consider inanimate, sterile matter may be aranged in such a way that it becomes self-aware. Where would the first-person experiences come from?

Don't get me wrong, I think a great part of our identities is housed in our brains, and will ultimately die with it- observing how those with brain injuries change so drastically should be proof enough of that; but I don't think our brains are capable, from what science knows of matter at this point, from originating our consciousness itself.

I think on death it will be shown that our brains are indeed an interface as you say, but I also think we will lose the human perspective we had before, and see things through an entirely new direction.
1174  Metaphysics / Welcome to Metaphysics! / Re: Chee Soo - Taoist Master on: February 11, 2011, 07:47:26
Tao Te Ching 15:

The excellent masters of old,
Subtle, mysterious, mystic, acute,
Were much too profound for their times.
Since they were not then understood,
It is better to tell how they looked.

Like men crossing streams in the winter,

How cautious!
As if all around there were danger,

How watchful!
As if they were guests on every occasion,

How dignified!
Like ice just beginning to melt,

Like an unhewn log untouched by a tool,

How sincere!
Like a valley awaiting a guest,

How receptive!
Like a torrent that rushes along,

And so turbid!

Who, running dirty, comes clean like still waters?
Who, being quiet, moves others to fullness of life?
It is he who, embracing the Way, is not greedy;
Who endures wear and tear without needing renewal.


guess you have to do that stuff.
1175  Metaphysics / Welcome to Metaphysics! / Re: What part of the brain do we "Notice" our dreams? on: February 11, 2011, 07:35:32
Yeah, no one can really say.

The pineal gland is interesting insofar as it is the only other place outside eyes that retinal tissue, the type that can create an optical signal, is found. No one can say for sure what role the pineal might play in dreams and mental visualizations though.

If you are talking about gaining lucidity dreams, I would guess that there is alot of frontal lobe activity there, as gaining lucidity involves activating the part of our brain where we usually experience waking awareness.
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