A Challenge for Atheist Materialism: Independent of Consciousness, Does Color Exist?

The astounding answer, according to Scientific American blogger Michael Moyer, is no:

Pink is not out there, because no color is really “out there.” The world is full of electromagnetic radiation, and the only intrinsic properties that this radiation possesses are physical ones such as wavelength and intensity. Color, on the other hand, is all in your head.

The fact that the material universe in interaction with mind is experienced as colors and textures (strawberries seen as red and felt as yielding to one’s fingertips beneath cool tap water) is an absurd surprise, don’t you think?

Something more purposeful than matter, by coincidence, evoking mind and its vivid experiences seems to be going on.

Here’s an alternative thesis: maybe mind is prior to matter (which opens the possibility that free will and God exist).

Why not?

Why start with the axiomatic assumption that matter is prior to mind and must be responsible for (blindly) causing consciousness?

Maybe the proper analogy is that the material brain is a radio picking up mind as a signal from a nonmaterial realm; the locus for a particular sort of apprehension; the contact point for two independent-of-one-another ontological mysteries: matter and mind.

Or maybe neither mind nor matter exist, or ever can exist, apart from one another.

Physicists Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner, both at the University of California at Santa Cruz, call the mind’s relation to matter a “quantum enigma”—indeed, the central quantum enigma—and ask rhetorically in their book of the same title, the following:

[D]oes it not go without saying that there is a real world ‘out there,’ whether or not we look at it? (4)

But, according to Rosenblum and Kuttner, quantum physics suggests that our intuitive ‘yes’ may be spectacularly wrong. Likewise, I would suggest that the intuition among materialists that human purposes must be generated by determinate matter first, and thus cannot really impact the direction of determinate particles, may also be spectacularly wrong. If mind is fundamental, freedom and the self may also be fundamental.

So, if you’re an atheist, what makes you so sure (apart from faith) that qualia—the experience of red as red—can ever really be understood in strictly causal materialist terms? And why give up on mental causation—free will and the God hypothesis—so early in the game—so prematurely?

I’m not saying the theist assumption—that mind precedes matter—is more plausible. I’m an agnostic, myself. But I am asking, most specifically, the following question:

How does one decide between these two notions—matter precedes mind or mind precedes matter—absent sufficient evidence one way or the other?

If you don’t have enough faith to be a theist, what gives you enough faith to be an atheist—to leap to the conclusion that minds must (somehow) derive from matter and have no causal effects upon matter?

Here’s a quote from the early 20th century mathematician, Sir James Jeans (from his 1931 book, The Mysterious Universe ):

To-day there is a wide measure of agreement, which on the physical side of science approaches almost to unanimity, that the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality. The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine. Mind no longer appears as an accidental intruder into the realm of matter . . . (p. 137)

It’s been over 80 years since Jeans wrote this. Is there anything science has discovered since then that counters his observation and renders it naive?

Apparently not. For example, according to Discover magazine, a contemporary physicist, Andrei Linde, is reported to entertain the following idea:

[C]onsciousness may be a fundamental component of the universe, much like space and time. He wonders whether the physical universe, its laws, and conscious observers might form an integrated whole. A complete description of reality, he says, could require all three of those components, which he posits emerged simultaneously.

If true, that’s dumbfounding; quite the ontological mystery. Linde is then quoted as saying this:

Without someone observing the universe, the universe is actually dead.

Why be a strict materialist and physical determinist when empiricism doesn’t, strictly speaking, demand it? Why not have another look at mental causation—the God hypothesis and contra-causal free will?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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21 Responses to A Challenge for Atheist Materialism: Independent of Consciousness, Does Color Exist?

  1. Gato Precambriano says:

    Color is an interpretation made by our visual system of some characteristics of the visible part of the spectrum. Nothing more, nothing less.

    The fact that the material universe in interaction with mind is experienced as colors and textures (strawberries seen as red and felt as yielding to one’s fingertips beneath cool tap water) is an absurd surprise, don’t you think?

    Compared to what? What would be less absurd, less surprising?

    Why start with the axiomatic assumption that matter is prior to mind and must be responsible for (blindly) causing consciousness?

    I don’t. This is the most probable given the evidence available.
    Mind precedes matter? We have immortal souls? That would be an interesting absurd surprise. If that’s so then there’re some important questions to be made. How does it work? How our souls intereact with our brains? If we are souls inhabiiting bodies, then our bodies are like sockpuppets or something? If we souls are immortals and exist independent of bodies, why do we need bodies after all?
    Anyway, I quess somebody who believe this stuff should be trying to answer these questions don’t you think?

    How does one decide between these two notions—matter precedes mind or mind precedes matter—absent sufficient evidence one way or the other?

    We don’t have any evidence that minds exist without bodies, and we have plenty of evidence that minds actualy are body dependent. So given the evidence, the existence of unbodied minds is unlikely, so the hipotesys that mind is prior to matter is contrary to all the knowledge we have so far.
    That’s how I decide this kind of things.

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      Gato,

      What would be “less absurd, less surprising” is no consciousness at all; and if consciousness appeared, then what would be “less absurd, less surprising” is that its impressions would be randomly disordered static; not predictable; not experienced as order, vividness, and mind-blowing complexity and jaw-dropping beauty at every order of magnification (microscopic to telescopic).

      As for evidence, there is no evidence for materialism, per se. It is a philosophical axiom which one assumes as a starting point, not as an empirically discovered fact. It’s not an unreasonable starting point—everybody has to pick one.

      But it might be wrong.

      How might disembodied minds interact with brains? I don’t know. But you also don’t know how atoms in a particular configuration happen to evoke minds and consciousness. Maybe empiricism will get to the bottom of these things, one way or the other.

      But I wouldn’t rule out dualism a priori.

      We do have evidence that mind may precede matter. It’s called the laws of physics. They’re so improbable that physicists posit infinite multiverses to get a chance explanation of their properties in relation to life and us. The way to get rid of mind is via dumbfoundingly large numbers.

      —Santi

    • Tony says:

      YOU are wrong on this in some respects. Do your research before coming to conclusions.
      Theres quite a lot of evidence that fragments of information regarding our mind is outside of the concept of time. if this is an outward influence from a physical brain or an independant substrate? is impossible to say.
      So you cant rule out that our brain maybe a receiver that sharpens this information.

      • Gato Precambriano says:

        Tony

        Really ?I’m here to learn. Can you point me to that “lot of evidence”? And as we’re here, what is it that you are calling evidence?

  2. Gato Precambriano says:

    I don’t rule out dualism out a priori either. If dualism is a true real state of affairs, I’d wanna know. The point is that the dualism case is weaker, and weakening as time goes by. Sure I don’t know exactly how brain generates mind and consciousness, but the evidence points that mind and consciousness are brain generated somehow, and I don’t have any evidence that conscious bodyless minds ever exist.
    I think that if dualism had a case we should have some evidence by now, and people would be modeling how our souls comand our body’s strings.
    We agree that no consciousness would be less absurd and less surprising, but then a Universe where mind and consciousness precedes matter would be even more absurd and surprinsing, don’t you think? if so, as we live in a Universe where mind and consciousness exist, then Occam’s Hazor allows me to rule out a Mind Precedes Matter Universe, I think.

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      Well, Occam’s razor is an interesting issue, isn’t it? Is it simpler and more straightforward to believe that mind and matter are coequal ontological mysteries that “just are”, or is it easier to believe that matter is the sole ontological mystery that “just is”, and that, dumbfoundingly, also happens to produce the jaw-dropping properties of consciousness?

      Also, atheist monism seems resistant to evidence as well. If, for example, it was discovered that consciousness migrated across different material properties—now in a brain, now in a leaf, now in a cloud, etc.—then the atheist could just as easily deny mind’s independence of physical nature by saying that some form of matter must always be present to embody mind; therefore, mind must be coming from matter.

      —Santi

      • Gato Precambriano says:

        Also, atheist monism seems resistant to evidence as well.

        Resistant to what evidence? You give none. Gimme some real evidence then we’ll talk.
        Your first claim wasn’t that mind and matter are “coequal ontological mysteries”. It was tha mind precedes matter, that’s not been “coequal”.
        Sorry but by now the case matter>>mind still seems more promising than the alternative.

      • Santi Tafarella says:

        Gato,

        My point is that there are three possibilities: (1) mind precedes matter; (2) matter precedes mind; or (3) mind and matter come to exist (or have always existed) together as things that just are.

        It’s not obvious which one is more astounding and in accord with Occam’s razor as the simplest explanation because: (1) if mind precedes matter we have no explanation for it; (2) if matter evokes mind we have no explanation for it; and (3) if mind and matter have always existed together we have no explanation for it.

        Each thesis entails two dumbfounding ontological mysteries: mind just is and made matter; matter just is and just happens to make mind; and matter and mind just are.

        How to decide?

        —Santi

      • donsalmon says:

        To Santi: how to decide about matter vs mind (by the way, I love your response to my other comment – I just don’t have time to write on that yet; the comment about the Biologos conference, that is).

        One thought about this mind vs matter thing – In Indian philosophy, “mind” is as objective, or “material” as matter. Both are observed by “chit” or the “purusha’ (being, or seer). The philosopher/mathematician Franklin Merrill Wolff translates “chit” as “consciousness-without-an-object.”

        Matter is “prakriti” – a “field” of observed forms. There is almost nowhere (with a few exceptions) any equivalent in Indian philosophy to the essentially 19th century conception of utterly mind or consciousness independent matter. A psychiatrist friend of the religious scholar Huston Smith said that strictly speaking, from a DSM point of view, the belief in mind-independent matter could be considered some form of psychotic disorder. There is virtually no way to empirically prove the existence of such a thing, and there is not a single fact in all of science which requires such a belief.

        So to translate your question into Indian terms, which comes first, Chit (Purusha) or Prakriti (the “object” or “seen” in relationship to the subject, Purusha, or seer.

        The question for me is, to put it in terms of modern science, of the great unsolved mysteries of modern science, which answers more questions:

        here are the major mysteries when you take a materialist (or physicalist) stance:

        1. Qualia; Neuroscientists insist, following the dogma of the church of promissory materialism, that they will solve this, but most (not all) admit it is a complete mystery as to how “vibrations” (a completely made up, conceptual term, as is “matter” and “energy”, which even Richard Feynmann admitted we have no clue about – sorry for the bad language, professor:>)) become sight, or sound, or smell, or taste, or tactile sensation. Without qualia, you essentially lose the entire universe. Personally, for me, this is enough to dismiss materialism outright as utterly insane, But mine is the minority view among scientists, so we must go on:

        2. The birth of the ‘objective’ or material or physical universe (again, terms with no clear meaning)

        3. The emergence of “laws of nature” (habits, really – Sheldrake is right about this one, I think). Even arch materialist, skeptic, pessimist Steven Weinberg admits we have no explanation for this, and that all of our science depends on these unexplained rhythmic, apparently intelligent (but he won’t admit it) patterns (see my “Shaving Science With Ockham’s Razor” for more of a critique on Weinberg’s grudging admission).

        4. The emergence of consciousness (my friend, psychologist Bill Adams, refers to “emergence” as a ‘weasel word’ which explains nothing, though many philosophers continue to astonish with their attempts to explain emergence by means of emergence theory (tautology, anybody?)

        5. Psi phenomena. Most people aren’t aware that arch enemy of parapsychology, (and psychologist and former psi researcher himself) Richard Wiseman, essentially threw in the towel in 2009, saying that psi research has results “as good as those in any area of science” (but quickly went on to say, but that’s not good enough because ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary results’ – Carl Sagan didn’t originate that, by the way; the man who coined that phrase disavows it now, and criticizes skeptics for wielding it in so many inappropriate and irresponsible ways).

        Materialism accounts for none of these, With a “consciousness” first explanation (consciousness in the Indian, nondualistic sense, not the cartesian, dualistic sense), none of these need explanations. Psi is what you would expect when consciousness is the fundamental thing in the universe (as Sri Aurobindo put it). there is no “emergence” of the universe, there is no beginning because consciousness is beyond space and time. The so called objective universe takes form as a dream and the forms of the waking state take form out of deep sleep. Laws or habits of nature are a natural expression of an infinite intelligence inherent in consciousness. The emergence similarly of life and what we know as consciousness (a bounded, finite consciousness rather than an infinite one; hence, all our troubles and fighting and suffering and apparent ‘evil’) is simply the manifestation in forms of the unmanifested nature of Conscious-Being (Chit-Sat).

        Logically, I think as good an argument as any can be made for this; but that doesn’t mean I don’t think you should give up agnosticism. I think agnostic is the best place to be at the current time – I just thought I’d share one possible alternative viewpoint (a lot of traditional indian philosophers intensely object to Sri Aurobindo’s views; so if you want a more traditional viewpoint, you might try Alan Wallace’s “Meditations of a Buddhist Skeptic”; Wallace has the additional virtue of having spent the last 25 years attempting to forge a dialogue between contemplative practitioners and some of the world’ s leading philosophers, physicists, evolutionary biologists and cognitive scientists), or you could try Abhinavagupta, of the Kashmier Shaivite tradition, ably represented by people like Paul Muller-Ortega.

        Finally, an Indian take on the Adam and Eve parable:

        “Adam” is the “purusha’ or individuated “perspective’ of what philosopher James Corrigan calls “omnific awareness”. This individuated perspective (i’m mightily trying to avoid the loaded word ‘soul”) is ‘attracted to “eve” (prakriti”) and loses awareness of his/its infinite nature. “eve” does this by means of giving “adam” (infinite but focused consciousness) the “apple” from the tree of knowledge of ‘good and evil” (of limited, finite duality). Many conservative Christians think that the Indian view is evil because the Indians understand the snake to symbolize the “coiled up energy” of the infinite consciousness which ‘sleeps” at the base of our spine, and is awakened by our yearning and aspiration fo regain our knowledge of our true, infinite identity. Indian philosophers say this deeper understanding of the parable was perverted by 5th century power hungry Romans who taught that any attempt to change our consciousness, to escape from this limited consciousness, was a gnostic heresy and anti-Christian. hence, for 1500+ years, leading up to the final success of materialism and the ultimate denial of infinite consciousness, the nature of the universe, the laws of nature, the emergence of life and consciousness and the nature of qualia has remained an utter mystery.

        Or maybe i’m wrong about that:>)))) Who knows?

      • Santi Tafarella says:

        Don,

        I agree with you about qualia. I’m not as persuaded by psi research as you appear to be. As for chit, I recall hearing a recording of Alan Watts doing a cool riff on “satchitananda” (“sat,” that which is; “chit,” that which is consciousness; “ananda,” that which is bliss).

        Anyway, the mind-matter inseparability argument you favor sounds plausible. But the monotheistic religions aren’t psychotic in believing that mind came first. Unconditioned mind-first grounds conditioned and transient things in a coherent way. I wouldn’t dismiss Aquinas quite so quickly; he was as smart and observant as, say, a Hindu like Patanjali. Nor would I ignore the arguments of a materialist like Lucretius. Each position has its geniuses making a strong case for their position. But only one of them is right.

        —Santi

      • Gato Precambriano says:

        Hi Don
        I’m not impressed I’m affraid.

        here are the major mysteries when you take a materialist (or physicalist) stance:

        Your points 1, 2, 3 and 4, all boils down to ‘God of the Gaps’ kind of argument. There are misteries unsolved, materialism (science) doesn’t have an account for them, so solipsism wins by default. Did I said that I’m unimpressed?
        Point 5 seems to be a fabricated quote mine AFAIK. I’ve searched it, but couldn’t find the specific quote you gave. However I’ve found Richard Wiseman’s site and nowhere there he says anything remotely consistent with you claim he said. Quite the oposite: “Richard Wiseman is clear about one thing: Paranormal phenomena don’t exist.” In fact “belief in the paranormal arises from the same brain mechanisms that shape most human thought”. He definitely doesn’t sound as someone who’s ready to claim that “psi research has results “as good as those in any area of science””. Maybe we’re talking about different Wisemans.

  3. Don Salmon says:

    First day of class in statistics: “correlation does not equal causation.”

    I realize that to materialists, it seems so self evident that “all the evidence” shows that mind is dependent on brain, it takes some real, sustained, clear, rational thought to realize that it is virtuall impossible to provide evidence regarding causation in either direction – mind to matter or matter to mind. All you can do is show tighter and tighter correlation. There’s not a single neuroscientific fact which is incompatible with the idea of brain as filter or transformer. (see Chris Carter and Keith Augustine on this).

    It takes a long time and much effort to get some detachment from the church of materialism.

  4. Gato Precambriano says:

    There’s not a single neuroscientific fact which is incompatible with the idea of brain as filter or transformer.

    So that hypotesis is unfalsifiable, what used to be a problem in the old days…

    • donsalmon says:

      I never understand why this is so confusing. Scientific evidence has nothing to say about metaphysics. The question of whether the brain is a filter or transformer is a metaphysical, not a scientific question. Falsifiability (and by the way, Popper’s idea of falsifiability has been “out of fashion” among philosophers of science for more than a 1/4 century) is irrelevant in philosophy. That may lead you to say so much the worse for philosophy, but that doesn’t change the fact that scientific evidence – as presently constituted – is irrelevant to questions regarding dualism, materialism, idealism, non dualism, etc. If this is confusing, look for Donald Hoffman’s essays online. He is a cognitive scientist who believes the evidence in neuroscience strongly points toward consciousness as fundamental, but fully admits that this “pointing” is philosophic, not scientific.

      There may be a very simple way to think about this, if you’ve ever experienced a lucid dream. At the moment, Alan Worsley is on record as having the longest verified lucid dream, 1 1/2 hours, I think. There’s not a single scientific experiment that lasts 1 1/2 hours that could not be conducted in a lucid dream. not one. In that dream, you’ll notice there is nothing phenomenal that could tell you whether the “matter” or “objective forms” in the dream are self-existent or products of the dreamer’s mind (which actually is solipsism, also impossible to verify or deny – not that I’m not happy to deny it – on teh basis of common sense, which also makes it easy to challenge materialism, I would think, but I won’t go there:>))

      So try the experiment – think about every neuroscience experiment you’ve ever heard of. If it takes longer than 90 minutes, imagine someone conducting an experiment for 90 minutes at a time over the course of 100 nights (it’s also published in reputable scientific journals that many individuals are capable of intentionally continuing a dream scenario from night to night).

      You might also look at Greta Christina’s “10 Reasons I don’t believe in God” over at Alternet. She is one of the best examples I know of someone who relentlesslly conflates philosophic and scientific issues. When you see it done so badly, it may help to understand the problem.

      But I suggest that first best thing to do is the lucid dream experiment (some people say, “Oh I can tell the difference between dream and waking” – they haven’t experienced a false awakening – look it up; at about the 4th or 5th false awakening panic may set in when you realize there’s nothing you can do to tell the difference. It’s quite visceral and not at all “merely philosophic”. I’ve described this in my “Shaving Science With Ockham’s Razor” at http://www.integralworld.net (click”news” for the essay).

  5. Gato Precambriano says:

    Hi Don

    Scientific evidence has nothing to say about metaphysics.

    No it have and have been. It’s just that when scientific evidence has something to say about metaphysics, we don’t call it ‘metaphysics’ anymore. We call it Science, pretending it was Science all the time after all.

    The question of whether the brain is a filter or transformer is a metaphysical, not a scientific question

    No it’s not. It’s an empirical (scientific) question. According to physicist Sean Carrol

    Claims that some form of consciousness persists after our bodies die and decay into their constituent atoms face one huge, insuperable obstacle: the laws of physics underlying everyday life are completely understood, and there’s no way within those laws to allow for the information stored in our brains to persist after we die

    Besides, if I’ve get this right, the distintion between philosophy and science only makes sense in a Materialist/Physicalist framework. It doesn’t make sense in the solipsist framework your’re in. You cannot eat the cake and keep it you know?

    look for Donald Hoffman’s essays online. He is a cognitive scientist who believes the evidence in neuroscience strongly points toward consciousness as fundamental

    So..what? Why should I take him seriously? His position on this is representative of the majority of the field? If not, why his opinion matters the most? Because he agrees with you (assuming that’s really the case, I’m not sure) while the others follow “the dogma of the church of promissory materialism”?

    it’s also published in reputable scientific journals

    It doesn’t escape me that you make lots of claims but provide no reference for any, except your own site. Some links would be helpfull.

    Best

  6. Gato Precambriano says:
    • Santi Tafarella says:

      I have not had a chance to follow it, but thanks for the link. I’ll have a look at it probably around Friday. Crazy-busy at work this week.

      —Santi : )

  7. donsalmon says:

    Hi Gato:

    There are many references in the articles I’ve posted on Integral world. That is not my own site; it contains several thousand pages, and a half dozen articles of mine, which together include over 100 references.

    Where did I say anything that even implies solipsism? I agree with Bertrand Russell and every other philosopher who says that solipsism is logically irrefutable and also obviously nonsense.

    Sean Carroll is making a philosophic error. The distinction between metaphysics and science is very simple, even Steven Weinberg admits it (if you want a reference, check my “Shaving Science” article at http://www.integralworld.net). He says that we simply accept the fact that there are habits (sometimes called “laws”) of nature and they can’t be proven; that is, they are foundational (i.e. philosophical/ontological) assumptions that are in their very nature unprovable by scientific methods. I don’t think that’s a very complicated thing to grasp; as far as I’m aware (sorry, no references here; but it would probably take a minute or two googling if you’re interested – the Stanford philosophic review would be a good place to start – i’m not sure that’s the exact title but it’s something like that).

    Brian Josephson (google his name, + psi; you’ll find lots of references if you’re interested), who won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1973, has written somewhat tirelessly (I’d certainly lose patience dealing with the same mistake over and over again; and in Dean Radin’s “The Conscious Universe” – I think it’s around page 274, but it’s been about 4 years since I’e looked at the book;) he cites Josephson saying that this whole idea that “laws of nature” (which are metaphysically, not scientifically derived, as arch-skeptic/physicalist/materialist Steven Weinberg acknowledges) are somehow set in stone and cannot be changed is nonsense.

    Josephson makes an incredibly simply point which I think shouldn’t stretch credulity that much – if the panpsychists are correct (I don’t share the viewpoint of panpsychism, but at least it accounts for the existence of the experienced world, which is – as was admitted by Francis Crick, among hundreds of others, if you want references – utterly inexplicable from a materialistic point of view; that is, no neuroscientist yet is able to account for how so-called ‘vibrations” (of what??) strike the eardrum, are transmitted down the auditory nerve and become “sound”; similarly for light, smell, etc) – anyway, back to the point – if the panpsychists are correct, than “mind” or “sentience” is a property of matter, but in the purely “physical” world, when “mind” is not yet manifest, what we call the “laws of nature” behave just as physicists say they do. As “mind” emerges over the course of evolution, behavior of “matter” is more and more unpredictable (hence, the art rather than science of medicine) and most unpredictable in human beings (hence, the art, if one could call it that, of psychology; though I think Alan Wallace makes a pretty good case that without disciplined introspection – at least 10,000 hours of practice, if you will – you really don’t have much of an empirical basis for science (reference – most of Wallace’s books contain arguments for introspection; sorry, you’ll have to hunt for the page number).

    My “richard wiseman” challenge has so far been undertaken by one person and avoided by the rest. A full description is over at integralworld forum. The basic idea is for doubters to “try on” 2 things: assume that psi is the case, it really occurs. So what? What kind of disaster would befall the doubter if they spent a month or two thinking through physics if psi is the case (Josephson provided a very simple answer to Sean Carroll’s mindless response). And combine that assumption – that psi is real – with the very simple observation that, from a strict empiricist point of view, all we know directly are forms in awareness. We not only have no knowledge, but can by definition have no knowledge of awareness-independent forms. If we accept that, how would that change biology, physics, and neuroscience?

    By the way, is that last sentence what you think of as solipsism? If so, then you’re experiencing what Owen Barfield (first chapter of Saving the Appearances, if you want a reference) called “a residue of unresolved positivism). Read the last sentence again, and don’t make any assumption about awareness having boundaries, and you’ll see that rather than that sentence representing a solipsist point of view, in actuality, the Cartesian bifurcation (reference – Alfred North Whitehead – look it up) that led to the materialist delusion inevitably ends in solipsism. Nondualism, of some sort – there are many varieties – is not only the only solution I know to both the Cartesian bifurcation and the slide toward solipsism (bowling alone, in sociological terms, or the fact that Americans, who live in the most solipsistic society the world has ever known) but it is I think logically inevitable if you explore the world by means of experience, rather than bound to a priori beliefs about an impossible to prove mind-independent “world”.

    More references available upon request:>)))

  8. donsalmon says:

    Just stopped by many months later, hopefully at least a tad wiser. I’ve learned that people supporting the idea that “science = materialism” are no more likely to engage in any discussion that calls on them to reflect on their premises than students at Bob Jones University. Quite a shock to me. As someone who was a confirmed atheist/materialist throughout my childhood into my teens, when something forced me to examine those beliefs, and to spend the next 17 years examining those beliefs still further to make sure I had not accepted another perspective on an unreasonable basis, I continue to find it surprising the extent to which materialists act like religious believers. Sad, I think. Especially since that religion is dying.

  9. Don Smalter says:

    IS SCIENCE ON THE VERGE OF PROVING AFTERLIFE ??

    ARE YOU OPEN MINDED ??

    Electro-magnetic imprint of DNA goes with you in the death transition! Multi-life
    history/experiences in DNA! Unseen IMPERISHABLE “bodies” in aura? Brain is not the mind! Mind based upon mental (or reasoning) body of aura! Mind goes with you in death!!

    Note: I lost both of my parents at their early age of 57. This caused me to launch a part-time
    fifty year study of “what comes next after death?” Topics I researched were such as
    the Mother Mary apparitions, a variety of religion beliefs other than my former Catholic (though still Christian), atheists’ rationale, the paranormal, quantum physics, astronomy, biology, genomics, messages from the afterlife, instrumental transcommunication (ITC) via tapes & TV, UFO objectives, and extraterrestrial messages, trying to find out answers, primarily thru books, science magazines, and numerous websites, obviously with a very open mind.

    I was particularly interested in answering this QUESTION: How can it be that it is possible to
    contact afterdeath personalities as if they were still of full mental capability — via paranormal
    MEDIUMS, or even by special ITC electronic communications, as has been demonstrated
    repeatedly? As a retired engineer/executive, I needed to understand exactly HOW
    “mechanically”or structurally this could be possible. I FOUND THE ANSWER:
    Electromagnetic/energetic version of DNA — and unseen IMPERISHABLE body aura containing
    the mind — go with you in death transition!!

    Two books in particular provided key answers, and both were most believable due to being very
    comprehensive and “scientific” though not related to much of Christian/Judeo training. Below I
    have compiled short summaries and excerpts for your possible interest. Also, a short list of books
    that reinforced these two. I hope you will keep an open mind in reading them. An old Chinese
    proverb states: “A mind is like a parachute. It only functions when it is OPEN.”

    To summarize the first book, a dictation by a benevolent extraterrestrial group Guardian Alliance,
    it teaches SCIENTIFIC EVOLVEMENT: 1) Your electro-magnetic or energetic version of DNA
    goes with you in the death transition. 2) you will reincarnate repeatedly and the DNA holds your personal multi-life history and experience. 3) Your invisible aura is the source/basis of your mind and morphogenetic fields for holding patterns, etc. 4) Your consciousness will next progress
    eventually through fifteen dimensions toward “nirvana” perfection, currently being in the third.
    All other dimensions are unseen and have different vibrational frequencies and atomic
    configurations. 5) After incarnation as the Buddha, Christ came to us as a teacher from the twelfth or higher dimension. 6) God is the Universe Prime Creator/Force/Source — and not the god Yahweh of the Old Testament who was an Ancient Astronaut to Earth.

    As dictated by Ascended Masters, key messages in the second book were: 1) There are other
    unseen IMPERISHABLE “bodies” around the physical one in an aura (Note: As seen by
    Kirlian/GDV photography, see Wikipedia re: the paranormal aura). Key bodies are the astral, the
    mental (or reasoning), the etheric, among several others. 2) THE BRAIN IS NOT THE MIND. The mental body is the basis/source of the mind. 3) All these “bodies” go with you in the death transition,
    especially including the mind. 4) In the next step, all these bodies and DNA will proceed with
    you into the astral plane or dimension. 5) do not fear death as it is merely a transition to another
    “form”.
    See the more detailed excerpts below. Also, a short list of other reinforcing books. To me, these
    were “startling” concepts, but comforting in their believability as they “fit” based on other related
    research.

    There does need to be more scientific research especially on 1) electromagnetic/energetic &
    biophotonic properties of DNA, and 2) functions of the aura (or bio-energy field)! Russian and
    German scientific researchers are “on track” to one day scientifically prove life continues after
    death. Dr. Fritz-Albert Popp and son Jurgen at University of Marburg, Germany continue early
    work on electromagnetic aspects/versions of DNA and cell biophotonics as members of the Int’l
    Institute of Biophysics, and among others, Dr. Peter Geriaev in Russia with a breakthrough in
    biophotonic electromagnetic DNA termed Wave Genetics or bioholography. This energetic/biophotonic research will radically transform genetic science, currently based on bio-chemicals. And, Dr. Konstantin Korotov, Director at the St Petersburg State Tech University, who concentrates on aura (or bioenergy field) research as Founder/President of the International Union of Medical and Applied Bioelectrography, has actually produced early Kirilian/GDV photographs which may be of the “soul” or aura leaving dying human bodies. American research on these two “niches” appears to be more modest, especially on the aura as mainstream scientists refrain from it due to its Indian paranormal history. Also, “materialist” brain researchers continue to believe that the source of the mind MUST be someplace in the brain or physical body. Plus, narrowly educated atheists do not believe in any perceived afterlife.

    Book #1. Source: “Voyagers” Volumes I & II — by ASHAYANA DEANE(Anna Hayes)
    For details see Chapters on Ascension Mechanics & DNA. Available from Amazon.com,
    Volume I and 2nd Edition Vol. II 583 pages. Also includes information on Earth history and quantaum physics.

    “At the death of the physical body, you will discover that your consciousness lives on and your
    evolution continues.
    “Ascension is not some lofty spiritual concept designed by the minds of man, it is the literal,
    tangible scientific process of the evolution of consciousness and biology with the laws of energy
    mechanics that apply to a multidimensional reality system. All souls will eventually evolve and
    ascend through a 15 dimensional scale to re-emerge as sentient identity within realms of pure
    consciousness beyond the dimensional systems. Whether or not you view ascension and
    multidimensional evolution as a reality while you are alive on Earth, you will be directly faced
    with that reality once your consciousness has passed out of physical life and into the
    multidimensional framework. How well you prepare for that discovery now will determine the
    ease with which you are able to take your next evolutionary step once you “wake up on the other
    side”
    “The term “Ascension” represents much more than some lofty spiritual concept invented by the
    finite human psyche in order to give purpose to its finite existence. Many in the earthly scientific
    communities believe that life is limited to the physical expression and that consciousness is the
    result of the body’s biochemical/neuro-electrical functions. Following these erroneous beliefs
    they draw an equally erroneous conclusion that consciousness ends at the death of the physical
    body. Consequently, human science will be confronted with a whole new order of
    multidimensional reality and a whole new science.
    “The process of ascension is not some quasi-religious concept based upon the meandering of the
    human mind. Ascension is instead a highly SCIENTIFIC process that represents the universal
    order through which consciousness experiences itself as being. Ascension also involves the
    understanding of morphogenetic fields or the form holding energy constructions that allow
    matter to build into individuated forms. Ascension therefore is a science with specific mechanics
    that allow for the evolution of consciousness from simple to more complex forms. Every being
    in existence is involved in this evolutionary process and applies to each and every one of you.
    The choices one makes in thought and deed will determine the quality of experience, or lack
    thereof, that will be personally encountered.
    “DNA is built upon minute electro-tonal (i.e., multi octave) patterns of multidimensional
    frequency and the energetic imprint of the DNA goes with you in the death transition. The
    content of that pattern will determine how high your consciousness will be able to travel
    (progress) in the system once it is released from the body. Whatever frequencies are contained
    within that imprint will determine the specific dimensional placement after death.
    “This “system” blueprint has called your races forward toward an unseen destiny which is the
    return of immortality and the (eventual) reunion of the consciousness of man with its Prime
    Creative Source. In terms of the soul’s perspective, the challenges and hardships faced along the
    way in Earth life are understood to be lessons in growth as human consciousness evolves to
    remember the truth of its eternal existence and embrace the beauty of its multidimensional
    identity. From the perspective of a human consciousness focused within a physical body on
    Earth, those challenges can seem, at times, overwhelming. Without consciousness recognition of
    the purposes, processes and objectives of the evolutionary plan, the hardships can appear to be
    unbearable and without meaning.
    “All human souls are involved with the exact same process of evolving the genetic “package”
    and the consciousness to higher dimensional levels; some souls are just further along in this
    journey. This is a process by which the life forms evolve through matter particles and antiparticles
    upward through the 15 dimensional scale, from dense matter solidity to pure, nonmattered-
    based conscious energy substance.
    “All dimensions exist in the same space, but seem to operate separately due to the particle
    pulsation rates of which they are composed. The degree of angular rotation of particle spin shifts
    90 degrees from one dimension to the next while remaining invisible to each other. In the
    universe there are 15 primary dimensional bands. Dimensional frequency bands group in sets of
    3 and each set of three dimensions represents a Harmonic Universe. Thus there are five
    Harmonic Universes within one (overall) dimensional Universe. The degree of angular rotation
    of particle spin shifts 90 degrees from one dimension to the next within one Harmonic Universe.
    In each Harmonic Universe containing three dimensions, there are two 90 degree shifts of the
    angular rotation of spin between particles. Between one Harmonic Universe and the next there is
    a 45 degree reverse angular rotation of particle spin. This 45 degree reverse angular rotation of
    particle spin creates a Magnetic Repulsion Zone, or void between Harmonic Universes, which
    keeps the reality fields contained there within separated from each other. Through this structure
    of relative angular rotations of particle spin, the holographic illusions of multidimensional
    reality, matter, time, space, movement and individuation of form are perpetually created and
    sustained. Entities existing below the 7th dimension possess physical biological forms.
    Dimensions 7 through 9 possess the etheric matter form.
    “All matter forms and forms of consciousness are manifested through a morphogenetic form-holding imprint which exists as a quantity of crystalline, electro-tonal energetic substance that is composed of specific patterns of frequency. These multidimensional electromagnetic fields are collectively referred to as the bio-energetic system or the aura field of a manifest form. The aura field has seven primary inner layers (i.e.,bodies) which correspond to dimensional frequency bands 1 through 7. The aura field also has seven outer layers which represent the form-holding MORPHOGENETIC imprints for the seven inner layers of the aura field. The morphogenetic imprint holds the instructions and design for
    form-building in a type of digital or electronic encoding. The seven outer layers correspond to
    dimensional frequency bands 9 through 15.

    “The perceptions of your present races are focused within the middle range of the third
    dimension. In order for humanity to evolve into higher dimensional fields, the frequency
    patterns of dimensions four, five and six must be brought into manifest expression with the
    energetic grid of Earth. The frequencies or sound-tones must also become operational within the
    active DNA strands. The energetic imprint of the DNA is carried with the personal
    morphogenetic field and consciousness after physical death of the body. (Note: Morphogenetic
    fields are the form holding patterns through which matter forms. Rupert Sheldrake postulated on
    their existence, but proposed no physical mechanism.) Whatever frequencies are contained with
    that imprint will determine the dimensional placement of the consciousness after death. The
    ultimate success of DNA* building lies in the hands of the embodied consciousness who
    personally directs the process by the way in which personal energy is used and applied.
    *Note 1: Our current scientific community is thoroughly confused about the multiple
    strands of DNA, declaring only a few as having a known usage – and calling the remainder “junk
    DNA.” Over 97% of DNA has an unknown function! However, if it were junk, the sequence of
    the “syllables” i.e., the nucleotides in DNA, should be completely random. In fact, they are not
    random at all, and current scientists now believe that this DNA contains some kind of code with
    function completely unknown or undetermined.
    “(At death), you will move your consciousness through a dark tunnel, with a bright light at its
    end, the same effect as in a Near-Death-Experience (Note: the subject of much book
    investigative reporting).
    “Multiple reincarnational** identities represent portions of a person’s soul awareness evolving.
    To the soul-self identity, the immediate incarnates in its incarnational family are recognized as
    living sub-personality fragments of its own identity whose reality simultaneously takes place
    with the dimensional bands contained within the soul-self’s DNA. The DNA represents electromagnetically encoded digital imprints of the other living portions of your identity.
    **Note 2: Reincarnation occurs only in the first Harmonic Universe. “You reincarnate into
    multiple forms and situations because one lifetime is in no way sufficient time, nor does it offer
    sufficient exposures to enough diverse situations to give the fragment-spirit the understanding
    necessary. The best way to learn about poverty, or being rich, or being helpless, or being
    powerful, or being female, or being male is by experiencing lifetimes in such circumstances.”
    Book source: Andareon Theory communication.
    “Consciousness and matter are both composed of these units of electro-tonal energy and so both
    spiritual and scientific mastery are brought together through the applied knowledge of electro-tonal
    energy dynamics. For the smallest units of energy in the cosmos you could find 800
    billion billion units in an average 3 dimensional photon. They represent the “divine substance”
    out of which the cosmos is composed.
    “There is an organizational intelligence and sentient creative force of vast proportion that is
    responsible for the design and creation of the cosmos, i.e., the Central Creative Force you call
    God***. Members of the benevolent Guardian Alliance (Note: who communicated this book)
    are beings from higher reality fields, dimensions ten through fifteen, who have evolved beyond
    the manifestation of biology, physical and etheric matter substance into states of conscious prematter
    form who appear as forms of light when they enter your system**** or, occasionally take
    on the appearance of biological forms in order to interact with Earth life. Note for example: Jesus from
    the 12th dimension.
    ***Note 3: The GOD of the Old Testament Yahweh was an Ancient Astronaut as demonstrated
    by the Jewish-American scholar Zecharia Sitchin who authored multiple books based on
    historical Middle Eastern archeological hieroglyphic interpretations.
    ****Note 4: The above afterlife “system” description is supported in the website Zetatalk.com
    which contains details on souls, reincarnation, DNA and dimensions (density), particularly
    Dimension Four.
    Book #2. “The Treasure of El Dorado” Chapter 7. The Bodies of Man. EXCERPTS from dictated communications by Ascended Masters. Joseph Whitfield 213 pages. Available through Amazon.com.

    “The value of the TREASURE is literally priceless since it could not be purchased with all the
    material wealth of all worlds. The asset is the SECRET OF OVERCOMING DEATH.

    “Few indeed are aware of the totality of their being. Existing within and around the physical
    bodies are IMPERISHABLE bodies. These other bodies interpenetrate the physical body as well
    as extend beyond it. The various bodies which constitute the total potential of all developing
    human beings are: the physical matter body, the astral (antimatter) body, the etheric (Christ)
    body, the mental body and the emotional body. It is these other bodies that constitute the
    phenomenon referred to as an aura (NOTE: Which has been proven to exist by special
    photographic techniques, see Wikipedia aura paranormal). The reason that the aura is not readily
    seen by most people is that its range of vibration renders it invisible to the physical eye. One’s
    CONSCIOUSNESS and other higher faculties reside in this “spiritual” (frequency existing) body
    and are INDESTRUCTIBLE.
    “WHEN PHYSICAL DEATH OCCURS, THESE OTHER BODIES LEAVE THE PHYSICAL
    BODY AS A UNIT AND BECOME THE OPERABLE VEHICLE THROUGH WHICH THE
    CONSCIOUSNESS CONTINUES TO FUNCTION IN OTHER DIMENSIONS! While one is
    no longer physically incarnated, the astral body houses the other bodies after the transition called
    death. Unlike the physical body, however, the astral body is inviolable, (i.e.,incorruptible).
    “Let us examine some of the functions which the various aspects of the astral body serve while
    one is physically incarnated. The subconscious is the mechanism which performs those vital
    functions that produce automatic actions and reactions on the physical level. Examples of this
    would be breathing, beating of the heart, blinking of the eyelids, digesting, etc. It is the
    subconscious which permits the formation of habits and which must be reprogrammed in order to
    break habits and existing beliefs. The subconscious however does not have the capacity for
    rational thought. Everything that is recorded in the brain is also recorded in the subconscious.
    The subconscious contains total memory information FROM ALL PREVIOUS LIVES AND
    EXPERIENCES (as recorded in the energetic DNA).
    “The brain is the memory bank while physically incarnated. The subconscious mind is the
    memory bank for your total experiences. Whatever is recorded in the brain is recorded
    automatically in the subconscious as well.
    “Consider that quality of the astral body that is called soul. Think of a cassette tape (i.e., the
    energetic DNA). When the tape is blank, it can be said to contain no soul. Now fill it with
    recordings. What we have done is to impart attributes to a previously empty cassette. We have
    thus CREATED SOUL. When the life ends, the tape (i.e., the surviving energetic DNA) is filled
    with that essence called SOUL. Within the total soul are many completed “tapes” containing the
    records of all incarnational experiences. The completed “tapes” form the memory bank, or the
    akashic record of each individual being. Whatever information is contained (from past lives),
    whether it be good or evil, true or false, right or wrong, correct or incorrect, can and does
    influence your well-being in your present life. This is why many people go through lifetime
    after lifetime making the same mistakes over and over again. In summary, the subconscious and
    the soul lack discernment. They cannot reason.
    “The conscious part of your mental body provides you with the powers of thinking. Thinking is
    the capacity to discern, reason, rationalize, to exercise self-discipline, to deduce, to employ logic,
    to analyze, inquire, synthesize, judge, investigate, observe, etc. THE BRAIN IS NOT THE
    MIND. It is one of the instruments that the mind uses while you are manifested in the physical
    planes (dimensions) of expression. The mental body has three distinct parts or levels: the
    conscious, the subconscious, and the superconscious. A primary function of the mind or mental
    body is to produce awareness, an incredible tool in the development of potential. As a
    component of the mental body, the subconscious has the ability and the capacity to record all
    sensual, mental, and emotional, and spiritual experiences and to “play back” this information,
    functioning like a tape recorder (i.e. the morphogenetic field and/or DNA).
    “The etheric (or Christ) body has been described by enlightened writers. Often referred to as the
    light body due to the effect produced in the atomic structure of this body by the speed of the
    electron movement within the atoms which equals or exceeds the speed of light. Achieving the
    status of etheric (or Christhood) confers upon the recipient many powers not found in the lesser
    bodies. Jesus represents the best example in history. Among the powers he was known to have
    demonstrated were: bilocation, levitation, materialization, healing, etc. Jesus constantly
    reminded his followers that they could do all of these and even greater things.
    “When one achieves the full etheric (or Christ) vibration, then death will no longer have
    dominion over him. It gives him the power to alter his vibrations at will, and thus he can freely
    travel through the physical, astral and etheric vibrations.
    “It is the emotional body that gives you a feeling nature, i.e., that produces the capacity for
    experiencing all levels of emotion such as joy and sorrow, love and hate, compassion and
    malevolence, ecstacy and depression, pleasure and pain, excitement and indifference. The
    emotional capacity is experienced on all levels of expression.
    “The superconscious is the functioning mind of the etheric or Christ self. What is required is that
    man of earth become aware of the existence of the incredible power of the superconscious mind
    and desire its attainment. To give you some idea of the scope of the superconscious mind, think
    of a rating scale numbered from 1 to 10 as representing the range of man’s conscious mind in
    Earth. Then classify the most outstanding geniuses of Earth history using 10 as the ultimate that
    is attainable. You will find that such men as Einstein, Swedenborg, Whitman, etc., would be
    rated from perhaps 7 through 9. By comparison, a pure state of superconsciousness would range
    into the hundreds or thousands. It is quite easy to conclude from this, is it not, that the means
    exist to literally transform Earth into a paradise by educating mankind as to its potential.
    “These bodies constitute man’s potential as he continues to evolve within the “system.” Each
    aspect of our total self is indispensable to the function and purpose of our total being.

    NOTE: The above concepts based on my “knowledge” research were confirmed in Australian Michel Desmarquest’s abduction to a highly advanced planetary culture (see below)

    OTHER REINFORCING BOOKS: *** most favored among hundreds researched.

    ***Abduction to the 9th Planet, republished under title “Thiaoouba Prophecy” by Michel Desmarqueet, Arafura Publishing, Australia. He was abducted physically in 1987 for nine days by the spiritually most highly evolved and most technically developed planet in our galaxy. He confirmed and detailed the existence of imperishable aura , reincarnation, and astral/etheric afterlife on progressively more advanced planets !! Excerpts below.

    “Your astral body, which inhabits every normal human being, transfers to its higher-self all the sensations that are experienced during a lifetime in a physical body. A normal human astral body contains approximately four billion trillion electrons, exactly marrying your (peak) physical shape.

    “The more you cultivate your mind, the less you will be burdened by your physical body and the quicker you will proceed through your cycle of lives. Regarding the problems of your planet, Michel, the solution depends on love, not money. People need to rise above hate, resentment, jealousy and envy, and put their neighbor before themselves.

    “There are nine categories of planets. You are on the planet Thiaoouba which is the top of the scale. Earth is a planet of the first category which could be likened to a kindergarten. We are one of three planets in the galaxy which are the most highly evolved.

    Zetatalk by Nancy Lieder, Granet Publishing, dictated by benevolent extraterrestrials
    also see website Zetatalk.com, Section Density, i.e. Dimensions
    ***An Ascension Handbook by Tony Stubbs, Oughten House Pub’g, channeled by Serapis Bey

    The Science of the Soul by Robert Siblerud, Sacred Science Publishers

    The Infinite MIND by Valerie V Hunt: The Science of Human Vibrations of Consciousness, Malibu Publishing
    The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot, Harper Perennial

    ***Andareon Theory by Robert Gidel, Andareon Foundation Press, dictated by Andar Group

    After We Die, What Then by George Meek, electronics engineer, Ariel Press

    A Lawyer Presents the Case for Afterlife, by Victor Zammit, Gammell Pty, Ltd.,Australia
    also see website Victorzammit.com
    Extraterrestrials in Biblical Prophecy by G. Cope Schellhorn, Horus House Press

    ***The Yahweh Encounters – Controversial Bible Interpretation, by Ann Madden Jones

    Extraterrestrial Contact – the Evidence and Implications by Steven Greer, Cross Point Publishers

    Gods, Genes & Consciousness – Nonhuman Intervention in Human History
    by Paul Von Ward, Hampton Roads

    A Seth Reader, by Richard Roberts, Vernal Equinox Press

    ***The Only Planet of Choice, by Phyllis Schlemmer, Gateway Books, Bath, UK

    Vibrational Medicine, by Richard Gerber, Chapters 1 & 4, Bear & Co.

    Light After Life by Dr. Konstantin Korotkov, Backbone Publishing

    Miracles of the Storm – Instrumental TransCommunication (ITC), by Mark Macy
    See website: World ITC.org

    PS: Pass this along if you are so inclined. Promotion encouraged, but this is NOT for total re-publication in books, magazines, professional journals, etc. without source approval. Short quotes or references OK. DJS

    • donsalmon says:

      Wow, can’t wait to hear from the academics on this one! (especially the comment, “are you openminded” – either rich irony is intended or we have some kind of oxymoron?)

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