In december 2008, it was reported that Swedish Scientists have managed to make people believe that they inhabit a different body to their own.
Perceptual Illusion of Body Swapping
Scientists fool people into thinking mannequin`s body was their own
The scientists fitted the head of a shop dummy with cameras connected to small screens placed in goggles worn by the subject.
So the subjects saw what the dummy "saw".
A scientist touched the stomach of both the subject and the dummy with sticks.
The subject could see that the mannequin's stomach was being touched.
The subject could feeling but not see something on his stomach.
The subject developed a feeling that the mannequin's body was his own.
"This shows how easy it is to change the brain's perception of the physical self," said Henrik Ehrsson of the Karolinska Institute medical university.
"It's possible to fool the self not only out of its body but into other bodies too."
There is a question about whether or not consciousness exists outside the body.
Believers in Reincarnation would suggest that consciousness survives death.
From: http://paraps.l/ we learn the following:
Brain specialists, Prof. J.C.Eccles, Dr.Wilder Penfield and Prof.W.H.Thorpe have stated that the brain appears to be an organism to register and channel consciousness rather than produce it.
"The brain is messenger to consciousness", Eccles said.
David J.Chalmers Ph.D. writes in the Scientific American (1997):
Consciousness, the subjective experience of an inner self, could be a phenomenon forever beyond the reach of neuroscience. Even a detailed knowledge of the brain's workings and the neural correlates of consciousness may fail to explain how or why human beings have self-aware minds.
The Lancet of 15th December 2001 published an extensive Near Death Experience (NDE) study by Pim van Lommel, MD, cardiologist at Rijnstate Hospital in Arnhem, Netherlands.
A patient saw during a NDE, besides his deceased grandmother, another man who looked at him full of love. Yet he did not know him.
More than ten years later he learned that he was born out of wedlock with a Jewish man during WW2.
This man was deported and killed.
When he was shown a photo of his biological father he recognised him as the man he had seen ten years before during his NDE
From the Telegraph (http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/l) we learn:
Soul-searching doctors find life after death
By Jonathan Petre, 22/10/2000
THE first scientific study of "near-death" experiences has found new evidence to suggest that consciousness or the "soul" can continue to exist after the brain has ceased to function.
The findings by two eminent doctors, based on a year-long study of heart attack survivors, could provoke fresh controversy over that most profound of questions: is there life after death?
Reports of "near-death" experiences, in which people close to death have vivid encounters with bright lights and heavenly beings, date back centuries, but the phenomenon has been treated with scepticism by most academics.
The new study concludes, however, that a number of people have almost certainly had these experiences after they were pronounced clinically dead.
This would suggest that the mind or consciousness can survive the death of the brain - a conclusion that was hailed by clerics last night as supporting religious faith...
Based on interviews with survivors of heart attacks at Southampton General Hospital's cardiac unit, the new study is to be published in the respected medical journal Resuscitation next year.
The study's authors, Dr Peter Fenwick, a consultant neuropsychiatrist at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, and Dr Sam Parnia, a clinical research fellow and registrar at Southampton hospital, stress that more research is needed.
"So it might hold an answer to the question of whether mind or consciousness is actually produced by the brain or whether the brain is a kind of intermediary for the mind, which exists independently."
Dr Fenwick said: "If the mind and brain can be independent, then that raises questions about the continuation of consciousness after death. It also raises the question about a spiritual component to humans and about a meaningful universe with a purpose rather than a random universe."
During the study period, 63 cardiac arrest patients survived and were interviewed within a week. Of those, 56 had no recollection of their period of unconsciousness, a result that might have been expected in all cases.
Seven survivors, however, had memories, although only four passed the Grayson scale, the strict medical criteria for assessing near-death experiences.
These four recounted feelings of peace and joy, time speeded up, heightened senses, lost awareness of body, seeing a bright light, entering another world, encountering a mystical being and coming to a "point of no return".
Three of them described themselves as non-practising Anglicans while the fourth was a lapsed Roman Catholic.
By examining medical records, the researchers said the contention of many critics that near-death experiences were the result of a collapse of brain functions caused by lack of oxygen were highly unlikely. None of those who underwent the experiences had low levels of oxygen.
Researchers were also able to rule out claims that unusual combinations of drugs were to blame because the resuscitation procedure in the hospital unit was the same in every case.
Dr Parnia, who was trained at the Guys and St Thomas' medical school, University of London, said: "I started off as a sceptic but, having weighed up all the evidence, I now think that there is something going on.
"Essentially, it comes back to the question of whether the mind or consciousness is produced from the brain. If we can prove that the mind is produced by the brain, I don't think there is anything after we die because essentially we are conscious beings.
"If, on the contrary, the brain is like an intermediary which manifests the mind, like a television will act as an intermediary to manifest waves in the air into a picture or a sound, we can show that the mind is still there after the brain is dead. And that is what I think these near-death experiences indicate."
Psychic & Spirit Magazine had an article on 'Divination The Tarot And Quantum Physics', by Cilla Conway, on Mar 16, 2005. (http://www.psychicsahar.com/l )
Conway points out that in the world of Quantum Physics we find: "quantum probabilities and organized chaos ...
"a world where matter may exist and not exist at the same time, where our perception of all these phenomena can bring them into existence, or change them...
"Below all this chaos, there is an underlying unity: an energy or ‘field’ that exists throughout the universe....
"All matter in the universe can now be seen as interconnected by waves of energy. Matter itself is part of the same energy field – in other words there is no division between the material and the immaterial...
The 'field' "implies information exchange, as well as energy exchange, and could therefore provide instantaneous communication.
"The phenomena we call ... paranormal, such as telepathy, telekinesis,... and other oracular devices, foresight, intuition, and dreams, would just be part of this exchange, as we are part of The Field.
"As mystics have said for millennia, there is no separation. Equally important, this also corroborates the metaphysical tenet – that we create our own reality...
"Physics and mysticism are beginning to talk the same language: no longer are we considered to be a separate part of existence, nor is mind seen as separate from body. Some physicists even say that the cosmos is not only affected by consciousness, but is consciousness.
"As Lynne Taggart says, the physicists’ ‘work suggested a decentralized but unified intelligence that was far grander and more exquisite than Darwin or Newton had imagined, a process that was not random or chaotic, but intelligent and purposeful.’
"This gets close to saying that the human mind is an integral part of what we call deity – a super-conscious Creator."
Does GOD exist?
Anthony Flew, a philosophy professor who has been an atheist for more than 50 years, has decided that God may exist after all. He believes scientific evidence supports the theory that some sort of intelligence created the universe. (http://www.guardian.co.ukl/ )
Flew argues that the investigation of DNA "has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce life, that intelligence must have been involved."
But, how can a God, who is all powerful, all knowing and all good, allow a tsunami to wipe out thousands of people?
The answer seems to be that if there is a God, that God is not necessarily the sort of God described by most churches.
So, if God exists, what is God like?
According to Dr Robert Beckford, a committed pentecostal Christian and a reader in theology at Birmingham University, the Bible may not have all the answers.
In a British Channel 4 documentary on 25 December 2004 Beckford said: 'The so-called law of Moses turns out to be the work of many human hands. What I once thought was the word of God was now beginning to sound like something out of Stalin's Russia.'
Beckford produced archaeological evidence to suggest that the kingdoms of David and Solomon did NOT dominate the 10th century BC, as the Bible claims.
He declared the New Testament a 'masterwork of spin written by people who were nowhere near the events they describe, all gathered by powerful editors who kept out ideas they did not like'.
Does anyone have the answers?
To Carl Jung, God may be an evolving being.
Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung (1875 - 1961) said in Memories, Dreams, Reflections:
"If the Creator were conscious of Himself, He would not need conscious creatures; nor is it probable that the extremely indirect methods of creation, which squander millions of years upon the development of countless species and creatures, are the outcome of purposeful intention.
"Natural history tells us of a haphazard and casual transformation of species over hundreds of millions of years of devouring and being devoured.
"The biological and political history of man is an elaborate repetition of the same thing. But the history of the mind offers a different picture. Here the miracle of reflecting consciousness intervenes."
French theologian and scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) also sees God as an evolving thing. De Chardin argues that all things are evolving and the unity of the universe is grounded not in matter or energy but spirit.
The Buddhists keep a noble silence on the subject of God.
Taoists say that the Tao which can be described in words is not the real Tao.
Even Jesus spoke about God mainly in parables.
Physicist David Bohm believes that life and consciousness are present in varying degrees in all matter, including supposedly inanimate matter such as electrons or plasmas.
He suggests that there is a protointelligence in matter, so that new evolutionary developments do not emerge in a random fashion but creatively as relatively integrated wholes from implicate levels of reality. ("David Bohm and the Implicate Order" by David Pratt)
According to The Upanishads, the Hindu New Testament:
God is within all the created world (immanent) and outside all the created world (transcendent).
God creates matter out of himself.
God becomes immanent (within all) until the end of evolution when the immanent has all again become transcendent (outside the created world).
The created world evolves into the transcendent God.
For the joy of creation.
Why is there evil?
For the joy of good arising from it.
That the light may shine more.
For the instruction of the soul and the joy of sacrifice.
Why the infinite play of creation and evolution?
For pure joy.
The more the lower self is forgotten in good works, and in the realisation of the beautiful and the true, the quicker becomes the process of evolution.
Amazon.com: The Upanishads (Penguin Classics): Books: Anonymous ...
Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species was published in 1859.
The next section is taken from from: http://www.gennet.org/facts/metro22.html
Darwin Didn't Discover Evolution or Natural Selection
by David N. Menton, Ph.D.
The French astronomer and mathematician Pierre de Maupertuis (1698-1759) is generally credited with being among the first to have developed an essentially modern theory of evolution which included a process of random change (mutation) and natural selection.
In his book Essaie de Cosmologie he said: "Chance one might say, turned out a vast number of individuals; a small proportion of these were organized in such a manner that the animals organs could satisfy their needs. A much greater number showed neither adaptation nor order; These last have all perished - thus the species which we see today are but a small part of all those that a blind destiny has produced."
Why did giraffes get long necks? Lamarck suggested that the long neck is attributed to the frequent stretching of the neck as giraffes reached for food.
Jean Baptiste de Lamarck (1744-1829) ... proposed in 1809 two principles that purported to explain the source of the variation that led to new and useful structures in living organisms.
The first of these - called the "law of use and disuse" -- proposed that new organs (or modification of old ones) arise spontaneously through need satisfied by "use" and, accordingly, disappear through "disuse."
The second - called the "law of inheritance of acquired characteristics" -- proposed that physical characteristics acquired by "use" are passed on to offspring. These so-called "laws" are perhaps best illustrated by the popular example of the giraffe's neck.
According to Lamarck, the giraffe once had a neck no longer than that of a zebra, but as the early giraffes stretched their necks to feed from the highest limbs of a tree, their necks got longer and longer (as a result of use based on need). This acquired trait was then presumably passed on to subsequent generations of giraffes who would be born with long necks.
In 1831 Patrick Matthew developed a theory of natural selection nearly thirty years before the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species in 1859.
Matthew was born on a farm in Scotland in 1790.
From: Patrick Matthew
Educated at the University of Edinburgh, Matthew traveled widely in Europe, but spent most of his life on his estate in Scotland, where he owned and managed an orchard of over 10,000 fruit trees. He died on June 8, 1874. Matthew is an obscure figure in the history of evolutionary thought; relatively little is known about his life. He was not a trained scientist, and his evolutionary insights lie buried in the middle of his books and articles on agriculture and politics...
Matthew's theory lacked Darwin's concept of evolution as an ongoing, continuous process. Matthew did not see evolution as the gradual accumulation of favorable variations leading to adaptation, nor did he believe in extinction except by catastrophe.
Matthew saw species as classes of similar organisms, not as interbreeding populations. He also never relinquished his belief in natural theology: he wrote to Darwin in 1871 that "a sentiment of beauty pervading Nature. . . affords evidence of intellect and benevolence in the scheme of Nature. This principle of beauty is clearly from design and cannot be accounted for by natural selection." The phrase quoted above, "There is more beauty and unity of design in this continual balancing of life to circumstance," sums up Matthew's attitude to natural selection: it showed the workings of Providence, of the designed laws of nature.
In February of 1858, ... Alfred Russel Wallace suddenly, and rather unexpectedly, connected the ideas of Thomas Malthus on the limits to population growth to a mechanism that might ensure long-term organic change.
This was the concept of the "survival of the fittest," in which those individual organisms that are best adapted to their local surroundings are seen to have a better chance of surviving, and thus of differentially passing along their traits to progeny.
Excited over his discovery, Wallace penned an essay on the subject as soon as he was well enough to do so, and sent it off to Darwin.Darwin's Origin of the Species was published in 1859.
Wallace was a believer in spiritualism. He saw spiritualism as the best way of accounting for the overall direction of evolution at the moral and intellectual level.
In a collection of essays that were published in 1870, Wallace claimed that natural selection was not a strong enough process to have brought about the human race.
Wallace said you needed a Supreme Intelligence.