About the Other Worlds…

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If you want to know about me, please go to my web site: The Collected Writings of Donald DeGracia.

Here I will just say a few things about the inner realms.

Well, first, they exist.  You’ve been to them.  You go there every night when you dream.  Maybe you don’t remember your dreams but that doesn’t mean you didn’t dream.  Something I tell my students: “Lack of remembering something does not constitute the nonexistence of the thing not remembered”.

People that claim dreams are caused by, and happen in our brain, cannot prove that assertion. There are certainly very strict correlations between brain activity and conscious experience.  But any REAL scientist will tell you that correlation does not equal causation. Further, there is no plausible mechanism by which ostensibly insentient cells can give rise to the features of our consciousness. I can think of a few, but am not saying at the moment because I am still thinking them through.

There are alternative ways to understand things that modern science does not embrace, such as yoga.  Just because science does not embrace a viewpoint does not mean said viewpoint is wrong.

There is a lot of crazy shit that surrounds all this stuff. That, in fact, is true for anything intellectual, whether physics or philosophy or occultism. My best advice to you: don’t be stupid.

4 thoughts on “About the Other Worlds…

  1. Glad to find your blog. I too study and write about yoga, meditation, and mysticism. Though, after many years of yoga practice and personal experiences, I’ve learned to be skeptical of extraordinary claims until sufficient evidence warrants justified belief.

    Speaking of evidence–you write above: “People that claim dreams are caused by, and happen in our brain, cannot prove that assertion”. This may be. I’m intrigued.

    If you have any, would you please share the verifiable evidence that dreams are caused outside the brain? Actually, any proof that there’s even “mind”, thought, or mental activity outside the physical body would be an exciting discovery?

    thanks

    • Hi Scott (I’m assuming it’s Scott from your handle!)

      Thank you for commenting. Yes, your blog looks very interesting and I bookmarked a couple of pages that I will read soon.

      That is great to hear of your skepticism. Aside from my interests in esoteric matters, I’ve worked as a scientist for 25 years. It has taught me to be extraordinarily skeptical. Trying to understand just physical reality is tough enough. Even higher standard needs to be applied to the study of inner states.

      I’ve been doing professional science long enough that I’ve become skeptical even of science. I no longer believe in “evidence”, and I do not believe in belief. Evidence is “theory laden”; facts do not exist independent of our mental frameworks. Belief is bad because it can close one’s mind to alternative truths. My approach is to know as many possible mental frameworks as I can, and eclectically draw on what seems to be relevant and useful for a given circumstance. I spend quite a bit of time here talking about the philosophy of science, which gets into these types of issues. I welcome any comments you might wish to offer on these matters.

      About the brain in general, and as it related to dreaming, neurophysiology is my area of specialization and I teach it to medical students, Master’s and PhD students. I study in the lab how brains rot (or recover) when you shut off blood flow to them. I have blog posts that discuss work in the field indicating that the mind/brain link is not a simple physical cause and effect relationship (here, here, here). Also, my book What is Science? (you can get it from the link on the left) goes into detail about the philosophies of materialism and idealism and how neither are really up to the job of making sense of the mind/brain connection. The links I’ve provided will give you insight into why I state that people cannot prove that the brain makes consciousness.

      Again, Sir, it was very nice of you to stop by. I will look forward to reading your ideas and communicating more with you about all of these very interesting topics.

      Very best wishes,

      Don

  2. Hi Don, I agree we should remain open-minded. Yet, we need to identify and agree upon a reliable method to test and corroborate theories or claims. When I say we, I mean everyone who wants values scientific-method and who desire to live in a practical, rational, and humane world. I’ll bookmark the posts you linked to above, then read and probably ask you questions.

    May I suggest a few things to help readers of your blog? One would be to provide an index of categories or posts by topic. I was trying to navigate your blog but had a little trouble finding a list of topics. Maybe it’s just me. Just a thought. If interested I can share some links for creating indexes like I’ve done for my posts by topic.

    Cheers,
    Scott

    • Hi Scott

      Thanks for the nice suggestions. I’ll be interested to hear your comments about some of the philosophy of science I discuss. I do have a link to a list of all the posts, but they are not yet categorized. I’ve been thinking of upgrading the archive so its more user friendly. I’ve been looking at how others do it to try to come up with something appropriate here. Best -Don

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