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There is one experience that brings joy or happiness to every living being. The experience of love.

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Books

Book Of Secrets

Book Of Secrets
2005 Nautilus Book Award Grand Prize Winner! New York Times Best Seller! Every life is a book of secrets, ready to be opened. The secret of perfect love is found there, along with the secrets...

NEW Spiritual Solutions by Deepak Chopra(Hardcover)

NEW Spiritual Solutions by Deepak Chopra(Hardcover)
Spiritual Solutions: Answers to Life's Greatest Challenges ( AUDIOBOOK Available )  "Great advice directly from the master on virtually any subject, it just doesn't get any better...

Super Brain by Deepak Chopra, MD & Rudy Tanzi, MD (Hardcover)

Super Brain by Deepak Chopra, MD & Rudy Tanzi, MD (Hardcover)
Learn about Deepak Chopra and the Chopra Center's Super Brain dietary supplement - Ayurvedic Brain Support NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Super Brain by Deepak Chopra, MD & Rudy...

Brotherhood - by Deepak & Sanjiv Chopra (Hardcover)

Brotherhood - by Deepak & Sanjiv Chopra (Hardcover)
BROTHERHOOD Dharma, Destiny, and the American Dream DEEPAK & SANJIV CHOPRA   “BROTHERHOOD is an uplifting account of sibling affection and success, and of the promise and infinite...

Ten Poems to Change Your Life

Ten Poems to Change Your Life
ABOUT THE BOOK: This is a dangerous book. Great poetry calls into question not less than everything. It dares us to break free from the safe strategies of the cautious mind. It opens us to pain...

Joyful Wisdom

Joyful Wisdom
ABOUT THEBOOK: Yongey Mingyur is one of the most celebrated among the new generation of Tibetan meditation masters, whose teachings have touched people of all faiths around the world. His first...

Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui

Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui
ABOUT THE BOOK: Feng Shui is the ancient oriental art of enhancing and harmonizing the flow of energy in your surroundings.  Over the last twenty years, Karen Kingston has pioneered the study...

GOD: A Story of Revelation (Hardcover)

GOD: A Story of Revelation (Hardcover)
“God is an empty term except through the revelations of all the saints, prophets, and mystics of history. They exist to plant the seeds of spirituality as a direct experience rather than a...

Soul of Leadership (Hardcover)

Soul of Leadership (Hardcover)
ABOUT THIS BOOK Leadership is the most crucial choice one can make—it is the decision to step out of darkness into the light.      Bestselling author and spiritual guide Deepak Chopra invites...

Events

 
 
 
January 05 2012

The "Quantum Soul" Part1 - Brain, Mind, and Near-Death Experiences

Category:  Spirituality , Science

Writtenby Stuart Hameroff and Deepak Chopra

The idea that conscious awareness can exist after bodily death, generally referred to as the "soul," has been inherent in Eastern and Western religions for thousands ofyears. In some traditions, memories and awareness may be transferred after death to other lifetimes: reincarnation. In addition to beliefs based on religion, innumerablesubjects have reported conscious awareness seemingly separating from the subject'sbrain and physical body.

This occurs in conjunction with so-called near death experiences (NDEs), most typically in patients who have been resuscitated after cardiac arrest (e.g., van Lommel et al. 2001; Parnia et al. 2007). Such patients describe remarkably consistent phenomenology including visions of a white light, being in atunnel, feelings of serenity, conversing with deceased loved ones, life review and, in some cases, floating out of the body (out-of-body experiences - OBEs). Frequently,NDE/OBE patients also report a subsequent loss of the fear of death, and tend to bemore serene and accepting of life's vicissitudes (Chopra 2006).

Somewhat comparable experiences have been reported in various types ofmeditative and altered states, as well as traumatic psychological events, or seeminglywithout cause. A Gallup poll estimated some ten million Americans havereported some form of NDE/OBE (Chopra 2006). The drug ketamine, used as a"dissociative" anesthetic, can produce subjective reports of conscious awarenessoutside the body (Jansen 2000), as can various other psychoactive drugs. But subjective reports of drug-induced effects are distinctly different from those of NDEsl
OBEs (Greyson 1993).

Unable to explain NDEs/OBEs, modern science on the whole ignores and deridessuch reports as unscientific folly, illusions due to stimulation of particular brainregions (Blanke et al. 2004), or hallucination due to hypoxia (lack of oxygen;Blackmore 1998). But in response one can point out: (1) subjective reports of illusionsof body image are quite limited and completely different from NDE/OBE descriptions, (2) hypoxic patients are agitated, not serene, and do not form memory, and (3) modem science cannot explain normal, in-the-brain consciousness.

This last point is critical. NDEs/OBEs are particular types of subjective conscious awareness, in some way akin to our everyday conscious experience (includingdreams). How the brain produces consciousness remains unknown.The prevalent modem scientific approach to consciousness casts the brain as abiological computer, with 100 billion neurons and their axonal firings and synapticconnections acting as information networks of "bit" states and switches. Variabilityin synaptic strengths mediated by chemical neurotransmitters shapes network activity
and enables learning and intelligent functions (Hebb 1949; Crick and Koch 2001;2004). This "brain-as-computer" view is able to account for complex nonconscious cognitive functions including perception and control of behavior. Such nonconscious cognitive functions are described as "zombie modes," "auto-pilot," or "easy problems" (Koch and Crick 2001; Hodgson 2007; Chalmers 1996). The "easiness" derives from the apparent cause-and-effect between specific computationalfunctions of brain neurons, and actions and behavior which do not involveconscious will or phenomenal experience.

The "hard problem" (Chalmers 1996) is the question of how cognitive processesare accompanied or driven by phenomenal conscious experience. Despite detailed understanding of neuronal firings, synaptic transmissions, neurotransmitter chemistry,and neuronal computation, there is no accounting for conscious experience, the"self," free will or "qualia" - the essence of experienced perceptions. How can the5 The "Quantum Soul": A Scientific Hypothesis 81redness, texture, and fragrance of a rose, the experiential world, derive from datastreams and electrochemical activity?

The answer according to most views in modern science is that consciousnessemerges from a critical (but unspecified) level of neuronal computational complexity.In nonlinear dynamics, new properties do emerge in hierarchical systems, but suchsystems abound in nature and technology without consciousness. (e.g., weather patterns, the internet). The notion that computational complexity per se can account for consciousness may be mere wishful thinking.

The brain-as-neuronal-computer view has three problems.

1. Because brain synaptic computation correlating with sensory processing oftenoccurs after we have responded to that sensory input (seemingly consciously), the conventional view in modern science is that consciousness occurs after-thefact,and that conscious control is an illusion, consciousness is merely along for the ride (Dennett 1991; Wegner 2002). Apparently we are, as T.H. Huxley (1893)famously said, "helpless spectators".

2. The best measurable correlate of consciousness (gamma synchrony EEG) doesnot derive from synaptic computation. Synchronized electroencephalography (EEG) in the gamma range of 30-90 cycles per second (Hertz, "Hz") occurs invarious brain regions at different times concomitant with consciousness (Gray and Singer 1989a,b; Engel et al. 1991; Singer 1995; 1999). Gamma synchronyrequires networks of neurons interconnected not only by axon-to-dendrite chemicalsynapses, the basis for recognized neuronal computation, but dendrite-todendrite gap junction electrical synapses (Christie and Westbrook 2006;Dermietzel 1998). One unconventional view is that gap junctions in various neuronsopen and close, enabling mobile zones of gamma synchrony to move about the brain, mediating consciousness (Hameroff 2006; 2010).

3. As cells, neurons are far more complex than simple switches. Consider the unicellularParamecium which can swim around, find food and mates, avoid obstacles,learn and have sex, all without a single synaptic connection. Artificial intelligence (AI) efforts to simulate brain function have yet to simulate anything as intelligent and nimble. Paramecium utilizes intelligent organizational functionsof cytoskeletal lattice polymers called microtubules (Sherrington 1953).

These same microtubules form the internal structure of brain neurons, regulatesynapses and disintegrate in Alzheimer's disease (e.g. Brunden et al. 2011). Microtubule information processing may underlie neuronal function.Unable to explain consciousness in the brain, conventional science ignoresapparent evidence for NDEs/OBEs, rejecting even the possibility of their occurrence.There are, however, unconventional but scientifically valid approaches toconsciousness, which may address the three problems described above, and accommodate
NDEs/OBEs as well as possible conscious awareness after bodily death.Such approaches explore strata of nature at an even finer scale than the chemical reactions and electrical signals relied upon by neuroscience, seeking convincinganswers at the quantum level instead.

Read Part2 here.

Top comments

  • If consciousness returns to zero to `reshuffle` the universe, it gets an overview of `results` so far and a hint for the truth to be lived in the next life. When you are aware of this during meditation or during a dream and can (re) integrate this in your life, you are able to live it in the assurance that you are protected, no matter what. Either you return to go on with the present life, or you are reborn to remember, eventually, your next goal to occupy your Self with. Once experienced such a "NDE" or whatever they call it, you are not afraid anymore and you know that whatever you encounter, you can handle it!! It has given me a wide variety of creativity, opened to me in the several stages of life a human being goes trough. Always giving the right solution at the right time. Well, what can I say, there are numerous videos nowadays on the Internet that confirm this in one way or another. No one has to be afraid anymore for living his/her own truth!!

    heartphone // 2012-01-05 11:28:29 // //
  • At the end of the day, nothing belongs to me and I surrender to sleep in the conviction that I will awake in the morning. That in itself is already the biggest miracle there is. However, everyone has been given a protection shield around himself, his/her own personal environment. With this protection shield one keeps the inner personality while being One with its surroundings. Am a fan of Pierre Teilhard the Chardin, who spoke of this very clearly.

    heartphone // 2012-01-06 13:32:22 // //

 

 

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  • Our Universe can never be understood from material perspective. We have to include life into it. All Life has a "INNER SPACE-TIME" field or "PARALLEL SPACE-TIME FIELD" that Einstein searched for, where gravity is converted into anti-gravity. This is the "CONSCIOUS FIELD". Just as "SPACE-TIME FIELD" of Einstein forms the backbone linking the material world, life is sustained by its inner "SPACE-TIME FIELD" that links the living world and works opposite to the material world. We are now seeing a "SECOND SPACE-TIME FIELD" that co-exist with material space-time field that Einstein presented to us. In short the space-time field in which "OBSERVER" and "ENQUIRER" exists is paired. This "LIVING SPACE-TIME FIELD" forms the real and dominant back bone of the Universe we see. When time in material space-time directs to gravitational collapse, the time in "LIVING-SPACE-TIME" opposes thus giving sustenance to the system. The "LIVING SPACE-TIME FIELD" is the source of creativity and sustenance of the universe. This is the "CONSCIOUS FIELD" that was known to ancient. Everything in the universe is vibrant and conscious. The material world vibrates and creates a centripetal force that directs to "BLACK HOLE" "SINGULARITY" or "DEATH". Living world in contrast vibrates and opposes and creates a force that is directed away from the center. Only life that is exception to this is adult humans. Humans live a mind centered life and exist as slaves to material world. Thus they direct their force against life and becomes the cause for time direction to the whole system. He is the only living system on which the "Creator" places a resistance. Modern man thinks he is conscious and intelligent in reality he is the least conscious and intelligent life on earth. http://www.scribd.com/doc/159044750/Key-to-Secret-of-Conscious-Universe

    John Paily // 2013-09-23 04:55:45 // //
  • Mine changed my life. Yippee!

    Connie Fawcett // 2012-01-06 17:23:25 // //
  • I honour this divine inner spot in you in the same way as I honour it in myself. Namasté! A woman is in many aspects much different from a man. Yet she carries both genders in the womb and gives birth to them...

    heartphone // 2012-01-06 13:35:53 // //
  • At the end of the day, nothing belongs to me and I surrender to sleep in the conviction that I will awake in the morning. That in itself is already the biggest miracle there is. However, everyone has been given a protection shield around himself, his/her own personal environment. With this protection shield one keeps the inner personality while being One with its surroundings. Am a fan of Pierre Teilhard the Chardin, who spoke of this very clearly.

    heartphone // 2012-01-06 13:32:22 // //
  • Will love to read it soon.

    Rubi Pun // 2012-01-06 10:48:52 // //
  • Knowing or intuition, is only partly yours, it doesn`t belong to you! It is not your intuition but our knowingness, when you "think" intuitively or knowingly, you are thinking Collectively for all of Creation, it is for the all, a part for each part of creation but as a whole....it`s like saying this, It`s not that God is impersonal but that really he is Communal - He is about the community not individuals, if we all lived for Him, for the whole, we would all be taken care of, because we are all part of the whole and yet we would all take care of the whole and each other too and ourselves all at the same time!!!!!!!!!! This is what God wants. This is the end of selfishness, greed, lust etc. I ask you this, then what are we so afraid of? We each individually one at a time can give ourself over to this way of life right now and it still works, I live for the whole, then naturally that also includes me! Right! Right.... I still take care of myself, only I take care of all at the same time, that`s what knowing God can do! Living God...trusting Myself. I can only say, is this not truest, upon truest love!!!

    Gary Moposita // 2012-01-06 08:47:09 // //
  • I had a traumatic event years ago leading to near death experience which shook me, if you`d like to know about it. It certainly changed my whole outlook on life.

    Heulwen Renshaw // 2012-01-06 02:11:11 // //
  • Deepak, I think sometimes your writings are so technical that it`s hard for the layman to follow all of it and give a studied response. I know people who have had NDE, and there are many many documented cases that fly in the face of physics. The argument that we are our brains is the ego`s last stand. Even people of average intelligence and spiritual growth know with their spirit that we are whole apart from our bodies ability to function anymore or not....call it intuition or knowing...we just know that we are not dependent on materiality to express, or maybe we are being expressed.

    Gwen Mannor // 2012-01-06 01:10:03 // //
  • Mr. Chopra, for some reason I cannot see your stuff on my phone, but, I had a near-death experience to share with you. While working with a partner taking down a scalfold he took the wrong part out that held where I was holding myself, and I started to fall down from a high that I was totally sure I was going to die, but, the part where I was held to got stock on another one and I didn`t fall. Every happen in about a second, but that second felt too long, one part of the mind was already acknowledging death while at the same time a very fast kind of rewind picture shots about my whole life passed through my mind, and all of the sudden I saw myself back in my mother`s womb, and everything stopped right there when I knew that the part got stock and I wasn`t going to die anymore.

    Jose E. Ortega // 2012-01-05 21:46:30 // //
  • If consciousness returns to zero to `reshuffle` the universe, it gets an overview of `results` so far and a hint for the truth to be lived in the next life. When you are aware of this during meditation or during a dream and can (re) integrate this in your life, you are able to live it in the assurance that you are protected, no matter what. Either you return to go on with the present life, or you are reborn to remember, eventually, your next goal to occupy your Self with. Once experienced such a "NDE" or whatever they call it, you are not afraid anymore and you know that whatever you encounter, you can handle it!! It has given me a wide variety of creativity, opened to me in the several stages of life a human being goes trough. Always giving the right solution at the right time. Well, what can I say, there are numerous videos nowadays on the Internet that confirm this in one way or another. No one has to be afraid anymore for living his/her own truth!!

    heartphone // 2012-01-05 11:28:29 // //