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review 2015-04-23 02:39
Rupert Sheldrake is another jerk who spread woo-woo bullshit
Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home: And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals - Rupert Sheldrake
Morphic Resonance: The Nature of Formative Causation - Rupert Sheldrake
Chaos, Creativity, and Cosmic Consciousness - Rupert Sheldrake,Terence McKenna,Ralph H. Abraham,Jean Houston
Why Science Is Wrong...About Almost Everything - Alex Tsakiris,Rupert Sheldrake
The Rebirth of Nature: The Greening of Science and God - Rupert Sheldrake
The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature - Rupert Sheldrake
The Evolutionary Mind: Conversations on Science, Imagination and Spirit - Rupert Sheldrake,Terence McKenna,Ralph H. Abraham
Conversations on the Edge of the Apocalypse: Contemplating the Future with Noam Chomsky, George Carlin, Deepak Chopra, Rupert Sheldrake, and Others - David Jay Brown
A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Morphic Resonance - Rupert Sheldrake

After the really bad experience listening to a woo woo jerk interviewing Lawrence Krauss, and discovered this jerk Alex Tsakiris wrote a book with a forward by another woo woo jerk, Rupert Sheldrake, I decided to put it on records that nothing good would come from jerk like that.

 

Link to the article that Ted.com and Youtube had removed the bullshit this jerk Rupert Sheldrake had tried to spread against real science. 

 

What a piece of shit. His books are all crap, as his mind is so confused by his arrogant, that you really couldn't learn anything real from them. 


Don't waste your time on these crap books. 

 

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text 2014-09-01 02:31
Mind or Mechanism?
Brain Wars: The Scientific Battle Over the Existence of the Mind and the Proof That Will Change the Way We Live Our Lives - Mario Beauregard

Brain Wars : the scientific battle over the existence of the mind and the proof that will change the way we live our lives

Mario Beauregard

Non-fiction 250 pages

HarperOne. 2012

 

Mario Beauregard introduces his book stating that, according to materialist science only the brain exists; that mind, soul, and consciousness are ephemera produced by the brain and as such, cannot exist independently of the brain. The Cartesian model of brain/mind dualism is false. Only the brain exists, nothing more.

 

This is essentially the view taken by several materialist theories. The author argues, however, that none of these theories provide a satisfactory answers to what David Chalmers calls the “hard problem “of consciousness which ponders how experience arises from brain processes.

 

Chalmers is a philosopher. I am not. I wonder if subjective experience isn’t just another ephemera produced by the brain. On the other hand, my subjective experience seems real enough that I wonder if those who question the materialist view are correct after all. Beauregard claims that, “multiple lines of hard evidence show that mental events do exist and can significantly influence the functioning of our brains and bodies. They also show that our minds can affect events occurring outside the confines of our bodies, and that we can access consciously transcendent realms—even when the brain is apparently not functioning.”

 

I’m not sure that I buy the first of Beauregard’s premises, that mental events exist and can influence body and brain. In the first chapter, “The Power of Belief to Cure or Kill” he shows how Voodoo can kill and placebos can cure. But how does this refute the materialists? Why can’t mental events and beliefs be products of the brain, and therefore ephemera?

 

In his sixth chapter, Beauregard cites psychic (or psi) phenomena such as extrasensory perception (ESP) and psychokinesis as evidence that consciousness exists apart from the brain. Since psi phenomena are non-local, how can they be produced by a local mechanism such as the brain? Although Beauregard’s argument has become more compelling, I am still inclined to reject it.

 

Many skeptics reject the existence of psi phenomena. However, Beauregard and others make a compelling case for its reality. Although early psychic researchers were sometimes taken in by charlatans, contemporary researchers use more rigorous methods. Using sophisticated procedures to insure accuracy, they still achieve results that are highly unlikely to be due to chance.

 

Today, it is not the psychic researchers but the skeptics who are biased. Psi is an established fact. However, the fact that it occurs does not mean that it occurs frequently and dependably. It remains a rare human experience. Does it prove that consciousness can exist independently of the brain? I don’t think so. People have claimed to pick up radio stations through the filings in their teeth. Perhaps the brain occasionally acts like a radio and picks up non-local information. That wouldn’t prove that consciousness exists apart from the brain. 

 

In his seventh chapter, Beauregard makes his most persuasive point. If consciousness is merely a phenomena of the brain, how is it that people report being conscious during near death experiences? More remarkably, how is it that they report such vivid experiences when their brains are working at greatly reduced capacities?

 

Other books have addressed these questions. One such book, “The Spiritual Doorway in the Brain: A Neurologist’s Search for the God Experience”, examines near death experiences (NDEs) in great detail. Author, Kevin Nelson neatly explains all the phenomena associated with NDEs as products of the brain responding to particular conditions. Although he dissects each phenomena thoroughly, his cumulative explanations do not adequately explain the detailed and complex narratives that some people have reported after returning from the brink of death.

 

It is because NDE narratives can be so complex and detailed that I am inclined to think that diminished brain function can only explain the grosser aspects of NDEs and not their details. However, other factors may be involved. Perhaps in some cases NDE memories are simple confabulations, false memories invented by troubled brains to explain what they can’t understand. 

 

Beauregard presents several very compelling cases of NDEs. One such is the case of Pam Reynolds. Prior to brain surgery she was chilled to a point of near-death. Blood no longer pumped through her brain.  Her eyes were taped shut, yet she reported observing her operation while outside her body. Is this a case of invented memory, or did it actually occur? If so, does this proof that consciousness exists independently of the brain?

 

For his final arguments, Beauregard looks toward mysticism and quantum physics. In 1976, biomedical researcher and atheist, Dr. Allan Smith had a life changing mystical experience while observing a sunset. While NDEs are often reported after body and brain trauma, there was no apparent cause for Dr. Smith’s experience. Throughout history people have had mystical experiences in which they perceive themselves to be one with everything and no longer confined by a mortal human existence. Psychiatrist, Richard Maurice Bucke, gave the phenomena a name. He called it Cosmic Consciousness.

 

Early in its development, quantum mechanics encountered a problem—one that remains a mystery to this day. The problem is this: the act of observation influences the phenomena that is observed. Scientists have attempted to explain this in a number of ways, but never to everyone’s satisfaction.

 

Some people claim that consciousness affects external phenomena, yet this is only one way of viewing the interconnectedness of observers with observations. It may be that the human mind lacks sufficient language or logic to understand the reality. It may be that the theory of quantum mechanics is missing an undiscovered piece. This is what Einstein thought.

 

Einstein knew that quantum mechanics allowed for the possibility of entangled particles. These are particles that mirror each other, seemingly instantly and at any distance. Einstein and his two collaborators wrote that because non-locality, or “spooky action at a distance” isn’t possible, then something must be missing from quantum mechanics.
Einstein was wrong. During the final years of the 20th century, non-locality was proven to exist. The implication of non-locality is that everything is connected and indivisible. That means the mystics are correct. Each of us is indeed one with everything. Consciousness is not dependent on the brain.

 

Yet countless books on neuroscience make it plainly clear that if certain regions of the brain are damaged, then profound changes in personality emerge. The same can be said for changes in sense perceptions, speech, mobility, etc. How then, can it be said that consciousness does not depend on the brain?

 

Books like this, as well as those which attempt to prove an opposite view, often fail to define consciousness in a thorough manner. An initial omission of definition flaws the ensuing discussion. Whether consciousness is ephemera produced by brains, or whether it is non-local and nondependent on brains, is a question that can’t be resolved until we agree on just what consciousness is. 

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review 2013-10-20 00:00
A Brief Tour of Higher Consciousness: A Cosmic Book on the Mechanics of Creation
A Brief Tour of Higher Consciousness: A Cosmic Book on the Mechanics of Creation - Itzhak Bentov I must say from the beginning that this is another one of those instances where I thoroughly enjoyed an earlier book written by an author and then was underwhelmed with a subsequent book.

The first book written by I. Bentov, “Stalking the Wild Pendulum” was entertaining, informative and written in such a way that a person who did not have in depth knowledge could still follow along. I enjoyed reading that book and I will read it again, likely more than once. In contrast to that, I found this book, “A Brief Tour Of Higher Consciousness” to be one that I will likely not pick up for the second time. The content in this book is certainly more esoteric than in his original book and I can understand that such material is more difficult to discuss; however, even with that caveat I still did not find this book very enjoyable or relevant to my journey.

For example, a significant amount of the book is dedicated to describing the “model of the universe” and while it may be an accurate representation of the spiritual nature of the cosmos, discussing, at length, the hierarchy of the beings that create the universe is irrelevant to me. Whether there are seven levels of creation or 70 levels of creation, or if the universe is in the shape of a watermelon or a grapefruit, is not something that I concern myself with.

On a positive note, the information about holograms presented in the appendix was informative, I enjoyed reading Foreword wherein some background information into the books creation was discussed, and I did glean a few nuggets in the text itself. In addition, I do admire the fact that someone with a more scientific background took a chance by writing a book that revealed their personal beliefs about the nature of the universe and cosmology.

In conclusion then, this a book that is not on the list of my favorites and I predominantly added a “Book Review” because there will undoubtedly be some readers who can relate to Itzhak’s experiences and who would benefit from reading about them.
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