Mind Beyond Matter (PSI)?

The following documentary posits that consciousness exists outside the brain, and that conscious minds can communicate with one another irrespective of physical interaction. In other words, individual minds – through an act of will – can communicate with one another (over distance) without recourse to the use of physical actions, language or any-other form of mechanical communication. Evidence for this assumption stems from very small examples of statistical data that measure a little over the 50% expected from pure chance. Furthermore, outside of parapsychological (psi) experimentation, this statistical data (or its apparent implications), does not appear.

What is being suggested by these experimenters? 1) minds can communicate with one another – either singularly or in groups (over distance) – without the need for physical proximity or physical interaction. 2) Despite these experimenters attempting to remain within the discipline of materially based science, there is an implication that ‘consciousness’ pre-exists the brain that produces (or ‘experiences’) it. This position would logically suggest that consciousness is an independent continuum that exists outside the brain (but ‘somewhere’ within time and space), with each human brain ‘connecting’ with this ‘stream’ of consciousness either in the womb or shortly after birth. A further extrapolation would suggest that at physical death – the individual brain ‘disconnects’ from this continuum but leaves an imprint of the individual’s life experiences as part of the ‘collective’ nature of this model.

The problem with this model is that it is a modern replication of the medieval theology of the Judeo-Christian tradition, with ‘spirit’ and ‘god’ simply replaced with ‘mind’ and ‘consciousness’. Of course, people such as Rupert Sheldrake (who has admitted to me that he is using the strictures of modern science to ‘prove’ Judeo-Christian theology to be ‘literally’ correct). pursue parapsychological research as a means to re-assert a peculiarly ‘theistic’ view of existence. This is not science, but an application of theology using certain (and therefore ‘skewed’) scientific methods designed to prove ‘material’ science wrong. In reality, the danger of this disembodied consciousness model is that it lets the Christian Church back into mainstream thinking (by the usurpation of science), and the re-assertion of a theology that in over a thousand years of dominating Western thought, never produced any technical or scientific advancement (not even an egg timer), that could have made life easier for ordinary people. The brain-mind nexus does not require theistic religion as a means to explain its evolutionary existence, or its functionality within human society or the world. After-all, even the Buddha – in his earliest teachings – specified the ‘material’ basis of the mind, and stated that the mind (and ‘consciousness’) cease to exist at the point of physical death (when the inherent link between brain-mind, consciousness, sense organ and sense object is permanently ‘broken’ for the individual concerned). There are other ways of viewing existence that does not require ‘falling back’ into Judeo-Christian theology.

To be clear, I am not making a value judgement about Judeo-Christian theology, but I am stating that such a theistic-based methodology is not a material science. However, the ideas contained within this theology still permeate Western existence, even influencing the minds of those who might otherwise state that they are ‘secular’ in their approach to psi research. Of course, modern, Western secularism grew-out of the Christian theological tradition, and so a long-lasting and ongoing affect is to be expected. This might explain experimenter bias, for example, where the outer garb of the ‘scientific method’ is used to express a deep-rooted theological influence – i.e. the ‘idealism’ that spirit creates matter. This idealism strives to replace the premise of material science – i.e. that a special arrangement of physical matter generates consciousness. Spirit does not create matter – matter generates spirit (or ‘consciousness’). This being the observable case, I would say that psi should proceed from a strictly material scientific basis, with no psi a priori assumptions sullying the reading (or generating) of results. This means that I do not ‘reject’ in principle the notion of psi, but that I do insist upon a material basis for its study. Judeo-Christian theology, regardless of its nobility and short-comings, should be completely eradicated from the scientific method, simply because both methods are unique to their own particular fields of expertise. Science will not prove the existence of god – and theology will not disprove the efficacy of material science. If minds communicate with one another (over distance), it is important to work-out the material basis through which this is happening. Such a discovery would be a monumental advance in human understanding, and have all kinds of profound influences on medicine, education and space travel, for instance. Such an understanding could be used to inoculate humanity against its destructive habits of ‘warfare’ and oppressive modes of social, cultural and political existence.

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