Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Past Is Still Real

Here's a puzzle that I want you all to consider:

(at least, I find it puzzling, or at least worthy of consideration and much thought...)

I've read Brian Greene's two books, and looked around a bit more, and from what I've read (feel free to help me out here and research this yourself; I'm open to correction) quantum physicists seem to mostly believe that the past is real, as real as the present is. That's what the math indicates, and they don't seem to have too much of a problem with it.

Can I humbly ask you to digest that for a minute?

Can that be true?  Can you accept that to be true?  What does it mean if that is true?

If the past is as real as the present, even if we can never go back in time and visit the past, it means that in our personal pasts, all the things we remember about our pasts (plus all the things we don't remember) are still "out there" hanging in space as it were, being REAL.

If the past is real, as real as the present is, then our personal pasts are still real.

Pick a memory, say your favorite one, if one such exists.

Somewhere "out there" you are living that moment. Now. (Your "now," in that moment)

That first kiss?  You're still kissing it.

I'm being serious here.

Think about it.

What this means is that, if you could remember the past *perfectly,* then you would not be able to differentiate that perfect memory of the past, from the present.  It would all blend.

The fault lies not in reality, but in our memories.  If our memories were perfect, we would experience both the past and the present, as the *now.*

This is what the statement "The past is still real, as real as the present" means.  These are the implications.

If the past is all real, all still real, all still as real as the present is, then take the total mass of this universe, and multiply it by every moment, every microsecond, every Planck Time micromeasure of time, and *all of that, taken together, exists NOW.*

If the past is all real, as real as the present, if you really think about it, and then think some more, and then really, REALLY think about it...

The only logical conclusion is that all of reality is thought.  Consciousness.  For nothing that we consider *real* could possibly be so malleable, versatile, and re-creatable over and over again, from microsecond to microsecond, as to produce a reality in which all moments, all micro-moments, every single thing that ever has happened, co-exists somehow in some universal "now." Only undifferentiated pure consciousness could possibly accomplish something like that. 

Saint Brian has spoken.   


  1. I got the exact opposite from Sean Carroll's From Eternity to Here and I think Carroll is regarded as more of a scientist and less of a populizer than Green is (but I'm not 100% on that). In any case, I'm not prepared to argue with either of them, but think Carroll's position is just more intuitive.

  2. Brian:
    Even if one accepts the past as "real", it still can only reside in someone's "memory". In that sense alone, the past does not "exist" in the same sense as the "now". And.... what about those "pasts" that were not ever experienced by and, therefore, have never existed in the "memory" of any sentient individual, past or present? I suppose this falls into "if a tree falls in the forest..." sort of situation, but, if an event took place in the absence of some kind of consciousness to "experience" that event, in what sense does it still "exist"?

  3. The only thought I know of to exist, is an action predicated of brains. When the brain ceases to exist the thought ceases to exist. I.E. brains aren't an emergent property of thought, but vice versa.

    The most interesting question incidentally raised by your post is whether time is a matter of human understanding and not an actuality. My opinion is yes, but 'all of existence being thought' doesn't readily follow from this.

  4. Ryan, how is it the opposite? In that the past is NOT real? Diametric opposite? I read most of 'eternity to here' and I must have missed that. Most of what Carroll seemed to be saying was regarding the flow of time being linked with the gradient of entropy. However I've read elsewhere as well that most quantum physicists seem to see the idea that the past is still real in the mathematics. Can you direct me to the part of the book that claims otherwise? (I asked you guys to research this too and I meant it)

    Harvey, it doesn't only exist in our memories. We still exist in the past experiencing it, and for us back then, it is still now. If I were to die at this moment, I'm still being born and growing up and having that first kiss and going to school and getting married, and getting divorced and getting married and getting divorced (...) and so on and even dying, forever. In fact, there's no real way to know if this is my "first trip" through this life or the ten thousandth.

    Now when I take salvia and meditate on the past I get interesting results every time. I do it thusly: I meditate, get calm (easy on salvia) and pick a moment. For instance I look at my fingers and snap them. Then I meditate on that moment, the snap of my fingers, visually seeing them snap, hearing them snap, feeling it, and so on. I can hold that gestalt image in my mind so clearly that it literally has as much reality in my mind as the "present" which keeps moving forward in time. My memory of that moment remains (with a little effort) just as clear as my forward-moving "now" moment. I can see the present, things happening, and I can also see me with my fingers frozen in mid snap, the sound frozen in time... it's just like experiencing two equally salient "now's" at the same time. It really is an amazing thing to see and experience. So I'm leaning strongly toward the idea that our past is as real as our present but we only remember the 'wavefront' or the very most recent moment, as the present. With a little help, at least for me, it is possible to remember the past as the present as well.

  5. When the brain ceases to exist the thought ceases to exist. I.E. brains aren't an emergent property of thought, but vice versa.
    Even if I accepted that, my brain existed just fine in my personal past, and it's still back there having these emergent thoughts.

  6. If the past is not real and only the present moment is, then the total mass of the universe is what we observe now, more or less, depending on the accuracy of our observations, but if the past is real then every moment in that past also is happening in a universe that has all that mass, so multiply the mass we see now by the nearly infinite moments that have ever happened in the past.... So either the universe houses many moments that each possess all the mass of the universe, or the universe is a mind-like thing and the mass doesn't really exist as such but exists as a pattern of consciousness.

  7. If time travel to the past were possible, and some seem to think it might be, albeit technologically unfeasible, then it would be possible to leave this universe with mass "X" and go back to an earlier version, also with mass "X" but in an earlier configuration, so both would 'exist' as such, "side-by-side" as it were. No?

  8. I'm in this present moment *NOW...*
    In it, I know the whole huge universe exist in this moment too.

    Oops, now I'm in a later moment, also called *NOW.*
    Hey, the universe is here, too!
    That's two of those things!

    And so on...

  9. It seems counter-intuitive, silly even. However it is a real problem, I think. A problem for realists, I mean.
    If that is, the past is real.

  10. Hmm. Well I think it is the way it looks. The past was only real when it was 'now'. Because past, present and future are just expressions.

    What happened is real in the sense that is what allows 'now' to happen next, not in the sense that there are 'snapshot' universes being scrolled through.

    But I guess we'll never know unless we smoke some Salvia, right Brian?

  11. If time is predicated of the understanding and not the understanding, of time, then it is an epistemological issue and NOT a metaphysical one.

    If the past is as real as the present -I wish we would throw in the future too- the universe is doing just fine. Reality doesn't have to change because humanity believes something falsely.

  12. if the past is real then every moment in that past also is happening in a universe that has all that mass, so multiply the mass we see now by the nearly infinite moments that have ever happened in the past....

    Several problems with this.

    First, one would have to define a unit of time that is not arbitrary.

    Second, entropy increases. Humpty Dumpty remains broken.

    Third, mass isn't multiplied by time.

    Whether we fully understand it or don't (and despite Hawking's assertion that there isn't any obvious reason that it should point in only ONE direction...), there IS an "arrow of time" that points toward increased entropy. Semantically, when you say "every moment in that past also is happening", you're contradicting the idea that the past happened, and is not still happening.

  13. That's easy. It's like, if you plucked yourself out of time, you would be able to see everything happening all "at once" to your point of view. It would only be happening in sequence to the person experiencing it at the time. You could go back and pick points in time to view at your leisure and maybe just watch them over and over again, or even just look at them without time, as a still image.

    I don't know how that would apply to the "future" of that person, because as that person who has plucked themselves out of time you have effectively ended your timeline, but maybe you'd be able to see all your actions that you were taking at that point in "not-time" ON your timeline as well? And so forth and so forth, and eventually you would essentially be watching yourself watching yourself watching yourself watching yourself.

    Like looking down a hall of mirrors or something.

  14. Also, a bit flattered your son likes my blog so much. >w<

    Mind you, it's not like I'm super duper committed to that theory I posted earlier. Like it says (perhaps a misnomer), it's a theory. Probably should have named it "Just an Idea," but whatever.

    Ah, and Harry, to answer your question--it's actually something I'd cooked up a while back, with no influence from Brian whatsoever. Pretty sure this was before he started talking about the BB theory a bunch. `u`

    (Still laughing at that wonky face you made at me, too, Brian! XD)

  15. Semantically, when you say "every moment in that past also is happening", you're contradicting the idea that the past happened, and is not still happening.
    Brian Greene said 'the past is real.' And it wasn't his own theory; he was interpreting the math. Now, it may be that he's wrong. However, if he's right, then the past is REAL, NOW. As in, if we could go back there, it is still there to go back to. It's still 'happening' now as we speak. So it exists, just like this present moment exists. That's what he means. So please tell me that he's wrong and it's not that way and show me that, or tell me that I'm misinterpreting it and show me how... but just denying what I'm saying doesn't work for me. If the past is real, then all matter that still exists now, existed then at an earlier stage in it's entropy evolution, or in other words, existed then too, and is still existing there as well as here. It has to be. If the past is real.

  16. First, one would have to define a unit of time that is not arbitrary.
    Easy peasey. The Planck time. The shortest moment.

  17. I can grok a universe that evolves over time and changes so that it's only 'real' in the 'present' moment and is no longer real after the present moment. That is what we tend to assume is the case, no?
    However, that is NOT what Mister Greene was saying at all; if it were, it would have been an ordinary comment that I wouldn't have even really noticed, not something unusual that he felt was a real revelation. What he instead said was that the equations seem to indicate that the past is as real as the present is. As in, it's 'out there' somewhere, and you are indeed still having that very first kiss.

  18. It is the nature of matter to change, but also to persist in some form forever. So I do not actually think it's some huge revelation that the universe exists back then, and still does, right? It's just that we usually tend to think of it as no longer existing BACK THEN. That's what I'm focusing on here.

  19. I think the idea that the past is real is also shown in the concept of 'world lines.'

    The spaghetti-like strand that is your every movement and action from the time you're born to the time you die. The strand, that is you. Why would it be beneficial to think of time like that, if the past were not real?


    Here's where we're heading if the republicans have their way.

    BURN HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. I really do think that our personal pasts are still as real as the present moment is, and we've just evolved as lifeforms to only be conscious of the moment of NOW, of the most entropically developed part of our world-line. We are still 'conscious' of our past moments too, but that information fades as the present moment progresses into the future. If it did not fade, then we would have to deal with being equally conscious of the present as it is happening, and all past moments that we have ever experienced. Too confusing.

  22. "lifeforms to only be conscious of the moment of NOW"

    But that's not how it is. Dogs mostly live in the 'now', Cesar Millan shows us this all the time on his series, but he emphasizes that we don't, but it is only a matter of degree and dogs do remember grudges and other feelings they had to a certain extent, we know this.

    Humans do this to a greater degree and tend to collect mental baggage and live in the past, basically our past informs our expectations for the future, which is mostly a good thing, but can cause phobias, OCD and so on.

    I'm not sure who imagines that the future is a reconstructing of everything like the redrawing of a cartoon drawing but changed slightly where the previous drawing is 'still there', wherever/whenever 'there' would be, a cosmic filing cabinet?

    You say that there is 'plank time'. Is plank time the same for all of us? Isn't time relative? How many 'plank times' go by for the twin who stays at home compared to how many 'plank times' that go by for the one who goes on a journey at some significant factor of light-speed?

    I think that when it comes to time we're playing a definition game and the models we can dream up are completely concerned with how time is being defined.

    Can we 'step out of time' or 'step out of our timeline'? Would that be something like an 'out-of-body experience'? What time would be passing for an 'outside time' person, if an apparatus could be constructed to allow such a thing?

  23. "lifeforms to only be conscious of the moment of NOW"

    But that's not how it is. Dogs mostly live in the 'now', Cesar Millan shows us this all the time on his series, but he emphasizes that we don't...
    Do dogs see yesterday as vividly as they see today, as they see this moment, as they see NOW?

    That's what I meant. We ALL remember the past, but not so vividly that we can't tell it from the present. It's my contention that if we could do that, we would still be as much 'living' in that past as we are the present. A memory would be holographically complete, as is the present. You could look back to any moment in your past and just re-live it as if it were the present.

    I hope I was clearer there.

  24. On salvia, as I said, I can remember a past moment PLUS the moving present moment, in a sort-of split-screen effect; both being equally vivid and equally real, and with me being 'present' in both equally.

  25. Maybe I should have said 'conscious IN the moment of now...'

    Yeah, that's closer to it.

  26. I'm not sure who imagines that the future is a reconstructing of everything like the redrawing of a cartoon drawing but changed slightly where the previous drawing is 'still there', wherever/whenever 'there' would be, a cosmic filing cabinet?
    And yet, the past is still there. So any way you care to picture that, somewhere (somewhen?) you're still enjoying that first kiss.

  27. When you really think about it, the 'present' is really the recent past anyhow. We do not perceive in real time; there is a lag, after all.

    You're bothered by the idea of the past being as real as the present. It's hard for a realist to embrace that. As for me, in my view, that 'present' we're talking about, isn't real either, so it's not a difficult jump to consider the past as equally real, as it is also equally unreal.

  28. Is plank time the same for all of us?
    Since it's defined as the smallest period of time that is possible, and no smaller moment can exist, then no matter how we relatively perceive it, yes.

  29. Here's a wrinkle that has to be true, if indeed the past is still there:

    We can never really die.

    A thousand years from now, I'll still exist 'somewhen' in time, getting that first kiss.

  30. I don't think you answered the planck time thing when it comes to two people, one changing time-frames, by accelerating away and one staying home.

    Clearly the exact same amount of planck-time has 'elapsed' for both of them and just as clearly that isn't true.

  31. Many of these changes have a uni-directional order "in time", or display an arrow of time. One might therefore expect, as Feynman puts it, that there is some fundamental law which says, that "uxels only make wuxels and not vice versa." But we have not found such a law.... "so this manifest fact of our experience is not part of the fundamental laws of physics." The fundamental microscopic laws (with some, presumably irrelevant, exceptions) all turn out to be time symmetric. Newton's laws, the Schrodinger equation, the special and general theory of relativity, etc., make no distinction between the past and the future—they are "time-symmetric". As put by Brian Greene in his book "The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time and the Structure of Reality", "no one has ever discovered any fundamental law which might be called the Law of the Spilled Milk or the Law of the Splattered Egg."

    It is only secondary laws, which describe the behavior of macroscopic objects containing many, many atoms, such as the second law of thermodynamics, (discussed below), which explicitly contain this time asymmetry. The obvious question then is; how does one go from a time symmetric description of the dynamics of atoms to a time asymmetric description of the evolution of macroscopic systems made up of atoms.

  32. It seems obvious that the direction of time is a function of our macro-being effected-by-the-entropy-gradient perception of reality, and is not reflected in actual reality. In other words, a thing doesn't have a beginning, middle, and end. It all happens at once. Hence, our personal pasts are still real.

  33. Funny, as it turns out, that old definition of time, "time is what prevents everything from happening at once" is true.

  34. The planck time is the smallest interval of time possible, but other than that, it's still a unit of time measurement. Time passes slowly on the starship relative to the earth, hence yes, less planck time units pass for the ship. I don't see a problem with that... do you? Perhaps I'm missing something.

  35. The now is the speed limit of our consciousness as it follows the timeline of our existence.

    Timeline, in the sense of 'world-line.'

  36. Well the problem with all the different time-frames around the universe is that there can't be a real past kind of written in stone, since there is no single time-frame for that real past to 'be' at.

  37. But what my real problem with the question and your answers is that you seem to have read the article/book, tied that in with your BB theory and put a nice bow on it. We're not just arguing the 'past is real' or no, we're arguing 'past is real, yea or nay, but don't forget that it ties in with my BB Theory, so real isn't necessarily what you think it means, and when you say 'real' it's not what I think it means either.

  38. Pboy, why does there have to be only one timeline? What about the multiple-universes theory thing, where every decision you make sort of "makes" the timeline branch off into a split, where you are aware of the choice you made, but in a different universe/reality, "you" would be aware of the timeline wherein you made the other choice instead?

  39. Okay Cogs, that's a whole different theory than Brian Greene is describing, I wonder if our Brian is 'game' enough to include that in his theory, that basically 'everything' happened and is kind of 'written in stone'. Include this branching timeline deal and now we're talking, "You can't go into your past because there are an infinite variety of 'pasts', all real.

    The mind boggles.

    Then there is Occam's Razor, the simplest solution is by far the most likely. i.e. that there is a mindless objective reality which continues on regardless of whether there are any thinking beings around to wonder about it and that organic life is part of that universe.

  40. Man, I'm just throwing things out there, lol. I can't even argue with you guys on the level you all usually do, I'm just not knowledgeable enough to know what the hell you guys are talking about most of the time. Since we're basically talking about theoretical things right now, I figured I'd jump in, but that's why I usually stay out of commenting here, even if I do read it.

    Anyway, in all honesty I think it is most likely that shit just fuckin' happens (objective reality and whatnot), I just like to theorize with the big dogs once in a while. ^_^

  41. Big Dogs? Oh My God Cogs, we're Welsh Corgis...

  42. I actually subscribe to the 'many worlds' theory. I was just waiting to introduce it.

    Personally, I think reality is 'story based' in that it's a fucking story in which we get the /next logical thing' whatever we deeply believe that is, and there are a huge number of possible story twists presented at every moment, and we follow the logic of our narrative, and so those other universes are really 'potential stories.' Plot lines that we might take, in which case they become real, or we might not take, in which case they likely disappear. And so forth. I've experienced being multiple selves at the same time on salvia, so that lends credence to it for me a bit.

  43. Just throw stuff out there Cogs. You beat Brian to the punch there! HAH!

  44. I didn't used to give it (many worlds) much credence until I did salvia. However on several occasions while on salvia I have experienced thinking in more than one mind at once; one of the possible explanations is that on salvia I can sense all other versions of me that are also taking salvia at that moment. It truly feels like that, like I am more than one me. Hard to describe, but very convincing if you were to experience it, let me tell you.

  45. Welsh Corgis? Shit, does that make me a Chihuahua?? Fuck I hate those things. lol

    Story-based, huh. Hmmm, Brian, are you interested in webcomics at all? ;D

  46. No, I'm old-fashioned. I like books. Crazy, huh?
    Something interesting in a web comic that I might like?

    Story-based, meaning that it's all consciousness and each 'universe' exists as a developing dream/story in the universal mind, with the participants writing the story by selecting 'the next logical thing' at every turn. Branches of the story are offshoot 'universes' (stories) that run parallel but are differing in detail.

  47. Of course, we ourselves, are stories. Stories selecting and shaping stories and then living them.

  48. I haven't fleshed out the details on this one yet though... it's based on salvia insights, which of course might be me making shit up and then believing it. So I don't totally believe in any of this, just in case. I just follow the ideas out and see if any of them seem realistic.

  49. Here's a weird thing, happened two nights back:

    I take a hit of salvia, and as I often do, I will myself to resist the onset of it. (the onset is a lot like green light filling your head, to the point where you dissolve into it and have a vision)

    So I know I can resist it, and I know that if I want to, I can go with it.

    The other night, I did neither.

    This is hard to describe... I let the light start to 'take me' and then stopped it, but as it started to wane, to 'go out,' I relented, or in other words, I let the light come back by not resisting it anymore. Then as it started to glow strongly again, I resisted it again, making it recede... more of this, back and forth, just walking a really thin line between letting it grow and making it recede... for a few seconds, maybe twenty or so... then my brain went TILT!
    What happened was, I felt strong rippling sensations all over my body like electric currents, and my vision went into, I shit thee not, something like a TEST PATTERN.
    This took the form of a perfect grid, horizontal and vertical black lines all over my field of vision, like perfect graph paper. Accompanying this, was the feeling that my mind exploded.

    The part that interested me most about this, was the 'test pattern.' Why a regular grid like you'd see a computer generate, and not something more random or organic-seeming?

    I have to say, the very most intellectually interesting events in my whole life, are almost all salvia trips. That substance is like powdered god.

  50. Keep in mind, this was with my eyes open and me being totally aware; so I still had a view of the room around me, with the 'test pattern' superimposed.

  51. I can get as caught up in the details of this world, science etc, as anybody when I'm arguing for the idea of a universal mind or consciousness-based reality, but truth to tell, if it's the case, I get the impression that ALL of those details are a part of the dream, in the sense that *we made them up because they fit into the matrix of what we consider 'reality.*
    So I'm not sure that 'evidence' that we find here, can indicate anything about a universal mind, because we don't believe in one, or at least, not enough of us do. So as soon as something, some bit of evidence, seems to point to it, something else will be invariably discovered that points away from it again.

  52. Incidentally, it took me over a year to learn how to resist the onset of salvia. The benefit is, you get the interesting after-effects without having to go on the trip. Aftereffects like incredible mental stillness, hyperkinesthesia and sensitivity to stimuli, etc.

  53. One time I had a minor trip, and then slowly came back to consciousness, as usual, sitting upright in my chair.

    Except, this time, I had in actuality retired to my bed instead.

    Since I usually do it sitting upright, I was still sitting upright as I came out of it.

    Then I realized that I was lying down, however I could feel my legs still as if I were in a chair, touching the floor. I opened my eyes, and I saw my legs lying on the bed in front of me, however I could not feel them there. I felt them below me, sitting on the chair. So I wss feeling my legs, like normal, but they weren't my actual legs lying on the bed; they were below me extending *through* the bed, touching the floor. For like ten seconds, I had a clear view of my actual legs on the bed, while feeling them (quite normally and clearly) extending through my bed touching the floor.

  54. "Big Dogs? Oh My God Cogs, we're Welsh Corgis..." I'm any type of dog as long as it's chasing cars and peeing on grumpy peoples' lawn gnomes.

    1. I'm like a dog, too, Harry.... If I can't eat or screw something, piss on it.

  55. Every time when I look in the mirror
    All these lines on my face getting clearer
    It went by, like dusk to dawn
    Isn't that the way
    Everybody's got the dues in life to pay

    I know nobody knows
    Where it comes and where it goes
    I know it's everybody sin
    You got to lose to know how to win

  56. It's weird to say, but I completely get the whole dual-awareness experience you've had, Bri. I didn't go on a salvia trip to do it, it actually happened by accident to me.

    I was dreaming, and dream stuff was happening, you know, pretty chaotic stuff. I looked over (in real life) at my alarm clock and saw that it read 3:33 (am). I could still see what was happening in my dream as well as everything that was happening in real life, both as clear as crystal. The weirdest thing was that I could still control both of my "bodies" at full competence.

    So I don't know, is there something to be said about that? Humans' brains are pretty cool, to be able to handle more than one body/awareness at a time like that.

  57. I should say that I wasn't dozing when this happened as well, this was full blown sleep.

  58. How about being dozens of minds at the same time?

  59. To elaborate on that 'many minds' thing, what it was, imagine dozens of identical people (me) sitting in identical chairs. Now imagine all of them superimposed, with the only common point being the very center of the head. Imagine them radiating out from that center point, all their heads superimposed but only at the very center, so the heads and bodies are radiating out at all angles from that common point, like as if the center of their heads is the center of a big ball-type flower, and the bodies are the petals sticking out at all angles. So it really was more like one center point to my mind being the common point for all of them (all of me).
    Then what I did was to open my eyes, and see dozens of views of my room. As if I had dozens of sets of eyes, all looking at the same view.
    Then I somehow managed to start eliminating the many views little by little, until I was left with only two. They were one above the other. So I had 'double vision' but one view ABOVE the other, partially superimposed. It was like I was seeing two rooms out of two sets of my eyes, but with only one mind.

  60. IN other meditations I did something similar but different, as it were. I experienced many 'me's' (many of my minds) in one head. As if I had a committee running my mind. It was not like one mind this time; it was many 'senses of self;' many 'me's.' That was even weirder, in a way. I'd never experienced more than one 'me' at any given time before, and had no idea such was even possible.

  61. The first was a full vision, the second an internal meditation (no green light/vision effect)
    Both states have their appeal.

  62. When I see that green light coming on, it always reminds me of the phrase 'astral light.'

    As it gets stronger, you start to see things in it. As if in that light you see things that are there anyhow, but not visible in normal sight.

  63. Two eerie things about salvia. First, it feels like something very, very old. Ancient. The very first time I took it (and all subsequent times) it felt ancient, primal even, and it felt that I'd been 'there' before, many times.
    Second, it does NOT feel like it makes you see things that aren't there. It strongly feels like it REMOVES a blockage to seeing things that ARE there.

  64. (incidentally, most people that have tried it say both of those things about it)

  65. So Brian, do you feel that there is a meaning or a purpose to life that you can see, or see more of, when you're doing salvia?

    Seems to me, as I said before, that it is me, with no kids of my own, who might be more inclined to put forward the idea that the individual is part of a whole and is somehow disconnected from that whole and only under a delusion that each of us is individual.

    That, as opposed to, say, the usual 'part of the whole' that we notice when we're seeing that all life on Earth is organic and connected by the fact that every life form is built from the same basic parts and evolved in a different direction.

    What I'm saying is that I don't get that this consciousness has had to develop this intricate physical reality, starting from four dimensional space-time, matter-energy, through the natural elements from the stars, through the very simplest life-forms which are by no means conscious, through the diverse efforts of evolution, back(kind of) to individual conscious beings and thinking beings who can imagine and somehow 'get' that it's all from, under the aegis of, that original consciousness.

    Seems to me that you are saying that your serendipity thing together with your salvia experiences are 'creating' this overall consciousness for you and others who feel it, although most people are just not curious enough or something to sense it.

    Salvia Divinorum isn't called Salvia Divinorum for nothing Brian so sensing a divine(immaterial) conscious oneness in the universe is to be expected however hard it hits, however powerful the sensations are, they are afterall, sensations.

  66. ...and that's something that I think of all the time. I agree. I'm not a 'convert.'

    If it's not indicative of anything real, it's still the most interesting and self-illuminating experience of my life, hands down. It undoubtedly, and I mean UNDOUBTEDLY, allows deep access to the subconscious, deep like a yogi sitting on a mountain top deep. And if this deep access to the subconscious links to a deeper access, an access to things beyond the personal subconscious, I think I'll figure that out someday... it certainly gives that impression.

    The point is, I can't argue with you on all of that. As it stands, I can't tell. There are things about it that are different from other hallucinogens. I've read about LSD trips and peyote and so on.... they're all more or less similar to each other in the general type of hallucination, and all very different from salvia. Salvia is rather unique, as far as I can tell.

    I've had a few things happen from time to time that seem to involve more than my personal mental state... things like me trying to get through to my sleeping wife and her immediately answering me as if I'd spoken aloud... things like my dog apparently seeing the green light as well from time to time and avoiding it... so I'll keep playing around with it.

  67. Dunno if I ever told you, one night I saw the green light in the form of two 'walls' of it, and I could move them at will, and I was on the bed, wife asleep, doggy looking at me... then when I moved the walls, the dog looked at them... I moved them to the left (with him between them) and he moved to the left to avoid them.... then I moved them back to the right, and he moved back, again looking at the walls with apparent anxiety...

  68. And I can't count the number of times that I'd just done salvia sitting in my chair next to the bed, with the dog asleep, and came out of it with him sitting at alert on the edge of the bed looking at me... and I'd made no noise at all....

  69. Obviously I haven't been able to repeat these 'experiments' at will, or I would be a convert...
    Still, they did happen, as described.

  70. I did manage to wake my wife up a couple of other times, though... not with her answering me as if I'd spoken, and not consistently enough for it to be solid results.
    By this of course I mean, I concentrate on speaking to her to wake her up, visualize me doing it, nothing more, no sounds of course, and she stirs and awakens to semiconsciousness... that's happened like three times. On cue.
    Still, hardly proof of anything. Not even to me. Not yet, at any rate.

    But it's not like all the external 'tests' have been failures, so of course I continue with my 'research.'

  71. In my opinion, all of physical reality could just be the result of bits of consciousness desiring to be autonomous, to not be a part of the whole, to crave their own identity, to form 'colonies' and organize themselves... this requires that things do not occupy the same space as other things, that cause is followed by effect, and so on.

  72. Hey, another time I was meditating on salvia in bed. Laying down. Trying to 'go deep' within myself.

    We have a really good baby monitor, baby sleeps in the next room... and every time I started to enter a deep state, the baby was disturbed, moved around, made small noises as if he was awakening... he did this *every single goddamn time* so I had to give it up and go to sleep.

  73. Salvia, it seems, is practically tailor-made for anyone with your curiosity who is already inclined to see the benefits(if that's the word) of salvia. I mean it delivers, it is, as you describe it, as advertised.

    I read up on it since it's one of those 'natural highs' that hasn't been criminalized. Good!

    Reading more on the subject. Don't expect to be having some kind of 'good times', this is not a party drug, it's not something you do to make you feel warm and fuzzy all over, no.

    Reading the history now, for centuries, these kinds of 'spiritual medicine' plants have been eaten and smoked for the purpose of getting closer to 'the divine'/'the spiritual'/'the oneness'/'the that kind of thing'.

    Salvia, DMT, Aminita, psylocybin and other mindbenders, profound thought alterers, hallucinogens, have been used for specific purposes depending on the culture of the user, dreaming the hunt, getting closer to the Divine, as a ritual or part of a ritual, spiritual cleansing, healing spiritual wounds such as getting rid of addiction and so on.

    So, I suppose you get at least in part, what you are expecting from it. Sadly, I'd expect to go batshit crazy if I did it. :0)

  74. I just thought of a funny scene, outside a bar, two guys having a knock-down drag out fight, just kicking the shit out of each other. Finally one guys gets the best of it and is booting the hell out of the loser, screaming, "It's green, it's fucking green! GREEN!", then stalks away in a huff.

    'Nother guy who has been watching this epic bar battle goes go check on the downed guy and asks, "What did you say to him to get him so mad?"

    The guy croaks, "The salvia light is blue..."

  75. HAH! I like that joke!

    The very reason that I think that salvia is potentially dangerous to some people is exactly that... it is more than capable of reinforcing your own fears about it, or about anything, about going crazy itself even... I would be willing to bet that it is capable of literally driving some certain people mad in one dose. I even remember one incident of what I like to call 'meeting my demon' where I was literally assaulted by a pattern of information, a self-created mental virus similar to the computer variety, that basically went like this: "What's the most horrible thing that you can imagine doing? Oh, wow, that is horrific! It's really horrific.... how can anybody actually DO something like that? Don't think about doing something like that... DON'T think of doing something like that !! DON'T THINK OF DOING SOMETHING LIKE THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Feeling of terror here, at the idea that I was rapidly going insane!)(My most terrifying moment ever on salvia, including the at least two times that I thought I was likely dying!)
    Perhaps you get my meaning here... I thought of, just imagined some dumb, terrible behavior for no reason, doing something I'd never even dream of doing, involving horrific violence, just for the sake of imagining it, and because it was SO horrible, the very horror of it, fed back somehow into a loop that was fed by my very horror of it! I could not break out immediately, and the panic of not being to break out, fed the beast more... I had enough presence of mind (and experience with magic(k) type meditation practices and their dangers, oddly enough) to forcibly break the cycle by physically wrenching my body around and forcing myself to think of an unrelated thing, I forget exactly what.... the effect vanished immediately... and I feel secure that now that I'm aware of that possibility, I cannot fall victim to it again. However, what if I hadn't been able to break out of it? Would I have done the horrible thing? I think perhaps, maybe, it's possible the answer is "yes."
    IN an induced insanity like that, no thing, no act, would be 'too horrible.' That's because it's the very horror if the act, that feeds the cycle, that cracks the MIND, that then does the act.

  76. In fact, I think that because of that incident, I now have a deep understanding of the process of psychosis and schism. Maybe better than the psychologists.
    IT takes on a life of its own. It's a self-fed cycle... that which is FORBIDDEN and ABHORRENT, gives it strength for that very reason.

  77. Oh, one other thing. I 'saw' my demon.

    I was on salvia of course, so there was a visual component to the cycle I described.

    It looked like a field of moving geometry, linear sparkles swirling, forming angles and such... it looked like a visual rendering of data. Very matrixey. And oddly enough, not green... no color at all, really.

    I was shit-scared at the time. Seriously.

  78. I forgot to mention above I think... just before I managed to snap out of it, I was feeling terror because I felt my mind weakening to it... I felt it eating my mind, or at least my resistance to it.
    I think it was like my violent subroutine, one of the many sub-minds that contribute to the gestalt that is my personality. Everyone has one... and almost everyone has it well-controlled. I certainly do. But I never anticipated it to attempt a coup. Surprise!

  79. Come to think of it, the violent sub-mind that we mostly likely all possess, is logically the one that *would* try to take over the personality in a mental 'coup.' Because hey, it's the violent one, after all.

  80. We're getting into the Id, Ego, and Superego, here, are we?

  81. Not at all. I'm being literal. I can sense sub-minds within my mind on salvia... in fact it surprised me the first time it happened. Our minds are consensus based. And one such sub-mind is the one that we let 'take over' in the event that we need to be violent, defend ourselves, and so on. The one that thinks of the bad things to do to others when they anger us... then other minds within, tell it to back down.
    This is the basis of schizophrenia. Or so I believe. When that sub-mind manages to run the place instead of just being a consultant.

  82. You could think of the Id, Ego, and Superego AS literal things, really. They are all a part of your brain/psyche, they all have different needs and wants, they all would "say" different things to your brain proper to influence your decision. We're saying essentially the same thing, I think.

  83. Well, this concept would certainly explain deja vu, or your "coincidences", Brian, no?

  84. Deja Vu is seeing a real thing, and getting a feeling that you've seen it before. If you as an organism have not seen it before , what matters how many minds we have in that organism? It's still a deja vu about a real event.

    As to the coincidences, once again (only more so) they are real world events that happen and coincide. What matters how many minds within the organism notice it or attempt to evaluate it?

  85. Think I'm out of stuff to say about salvia. I did like acid and beer at one point in my life. Was fun at the time.

  86. Yeah, guess it gets a bit boring.

    How 'bout them Mets?

  87. What's acid like? I always ask people that have done it. Trying to compare, etc.

  88. Funny you should ask. You have to learn where you're most comfortable with it, I had some bad times early on, likely 'cos I didn't feel really comfortable with who I was with and it was very strong.

    Then I did some with Emma, this is like 34 or so years ago and things went really smoothly, sit at the bar drinkin' draft and smokin' like a chimney watching the walls buckle and the thin air kind of opening up to show some colour behind reality.

    I was hot for Emma so we had a a bit of the old humpty-dumpty stoned on acid and half cut on like a dozen beers. Cartoon characters marching by my 'vision'(closed eyes), might as well have both been on other planets!

    Then Emma deserted me and took off with her 'love of her life' and had her youngest son with him. Meanwhile I got married, time passed and my wife died. Then some other stuff happened and we got back together, and now you can buy a 300 megahertz computer for $45.

  89. That's an amazing story, as loaded with content as it is concise. I mean, I laughed, I cried...
    You can be very entertaining. It was like the best, shortest movie I've ever seen, or maybe the shortest best movie.. not sure which really....
    Sad at the end there, but happy at the very end... both in that you got back together and about the cheap computer...

  90. Emma had a good pal, Chrissy, who we would drink with, and when Emma messed around on me, I ended up with Chrissy one night, in Emma's back room. But Emma was jealous so, early in the morning I somehow ended up back in Emma's bed. We woke up to Chrissy standing in the doorway asking, "What the hell is this, musical beds?", but there was no ill will between any of us.

    Much later poor Chrissy, having been married and divorced since, ended up with Theo, a red-head asshole with no fuse at all. Their AIDS test was in the pipeline, because Chrissy's ex. 'Sneaky Pete' was busy drinking himself to death on account of having AIDS(likely from dirty needles) Anyways, I don't know if he got the results, but he got out his 22 and shot Chrissy to death, in the back, while she was running down the street. Then he blew his own head off with his 303. No fuse.

    Emma and I had had no contact with each other for years when I heard that story, that was the year that my wife killed herself, very surreal, lot of strange deaths that year, very Stephen Kingish.

  91. That's a bit heavy. Wow. Sad.

    I dated a woman for a while, she fell for me a bit but she was a nut, so I drove her home one night and told her she was too unstable and I couldn't see her anymore. So she slapped my face. And I said 'thank you for illustrating my point, now please get out of the car.'
    Saw her from time to time in the mall where she worked, a few years went by, another guy who date her told me she was a nut too... Then she came into the jewelry store where I worked and I found out her mother died... she looked pretty bad... then like another year went by and I met her in the mall with her boyfriend... she looked TERRIBLE (she had always looked pretty well dressed, well put together etc...) she said hi to me that day... I was there with my new wife's daughter, introduced her to the kid as a friend... It was Monday.
    On Friday, I read her obituary. Drowning. Likely suicide. I always thought it was seeing me that last time that drove her to it, but no way to tell... But I saw her on the Monday and she was dead by Wednesday.

    So we all have our sobering stories about life, huh?

  92. I can't even imagine having a wife commit suicide. I'm so sorry. That's just about the saddest thing I can imagine other than a child of mine doing it.
    You've been through a more than adequate amount of shit in this old life my friend.

  93. Actually it wasn't as bad for me as it sounds, we hadn't really been together for a while because, her sister had an 'old man' who fished and a boyfriend who kept her company while he was at sea, Eileen, my wife, thought that she should have a husband at sea and a boyfriend at home, spending my money. Hah! That was not to be, so she stayed with the boyfriend, Earl Wallace, and they'd beat each other mercilessly after a full day at the bar(good for them, I say), and one day Eileen's sister gave Eileen her meds back, since unbeknownst to her, the sister, Eileen had already gone to see her doctor and had already 'filled' another prescription of restoril and whatnot(three largish vials).

    Now Mr. Dick(aka Earl Wallace) didn't know this and when she announced that she was intending to kill herself and showfully downed mucho pills, he saw a bunch of pills on the floor and thought she was pretty safe and went down to the bar for a drink.

    He went back upstairs to the rooms and found her dead.

    So, in effect, although she was still technically my wife, she wasn't 'being' my wife, at the time. I'd already given up on her since I was not willing to fund their 'good times' while I was at sea.

  94. Now this is a bit of the story that I have missed out. Loretta(Fluffy), is Eileen's sister, who I used to 'go with' many moons ago, she was the one with the old man and the boyfriend.

    Caroline is the other sister, who, for a short time, I used to 'go with', before I married Eileen, the one who gave her back, unbeknownst to her, that double dose of pills.

    It all sounds so sordid in a small comment but you have to imagine sometimes many years before these events took place, and when I fell in love with Eileen I didn't even know that Loretta(who Emma and I are still friends with) and Caroline(may she rot in Hell), were in fact sisters.

  95. How are those ESL classes going Anonymous?

  96. I have found link for to cure grandmothers' pubic lice. Many cheap grandfathers say yes!

  97. Thanks Harry for that picture of what Paul Ryan looks like without his makeup.

  98. Jeez peeb, those are some colorful women you've associated with. I take it their parents weren't the most stable people. Did the sisters have an uber religious upbringing along with abuse and addiction?

  99. Hmm. Well you might be surprised to hear that my father-in-law was a good old guy, old when I married his daughter, and we had some good fun together. My mother-in-law was a nice old lady who listened to soap operas very, very loud, since she was deaf.

    They, Emma and Eileen, were part of huge families growing up and a lot of the time there were also nieces and nephews and so on also living with them, so each family was like a small clan.

    Right now, as we speak kind of thing, there has to be a hundred adult kids of sisters and brothers, so if we go out, we are almost certain to hear someone crying out with joy, "Aunty EMMA!!!", and they'll give her a big hug.

  100. I have found link for to cure grandmothers' pubic lice. Many cheap grandfathers say yes!
    Harry, did you just type in a Russian accent?

    1. I hav alvays tipped een Rrushian axint.

      Russian via Billy Crystal I guess.

  101. Oh those Russians, notorious for missing out the 'eee's in their 'haves'. I hear they use those 'eee's to buy vodka! Very Russian.

  102. Strasvuitye Amerikanski!

    Well, stop russian and slow down a little, tovaritch...

  103. This:-

    ... is absolutely brilliant and it is exactly what Eric dodges.

  104. Yes, the diatribe of Idiotlogic Savants is cogent, logical, and irrelevant.

  105. I couldn't go through the whole video, once the absolute certainty of induction had been questioned I tuned out. It's like questioning the ability of a man-made bridge to fill up a canyon.

    "You haven't filled in all the chasm with your bridge!!!" Sneereth the zealot.
    "I can't fill in the chasm. The bridge gets me to the other side." Sighs the rationalist.

  106. I think he went on to refute that argument, Harry. No? I watched most of it...

    1. Right. I didn't suspect him of being a theist. But a ten minute video upholding induction's usefulness wasn't time well spent for me.

  107. I like that man in the top hat and black tux with the old style 3-d glasses. Pretty funny. The argument he describes is definitely a la Eric. I felt that gnawing sensation in my gut just listening to it.

  108. I have a computer with a card reader and can upload pics to facebook.

    I sometimes go on that computer and access Emma's facebook to do that thing. This time there were so many little glitches that I just uploaded Mozie's pic on my page.

    This was my instructions to Emma:-
    1)Go to my timeline and click on the pic of the dog.
    2)Download the pic.
    3)Go to 'upload photos', find it in your computer and upload it on to your facebook

    She says, "I lost you a long time ago.", which translates to:-
    1)I wasn't listening because..
    2)I want you to do it because..
    3)I'd have to think about what I was doing, and..
    4)I have you to think for me
    5)NEVER point out 1 or 4 to me or I will get totally enraged!


    Watch this and tell me if it's what you were expecting? I'm not sure if it's what I expected.

    1. Well, almost. I was expecting a documentary on Observant's insecurity and was told he was a center of the universe.

  110. And, so much for the idea that the universe simply grew in size making Observant's ancient model just exponentially larger.

    Mike:- Why spirits simply leave the Earth and travel 13 billion light-years to Heaven instead of the few thousand that Jesus and his cronies assumed in the first century C.E.! (paraphrased)

    IOW, Heaven is out there somewhere! HAH!

  111. I just did a google search for "Is time travel to the past theoretically possible?"

    Apparently it is. Apparently physicists agree pretty much on that even if the technology is way beyond our capability.

    So, THE PAST IS REAL. If it wasn't, it wouldn't be theoretically possible to revisit it, now would it?


    As an interesting aside, I also saw this result on the page:

    Time Travel Is Possible
    With the Right Supplies -- Get them before today becomes yesterday!

    Talk about crass commercialism being literally EVERYWHERE!

    1. Yeah but Brian, you still haven't answered the point that whether the past is still real or not has no necessary connection to a metaphysical claim about the BB. Why? Again, the status quo being wrong about time is an epistemological issue. They were wrong about a flat earth too, and poof a whole bunch of matter was added... to their understanding.

  112. And, so much for the idea that the universe simply grew in size making Observant's ancient model just exponentially larger.
    Did he really think that? Sad.

    Why can't they ever admit that they were wrong about anything?

  113. Actually I doubt he really meant that, but that's how he feels the Bible covers it, so yea, that's how he feels.

  114. Why can't they ever admit that they were wrong about anything?

    When you are wrong about everything, how can you admit to being wrong about something?


    And they infect public school kids with their mental virus. It's so disgusting,

  116. I guess it's a political mindset, everyone who agrees with you must be right and anyone who disagrees must be wrong, especially since you don't know them. I think that Observant(Mike) is pure redneck, and he's likely punch your face if you said something he believed was untrue.

  117. Yeah but Brian, you still haven't answered the point that whether the past is still real or not has no necessary connection to a metaphysical claim about the BB. Why?
    Hunh? That's a hard sentence to parse, my friend.
    The past being still real, to me, means that our consciousness is stretched out from our birth to our death, with us only being immediately conscious of the very most recent moments, but that's an error of perception. So if I were to die, I still exist in my past. Forever. This doesn't seem to prove or disprove anything about the idea of all being consciousness, but it does fit in well with the idea that it is.

  118. Okay, let's look at the odds of it all.

    If the past is real, then somewhere "out there" or "out then" perhaps, the sum total of all matter and energy that exists now, is also existing then, however in an earlier state.
    I just think that if you view all of that as a 'structure' and imagine all the infinite past states of this universe, and perhaps all future states as well, existing 'side by side' or more accurately simultaneously, that such a thing is less likely if all matter and energy are non-conscious matter and energy as today's science would have it, and much more likely that it is all consciousness-based at the root of it all. Such convolutions are more likely if it's in a mind rather than just how things are by sheer chance. I mean, looking at it from another angle, if this were just 'dead' (non-consciousness-based) matter and energy, wouldn't it be more likely that the past does NOT still exist?

  119. About ten minutes ago I had a different kind of coincidence:

    I was with my son and he was watching Dora the Explorer... she was prattling on about 'party, party' and 'siesta means party' and then my attention went to the television running in the background in the bedroom, to the voices on the news program... I had the thought, clearly, "party party, now you need to say party on the news because it's party party here' and the next word out of the commentators mouth was indeed 'party.' Blew my widdle mind, it did. Precognition? Hardly, I think... just me causing an "echo" but this time realizing that I was doing it in the process...

  120. How can you even speak about odds when non-materialists of every stripe, need to play word-games a la that Philosophy Sucks! vid.

    The non-materialist basically has to say, "Yes, it all LOOKS like this, induction works, but there is no 'evidence'. MY pet 'theory' on the other hand has just as little evidence, therefore it's 50/50 right?

  121. So what, you want me to stop? I think I explained that the normal materialist paradigm has all the attention, and is likely the right path, but that I prefer to investigate this side of things because it more explains my coincidences and is a lot more interesting to me. I haven't been able to invalidate it, and until I do I will continue to investigate it and think about it... there are a jillion scientists that are totally convinced, as you are, that holistic idealism (mind as the ground of all being) is a crock of crap; I just happen to notice that frequently in the past when something new and unexpected and different (and correct) comes along, they all tend to react that way, so I give it more attention than they think it's due.
    So basically, sue me. :-)

  122. The scientific materialist paradigm has all the evidence, or at least most of it.


    In a world that is a dream wherein we all are trying to convince ourselves desperately that it is not a dream, that's what one would expect, no?

    I do not doubt science; just it's underpinnings. And this sort of thing requires subjective, personal investigation. And I like to talk to you and everyone else here about it.

    Is it offending you?

  123. It doesn't help the materialist paradigm when I predict (by about a half-second) what the next word coming out of my television will be.

    You can see that much, no?

  124. I mean, it's a hell of a coincidence when I'm not paying attention to the TV in the other room, am 'playing along' with the Dora episode on the computer talking about 'party party party' and so forth, think (in a split-second) "now the television needs to say 'party' too, ha ha..." and it fucking DOES.

  125. I want to make clear also, Ian, that I wouldn't tell you about my thoughts if I didn't actually value greatly your skepticism on them, so I'm certainly not asking you to change any part of that.

  126. I'm not expecting you to to be anyone but you Brian, of course. Me, being me, I just can't help but notice the stuff I notice, too.

    Yea, it was a coincidence that someone on TV said party right when you thought they 'needed to'. I just don't know what to make of that at all.

  127. Of course it was a coincidence. One that I expected. Nothing unusual about that. Happens all the time.

  128. Sorry I didn't elaborate on my assertion of the time theory explaining your coincidences, Brian.

    What I mean is, maybe you get a feeling of deja vu, or notice some strange coincidence or occurance, because you have, indeed, done this before.

    If one accepts that the past is still happening (real), then, surely, the future has to be just as real. After all, the present is the past's future, no? Perhaps what we see as occurring in our present is merely our very own past (our future selves are on to a new task as we discuss this very matter?).

    However, it is my contention, if time travel were to ever be possible, we would have known about it a very long time ago. Our future selves would have visited us along the way and given their secrets away.

  129. Hah! "I don't feel the need to give such secrets away.."

    I asked on D.C., I asked on FB, I'm not shy, I'll ask here to to complete my idiocy!

    A neutron is composed of two kinds of fundamental particles called up and down quarks. Each neutron has two down quarks and an up quark. Am I right so far?

    Okay, a neutron is not stable on it's own and will spontaneously convert to a proton and an electon(a hydrogen atom) within about fifteen minutes after it has been emitted from a radioactive nucleus.

    So, my question is, how is it that three fundamental particles, that is, two down quarks and one up quark can change into four fundamental particles, that is, two up quarks, a down quark and an electron??

    There seems to be something fundamentally wrong with the definition of 'fundamental' here, don't you think?

  130. What I mean is, maybe you get a feeling of deja vu, or notice some strange coincidence or occurance, because you have, indeed, done this before. (...)
    That has occurred to me, however there is a problem with that. In a coincidence, two things happen that are connected. And that last one, that I called just *before* the second part happened, was even weirder. Now what I get, are not 'deja-vu's.' A deja-vu would be explicable as having 'been there before' however with two occurrences that are connected, such as the other day, even if you had been there before it's unbelievable, since all that means is that the incredible coincidence of me calling out what the TV was just about to say happened in the past, which is no less incredible than it happening in the present, no?

  131. Even if I'd already 'heard' Dora and the TV say 'party' how did I arrange to have both of them do it nearly simultaneously? And so on...

  132. Here's something that relates to your theory Brian. Suppose I find my purpose in life through cooking, I strive to cook the best tasting lasagne and the best tasting ziti, to bake the best bread 'EVA' and so on, and at the end of my life I am happy, since I realise that the journey is the purpose in life.

    I could go the other way and be dissatisfied that I might not have made the very best meal, or if I were an engineer, not made the very best engine possible, or if I were an architect, not designed the very best building possible and so on and so forth.

    Thing is, material or 'consciousness', whatever that means once you subtract the material, the effect is no different unless you kind of plug in your 'coincidences', unless you plug in your 'experiences with salvia'.

    It might well be true what you say, what you feel is right, and, it might not, but what difference, what REAL difference does it make to people?

    We might as well say the same thing about Scientologists, we all live in this material world and it makes no never mind to them except they have some notion that that's not true, they know better, some crap about Thetans and Xenu and so on.. but back on Earth, back here, they have to live according to the descriptive laws of nature/reality.


  133. I disagree of course. If all is consciousness it opens up a lot of possibilities about things like life after death, existence of higher forms of intelligence, and other such obviously appealing things. I'd call that pretty big.

  134. but back on Earth, back here, they have to live according to the descriptive laws of nature/reality.

    Of course one has to follow established rules. However if I do a 'ritual' and I get results, like as in say, having a son when having one was incredibly long odds, that to me represents something that is not according to the descriptive laws of nature/reality, that produces real-world results.
    Or if I do a personal healing ritual and get better immediately, as has happened many times... same thing.

  135. I realize of course, the double-sided nature of what I am investigating, the implied trap of falling into the mindset of theists. It is a danger. I am aware of it.

  136. The nature of causality doesn't have to be exclusive. It seems you're offering up an either or and limiting us to a false dichotomy. It's materialistic or mind? How about both, or neither?

    What if your pattern recognition abilities are off the charts and you can simply make those calls that others can't? You wouldn't be the first person to not understand, or misunderstand, a possessed talent.

  137. Since all material is really mind, then it is of course both, in that material will always act as expected, as material and not as mind, with some possible small exceptions that most people can ignore. As pboy said, it makes little difference in our day-to-day lives which it is, but it does make a difference to those such as myself who theorize beyond the mundane and attempt to describe the sub-reality that all this is based upon, the nature of that consciousness.
    As to that nature, it seems to me that we are instinctively terrified of anything that hints at absolute unity, because that means death to us, the idea of giving up all individuality and just merging into the One. We are separate and are individuals, but we've overlaid that over our underlying unity, and that illusion is all we allow ourselves to see, out of the terror that we will see that we are not really individuals at all.

  138. What if your pattern recognition abilities are off the charts and you can simply make those calls that others can't?
    I've run into this one before. If you recall, this all had a start date; I didn't always see coincidences other than the 'normal' variety easily explained as outliers on a normal bell curve of probability. I had a lucid dream, and decided to play with my own consciousness during the dream, lifting an 'etherial' hand (while my real hands remained immobile across my chest) and inserted my left index finger into the spot just between my eyes and about an inch above them up to the second knuckle while maintaining the idea of opening some third eye that I knew nothing about other than its supposed location. The coincidences started in force, that very day. I only thought of the lucid dream incident when I was looking back at all the new coincidences and realized that they started on that day. I had no real expectations of anything happening to me by my just 'dreaming' that I had opened my third eye with a ghost finger....

    So there's that.

  139. What if your pattern recognition abilities are off the charts and you can simply make those calls that others can't?
    Well then two days ago I recognized the pattern of Dora the Explorer saying "party" that I knew would be echoed immediately by my television in the next room. So I'm pretty fucking good at it, I guess.

  140. Besides, the 'pattern recognition' theory necessarily requires that the really obvious and incredible coincidences were always happening around me and I just didn't notice.

    I absolutely cannot buy into that at all.

    How does a person who is familiar with parrots (me) stand in front of a television recounting a description of my friend's blue-and-gold macaw, and then have the television, which is set to a NEWS CHANNEL (hardly Animal Planet!) obligingly show a government official giving a speech and then having a colleague, as an inside joke, place a live blue-and-gold macaw on the official's shoulder, at that very moment? Surely you can see that such a thing is not amenable to such an easy explanation as 'good at pattern recognition' as there is no pattern to recognize. Instead what there *is* to recognize, is that either it was a total and *wild* coincidence among a whole slew of them, or I was animated and discussing a blue-and-gold macaw and reality echoed it. Either way, it makes no *common sense.*

  141. So Brian, I forget if I asked you this before, so here goes. What do you imagine is the meaning of the coincidences, what are they trying to tell you? Are they just like glitches in the Matrix, or is the 'ultimate consciousness' which we're all part of, trying to give you hints to its existence?

    If it's the 'hints' thing, do you have any notion as to why it might be giving you these hints and not everyone?

    The amount of effort necessary to coordinate such coincidences, recall, just for you, I mean for you specifically, seems to me to be extraordinary, and if everyone could access these hints, if the 'ultimate consciousness' was suddenly confronted with trying to coordinate coincidences for everyone in your town/neighbourhood, it would seem to me to be like trying to do 20 jigsaw puzzles where the pieces from all 20 puzzles have been mixed up together each person managing to dip into the bag of puzzle pieces and coming out with two that just happen to fit, no?

    The more people in 'contact' with this force(I know it's not quite like that since we're already it, we're already a piece of the force that only thinks it's separate) but from the perspective of individuality everyone in your neighbourhood seeing coincidences through the day, well that would take a lot of 'management', and for 'what' really?

    Maybe, everyone could be watching the same program on telly and everyone could say, "Gadzooks!"(e.g.), and the newscaster blurting out, "Gadzooks!", for no particular reason at all? IDK, what do you think, how do you picture this kind of thing, if at all?

  142. I'm not sure how the coincidences are any easier to create if material is not sub-really real, or if material reality not being sub-really real explains the coincidences.

    I'm not sure how the 'rituals' come into the picture, is this Wicca? If it is, as a modern representative of that religion(you likely don't like that word but it's the only one I can think of atm), I would imagine that Wiccans would loathe the Abrahamic religions considering how they have historically treated everything heretical/Satanic(from their POV).

    Seems to me that lately, the Catholics in particular, are willing to try to make some kind of amends, just being happy that there are others who, while not going along with them exactly, are at least accepting the idea of an immaterial existence/reality of some sort that is appealable to.

    'Course they'd still rather one be a Christian, but they'll take native indian/first nations rituals concerning spiritual outlook as a good first step towards their POV.

    I know this from first hand experience from when my wife, her two grand-nieces and I went to a retreat for six weeks trying to save our nuclear 'family'. The Catholics ran the show and every morning they had a 'smudging', which was voluntary, which I didn't attend, one of the reasons, no doubt which they 'failed' us for. There were no real world consequences to 'failing' anyways.

    I took the whole 'ritual' thingy as a joke, especially when we put our jewelery into the middle of the circle for smoke to be wafted over.

    "Timex," I quipped, "Takes a smudging and keeps on ticking!" (got a few laughs for that)

    We were marked for failure when the old lady counselor asked me, when we were talking casually, the only casual conversation we had, about my thoughts on death. Maybe she was trying to proselytize. Anyways I said I wasn't worrying about death since I was going to live forever! She asked me how and I told her, "Three words, fetal tissue transplants!"

    Needless to say, she was NOT amused! LOL

  143. I'm not sure how the 'rituals' come into the picture, is this Wicca?
    Nope. Western Hermetic magic. Not a religion.

  144. I create the coincidences. Because I believe that I can. No more effort involved for anybody. So it's not REALITY (thought of by you in this context as pretty much God) that is making some special effort to tell me something. The coincidences are hints that reality is not what it seems, and I'm far from the first person that has noticed them. One such 'mystic' or supposedly psychic woman that I met, when I told her about them, simply told me 'well, you're on the path, then.' So that's how they think of them. The way I think of them? Echoes. Simply that, no special significance other than 'signs' that all is not as it appears. The rest is up to me.

  145. As I've said before, there are actually a lot of *theists* that believe in their religion so deeply that they start to get the coincidences too. This they take as proof positive that their god exists and is personally communicating with them. Since I get them with no faith in any god, I can discard that interpretation... all that's left is belief. My belief in the coincidences happening, is the reason that they happen. One time in the past I had this conversation with one such theist, and caused her to (at least temporarily; I didn't keep in touch with her) lose her faith in god, which to me is a pretty powerful thing for me to be able to do. (She thought I was Satan for a while there, too!)

  146. Okay, so could a sociopath use this ability to create weird stuff happening to someone else.

    Example. I took the dog to get his hair straightened out, Emma arranged it. Her instructions, "Just go past the Kingdom Hall a bit and turn onto Locke Road, look for 4950."

    So I went past the Kingdom Hall and pretty quick I was on the highway out of town. Anyway, while I'm searching for a possible Locke Road and thinking how to turn round and what to do about this silly mess, a new 'Vette pulls up behind me and is tailgating me, very annoying at the best of times but worse when you're trying to concentrate on what is off to the side of the road.

    Turns out the driver isn't heading out the highway at all and he turns around when I did.

    So I got back down to the Kingdom Hall and turned down Maebelle, but I was sure there was no Locke Road off of Maebelle, checked as they went by, Highmoore Road, Brandon Avenue, no, now we're getting away from the Kingdom Hall altogether.

    So I turn back, thinking what to do and decided to phone Emma to get the hairlady to tell me where to go. I pulled back off of Maebelle and a truck had lost a package and was stopped at the side of the road while the driver was getting out to retrieve it.

    I ran over it.

    So anyways there's the sportscar going nowhere at the time I'm lost, and the truck losing a package just in time for me to run over.

    Anways, I got the hairlady's number and explained the instructions that I was given, "Past the Kingdom Hall a bit, 4950."

    She says, "Oh you were on the highway then, that's not the direction I was thinking, I was thinking Maebelle Road!"

    "There's no Locke Road off Maebelle Road."

    "I know, you have to go down Highmoore Road, it's easy because Highmoore Road only goes one way!"

    "Well, I was just there and I did hunt down Maebelle just in case Locke was off there, and Highmoore Road does go both ways!"

    "Oh yea, you're right, but the other way goes nowhere!" (brilliant)

    So, it took me fifteen minutes of hunting to find out my original instructions were rubbish, fifteen minutes of wondering why I was not finding a Locke Road a bit past the Kingdom Hall there, and two very strange incidents happening while I was feeling totally confused about not finding it.

    Certainly I wasn't looking for a tailgating 'Vette who appeared to be trying to shove me out of the way to get out the highway but really wanted to turn back, like I did. And I wasn't looking to wreck this trucker's package that he'd left loose on the flatbed.

    So, if you had to guess, was it me causing the twilight zone effect because I was in a confused state or was it Emma causing it because she knew Locke Road would remain lost to me without more info??


    I'm thinking that the Republican machine felt that they had the districts gerrymandered enough, had the voting fucked up enough, that they could manage, at the very least a tie, not including Florida, causing, at the very least a decision by the now even righter wing Supreme Court!

    The balance only has to tilt slightly for Republicans to get most of what they want passed by the Senate, a minority of Replicans, plus however many DINO Senators, plus Romney's compromise thingy, 'Throw them a very small bone every now and then', and the Dems. 'strategy' of not being giant assholes like the Reps. :o)

    Good guys finish last! Unfortunately they couldn't cast the ultrarich as the underdogs this time.

  148. Anyway, to me, the idea that these little coincidences happen for you all the time, that other peoples' lives, a newscaster getting a parrot on his shoulder, a guy with a parrot being in the studio, and/or the circumstances whereby you were brought to be telling a story about that particular parrot, it hardly seems to me that you are the controller of these coincidences.

    There seems to me to be a giant X factor, a giant uneplained X factor, maybe even inexplicable, even magical, involved whereby your life events cross some complete stranger's life events which may or may not involve him/her at the time of the coincidence.

  149. There is an X-factor. None of this is really technically 'real.' That's the 'X-factor.

  150. It might be this way; reality is like a huge fractal, and I produce 'strange attractors.' Like calls to like, in other words. Or if it's like a huge mind, similar ideas tend to come together.
    I always seem to be in a light mood, laughing, making a joke or just being amused when I think of or say the first thing, and then I get an echo. Humor or levity seems to provide extra energy to it somehow.

  151. "I create the coincidences. Because I believe that I can."

    Now this seems to me to be teetering off the edge into solipsism since the other actors and their motives are completely discounted.

    To me, solipsism can be discounted from the fact that we don't have free will, that it's just an illusion.

    We don't decide who we are born to and their circumstances, which is going to have some serious implications for us. They didn't decide the circumstances that they find themselves in either, and are lucky/unlucky enough to bring you up under those circumstances which are almost completely out of their control. (The economy collapsing, locally or broadly, religious influence contracting or imposing itself rigourously, natural events, drought, forest fires, harsh winters, hurricanes etc. etc. can all have life changing results for you that are 100% beyond your control)

    What are you left with? Oh, I can choose a Snicker's bar instead of a Mars bar, if the store isn't out of Snicker's bars, heh.

    Thing about choices(the default argument for free will), you don't get to choose which choices you have AT ALL. You can still argue for it by saying that even though we admit to limited choices depending on our circumstances which are beyond our control, the limited choices being beyond our control too, we can work within that framework and imagine that we control that which we are allowed to, therefore free will stands!

    Some total pricks imagine that we have enough control that we can actually choose to believe that which we think is fucking nonsense simply because, under their 'right' conditions they could force you to at least pretend to agree under threat of punishment. I'm thinking of the Inquision here of course.

  152. Maybe you're just not sure yourself but you seem to be happy with an answer that comes close to dealing with the words in my point but not the point of my comment at all. That thing about the X factor, for example, was supposed to point out how vague, how undefined your entire premise is, but you seem to be taking it as some sort of agreeing with you.

  153. I am not sure what you are specifically trying to get me to see. If it's that other people (including those on television for instance) play into my coincidences, well sure they do. I could take the solipsistic approach and think perhaps I'm the only intelligence in the universe, but there's another way to look at that. I am indeed the only intelligence in the universe, but so are you, and so was the man on TV with the parrot, and hey, so was the parrot... it's all interconnected below the level of our ability to perceive it. We're all one "organism," to borrow a term from biology.

  154. Hmm, so you're saying that it's completely deterministic, somehow you were slated to be one of the lucky ones who can peek behind the workings of reality-as-we-know-it(RAWKI), which may well be determined behind the curtain for the initiates to behold, so that, completely circularly btw, the initiates can see that RAWKI isn't real.

  155. Why would we as beings which are 'one' but 'separate' in the RAWKI need to see our real reality from the RAWKI point of view? Seems like a weirdly arbitrary way of hinting at the unrealness of RAWKI, don't you think?

  156. I had coincidences that I could not explain to my satisfaction and payed attention to them rather than ignoring them, and the rest followed from there. You want to cast me here as an egomaniac that feels special, go ahead, but it's not the way it is.

  157. I'm certainly not 'casting you' as anything at all. I'm addressing the subject. You want to cook up some kind of ad hom aimed at you just so you can denounce it, that's fine, but that's not the way it is.

    I'm trying to figure out how you imagine it works and I'm trying to think of, and then show you, so you can fill in the giant blanks between a coincidence occuring and how you get from there to RAWKI isn't real. Just exactly as you read it Brian, no insult, no smirking at you, nothing like that.

    Anyone who was interested in what you're saying would tend to ask for further explanation, but if you take my questions a certain way, and imagine they're just trying to make you feel bad, forcing you to reply in kind, then we're no longer discussing your topic, we're having a pissing contest, yes?

    OTOH, if you have thought of the answer to my questions and you're not just throwing ad hoc space-filler at me and religious sounding stuff like, "We are all separate but we're all one.", which is trivially true in many respects, since living beings are all alive, everything in the universe is part of the universe, even in the RAWKI.

    Maybe if you made a mind map? Get your thoughts on the subject in a row, IDK.

    I wanted to ask you about the Western Hermetic stuff, but I'm thinking that you are going to be expecting me to sneer or deride you, when in fact honest questions may sound like that although they're asked with the best of intentions.

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  159. This is not the site you're looking for, Anonymous, if that is your real name.

  160. I've been getting a lot of spam lately, must have gotten on a list or something.

    I wasn't thinking that you were attacking me, I just don't know how to answer you in any way that you will not see as ridiculous. I know how I see it but I can't communicate that in any way that you can take seriously, and by that I don't even mean you will deride it, just that you can't take it seriously because you are looking at reality and judging it by itself, which is logical from your POV... I propose that one cannot do that and see the real truth because it is the nature and even the purpose of this 'reality' that we perceive, to convince us that it is absolutely real and 'don't look behind that curtain!'

  161. And I'll happily answer any question that you may have on western ceremonial magic, otherwise known as hermetic magic. Named after Hermes Tresmegistus. (Likely a fictional being loosely based on the god Hermes)(The 'patron deity' of alchemists)

    I do not 'believe' in the western system any more than any other, but it provides effective mental imagery for me to employ, imagery that resonates with my little western-culture-nurtured mind. So instead of shit like 'chackras' and such, it's the tree-of-life, a similar but much more complex system... plus it uses imaginary beings such as angels and yes, Yahweh at the top, if you will. Although in this case the YHVH is more thought of as a formula for the manifestation of reality and not as a deity per se.
    It provides a structure to rituals, and rituals are self-imposed hypnotic suggestions accomplished by the acting out of the desired outcome in a meditative state.

    Anything more would be just details; that's really the important gist of it for me right there. But feel free to ask if you're curious.

  162. I've pretty much dropped using angels though... too silly even for me, even when they're nothing like the normal idea of angels and are considered more as personified forces.

  163. Is it your opinion that, since the coincidences are real, that the coincidence of the position of the constellations and planets are real too?

    If so why, if no, why?

  164. In a world that responds to belief, the belief in astrology can produce limited results for some... perhaps. It's kinda the same with the God thing in that respect; we tend to get confirmation of whatever we believe in. Only by getting confirmation of the very fact that we get confirmation of what we believe in can one puzzle out the mechanism, in other words, that reality just responds to belief. Personally I have limited actual beliefs; astrology is not one of them. I can't even honestly say that I totally believe that reality is based in consciousness; I just think it's the most likely suspect.

  165. Also, none of my coincidences involved planetary or astrological positions and so forth. I am quite certain that, had I been predisposed to a belief in astrology, my coincidences would have manifested more in line with that sort of thing. Instead they are about general things of no special significance, *other than the fact that I was thinking about them in a light-hearted manner.*

  166. In other words, I've met theists that get the coincidences due to depth of belief, and from that they see absolute proof of their god, and so their faith is even deeper, and then guess what? More coincidences. Now if I had just seen that in other people, and had seen their coincidences, I might have thought it was pretty powerful proof myself. However I have the coincidences with no faith in any deity, so from that I can deduce that it's not the deity, it's the faith. The belief. In most anything whatsoever.

  167. I should also note that since the formula is, just the belief causes the belief to get confirmation in some form from the "universe," then a materialistic logical atheistic person would get their own confirmation that they too are 'on the right track.' So I guess that means, watch out for that shit yourself...

  168. that the coincidence of the position of the constellations and planets are real too?
    What coincidence, is what I first wanted to ask in response. In other words (I guess since I'm not into astrology) I just see random stars myself. How about you?

  169. Any kind of belief can get *limited* results. There is only one belief that gets absolute results and that is belief in the current popular paradigm; in other words, science. There is too much energy behind that, too much invested and documented belief, to thwart it casually. It's like a skyscraper of belief, carefully constructed floor-by-floor, all parts constantly being refined and re-affirmed. No mystic will ever disprove science; science will however one day prove mysticism, if we're lucky enough to live that long as a species.

  170. "What coincidence...", "..of the position of the constellations and planets are real too..", coincidental with your life events of course, same as your life coinciding with the telly.

  171. Yeah, I don't even know how that would work. What, I just happen to be watching the movie "Skyfall" and a meteorite hits my house?

  172. What about that poor sod who was in his bed and the ground opened up and swallowed him? WTF?

    Who knows, if someone had performed a ritual, they'd be 'in the know' and the rest of us would be like, "WTF, strange things happen."

  173. Brian, there are some down sides to talking on this blog. I'm not saying that we shouldn't, but I'm inviting you to join facebook, you know, put up a couple of pics of whatever you're proud of or what you think is interesting, BUT, join our group, our private group, BASH, no-one else but fellow BASHers can see it.

  174. I'll join later on... not a member yet. Maybe tonight. Thanks!

  175. I was mixing it up with twitter... I'd join twitter, but I don't like the whole idea behind Facebook. So I guess I remain the Luddite in the mix.

  176. So are you saying that there's more to the confirmation bias than originally thought? I mean, basically if you believe in something, obviously you're going to look harder to find "proof" of the thing you believe in, and even try to explain the non-proof (or even stuff that kind of proves you a bit wrong) as convoluted instances of the thing you believe in.

    Not accusing you of anything, of course, but we've seen this happen with pretty much every belief, especially Christianity in the context of this blog.

  177. Yes, that's what I'm saying. Some believers get little things that seem to prove their belief, at least to them. I've actually met more than one christian that gets the coincidences and takes them as messages from god. I'd love to know what percentage of the faithful get them, but I know that at least some do.

  178. Now in my case, I'd like to think, getting the coincidences has only convinced me that reality is malleable enough to give people what they expect or at least as much as possible. If I'd gone into this as a theist, I hate to think what the coincidences might have convinced me of. As they are, they can only convince me of the fact that reality 'seeks to deceive' as it were.

  179. No. Reality is not malleable except in the sense that there are different time-frames, in fact we all have our unique micro-time-frame.

  180. I'm sure that you believe that, and that you get a lot of confirmation evidence for it.

  181. Well, I mean, reality, whatever it is it is real, right? And if it isn't the same from second to second or even from minute to minute, there's no such thing as reality, right, and that's unreal.