Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Consciousness Beyond the Hypnogogic State


If you watch the activity of your mind as you drift off to sleep, you might notice going into a state where you experience vivid imagery and the mind wanders wildly from one thing to another. This is the hypnogogic state. I have a page on my web site that discusses how to recognize this state, how to enter it using relaxation exercises, and how to use it to experience psychic phenomena.

If you learn to recognize the hypnogogic state and practice being in it, you many find that it leads to another deeper state. I call this deeper state the "beyond-the-hypnogogic" state. The vivid imagery stops and one feels more alert but it is not normal consciousness. The body is deeply relaxed as in sleep and the mind does not wander wildly. One may feel like he is floating and/or in a vast expanse of space with little or no sense of having a body. Any emotional turbulence or upset that might have existed previously is absent, and this tends to carry forward even after you return to normal consciousness. It is also easy to enter the joyful meditative state from the beyond-the-hypnogogic state.

There is a simple method you can use while in the hypnogogic state to help bring on this deeper state. First enter the hypnogogic state. An easy way to do this is to meditate as you are lying in bed when you go to sleep for the night. Meditate by noticing your breathing. Say to yourself, "in" as you inhale and "out" as you exhale. Most likely you will become drowsy in a few minutes and experience vivid mental imagery and your mind will wander wildly. This is the hypnogogic state. Each time you become distracted from observing your breathing, when you experience mental imagery or your mind wanders, try to describe as best you can in a few words what you experienced. For example, if you experienced imagery of a grocery store you could describe it as "seeing a grocery store", or just "grocery store". Sometimes you might not be able to remember what you experienced. In that case just describe it as "imagery" or "distraction". Then continue meditating. The mental activity in the hypnogogic state arises from the unconscious. By describing that mental activity as best you can, you practice bringing the conscious awareness into the level of the unconscious. As you do this, it becomes easier to move consciousness beyond the hypnogogic state. This practice is similar to the practice of "noting" in Buddhist insight meditation and to the practice of "witnessing" in Himalayan yoga.

If you have trouble entering the hypnogogic state, the article Why is it so hard to concentrate? Sources of distraction and obstacles to concentration during meditation. might help you identify and deal with the problem.

The beyond-the-hypnogogic state is similar to other states you may have read about. Robert Monroe wrote about a state he called "mind awake, body asleep" that is favorable to inducing out-of-body experiences. In the Buddhist tradition, there is a state called "boundless space" or The Base of Infinite Space. In Himalayan Yoga, there is a recognized state between dreaming and sleep called Aladani, that also seems similar to this state. If you are interested in out-of-body experiences, Buddhist meditation, or Himalayan Yoga, you might find that practicing being in the hypnogogic state is a short cut to attaining these states. Since the hypnogogic state is something most people enter naturally as they fall asleep, it is relatively easy to learn to enter. The page on my web site that discusses this state explains how to recognize it and how to learn to enter it by doing relaxation exercises.


Copyright © 2015 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Joy During Meditation


It is possible to experience a deeply joyful state during meditation. Reaching this state and integrating it into daily life can help one to live a more spiritual life because it is easier to love when you are happy. Additionally, if you learn to enter this state, you can use it as use it as a stable starting point from which to reach even deeper meditative states.

To experience this state...

  1. The mind has to be still. Concentration meditation is one way to still the mind. The article Why is it so hard to concentrate? Sources of distraction and obstacles to concentration during meditation should help you maintain good concentration during meditation. Another way to still the mind is by entering the beyond-the-hypnogogic state.

  2. When you feel your mind is still, you can try to enter the joyful state. Try forming a half-smile, and at the same time do something with your mind that does not involve thinking. One way to do this is to gaze at an object and pay close attention to your perception of it. Notice that when you first look at something to see what it is, your mind is totally focused and not thinking about anything else. Something else you can try is to close your eyes and focus your attention on the pleasant feeling of relaxation you get from breathing smoothly in and out from your diaphragm. It can also help to hold your hands with the palms upward as if you are receiving a gift from above. Notice if you detect a little feeling of joy, keep your mind focused, and wait for the feeling to build. Continue meditating this way if the feeling does not build immediately, it may form over a short time period.

  3. At this point you may enter the joyful state. If you do so, you will feel a joyful, blissful feeling and you may break out into a broad grin and feel like laughing. The joyful feeling should continue as long as your mind is still. The feeling is not something that you force yourself into, it is something that comes over you. A good analogy is drowsiness. You don't make yourself drowsy by an act of will, it just happens. The half-smile is not to force yourself to feel happy, it merely acts as a trigger to put you into a state where you are open to allowing the emotion to flow. The half-smile helps you to lower your resistance to the feeling of joy or showing emotion.

  4. If you notice the feeling fades, try step 2. If step 2 doesn't work go back to step 1.

  5. Once you have learned to enter the joyful state, you may find this meditation works very well when done lying down.

  6. Without forcing it, by using steps 1 and 2, you may be able to maintain the joyful state continuously during your meditation sessions and also during ordinary daily activities. (But don't do this while you are doing anything dangerous like driving or operating power tools.) If you live a quiet sedate life, entering and maintaining the state will be much easier than if you live a normal busy life. But with practice, when your mind is calm (step 1), you will be able to bring on this state (step 2) simply by looking intently at an object, or focusing your attention on your breathing. Everything you see, every breath, will bring you joy. Occasionally you might find yourself slipping back into the old way of thinking. But you can take a brief moment to still your mind, smile, and focus on the feeling of joy and you may see that you have a choice. You can choose happiness instead of the old way of thinking, and you may realize that all along the old way of thinking was also a choice. You will still have other emotions and they can influence your views and your actions. But, they are like little pictures hanging on a wall of happiness. You can look at them, understand them, feel them, use the information they provide, but the wall is still happiness.

When I first learned how to induce this state by stilling the mind with meditation and then smiling, it felt to me as if the process had broken through social conditioning to not show emotions. It was as if stilling the mind with meditation had weakened mechanisms of suppressing emotions and smiling triggered a natural ability to be happy that was now free to express itself. It seemed that while growing up, I had learned not to show emotions and in time that caused me to forget how to be happy. I remembered one particular incident from my childhood when I had learned that showing happiness over success was inappropriate because it was like gloating or boasting. I was in school and the teacher was announcing grades on a test. I noticed some of my classmates who did well maintained serious and sober expressions even though they got high marks. They were trying not to gloat, and also to show that they were confident and doing well was a small matter to them. Over a lifetime this attitude seemed to have an unfortunate influence. But many years later, smiling during meditation reminded me how natural and easy it is to be happy.

You can find more information on how to enter this state and deeper states at these links by Leigh Brasington:

Author and Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh suggests smiling when meditating. It may sound odd but it has a profound effect. I had been re-reading a book by Thich Nhat Hanh and tried smiling and experienced this state. That led me to search the internet for an explanation of what happened which is how I found the links above. I'd experienced this state many times previously without knowing what it was and I've been in deeper states without going through it first ... but I think understanding and recognizing this state can be helpful as it is a good way of identifying when your mind is calm, and it can provide a stable base from which to go into deeper states.

I have enjoyed the following books by Thich Nhat Hanh:

  • Breathe You are Alive
  • The Miracle of Mindfulness
  • Transformation & Healing

Next Steps

If you are able to enter this joyful state during meditation, you might wonder what you should try next. Here are a couple of suggestions:


Copyright © 2015 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Why is it so hard to concentrate? Sources of distraction and obstacles to concentration during meditation.


Many people have a hard time meditating because they have difficulty concentrating. This can prevent a person from developing a regular daily meditation practice and it can make it hard for a regular meditator to get the most out of his practice. Often a person doesn't understand what is causing him difficulty concentrating, but if a meditator recognizes that there are different sources of distractions and different ways to handle each source, it may allow him to have better concentration during meditation.

If you are serious about meditation and want to practice for hours at a time, you can't afford to waste hours trying to meditate when your mind is not in the right condition. Or, if you have a more typical practice and meditate for 30 to 60 minutes per day, you need to get the most out of that time. The obstacles to concentration described in this article also explain why you may meditate deeply one day and the next day be unable to reach the same state. Understanding this makes meditation a much more predictable exercise and will help you to get consistent results.

Meditating regularly at the same time every day is important for developing the habit of meditation so that you will continue to practice it even if events make your life turbulent or various changes occur in your life situation. It is better if you can use the information in this article to schedule your daily meditation sessions to avoid difficulties rather than having to postpone a meditation session until you are better able to concentrate.

Obstacles to Concentration

There are several common obstacles to concentration:

  • Drowsiness
  • Mental Fatigue
  • Sexual Arousal
  • Artificial Stimulants and Intoxicants
  • Stress and Anxiety

  • Drowsiness
    Try not to schedule a meditation session when you are likely to feel drowsy, such as just before bed time or immediately after waking up. If you feel drowsy after meals, then that would also not be a good time to schedule meditation. It is not usually a good idea to try meditating lying down because that may induce drowsiness. If you are drowsy while meditating, one solution is to go to sleep. Then try meditating again when you are rested.

    You can also try this method. If you normally meditate with your eyes closed and are drowsy, try meditating with your eyes open. Or if you normally meditate with your eyes open, try meditating with your eyes closed if you need to relax (see below).

  • Mental Fatigue
    Have you ever been so tired that you couldn't sleep? Inhibitor neurons fatigue more easily than activator neurons. At the beginning of the industrial revolution, when some workers worked 16 hour days doing the same exact thing over and over, they would keep making the same motions with their hands as they left the factory. For the same reason, if you've had a busy day and your mind is racing, it can be hard to concentrate. In that situation, you might try meditating at a different time of day, or try taking a walk, doing hatha yoga, tai-chi, qi-gong or relaxation exercises to help calm the mind before you meditate.

  • Sexual Arousal
    There are two approaches to dealing with sexual arousal. Some people prefer to try to meditate in spite of it, others believe that it is better to seek release in order to be able to concentrate better during meditation. If you try to meditate in spite of it, do make an effort to concentrate on the focus of your meditation. Fantasizing is not meditating.

  • Artificial Stimulants and Intoxicants
    If you are under the influence of an artificial stimulant or intoxicant such as nicotine, caffeine, a binge on chocolate or sugary junk food, alcohol, or drugs that affect the mind, it can be hard to meditate. Obviously, it might be better to wait for the effects of intoxicants to wear off before meditating. The effects of stimulants can be more subtle. One way to identify the effects of stimulants is to check you heart rate. If it is high (no pun intended), it might be better to wait until your heart rate has slowed to a more relaxed rate and try meditating them. In addition to your heart rate, also notice your rate of breathing. If you are breathing short rapid breaths it might help to intentionally slow down your breathing to a more relaxed rate while you meditate.

  • Stress and Anxiety
    Stress or anxiety can be somewhat complicated to deal with depending on the source. High levels of stress hormones caused by stress or anxiety can cause the brain to become fixated. For example, if you have an argument with someone at work, it keeps playing back over and over in your mind when you get home. If you have trouble concentrating because of stress or anxiety you could try meditating later after you calm down, or you could try relaxation exercises, taking a nap, exercising, or doing hatha yoga, tai-ch or qi-gong.

In some schools of meditation, the practitioner is advised to persist in meditating even if he encounters difficulties. While that is not what this article is advising, if you are studying meditation with a teacher, you should consider his advice on the subject. But, even if you choose to continue to meditate through difficulties, this article may help you recognize how to avoid problems before you begin meditating.

These articles may also be helpful because they suggest ways to prepare for meditation that will help avoid sources of distraction:


Copyright © 2015 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Zerdini's World Article on George Chapman


George Chapman was a British spiritual healer who provided many amazing cures. When he healed people, he would go into a trance and the spirit of a deceased doctor, William Lang, would take over his body. Dr. Lang would then use Chapman's body to operate on the spirit body of the patient. The spirit body of the patient would influence the physical body and the patient would be cured.

The following excerpts are from the article on George Chapman at Zerdini's World.

The Daily Telegraph published the following obituary:

George Chapman

12:01AM BST 12 Aug 2006
Chapman's "surgery" on his patients was carried out on their spirit (or etheric) bodies, from which the benefits were transferred to the subjects' physical bodies. Sceptics may have scoffed, but Chapman's supporters point to many astonishing healings achieved. He is credited with curing an inoperable and malignant brain tumour, among other cancers, as well as with improving various eye conditions and even lengthening a patient's leg. Chapman himself maintained that the purpose of his healing mission was to prove that there was life after death; the healings, he said, were secondary.
...


THE MEDIUMSHIP OF HEALER GEORGE CHAPMAN

By David Nicholls Ph.D

...

Dr Lang advised George that his mediumship would relate to the work of healing, and furthermore, he would have the principal role in George's activity. The significant feature about Dr Lang was that, unlike many other guides and controls whose pre-mortem existence cannot be verified, he had lived in Britain in the twentieth century, and George therefore went to great lengths to verify this. George argues that verification of identity is of major importance: 'The spirit communicator should speak as near as possible to the way he spoke on earth, using the same phrases and mannerisms and manifesting personal characteristics. He should be able to give dates, names and details of his earthly experiences that can be verified, and be able to discuss intimate matters with relatives and colleagues still on earth'. And indeed, George reports that, 'William Lang, however, satisfied all my demands', and he was able to contact people, both colleagues of Dr Lang and the people whom he had treated, and, 'they confirmed it was the same Dr Lang they had known'.

...

During the spirit operations that were carried out by Dr Lang, it was noticed that he operated with his left hand, while George is right-handed; furthermore, a tremor was observed. On making enquiries, it was ascertained that Dr Lang, before he died, did in fact suffer from tremors, and as this was less of a problem in his left hand, he tended to use this hand when carrying out surgery.

...

Surely one of the most important statements concerning Dr Lang's continuing activity through George, is the one made by his own daughter, Marie Lyndon Lang: 'an active and very well-educated woman with a level-headed approach to life and death' . After meeting George, and seeing him regularly for many years, and speaking with Dr Lang while George was entranced, she was only too willing to make the following crucial statement: 'I can truthfully say the William Lang who operates via the body of George Chapman is, without a doubt, my father'. In addition to speaking with her father through George's mediumship, she was also able to do this with her mother and Basil. George regularly met Dr Lang's daughter together with a group of friends and medical contemporaries of Basil Lang, who also knew William Lang, and they 'questioned and tested' both George and Dr Lang. Of these occasions, Dr Lang's daughter stated: 'We could only come to one conclusion: that the person who speaks through George Chapman and claims to be William Lang is, without a doubt, my father...It is a fact that William Lang, my father, is as much alive today'. Noteworthy is the fact that it was Dr Lang's daughter and this group of persons who encouraged George to take up healing full-time, which he did in 1957.

...

Confidence is also expressed by the Revd Allan Barham, a experienced member of the SPR and Churches' Fellowship for Psychical and Spiritual Studies. On meeting George, he observed that the man with whom he spoke when George was entranced, 'had the appearance, voice and mannerisms of an elderly doctor of a generation earlier. He was obviously a cultured man with an extensive vocabulary'. Moreover, Barham remarked on how he understood, 'that a number of William Lang's former colleagues recognised him in George Chapman when the latter was in trance, and would meet him regularly...Sometimes they would even bring their patients for consultation and treatment'.

...

Hutton then details how Dr Lang explained what he was about to do and said that he would operate with the assistance of Basil and other colleagues: 'He came across to the edge of the couch and then lifted his hands and started to move them, and flick his fingers just above my eyes. His own eyes stayed tightly closed. The fingers of his hands opened and shut as though taking and using instruments'. Hutton comments that after Dr Lang had explained what he had done, that: 'Incredible as it may seem, I began to experience the physical sensation of incisions bring made. They were painless, but none the less capable of being felt. The man's eyes never opened, and he did not touch me'. Further surgery was carried out, at this point for the virus, and yet again, Hutton could feel instruments being used, albeit painless.

...

He continues by recounting how further surprises were in store when undressing that night, and he noticed 'a long mark, a thick line about five inches long', that 'looked exactly like the scar of a surgical incision just as if I had had an operation on my liver'.

...


Interview with Dr Lang - Guide of George Chapman

By George Cranley - January 1999

On a recent visit to George Chapman, while in the treatment room, I seized the opportunity to question Dr Lang about his method of entrancement. Here are his tape-recorded answers:

Q: Dr Lang, for over fifty years you have been working through George Chapman - how do you take control of the medium?

A: Quite simply, George spends a little time relaxing before he starts really working. He starves himself for the weekend. So he just has tea and water and maybe a small sandwich in the evening. He prepares his body and all that happens is that he is here half an hour before the patients to get himself into a relaxed state and then I start to move towards him and take over the physical body as his own spirit starts to move out.

Q: Is this a very complicated process?

A:What happens is, as George sees me moving towards him, it is as though he is being suffocated and starts to doze off and then from behind the eyes a pressure is exerted from the rod and cones to the bulbar part of the brain so the brain is deadened.

For instance, if you look at the light and you move your hand you pick up light reflections which are transmitted through to the brain so you don't actually feel that the eyes are light vibrations. So I exert pressure here (indicating the back of the head) so that his own spirit gradually moves out until the end of the healing session because he has to stay in trance this way for the whole period of time.

Q: What exactly can you see?

For instance, I can't see your machine, can't see the couch, I can't see anything that is of the material. I can only see the spirit of the object or person.


I can move around the room but I like everything fixed in a way that suits me. Where George is right-handed I operate left-handed so the couch must be for left- handed persons (the couch is flush with the wall so it can only be used by a left-handed person). At the end of today when I suppose I should have about thirty-odd patients and tomorrow there is a coach with about forty, I understand, from Holland, it will be trance throughout. I control George's body today till about 3.30 pm (approx. five hours) I suppose.

With patients I am rather quick to perform my operations but at the end of the trance Michael (George Chapman's son) will first come in talk with me, say it is all finished, he may ask me a few questions and then I gradually withdraw from George's body. His own spirit then will move strongly with the raised vibration from the Spirit World back into his own body and he starts to become at one with himself. It could take him two hours or more to recover.

Q: When you take control are there a group of people helping you to take control?

A: I have the team. Outside you see a brass plate with various names on it and these medical gentlemen, contemporaries of my son Basil most of them, and they, of course, made a contract for George going back to 1947 but they first met up with him in 1946 to talk with me in a general way. George used to travel to London each Thursday in the month for them to carry out various studies of George when in trance. There was Sir Alexander Cannon who used to try to get across from the Isle of Man and those people have now passed into this life, medical men who worked with me at London, The Middlesex, are still practising with me today. We are a team and so, if I have a patient with say an eye problem, I will call upon one of the oculists.


Copyright © 2014 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

NDE Researcher Dr. Jeffrey Long M.D. Refutes Materialist explanations for Near-death Experiences.


In Skeptiko podcast number 99, Dr. Jeffrey Long Takes On Critics of, Evidence of the Afterlife, near-death experience researcher Dr. Jeffrey Long M.D. is interviewed about his research by Alex Tsakiris. During the podcast, Dr. Long refutes several materialist explanations for near-death experiences. I have added these refutations to my post Materialist explanations of NDEs fail to explain the phenomenon.

In the interview Dr. Long explains why NDEs cannot be explained by

  • REM intrusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Brain chemicals such as Ketamine, DMT, etc.
  • Religious expectations
  • Cultural expectations
  • Hearing during resuscitation
  • Brain activity during CPR
  • Partial anesthesia
  • Misuse of anecdotes
  • Selective reporting

Here are Dr. Long's explanations:

Near-death experiences cannot be caused by REM intrusions, Hallucinations, or Brain chemicals such as Ketamine, DMT, etc, because those phenomena do not produce visions of people most of whom are dead, and REM intrusions and Hallucinations do not produce the same type of changes in the life of the experiencer that NDEs produce.

The percentage of time that people encounter deceased relatives is extremely high. It was actually 96% in the NDERF study and only 4% of near-death experiencers met beings who were alive at the time of the near-death experience. That’s actually corroborated by another major scholarly study which found it was 95% of the time that they encountered beings they knew from their earthly life that were deceased.

The important thing is that any other experience of altered consciousness that we experience on earth, dreams, hallucinations, drug experiences, you name it; all of these other types of experiences of altered consciousness, a vastly higher percentage of people are going to be alive at the time of their experience.

You're going to remember the banker that you did business with that day or your family member you said hi to as you were walking into the house. This is what's in the forefront of consciousness. So for people to so consistently encounter deceased relatives is very, very strong evidence that they are, indeed, in an unearthly realm and it certainly points to evidence of an afterlife.

...

People in general, all other hallucinatory events, dreams, all other temporary, transient, even pathological alterations of consciousness are essentially never going to result in that high a percentage of people experiencing them going on and have those types of profound life changes that we see in near-death experiencers.

And moreover, what you see in the life changes of near-death experiencers is markedly consistent. In other words, it’s not just that they have life changes; it’s the consistency of those life changes. The substantial majority, if not overwhelming majority of near-death experiencers believe that there's an afterlife. They believe that there's a God. They no longer fear death. They're less materialistic. They value loving relationships more. The list goes on and on. I consistently observed, not only in the NDERF study but from scores of prior scholarly studies of this phenomenon over 30 years.

NDEs cannot be caused by religious or cultural expectations because children who are too young to have religious or cultural expectations have NDEs that contain the same elements as the NDEs of older children and adults.

A really interesting part of the study that I did was looking at children age 5 and under. In fact, their average age was 3-1/2 years old. These are children so young that to them, death is an abstraction. They don’t understand it. They can't conceptualize it. They’ve almost never heard about near-death experiences; have no preconceived notions about that. They certainly have far less cultural influence, both in terms of religion or anything else that could even potentially modify the near-death experience at that tender young age.

And yet looking at these same 33 elements of near-death experience that I did in other parts of this study, I found absolutely no statistical difference in their percentage of occurrence in very young children as compared to older children and adults. So no question about that.

That almost single-handedly shoots down the skeptical argument that near-death experiences are due to pre-existing beliefs or cultural influences. We’re not seeing a shred of evidence that corroborates that at all. In fact, that finding is actually corroborated with another major scholarly researcher who actually reviewed over 30 years of near-death experience research and came up with the same conclusion.

NDEs cannot be caused by hearing during resuscitation because many people who have NDEs have accurate perceptions of locations that are too far away to perceive with their normal senses.

Yet there are dozens of these out-of-body perceptions during near-death experiences where they can hear and see events far, far removed from their physical body, often in completely different rooms, geographically far away, where any possible physical sensory awareness should be absolutely impossible.

And yet when they make these very remote out-of-body experience observations, their accuracy is absolutely the same – about 96% — as the observations of events going on around their physical body. So no doubt about that.

...

In fact, it's often the case that they’ll make out-of-body observations of events right around their physical body during the NDE, and then as part of the same experience, make out-of-body observations far removed from their physical body. Absolutely no difference in what they're describing.

NDEs cannot be caused by brain activity during CPR because CPR patients report confusion and amnesia while NDErs report lucid experiences. NDEs often begin before CPR is administered and the quality of consciousness and the pattern of events in NDEs does not change once CPR is started. Also, if consciousness in NDEs is caused by CPR, the patients should remember the pain of compressions and cracked ribs that sometimes occur during CPR, but NDErs do not feel the pain from CPR.

When you talk to the patients who have actually survived CPR, one thing that is very, very obvious is that the substantial majority of them are confused or amnesic, even when they're successfully recovered. They may be amnesic for the period of time following their successful resuscitation or even for events prior to the time of their cardiac arrest.

...

If you read even a few near-death experiences, you immediately realize that there’s essentially none of them that talk about episodes of confusion or altered mental status when they just don’t understand what’s going on. You really don’t see that at all.

Again, for near-death experiences, they're highly lucid, organized events. In fact, in the survey we did, we found 76% of people having a near-death experience said their level of consciousness and alertness during the NDE was actually greater than their earthly, everyday life. So again, getting back to statistics, that’s 3/4 and a substantial majority of the remaining 24% still had at least a level of consciousness and alertness equal to their earthly, everyday life.

So for that to be the statistics that you consistently see during near-death experiences and balance that with a substantial majority of people being confused around the time of their successful resuscitation from CPR, you really have to come away with the conclusion that even if there’s blood flow to the brain induced by CPR, it's a life-saving maneuver. By no means is that correlated with clear consciousness and certainly nowhere near the level of consciousness and alertness with near-death experiences. You just don’t see that.

But also, in addition to that, note that the substantial majority of people that have a near-death experience and have an out-of-body experience associated with cardiac arrest, are actually seeing their physical body well prior to the time that CPR is initiated. Once CPR is initiated, you don’t see any alteration in the flow of the near-death experience, suggesting that whatever blood flow might be going back to the brain is affecting the content, modifying it at all, in any way.

...

When there’s a cardiac arrest, the out-of-body observations that are often described during these near-death experiences certainly correlates to a time prior to CPR being initiated, and prior to a time there should be no possibility of a conscious, lucid, organized experience. And yet that’s exactly what happens.

I'll tell you another thing, too, is if you were doing CPR and that were accounting for memory, I would tell you that you would hear a lot more from near-death experiencers. They would talk about their remembrance of the pain of the chest compressions.

Alex, that’s a fairly painful procedure. It often breaks ribs and hurts. And yet, even when you have a patient who had a cardiac arrest and had a near-death experience, essentially never do you hear them describing as part of their near-death experience the pain of chest compressions.

...

And if their consciousness was really returning during CPR, wouldn't near-death experiencers not have out-of-body perceptions but describe their perceptions from within their physical body? And yet you don’t see that with near-death experiences.

So in other words, if you started CPR and they had a near-death experience and suddenly they started to have some consciousness, you’d expect that instead of having the out-of-body experience where their consciousness is apart from their body, their consciousness would be within their body. You just don’t see that.

NDEs cannot be explained by partial anesthesia because a partial anesthesia experience is not at all like an NDE.

Rather than the type of coherent NDEs you read here, anesthetic-awareness results in a totally different experience.

...

Those who experience anesthetic-awareness often report very unpleasant, painful and frightening experiences. Unlike NDEs which are predominately visual experiences, this partial awakening during anesthesia more often involves brief and fragmented experiences that may involve hearing but usually not vision.

... you just don’t have near-death experiences that are predominately hearing but no vision.

...when we talked about near-death experiences under general anesthesia, out of 33 elements of near-death experience, we compared between NDEs under general anesthesia and all types of causes of near-death experience, and in 32 out of 33 elements studied there was no statistical difference between the two groups.

Now, virtually anybody in the science or medical field would say, “Well, that pretty much nails it down that these two experiences are basically the same, with at most, minor differences between the two of them.

NDEs cannot be explained as the misuse of anecdotes:

... the NDERF study that I presented in the book is certainly vastly beyond anecdotal evidence. We actually studied 1,300 near-death experiences. It’s certainly not just a limited number of case reports. And you're right, our modern questionnaire is over 150 questions, so no doubt we have the depth of analysis, as well. And most of the research that’s published in the book was based on surveying over 600 near-death experiencers that filled out the most recent version of the questionnaire.

Let me start out with sort of a basic scientific overview, and that is what’s real is consistently observed. So we've observed evidence of the afterlife and near-death experience is not only in the vast number of near-death experiences studied in tremendous depth in my own study, but all my major findings are corroborated by scores of prior scholarly studies. We're way beyond what could reasonably be called anecdotal. We're really in very hard-core evidence based on my work and the work of many others.

NDEs cannot be explained by selective reporting:

What we did with our NDERF study is we studied every single person who had a near-death experience. In other words, they nearly died and they had an experience.

In addition to that, we used the most validated research tool in near-death experience research, and that’s called the NDE scale. So we analyzed every single person that had such an account. In fact, we post every single near-death experience on the website for the people who give us permission, which is over 95%. So we not only have a very valid, comprehensive look at near-death experience because of the numbers, but in addition to that we share that with the world, so everybody else can see the data set that we’re seeing, too.


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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Information Theory: Chance and natural law cannot explain the origin of life.


Information theory indicates that chance (random noise) and or natural law (crystal-like order) cannot produce information, codes, or cybernetic systems (systems with feedback controls). Evolution of the first cell from a simple self-replicating system and chance variation is implausible. Therefore, for life to exist, somehow genetic information had to be created, the genetic code designed, and metabolic systems designed before natural selection could ever operate on them. Intelligence is the only phenomenon proven to produce information, design codes, and design cybernetic systems and do it with intent and purpose. Therefore intelligent design is the best explanation for the origin of life.

Consider the problems you would face and choices you would have to make if you were going to create life from simpler molecules.

First you identify all the structures and processes a cell would need to grow and divide: metabolism, a cytoskeleton, a cell membrane that regulates what goes in and out of the cell, how the cell uses chemical energy, feedback control mechanisms etc.

Then you decide how to implement all that. You decide you will use amino acids to create proteins. Some proteins will work as enzymes to carry out metabolism and other proteins will be used to build cellular structures. This adds many new processes the cell must be capable of including the metabolic pathways needed to produce the amino acids. Then you have to figure out the amino acid sequences of all the proteins the cell will build.

Next you have to devise an information processing system to store and retrieve the sequences of amino acids. So you invent the genetic code to store the information about amino acid sequences in DNA, and you design the machinery to implement it: DNA replication, DNA transcription, DNA error correcting, RNA transcription, ribosomes, tRNA and the enzymes that produce them and all the proteins and enzymes needed to do these things. All of this needs to be regulated to operate efficiently. This adds many more new processes the cell must be capable of.

Then you have to construct the first cell. You have to encode the amino acid sequences into DNA, make lipids, membranes, and proteins and other molecules needed for the first cell. You have to put each component in the right place with respect to the other components.

Could an unguided natural process accomplish that?

No:

  • A living system is unfavorable thermodynamically. Life has a very low state of entropy. The fact that the earth is an open system doesn't eliminate the necessity of a mechanism to overcome the improbability of forming a highly ordered system spontaneously. The fact that the earth is an open system doesn't allow tornadoes to turn rubble into buildings.2

  • Natural laws cannot produce functional information such as the amino acid sequence of an enzyme. Natural laws are compression algorithms. Functional information is not compressible because it is not highly ordered. Natural laws can produce highly ordered crystals, not computer programs.14

Could a cell be produced through natural selection and random variation from a much simpler self-replicating system?

No:

  • There is no plausible hypothesis for a natural origin for life. There is no location where life could plausibly have originated naturally, not in deep sea thermal vents, tide pools, the ocean, volcanic ridges, clay surfaces or extraterrestrial locations. There is no good candidate for the first self-replicating molecule, not RNA, DNA, or protein. Hypotheses such as "RNA and protein", metabolism first, etc. do not work either.1,3,5,6,7,13

  • Natural processes that produce biomolecules don't produce proteins and RNA or DNA, they produce tar. The cellular structures that separate and combine biomolecules are needed to produce biopolymers. Only a cell can produce a cell.6

  • Self-organizing systems are limited in the complexity they can achieve.4

  • Simple self-replicating systems mutate toward simplicity not complexity because competition for resources favors reduced resource requirements.3 A self-replicating molecule would not lead to the development of metabolism, it "would self-optimize its self-replicative function to the exclusion of other potentially metabolic functions and consume all resources."13

  • Natural selection cannot improve or modify anything until it exists and has utility in a self-replicating system, i.e. natural selection cannot operate on utility that does not yet exist. Natural selection also cannot accomplish anything without a source of variation.13 Natural selection and random variation are not capable of producing functional proteins de novo or significant changes to existing proteins. The distance between functional proteins in the "fitness landscape" is too great to be bridged by Darwinian mechanisms8,9,10,11,15,16. (This argument applies equally to macroevolution by natural selection and to the origin of genetic information in the first cell.) Therefore the genetic information in cells cannot have been produced by natural selection and random variation. The genetic information in cells must have been produced before it could have any utility and therefore it must have been produced for an intended purpose.13

  • Duplication with modification cannot produce new genetic information. Duplication does not increase information. Information theory shows that random variation in DNA cannot produce information. Randomness in information is noise, it reduces information content.13 Listen to a radio tuned between channels. Does the static produce useful information?

  • The genetic code is finely tuned, not random, and it could not evolve from something simpler.12,3

Chance and natural law cannot explain how life arose. Only intelligence could have made a living cell.

References:

1) Problems with the Natural Chemical "Origin of Life" (updated)
by Casey Luskin
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/838

2) http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/intelligent-design.1228/#post-33668

3) Chance and necessity do not explain the origin of life
J.T. Trevors, D.L. Abel
http://www.researchgate.net/profile/David_L_Abel/publication/8164763_Chance_and_necessity_do_not_explain_the_origin_of_life/links/09e4150d4791d394ab000000

4) Self-Organisation in Dynamical Systems: A limiting result
Richard Johns
http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/rjohns/spontaneous_4.pdf

5) Can the Origin of the Genetic Code Be Explained by Direct RNA Templating?
Stephen C. Meyer* and Paul A. Nelson
http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/download/BIO-C.2011.2/69

6) Video: Life could not have formed by natural means. Biomolecules naturally react to form tar.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/09/video-life-could-not-have-formed-by.html

7) Top Five Problems with Current Origin-of-Life Theories
Casey Luskin
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/12/top_five_probl067431.html

(8) Extreme Functional Sensitivity to Conservative Amino Acid Changes on Enzyme Exteriors
Douglas D. Axe
http://www.toriah.org/articles/axe-2000.pdf

(9) Estimating the Prevalence of Protein Sequences Adopting Functional Enzyme Folds
Douglas D. Axe
http://www.toriah.org/articles/axe-2004-1.pdf

(10) The Case Against a Darwinian Origin of Protein Folds
Douglas D. Axe*
http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/download/BIO-C.2010.1/56

(11) Lee Spetner explains why natural selection can't produce macroevolution.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/09/lee-spetner-explains-why-natural.html

(12) Life did not Arise Through the Unguided Action of Natural Laws
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/03/life-did-not-arise-through-unguided.html

(13) 7. The Genetic Selection (GS) Principle
David L. Abel
http://www.researchgate.net/profile/David_L_Abel/publication/216660503_Review_of_The_Genetic_Selection_(GS)_Principle/links/02bfe50d478c6eddd2000000

(14) Complexity, Self-organization, and Emergence at the Edge of Chaos in Life-Origin Models
http://www.academia.edu/1203553/Abel_D._L._2007_Complexity_self-organization_and_emergence_at_the_edge_of_chaos_in_life-origin_models_Journal_of_the_Washington_Academy_of_Sciences_2007_93_4_1-20

(15) Exon Shuffling, and the Origins of Protein Folds
Jonathan M.
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/07/exon_shuffling074401.html

(16) Exon Shuffling: Evaluating the Evidence
Jonathan M
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/07/an_evaluation_o074441.html


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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Results from mainstream biological research call into question the materialist narrative of the origin of life and macroevolution.


Many results from mainstream biological research call into question the materialist narrative of the origin of life and macroevolution. At some point, as more and more evidence contradicting the materialist narrative accumulates, scientists will have to abandon the materialist view of biological history:

DNA sequence data falsifies common descent. An evolutionary tree can be constructed by comparing the same gene in different organisms but using different genes produce widely divergent trees.

Homologous genes that regulate analogous structures. Genes with similar sequences regulate similar features (Pax-6: eyes, GSK-3b: limbs, Csx/tinman: hearts, etc) that evolved independently in different organisms:

There is no plausible materialist explanation for the origin of life. Video

Missing evidence of transitional fossils. Change not stasis should be the norm in the fossil record.

Missing evidence of precambrian fossils. Enough soft-bodied Precambrian fossils have been found for fossils of the ancestors to the animal types that appeared in the Cambrian explosion to have been found if they existed.

Information theory shows that random variation cannot produce information, randomness is noise it reduces information.


Copyright © 2014 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.