What’s out there when our brains quit telling us stories?

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What’s out there when our brains quit telling us stories?

Hans Busstra


Quote:In this interview with University of Oregon neuroscientist Prof. Marjorie Woollacott, journalist Hans Busstra explores a critical question: if the reality we think we inhabit is but a story confabulated by the brain’s ‘default mode network,’ what is the world ‘out there,’ and the self ‘in here,’ when the inner storytelling is subdued through meditation?

Quote:We’ve discovered quarks and bosons by putting incredible amounts of money into these machines that allow us to prove the existence of subatomic particles. If only we would invest a fraction of these kinds of budgets into consciousness research, I think we could make considerably more progress. Unfortunately, when it comes to funding research on mind and consciousness, governments worldwide don’t see it as important because they are so caught up in a materialist framework of reality.

Quote:When I was teaching pre-med students at the University of Oregon, I gave a course on alternative and complementary medicine and I gave them the assignment to just go online to peer-reviewed journals and read every research article they could find, for or against the efficacy of a specific complementary modality, like acupuncture or energy healing, and to write a paper about it. By the end of the term, most of them had turned around from being skeptics to being convinced that things like energy healing or acupuncture are really valid, by having looked at the research literature. To me that’s hopeful, that a young generation of scientists really are developing an open mind.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2021-06-25, 03:45 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: What’s out there when our brains quit telling us stories?

Hans Busstra

Quote:
We’ve discovered quarks and bosons by putting incredible amounts of money into these machines that allow us to prove the existence of subatomic particles. If only we would invest a fraction of these kinds of budgets into consciousness research, I think we could make considerably more progress. Unfortunately, when it comes to funding research on mind and consciousness, governments worldwide don’t see it as important because they are so caught up in a materialist framework of reality.

I don't know about this expectation. I think the paranormal, especially afterlife-implying phenomena like NDEs and reincarnation memories, and even ESP abilities like telepathy and precognition, most likely are of a nonphysical spiritual realm of existence that simply can't be investigated using the scientific method. 

The scientific method that has been so successful in at least partially understanding the physical world (and generating the extraordinary high technology of the modern human world) is predicated on investigating physical phenomena that can be objectively observed using physical instrumentation and duplicated at will in the laboratory. Followed by hypothesis-making, testing of the hypothesis using physical instrumentation, formulation of theories inherently involving meathematical models of the physical phenomena, more testing, and so on.  The basis for the scientific method is an underlying assumption of philosophical naturalism - that matter and energy are absolutely all that exists, and the mental and spiritual are illusory, or epiphenomenal and generated by the workings of matter and energy. The scientific method inherently ignores spiritual phenomena and assumes that all that is real is objectively measurable and testable. This is its foundational assumption.

Generally, the scientific method has been very successful in uncovering the underlying workings of the physical and applying this understanding to new technology. As if its foundational assumption is actually correct. Of course, it's really not correct. Things like veridical NDEs, reincarnation memories, ADCs, mediumistic communications, and so on challenge the metaphysical assumptions of modern science, but in my opinion aren't successfully applicable to the methods of science.   

Not unexpectedly, the paranormal is notoriously elusive of being successfully investigated using these methods. I don't think huge expensive systems like the large hadron collider and other physical instruments are ever likely to detect the underlying essence of spirit which is what is involved in paranormal phenomena; paranormal phenomena are most probably uninvestigatable by the methods of science.
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I think science doesn't have to be reductionist, it can just look for patterns that can then be utilized.

Shamanism to me seems like a kind of science, figuring out how to communicate with spirits and take advantage of certain training + psychedelics that can help one use Psi.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(2021-06-28, 09:35 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: I think science doesn't have to be reductionist, it can just look for patterns that can then be utilized.

As previously mentioned, the basis for the modern scientific method as practiced and believed in by the great majority of scientists is an underlying assumption of philosophical naturalism – that matter and energy are absolutely all that exists, and the mental and spiritual are illusory, or epiphenomenal and generated by the workings of matter and energy. This scientific method inherently ignores spiritual phenomena and assumes that all that is real is objectively measurable and testable. This is its foundational assumption.

Certainly, the origin and foundational development of modern science owe very much to Theism and the “Judeo-Christian suppositions (this fact ignored by most scientists or at least most members of the AAAS), and there is an obvious major philosophical error in assuming that matter and energy are all there is since mind (including the mind and the free will of the scientist himself) must be imaginary or epiphenomenal . Unfortunately, this erroneous and irrational materialistic belief system is held to by most members of the scientific establishment, at least the movers and shakers and acknowledged master practitioners (members of the AAAS and NAS for instance). Even if they do have a spiritual belief system they generally keep it to themselves. That can be a career destroyer.

I think the mindset regarding the proper "scientific method" as being totally reductionistic is so powerful and pervasive in our society that it is very unlikely that the scientific method as practiced will be revised along such lines as you suggest (maybe except for a few parapsychologists).
(This post was last modified: 2021-06-30, 01:03 AM by nbtruthman.)
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(2021-06-28, 10:35 PM)nbtruthman Wrote: As previously mentioned, the basis for the modern scientific method as practiced and believed in by the great majority of scientists is an underlying assumption of philosophical naturalism – that matter and energy are absolutely all that exists, and the mental and spiritual are illusory, or epiphenomenal and generated by the workings of matter and energy. This scientific method inherently ignores spiritual phenomena and assumes that all that is real is objectively measurable and testable. This is its foundational assumption.

Certainly, the origin and foundational development of modern science owe very much to Theism and the “Judeo-Christian suppositions (this fact ignored by most scientists or at least most members of the AAAS), and there is an obvious major philosophical error in assuming that matter and energy are all there is since mind (including the mind and the free will of the scientist himself) must be imaginary or epiphenomenal . Unfortunately, this erroneous and irrational materialistic belief system is held to by most members of the scientific establishment, at least the movers and shakers and acknowledged master practitioners (members of the AAAS for instance). Even if they do have a spiritual belief system they generally keep it to themselves. That can be a career destroyer.

I think the mindset regarding the proper "scientific method" as being totally reductionistic is so powerful and pervasive in our society that it is very unlikely that the scientific method as practiced will be revised along such lines as you suggest (maybe except for a few parapsychologists).

I don't if it's pervasive in society, at least beyond the West. Asia, Eastern Europe, South America - it seems to me there is more acceptance of non-reductionist science there?

Josephson, Morhroff, and Sheldrake are scientists after all.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2021-06-25, 03:45 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: What’s out there when our brains quit telling us stories?

Hans Busstra

These types of questions seem so silly to me now.
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  • Stan Woolley
(2021-06-29, 11:49 PM)Hurmanetar Wrote: These types of questions seem so silly to me now.

Now?
(2021-06-30, 11:48 AM)Silence Wrote: Now?

He probably means he’s moved on, or to put it another way, is growing up.  Wink
Oh my God, I hate all this.   Surprise
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  • Silence
Thanks Steve.  That makes sense.  I didn't connect those dots which probably means something about me. Wink
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(2021-06-29, 11:35 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: I don't if it's pervasive in society, at least beyond the West. Asia, Eastern Europe, South America - it seems to me there is more acceptance of non-reductionist science there?

Josephson, Morhroff, and Sheldrake are scientists after all.

I agree that absolute reductionism in the scientific method as practiced is rigidly enforced primarily in the West, particularly in the USA and the UK. Of course, the scientistic practitioners in the West consider their belief system to be the pinnacle of Big Science with a capital BS, and their brethren in these other non-Western countries to be indulging in woo.
(This post was last modified: 2021-06-30, 06:46 PM by nbtruthman.)
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