He may have unraveled the secret of synchronicity. Will science prove him right?|306|

#61
Hi Eric,

I listened to your talk with Alex and the one with the paracast guys, good stuff.
Some thoughts came to mind and instead of loosing them, I let them loose here in a not-throught-format, bear with me.

do you talk about the future being probabilistic? There was something you said on the multiverse concept that triggered this thought. Tom Campbell is strong on this idea of the future being probabilistic.
then you talk about bliss and how possibly strong emotions (bliss?) of a future event create ripples backwards which we pick up in dreams or other possible forms of precognitive expressions. This reminds me in some way about the work done by Bill Bengston on healing mice. Instead of a strong focus on intent, he goes more into the direction of feeling good (bliss) as a means of changing .... the future probability of these mice.

The latter also chimes well with my own experiments in that my (and that of students) first experiences can be really flabbergastingly good and then it tapers off. I think Marty Rosenblatt keeps good data on that in his RV work. And this then would fit well in your notion regarding i.e. bliss as when you get this first unexpected results (in the future) of your success it could create this ripple backwards in time. But after some time the novelty wears off and the ripple gets weaker and weaker.

End of thoughts.

I like to amend this post instead of writing another one.
Words like future, ripple backwards all indicate a linear time as far as I get it. But what if this stuff happens where is no time and space? I see it in that way more and more
 
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#62
I'm arguing: his future self, at a time when he learned the right answer, was sending the information back in time.
I'm not sure I really like the idea of literally sending something back to oneself.

I've rushed off a very simplistic diagram from the perspective of an observer, showing coherent interference (quantum) with themselves. The idea was to try and show using a 2D circular representation of space-time, how just simple stronger summed (coherent) patterns over space-time could allow the organism to move forward in a better direction - rather like the needle of a compass points north.

The organism isn't necessarily testing every future degree of freedom, it's simply summing over time (processing over time) and the most frequent (strongest) pattern is influencing it's future direction. In this case (all being equal) the orange square pattern has the most influence on the organism.

The observer is simply decoding the system into space-time, it's way of understanding how to manipulate it, and learn, and then encoding it again in the system until it's next observation.

 
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#63
Yes, I agree that, even if my (or anybody's) quantum explanation doesn't prove to be the answer, more importantly it shows that psi IS possible, that it doesn't defy our understanding of the physical world. This is the necessary prerequisite for making it palatable to mainstream sensibilities.

And you are not alone in not understanding "information." I was always taught that information was the opposite of entropy (i.e., a measure of order in a system), but some of the leading minds in the field, including Seth Lloyd, use it to mean almost the exact opposite: the amount of information needed to describe a system, which increases with entropy/disorder, such that information is always increasing in the universe.
Eric,
I am enjoying your creative point of view. There are sensible and pragmatically useful definitions for the many perspectives of information. Since my grade-school education in science, I have found that knowing the variables - as to their units of measure and the objective standards for each - is the only way to make empirical progress. And make reasoned analysis of the data after its collection. Maybe you can help me and others understand your PoV better by separating formal information and its units of measure from those that are meaning-laden and are functional in the workings of a natural logic.

Shannon's Communication Theory is a math marvel and was a brilliant start to quantifying how information is structured in code. The idea of a bit has been the basis of quantification. It is purposefully devoid of meaning and therefore leads to conflation with how "information" is related to the real-world use of information by living things.

I would have the view that Shannon entropy and meaning-laden useful information are in a relationship that is analogous to the relationship of matter and energy. Matter and SE (Shannon Entropy) are about structure. Energy and objective meaningful situations are about activity and potential futures. The leading philosopher of information, Luciano Floridi has worked very hard on disambiguation between Shannon's formal information and semantic information.
Information is notoriously a polymorphic phenomenon and a polysemantic concept...... Claude E. Shannon, for one, was very cautious:
The word ‘information’ has been given different meanings by various writers in the general field of information theory. It is likely that at least a number of these will prove sufficiently useful in certain applications to deserve further study and permanent recognition. It is hardly to be expected that a single concept of information would satisfactorily account for the numerous possible applications of this general field. (italics added). (Shannon [1993], p. 180)

Thus, following Shannon, Weaver [1949] supported a tripartite analysis of information in terms of
(1) technical problems concerning the quantification of information and dealt with by Shannon's theory
(2) semantic problems relating to meaning and truth; and
(3) what he called “influential” problems concerning the impact and effectiveness of information on human behaviour, which he thought had to play an equally important role.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/information-semantic/
 
#64
That last bit doesn't make any sense to me. I may weave associations together, as a pattern of space-like separations for my own future access, but it appears I'm still accessing, storing and most importantly sharing stuff via the external world. It can't be just personal? If it were just personal I couldn't explain NDE's, OBE's, Classic Haunting Apparitions, Time Slips, or any everyday interactions where I process a summed spatial pattern temporally, like a book etc.

Your focus on future/precognition is too narrow in my view, that perspective is at least only an aspect of 'temporal' (time-like separations) when accessed spatially.
Hi Max,

My model can explain OBEs and NDEs. I'm not saying it DOES explain them, but it is just as adequate an explanation: The experience, as in RV, might be not of events distant in space, etc., but of the future moment when the veridicality of what was seen was confirmed. That's always personal, something ahead in our individual personal timeline.

I think it is important to separate a phenomenon from the experiencer's interpretation of the phenomenon; it may feel like traveling out of body, etc., but that may just be a construct based on cultural/personal belief systems. And with NDEs, we really have no clue, at this point in our science, what the dead or dying brain is still capable of at the neuronal or intra-neuronal level. I'm not saying my interpretation is right, but it can fit most of the descriptions.

In a sense we are caught in an epistemological trap with this debate: There is no way of knowing something was real until it's confirmed in real life, so there's no way of knowing the psi experience wasn't "of" that moment of confirmation. If it's not confirmed, you can't claim that it's psi or anything else. What interests me is the very limited number of purported cases when the individual didn't or couldn't receive confirmation in their own lifetime. There are such reports and cases, but they are relatively few, and as we know much of the anecdotal evidence in this field is of uncertain reliability. So I am offering my model as an alternative--and I think, more interesting--interpretation of some of the standard interpretations.

Cheers,
Eric
 
#65
...and perhaps PK but that's a more complicated issue...
Eric, I was just preparing to ask you about you opinion on psychokinesis when you suddenly mentioned it yourself. Oh, should we call it synchronicity? :D

Well, now matter how we call it, my question about PK still stands: how your precognition-centered model can explain it?

In the case of micro-PK, there is a chance to apply it with the help of so-called "decision augmentation theory". It interprets the anomalous non-randomness of (apparently) psychically influenced random number generators by claiming that the experimenters were unconsciously using their extra-sensory/precognitive abilities to predict the periods of fluctuations in radom data stream. Such hidden premonitions allow them to choose the very periods during which the randomness moved toward the direction necessary to support the PK hypothesis.

But the hard problem of macro-PK - poltergeists, physical traces of the UFOs, distant object movement by some gifted psychics, and the like - still remains. In fact, this area of "anomalous stuff" are so hard to explain that even many parapsychologists are afraid to look at it. I wonder what is your opinion about it...
 
#66
Eric, I was just preparing to ask you about you opinion on psychokinesis when you suddenly mentioned it yourself. Oh, should we call it synchronicity? :D

Well, now matter how we call it, my question about PK still stands: how your precognition-centered model can explain it?

In the case of micro-PK, there is a chance to apply it with the help of so-called "decision augmentation theory". It interprets the anomalous non-randomness of (apparently) psychically influenced random number generators by claiming that the experimenters were unconsciously using their extra-sensory/precognitive abilities to predict the periods of fluctuations in radom data stream. Such hidden premonitions allow them to choose the very periods during which the randomness moved toward the direction necessary to support the PK hypothesis.

But the hard problem of macro-PK - poltergeists, physical traces of the UFOs, distant object movement by some gifted psychics, and the like - still remains. In fact, this area of "anomalous stuff" are so hard to explain that even many parapsychologists are afraid to look at it. I wonder what is your opinion about it...
Hi Vortex. My opinion is ... I'm afraid to look at it. :) Well, not afraid, but I admit I cannot at this point assimilate it confidently in my model.

My best guess is that PK does involve the retrocausal circuits I'm describing. My preliminary thoughts can be found here, and lately I'm thinking that the scene or moment of confirmation that "sends" information into the past is also somehow a moment of measurement in the quantum sense, which retroactively can act on things that have been hidden. Only belatedly in working out my precognition model and the important role of ritual in creating the optimal circumstances for precognition to show itself (see my "Feeding the Psi God" post) did I realize that this is exactly how divination and prophecy work in a magic(k)al context; the question is of mind-over-matter influences, and at this point I'm just not familiar enough with that literature.

Cheers,
Eric
 
#67
Hi Max,

My model can explain OBEs and NDEs. I'm not saying it DOES explain them, but it is just as adequate an explanation: The experience, as in RV, might be not of events distant in space, etc., but of the future moment when the veridicality of what was seen was confirmed. That's always personal, something ahead in our individual personal timeline.

I think it is important to separate a phenomenon from the experiencer's interpretation of the phenomenon; it may feel like traveling out of body, etc., but that may just be a construct based on cultural/personal belief systems. And with NDEs, we really have no clue, at this point in our science, what the dead or dying brain is still capable of at the neuronal or intra-neuronal level. I'm not saying my interpretation is right, but it can fit most of the descriptions.

In a sense we are caught in an epistemological trap with this debate: There is no way of knowing something was real until it's confirmed in real life, so there's no way of knowing the psi experience wasn't "of" that moment of confirmation. If it's not confirmed, you can't claim that it's psi or anything else. What interests me is the very limited number of purported cases when the individual didn't or couldn't receive confirmation in their own lifetime. There are such reports and cases, but they are relatively few, and as we know much of the anecdotal evidence in this field is of uncertain reliability. So I am offering my model as an alternative--and I think, more interesting--interpretation of some of the standard interpretations.

Cheers,
Eric
You can't have studied classic NDE's and NDE OBE's enough if you've come up with that interpretation, and I don't accept we're in any sort of trap.

We've already got good evidence of behavioural effects from to hyper-weak oscillating magnetic fields thousands of times weaker than the earth's local geomagnetic field, that can't really be explained by chemical and electrical mechanisms because the fields are too weak to have any known effects. Spin relaxation times would need to be in seconds... which is unheard of in condensed matter physics.

We're got a very detailed EEG study from Borjigin, of rodents during cardiac arrest showing spontaneous resynchronised activity 15 seconds into cardiac arrest, when the rodents endogenous EM fields lose power. That activity is more synchronised than their normal activity, and bizarrely resembles the same highly synchronised activity seen in wakeful humans and primates undertaking visual tasks. Note that Borjigin only shielded the rodents using a faraday cage, which does not block slowly varying magnetic fields.

We've got studies showing weak magnetic fields can be transduced by the human brain. This is not the same mechanism as high power TMS, the powers too low, mechanism is unknown.

We've got good studies showing induced OBE's, that only work with the presence of alternative dislocated sensory data, and they all show that healthy brains find it difficult to understand 'self' being located in more than one position.

We've now got two epigenetic inheritance studies which also involved IVF, that indicate when the male donor is killed before IVF takes place, inheritance effects remain, but are substantially weakened in comparison to natural insemination, where the male donor remains alive. Suggesting an even more complex mechanism may be at work than currently conceived.

There is loads more stuff than I have time to list here... but as far as I'm concerned it all points to the possibility that the classic hospitalised NDE, NDE OBE may be partly due to weak compatible field effects from third parties, that are sometimes able to entrain the patients networks when the patients endogenous EM field loses power.
 
#68
You can't have studied classic NDE's and NDE OBE's enough if you've come up with that interpretation, and I don't accept we're in any sort of trap.

We've already got good evidence of behavioural effects from to hyper-weak oscillating magnetic fields thousands of times weaker than the earth's local geomagnetic field, that can't really be explained by chemical and electrical mechanisms because the fields are too weak to have any known effects. Spin relaxation times would need to be in seconds... which is unheard of in condensed matter physics.

We're got a very detailed EEG study from Borjigin, of rodents during cardiac arrest showing spontaneous resynchronised activity 15 seconds into cardiac arrest, when the rodents endogenous EM fields lose power. That activity is more synchronised than their normal activity, and bizarrely resembles the same highly synchronised activity seen in wakeful humans and primates undertaking visual tasks. Note that Borjigin only shielded the rodents using a faraday cage, which does not block slowly varying magnetic fields.

We've got studies showing weak magnetic fields can be transduced by the human brain. This is not the same mechanism as high power TMS, the powers too low, mechanism is unknown.

We've got good studies showing induced OBE's, that only work with the presence of alternative dislocated sensory data, and they all show that healthy brains find it difficult to understand 'self' being located in more than one position.

We've now got two epigenetic inheritance studies which also involved IVF, that indicate when the male donor is killed before IVF takes place, inheritance effects remain, but are substantially weakened in comparison to natural insemination, where the male donor remains alive. Suggesting an even more complex mechanism may be at work than currently conceived.

There is loads more stuff than I have time to list here... but as far as I'm concerned it all points to the possibility that the classic hospitalised NDE, NDE OBE may be partly due to weak compatible field effects from third parties, that are sometimes able to entrain the patients networks when the patients endogenous EM field loses power.
Max, we're simply talking past each other here. I'm only talking about veridical information gained in an NDE or OBE state, not how to explain the state itself or what causes it. All I'm suggesting is that, whatever is happening physically, whatever the mechanism, the experiences reported afterward might not reflect an afterlife or some dislocation of consciousness from the physical body (whatever that might mean) -- but that it could reflect an enhanced precognitive state.
 
#69
Max, we're simply talking past each other here. I'm only talking about veridical information gained in an NDE or OBE state, not how to explain the state itself or what causes it. All I'm suggesting is that, whatever is happening physically, whatever the mechanism, the experiences reported afterward might not reflect an afterlife or some dislocation of consciousness from the physical body (whatever that might mean) -- but that it could reflect an enhanced precognitive state.
I don't think NDE's have anything to say either for or against an afterlife, neither do I think the classic hospitalised NDE OBE is due to a pair of disembodied eyes.

That said, the idea that you can put these recalled experiences (and everything else) down to the future doesn't make any sense at all, it just doesn't come anywhere near explaining the details of these experiences. Sorry, we're not talking past each other...
 
#70
Hi Eric,

I listened to your talk with Alex and the one with the paracast guys, good stuff.
Some thoughts came to mind and instead of loosing them, I let them loose here in a not-throught-format, bear with me.

do you talk about the future being probabilistic? There was something you said on the multiverse concept that triggered this thought. Tom Campbell is strong on this idea of the future being probabilistic.
then you talk about bliss and how possibly strong emotions (bliss?) of a future event create ripples backwards which we pick up in dreams or other possible forms of precognitive expressions. This reminds me in some way about the work done by Bill Bengston on healing mice. Instead of a strong focus on intent, he goes more into the direction of feeling good (bliss) as a means of changing .... the future probability of these mice.

The latter also chimes well with my own experiments in that my (and that of students) first experiences can be really flabbergastingly good and then it tapers off. I think Marty Rosenblatt keeps good data on that in his RV work. And this then would fit well in your notion regarding i.e. bliss as when you get this first unexpected results (in the future) of your success it could create this ripple backwards in time. But after some time the novelty wears off and the ripple gets weaker and weaker.

End of thoughts.

I like to amend this post instead of writing another one.
Words like future, ripple backwards all indicate a linear time as far as I get it. But what if this stuff happens where is no time and space? I see it in that way more and more
Thanks, Jeroen,

Regarding the future being probabilistic -- yes, that seems persuasive to me. That Bengston example is great -- I hadn't thought of bliss/enjoyment as a possible direct mechanism of PK, but what you're suggesting does resonate strongly with other retrocausal models like syntropy. I'll have to give this more thought. And yes, bliss is directly related to psi in that boredom (lack of bliss) produces a decline effect.

"Rippling back in time" is metaphorical and crude, but I'm not sure how else to express it simply (without talking about altered synaptic potentials etc. etc.).

Cheers!
Eric
 
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#71
I don't think NDE's have anything to say either for or against an afterlife, neither do I think the classic hospitalised NDE OBE is due to a pair of disembodied eyes.
This is a classic false deduction due to a belief in the magical inferences of materialism. Eyes sent coded signals to the brain - they see nothing. The mind has perception of sight's vision. Eye's do not perceive. Sight is created separately from the eye's electrochemistry and is generated from encoded messages in the optic nerve in context with prior experience. You would have been one of the terrible inquisitors who doubted Helen Keller and not with the wiser folk who defended her.

She was defended by Alexander Graham Bell, and by Mark Twain....

The most persuasive story of Helen Keller’s life is what she said it was: “I observe, I feel, I think, I imagine.” She was an artist. She imagined.

Blindness has no limiting effect upon mental vision,” she argued again and again. “My intellectual horizon is infinitely wide. The universe it encircles is immeasurable.” And, like any writer making imagination’s mysterious claims before the material-minded, she had cause to cry out, “Oh, the supercilious doubters!”
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2003/06/16/what-helen-keller-saw
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#72
This is a classic false deduction due to a belief in the magical inferences of materialism. Eyes sent coded signals to the brain - they see nothing. The mind has perception of sight's vision. Eye's do not perceive. Sight is created separately from the eye's electrochemistry and is generated from encoded messages in the optic nerve in context with prior experience. You would have been one of the terrible inquisitors who doubted Helen Keller and not with the wiser folk who defended her.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2003/06/16/what-helen-keller-saw
This feels a bit extreme as an accusation?

Max has said he's not interested in "isms". (I disagree & think the "isms" are useful, but it does seem unfair to pigeon hole Max as a materialist. And even if he were a materialist to say he'd deny Helen Keller's ability to acquire knowledge seems unfair?)
 
#73
This is a classic false deduction due to a belief in the magical inferences of materialism. Eyes sent coded signals to the brain - they see nothing. The mind has perception of sight's vision. Eye's do not perceive. Sight is created separately from the eye's electrochemistry and is generated from encoded messages in the optic nerve in context with prior experience. You would have been one of the terrible inquisitors who doubted Helen Keller and not with the wiser folk who defended her.


http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2003/06/16/what-helen-keller-saw
Tricky this, as the very structure of the retina determines our perception:

http://www.weizmann.ac.il/neurobiol...lanovsky/files/uploads/kandel_ch26_retina.pdf

As a small example the very configuration of the retina results in these sorts of well known illusions/effects:

Unknown.jpeg Unknown.png
 
#74
This is a classic false deduction due to a belief in the magical inferences of materialism. Eyes sent coded signals to the brain - they see nothing. The mind has perception of sight's vision. Eye's do not perceive. Sight is created separately from the eye's electrochemistry and is generated from encoded messages in the optic nerve in context with prior experience. You would have been one of the terrible inquisitors who doubted Helen Keller and not with the wiser folk who defended her.


http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2003/06/16/what-helen-keller-saw
Disembodied Eyes is a label I've used for years when referring to popular alternative ideas to explain the classic hospitalised NDE OBE.

As for the eyes, I think things are probably more complicated than your simplistic explanation. For instance I can't explain my 2007 apparition experience which contained the perception of both fixed and moving (with my retina) sensory data, which when overlapped resulted in the apparition jumping back into brilliant full colour.

The best current ideas I've been able to come up with suggest that the eye is able to recover phase information from fields intersecting the retina in the same way as non-linear optics. This brings up ideas of deflected electrons, phase conjugate mirrors, and dynamic holograms where freezing some of the high frequency information allows recovery of other high frequency information through interference, resulting in something like a hologram.

Anyway, I wouldn't write the eyes off just yet as having no direct effect on perception.
 
#76
Thinking some more about Eric's ideas it occurs to me that an argument against them is that the paranormal things that happen are rare and "special".

What I mean is this, if I was receiving information from my future self then there is no reason to believe this information should be selective. The information I receive should be of all kinds with a preponderance of mundane information (since most of life is mundane). So, Vallee has his Melchizedek experience, why doesn't he have ten more experiences that are about taking out the trash or cooking supper or whatever?

Also, for "sensitive people" this signal from the future, which may be intermittent, should still keep coming. Yet, these profound synchronicities are very rare.
 
#77
Thinking some more about Eric's ideas it occurs to me that an argument against them is that the paranormal things that happen are rare and "special".

What I mean is this, if I was receiving information from my future self then there is no reason to believe this information should be selective. The information I receive should be of all kinds with a preponderance of mundane information (since most of life is mundane). So, Vallee has his Melchizedek experience, why doesn't he have ten more experiences that are about taking out the trash or cooking supper or whatever?

Also, for "sensitive people" this signal from the future, which may be intermittent, should still keep coming. Yet, these profound synchronicities are very rare.
If you read Vallee's journals, he does record many other more mundane synchronicities and precognitive experiences. (His Forbidden Science volume 2 is a goldmine of fascinating experiences and history for anyone interested in the paranormal and American culture in the 1970s in general.)

In my experience, the vast majority of noticed coincidences are of mundane events. The same is true of other forms of precognition like precognitive dreams. When I record my dreams faithfully, hardly a day goes by that there is not a dream about some relatively unimportant emotional upheaval the following day, often involving something in the news. I think these things don't rise to our awareness mostly because they operate on such an unconsious/preconscious level and they generally concern things of little importance.
 
#78
Tricky this, as the very structure of the retina determines our perception:

http://www.weizmann.ac.il/neurobiol...lanovsky/files/uploads/kandel_ch26_retina.pdf

As a small example the very configuration of the retina results in these sorts of well known illusions/effects:

View attachment 708 View attachment 709
Perception is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment. Wiki
The eye is a receiver and it adds little or no mutual information to the patterned array of photons. The opening statement of your link (excellent article) says it all: "These signals are then sent through the optic nerve to higher centers in the brain for further processing necessary for perception"

That the structural patterns of the retina have effects on the coding of signals in the optic nerve is normative, in relation to any signal processing and its receiving apparatus. These patterns can be seen as noise in terms of signal integrity. The eyes are an amazing organ providing a signal stream that can be a source of detailed mutual information about the external environment. The eyes do not perceive, by definition. They do not identify and interpret.

Eyes generate coded signals that will be identified and understood in other organs.

My point is that "disembodied eyes" do create vision in lucid dreaming. I see no difference in the process model for lucid dreaming, vivid imagination and OBE/NDE. It is the "understanding" module of the mind that is creating the meaningful visual experience. I am approaching this through the mode of direct perception, which is currently a minority viewpoint.


Eric's emphasis on future meaning is very interesting and fits with direct perception and affordances.
 
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S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#79
Sheldrake also mentioned there being two arrows of causation that meet in the present -> the usual forward causation and the backward causation from virtual futures.

Sadly this was a quick comment in an interview rather than an extended treatment, so not sure if he's elaborated on this.

edit: ah, here's something about it, but sadly also not in detail.

"Minds are extended beyond brains not only in space but also in time, and connect us to our own pasts through memory and to virtual futures, among which we choose."
 
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#80
Sheldrake also mentioned there being two arrows of causation that meet in the present -> the usual forward causation and the backward causation from virtual futures.

Sadly this was a quick comment in an interview rather than an extended treatment, so not sure if he's elaborated on this.

edit: ah, here's something about it, but sadly also not in detail.

"Minds are extended beyond brains not only in space but also in time, and connect us to our own pasts through memory and to virtual futures, among which we choose."
Eric's ideas fit with Sheldrake's MR, in my humble opinion. Maybe he will compare and contrast his stances with Sheldrake's writings.

Here is a quote from Sheldrake about Gibson. I suggest there is a theme in these three writers, which proposes the reality of future "information objects" interacting in a communicative manner with current observers. The connection being shared meaning that is independent of time-frame.

As Gibson put it, ‘Information is conceived as available in the ambient energy flux, not as signals in a bundle of nerve fibers. It is information about both the persisting and the changing features of the environment together. Moreover, information about the observer and his movements is available, so that self-awareness accompanies perceptual awareness’ (Gibson, 1979). Gibson’s approach was of course much criticized, not least because it appears to contradict every aspect of the representational-computational orthodoxy (Fodor and Pylyshyn, 1981). Nevertheless, the problems posed by the internal representation theory have not gone away. Some researchers disagree with Gibson’s theory of direct perception, but agree with him about the importance of movement and activity in perception.....

Gibson’s ecological theory places perceptual activity outside the brain, and hence leaves open the possibility of an interaction between the perceiver and the perceived. The same might be true of the enactive and sensorimotor accounts in that they are interactive by nature, and do not treat vision only as an internal process within the brain. - R. Sheldrake in The Sense of Being Stared At Part 2: Its Implications for Theories of Vision ( I added the bold italics)
 
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