Belinda wrote:Greta wrote:
"Ideally we should not need to be in mortal peril to learn the lessons of those who have come closer to the edge than we have". This is potentially a title of a huge discussion about how we learn. Can we learn vicariously? Without emotional involvement?
It depends. According to tests, for instance, my favoured learning style is kinaesthetic, so I normally would not pick up much from descriptions of others' experiences - unless I find them relatable. That's where the peak experiences came in.
Belinda wrote:Regarding the effects of culture (e.g. separated monozygotic twins)upon consciousness, I guess we have to consider , as Greta seems to be considering, if and how beliefs affect states of consciousness. This must occur, I think, as we aren't unfeeling machines. For instance many of us know from our experiences that habits of thought make us happier of unhappier. This is how cognitive behavioural therapy works , and how certain religious beliefs often affect people. May we call it a 'top-down' effect? The contexts in which Greta discusses 'consciousness' e.g. the twins and their different cultures of belief and practice, indicates to me that what Greta means by 'consciousness' is other than what I mean by it.
How important are beliefs? Maybe not much. What kind of beliefs might a child raised by wolves hold (aside from "watch out for the big ones that look like you - they're dangerous")?
Belinda wrote:I doubt very much that belief in the validity of NDEs will induce the experiences.
I do too. Many very practical thinkers have been astonished by their NDEs and many who hold beliefs have probably experienced blankness before reanimation. My understanding is it's more prevalent with heart patients, perhaps due to the suddenness of the event, giving the brain the opportunity to explore death.
Would directing an NDE would be possible? When dying, I imagine that terminal patients are more focused on survival or relief from pain. If ever these is a time to accept a lack of control, that is it.
Belinda wrote:I cannot understand Greta's interest in Planck level knowledge in connection with human consciousness.
There are things we don't understand about reality. One is consciousness and another is the Planck scale. There may be a connection as each concern sublime subtlety.
Belinda wrote:Greta says that there may be states of consciousness which we are unaware of. This has to be true. However I would have thought that neuroscience plus naturalistic neutral monism is already sufficiently up to speed to explain NDEs and peak experiences.
Would neuroscientists in a culture 10,000 years more advanced than ours figure that our knowledge is up to speed? Neuroscience is decades old, in historical context, a newborn discipline.
Strange experiences are only possible hints that there may be more to reality than we assume. They are not proof of anything but themselves. I remain open to all manner of possibilities because at this point we humans still understand almost nothing about reality. I expect that great feats of science are probably thousands or millions of years away, rendering our activities primitive. Metaphorically, humanity has learned to yowl over the banging together of rocks and sticks but they claim this to be the ultimate music, never to be bettered.