Saturday, December 17, 2011
Michael Gazzaniga studies brains.
He's a neuroscientist at the University of California.
He has written a book entitled Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain
Gazzaniga reports that various physical forces influence our actions and moods.
So, do we have free will?
Gazzaniga refers to a 2011 study which found that, when people were persuaded that they did not have free will, they became less compassionate and less peaceful.
However, Gazzaniga believes that "there is no scientific reason not to hold people accountable and responsible."
Gazzaniga points out that there is a difference between the MIND and the BRAIN.
In Germany, three year old Paul fell into a pond and died.
On 18th April 2010, we read in The Mail how Paul apparently then came to a gate and met Emmi, his great grandma.
Paul said: "There was a lot of light and I was floating.
"I came to a gate and I saw Grandma Emmi on the other side.
"She said to me, 'What are you doing here Paul? You must go back to mummy and daddy. I will wait for you here.'
"I knew I was in heaven. But grandma said I had to come home. She said that I should go back very quickly.
"Heaven looked nice. But I am glad I am back with mummy and daddy now."
How do we know?
Paul came back to life more than three hours after he had died.
Professor Lothar Schweigerer, director of the clinic where the dead Paul Eicke had been taken, said: "I have never experienced anything like it.
"When children have been underwater for a few minutes they mostly don't make it. This is a most extraordinary case.
"My doctors were close to saying 'we can do no more' after two hours of thorax compression.
"This was because the chances of survival had gone and the little lad must have been brain dead.
"But then suddenly his heart started to beat again ... it was a fantastic miracle."
One in ten people claim to have had an out-of-body experience at some time in their lives.
At Out-of-body - near-death experiences, we read:
In Dr. Raymond Moody's documentary entitled, Life After Life, he interviewed a Russian scientist named Dr. George Rodonaia, who had a near-death out of body experience.
While 'dead' George visited an infant crying in a nearby room.
"George observed that no one could figure out why the infant was crying so persistently.
"But George learned while out of his body that the infant had a broken arm.
"When George returned to life, he told the infant's parents about the broken arm.
"An x-ray revealed that the infant's arm was indeed broken."
There is a question about whether or not consciousness exists outside the body.
Believers in Reincarnation would suggest that consciousness survives death.
From: paraps.l/ we learn the following:
Brain specialists, Prof. J.C.Eccles, Dr.Wilder Penfield and Prof.W.H.Thorpe have stated that the brain appears to be an organism to register and channel consciousness rather than produce it.
"The brain is messenger to consciousness", Eccles said.
David J.Chalmers Ph.D. writes in the Scientific American (1997):
Consciousness, the subjective experience of an inner self, could be a phenomenon forever beyond the reach of neuroscience. Even a detailed knowledge of the brain's workings and the neural correlates of consciousness may fail to explain how or why human beings have self-aware minds.
The Lancet of 15th December 2001 published an extensive Near Death Experience (NDE) study by Pim van Lommel, MD, cardiologist at Rijnstate Hospital in Arnhem, Netherlands.
A patient saw during a NDE, besides his deceased grandmother, another man who looked at him full of love. Yet he did not know him.
More than ten years later he learned that he was born out of wedlock with a Jewish man during WW2.
This man was deported and killed.
When he was shown a photo of his biological father he recognised him as the man he had seen ten years before during his NDE
According to the Telegraph, 22 October 2000, (http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/l):
1. "THE first scientific study of 'near-death' experiences has found new evidence to suggest that consciousness or the 'soul' can continue to exist after the brain has ceased to function."
2. Two eminent doctors carried out a year-long study of heart attack survivors.
3. Their study concludes that a number of people have almost certainly had 'experiences' after they were pronounced clinically dead.
4. This suggests that the mind or consciousness can survive the death of the brain.
5. The study was based on interviews with survivors of heart attacks at Southampton General Hospital's cardiac unit.
It was published in the respected medical journal Resuscitation.
The study's authors are Dr Peter Fenwick, a consultant neuropsychiatrist at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, and Dr Sam Parnia, a clinical research fellow and registrar at Southampton hospital.
Dr Parnia said: "These people were having these experiences when we wouldn't expect them to happen, when the brain shouldn't be able to sustain lucid processes or allow them to form memories that would last.
"So it might hold an answer to the question of whether mind or consciousness is actually produced by the brain or whether the brain is a kind of intermediary for the mind, which exists independently."
Dr Fenwick said: "If the mind and brain can be independent, then that raises questions about the continuation of consciousness after death. It also raises the question about a spiritual component to humans and about a meaningful universe with a purpose rather than a random universe."
Four patients recounted feelings of peace and joy, heightened senses, lost awareness of body, and entering another world.
Dr Parnia, who was trained at the Guys and St Thomas' medical school, University of London, said: "I started off as a sceptic but, having weighed up all the evidence, I now think that there is something going on...
"If ... the brain is like an intermediary which manifests the mind, like a television will act as an intermediary to manifest waves in the air into a picture or a sound, we can show that the mind is still there after the brain is dead. And that is what I think these near-death experiences indicate."
Psychic & Spirit Magazine had an article on 'Divination The Tarot And Quantum Physics', by Cilla Conway, on Mar 16, 2005. (http://www.psychicsahar.com/l )
Conway points out that in the world of Quantum Physics we find: "There is an underlying unity: an energy or ‘field’ that exists throughout the universe....
"All matter in the universe can now be seen as interconnected by waves of energy. Matter itself is part of the same energy field – in other words there is no division between the material and the immaterial...
The 'field' "implies information exchange, as well as energy exchange, and could therefore provide instantaneous communication.
"The phenomena we call ... paranormal, such as telepathy, telekinesis,... and other oracular devices, foresight, intuition, and dreams, would just be part of this exchange, as we are part of The Field.
"As mystics have said for millennia, there is no separation. Equally important, this also corroborates the metaphysical tenet – that we create our own reality...
"Physics and mysticism are beginning to talk the same language: no longer are we considered to be a separate part of existence, nor is mind seen as separate from body. Some physicists even say that the cosmos is not only affected by consciousness, but is consciousness.
"As Lynne Taggart says, the physicists’ ‘work suggested a decentralized but unified intelligence that was far grander and more exquisite than Darwin or Newton had imagined, a process that was not random or chaotic, but intelligent and purposeful.’
Regarding 'free will' - We do seem to have a minimum amount of restrictions, a result of existing in time and space while in bodies.
I imagine that practical free-will is a state free of the unnecessary restrictions put on us by those who would like to have us 'go such and such a direction'.
Life may be the fine balance twixt minimum restrictions and maximum interconnectedness.
Do we create our own reality?
If the idea is that we can just create a 'reality' I doubt it - but we do 'create' it I guess by consenting to it with others.
REality seems to be a consented upon experience that is shared.