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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

Process Theology

Process-relational theologians integrate implications of a thoroughly interdependent universe into how we live and express our faith.

We are convinced that everything is dynamically interconnected; that everything matters; that everything has an effect. Such insights can be adapted to many faith traditions, but this particular booklet applies them to Christian faith.

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Proof of the impossibility of physical movement

Overview

Standard scientific beliefs are that when we move, say a finger through a small distance, it does so by moving through an infinite number of very small "infinitesimal" steps. This proof asks a very basic question: What is the electrical, chemical activity in the body that can account for, and control that infinite-step process?

"If infinite-series do not track physical movement in the details, they cannot be used in the details of physical movement." [Stephen Pirie, 2011]

Introduction

Proving the impossibility of physical movement,
using the assumptions of modern science

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 life.

As is more fully explained in this proof, modern deterministic science (including and especially medical and biological science) requires that

for each and every physical effect (ie. for each and every infinitesimal physical step) there MUST BE an identifiable physical (NEUROLOGICAL) cause

This expectation (of perfect biological determinism) is unable to accommodate the quantum facts: the majority of contemporary science is based on incorrect assumptions. A new scientific paradigm is required.

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Q. Is Darwinian Evolution correct, or "Intelligent Design"?

Both are "wrong" (within the context of the general understanding, analysis and discussions). Within a broader, deeper holodynamic-systems context (as covered by the Key Principles of Life, for Life) both are "right" in that the system we experience is newly forming and being formed by intelligent interaction with the physical environment.

Lamarck was ahead of his time: We physically affect our genetic structure (and children's inherited characteristics) by what we think, feel and believe - as required by the Key Principles.

According to some estimates, our physical system is rapidly being refreshed somewhere around 18.54 x 1042 times each second (the inverse of the Planck time). In other words, the universe, and everyone and everything in it, is newly cycling into physicality trillions of times each second. It is being intelligently designed by us and the greater unconscious-collective within which we exist. That is to say, "it" -- the system, comprising our bodies, planet and the entire universe -- is being "intelligently designed, and re-designed" many trillions of times each second. And each part within is co-creating the system as experienced. As physicist John A. Wheeler remarked, we live within a participatory universe.

As introduced elsewhere on this site, science and religion are "sister belief-systems", in that both objectify physical and meta-physical realities, respectively. Both rely on, and posit theories based on an objective separation of perceiver from some 'functionally separate'  aspect of existence (physical and meta-physical). Scientific and religious beliefs are reliant on a fundamental disconnect between individual (part) and whole (universe); between individual-consciousness and collectives of unconscious/nonlocal cooperation and influences; between One and All.

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Quantum Consciousness

New Dimensions interview by Michael Toms with Danah Zohar
Program no. 2508, 1994.
https://programs.newdimensions.org/products/quantum-consciousness-with-danah-zohar
[posted with permission, New Dimensions]

...

Danah: I think we're missing something very critical. We now know that the brain is capable of doing three kinds of thinking. One is logical, rational thinking and serial computers duplicate that very well.

Another is associative thinking, you know linking if I feel hungry I think of an apple, or if I see you I think of a friendly person and in fact of Father Christmas 'cause you look a bit like him. So we associate ideas. Now the new parallel processing computers can do this very well. This is neural network theory and how it's related to parallel processing.

Now Artificial Intelligence and the computer lobbies, say that's all there is to consciousness because that's all they can account for with their machines. But we know in fact from our own intuition and experience, and experience of ourselves, and others, that we can also do creative thinking. Human beings come up with new concepts, come up with new categories, come up with new associations. We're constantly reinventing the scenario.

Now this I put down to quantum processes in the brain and this is something that existing computers cannot duplicate. I leave it open that if we one day invent a quantum computer it might be able to, but our existing serial and parallel computers cannot duplicate creativity, new thinking, new ideas and in fact conscious experience. Computers aren't conscious. They don't have a sense of humor, they don't have the sense of sorrow, and they don't relate the way we do. They can only do what's programmed into them.

Michael: Also, it seems to me that, just as you were talking about coming up with the idea of the book out of your anesthetized state, and coming up with insights through the dream process that somehow our consciousness is not just isolated to the brain. It seems that we're somehow in touch with a larger reality and that certainly would be comparable to ... the quantum model, wouldn't it?

Danah: Well I think this is one of THE most exciting things about the quantum model of consciousness because it actually begins to talk about the sort of origins and the modern nature of consciousness, well beyond the human brain.

Quantum physicists describe something they call the quantum vacuum. The vacuum is very badly named because it isn't empty. It's actually a sea of potential, replete with all possibility.

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Scientific Proof of the Existence of God

Quantum physics, as well as a number of other modern sciences, he feels, is demonstrating that the essential unity underlying all of reality is a fact which can be experimentally verified. Because of the enormous implications he sees in this scientific confirmation of the spiritual, Goswami is ardently devoted to explaining his theory to as many people as possible in order to help bring about what he feels is a much needed paradigm shift. He feels that because science is now capable of validating mysticism, much that before required a leap of faith can now be empirically proven and, hence, the materialist paradigm which has dominated scientific and philosophical thought for over two hundred years can finally be called into question.

 

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The Birth of Science, Sin and Autism

[Copyright Stephen Pirie, 2006]

Excerpt of "Maya Sends Her Love":

Grandfather Johann telling young Maya a bedtime account of humanity's history and development:

Once upon a time the many peoples of Earth were one with nature. They lived in a veritable Garden of Eden ... theirs was an instinctive paradise, naturally engaged and lived.

As a people they were like new-born babes, fresh from the nurturing womb of Mother-Nature. And just like new-born babes they felt and knew themselves to be nurtured and nourished by their Mother-Earth. They felt at-one with Her rocks and trees and things. Even though they killed, or were themselves killed for food, they understood the deeply interconnected harmony of life.

Naturally as children do, they began taking little steps exploring and learning about themselves and the world around them. They were a young race ready to stand alone, apart and independent. They were ready to think for themselves, to take on free-will, independent of instinct.

This was written in their holy Book of Genesis – that to remain in nature’s paradise God had said they must not eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge, for if they did their eyes would be opened and they ‘shall be as gods, knowing good and evil’.

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The Complementarity of Consciousness

[Reprint of 1991 paper by Robert G. Jahn, Emeritus Professor, Princeton University]

The concept of complementarity, originally proposed by Bohr in a microphysical context, and subsequently extended by himself, Heisenberg and Pauli to encompass subjective as well as objective dimensions of human experience, can be further expanded to apply to many common attitudes of human consciousness. At issue is the replacement of strict polar opposition of superficially antithetical consciousness capacities, such as analysis and synthesis, logic and intuition, or doing and being, by more generous conjugation that allows pairs to operate in constructive triangulation and harmony. In this format the physical principle of uncertainty also acquires metaphoric relevance in limiting the attainable sharpness of specifications of any consciousness complements, and may serve to define their optimum balance in establishing reality. These principles thus lend themselves to representation of wave-like vs. particle-like operations of consciousness; to trade-offs between rigor and ambience in consciousness research; to generic masculine/feminine reinforcement; and to the interplay of science and spirit in any creative enterprise.

 

* Revised version of a presentation to the L.E. Rhine Centenary Conference, “Cultivating Consciousness for Enhancing Human Potential, Wellness, and Healing,” November 8-10, 1991

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The Evolution of the Human Psyche

[Posted 5th October, 2008. © Stephen Pirie]

Finding our way home

Evolution of the human psyche -> click to enlargeGiven current world circumstances (e.g. the 2008 global economic situation; recent and current controversies in the USA over the teaching of "Intelligent Design" and recent demonstrations against cartoons and books that are deemed blasphemous) perhaps it's timely that we gain a fuller perspective. It is quite evident there are conflicting views on what is "Truth."

Is Intelligent Design a valid alternative to the Theory of Evolution? Is it genuinely blasphemous to create an image of that which is deemed sacred? How can we see our way clear of the jungle of conflicting faiths and beliefs?

 

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The Ladder of Credibility

By Dr Johanna de Groot

Bridging the Infamous Gap: Current developments in consciousness studies and initial presentation of a Ladder of Credibility

[Paper read by author at the meeting held at Killarney Heights of the Sydney Science and Medical Network Group on 15th April 2007. Originally published at the smn.org.au website, and reproduced here with permission ]

Introduction

Consciousness is undoubtedly one of the areas of most controversy amongst scientists. Not so long ago I mentioned my interest in consciousness as described by Jung to a fellow scientist and got the reply: 'Well, they haven’t even proved consciousness yet!' To acknowledge further that I am moving into a ‘risky venture’ with this paper, I will share what David Wulff, a leading American psychologist, had to say: ‘The valorising of transcendental experience [as a subset of consciousness] is…risky for the field of psychology, for to take it seriously…is to open oneself to a worldview that fundamentally challenges the assumptions, theories, and procedures of modern empirical psychology.’ He adds, ‘the initial, great challenge is accessing such experiences as fully and openly as possible.’ (Wulff, 2005:430).

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The Primacy of Consciousness

[copyright Peter Russell, 2008]

This essay presents the argument as to why the ultimate nature of reality is mental not material.

(Chapter contributed to The Re-Enchantment of the Cosmos by Ervin Laszlo)

See also video stream of presentation given at Physics of Consciousness conference. 

Ervin Laszlo has proposed that the virtual energy field known as the quantum vacuum, or zero-point field, corresponds to what Indian teachings have called Akasha. the source of everything that exists, and in which the memory of the cosmos is encoded. I would like to take his reasoning a step further and suggest that the nature of this ultimate source is consciousness itself, nothing more and nothing less.

Again we find this idea is not new. In the Upanishads, Brahman, the source of the cosmos (literally, "that from which everything grows"), is held to be to Atman ("that which shines"), the essence of consciousness. And in the opening lines of The Dhammapada, the Buddha declares that "All phenomena are preceded by mind, made by mind, and ruled by mind".

Such a view, though widespread in many metaphysical systems, is completely foreign to the current scientific worldview. The world we see is so obviously material in nature; any suggestion that it might have more in common with mind is quickly rejected as having "no basis in reality". However, when we consider this alternative worldview more closely, it turns out that it is not in conflict with any of the findings of modern science—only with its presuppositions.

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