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Will Capitalism Ruin Other Planets After It Ruins Earth?

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Life on Earth is far from perfect, and we have many issues that need tackling before we can claim to be putting care for life over care for profit. Framing these everyday circumstances against a much bigger picture, some have posed the concern that the galaxy will succumb to capitalism.

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Anastasia Romanou, a climate research scientist for Columbia University and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, presented the idea — that the desire to explore exoplanets and mine asteroids is the direct result of the need to nourish capitalism — recently at the Left Forum Conference in Manhattan:

[Exoplanet exploration] has been masked as a scientific interest, a human interest, and human curiosity to explore different worlds. Late era capitalism is feeling the pressure from resource scarcity, and therefore, it has to find its own way out. It cannot think outside its own box of solutions, and it will have to find another place, and another place, and another place to exploit.

According to Romanou, as a result of our desire to grow capitalism, exoplanets will be mined for minerals and drilled for oil, just like our planet was.

The idea of “late capitalism” involves capitalist economy, as we know it, coming to an end. Its final days will be marked by resource shortages and weakened manufacturing practices.

Kai Kaschinski, a representative of the Fair Oceans organization, gave additional perspective on the subject, relating the future fate of exoplanets and asteroids to that of our oceans, currently being independently acquired to mine by resource extraction companies. He even noted that the 2015 U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, which permits American companies to mine celestial bodies like asteroids for valuable minerals, might actually violate the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, because the treaty didn’t specify who was allowed to mine asteroids.

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He said:

The argument of the government was that there is an international secret authority of the law to sea, and the law of sea makes it possible to dig in the area. So the Obama government was of the opinion that if you can dig in this area of common heritage of mankind, you can also dig in the common heritage of mankind in space.

Asteroid mining remains just an idea for the moment. Despite the obvious engineering and ethical issues in play, however, technology is underway to make it a reality.

For instance, Planetary Resources hopes to get telescopes to analyze asteroids before craft are sent to mine them. The company has some promising backers, and believes it could be operating in space by 2025.

Meanwhile, NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has over 2,000 exoplanet discoveries under its belt, 21 of which lie in a “habitable zone.”

Life on other planets was once a thought made merely for the movies, but with the reality looming near, concerns over how we will take our faults here on Earth to exoplanets need to be addressed sooner rather than later.

GOODBYE DEMOCRACY & CAPITALISM – IT WAS FUN

This is an attempt to look at current global problems from a perspective digging deeper into the root of the system. For as Einstein said, “A problem cannot be solved from the same level of consciousness as created it.” It is also an attempt at phrasing it so, that it builds the better arguments to challenge the conventions and offer alternatives that shift the paradigm.Disclaimer: It will not be perfect. You may disagree at times, find imperfect arguments and or reasoning. I ask you to help me improve or build your own new ideas aside, on top, underneath it. Stories that liberate us from current stuck paradigms are desperately needed and hopeful alternatives offered. I know world wide many already are doing so. Many things are improving. There is hope! Yet, somehow what makes sense for us, doesn’t yet make sense for the majority. They have yet to begin to see or accept the stuckness in a damaging system.This piece was written by Floris Koot and was originally posted on Medium. It was reposted with permission under creative commons license.

Perhaps biggest current problems of our planet are:

Ravaging of our ecological systems for the profits of parties who’ll do anything to keep their profits rising. Yeah, corporations consciously deliver stuff of which 85% is garbage in the making. Either it is produced to be outdated, break, or out of fashion soon. And we, we buy it and ask for more.

Poisoning of seas and systems. So who is really busy stopping the amount of plastic in our oceans, soon to be on nano level in all our food? Who stops the amount of oestrogens (estrogens in American) rising in our systems, damaging fertility of men? Who stops the rising amounts of waste, that leak and endanger humans and nature? I don’t hear no governments crying out loud. It can’t be just the tragedy of the commons.

Widening gap of poor and rich. The poor either turn to crime, ravaging what few resources still available or turn aggressive to those believed to be competitors. The answer can’t be harsher laws or corporate owned prisons. And the promise of more jobs when you vote the right person isn’t really addressing the core of the issue.

Wars instigated by elites for interests that only benefit a few (read themselves). For instance Syria has been instigated because of a gas pipeline, that would either benefit the Russian Elite or the Western Elite. Who will get the right to sell us stuff (gas in this case) for what price? Why don’t we protest our own side more, rather than fear the other?

The playing out of differences between populations, through means of religion, nationality, race, gender, etc. ‘Leaders’ love this. And anyone with (imposed) fears, low self esteem, racial bias, endangered jobs, strict beliefs may follow the leader. Because disagreeing may make you outcast or traitor.

The rise of depression and disconnectedness from life and meaning. Most work is organized around process and efficiency, rather than around meaning, healthiness for natural systems, being of real service to real needs, rather than boosting sales for profit. But we want a career, so we don’t have time to challenge this idea. We rather secretly feel the pain. In careers which rationale condones damaging people and planet for profit in return for bonuses.

The danger of financial system collapse. Isn’t it scary and totally ridiculous that when the financial system collapses millions will go poor and probably hungry, while there is enough food, manpower and means to provide for everyone? That means the whole system is built on the wrong assumptions and rules. That means you have to play along to prevent banks from falling. Hmm.

Perhaps the biggest problem of the future, and probably already is, will be our lack of adaptation. Rather than change our ways big corporations will sell us medication to treat the symptoms. It’ll be as a overweight smoking junk food eater buying expensive medicines, but not changing his behavior. And the side effects of the medicine will bring new medicines. But hey, if you sell medicine, true healing means no sales, right? Exactly, thus the assumptions beneath our whole profit based outlook is sick as well.

Recognize these problems and how hard they seem to solve or even address?Why aren’t enough people doing something about it? We have to consider that most people on our planet just want peace, a hopeful future for their children and have a warm family life. So they should care. But of course challenging the way things are is scary, because you don’t know what you’ll get in return. Yet for a secure future this is clear: Being connected to nature is essential. Having enough nature, living blooming systems flourishing around us, is key to feel at peace, build trust and know we are part of a living system. We are nature. So how to support our role within and for nature and the whole system called mother Earth? How to shift the system so we provide for future generations as well?

How Our Old Solutions Don’t Work

We tried kingdoms. Didn’t work. Great kings and queens inspired their people with ideals (of national power, mmm). Children of great kings can be awful. And one ruler taking all decisions is already a bad idea.

We tried communism. Great to be liberated from a self serving elite..to be replaced by a new one?? Didn’t work, because everyone had to agree to (be) the same. And you can’t plan the future. 5-year plans made up by an elite make millions suffer. And the distribution of needed goods sucked.
We are still trying capitalism. The distribution is great. As is the marketing that it’s all great. It isn’t. It doesn’t work, because everybody fending for himself damages the system as a whole. The promise that competition will improve products and service for everyone is clearly a lie. We can’t trust our food and we can’t trust our medicines anymore, as profits seem more important than consequences for people, nature and the planet. And the corporate lobbies turning governments into their advertisers (TTP!?) promises an even more ravaged planet for a superrich elite. The danger of a Corporate Dictatorship is real, perhaps even already begun.

We are still trying democracy. Oh, the nice promises. Yet, what we have is the choice between a few preselected candidates of..an elite. Also democracy doesn’t work as long as people vote for their own shopping list and the ‘leaders’ seek to win (by promising you dreams, rather than caring for the whole). And most leaders serve the hands that feed them, read mostly huge corporations. Have you seen any government really addressing one of the issues above? Well other than blaming ‘them’ and then using your vote to strengthen their side, while not solving any real issue?

The Root of the Problem 

What is clear is that a small minority of humans are willing to lie, cheat, manipulate all others for power and riches. Many people are caught in damaging paradigms that result of this. They too will support the manipulative ones. They endorse ideas like: ‘It’s either us or them’. ‘My believe is so much more worth than yours, so your voice may be silenced if you threaten my position (or even just speak out)’. Ideas often reshaped into ‘Make me, rich or more powerful, and you’ll benefit from it.’ or ‘Let us raise our profits and it will prove to enrich everyone.’ ‘Buy this thing or idea and become happy/safe/rich/powerful.’ And since these ideas currently provide the best jobs, anyone in a great office and view, will be securely locked up in this rationale until the shit hits the fan, like in some banks in 2008.

Because most people are willing, collaborative, positive kind people, they assume what others promise them is to be trusted. We slowly see better and better, not all promises are in our interest. From corporate commercials to political adverbs we are being sold a dream or fears, in return for money, transferral of power and loss of safety (both military as in quality of food and healthcare). Be even a bit more suspicious of NGO’s. What? Yes, they get funded to heal the effects of the system, but never really change the root of the trouble. Greenpeace protests pollution, Unicef helps children. Neither solves the unchecked greed that allows for pollution or child labour.

Our ‘leaders’ made it normal to frame success as your capability to join their ranks and paradigms. Failing to do so, or dropping out makes you a loser. Everything is economized, which means if you don’t increase profit to the system, read are old, sick or unemployed, you are ballast to society. As if the millions of non earning humans, think volunteers and activists, taking care of elderly, sick, refugees and nature are ballast!? As if a tree standing in a forest has no value for the whole, even when we don’t know how it exactly enriches the whole system. As if indigenous people are the barbarians. It’s us, the industrial society ravaging the planet who are the barbarians. It’s us defending ‘our way of life’ who are denying others theirs.

Even worse perhaps is that most of us, think within these paradigms too. Most Americans are stuck between choosing one bad candidate to prevent the other bad candidate from winning. As if there are no other options. As if it isn’t clear the system is broken, not just one or both of the candidates.
Changing leaders will change little. When crooks, let alone leaders of damaging paradigms are replaced, others take their place and nothing really changes. So don’t expect any next president to be a solution.

The one big shift needed is to transcend such limiting ‘us vs them’ beliefs, including, hahaha, the my own about ‘those leaders’. Yes, because many leaders and their cronies, eh, sorry, read managers, really worry too. Sadly, since they seek solutions within the system or with them not losing power, their attempts are doomed to fail. Even tribal as we still are, whistle blowers, and people stepping out, are seen as traitors instead of people seeking to support a bigger value, than their organizational interests.

The (corporate) media aren’t helping either. They advertise and sell consumerism and success stories within the current paradigm. They don’t inform on real needs, real issues that would challenge the interests of their advertisers. The big media hardly mention the rise of the change makers. Yes, the amount of people around the globe working on improvement of the whole, let alone current issues is stunning. People inventing non corporate solutions for healthy care, agriculture, permaculture, transition towns, peace, equal rights, ending slavery, ending torture, ending poverty is downright stunning. So where are the change 500? The hopeful 500? The solution 500?

We educate our youth to be part of the problem!! I could have written this quote by Shelly Ostroff. It is, to me an such essential statement: “When children are forced to sit still at their desks in crowded classrooms they become disconnected from their bodies, nature and life. They are not given an opportunity to develop their instincts, intuition, or critical thinking. They are not educated to become creative and caring problem solvers willing to contribute to their larger environment.”

What I Think Is The Deeper Root

(Skip this part if you want the solutions now! It’s a unproven theory by me.)
For centuries mankind walked the earth in small groups. These small groups suffered and enjoyed nature to its fullest powers, until mankind started to use its brain to find solutions. Diversity within tribes also grew. Healers, leaders, caretakers, mentors, makers arose. Biology also added psychopathic tendencies in about 6% (I think) of the population. In small groups the rest can balance such a person. And they are handy when killing, or setting broken bones of an horrible looking wound needs to happen. That means almost every group of about 25 people, had at best one or two of them, probably of different generations.

In many indigenous peoples we see, that solving challenges without controlling nature is quite possible. Yet few tribes sought control over and sought domination over nature and others as well. This ‘solution’ was countered by many tribes to increase power as well. Populations grew. And while our biology and deepest social conditioning was for small groups, tribes became empires. Suddenly within these groups you’d have small groups of psychopathic individuals starting to work together. They could and would plan takeovers. They could and would plan manipulation to gain control with conscious planning. Hence the birth of the elites and perhaps even religious customs.

And be aware, many psychopaths are well adjusted citizens, like surgeons, being able to cut into your body, without freaking out. Or pilots staying calm when everything seems lost. Be happy they are there too. Yet in board rooms or as leaders of peoples who are anxious, self serving psychopaths are totally the wrong leaders. And our whole educational system keeps teaching us, to be like them to succeed. We mistakenly have been taught decisiveness is better .What we really need is considerate, caring, world serving doubters, who think twice about consequences of their decisions. People that will consider the whole system, rather than a minority within the ‘us’.

So Where To Go?

We have to explore how to include all voices, enrich the diversity (read let nature and poor populations flourish) and how our endeavors can help the whole web of life grow richer. What system will let everybody and everything win? What system will provide enough for everyone on the planet? And there is proof enough that there is enough.

The beautiful thing is that life itself shows us. Our bodies are a superrich collaboration. Nature is the most delicate network of teeming diversity. Nature doesn’t have cancer, where some things grow too much, without restraint. Human civilization has. From cancers in our bodies, to huge corporations that affect the planet as a cancer by gobbling up natural reserves. We need a system that is medication, not more of the same.

So how does nature really work? The survival of the fittest concept has, by now, been shown to be the survival of the most adaptable. Those turning the world to their wishes might be the least adaptable, as they don’t accept things as they are. The majesty of concrete jungles are dangerously incapable providers of food in times of need and huge contributors to global warming. Acceptance, adaptability, integration of the natural world into our cities, agriculture that enriches the soil rather than depleting it, and dare I say, love, care and compassion for all could become part of a new paradigm. Or if you’ve been looking around longer, very old paradigms rediscovered.

All the old, may have new uses.

The New System

Oops. Yes, it’s still in the making. Many voices around the world talk about this. Here are some of my suggestions to include:

Science has to embrace the new realities it is discovering. If everything is intricately connected in a delicate system, then science can’t continue being of service to big corporations, creating lump solutions to drive profit. True science should be: How is it all hanging together? And more importantly: What impact would this ‘solution’ have for the whole system of life on this planet?

Just bringing new products to the market for fast profits has to lose out to making choices that help heal, improve the whole web to flourish. Better saws to cut trees, agricultural chemicals, GMO’s and cheaper plastics would get way more scrutiny before even slightly considered. We’d see that such ideas are not science at all. The question of what gain will we get from this, might sooner mean charlatanic rape, ravaging and murder of our natural world and would not be seen as science (the acceptance and discovery of reality as it is) at all. Because it excludes and tramples reality as we now understand it.

Bring in a bigger diversity of voices bringing in wisdom and more perspective before essential choices are made. No one with elderly, children, people of all faiths, and colours present will as easily make unjust laws. Healthy normal children will cry and protest if forests are cut or other children bombed. And kick self serving psychopaths out, however great their story sounds or how the threaten you. That’s what they’re good at.

Learn values from indigenous people, about relationships with nature. Learn from the Zapatistas and tribal Africans how to spread leadership around, how to grow local resilience. Learn from grassroots movements how to go really green in a way that can sustain everyone. Accept that care for the whole outranks any corporations economical interests…by far.

Dare to fire CEO’s that damage the planet. Dare to stop huge corporations that damage the planet. Dare to criminalize destruction of natural resources. Include all exterior costs of companies back into them, so we pay real prices. Stop funding and subsidizing powers that be, for everything more healthy, more green, more promising for the whole. And stop anyone from being able to deciding their own salary or bonus. Really. Customers should decide, to start with, then the workers at the bottom.

Teach every child more body awareness, more critical thinking, more eco awareness. Support every child that challenges school and or current paradigms to explore alternatives. Strengthen ideals and values of young people so they don’t lose idealism, rather expand it with knowledge while growing up. Arm them against brainwash and manipulative sales.

End (debt) slavery and poverty. End homelessness near empty houses (whomever accepted this idea, houses rotting away, with people living on the streets needing one?). People who do have a choice, will not stay working in meaningless jobs or unhealthy conditions. For instance with basic income all work has to be designed to have meaning and be pleasurable. It would change the face of human society.
Make cities green and self sustaining. France recently made it law to use every flat rood for either plants or solar panels. Good idea. More green in cities will clean the air, provide more food, reduce global warming, bring back bees, etc. There’s no reasons not to do it, but the trouble or fallen leaves and increase of insects. Hey it’s nature. Nature is life. Embrace it.

Develop economical systems that won’t stop people from working on essential things, when the money system breaks down. In the Netherlands thousands of people work every day to keep Dutch heads above water. This is an essential reality and no financial situation should be able to endanger it. Same goes for food, safety, health, nature for people all around the planet.

Develop yourself. Breath. Play. Venture into nature. Find meaningful work or service. Express your dreams. Ignore marketing and advertising. Celebrate beauty in the moment, not products from a shelf. Relate to and with your body. Learn to listen to its needs and messages. Develop intuition. Be deep, become wise. Become human and alive.

Develop visions of governments that will enrich the planet and all life on it. Develop paradigms that include nature and its needs as fundament. Develop ideas that solve root causes of poverty, war, destruction and pollution rather than addressing the effects. Develop space for diversity of ideas and voices, so no few radicals can push large groups towards violent ideas. And perhaps most of all, as Christopher Chase, calls it: ‘Accept you are part of nature.’ We must, as our cells surrender to our role within the whole of nature (and not human society alone) To do otherwise means becoming cancer. We need nature. We are nature.

Help me, help yourself, help the peaceful majority, help the planet to shift. We will only win, when everyone wins.

Support the Gentle Revolution, be developing what should come after. Innovate onwards.

Most of this post was written in one session after an inspiring online talk with Christopher Chase (see his blog CreativeSystemsThinking) and fired up chat with Shelley Ostroff (see her blog TogetherInCreation). And finally the new science paradigm was born in a short talk with Jan-Henk Bouman. Thank you all for your time and inspiration.

The Gentle Revolution is also on facebook.

More on what you can do. How to help.

More on how to change education.

Part of his piece was written by Floris Koot and was originally posted on Medium. It was reposted with permission under creative commons license.

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Alternative News

Russian Ministry of Defense Article Claims Humans Can Telepathically Communicate With Dolphins

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Russian Ministry of Defense published an article about the existence of military parapsychology in Russian military techniques, which allows one to penetrate into the thoughts of another, hack computer programs, and communicate telepathically.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is this type of science studied at the highest levels of various governments, yet ridiculed and not studied at all within the mainstream?

Is telepathy real? It’s hard to argue against it; in fact, I would say that it’s not really up for debate. That being said, when it comes to topics like these, the field is polluted with a bad reputation given its association with magic, superstition and ‘pseudoscience,’ terms that often come from those who condemn the subject without ever really looking into it. The evidence for the existence of telepathy is actually quite overwhelming, and in many cases, much stronger than most other areas of science.

Dr. Jessica Utts is a great person to bring up, as I’ve done many times before, to hammer this fact home. She is the  Chair of the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Irvine. In 1999, she published a paper showing how the statistical significance with regards to results seen from studies under the realm of parapsychology (telepathy, remote viewing, etc) are stronger than some of the studies used to approve some medications. In a recent interview, she emphasized the following.

“What convinced me was just the evidence, the accumulating evidence as I worked in this field and I got to see more and more of the evidence. I visited the laboratories, even beyond where I was working to see what they were doing and I could see that they had really tight controls… and so I got convinced by the good science that I saw being done. And in fact I will say as a statistician I’ve consulted in a lot of different areas of science; the methodology and the controls on these experiments are much tighter than any other area of of science where I’ve worked.” (source)

Why is it that these topics are not touched by mainstream academia, yet studied at the highest levels of government? Multiple governments all over the world have been studying this phenomenon for decades, and a lot has been declassified. Take the remote viewing program that was conducted by the US government/CIA and Stanford University, for example.

After its declassification in 1995, or at least its partial declassification, the Department of Defense and those involved revealed an exceptionally high success rate.

To summarize, over the years, the back-and-forth criticism of protocols, refinement of methods, and successful replication of this type of remote viewing in independent laboratories has yielded considerable scientific evidence for the reality of the [remote viewing] phenomenon. (source)

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The latest example comes from Russia, as their Ministry of Defence recently published an article about the existence and study of parapsychology within the Russian military. The article explains how these techniques are and were used to penetrate the thoughts of the enemy (mind-reading) as well as to hack into enemy computer systems. The article is titled “Super Soldier for the Future Wars” and was published in the Defense Army magazine.

The article was written by Colonel Nikolai Poroskov, who explained that they use parapsychological techniques like telepathy for combat purposes, revealing secrets, disclosing locations, etc… He even discloses that Russian specialists have learned telepathy by working with dolphins.

As a note to readers, we here at Collective Evolution do not condone the use of animals for any type of experimentation. There is no information on the conditions of these experiments, but we are assuming they were captured for military purposes, which is extremely sad and heart-breaking.

Poroskov writes:

“They mentally gave the animals the commands that they carried out. Similar practiced by the famous trainer Durov. The technique, as it turned out, is applicable to humans. Moreover, the impact was even possible on the technique. With an effort of thought you can, for example, shoot down computer programs, burn crystals in generators, eavesdrop on a conversation, or break television and radio broadcasts and communications. Good luck ended with such experiments as reading a document lying in a safe, even if it is in a foreign language that we do not speak; identification of individuals belonging to the terrorist network; identifying potential candidates for terrorist groups,” the statement reads. (source)

Quite astonishing, isn’t it? Parapsychology seems to be the largest known threat to any type of secrecy, doesn’t it? I found the reference to hacking computers quite interesting. Can telepathy really be used for purposes like hacking electronic equipment? I did some more digging and found an interesting document inside of the CIA’s electronic reading room with regards to the Soviet Union.

Here’s a quote from the document:

The Soviet Union is well aware of the benefits and applications of parapsychology research. In 1963, a Kremilin edict apparently gave top priority to biological research, which in Russia includes parapsychology. The major impetus behind the Soviet drive to harness the possible capabilities of telepathic communication, telekinetics, and bionics is said to come from the Soviet military and the KGB. Today it is reported that the USSR has twenty or more centres for the study of parapsychological phenomena, with an annual budget estimated in 1967 at over 13 million dollars and reported to be as high as 21 million dollars.

Today, we know that trillions of dollars have gone into black budget programs in the United States, many of which likely deal with parapsychology, as they have in the past.

The document also states:

There are reports that the Soviets are training their cosmonauts in telepathy to back-up their electronic equipment while in outer space. One of these back-up schemes is known to involve coded telepathic messages. This method was previously demonstrated in March 1967, when a coded telepathic message was flashed from Moscow to Leningrad. The involvement of astronauts or cosmonauts in telepathy experiments is not necessarily unprecedented. In February 1971, during the Apollo 14 flight to the moon, astronaut Edgar Mitchell made 150 separate attempts to project his thoughts from inside the space capsule back to an individual on earth. The results of the Apollo 14 experiments have been well-documented in detail and are published in the Journal of Parapsychology. (source)

Deeper Black Budget Discussion On CETV

Again, these programs lie within the realm of the black budget and are highly classified. Who knows how far ahead of the mainstream world they truly are?

CETV is a platform we created in order to combat the censorship and demonetization we have been facing over the past few years. On episode 4 of The Collective Evolution Show on CETV, we discussed the black budget in much greater detail. Below is a clip exploring the missing money from the black budget and special access programs, explaining where the money is going and what exactly it’s being used for.

You can become a member of CETV, get access to the full show and many others, and support conscious media here.

The Takeaway

Human consciousness and parapsychology should not only be studied for the purposes of learning new defence tactics. Humans have great potential, and there is still so much that we have yet to discover about ourselves. What needs to change is the intention behind these discoveries

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Consciousness

Science As We Know It Can’t Explain Consciousness – But A Revolution Is Coming

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Philip Goff, Durham University

Explaining how something as complex as consciousness can emerge from a grey, jelly-like lump of tissue in the head is arguably the greatest scientific challenge of our time. The brain is an extraordinarily complex organ, consisting of almost 100 billion cells – known as neurons – each connected to 10,000 others, yielding some ten trillion nerve connections.

We have made a great deal of progress in understanding brain activity, and how it contributes to human behaviour. But what no one has so far managed to explain is how all of this results in feelings, emotions and experiences. How does the passing around of electrical and chemical signals between neurons result in a feeling of pain or an experience of red?

There is growing suspicion that conventional scientific methods will never be able answer these questions. Luckily, there is an alternative approach that may ultimately be able to crack the mystery.

For much of the 20th century, there was a great taboo against querying the mysterious inner world of consciousness – it was not taken to be a fitting topic for “serious science”. Things have changed a lot, and there is now broad agreement that the problem of consciousness is a serious scientific issue. But many consciousness researchers underestimate the depth of the challenge, believing that we just need to continue examining the physical structures of the brain to work out how they produce consciousness.

The problem of consciousness, however, is radically unlike any other scientific problem. One reason is that consciousness is unobservable. You can’t look inside someone’s head and see their feelings and experiences. If we were just going off what we can observe from a third-person perspective, we would have no grounds for postulating consciousness at all.

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Of course, scientists are used to dealing with unobservables. Electrons, for example, are too small to be seen. But scientists postulate unobservable entities in order to explain what we observe, such as lightning or vapour trails in cloud chambers. But in the unique case of consciousness, the thing to be explained cannot be observed. We know that consciousness exists not through experiments but through our immediate awareness of our feelings and experiences.

Only you can experience your emotions.
Olga Danylenko

So how can science ever explain it? When we are dealing with the data of observation, we can do experiments to test whether what we observe matches what the theory predicts. But when we are dealing with the unobservable data of consciousness, this methodology breaks down. The best scientists are able to do is to correlate unobservable experiences with observable processes, by scanning people’s brains and relying on their reports regarding their private conscious experiences.

By this method, we can establish, for example, that the invisible feeling of hunger is correlated with visible activity in the brain’s hypothalamus. But the accumulation of such correlations does not amount to a theory of consciousness. What we ultimately want is to explain why conscious experiences are correlated with brain activity. Why is it that such activity in the hypothalamus comes along with a feeling of hunger?

In fact, we should not be surprised that our standard scientific method struggles to deal with consciousness. As I explore in my new book, Galileo’s Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness, modern science was explicitly designed to exclude consciousness.

Before the “father of modern science” Galileo Galilei, scientists believed that the physical world was filled with qualities, such as colours and smells. But Galileo wanted a purely quantitative science of the physical world, and he therefore proposed that these qualities were not really in the physical world but in consciousness, which he stipulated was outside of the domain of science.

This worldview forms the backdrop of science to this day. And so long as we work within it, the best we can do is to establish correlations between the quantitative brain processes we can see and the qualitative experiences that we can’t, with no way of explaining why they go together.

Mind is Matter

I believe there is a way forward, an approach that’s rooted in work from the 1920s by the philosopher Bertrand Russell and the scientist Arthur Eddington. Their starting point was that physical science doesn’t really tell us what matter is.

This may seem bizarre, but it turns out that physics is confined to telling us about the behaviour of matter. For example, matter has mass and charge, properties which are entirely characterised in terms of behaviour – attraction, repulsion and resistance to acceleration. Physics tells us nothing about what philosophers like to call “the intrinsic nature of matter”, how matter is in and of itself.

It turns out, then, that there is a huge hole in our scientific world view – physics leaves us completely in the dark about what matter really is. The proposal of Russell and Eddington was to fill that hole with consciousness.

The result is a type of “panpsychism” – an ancient view that consciousness is a fundamental and ubiquitous feature of the physical world. But the “new wave” of panpsychism lacks the mystical connotations of previous forms of the view. There is only matter – nothing spiritual or supernatural – but matter can be described from two perspectives. Physical science describes matter “from the outside”, in terms of its behaviour, but matter “from the inside” is constituted of forms of consciousness.

This means that mind is matter, and that even elementary particles exhibit incredibly basic forms of consciousness. Before you write that off, consider this. Consciousness can vary in complexity. We have good reason to think that the conscious experiences of a horse are much less complex than those of a human being, and that the conscious experiences of a rabbit are less sophisticated than those of a horse. As organisms become simpler, there may be a point where consciousness suddenly switches off – but it’s also possible that it just fades but never disappears completely, meaning even an electron has a tiny element of consciousness.

What panpsychism offers us is a simple, elegant way of integrating consciousness into our scientific worldview. Strictly speaking it cannot be tested; the unobservable nature of consciousness entails that any theory of consciousness that goes beyond mere correlations is not strictly speaking testable. But I believe it can be justified by a form of inference to the best explanation: panpsychism is the simplest theory of how consciousness fits in to our scientific story.

While our current scientific approach offers no theory at all – only correlations – the traditional alternative of claiming that consciousness is in the soul leads to a profligate picture of nature in which mind and body are distinct. Panpsychism avoids both of these extremes, and this is why some of our leading neuroscientists are now embracing it as the best framework for building a science of consciousness.

I am optimistic that we will one day have a science of consciousness, but it won’t be science as we know it today. Nothing less than a revolution is called for, and it’s already on its way.The Conversation

Philip Goff, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Durham University

This article is republished in collaboration with The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Consciousness

Scientists Discover That The Heart & Brain Respond To Future Events – Before They Happen

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Multiple experiments have shown strong evidence for precognition in several different ways. One of them comes in the form of activity within the heart and the brain responding to events before they even happen.

  • Reflect On:

    Do we have extra human capacities we are unaware of? Perhaps we can learn them, develop them, and use them for good. Perhaps when the human race is ready, we will start learning more.

Is precognition real? There are many examples suggesting that yes, it is. The remote viewing program conducted by the CIA in conjunction with Stanford University was a good example of that.  After its declassification in 1995, or at least partial declassification, the Department of Defense and those involved revealed an exceptionally high success rate:

To summarize, over the years, the back-and-forth criticism of protocols, refinement of methods, and successful replication of this type of remote viewing in independent laboratories has yielded considerable scientific evidence for the reality of the (remote viewing) phenomenon. Adding to the strength of these results was the discovery that a growing number of individuals could be found to demonstrate high-quality remote viewing, often to their own surprise… The development of this capability at SRI has evolved to the point where visiting CIA personnel with no previous exposure to such concepts have performed well under controlled laboratory conditions. (source)

The kicker? Part of remote viewing involves peering into future events as well as events that happened in the past.

It’s not only within the Department of Defense that we find this stuff, but a lot of science is emerging on this subject as well.

For example, a study (meta analysis) published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience titled “Predicting the unpredictable: critical analysis and practical implications of predictive anticipatory activity” examined a number of experiments regarding this phenomenon that were conducted by several different laboratories. These experiments indicate that the human body can actually detect randomly delivered stimuli that occur 1-10 seconds in advance. In other words, the human body seems to know of an event and reacts to the event before it has occurred. What occurs in the human body before these events are physiological changes that are measured regarding the cardiopulmonary, the skin, and the nervous system.

A few years ago, the chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Dr. Dean Radin, visited the scientists over at HearthMath Institute and shared the results of one of his studies. Radin is also one of multiple scientists who authored the paper above. These studies, as mentioned above, tracked the autonomic nervous system, physiological changes, etc.

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Scientists at HeartMath Institute (HMI) added more protocols, which included measuring participants’ brain waves (EEG), their hearts’ electrical activity (ECG), and their heart rate variability (HRV).

As HMI explains:

Twenty-six adults experienced in using HeartMath techniques and who could sustain a heart-coherent state completed two rounds of study protocols approximately two weeks apart. Half of the participants completed the protocols after they intentionally achieved a heart-coherent state for 10 minutes. The other half completed the same procedures without first achieving heart coherence. Then they reversed the process for the second round of monitoring, with the first group not becoming heart-coherent before completing the protocols and the second group becoming heart-coherent before. The point was to test whether heart coherence affected the results of the experiment.

Participants were told the study’s purpose was to test stress reactions and were unaware of its actual purpose. (This practice meets institutional-review-board standards.) Each participant sat at a computer and was instructed to click a mouse when ready to begin.

The screen stayed blank for six seconds. The participant’s physiological data was recorded by a special software program, and then, one by one, a series of 45 pictures was displayed on the screen. Each picture, displayed for 3 seconds, evoked either a strong emotional reaction or a calm state. After each picture, the screen went blank for 10 seconds. Participants repeated this process for all 45 pictures, 30 of which were known to evoke a calm response and 15 a strong emotional response.

The Results

The results of the experiment were fascinating to say the least. The participants’ brains and hearts responded to information about the emotional quality of the pictures before the computer flashed them (random selection). This means that the heart and brain were both responding to future events. The results indicated that the responses happened, on average, 4.8 seconds before the computer selected the pictures.

How mind-altering is that?

Even more profound, perhaps, was data showing the heart received information before the brain. “It is first registered from the heart,” Rollin McCraty Ph.D. explained, “then up to the brain (emotional and pre-frontal cortex), where we can logically relate what we are intuiting, then finally down to the gut (or where something stirs).”

Another significant study (meta-analysis) that was published in Journal of Parapsychology by Charles Honorton and Diane C. Ferrari in 1989 examined a number of studies that were published between 1935 and 1987. The studies involved individuals’ attempts to predict “the identity of target stimuli selected randomly over intervals ranging from several hundred million seconds to one year following the individuals responses.” These authors investigated over 300 studies conducted by over 60 authors, using approximately 2 million individual trials by more than 50,000 people. (source)

It concluded that their analysis of precognition experiments “confirms the existence of a small but highly significant precognition effect. The effect appears to be repeatable; significant outcomes are reported by 40 investigators using a variety of methodological paradigms and subject populations. The precognition effect is not merely an unexplained departure from a theoretical chance baseline, but rather is an effect that covaries with factors known to influence more familiar aspects of human performance.” (source)

The Takeaway

“There seems to be a deep concern that the whole field will be tarnished by studying a phenomenon that is tainted by its association with superstition, spiritualism and magic. Protecting against this possibility sometimes seems more important than encouraging scientific exploration or protecting academic freedom. But this may be changing.”
 Cassandra Vieten, PhD and President/CEO at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (source)

We are living in a day and age where new information and evidence are constantly emerging, challenging what we once thought was real or what we think we know about ourselves as human beings.  It’s best to keep an open mind. Perhaps there are aspects of ourselves and our consciousness that have yet to be discovered. Perhaps if we learn and grow from these studies, they can help us better ourselves and others.

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