What is Consciousness?

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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Mike Strand
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by Mike Strand »

Maybe a few of you can get a medium to put you to sleep, transport your souls (or "consciousnesses") to a neutral location, where you can do a "consciousness-meld" to fix the miscommunication.

But this aside, I really do wish we had a body-independent "soul" that we could use right here, right now, to get us past the writing/forum method of discussion. That would be cool. Have body take nap; have tireless soul communicate with others.
Izzywizzy
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by Izzywizzy »

hi Mike you might be interested to read research on cellular memory.

Cellular Memory in Organ Transplants

Leslie A. Takeuchi, BA, PTA

In my experience as a physical therapist assistant, I have come to acknowledge the relevance of thoughts, emotions and spiritual beliefs to healing. I recognize the art of physical therapy to be based upon empirical science and a dualism which views the mind and body as separate, thus drawing a sharp distinction between sensory experiences and physical reality, between subject and object, between mind and matter and between soul and body. However, I also recognize that even though my science provides a rational foundation, it does not allow for the importance of the subjectivity and wholeness I see in my patients whose bodies and minds are inseparable.
In my work with the chronic pain population, I have taken a closer look at this relationship of mind and matter, body and emotions, for keys to how people heal. In this search, I looked into theories of emotions or memories being somehow stored in the tissues of the body and later manifesting in the physical form of pain or disease. What was most striking were the numerous reports of organ transplant recipients who later experienced changes in personality traits, tastes for food, music, activities and even sexual preference. Is it possible that our memories reside deep inside our bodily cells in addition to in our minds? Current understandings about memory, for example, place this mental capacity solely as a function of the brain. However, the process of memory may be too complex to be explained by measuring brain activity through electroencephalograms or oxygen uptake as recorded on PET scans. Looking at memory as part of the quantum world of sub-atomic systems gives the visual image of tiny specks whizzing around every which way until there is a need for them to come together into some sort of pattern of awareness. But, where do the memories reside?
Candace Pert, author of Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel the Way You Feel, says, "Memories are stored not only in the brain, but in a psychosomatic network extending into the body . . . all the way out along pathways to internal organs and the very surface of our skin." After having discovered neuropeptides in all body tissues, Pert suggests that through cellular receptors, thoughts or memories may remain unconscious or can become conscious-raising the possibility of physiological connections between memories, organs and the mind.
University of Arizona scientists and co-authors of The Living Energy Universe, Gary Schwartz, PhD, and Linda Russek, PhD, propose the universal living memory hypothesis in which they believe that "all systems stored energy dynamically . . . and this information continued as a living, evolving system after the physical structure had deconstructed." Schwartz and Russek believe this may explain how the information and energy from the donor's tissue can be present, consciously or unconsciously, in the recipient.
Paul Pearsall, MD, a psychoneuroimmunologist and author of The Heart's Code, has researched the transference of memories through organ transplantation. After interviewing nearly 150 heart and other organ transplant recipients, Pearsall proposes the idea that cells of living tissue have the capacity to remember.
Together with Schwartz and Russek, Pearsall conducted a study, published in the Spring 2002 issue of the Journal of Near-Death Studies, entitled, "Changes in Heart Transplant Recipients That Parallel the Personalities of Their Donors." The study consisted of open-ended interviews with 10 heart or heart-lung transplant recipients, their families or friends and the donor's families or friends. The researchers reported striking parallels in each of the cases. The following is a sampling of some these.
In one case, an 18-year-old boy who wrote poetry, played music and composed songs, was killed in an automobile accident. A year after he died his parents came across an audiotape of a song he had written, entitled, "Danny, My Heart is Yours," which was about how he "felt he was destined to die and give his heart to someone." The donor recipient "Danny" of his heart, was an 18-year-old girl, named Danielle. When she met the donor's parents, they played some of his music and she, despite never having heard the song, was able to complete the phrases.
In another case, a seven-month-old boy received a heart from a 16-month-old boy who had drowned. The donor had a mild form of cerebral palsy mostly on the left side. The recipient, who did not display such symptoms prior to the transplant, developed the same stiffness and shaking on the left side.
A 47-year-old Caucasian male received a heart from a 17-year-old African-American male. The recipient was surprised by his new-found love of classical music. What he discovered later was that the donor, who loved classical music and played the violin, had died in a drive-by shooting, clutching his violin case to his chest.
A 29-year-old lesbian and a fast food junkie received a heart from a 19-year-old woman vegetarian who was "man crazy." The recipient reported after her operation that meat made her sick and she was no longer attracted to women. If fact, she became engaged to marry a man.
A 47-year-old man received a heart from a 14-year-old girl gymnast who had problems with eating disorders. After the transplant, the recipient and his family reported his tendency to be nauseated after eating, a childlike exuberance and a little girl's giggle.
Aside from those included in the study, there are other transplant recipients whose stories are worth mentioning, such as Claire Sylvia, a woman who received a heart-lung transplant. In her book entitled, A Change of Heart: A Memoir, Ms. Sylvia describes her own journey from being a healthy, active dancer to becoming ill and eventually needing a heart transplant. After the operation, she reported peculiar changes like cravings for beer and chicken nuggets, neither of which she had a taste for prior to the transplant. She later discovered that these were favorites of her donor. She even learned that her donor had chicken nuggets in his jacket pocket when he died in a motorcycle accident.
Another possible incidence of memory transfer occurred when a young man came out of his transplant surgery and said to his mother, "everything is copasetic." His mother said that he had never used that word before, but now used it all the time. It was later discovered that the word had been a signal, used by the donor and his wife, particularly after an argument, so that when they made up they knew everything was okay. The donor's wife reported that they had had an argument just before the donor's fatal accident and had never made up.

Another amazing story, reported by Pearsall, is that of an eight-year-old girl who received the heart of a ten-year-old girl who had been murdered. After the transplant, the recipient had horrifying nightmares of a man murdering her donor. The dreams were so traumatic that psychiatric help was sought. The girl's images were so specific that the psychiatrist and the mother notified the police. According to the psychiatrist, ". . .using the description from the little girl, they found the murderer. He was easily convicted with the evidence the patient provided. The time, weapon, place, clothes he wore, what the little girl he killed had said to him . . . everything the little heart transplant recipient had reported was completely accurate."
Although medical science is not yet ready to embrace the ideas of cellular memory, one surgeon believes there must be something to it. Mehmet Oz, MD, heart surgeon at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, has invited an energy healer, Julie Motz, into the operating room during transplant surgery. Initially, Motz practiced energy healing to help reduce anxiety prior to surgery and depression following surgery. Then the team noticed that there seemed to be less incidence of rejection in these patients. They were curious to see what would happen if she were present during the operation. Motz registers, through sensations in her own body, the emotional state of the patient during the surgical procedure. Through her touch or words, Motz attempts to alleviate any worries, fears or anger the patient may be experiencing. She works with the recipient's ability to accept the new organ and also works with the donated tissue so it will accept a new body. The results have been favorable, and the team reports reduced rejection and increased survival rates. This may sound outrageous to those who never thought about tissues having feelings or caring about where they would reside, but Dr. Oz believes that it would be a disservice to ignore even the possibility that this method could help. More studies are being conducted with regard to the phenomenon of organ recipient and donor coincidences. Pearsall, Schwartz and Russek report that, "research is underway at the University of Arizona on a sample of more than 300 transplant patients to determine the incidence of such transcendent memory phenomena using semi-structured interviews and systematic questions."
Intriguing questions remain. What percentage of transplant recipients actually do feel changes in behavior and personality or report changes in food preference or have new memories? Is there a higher incidence of tissue or organ acceptance in those patients who are aware of their consciousness or who have energy work done? Will ordinary science offer more evidence to support that memories are transferred-or will we need a new science? Perhaps more importantly, what does this transcendent phenomenon have to tell us about other healing events?

Leslie A. Takeuchi, BA, PTA is a physical therapist assistant and is currently a graduate student in Holistic Health Education at John. F. Kennedy University in Orinda, California. An article about Julie Motz's energy healing work appeared in the June/July issue of San Francisco Medicine in 2000. Her book, "Hand of Life" was published by Bantam Books in 1998.

Inherited Memories in Organ Transplant Recipients
http://hubpages.com/hub/Cellular-Memori ... Recipients
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Cerveny
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by Cerveny »

God needs us for something. The consciousness is not our "thing", it is his "thing", it was loaned to us only. He probably needs some contacts with a matter, perhaps needs memory medium.. The usage of us is not clear enough but certainly exists. The consciousness is an (Gods) interface between the matter and the idea... If someone think of us we can (in special case) realize it despite any physical barriers... If our body is not not sending any signal to the consciousness (deep meditation) we can realize the God... The consciousness is connected into some superior system (God) and it is its part...

PS: you do not know me as a philosopher yet :)
Mike Strand
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Re: What is Consciousness?

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Izzy: The nervous system extends from the brain and branches throughout the tissues of the body. If parts of the body have a type of memory, similar to that of the brain, well, no surprise in principle. But this still leaves memory, awareness, etc. tied to the human body, or its parts - which according to the information you've posted, may get donated to a another person and foul up that person's consciousness. This would mean recipients of organ or tissue transplants from other people will not only have to screen donors for blood type and other usual indicators, but also for their personalities and life experiences. :) Still a down-to-earth concept of consciousness as being tied to the human body.

Cerveny: You've undoubtedly heard of the Holy Spirit in the Christian faith -- sometimes called the Inner Light or the Light of God within us, or simply "God in us", by mystics. According to these belief systems, this is the way God prompts us (the still, small voice) to do God's will. What you are talking about sounds a lot like this.

If you believe that God does not coerce people (humans have "free will"), then there might be a concern as to how much "God needs us for something", or "uses" people. But if God exists as the Prime Being with tremendous power and knowledge, as major religions claim, then what does God need us for? And if God loves us - also a claim of these religions - presumably God would limit Her "use" of us - for example, manipulating our consciousness or motives or awareness.

This reminds me of the concept Universal Salvation. As I understand that concept, such a God would have the power and knowledge to be able to lovingly and gently coax any human being, no matter how stubborn or proud or "evil", into voluntarily turning to God's way. Thus everyone would be saved eventually, without God having to take us over and make us into robots.

You apparently believe God exists and can affect our consciousness or be our consciousness. I just wanted to point out that your ideas appear similar to the idea of the Holy Spirit or "God in us", but maybe you carry it a bit further.
chaz wyman
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by chaz wyman »

Mike Strand wrote:Izzy: The nervous system extends from the brain and branches throughout the tissues of the body. If parts of the body have a type of memory, similar to that of the brain, well, no surprise in principle. But this still leaves memory, awareness, etc. tied to the human body, or its parts - which according to the information you've posted, may get donated to a another person and foul up that person's consciousness. This would mean recipients of organ or tissue transplants from other people will not only have to screen donors for blood type and other usual indicators, but also for their personalities and life experiences. :) Still a down-to-earth concept of consciousness as being tied to the human body.

Whilst this is basically true. This is only significant with heart transplants as that is the only organ that has brain-type nervous cells, rather than just receptors activators and transport neurones. The reason fir this is that the heart has a collection of cells that keep it beating, and this is thought ot carry a small bit of the memory of the donating person. There is a small amount of anecdotal evidence to suggest that recipients of heart transplants have has the urge to behave slightly differently as if they had gained more than just a muscle.

Cerveny: You've undoubtedly heard of the Holy Spirit in the Christian faith -- sometimes called the Inner Light or the Light of God within us, or simply "God in us", by mystics. According to these belief systems, this is the way God prompts us (the still, small voice) to do God's will. What you are talking about sounds a lot like this.

If you believe that God does not coerce people (humans have "free will"), then there might be a concern as to how much "God needs us for something", or "uses" people. But if God exists as the Prime Being with tremendous power and knowledge, as major religions claim, then what does God need us for? And if God loves us - also a claim of these religions - presumably God would limit Her "use" of us - for example, manipulating our consciousness or motives or awareness.

This reminds me of the concept Universal Salvation. As I understand that concept, such a God would have the power and knowledge to be able to lovingly and gently coax any human being, no matter how stubborn or proud or "evil", into voluntarily turning to God's way. Thus everyone would be saved eventually, without God having to take us over and make us into robots.

You apparently believe God exists and can affect our consciousness or be our consciousness. I just wanted to point out that your ideas appear similar to the idea of the Holy Spirit or "God in us", but maybe you carry it a bit further.
chaz wyman
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Re: What is Consciousness?

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Cerveny wrote:God needs us for something.

An omnipotent God has no needs.


The consciousness is not our "thing", it is his "thing", it was loaned to us only. He probably needs some contacts with a matter, perhaps needs memory medium.. The usage of us is not clear enough but certainly exists. The consciousness is an (Gods) interface between the matter and the idea... If someone think of us we can (in special case) realize it despite any physical barriers... If our body is not not sending any signal to the consciousness (deep meditation) we can realize the God... The consciousness is connected into some superior system (God) and it is its part...

Gibberish without evidence or reason

PS: you do not know me as a philosopher yet :)
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Cerveny
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Re: What is Consciousness?

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chaz wyman wrote:
Cerveny wrote:God needs us for something.

An omnipotent God has no needs.


The consciousness is not our "thing", it is his "thing", it was loaned to us only. He probably needs some contacts with a matter, perhaps needs memory medium.. The usage of us is not clear enough but certainly exists. The consciousness is an (Gods) interface between the matter and the idea... If someone think of us we can (in special case) realize it despite any physical barriers... If our body is not not sending any signal to the consciousness (deep meditation) we can realize the God... The consciousness is connected into some superior system (God) and it is its part...

Gibberish without evidence or reason
In case you try to describe principles of Quantum mechanic to some another guy, say woodman or actor, you probably would get answer „Gibberish without evidence or reason”. In case you try to explain principle of Special relativity to me, I could say to you "Gibberish without evidence or reason" despite I have probably at least the same physicist education then you have. The difference is I certainly have wondered about the problem much longer time than you have :)

BTW: What is essence of the diference of a man and a robot? (in the used material?)
chaz wyman
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by chaz wyman »

Cerveny wrote:
chaz wyman wrote:
Cerveny wrote:God needs us for something.

An omnipotent God has no needs.


The consciousness is not our "thing", it is his "thing", it was loaned to us only. He probably needs some contacts with a matter, perhaps needs memory medium.. The usage of us is not clear enough but certainly exists. The consciousness is an (Gods) interface between the matter and the idea... If someone think of us we can (in special case) realize it despite any physical barriers... If our body is not not sending any signal to the consciousness (deep meditation) we can realize the God... The consciousness is connected into some superior system (God) and it is its part...

Gibberish without evidence or reason
In case you try to describe principles of Quantum mechanic to some another guy, say woodman or actor, you probably would get answer „Gibberish without evidence or reason”. In case you try to explain principle of Special relativity to me, I could say to you "Gibberish without evidence or reason"

Yep, but there is a big difference. What you are writing has bugger all to do with QM.

despite I have probably at least the same physicist education then you have. The difference is I certainly have wondered about the problem much longer time than you have :)

Thinking about a thing is not the same as being able to say something meaningful about it.





BTW: What is essence of the diference of a man and a robot? (in the used material?)
That would rather depend on what you mean by "essence" today. For Spinoza they both have the same essence with different modes.
Mike Strand
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Re: What is Consciousness?

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Human versus robot: Intriguing subject. Free will vs. no free will? Maybe, but the human lives under a lot of contraints too, if not as severe as those of the robot. Awareness vs. no awareness? Consciousness vs. unconciousness? Maybe this gets closer to the real difference. The human experiences, remembers, and learns, and the classic robot does none of these. Even so-called "intelligent computers" or "learning computers" still just execute unconsciously the clever and complex instructions written by humans.

Making a choice in a situation -- the robot is likely programmed to do one certain thing in a given circumstance, based on a human-created program and whatever the programmer had in mind as the purpose for the robot. On the other hand, the human often thinks of more than one way to react to the circumstance (unless it's an obvious reaction based on an emergency situation). Also, the set of circumstances to which a robot is programmed to react is severely limited and simple, the robot being built for specific and narrow purposes.

As for the human, an example: My child misbehaves. First, should I do anything? How serious is the misbehavior? Will the child learn on his own from the consequences? If not, should I punish or lecture the child? How? What should I say, if anything? I consider the age of the child, our past experiences together. If a very young child, maybe a sharp "NO!" will do, or a quick, sharp, but non-damaging spank on the butt. Or maybe a "time-out" in the child's room. If the child is older, maybe withholding allowance for the week, or curtailed privileges.

If the child is a misbehaving teenager: Good luck! If nobody has been seriously hurt, I may pretend I don't know about the misbehavior. At least I may wish I hadn't heard about it. I may have to apologize to the parents of the other teenager whose house was egged. Preferably, I'll convince my teenager to do the apologizing. In any case, I can have the imaginary "robot" in my brain do the disciplining: Knock the kid's teeth down his throat! :twisted:
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Re: What is Consciousness?

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Mike Strand wrote:...
Making a choice in a situation -- the robot is likely programmed to do one certain thing in a given circumstance, based on a human-created program and whatever the programmer had in mind as the purpose for the robot. On the other hand, the human often thinks of more than one way to react to the circumstance (unless it's an obvious reaction based on an emergency situation). Also, the set of circumstances to which a robot is programmed to react is severely limited and simple, the robot being built for specific and narrow purposes.
In case you consider a man as a local, autonomic system, he is programmed, somehow determined by DNA code too…
Last edited by Cerveny on Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mike Strand
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Re: What is Consciousness?

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Thanks, Cerveny, for bringing up the DNA code idea. It makes me think that, in a way, a human being can be viewed as an extremely sophisticated type of "robot". Maybe it would be better to describe a human being using your terms: A "complex local autonomic system".

The theory of evolution and natural selection says that, because of random (albeit rare) genetic mutations, there will be variety of individuals within any species -- e.g., homo sapiens. The interaction of the various types of individuals with their environment and the effect of this interaction upon reproductive success in turn affects which genetic mutations will come to the fore and survive. The characteristics of the species thus changes over time, as various unpredictable genetic mutations and changes in the living environment occur over time.

Can we conceive of the day when human beings can create a robot that would behave even like a rat, let alone an ape or a human being? No doubt we'll be able to manipulate genes within existing tissue or individuals directly. In fact, that's what we have been doing indirectly for a long time, in breeding varieties of horses, dogs, and plants by choosing the mutations we like, instead of leaving the "choice" up to nature.

But how about building robots from scratch that can reproduce and which have basic structure that sometimes modifies or mutates at random, thus affecting how successful it is in robot life, making baby robots that tend to have the same structure?
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Re: What is Consciousness?

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Mike Strand wrote:Thanks, Cerveny, for bringing up the DNA code idea. It makes me think that, in a way, a human being can be viewed as an extremely sophisticated type of "robot". Maybe it would be better to describe a human being using your terms: A "complex local autonomic system".
...
But how about building robots from scratch that can reproduce and which have basic structure that sometimes modifies or mutates at random, thus affecting how successful it is in robot life, making baby robots that tend to have the same structure?
There is always the question of purpose of usage of such robots, the question of creator's aim. We are not able to determine purpose of such men-like robots other then "do multiplication yourselves", are we? Do we have another built imperative? Are we artificial?
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Re: What is Consciousness?

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chaz wyman wrote:...
... There is a small amount of anecdotal evidence to suggest that recipients of heart transplants have has the urge to behave slightly differently as if they had gained more than just a muscle.
Maybe just dancing to a slightly different beat?
Izzywizzy
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by Izzywizzy »

Mike or was it Cervany? I can`t saY `that I am that impressed with your humans are robots..theory, which is all it is, and hardwired to do what exactly? most of our bodily functions work without us knowing how they work. Are we now deemed to have no freewill to be just programmed automatons regurging what millions of programmed robots would do? sounds like a determinist view. Granted some human`s implant plastic in their nether regions to enhance their bodily prowess in pulling power. :P [but seriously,] seriously? :!:

DNA has a code not a programme
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Arising_uk
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Re: What is Consciousness?

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I thought the point of DNA was that it is both code and program? I.e. the codes are the operations upon itself.
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