Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I will survive... why consciousness does not die

When I posted the Humphrey article (two posts ago), I was trying to shed light on opposing ideas on consciousness that are interesting. The fact is, all ideas are mere hypothesis because science has no freaking clue what consciousness is, where it comes from, what its for and what it can do. Just look at the placebo effect. Why is it that the placebo effect is more powerful to heal sometimes than actual drugs?

Anyway, what I didn't mention in either of my two previous posts is that the survival hypothesis has an abundant and significant amount of evidence suggesting an extremely viable alternative to the materialistic interpretations of consciousness.

I'm talking about evidence that has spanned all cultures and all time. Evidence experienced by all types of people, from intellectuals to dopes like me. The evidence is pervasive, yet elusive enough to create the great consciousness debate we have today.

The current paradigm in Scientific Reductionism. The idea that all can be understood by science, everything reduced to some form or another of matter, and that everything in the human mind is the result of evolution, DNA, neurobiology, culture and education.

However, this idea is not shared by all top scientists, and furthermore, the intellectual framework holding up these tenets of materialistic belief are riddle with holes and gaps that cannot be dismissed or talked away with loosely held together science jargon.

Science isn't an exclusive country club, though it would like to be. Through our critical thinking and careful analysis, we are all granted admission to the deepest thoughts that are still left unanswered. Though I'm not a scientist, I can think scientifically like anyone else.

Obviously as a professional medium, my ideas and opinions about consciousness survival have been developed through personal experience and experimentation. Of course, my subjective experience cannot replace scientific inquiry, that's why I look to unbiased scientific research to make the claims I've observed.

Anyone truly interested in the subject of consciousness survival can easily access this data in numerous articles, papers and books available online and beyond.


Irreducible Mind
Parapsychology and the Skeptics
Immortal Remains
Best Evidence
The Conscious Universe
Entagled Minds
The Afterlife Experiments
The Trickster and the Paranormal

This site also has a decent summary of the evidence, science and principles supporting the survival hypothesis.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Toward a theory of consciousness survival

A commenter in my previous post asked me "what is the consciousness survival theory?" Great question, as there actually isn't a unified theory of consciousness survival. I often make the mistake that many others do by interchangeably using the words "hypothesis" and "theory". These two words in the framework of the scientific method are quite different, and it is wrong to interchange them the way that I have.

I meant, the "survival hypothesis", which stipulates that consciousness co-exists (at least for a time) in both a physical and non-physical form. The most obvious question based on this hypothesis is, "what exactly is consciousness?"

The answer to that question is, "nobody really knows." So technically, the survival hypothesis itself is very weak, in that the focal point of the hypothesis is an undefined "thing" which can neither be described nor measured (not yet).

I believe we are several years away from having a real definition of consciousness and decades away from the hope of having a theory that can be tested.

Some people compare the survival hypothesis to the theory of gravity. They point out that there's still a lot about the theory of gravity we don't know or understand, yet we know it's there from observation.

For those who are interested in the search for consciousness and a survival hypothesis/theory, here is a well-written, balanced, yet slightly skeptical summary of where we currently stand.

National Institute for Discovery Science: Survival of Consciousness by James Whinnery, M.D.