Consciousness and the Paranormal
The concept of consciousness and its relation to the paranormal is far from a new one, in fact its a concept that one of the founding fathers of the Society for Psychical Research raised in his book ‘Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death’ back in the early 1900’s. Frederick Myers wrote a considerable amount on the subject, which wasn’t published until after he’s death.
The question of whether consciousness survives death is actually one of the ‘hard questions’ out there. Although the question itself is slightly flawed by the fact that a definitive explanation of consciousness is still to be found. Thus without that how we will truly define it as surviving death will always be just beyond our reach.
So, if you’re searching for spirits or ghosts, interested in the afterlife, then you are already looking at whether our consciousness may survive death. See, its a hard question isn’t it?
There’s a little more on the survival of consciousness in a previous post of mine here – The Survival of Human Consciousness After Bodily Death Hypothesis
The Brain and the Mind
One of the things I often read about in relataion to the concepts of consciousness is whether the brain and the mind are one of the same thing or actually two separate things. This has been a point of debate for many years and troubled a lot of great minds too.
Obviously the brain is the physical part that we all have, the part which logically makes sense as holding our memories, our thoughts, our feelings and where we make our decisions. If you look into a little neuroscience, as you do, then there does appear to be a direct relationship with changes to the physical brain and when we learn new things for example. In fact there is lots we now know about the physiological make up of the brain and where particular functions can be found, which in turn suggests that perhaps consciousness or at least its process may be found there. However there are certain concepts which could place it elsewhere, some of which reside in the realms of the paranormal.
The concept of the mind residing beyond our physical body again isn’t new and actually does explain quite a bit. However this is often highlighted by more paranormal aspects such as out of body experiences, near death experiences, telepathy and many more. This has also been given many different examples over the years too, more recently it has been represented in relation to our brain being a kind of receiver, like a TV and the mind is the signal it receives. I’ve used the concept that many of us are becoming familiar with these days, which is that of the ‘cloud’, just like smartphones uploading their information to the cloud our brain uploads information to the collective unconscious where the mind possibly resides.
These duel concepts often try to show that although the brain function exists and clearly changes according to what we may know, the information, the experiences we have, our memories are also shared with a part of a greater network ‘the collective unconscious’. All of which suggests a probable link between us all, at least on a telepathic level. That said links between us all exist in other theories too, the Gaia Theory for example suggests we are all working parts of a greater system. DNA shows connections between each of us and beyond that to animals and plants too. Jung’s synchronicity also shows probable links between us all too. There have also been more recent studies using Random Number Generators which may suggest that during significant events collective consciousness may be synchronised. Fundamentally there appears to be quite a bit out there suggesting a link.
So Where Can It Be Found?
This is the ‘hard question’, remember it from earlier? The brain is physical and measurable, which is what we prefer to deal with really, but the mind is a little less easier to locate. Many used to place it in the ether, but what or where the ether is still escapes us.
Frederick Myers suggested a place where the soul may exist that was beyond or even after the ether, he called it the Metetherial. This got me thinking a little, well a lot really. Perhaps we have been looking for consciousness in the wrong place! More recently as I have been reading Thomas Fuscos book ‘Beyond the Cosmic Veil’ this question has resurfaced as I try to get my head around he’s model that suggests an explanation for paranormal phenomena.
Right, stay with me now!
Fusco’s model suggests the concept of information or blueprints as he calls them actuating into physical reality. He obviously describes this in a book full of explanation, which does so in a way that is far better than I ever could. Fusco looks at the mechanism behind how this actuation occurs, which then attempts to help us understand why certain things occur during a paranormal experience. Like temperature changes, light anomalies, air flow, etc. This all starts in place that is not our physical reality, which then becomes physical after it crosses the light barrier. Again I’m not doing the theory justice here.
The important thing to take away from this is that, they come from a non-physical reality where clearly the access to the these ‘blueprints’ exists. Perhaps a place of information? Oddly to me, Fusco may disagree, this sounds very similar to the Akashic Records concept.
Now what if this place was also similar to another dimension or even an additional dimension to our four dimensional existence that has been suggested by such theories as String Theory or M Theory? Perhaps Myers Metetherial is the same place that Fusco is suggesting?
What Does This Mean For Consciousness?
Right, here’s my Psi Theory mind dump on the possible location of consciousness! Perhaps our consciousness exists in this realm suggested by Fusco and Myers, in which information is present rather than a physical aspect. This would also be where Jung’s Collective Unconscious would be located too. Which means if we take into consideration that we each have access to this place at a quantum level possibly due to how our brain in the physical world and our mind in the metetherial world are entangled with each other. This would perhaps explain how information is transferred instantaneously between the two, but also given the right circumstances perhaps even suggest how in some situations information in this realm could be actuated into our physical reality. A great example being apports.
I wonder if information is like energy, in that it transforms rather than ceasing to exist? Perhaps that’s the key? If this is equally true then perhaps paranormal events occur due to us triggering the actuation of the information from this realm into reality somehow?
As Myers suggests with his Metetherial, then perhaps consciousness continues to exist beyond death by the possibility that it resides in this other realm entangled to the physical. When the physical ceases to exist then the non-physical information remains. On occasion this information may also become entangled with other physical parts too, then you have the concept of the Stone Tape perhaps.
Oddly placing consciousness in a non-physical dimension made of information actually kind of works. I get the distinct feeling that I am not quite done with this idea just yet.