In the February 2023 ICRL newsletter we asked a question:
What do you feel is the most compelling argument that consciousness is not contained within, constrained to, or an emergent property of a physical body, and how would you use that argument to help someone better their life?
Over the following weeks we received answers from 10 individuals that ranged from levity to a very comprehensive investigation of evidence. Of these, one was chosen as a winner to receive a free ICRL book of their choice based on its cogence and accessibility (you’ll see which as you look through the responses).
Below are all the entries listed in the order in which they were received.
February 27 – #1
As I see it, there is nothing that is NOT Consciousness, so there is no question of ‘within’ or ‘withouts’. In any case, Consciousness is just a word, an attempt to call ’the un-namable’ Something. In fact, people and cultures and wisdom keepers have called this slippery Something that is Nothing just about everything under the sun.
But it is, after all, Everything. From the immense Universe to the tiniest breath of a hummingbird, all exists in a context of what we call ‘Consciousness’ – or, as the Hebrews have called it, Ado-shem, because it is beyond having a name – the word for God, Adonai, being too holy to name.
February 27 – #2
within, constrained to, or an emergent property of a physical body” is the following story:A few years ago my cousin Barbara, a very kind and intelligent but
hard-minded scientist, happened to faint in a busy place (at that time
she was very stressed). While seemingly unconscious, she saw herself lying motionless on the floor, and with horror she noticed her skirt was raised above her knees, leaving her legs in full view; so she
quickly recovered her senses and woke up in time to adjust her clothes before anyone could notice the scandal … and once come back to herself, she realized that what she had seen was the real picture (so she nearly fainted again)! But several years went by before she found the courage to tell her experience to someone, for fear people would think she was crazy; and this someone was me.Now, if I had to better someone’s life with an argument, I would tell
them this story. Knowing that something in you is aware while you’re unconscious is a mind-blowing realization, that can lead to the even more mind-blowing insight that that something IS YOU… and when the mind blows up, the breakthrough appears…!!!
March 4, by Paula Bushkoff
In 1993 my father died. He was a secular Jewish humanist and I am sure he believed that death was the end with no afterlife. A few hours after he died he visited Betty Ann (while I was busy in another room) and she strongly felt his presence, saw him visually with a translucent upper body, and she heard in her mind that he said “Everything is going to be alright.” She did not tell me about the experience at the time. Later that day, after I traveled to be with my now widowed mother, I had almost the exact same experience visually, felt the presence and “heard” the same communication. Those words I found very comforting and they had a profound effect on my life. Eventually we told each other about these experiences. The fact that we each had virtually the same experience was very compelling. (My response was to try to understand how this short afterlife could be physically possible. After doing a lot of reading on physics and some creative thinking I came up with a theory that satisfied me as to how it could be a physical reality.)
I have used the calm and clarity of this experience to reframe how I am in the world. Telling people directly about the experience I think mostly baffles people. But helping others to broaden their outlook, think more creatively and be more accepting of ideas and people has made a difference in the world.
March 5 – Winning Submission
No argument for transcendental consciousness is as compelling as a personal experience with it. Few things resonate as deeply as a personal, meaningful transcendental experience or are motivating enough to cause someone to break the paradigm of materialist science in search of an explanation. Finding stories of those who have had such experiences is perhaps the next most-compelling way to achieve a belief in consciousness transcending the physical body. And the stories are there, if we can remove the barriers to sharing them.
Hearing stories of telepathy, precognition or synchronicity from people we know and respect allows us to remember our own encounters with anomalous experiences and reconsider them in the light of the possible. There are powerful collections of stories about transcendent consciousness, such as Dr. Ian Stevenson’s work on remembered past lives and the new book Spiritual Awakenings – a compilation of scientists’ own transcendental experiences. Even skeptics such as Michael Shermer have shared their brushes with the transcendentally strange.
Stories of personal experiences will inspire some people to seek explanations. Others may be inspired to look for like-minded individuals or communities, or to ask: what can be achieved if like-minded people work together? From such questions can come participation in communal meditations for world peace and other ways of sharing healing energy.
To answer your question more directly: I don’t share an argument; I share my story of transcendent experience and the journey it has taken me on, in the hopes that it inspires others to be more accepting of and curious about their own experiences.
March 6 – #1, Leslie Nolan
March 6 – #2
A Memory for the Universe
We might be doing ourselves a disservice by making consciousness a centerpiece of this discussion; consciousness might have no more relevance than that of being the conveyer of memory. Certainly, consciousness and memory are inextricably intertwined – each moot without the other. Consider consciousness without memory – all we have then are snippets of unconnected reality because only memory could tie them together; without memory there can be no past, present or future. Likewise, a memory without consciousness is an empty shell; we have nothing to put in it, and once again we have no past, present or future. Consciousness can pull up an old memory, or create a new one, but without memory consciousness has no relevance. Just as space and time, though seemingly separate, give us a single spacetime continuum, likewise, consciousness and memory are also a single continuum, one which I fancifully refer to as a conmem.
According to Quantum Theory everything is entangled; we merely need to identify the functionality that facilitates this interconnectedness. Where consciousness is concerned it is easy to speculate that perhaps it is memory which serves to facilitate entanglement of different consciousnesses. All those moments of déjà vu, all the spontaneous and inexplicable surfacing of this sentiment called love, all this certainty of a prior togetherness, even a past life – these could all be demonstrations of stored memory brought forth by consciousness.
Our present understanding of reality poses a dichotomy: On the one hand we have the entirely probabilistic quantum world where everything is possible, until it isn’t, and on the other hand an entirely deterministic reality that adheres to a classical perception that we are comfortably familiar with. What makes one evoke the other? If Quantum Field Theory is to be believed, then wave functions have to collapse and eigen values defined before a reality can surface. Is it the memory the universe has retained that picks which of all available probabilities will deliver a present reality. Certainly, long before any sentiency-based consciousness surfaced, choices had to be made, wave functions had to collapse for probabilities to become specific realities – what was it that made the universe the way it is now? Was it all chance, or was it a memory the universe had retained from a previous iteration that dictated what this iteration should look like?
But memory needs storage; memory can’t exist in a vacuum – so where might this memory the universe supposedly has, be stored? Simple enough to address if one views the universe as one gigantic quantum computer – which it well might be. In that eventuality there are enough qubits out there to store more memory than one can possibly conceive.
Perhaps, then, all you or I might be needed for is just that, to create a memory – short or long, bitter or sweet – for the universe to manipulate. The universe can’t dictate what memories each one of us creates – after all we do have free will. However, the universe can point a larger vector in a preferred direction and look forward to a fresh slate of memories to work with in its next iteration. So, think well on what direction that vector might point and how to live a life that creates good memories for the universe to use. We are free to create either a Gulag or a Utopia, the question being which memory will the universe prefer.
Time, the billions and trillions of years the universe needs to go through each iteration, is not important. Consciousness, the conveyer of memory, moves at the speed of light, perhaps even faster, and at those speeds it leaves time behind.
Of course that argument is that the body can only ever be perceived, hence it only ever exists in the consciousness(es) that perceive(s) it, hence it’s secondary and consciousness is primary. So it’s actually the other way around: the body is an emergent property of consciousness, of course. Duuuuh. Easy peasy. Please come up with some more challenging ones next time!
Oh, and how one can benefit from this argument: just use it whenever someone (especially academic types seem to have a knack for this) tries to lecture you that their distorted view of reality is, somehow, self-evident. Usually the look on their face is priceless.
My answer to the first question would include some of the research at IONS (lab EEG experiments when psi perceivers show EEG changes even if they’re not consciously aware. Also would be some of the research Larry Dossey mentioned in the past re Type 1, 2, and 3 healing intercessory prayer groups, Andrew Newberg’s work, and Richie Davidson’s work.
I got stuck on the second question and would have to answer a question with a question: What ethics are necessary to learn while developing one’s psi abilities?
[Consider] Dr Craig Hogan’s essay ” Evidence Beyond A Reasonable Doubt ” that there’s life after death. It’s an OUTSTANDING essay. If you see the beginning pages, he says this is free for all and for others to give it away to others ( so no copyright issues ). They have documentated cases for example of blind people ( some even blind from birth ) all of a sudden being able to see during a near death experience.
I may have also found some other new things I’ll include further down in my email. These are the most noteworthy things I could personally find anyways. I know about the the schoell experiments too ( that was incredible by what I saw ). I’m just also noticing more and more professionals thinking there’s life after death ( Eg psychiatrists, Md’s, scientists ). Nonetheless I put in an effort to try and help. Also over at seekreality.com, Dr Craig Hogan has some new evidences available ( Eg how foreign accent accent syndrome is related to this, crystals are showing the mind isn’t the brain, etc ). However I only have a grade 12 education so that’s a bit out of my league to understand. I also learned from Dr Craig Hogan that those in spirit are outside of space and time. According to psychiatrist Bruce Greyson ( and others ) there is also loads of evidence for reincarnation too. Anyways what else I was able to find for you is below
Terminal Lucidy is when people on their deathbeds with the worst neurological conditions all of a sudden regain their faculities and in some cases report their family ( spirits ) are coming to get them. The wikipedia article about this is below.
Regular psychologists from The University Of Washington confirmed telepathy as of late. See below
Honolulu Police ( more then one officer ) have described similiar encounters. See below. It doesn’t make sense why a police department would put this story together just for kicks?
Medical Dr speaks to her deceased son with psychics. See below
Robert Lanza was named one of the most important scientists of our time by Time Magazine. See below
Physics ( regular science ) says alternate dimensions may exist. See below
People from all different cultures are reporting seeing the exact same man ( these people have no connection to each other ). See below
Hat Man nightmares and sleep paralysis are happening around the world – YouTube
Many people are giving testimonies that Sonia is real ( Sonia is a lady in Brazil who they say is getting clear images from the afterlife ).
SONIA RINALDI OFICIAL – YouTube
A researcher named Cyrus says he checked Sonia out and can’t find any fraud anywhere. His blog is below
Below is Dr Craig Hogan’s other Youtube channel ( I emailed you his essay )
Proof of Afterlife from Eyewitness Accounts – YouTube
According to Dr Hogan, spiritual attacks are rare but do happen. He says most people in spirit have no desire to want to terrorize people or to become poltregeists. According to Dr Hogan, when spiritual attacks do happen, it’s done mostly by lower astral level spirits and earthbound spirits ( eg bad people in spirit who continue to make that choice even in the afterlife ). He says residual hauntings happen too. He also says there are some cases the person doesn’t understand they have died. He says they are disorientated like in a dream. He says they will eventually cross over however. He says this can go on for a long time and is why there are reports of people seeing ghosts with a blank look on their face and wearing clothes from a hundred years ago. He says this mostly happens to people who are ignorant about the life after this life ( Eg overzealous religious people, militant athiests ). According to Dr Hogan, this isn’t a punishment it’s just how it is. According to Dr Hogan, there is no fire and brimestone hell just darker realms in the life after this life. He tells me Jurgan in Germany is well respected in the afterlife research community ( see his two videos further down in my email ). He says anything Jurgan posts can be trusted. They call Jurgan the multidimential man. They say he does out of body experiences and goes to the afterlife. Jurgan is also an artist.
It was also the other day ( I believe Mark is a psychologist too ). They also have something going on called The Soulphone Foundation with psychologist Dr Gary Swartz. According to Marc, it will likely be later this year that they start making public announcements about this. They say they have 100 percent proven life after death. The below website is Dr Gary Swartz and Marc.
Michigan couple says ghost seen on nanny cam scratched infant daughter – YouTube
Dr Jeffrey Long says he has recieved little hellish near death experience reports. See below
Virtual Reality – Lower Astrals – YouTube
Also there is reports about shared death experiences ( other people witness paranormal events while the person is dying ). This article is below.
In regards to possession, according to Dr Craig Hogan, a spirit cannot fully possess a person but they can influence them.
The only noteworthy case ( that I know of ) that has any noteworthy documentation behind it would be the case of Anneliese Michel. You may recall the 2005 movie The Excorcism Of Emily Rose. Dr Todd Grande may be correct however that this was a case of severe mental illness. I however don’t understand how she got her voice like this ( they just used a regular cassette tape for this back in the 1970’s ).
Anneliese Michel Case Analysis | Exorcism vs. Mental Health Treatment – YouTube
The last example I wanted to show you how the mind may not be the brain is an example of a non verbal autistic girl ( which may also support Sonia Rinaldi’s work ). Carly’s from where I’m from ( Toronto ). Anyways as you will see in the below newsclip, Dr’s orginally thought she may develop the Iq of a 6 year old. However after many years, they figured out this is not the case ( she understands exactly what’s going on it just doesn’t seem that way at first glance ). She speaks on a computer. I’m starting to wonder now ( Eg people with Down Syndrome, Dimentia ) if they understand more then people think.