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Mind and Matter XII Mind over Matter XI Review and Assessment “look at other people and ask yourself if you are really seeing them or just your thoughts.

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Presentation on theme: "Mind and Matter XII Mind over Matter XI Review and Assessment “look at other people and ask yourself if you are really seeing them or just your thoughts."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mind and Matter XII Mind over Matter XI Review and Assessment “look at other people and ask yourself if you are really seeing them or just your thoughts about them.... Without knowing it, we are coloring everything, putting our spin on it all.” ―Jon Kabat-Zinn

2 Topics for today Mind over Matter IX – Yoga siddhis Review of some of the evidence on mind and matter Attempts to make sense of it all – Certainties – Probabilities – Possibilities 2

3 Topics for today Mind over Matter IX – Yoga siddhis Review of some of the evidence on mind and matter Attempts to make sense of it all – Certainties – Probabilities – Possibilities 3

4 Siddhi Siddhi — A Sanskrit noun which can be translated as "perfection”, "accomplishment", "attainment", or "success” Siddhis are said to be spiritual, magical, supranormal, paranormal, or supernatural powers acquired through practices like meditation or yoga Described, for example, in Dean Radin, Supernormal: Science, Yoga, and the evidence for extraordinary psychic abilities. Deepak Chopra Books, 2013. Supernatural or natural? – Depends on the conception of what is natural 4

5 Siddhi Different ancient texts list different siddhis, such as.. – ri-kāla-jñatvam: knowing the past, present and future – advandvam: tolerance of heat, cold and other dualities – para citta ādi abhijñatā: knowing the minds of others – anūrmi-mattvam: being undisturbed by hunger, thirst, and other bodily appetites – dūra-darśanam: seeing things far away – Aadhyaatmik: freedom form pain – Others mentioned in Buddhist texts: levitation, clairvoyance, bilocation, having access to memories from past lives 5

6 Control of heart rate (I) Experiments reported by J. Hoenig, 1968 – Medical research on yoga, Confinia Psychiatrica 11, 69-89 Example: A yogi in a meditative state for up to nine hours.. – Heart rate gradually decreased from 100 to 40 – Then gradually increased to 100 – And so on, continuing in cycles of 20-25 minutes Some yogis have claimed that they can reduce rate to zero – Examination of one with EKG showed that heart did not actually stop completely – Another case – a non-yogi practicing “complete physical and mental relaxation” – EKG showed “slowing of the sinus rate progressively to the point of sinus arrest for a period of a few seconds: (McClure, 1959) 6

7 Control of heart rate (II) (E. Kelly, 2007: 1177f) A case reported by Kothari, Bordia & Gupta American Heart Journal 86, 282-284 (1973) Indian Journal of Medical Research 61, 1645-1660 (1973) A yogi was confined to a small underground pit for eight days – Connected to an EKG with 12 leads “short enough not to allow any movement” – Almost immediately after the pit was sealed, a significant sinus tachycardia developed and progressed until it reached 250 beats per minute, but without any sign of ischemia – The tachycardia continued for 29 hours – Then suddenly “a straight line had replaced the [EKG] tracing” – The investigators wanted to terminate the experiment, fearing that the yogi was dead, but his attendants insisted that it continue – The flat line state persisted for five more days – Then half an hour before the scheduled end of the experiment sinus tachychardia again developed – Subject had been in complete isolation and darkness for eight days – Tachycardia continued for two hours after the yogi was removed from the pit 7

8 Change in body temperature of this yogi On emerging from the pit (after eight days).. – body temperature was 94.6 o F – (temperature in the pit was normal and comfortable — 24-33 o C) Subject shivered severely for two hours 8

9 Changes in skin temperature (I) Report by A. R. Luria, The Mind of a Mnemonist (1968: 140f) Subject deliberately.. – raised the temperature of one hand by 2 o celcius – and then lowered the temperature on the other hand by 1 1/2 o – Did it my imagining one hand being placed on a hot stove and the other being immersed in cold water 9

10 Changes in skin temperature (II) Report on a yogi by M. Murphy The Future of the Body (1992: 532) – Subject induced a difference of 11 o F between left and right sides of the palm of one hand – Skin color changed to pink on the hot side, grey on the cold side 10

11 Tummo (I) Tummo is a practice best known among Tibetan monks – Tummo: “inner fire”, “blazing radiance” – producing bodily heat in cold environments – extreme cold tolerated for minutes to hours Report on 3 Tibetan monks by Benson et al. Nature 232:1225-1227 (1982) They keep warm while meditating in cold Himalayan mountain conditions – Temperature rise was measured in their fingers and toes – Increased by amounts ranging from 3.15 o C up to 8.3 o C 11

12 Tummo (II) A Western practitioner: Wim Hof (Netherlands) – Described in Hof & Rosales, Becoming the Ice Man (2012) – Ran a full marathon above the arctic circle at -4 o F on the snow, barefoot, wearing only running shorts – Sat still while submerged in ice water for an hour and 44 minutes – Climbed to top of Mt. Kilimanjaro wearing only shorts 12

13 Living well without eating food (I) In some cases, also no drinking of any liquid According to ordinary medical lore.. – the human body can last about five days without water – at most a few weeks without food Phenomenon described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Pada III.30: liberation from hunger and thirst Also known as a Qigong practice: Bigu Also known in Christian mysticism: inedia A.k.a. breatharianism: – transmuting ambient energy from the air into nutrients Numerous cases throughout history Currently dozens to hundreds of cases worldwide (Radin 2013) 13

14 Living well without eating food (II) Thérèse Neumann From the 1923 until her death in 1962, she apparently consumed no food other than the Eucharist (daily) Drank no water from 1926 until her death In July 1927 a medical doctor and four Franciscan nurses kept a watch on her 24 hours a day for a two-week period. They confirmed that she had consumed nothing except for one consecrated sacred Host per day 14

15 Living well without eating food (III): Prahlad Jani (I) (Radin 2013) Prahlad Jani, an Indian sadhu, age 81 in 2012 Has not eaten for most of his 81 years Had a mystical experience at age 11 – The goddess Amba appeared to him – Told him that he would no longer require food Has lived in a cave since the 1970’s Tested in 2003 at Sterling Hospital in Ahmedabad – by Dr. Sudhir Shah and his medical team – Monitored around the clock for 10 days by medical staff video cameras – Did not eat or drink anything – Did not go to bathroom – No changes observed in his physiological condition 15

16 Living well without eating food (IV): Prahlad Jani (II) (Radin 2013) Prahlad Jani, an Indian sadhu (cont’d) Tested again, April 22 though May 6, 2010 Observed by a team of 35 researchers – from Indian Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences – and other organizations Was monitored continuously No food or water ingested No visits to bathroom No deleterious effects observed in physical condition 16

17 Living well without eating food (V) Michael Werner, Switzerland (Radin 2013, Werner 2005, 2007) – A chemist (Ph.D.) – Managing director of a Swiss pharmaceutical research institute Followed a 21-day training process – Developed by Jasmuheen, an Australian spiritual teacher – Aim: to allow a person to transition from eating to not-eating – Werner claims that the process was relatively easy Claims he has not eaten solid food since 2001 Ten-day observational test – in intensive care ward of a hospital in Switzerland – Similar to the tests used in the case of Prahlad Jani 17

18 Living well without eating food (VI) Why are these results not widely known? Dean Radin (2013: 127): “There is social pressure in the scientific community to publish results that conform to mainstream beliefs and expectations, and equally strong pressure to withhold results that might be perceived as strange or questionable” 18

19 Levitation Numerous reports, from ancient times to modern 200-300 cases in the descriptions of the Christian saints E.g. St. Joseph of Cupertino (1603-1663) – “…was observed to levitate by thousands of witnesses, usually in broad daylight, over a period of thirty-five years” (Radin 2013:62) – Reports include depositions provided under oath, including 150 eyewitness reports from kings, popes, and princesses (M. Grosso 2013) A secular case: Daniel Dunglas Home (1833-1886) Many instances, over a period of several years Was observed to levitate in daylight by hundreds of witnesses (Radin) 19

20 Daniel Dunglas Home (1833-1886) In 1868, Home performed his most famous feat of levitation at London's Ashley House in the apartment of Lord Adare. In the company of Lord Adare, Master Lindsay, and Captain Wynne, Home allegedly floated out one window and in through another. The two rooms were on the third floor of the building and connected only by a narrow ledge. 20

21 Levitation videos A Russian girl – http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=QZ7aiN53p8M&feature= endscreen http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=QZ7aiN53p8M&feature= endscreen – 0.48 A modern African shaman – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tW6pVFOpE6Q https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tW6pVFOpE6Q – 2:20 21

22 Topics for today Mind over Matter IX – Yoga siddhis Review of some of the evidence on mind and matter Attempts to make sense of it all – Certainties – Probabilities – Possibilities 22

23 Placebo and Nocebo (XI) Studies (ix): Skin Allergy Y. Ikemi & S. Nakagawa, A psychosomatic study of contagious dermatitis, Kyoshu Journal of Medical Science 13, (1982) Study of contact dermatitis Thirteen hypersensitive subjects Touched on one arm with leaves from harmless tree – But told that they were from lacquer tree Lacquer tree produces effects like those of poison ivy Touched on other arm with leaves from lacquer tree – But told that they were from a harmless tree Results – All thirteen subjects had skin reactions to harmless leaves – Only two had reactions to the leaves from lacquer tree 23 Review

24 Mind in Disease and Death Representative Cases (3): A woman’s death belief Study by Walters (1944) Woman who believed she was going to die – Believed she would die at the same age as her mother – Mother died at age 42 – Two weeks before anniversary of mother’s death, became excited and fearful – Lapsed into a coma on the anniversary of mother’s death – Died the next day, in the 7th month of her 42nd year 24 Review

25 Mind in Disease and Death Representative Cases (4) : The man with a mean mother – Study by Mathis (1964) – Mother cursed him for going against her wishes Said, “Something dire is going to happen to you” – Two days later, first asthma attack, age 53 – Further asthma attacks after encounters with mother – On the day of death.. At 5:00 pm, “excellent physical and mental condition” reported by physician At 5:30 pm, telephone conversation with mother, who repeated the warning 6:35 pm, was found comatose 6:55 pm, pronounced dead 25 Review

26 Faith Healing V: The shrine at Lourdes II The case of Vittorio Micheli (Garner 1974) Sarcoma in left pelvis – X-rays showed “almost complete destruction of left pelvis” Visited Lourdes in May 1963 Felt immediate disappearance of long-standing pain Felt subjective sense of being cured One month later, was walking 3 months later, x-rays “showed that the sarcoma had regressed and the bone…was recuperating” 26 Review

27 False pregnancy: pseudocyesis (I) Known to physicians since the time of Hippocrates – Hippocrates reported 12 cases Numerous cases reported in the medical literature – Bivin & Klinger (1937) reviewed 444 cases from 18 th and 19 th centuries – Murray & Abraham (1978) reviewed 68 additional cases – DeVane, Vera, Buhi & Kaira (1985), five more cases – Whelan & Stewart (1990), six more cases – Signer et al. (1992), six more “Pseudocyesis provides a valuable opportunity for exploring the mysterious no-man’s land between mind and body” (Ramachandran & Blakeslee, Phantoms in the Brain, 1998) 27 Review

28 Stigmata (VI) More recent case (Lifschutz 1974) – A 10-year-old girl in California, deeply religious – No signs of psychopathology – The stigmata appeared for a period of 19 days up to Good Friday of 1972 – The last time was on Good Friday, 1972 The phenomena – Bleeding, hands, feet, forehead – No lesions: blood oozed from unbroken skin – A physician who was present “observed the blood [on her palm] increase in volume four fold” Contributing mental factors – Read a book about the crucifixion one week before – Saw a movie on the crucifixion three days after reading the book 28 Review

29 Phenomena similar to stigmata (V): Dream induced Physiological response to a dream (Tuke, 1884) A man dreamed he had been hit in the chest with a stone “The vivid shock awoke him, and then he found that there was on his chest…a round mark, having the appearance of a bruise” The next day it was swollen Went to doctor for treatment 29 Review

30 Autonomic effects (II) False pregnancy False pregnancy in a (homosexual) man (D. Barrett, 1988) – Was undergoing hypnotherapy to quit smoking – Given suggestion to imagine himself as the person he would like to be – Had long wished he were a woman and wanted to bear a child – After three months, went to hospital Enlarged abdomen Morning nausea Nipple secretions “noticeable” enlargement of one breast 30 Review

31 Hypnotic analgesia (II) Pain relief during surgery (cont’d) Later use of hypnotic analgesia (Bramwell, 1903) after advent of chemical anesthesia – Tooth extraction – Eye surgery – Removal of tonsils – Uterine tumors – Breast tumors – Childbirth 31 Review

32 An unintended sunburn J. M. Bellis, in American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 8 (1966) Hypnotic suggestion: – Imagine being on a beach on a sunny day Purpose: to induce relaxation Result: – Immediately upon awakening her face was “beet-red…and the redness extended over her shoulders and half-way down her arms” – The redness conformed to the lines of subject’s dress 32 Review

33 Difference in addiction A woman with M.P.D. (Coons, 1988; Miller & Triggiano, 1992) – One personality addicted to heroin – The other personalities had no addiction and did not exhibit withdrawal symptoms When the addicted personality “took over”, needle track marks would develop in the arms 33 Review

34 Differences in visual acuity An early report (Dufay 1876, Alvarado 1989) – A woman with severe myopia requiring glasses – When in somnambulistic state had excellent vision without glasses Could do needlework and thread needles in dim light 34 Review

35 Other differences in vision A color-blind patient with MPD (B. G. Braun, 1983) – Color-blindness “documented by the isochromatic color-blindness test” – The color-blindness disappeared after successful integration of the personalities Optical differences between different personalities – A patient with two personalities (Birnbaum & Thomann, 1996) – Required different corrective lenses for the different personalities – Differences in corneal curvature – Differences in astygmatism 35 Review

36 Difference in visual acuity (S. D. Miller, 1991 ) A patient with two personalities – First personality: 20/15 visual acuity in both eyes – Second personality 20/30 in one eye, 20/50 in the other – And an outward rotation of the left eye 36 Review

37 Birthmarks and birth defects in reincarnation cases Extensive research since about 1970 – Ian Stevenson(Kelly 232f) Two-volume monograph, 1997 – J. B. Tucker – Others Examples – Boy with cluster of hypopigmented birthmarks on chest corresponding to wounds in prior life – 33 cases in Stevenson 1997 In 18 of these, birthmarks correspond to entry and exit gunshot wounds In one case, entry wound on throat(Kelly 234) 37 Review

38 Topics for today Mind over Matter IX Review of some of the evidence on mind and matter Attempts to make sense of it all – Certainties – Probabilities – Possibilities 38

39 The old view of the world, supported by classical physics, has been demonstrated to be false So what are we left with? Many theories have been proposed Many of them are pretty wild None of them is generally accepted We are left with – A few certainties – Some probabilities – Some possibilities 39

40 Some Certainties: Conclusions that are (1) supported by conclusive evidence (2) and the evidence is very widely known Classical (Newtonian) physics is not a valid theory of reality The world view provided by our senses and perceptual systems is wrong – In particular, our notions about the substantial nature of matter 40

41 Eddington: The external world of physics has thus become a world of shadows. In removing our illusions we have removed the substance, for indeed we have seen that substance is one of the greatest of our illusions. —Sir Arthur Eddington (The Nature of the Physical World, 1928) 41

42 “It’s a crazy world we live in” 42 Quantum mechanics and common sense contradict each other; in almost all cases, when physicists are able to test which is “correct”, quantum mechanics wins and common sense loses. It’s a crazy world we live in. One gets the idea that we are missing something fundamental in our understanding of the universe. Alex, of Indiana, posted to NYTIMES.COM (Science Times, 3 June 2014)

43 Some Virtual Certainties: Conclusions that are (1) supported by conclusive evidence (2) but the evidence is not yet very widely accepted Some aspects of mind, including consciousness exist separately from and/or beyond the brain Some aspects of mind, including consciousness, survive the death of the body – Abundant evidence has been published – For summary, see: Chris Carter, Science and the Afterlife Experience (2012) 43

44 Max Planck’s opinion “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” 44

45 A letter to NYT Science Times 45 Perhaps the $4.5 billion focus on the brain is misdirected. It is consciousness that is the real mystery, and the assumption that consciousness is a byproduct of the brain may be erroneous. We may be looking in all the wrong places. —Shelli Joye (Northern California) posted to NYTimes.com Science Times, November 18, 2014

46 Some probabilities If consciousness has reality apart from body, then – It does not have to be bounded by the body – In that case, the consciousness (or some aspect of the mind) of one person is not necessarily separate from those of others The “real world” that we have believed in because of our sense perceptions is not only unlike what we perceive, it is not even real at all – It is a mental construct, built by our minds 46

47 Some Possibilities Idealism – Eastern – Western A Dream – If a dream, it is a collective dream All people see (approximately) the same moon – But one aspect of the dream is the perceived separation A Mathematical Construct The holographic theory of the cosmos 47

48 The paradoxical cube 48

49 The paradoxical cube 49

50 The paradoxical cube 50

51 Wolf’s view Our minds may enter into nature in a way we had not imagined possible. Perhaps much of what is taken to be real is determined by thought. The order of the universe may be the order of our own minds. Fred Alan Wolf Taking the Quantum Leap (1981:6) 51

52 Idealism The view that reality as we can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial Eastern Hindu o The concept of M AYA o Vedanta, … Buddhist Western Plato, Neoplatonists German idealism o Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, … George Berkeley Charles Sanders Peirce Others 52

53 The “Mathematical Construct” possibility A question to ponder: What kind of reality do mathematical objects and systems have? – Numbers – Geometric objects – Complex geometric objects resulting from algebraic geometry – Fractals The difference between – Exploring and Discovering – Science – Proving – Mathematics 53

54 The “Mathematical Construct” hypothesis and consistency Consistency – A basic property of all mathematical systems: – Everything logically follows, inevitably, from what precedes But this same principle holds for the physical universe of classical (Newtonian) physics – Atomic structure follows from the properties of subatomic particles – Molecular structure follows from the properties of atoms – Biological structures follow from the properties of molecules – Galactic structures follow from the properties of stars etc. – Events follow from prior states and conditions – Therefore, we can logically/mentally construct prior states from knowledge of existing states – Maybe John Wheeler wasn’t so crazy after all 54

55 Ron Garret: Consistency defines reality (I) The Universe is comprehensible because large parts of it are consistent. This consistency allows us to understand our experiences in terms of stories whose explanatory power endures from one moment to the next. Consistency defines reality. We distinguish between the perceptions that we have while sleeping from those we have while awake precisely because our wakeful perceptions are more amenable to consistent storytelling. We call our wakeful perceptions "reality" and our sleepful ones "dreams" for precisely this reason. 55

56 Ron Garret: Consistency defines reality (II) It is so deeply ingrained in our psyche to believe that the universe is consistent because reality is in some sense real that the suggestion that reality is simply a mental construct that our brains concoct to explain consistency in perception sounds preposterous on its face. The point is that the Universe is comprehensible because it is consistent. This is important because comprehensibility cannot be described mathematically, but consistency can. 56

57 The Holographic Universe Possibility 57

58 The “Holographic Universe” Possibility (I) From Michael Talbot, The Holographic Universe, 2011 In the movie Star Wars, Luke Skywalker's adventure begins when a beam of light shoots out of the robot Artoo Detoo and projects a miniature three-dimensional image of Princess Leia. The image is a hologram, a three- dimensional picture made with the aid of a laser, and the technological magic required to make such images is remarkable. 58 Michael Talbot (1953-1992)

59 The “Holographic Universe” Theory (II) From Michael Talbot, The Holographic Universe, 2011... some scientists are beginning to believe the universe itself is a kind of giant hologram, a splendidly detailed illusion no more or less real than the image of Princess Leia that starts Luke on his quest. Put another way, there is evidence to suggest that our world and everything in it—from snowflakes to maple trees to falling stars and spinning electrons—are also only ghostly images, projections from a level of reality so beyond our own it is literally beyond both space and time. 59

60 The “Holographic Universe” Theory (III) From Michael Talbot, The Holographic Universe, 2011 The main architects of this astonishing idea are two … eminent thinkers: University of London physicist David Bohm, a protégé of Einstein’s…; and Karl Pribram, a neurophysiologist at Stanford University. Bohm became convinced of the universe's holographic nature only after years of dissatisfaction with standard theories' inability to explain all of the phenomena encountered in quantum physics. 60

61 The “Holographic Universe” Theory (IV) A different version, considered more respectable by physicists Information from Wikipedia Inspired by black hole thermodynamics The holographic principle resolves the black hole information paradox within the framework of string theory Susskind, Leonard (1995). "The World as a Hologram". Journal of Mathematical Physics 36 (11): 6377–6396. The theory suggests that the entire universe can be seen as a two-dimensional information structure “painted” on the cosmological horizon such that the three dimensions we observe are an effective description only at macroscopic scales and at low energies The “cosmological horizon” has a finite area and grows with time 61

62 Roger Penrose’s opinion 62 In my view the conscious brain does not act according to classical physics. It doesn’t even act according to conventional quantum mechanics. It acts according to a theory we don’t yet have. Roger Penrose (1931- )

63 63 T h a t ’ s i t !


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