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    Thread: Life is a Illusion theory

    1. #1
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      Life is a Illusion theory

      I was thinking what if our lives were just brainwaves of nothingness that is getting more and more self aware each day?

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      In this case, what is 'nothingness'?
      Peace Be With You. Oh, and sure, The Force too, why not.



      "Instruction in Dream Yoga"

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      An interesting twist to this is the Orch OR theory of consciousness. In that theory I would relate 'nothingness' to a proto-consciousness being a fundamental fabric of the Planck scale and the universe is becoming more aware as its proto-consciousness manifests in our consciousness via collapse of the wave function.

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      @JustASimpleGuy
      I was thinking about a thing similar to waves, its some kind of wave in a void that looks like life. So that could be why reincarnation and afterlife is possible.
      But each point on the wave is a different life maybe?
      @sivason
      Just think about the afterlife when we die if there is nothing to look forward to. Just Black or in this case nothingness.

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      This is an interview with one of the co-authors of Orch OR. It's interesting stuff and I think at its core is somewhat along the lines of what you're thinking.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpUVot-4GPM

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      My view: The world as it appears to us in waking and in dreams is generally a virtual reality - "real life" in its essence is a dream.

      The following article from Naturalism.org - Dreaming explains this nicely - its a lot, but a fine read and very much on topic as I see it.
      Buddhist monks being able to burn themselves while sitting calmly on the streets is a good example for the possibility of transcending this "waking dream" as they mention later on.
      Enjoy!



      Getting Lucid about Consciousness

      – Experience might be a virtual reality –

      Waking up from a nightmare, you suddenly realize that what seemed real was in fact a dream. You were inhabiting a world cooked up by the brain, not realizing you were lying in bed. You were comprehensively deluded about your situation.

      In what are called lucid dreams, you become aware of the fact that you’re dreaming – you become undeluded. Knowing that you’re dreaming allows you to appreciate something quite remarkable while you are dreaming: that dream reality can be just as vivid and detailed as waking experience. Having had a few lucid dreams myself, I can testify, as have many others, that the dream world seems just as present, tangible and real as what we experience when awake.
      ....
      Should you ever have a lucid dream, you’ll discover what Moss says is true: the brain can construct a vivid virtual world in the absence of any perceptual input. It has the independent neural resources to build a complete, detailed phenomenological analog of reality, including ourselves as actors inside it. Ordinary dreams do this as well to some extent, it’s just that you’re not conscious of the fact. In lucid dreams, you are.

      As people learn about lucid dreaming, an interesting fact about the brain will become known: it is a virtual reality generator. But an even more remarkable fact is waiting in the wings: waking experience is virtual reality too.


      This seems daft on the face of it. When we’re awake, the world is solid, out there, a 3-dimensional reality with us walking around in it, looking at it, manipulating it. There’s nothing virtual about it. It’s clear that this is real reality, right?

      Well, it’s real as reality can get for a brain. As Thomas Metzinger, Antti Revonsuo, Rudolfo Llinas, V.S. Ramachandran and other neuroscientists and philosophers now surmise, consciousness is more or less the same thing when we’re awake as when dreaming. That is, the brain constructs a conscious phenomenal world, with ourselves as part of that world; this is what we experience, or rather is our experience. The difference between waking and dreaming experience is that the former is responsive to perceptual input coming in via the eyes, ears, and other sensory faculties while the latter is not. Both are virtual realities, but one has the crucial property of being constrained, in real time, by the real world outside the head.

      Dreams are often crazy and mixed up because they aren’t constrained in this way; they are what the brain does when left to its own devices, the body temporarily paralyzed in bed, all sensory systems shut down. In lucid dreams, because we know we are dreaming, we can choose to fly or walk through walls; we can do just about anything that isn’t logically impossible. But waking experience has to conform, boringly enough, to the requirements of negotiating our external physical and social environment, so our choices are considerably more limited. Hence the attractions of lucid dreaming.

      But still, despite what neurophilosophers tell us, it’s likely we will persist in supposing that when we’re awake the world is immediately given to us, that our experience is a direct window on the world, not a world unto itself. That’s how it feels after all, and it isn’t as if we ever wake up from our “dream” of waking experience. So it’s hard to really accept or believe the fact that we as experiencing subjects always inhabit – are actually an element of – a phenomenal world that the brain constructs. But having a lucid dream helps, because you see on a moment-to-moment basis that experience can be, and therefore might always be, a very convincing virtual reality.

      The difficulty in realizing the truth of our situation, of becoming undeluded about consciousness, is exactly what we should expect, suggests Thomas Metzinger in his book Being No One. He theorizes that consciousness centrally involves the fact that as cognitive systems we can’t directly grasp that the higher level, informationally integrated and behavior-controlling modeling of the world that the brain accomplishes is a model. Because we-the-system can’t see this, the model perforce becomes for us an untranscendable reality. The existence of the 3D world as we experience it from moment to moment in waking life is just that modeling of the world that we can’t directly recognize as a model. We therefore become, as he puts it, naďve realists; we feel we are in direct contact with reality.

      In a lucid dream, we recognize that the experience we are having is a construction, a virtual world. As much as we are having all sorts of fantastic experiences, we know in the back of our minds (and sometimes the front) that we are lying in bed. The truth about consciousness, perhaps, is that waking experience too is a construction, not a direct grasping of the world outside the head. Yes, we are actually walking around in the world, but our experience is generated by the brain just as it generates experience in a dream, but with constraints provided by sensory perception. Feedback from the world forces the brain to adopt a conscious reality-model, as Metzinger calls it, that works sufficiently well to guide behavior; this is what it means to consciously perceive the world. The reason it seems real – is real (as things can get for brains) – is that you don’t experience it as a model, the way you do in a lucid dream. We might (if we agree with Metzinger’s analysis) conceptually grasp waking experience as being a virtual reality, but we can’t experience it as such, that is, adopt a conscious perspective which directly sees waking experience for the construction that it is.

      This is why, for instance, severe pain is so excruciatingly real: you cannot for the life of you step outside what is ultimately a critical life-preserving representation provided by the pain system, one that is informing the larger system that it’s at imminent risk of damage or destruction. If you could experientially step outside it, take it as merely a representation, you might put your life at risk. Survival requires us to take some modelings of the world as untranscendably, dead-seriously real, such that we have no choice about it controlling our behavior.[2] Even in a lucid dream, the conscious self that realizes this experience is just a dream and therefore a model, doesn’t experience itself as a self-model, and so takes itself seriously – that is, as real.

      Having read this, you won’t find that your conscious experience of things being real, including your self, is in the least attenuated. Your subjective reality isn’t shaken because when we're awake the brain can’t achieve (at least not easily, see below) a perspective that directly discloses consciousness to be a virtual reality. We might attain a cognitive perspective on experience, a conceptual theory about it being a model, but that won’t uproot the subjective seriousness of phenomenology, and the theory neatly explains why.

      But it also might help explain why, in rare cases, individuals are able to act against what would seem to be the most forceful promptings of experience. Buddhist monks burned themselves to death in protest of the Vietnam war, sitting still in the midst of self-destruction. Possibly their monastic training had permitted them to attain the direct realization that waking experience, in particular the experience of self, is indeed a construction, such that they were no longer controlled by pain or the thought of death. Perhaps they had awoken, at least to some degree, from the “dream” of the waking virtual world. According to Metzinger, such an awakening would undermine the felt reality of experience (if indeed anything like experience was still happening), so there was no longer a real self to worry about, no pain that couldn’t be ignored. The monks might have been cognitive systems operating without much of an untranscendable reality-model, and for that reason were able to transcend the ordinary constraints of self-preservation.

      This gets at an important aspect of Metzinger’s theory, that consciousness is not an all or nothing affair but varies along several dimensions, one of which is the experienced presence of a world. In moments of extreme stress such as a car accident, the world can seem unreal or dreamlike, which is to say that consciousness is not fully activated on the dimension of presence. Similarly, ordinary, non-lucid dreams are less conscious than waking experience in several respects; for instance, the capacity for self-reflection is usually weak or absent, and of course the narrative coherence of the dream world is often severely compromised. In lucid dreams, oppositely, we become super-conscious along a dimension of experiential metarepresentation: we directly apprehend the fact that our current experience (except for the experience of self, as noted above) is a model.

      Lucid dreams help us to see that in being conscious we construct a simulated world, we do not directly grasp reality. This realization should keep us humble in our knowledge claims, especially those based primarily on uncorroborated personal experience. Our conscious subjective realities are very selective takes on what exists outside the head, versions of reality that have been shaped by evolution. We get closer to the way the world really is by engaging in the scientific project, which does its best to transcend the distorting effects of subjective realities, which are often colored by motivational biases and perceptual limitations. Science models the world not via a selective phenomenology, but via testable hypotheses that end up amalgamated into our best theories. From a scientific perspective, conscious experience is epistemically adequate for personal and social purposes, but not a particularly perspicacious rendering of reality. Both science and consciousness, however, are essentially representational projects, one collective, the other personal.

      Since the waking world isn’t always to our liking, it’s good to know that we can access alternative realities in lucid dreams, not to mention all manner of prosthetic worlds now made available by digital technology. However, although these are palpably virtual realities, which is to say we experience them as models in comparison to the serious business of waking life, our behavior with respect to virtual people can influence how we treat real people. How we conduct ourselves in these worlds and in our dreams reflects on our character, and can even help shape it, so we should act accordingly. Eventually we all get reality tested, acting in a world from which we cannot awake.

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      "...what we experience is our model of reality, not reality itself. Perception is dreaming constrained by sensory input. So it’s a constrained dream, whereas dreaming is perception free of constraint. What exactly is the difference experientially between the dream and waking state? And you see, it’s the same stuff. It’s all illusion! "Stephen LaBerge

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      If it came out of Stephen Laberge something about dreaming then it must be true.
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      Quote Originally Posted by JustASimpleGuy View Post
      An interesting twist to this is the Orch OR theory of consciousness. In that theory I would relate 'nothingness' to a proto-consciousness being a fundamental fabric of the Planck scale and the universe is becoming more aware as its proto-consciousness manifests in our consciousness via collapse of the wave function.
      Sounds like new age/quantumn version of Hegel
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      Always, no sometimes think it's me,
      But you know I know when it's a dream
      I think I know I mean a yes
      But it's all wrong
      That is I think I disagree

      -John Lennon


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      It's certainly based in quantum mechanics and put forth by two very serious and accomplished men. I doubt either would consider it New Age.

      Is it right? I have no clue, but it is an interesting theory. Only time will tell.
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      Quote Originally Posted by SearcherTMR View Post
      I will contribute with my signature!
      Hehe - yeah, your sig is the essence of my wall of text!

      Quote Originally Posted by JustASimpleGuy View Post
      An interesting twist to this is the Orch OR theory of consciousness. In that theory I would relate 'nothingness' to a proto-consciousness being a fundamental fabric of the Planck scale and the universe is becoming more aware as its proto-consciousness manifests in our consciousness via collapse of the wave function.
      Quote Originally Posted by JustASimpleGuy View Post
      It's certainly based in quantum mechanics and put forth by two very serious and accomplished men. I doubt either would consider it New Age.

      Is it right? I have no clue, but it is an interesting theory. Only time will tell.
      Yeah - if one hears quantum mechanics and mind, one comes to think of very dubious figures like Chopra, but this Orch OR is indeed not on the same level, its a legitimate attempt at explaining consciousness per underlying quantum effects in brain tissue.

      There are many problems with it, though, and while the last word on it seems not to have been spoken yet, its rather not holding up to scrutiny from the neuroscientific viewpoint. Their micro-tubules are not exactly behaving as they should, I gather.

      I do not think they are on the right track with this line of inquiry, like most the respective professions don't think so either.
      But in any way - it is not somebody talking out of their asses, throwing about with "big physics" catchphrases to delude the impressionable, its a serious hypothesis getting serious scientific attention.

      Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff
      Main article: Orchestrated objective reduction

      Theoretical physicist Roger Penrose and anaesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff collaborated to produce the theory known as Orchestrated Objective Reduction (Orch-OR). Penrose and Hameroff initially developed their ideas separately, and only later collaborated to produce Orch-OR in the early 1990s. The theory was reviewed and updated by the original authors in late 2013.

      Penrose's controversial argument began from Gödel's incompleteness theorems. In his first book on consciousness, The Emperor's New Mind (1989), he argued that while a formal proof system cannot prove its own inconsistency, Gödel-unprovable results are provable by human mathematicians. In the book he took this disparity to mean that human mathematicians are not describable as formal proof systems, and are not therefore running a computable algorithm.

      Penrose determined that wave function collapse was the only possible physical basis for a non-computable process. Dissatisfied with its randomness, Penrose proposed a new form of wave function collapse that occurred in isolation, called objective reduction. He suggested that each quantum superposition has its own piece of spacetime curvature, and when these become separated by more than one Planck length, they become unstable and collapse.

      Penrose suggested that objective reduction represented neither randomness nor algorithmic processing, but instead a non-computable influence in spacetime geometry from which mathematical understanding and, by later extension, consciousness derived.

      Originally, Penrose lacked a detailed proposal for how quantum processing could be implemented in the brain. However, Hameroff read Penrose's work, and suggested that microtubules would be suitable candidates.
      Microtubules are composed of tubulin protein dimer subunits. The tubulin dimers each have hydrophobic pockets that are 8 nm apart, and which may contain delocalised pi electrons. Tubulins have other smaller non-polar regions that contain pi electron-rich indole rings separated by only about 2 nm. Hameroff proposes that these electrons are close enough to become quantum entangled. Hameroff originally suggested the tubulin-subunit electrons would form a Bose–Einstein condensate, but this was discredited. He then proposed a Frohlich condensate, a hypothetical coherent oscillation of dipolar molecules. However, this too has been experimentally discredited.

      Furthermore, he proposed that condensates in one neuron could extend to many others via gap junctions between neurons, thus forming a macroscopic quantum feature across an extended area of the brain. When the wave function of this extended condensate collapsed, it was suggested to non-computationally access mathematical understanding and ultimately conscious experience, that are hypothetically embedded in the geometry of spacetime.

      However, Orch-OR made numerous false biological predictions, and is considered to be an extremely poor model of brain physiology. The proposed predominance of 'A' lattice microtubules, more suitable for information processing, was falsified by Kikkawa et al., who showed that all in vivo microtubules have a 'B' lattice and a seam. The proposed existence of gap junctions between neurons and glial cells was also falsified. Orch-OR predicted that microtubule coherence reaches the synapses via dendritic lamellar bodies (DLBs), however De Zeeuw et al. proved this impossible, by showing that DLBs are located micrometers away from gap junctions.
      In January 2014, Hameroff and Penrose announced that the discovery of quantum vibrations in microtubules by Anirban Bandyopadhyay of the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan in March 2013 confirms the hypothesis of the Orch-OR theory.

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      Personal experience vs Theory

      Someone very knowledgeable in Quantum Consciousness recommended me this book: http://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Shaman...sap_bc?ie=UTF8 . Check it out if you want to know actual truths and not theory.

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      More theorizing:

      In January 2014, Hameroff and Penrose announced that the discovery of quantum vibrations in microtubules by Anirban Bandyopadhyay of the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan in March 2013 confirms the hypothesis of the Orch-OR theory.
      If others can replicate their latest findings then I could well imagine, that they are on to something in terms of finding a mechanism by which the brain makes use of quantum effects.
      To pin mind and consciousness in essence down to quantum effects rather than to classical electrochemistry seems to be more spiritually pleasing to many, but it unfortunately wouldn't answer any of the really interesting questions about the how? just like that. We know about plants using quantum effects in photosynthesis, it has a mini-role, but it doesn't explain photosynthesis.
      We would be not much the wiser.
      Carry on.


      Edit: I need to take a look at their attempt at explanation once I find the time - thank you JustASimpleGuy, great pointer!!

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      Yup, I'm aware of all the criticism they've received. I have to respect the fact they put their theory, themselves and their reputations out there for critical review.

      The thing is however far we drive our science down to finer and finer granularities of reality, can we ever be certain we know it all? Won't we always to some degree question what's beyond the known? Can we ever be All Knowing? Omnipotent and infallible?

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      Be careful, stuart hameroff has ties with Deepak Chopra

      Most well *Self-respected* Scientists have a very emotional resistance to the ideas brought forward by Stuart Hameroff. they get extremely self-righteous and agressive in his vaccinity. It's a disgrace.

      If you with ur background can understand Microtubula. And quantum consciousness theory. I would love to have a discussion with you in the future. I personally have a hard time grasping it. It's extremely technical.
      Last edited by Dthoughts; 01-31-2015 at 07:37 PM.

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      I'm not a big fan of Deepak Chopra and yes, Stuart Hameroff has given him face-time. I don't think that necessarily detracts from his work, but it certainly doesn't bolster his credentials and to some calls his motivations into question.

      As far as most self-respected scientists seeming to have a built-in resistance to consciousness being anything but an emergent quality of a classic computational brain, that's unfortunate. I don't know the answer, but until it's proven one way or the other doesn't one have to at least keep an open mind and be critical without being dismissive?

      As for me, I don't have the scientific background to comment on the minutia of these concepts. I can examine them from a layman's perspective and wonder.

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      Quote Originally Posted by blazingnyancat View Post
      I was thinking what if our lives were just brainwaves of nothingness that is getting more and more self aware each day?
      I would say that, aslong as we try to see what IS, through thoughts. Then we never will be able to really understand reality or our true self. Thinking, sure is a important in some part for survival to prolonging ones physical form. But to think have at it's best, very little to do with living.

      So no matter what we think, thinking cant be anything else but a illusion or dream. Thinking serves merely as illusory pointers to be able to go beyond thinking for that, that thinks. So when we react to interact with each other through words, we are actually having a temporarily agreement within ourselfs, to engage in illusory brain-activity. And that mostly for various illusory reasons.
      You are not your thoughts...

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      I can see it as life being a illusion and our minds perception of life to be another layer of illusion. Our brain's may just create a perceived ownership when really we are likened to dream characters just playing out a role all inside a illusion. What creates the illusion can't be conceptualized because it has no need to be anything.

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      Anyone that tells you they understand Quantum Mechanics is fibbing.

      The main difference about this reality as compared to the dream is that there are quite a few more laws and rules that do not change, whereas in our dreams the nature of reality is very fluid. And I for one, keep friggin waking up here. It leads one to believe that we really do exist in this universe where the gravitational constant is 6.67384 × 10-11 m3 kg-1 s-2 (thanks google calc) if that were any different the universe would not be accepting of these meat machines we call bodes. Thing is, because of how improbable the laws in this universe are, it adds credit to the Multiverse theory, only a chance in the infinite could things have worked out the way they did to allow us to exist.

      Waking up from here is dreaming isn't it? In my experience when I become aware in a dream its like waking up?

      As for delving deeper into understanding our universe, it is possible we could end up all knowing. If we understand how and why particles behave then we can predict their movement through space and time. This would only happen if we get down to the very bottom which may take a while considering the current weight we believe the higgs to be. If we can predict the outcome at that kind of scale it could discredit free will or prove it that scares me a tad, I am glad we most likely wont have that knowledge in my lifetime. =) But considering our place in this universe so far I believe that we are the manifestation of said universe trying to understand itself, its existence and purpose.

      Here's an oldie but goodie

      “Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Heres Tom with the Weather.” Bill Hicks
      Last edited by Serinanth; 02-23-2015 at 11:06 AM.
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      His heart knows only virtue.
      His blade defends the helpless.
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      Impossible is only that which has yet to be imagined

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      lolol, liked that post way before reading the bill hicks quote but that piece of tekst you put there just makes me smile it's a lot like string theory that this young man on acid realized

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      Something like that. The standard Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory, positing an essentially observer-created universe, leaves lots of room for speculation. I guess information is a form of energy, too.
      "I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it.”

      Albert Einstein

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      I am mostly convinced that life is illusion at this point. My perspective may be a little different from OP. I dont know that I even believe in a real 'death'. My view on life is that everything is equivalent to dream. If one gets their arm chopped off in a dream they do not need to bleed. If shot we need not die. We WILL die if we believe so, but the next dream we awaken to will just be whatever we believe comes next. Some of us have died many times and then we just wake up, in a bed in another dream somewhere thinking it was only a bad dream in which we died.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Serinanth View Post
      Anyone that tells you they understand Quantum Mechanics is fibbing.
      I can't tell if this is a joke or not, but if it is, why do you say that? A normal person who does not devote their life to its study is still capable of understanding the basic premise behind it.

      Quote Originally Posted by blazingnyancat
      I was thinking about a thing similar to waves, its some kind of wave in a void that looks like life. So that could be why reincarnation and afterlife is possible.
      But each point on the wave is a different life maybe?
      Sounds exactly like stuff from quantum physics as others have stated. Things exist in a wave pattern until collapsing to single points like particles and whatnot. I've thought about this a lot myself already. It's fair to say that you're a different set of an amount of electrical charge that equates to who you are with each moment it exists, so in a sense in each planck time you are a new instance of yourself. Even if you were to make an exact clone of yourself at one specific point of time and both of you exist, they would both be "you" but only because you were both the same person up until the point at which your conscious diverged into two separate beings with two separate perspective and sets of matter. As far as either one is concerned, they are the "original" copy because as far as their memories are concerned, they are identical until the point of time of the clone's inception. If you were to die seconds before the clone is produced, the clone would remember dying and then suddenly coming back to life, but for all intents and purposes they are not the "original" you. But if only one of you exists at a time, why would that matter? And considering personalities, world outlooks, perspectives, physical states, and beliefs all change even over very shorts amount of time, you might as well actually be a new you for each new instance of time that you exist. So essentially there is no original you.

      In that sense, a you could and always does live again at another point of time, and if the universe goes in cycles it would be fairly safe to assume at least during one of those cycles and really an infinite amount because there are infinite cycles where "you" do exist again just as you do now, an infinite where minute changes occur during your life time, an infinite where drastic changes occur, and an infinite where you never exist at all. Each time "you" come back you would be totally unaware that "you" had existed before. The only reason we can from moment to moment is again, due to memory.

    24. #24
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      Cool. Yes. Then what? How to be? How to act? Toward what? What values or ethics to cultivate? What goals?

      Is there such a thing as "quantum ethics"? Quantum values? Why not?
      Last edited by Posquant; 08-29-2016 at 04:12 AM.
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      "I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it.”

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    25. #25
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      I feel the illusion is that there is only one physical universe to speak of. In actuality there "may" be a physical multiverse just outside of our perceptions of reality. When we say we are dreaming, we might be observing reality on a quantum scale where all the weird and interesting stuff happens.~namaste


      "when you fall unconscious, what your mind expresses is a dream.
      When you are aware, what your mind expresses is creativity. It creates your life.
      When you are in a higher state of consciousness, it not only creates the life of whatever you want, but also on whom ever you want". -LifeBlissFoundation

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