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Theme Changer

 Topic: GRB and z10

 (Read 3935 times)
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  • GRB and z10
     OP - June 24, 2011, 10:00 PM

    Ok, GRB, we can continue our discussion here.

    So, you wanted to speak about OBEs and their relation to transcendence?

    At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
    Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
    Downward to darkness, on extended wings. - Stevens
  • Re: GRB and z10
     Reply #1 - June 24, 2011, 10:19 PM

    Yes.

    What do you think about it?
  • Re: GRB and z10
     Reply #2 - June 24, 2011, 10:20 PM

    Well I think first of all, it is important to know the ideas around OBEs. Am I correct in assuming that you think OBEs are merely a malfunction of the brain and that the experience of leaving one's body and travelling is only an illusion and is not true in fact?

    At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
    Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
    Downward to darkness, on extended wings. - Stevens
  • Re: GRB and z10
     Reply #3 - June 24, 2011, 10:21 PM

    Correct.
  • Re: GRB and z10
     Reply #4 - June 24, 2011, 10:32 PM

    Well, I think it is difficult to believe in such experiences when we ourselves are not the subject of the experience. However, I think in relation to this particular topic, the only thing that can be said is that while it may seem difficult to accept that such things can happen, we cannot rule them out conclusively.
    The only way to rule them out conclusively, I would think, is if you hold to the metaphysical view that your experiences are completely and necessarily dependent upon your brain, and that there is a one to one relationship between your mind and your brain.
    What do you think?

    At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
    Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
    Downward to darkness, on extended wings. - Stevens
  • Re: GRB and z10
     Reply #5 - June 25, 2011, 09:00 PM

    Well, I don't hold the dualist position, I think that our mind in all of its aspects can be explained by brain function. Do you know about the rubber hand illusion? In that experiment, people are tricked into believing that a rubber hand is actually their own hand, the effect is so surreal that people actually feel pain if you hurt the rubber hand. There have been modifications of this experiment where people have been made to believe that they've teleported outside of their body, and in another experiment people were made to believe they were as tiny as dolls. In one study, scientists were able to induce the OBE in patients with the help of electrodes connected to the brain, in the study one of their conclusion is that the experience of disembodiment can be tied with the co-activation of specific regions of the brain. These two regions don't function together normally. It just goes to show how much of our experience is tied to what's going on in the brain.

    Another thing that I find intriguing is phantom feelings, amputees who still feel pain even when the arm is not there, others report itching on their arm which isn't there. What do you think about that?
  • Re: GRB and z10
     Reply #6 - June 27, 2011, 06:56 PM

    I think all of those are fascinating phenomena. I would also agree that this "goes to show how much of our experience is tied to what's going on in the brain."
    However, i would hesitate to say that all of the mind can be explained in the purely physical terms of the brain. For instance, let us consider the colour red. The physical theory states that red is an electromagnetic wave of a certain wavelength and that the light enters the retina, at which point, an electro-chemical signal is sent from the back of the eye to the brain along a neuron cell. The brain then decodes the image and presents it for us, in our immediate consciousness, with all the vibrancy and quality of a colour.
    Now, there is a famous thought experiment about this very example. Imagine a person that has always lived within a certain room. In this room, she has never seen the colour red, never had the sensation of the quality of red. However, the above physical facts about electromagnetic waves, wavelengths, neurons and brain activity are all known by her in full. She knows absolutely everything about the colour red that can be known through the cutting edge of physical knowledge. However, if we were to take her outside of the room and she was to actually see the colour red for the first ever time - do you think she gains additional knowledge?
    I would contend that she dos. I would contend that there is a further fact in the actual experiencing of the colour red that cannot be known through the physical facts. i would contend that while this person knew everything about the physical facts, she could not have known the sensation of red without actually experiencing it.
    Thus, one can conclude that even having complete knowledge of the physical workings of the brain is incomplete if one wants to know what an actual experience feels like.

    At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
    Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
    Downward to darkness, on extended wings. - Stevens
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