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Websites associated with Contributing authors

The Belief Doctor (Steaphen Pirie)   Infoworks (Steven Lesser)

Disclaimer

Please be aware that the opinions, beliefs and materials of contributing authors need not reflect the beliefs or opinions of other contributing authors. As a general rule articles are posted on this website which infer or in some way point towards, or add weight to an "integral systems" or 'holodynamic systems" world-view.

Theories of Consciousness

Zeno's Paradoxes: A Thought Experiment

Overview

It is widely accepted that the solutions to the dilemma of explaining physical movement (commonly known as Zeno's Paradoxes), lies in assuming that all physical movement is comprised of a continuous, and contiguous series of 'infinitesimal' little movements, which together provide "perfectly continuous" and seamless movement.

The mathematics of calculus has been used to show that we can traverse an infinite series of such movements in finite time, thus enabling our everyday experience of physical movement.

This continuity of movement enables and fuels a machine world-view, in that the continuity of movement also implies continuity and predictability of operation and behaviour.

However, this widely-accepted theory relies on an absolute, never-ending continuity, which is at odds with the evidence of quantum theory. A new holodynamic systems model (one that includes a discontinuous-space | continuous meta-space duality) is required to fit the facts.

...(the idea) that space is continuous is, I believe, wrong.

Professor Richard Feynman
The Messenger Series: Seeking New Laws

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2nd Proof of the Impossibility of Physical Movement

This proof, based on the assumptions of modern science and medicine, reveals how we are unable to move our bodies even for the simplest of tasks, such as blinking an eye, or lifting a finger. In view of our easy ability to blink, or move a finger, we may confidently conclude that standard scientific theories -- reliant on the assumption of 'perfectly contiguous and continuous' movement  -- are inappropriate and incorrect at the micro-scaled dimensions of space-time, but approximately correct in the macro-scaled events of everyday life1.

This proof focuses on the issue of first-cause. What enables or makes us think, e.g. about thinking? The brain-as-computer metaphor has serious shortcomings, chief of which is the inability to explain the impetus to think: before we think, what must we do? Less well known, but even more telling is the inability of brain-as-computer metaphors to accommodate and explain how the computer model operates in the quantum realm involving fields of potentials and possibilities; realms within which all brain 'stuff' is bathed.

As Freeman Dyson explained:

Quantum mechanics makes matter even in the smallest pieces into an active agent, and I think that is something very fundamental. Every particle in the universe is an active agent making choices between random processes.2

What enables particles of our brain-stuff to make choices between random processes that can't be physically predicted or modelled?

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A Clearer Light (reprint)

Excerpt:

There is absolutely no reason we cannot switch humanity to a correct perception of the world—and there are profound benefits in doing so.

The first benefit does not affect physicists (as physicists), and that is the spreading of the philosophical joy of discovering the mental nature of the universe. We have no idea what this means; and we seem to have no hope of ever learning what it means; but—the great thing is—it is true. Physics cannot help anyone from this point onwards. You may, if you wish, descend into solipsism (but do be careful not to blush); or, you can expand to the Deism of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Adams and Thomas Jefferson and the other non-Christian founders of America; or … something else, if you can justify it—just don’t ask physics for help!

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Brains and Beliefs

Submitted by Stephen Pirie, 2008-10-03 11:26:59

The field of neuroplasticity is offering valuable and useful insights into how the brain functions.

Recommended viewing is this interview by Kerry O'Brien (ABC TV's 7.30 Report with Dr Norman Doidge).

From the interview:

for the longest time, for 400 years, we thought of the brain as like a complex machine with parts. And our best and brightest neuroscientists really believed that. It was a mechanistic model of the brain and machines do many glorious things, but they don't rewire themselves and they don't grow new parts. And it turns out that that metaphor was actually just spectacularly wrong, and that the brain is not inanimate, it's animate and it's growing, it's more plant like than machine like and it actually works by changing its structure and function as it goes along.

In a broader context, Visa International founder, Dee Hock voiced a similar perspective a few years ago ...

[from this FastCompany.com article ]

We are at that very point in time when a 400-year-old age is dying and another is struggling to be born -- a shifting of culture, science, society, and institutions enormously greater than the world has ever experienced. Ahead, the possibility of the regeneration of individuality, liberty, community, and ethics such as the world has never known, and a harmony with nature, with one another, and with the divine intelligence such as the world has never dreamed."

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Can Science and Religion be Integrated?

by Prof. Amit Goswami (August 10, 2008)

Can science and religion be integrated? What comes to mind immediately is that religions themselves cannot agree with one another whereas science is basically monolithic. How can there even be trade between the two, let alone integration?

First, it is only a perception that religions are pluralistic and science is not. Science is monolithic only so far as science of matter–physics and chemistry–is concerned. Psychology, the science of the psyche, has three different paradigms–behavioral-cognitive consisting of hard science orientation, depth psychology consisting of Freudian psychoanalysis and Jungian analytical psychology and their derivatives with psychotherapy orientation, and humanistic-transpersonal-yoga psychology with positive mental health orientation. Both the later paradigms of psychology acknowledge downward causation and subtle bodies in some form or other. Medicine has the conventional allopathic medicine and also alternative medicine practices that complement it. A prominent part of alternative medicine is Eastern medicine that emphasizes subtle energies called variously as prana, chi, and ki. And biology is in transition right now. The materialist biology is highly developed but with some unsolved (maybe unsolvable) problems. Alternative biology is biology that sees life as the handiwork of a purposive designer with the power of downward causation; but at present it is so poorly developed that hardly anyone can call it a genuine alternative biology.

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Congruent Solutions to Zeno's Paradoxes

[Posted November 8, 2008, 8.11am.]

Preliminary: Process Physics: Modelling Reality as Self-Organising Information (Reginald T. Cahill, Christopher M. Klinger and Kirsty Kitto)

(Some background reading to assist with understanding the deeper quantum processes of life)

Overview:

This article (and the "Zeno's Paradoxes" section of this website)  details the fundamental and irrevocable failure of standard scientific (Newtonian) solutions to the paradox of movement: the great bulk of science is now failing to fit theory with (quantum) fact. A fuller, more congruent philosophy (or 'world-view') is needed to account for the evidence.

The old Darwinian, competitive and manipulative models of biological development (that fail to accommodate cooperative nonlocal influences and connectivity) are no longer tenable or sustainable in the face of this new evidence. A new holodynamic systems model (one that includes a discontinuous-space | continuous meta-space duality) is required.

...(the idea) that space is continuous is, I believe, wrong.

Professor Richard Feynman
The Messenger Series: Seeking New Laws

Background:

Around 2,400 years ago a Greek philosopher (Zeno of Elea) questioned how anything or anyone moves around. Theoretically, for anyone to lift a finger, bat an eyelid, or even to fall down requires we move through a seamless but endless (never-ending) progression of ever-so-small little movements. He highlighted how there appeared to be a mismatch between our theories (of moving through endless physical steps) and our simple, everyday practical experiences.

The content in the following two sections was originally posted on the Wikipedia website under "Zeno's Paradoxes" in the Proposed Solutions section. However, after many objections from various Wikipedia commentators, the material was removed.

The widely cited and accepted standard (infinite-series) solutions to Zeno's Paradoxes highlight how majority scientific opinion is no longer congruent with the facts (of quantum physics), in that with the infinite series solutions there are NO demonstrable or even theoretical 1:1 correlations of mathematical points with physicality (for there to be such, a strict correspondence of mathematical values with physical location and momentum would need to be demonstrated at and below Planck times and distances.

As a result of failing to fit theory with fact, we now witness a new era of old-world dogmatic behaviours deeply imbued with irrational disconnects -- The modern superstitions of science and religion.

None have been shown or theoretically advanced.

Infinite-series theories do not -- and due to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle can not -- fully correspond with physical reality. Simply put, infinite-series solutions do not fit the facts.

with the infinite series solutions there is NO demonstrable (or even a theoretical) 1:1 correlation of mathematical values (.e.g. position) with physicality.

A chasm has developed in the understanding and thinking of the great majority - a chasm that might best be characterised as humanity's "Peak Disconnect" (of theory with fact, of conscious with unconscious, of local with nonlocal, of physical with metaphysical). This cultural disconnect has limited our imagination, potentials and responsibility to realise extraordinary, beneficial systems of actuality quite possible with an expanded awareness and meta-science.

Other articles in this section at this website go into greater detail as to the nature and cause of that disconnect in the psyche of people. Ironically1 it is scientists who are now failing to apply the scientific method in response to the evidence of quantum physics.

The resistance to asking questions and constructing new theories that explain experimental evidence, particularly anomalous phenomena, is a common human experience, and can be understood to be, in part, the practical expediency of "getting on with life" – in practical terms, if we had to question every move, or belief we held, most would get very little done. As covered in "The Evolution of the Human Psyche" this is partly due to our racial immaturity.

However there are quite deleterious consequences emerging as a result of not revising our world-view to accommodate the facts. As covered in more detail in "The Travesty of Modern Science" the widespread failure of scientists and philosophers to expand their thinking and awareness is due to short-term expediency, greed and fear (which, as stated above, is largely due to immaturity).

[ Note, the following paragraph beginning "Another solution to some of the paradoxes ..." was existing content prior to the additional material by Stephen Pirie]
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Consciousness and Quantum Physics

by Prof. Amit Goswami (August 13, 2008)

There was a revolution in physics at the beginning of the last century, consisting of the discovery of quantum physics. The message of quantum physics is this: the world is not made of matter neither is it determined entirely by material causation that we sometimes call upward causation because it rises upward from the building blocks of matter–the elementary particles . There is a source of downward causation in the world. You can call this source consciousness if you like and think of it as the ground of all being.

To be sure, the mathematics of quantum physics is deterministic and based on the upward causation model above, but it predicts objects and their movements not as determined events (as in Newtonian physics) but as possibilities (for which the probabilities can be calculated enabling us to develop a very successful predictive science for large number of objects and/or events). And yet when we look at a quantum object, we don’t experience it as a bundle of possibilities, but as actual localized event much like a Newtonian particle. Moreover, quantum mathematics does not allow us to connect the upward causation-based deterministic theory with experimental data. How do the possibilities of the theory become actualities of experience simply by our looking at them? This is the mysterious “observer effect.”

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First Update on Consciousness Studies

[ By Dr Johanna de Groot, SMN Meeting 2nd December 2007 at Killarney Heights, Sydney ]

Introduction

I believe there may be small and uncertain but perhaps significant steps forward in the formulation of a paradigm for the study of consciousness since I last spoke on the topic. Those steps are a new look at ontological relativity and a possible breakthrough in establishing the route of neural correlates. Finally I will add a note about the topics of the extent of consciousness and of machine-consciousness. First follows, however, a brief recapitulation of my previous paper.

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Moving beyond a 2,450-year-old era

The Art and Science of Blinking

Around 2,450 years ago the ancient Greek philosopher Zeno of Elea was perhaps the first to methodically question a simple fact of life - how do we physically move, such as when blinking an eye, running, or simply falling down?

Culturally we are about to fall off a philosophical cliff. Fortunately, a safe landing in a far more compassionate, sane and exciting world awaits those who come to the edge with the understanding of how to fly.

His questions and arguments, which have become widely known as Zeno's Paradoxes, pointed to the seemingly logical impossibility of the everyday experience of physical movement.

His considerations have perplexed and troubled philosophers and scientists even since. Various assumptions that underpin our modern technologies and sciences were taken for granted. We take for granted that there is always a physical cause for every physical effect - as exemplified by scientists researching to find physical cures for disease, cancer and viruses; and to find the physical genes or brain cells responsible for thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and the experience of love, creativity and joy. 

Now, with the advances in the field of quantum physics, we know that a 2,450 year era is nearing its end .. an era in which it has been assumed that our physical brains, bodies and the entire physical universe is continuously existent. An era in which each part (atom, virus, cell, organ, person, planet) was assumed to be continuously existent and functional, with every part contributing to the running of, or dysfunction of, the machinery of life.

We stand at the edge of a grand new understanding of our universe, and ourselves. As Visa International founder Dee Hock foretells, a new era

is struggling to be born -- a shifting of culture, science, society, and institutions enormously greater than the world has ever experienced. Ahead, the possibility of the regeneration of individuality, liberty, community, and ethics such as the world has never known, and a harmony with nature, with one another, and with the divine intelligence such as the world has never dreamed."

 

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