Questioning Consciousness

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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby chump » Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:22 pm


The Biology of Belief
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•Jul 15, 2020
[...]
Eric Dubay
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Our brains are made up of tiny nerve cells called “neurons” which branch out and connect to each other forming a neural network. At each connection point, thoughts and emotions are incubated and holographically stored by associative memory. This means that all ideas, thoughts, feelings, and memories are interconnected and have possible relationships with one another. For instance the concept of motherhood is stored in all our neural networks, but each person’s concept is built from their own unique amalgamation of ideas, emotions and past experiences. Some people may have motherhood connected to unconditional love and forgiveness, so when they think about motherhood, they experience memories/feelings of happiness and acceptance. Other people may have motherhood connected to disappointment and ridicule, so when they think about motherhood, they experience memories/feelings of rejection and depression. We all build our own neural networks based on our own subjective experiences, how we perceive and what we believe...

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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby chump » Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:04 am

https://www.psypost.org/2020/08/neuroim ... orks-57565

Neuroimaging study suggests a single dose of ayahuasca produces lasting changes in two important brain networks
By Eric W. Dolan August 3, 2020

Consuming a single dose of the psychedelic brew ayahuasca can result in lasting changes in higher-order cognitive brain networks, according to a new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Ayahuasca, a concoction used for centuries by indigenous Amazon tribes, contains the powerful psychedelic drug dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors. The brew is typically prepared using leaves from the Psychotria viridis shrub and the bark of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine.

The new neuroimaging research suggests that ayahuasca may produce long-lasting effects on mood by altering the functional connectivity of the brain’s salience and default mode networks.

“As a clinical neuroscientist, I am interested in approaches that can improve the life of patients with neuropsychiatric disorders,” said study author Lorenzo Pasquini, a postdoctoral fellow at the Memory and Aging Center at the University of California, San Francisco.

“Psychedelic substances were almost completely banned from academic research for the last 70 years. The revival of psychedelic research of the last years provides an exciting opportunity to study the clinical potential of psychedelic therapy sessions on mood disorders affecting millions of persons worldwide.”

“As a computational neuroscientist, I am particularly interested in the role that specific neural circuits play in social-emotional behavior. Psychedelic substances, and the associated altered state of consciousness elicited by their serotonergic action, provide us with a novel way to study how these neural systems support human emotions and social behavior.”

In the study, the researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to analyze the brain structure of about 50 healthy participants one day before and one day after they received either a single low dose of ayahuasca or a placebo substance. None of the participants had prior experience with the psychedelic drug.

“While most studies so far have explored the neuronal correlates of altered states of consciousness during the acute phase of a psychedelic session, our study focuses on the subacute effects by assessing changes in brain functional organization one day after the session,” Pasquini explained.

Pasquini and his colleagues found that “the psychedelic experience induced by ayahuasca has a long-lasting effect on the functional organization of brain networks supporting higher order cognitive and affective functions,” he said.

The researchers observed increased anterior cingulate cortex connectivity within the salience network, decreased posterior cingulate cortex connectivity within the default mode network, and increased connectivity between the salience and default mode networks in the ayahuasca group compared to the placebo group.

“We found that ayahuasca had an impact on two important brain networks that support interoceptive (processing of bodily sensations, like from the guts and other internal organs), affective, and motivational functions, while primary sensory networks (visual, sensorimotor) were not affected one day after the session,” Pasquini told PsyPost.

“Consistently, functional changes in these networks related to altered levels of affect, interoception, and motivation assessed during the acute session, providing a link between long-lasting brain changes and altered states of consciousness elicited by ayahuasca. Importantly, these findings may provide a conceptual framework to further explore the therapeutic potential of psychedelic substances in mood and affective disorders.”

All research includes some limitations, and the current study is no exception. “The major caveats for this study relate to the moderate sample size and scanner field strength used, which did affect our statistical power. The field would greatly profit from replication studies with larger samples using state-of-the-art facilities,” Pasquini said.

The researchers also would like to learn more about how psychedelic therapy impacts the functional brain organization of clinical populations, such as those with major depression.

“The field is just beginning to understand the impact that psychedelic substances and the associated altered state of consciousness have on brain function and affect, not only during the acute sesion but also in the long-term,” Pasquini added.

“Importantly, the pharmacological properties of these substances cannot be dissociated from the setting where the experience takes place. In other words, the right dosage, the right guidance, and a safe environment are all factors that critically impact the therapeutic potential of entheogens.”

The study, “Subacute effects of the psychedelic ayahuasca on the salience and default mode networks“, was authored by Lorenzo Pasquini, Fernanda Palhano-Fontes and Draulio B Araujo.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby thrulookingglass » Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:17 pm

Senses beyond the five...

While daily-daily we make use of the five senses, those beyond normal perception aren't studied or used.

Here are several beyond the standard five:
nociception — the ability to sense pain
thermoception — the ability to sense changes in temperature
proprioception — the ability to sense where your joints and body parts are in relation to other parts of your body
equilibrioception — a sense of balance
- a sense of time

What time is it? They reset the clock when Jesus arrived, right? How old is the universe?

I was told "ganja" was made illegal because it enhances the sixth sense though it also has the effect of making one difficult to (mind) control. Pre-cognition, or an ability to see through and or transcend time.

Interesting too as yoga teaches balance and possibly joint awareness.

Have you, yourself, ever tried to reach out beyond the 'normal' senses?

My goal was to try and fix this place, to end war, stop violence, bring peace to the world. As of yet none of my efforts have been successful as you may have noticed.

Lately I've been reluctantly embracing stoicism...this too shall pass. If they should slap your left cheek, offer them the right as well...
All out of cheeks lately.

Peace y'all from a very depressed and aching soul. Help bring love into the world. Please.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Pele'sDaughter » Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:09 am

Don't despair. We're all just trying to figure out the real nature of reality and why we are here. I have felt from a very young age that I'm here to witness and experience the end of this cycle. Of course, as a child I was thinking through the lens of a protestant religion, so it was quite scary but I was prepared to be brave. As an adult, I feel I'm here to observe and take away knowledge that will be injected into the next cycle that will help prevent what has happened in this one. Really, we must bring back integrity and respect for truth. When that happens, peace will follow organically. That's my biggest takeaway from being on this planet. :hug1:
Don't believe anything they say.
And at the same time,
Don't believe that they say anything without a reason.
---Immanuel Kant
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Iamwhomiam » Fri Aug 21, 2020 3:47 pm

Fine thoughts and wishes, Pele'sDaughter.

Find the peace you seek, thrulookingglass. It's inside you, itching to come out and encompass you with your love.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby BenDhyan » Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:56 pm

^
Find the peace you seek, thrulookingglass. It's inside you, itching to come out and encompass you with your love.


To paraphrase a Buddha saying (re seeking love), it is not a matter of seeking peace, it's a matter of removing all the obstacles within you that prevent it from being.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Iamwhomiam » Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:57 pm

^^^^ Stickler!
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Belligerent Savant » Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:46 pm

.


...the influence of the Self isn’t limited to internal psychological phenomena. Nor, as it turns out, are the influences of the other archetypes. They also seem to be able to bring about strings of meaningful coincidences, in which the outer world suddenly mirrors the inner world...

That landed Jung in deep waters indeed. In the Western world from 1650 on, two dogmas have provided the foundations of modern thought. The first can be called the dogma of materialism: the insistense that everything that exists in the universe is ultimately nothing more than matter in motion. The second can be called the dogma of mechanism: the insistence that everything that happens in the universe is the result of precise and, at least in theory, predictable chains of cause and effect. Combine these two—and in practice, they are always applied together—and you get a vision of the universe in which everything that happens must by definition be brought about by some material cause. Consciousness? From within that standpoint, it’s an illusion generated by lumps of matter behaving in complex but ultimately mechanical ways. Meaning, purpose, and value? From within that standpoint, these are phantoms belonging to that same illusion.


https://www.ecosophia.net/a-few-notes-on-synchronicity/
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby BenDhyan » Mon Sep 07, 2020 11:41 pm

He does make a start on understanding the basics of self understanding imho...

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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Belligerent Savant » Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:54 pm

.

Questioning the 'ego-self', and its distinct existence apart from consciousness.

Page 181:
Image

Very apt for what we're experiencing now and over recent years.

(The book was published in the mid-90s)

From After Death: A New Future For Human Consciousness, by Darryl Reanney.

Recommended reading.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby BenDhyan » Sat Nov 28, 2020 11:01 pm

Most people have probably considered the possibility that the universe is conscious at some time or another, and that our consciousness, as a part expression of the universe, is created in some image of it. Indeed the whole idea of stilling the thinking mind as in zen meditation, is to allow the greater underlying universal consciousness to enter one's awareness. Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff have worked on a model that may help to understand the process, but in any event, mystics from all cultures report on the existence of some form of expanded cosmic consciousness. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsta.1998.0254. So now there is this....

One of These Pictures Is the Brain, the Other is the Universe. Can You Tell Which is Which?

Posted on November 28, 2020 by Matthew Cimon

“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual.” – Carl Sagan “The Demon-Haunted World.”

Learning about the Universe, I’ve felt these spiritual moments as I better understand my connection to the wider everything. Like when I first learned that I was literally made of the ashes of the stars – the atoms in my body spread into the eternal ether by supernovae. Another spiritual moment was seeing this image for the first time:

Image
Hippocampal mouse neuron studded with synaptic connections (yellow), courtesy Lisa Boulanger, from https://www.eurekalert.org/multimedia/pub/81261.php. The green central cell body is ? 10µm in diameter. B. Cosmic web (Springel et al., 2005). Scale bar = 31.25 Mpc/h, or 1.4 × 1024 m. Juxtaposition inspired by Lima (2009).

A neuron in the brain juxtaposed with clusters of galaxies and their connected filaments of matter and dark matter. The resemblance is immediately clear. The implication? You may have an entire universe in your head. But the similarity between the images could simply be a case of apophenia – perceiving likeness where none actually exists. After all, how can these two things be similar given the vast difference in scale between them? But what if beyond the visual similarity between the networks of neurons in the brain and webs of galaxies in the Cosmos, an objective measurement could compare just how similar they truly are? That’s what Franco Vazza (astrophysicist at the University of Bologna) and Alberto Feletti (neurosurgeon at the University of Verona) set out to discover combining both their disciplines for a publication in “Frontiers of Physics.”

An Intergalactic Link

The human brain is literally one of the most complex structures known in the Universe – which is itself the greatest of all complexity. Your brain has about 80 billion neurons – the cells that process input from the senses and send signals to your body through the nervous system. Neurons are also networked, communicating to each other through connections called axions and dendrites. There are on the order of 100 trillion connections between neurons forming the neural network that creates who you are.

snip

The Universe is networked as well. While we may think of space as objects separated by vast tracts of…well…space, that’s not entirely the case. The Universe we see with our scientific equipment is referred to as the “Observable Universe” approximately 90 BILLION light years in diameter and containing on the order of hundreds of billions to a few trillion galaxies. These galaxies, like our Milky Way, collections of billions of stars, are themselves grouped into galaxy clusters. Our Milky Way is part of the “Local Group” which contains the neighbouring Andromeda and Triangulum galaxies as well as 50 other galaxies. Those galaxies are in turn part of a larger group called the Virgo Supercluster. The space between groups and clusters is not empty but rather hosts connecting filaments of both ordinary and dark matter that stretch for millions of light years. In this way, the Universe can be thought of as a giant network of galaxy clusters all interconnected similarly to neural networks in the brain. That network is called the Cosmic Web.
A simulation of the formation of the Cosmic Web from the beginning of time to the present

A Universe Within a Universe

The research to find quantifiable similarities between both networks was born in a partnership between neuroscience and astrophysics. Using techniques and tools from both disciplines, Vazz and Feletti looked at these two networks to find quantifiable similarities beyond the perceived visual similarity. Were these networks comparable and, if so, what does that mean?

The researchers used 4 micrometer thick slices of the human cortex – the outer layer of the brain which is responsible for processing language, sensory information, thought, memory, and consciousness. These were compared to 25 megaparsec (1 parsec = approx. 3.26 light years) thick “slices” of Universe taken from a computer simulated volume of 1 million cubic megaparsecs of space. The slices of brain and Universe are relatively comparable in thickness then given that both are 27 orders of magnitude in size different from each other.

Image
Cosmic Web and Brain Samples at 4x, 10x, and 40x Magnification
– Vazza F and Feletti A (2020)


cont..

https://www.universetoday.com/148966/one-of-these-pictures-is-the-brain-the-other-is-the-universe-can-you-tell-which-is-which/

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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Harvey » Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:27 am

Paco Calvo at Spain's Murcia University makes the case that plants are conscious. He's using time lapse photography to show sensing and reaction and possibly even intention in plants.





https://theday.co.uk/stories/scientist-says-french-beans-may-be-conscious

Scientist says French beans may be conscious

Could plants be sentient – a basic form of consciousness? A stunning breakthrough at Spain’s minimal intelligence lab suggests that beans may have goals and purposes, just like humans.

Who is the hero of Jack and the Beanstalk? Surely it is the boy who buys the magic beans, climbs the stalk, steals the treasure and kills the giant. But what if the real hero is the bean, growing from a tiny seed into an enormous ladder, reaching into the sky?

That is the exciting implication of new research into climbing French beans which suggests that they may have “goals, gusto and determination” – and qualify for at least the minimum level of intelligence to claim consciousness.

Spanish biologist Paco Calvo used time-lapse photography to find out whether plants grab hold of poles by accident, or by “anticipatory, goal-directed, flexible behaviour.”

The research found their growth was more controlled and predictable when there was a pole to aim for, suggesting the bean plant has a sense of purpose. Calvo argues this is evidence of plant consciousness.

This is a controversial idea. The conventional scientific view is that sentience requires nerve cells that receive information from the external world and send messages to the body. In order to have consciousness – and therefore form goals – these nerve cells need to converge in a central nervous system.

Plants don’t have nerve cells or a brain. So while Jack controls his destiny by choosing to climb, the beanstalk obeys the instructions hardwired in its genes.

But critics call this “plant blindness” – in other words a type of prejudice based on biased thinking that can’t accept the intelligence of plants. This error goes all the way back to Aristotle, who divided the natural world into “inactive” plants and “active” animals.

Time-lapse photography seems to reveal the very busy life of plants. Leaves chase the sun, vines strive to reach a branch, sunflowers work together to share nutrients, and trees fight endless battles against predators.

Some call this approach anthropomorphism: an illusion created by our own narrative-obsessed brains. Historically it has been exploited by science fiction writers. A famous example is the terrifying, human-devouring giant triffid plant invented by John Wyndham in his 1951 novel The Day Of The Triffids.

But Calvo believes we should “rethink our perspectives on consciousness” and widen our definition. For example, sentient life learns to adapt to new situations. “Plants remember,” says behavioural ecologist Monica Gagliano, “They know exactly what’s going on.”

For example the plant known as Mimosa pudica folds up its leaves when threatened, but in a laboratory it can learn not to do so when dropped.

For some biologists this epigenetic memory is evidence of consciousness. Others remain unconvinced. Biologist Rick Karban says it only demonstrates intelligence if we redefine its meaning.

So, are plants conscious?

Some say, no. Plants are complex organisms capable of sophisticated interactions with their environment. But it is too big a leap to claim that beanstalks and sunflowers are conscious. Our desire to see purpose and intelligent behaviour in plants says more about the way humans think than it does about the minds of plants.

Others say, it’s certainly possible. We used to believe humans were unique and the pinnacle of evolution. But the more we explore nature, the more we realise ours is only one way of experiencing the world. Conscious plants may sound absurd, but it is only by challenging assumptions that we can make scientific discoveries.
And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings
This he said to me
"The greatest thing
You'll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return"


Eden Ahbez
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby BenDhyan » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:20 pm

^
God sleeps in the rock,
Dreams in the plant,
Stirs in the animal,
And awakens in man.. - Al Arabi
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Belligerent Savant » Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:03 am

.
PK Dick in 1977.

Related to the Mandela Effect thread as well.

He starts speaking at the ~6min mark.



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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby DrEvil » Sun Feb 07, 2021 7:33 pm

Haven't watched the video, but what is mentioned in the tweet sounds a bit like the idea that reality isn't set. It has rules and guidelines, but they're not firm, so when we make some new discovery in physics reality subtly changes to conform to our new discovery, settling down, so to speak.

If that is true then it might be possible that reality was 'looser' in the past, allowing more.. um.. exotic aspects to exist, until we collectively decided that they couldn't exist and reality obliged.

It's also been shown through experiment that two observers can witness different outcomes of the same measurement, which is a real kick in the teeth (or balls, depending on your viewing angle). It's possible to see two versions of reality at the same time. Maybe there's cosmic censorship at work on the small scale too, preventing us from noticing the discrepancies in overlapping realities. Or not: deja vu.
"I only read American. I want my fantasy pure." - Dave
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