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Ad Infinitum NAU Feb13-06 04:22 PM

experienced transcending space and time
 
Wow, it has been quite a while since my fingertips left a thread here on PF. Nearly four or five years ago, there was a gentleman who posted quite regularly who went by the call sign Lifegazer. His basic MO was that the universe was a giant mind -- a collection of all the minds of the universe into one supermind. I fought hard against this idea, mostly because I was ignorant. However, after many hours of extensive thought, reading, and discussion, I have come to find myself a strong supporter of many of Lifegazer's comments. With a strong background in quantum mechanics and a high interest in the brain-mind, I have come up with an idea. I am sure this topic has been introduced many times, but one can only search past posts for so long.

My idea: The Mindscape. Just as there are dimensions in the physical universe for objects of physical nature to move about it, I feel there is another dimension to the universe that contains all possible minds throughout the universe. I realize there is a fine line regarding what "mind" really is, but for the sake of this thread let's assume there is a mind behind anything that is aware. Within the Mindscape are billions of Mindspheres, some connected others not, all making up the Collective Mind of the universe. Of course, these Mindspheres are nonlocal in the physical universe.

This idea of the Mindscape ties in with several areas of physics. For instance, in string theory, there are 6 or 7 tiny dimensions all curled up at every point in spacetime. These Calabi-yau shapes may just be the treasure boxes of thought. After all, thought is nothing other than information, information in energy, and energy is matter. Many tangents arise here. I'm just briefly introducing possible connections.

Another thought has to do with collapsing an entangled system in quantum mechanics. A lot of my time is spent working with factoring algorithms as applied to a possible quantum computer, which essentially relies upon entangled systems. When talking about the collapse of an entangled system, the question of local/nonlocal collapse arises. If it is consciousness that collapses the system, then it must be nonlocal. The idea of the Mindscape agrees with this fact. If consciousness is nonlocal, then is it feasible that it lies in a dimension that exists at every point in sapcetime?

If you have ever meditated, you might have experienced transcending space and time. Your mind breaks free from its physical prison and is allowed access to the Mindscape.

CosminaPrisma Feb13-06 07:05 PM

Quantum mechanics doesn't really have anything to do with consciousness, does it?
I don't want to discount your idea at all, but I think research indicates that most processes in the brain aren't quantum mechanical in nature. It reminds me of "What the Bleep..." and some of their pseudoscientific speakers. Roger Penrose's ideas are indeed interesting, but probably not an accurate depiction of what consciousness actually is.
I think its really cool that you've thought about this in great depth..but there is no real evidence to suggest that when you're meditating you're leaving your body, as far as science goes, mind and body are pretty much one. ( Not discounting religion either, but evidence points more toward this conclusion).
It would be freaking awesome if someday we could interface our brains with quantum computer enhancements though!
If you want to elaborate and go more into depth about your idea...go ahead though, others may have different opinions and ideas....would be interesting to hear...

selfAdjoint Feb13-06 08:14 PM

Quote:

Quote by CosminaPrisma
Quantum mechanics doesn't really have anything to do with consciousness, does it?

I think it is safe to say that a specifically quantum effect on mental processes has never been demonstrated. There are good arguments against it (thermal agitation in the warm brain causes super rapid decoherence which makes everything as close to classical as makes no never-mind). But I worry that some molecule could get into a superposed state, like Schroedinger's cat, even at blood heat.

Or of course you can go with Sir Roger Penrose, who thinks quanum gravity has something to do with consciousness.

CosminaPrisma Feb13-06 08:18 PM

I think I'll side with mainstream neuroscience in that quantum gravity has nothing to do with consciousness.

Ad Infinitum NAU Feb16-06 04:16 PM

A few months ago I read a book called The Self-Aware Universe by Amit Goswami. Somewhere in the first several chapters Amit introduces an experiment by.. well I'll have to dig out the book for the fine details... anyways, an experiment was done using Faraday cages and "direct connections". The experiment consisted of two volunteers who spent 30 to 45 minutes interacting until a direct connection was reached between the two. While holding onto this direct connection, the volunteers were placed into two separate Faraday cages. In one cage, a volunteer was introduced to a stimulus via a light source. In the other Faraday cage, the other volunteer's brainwaves were monitored. At the exact instant volunteer 1 was introduced to the light stimulus, volunteer 2's brain was acting as if it were being stimulated by the same source. Of course, there was no conscious knowledge of the reaction by volunteer 2, however his brain was acting as if he were introduced to the same stimulus. How was this information transferred? Amit also went on to tell that there was no reaction to un-stimulated pairs of volunteers. Interesting stuff. If anyone needs a clearer description of this experiment, please ask. I'm trying to go off memory right now, and it's been awhile since I recalled the literature. :smile:

CosminaPrisma Feb16-06 04:26 PM

Could you please elaborate? I don't understand what a Faraday cage is or what "direct connections" are? I'd like clearer description. Has Amit Goswami published any papers regarding his experiments that we could look at?

Q_Goest Feb16-06 07:22 PM

Hey there Ad Inf'. Here's the part of the book you were reading:
Quote:

A recent experiment by the Mexican neurophysiologist Jacobo Grinberg-Zylberbaum and his collaborators directly supports the idea of nonlocality in human brain-minds-this experiment is the brain equivalent of Aspect's (photon) experiment.16 Two subjects are instructed to interact for a period of thirty or forty minutes until they start feeling a "direct communication." They then enter separate Faraday cages (metallic enclosures that block all electromagnetic signals). Unbeknownst to his or her partner, one of the subjects is now shown a flickering light signal that produces an evoked potential (an electrophysiological response produced by a sensory stimulus and measured by an EEG) in the light-stimulated brain. But amazingly, as long as the partners in the experiment maintain their direct communication, the unstimulated brain also shows an electrophysiological activity, called a transfer potential, quite similar in shape and strength to the evoked potential of the stimulated brain. (In contrast, control subjects do not show any transfer potential.) The straightforward explanation is quantum nonlocality: The two brain-minds act as a nonlocally correlated system-the correlation established and maintained through nonlocal consciousness-by virtue of the quantum nature of the brains.
It is important to note that none of the subjects in the experiment ever reported any conscious experience related to the appearance of the transfer potential. Thus no information at the subjective level was transferred and no violation of the causality principle is involved. The nonlocal collapse and the subsequent similarity of the evoked and transferred potentials of the subjects must be seen as an act of synchronicity; the significance of the correlation is clear only after we compare the potentials. This is similar to the situation in Aspect's experiment.'7
(Page 132)

Here's a bit more info on Jacobo Grinberg-Zylberbaum and his experiments:
http://www.valdostamuseum.org/hamsmi...3.html#grinzyl
http://www.swcp.com/~hswift/swc/Spring97/9701swift.html

I don't know if his experiments were published, it doesn't appear they were. It would be difficult to get them published, they seem a bit too speculative. That's not to say they aren't valid or that the idea there is a 'mind dimension' isn't valid. But if we are to prove this kind of thing, then one must do a lot more than what's been done.

At this point, there is no proof that computationalism is impossible, so I think one of the first issues is to show how computationalism is impossible before additional dimensions are added to allow for consciousness. I do kinda like the idea though, since in that case the "integration of information" that we understand consciousness and the phenomenon of unity to be, would be better explained as an ACTUAL integration. Just like an area can't be determined by adding together lines, or a volume determined by adding together areas, integration requires the addition of a dimension, so in the case of the added dimension for the mind, this would actually integrate all the disparate information found throughout the brain. How that could happen and why a device such as a computer couldn't do that is still far from being seriously considered though.

Ad Infinitum NAU Feb16-06 08:37 PM

Thank you, Q, for the lit. material... saved me a few moments of searching for the page :smile: I agree that there is much, much, much work to be done, however something inside me says it won't be too long in the future when we see some breakthrough ideas. Keep on dreamin!


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