Limits of Western Science–Especially Physics

A recent book, The Island of Knowledge: The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning (Basic Books, tries  to map out what science can tell us about our universe and life. The author, Marcelo Gleiser, is a physicist, and he covers the physics related knowledge (and limits) of quantum mechanics and cosmology well, but there is much more in the universe than physics (e.g., consciousness) that the author is not able to write about in any depth. One Amazon reviewer notes this and writes, “The rest of the book [outside of physics] is a meandering, if not pedantic, history of the human pursuit of knowledge.” Another reviewer notes: “The third part ‘Mind and Meaning’ is just a collection of thoughts written by a physicist who steps beyond his field of expertise.”

The real challenges in knowledge, as I note and write about in Frontiers of Knowledge, is about consciousness puzzles–especially those that are soul-related experiences: near-death experiences, puzzling reincarnation experiences (e.g., those of young children), hypnosis experiences of the soul in between-life regressions, and very unusual mind-body phenomena that can only be explained by multiply subtle-energy bodies. These are topics I cover in Frontiers of Knowledge and develop explanations for them by using my expanded concepts of reality.

Ignorance and Science, A Natural Mix

Jamie Holmes wrote in the New York Times on Aug. 24, 2015 an oped article titled, “The Case for Teaching Ignorance.” He starts by referencing an Arizona surgery professor’s course titled “Introduction to Medical and Other Ignorance.” After a battle with the university administrators, she was allowed to teach her course, which the students referred to as “Ignorance 101.” Homes continues by referencing Columbia University neuroscientist, Stuart J. Firestein, whose book Ignorance: How it Drives Science, highlights how many scientific facts aren’t solid and immutable (that is, they are not settled). Firestein emphasizes how intriguing ambiguities are what truly excite them.

In many ways, the ambiguities expand as the scientific community grows. Holmes highlights the view of the Australian social scientist, Michael Smithson: “The larger the island of knowledge grows, the longer the shoreline — where knowledge meets ignorance — extends. The more we know, the more we can ask.”

Holmes emphases this by writing, “The borderland between known and unknown is also where we strive against our preconceptions to acknowledge and investigate anomalous data.”

The Multiverse: Science or Science Fiction?

In a recent blog, Columbia University mathematical physicist Peter Woit discusses this topic by starting with reference to Bob Berman’s article in Astronomy magazine. In his article Berman present the case for the multiverse and the counter one of why scientists such as Woit are so very skeptical. Overall, there is great enthusiasm among many of the physicists, but because there is no nearterm approach by anybody that could prove the existence of the multiverse, Berman leaves the last word to a Woit quote of this subject:

“Physicists had huge success in coming up with powerful compelling fundamental theories during the 20th century,” he explains, “but the last 40 years or so have been difficult, with little progress. Unfortunately, some prominent theorists have now basically given up and decided to take an easy way out. The multiverse is invoked as an all-purpose, untestable excuse. They allow theoretical ideas like string theory that have turned out to be empty and consistent with anything to be kept alive instead of abandoned. It’s a depressing possibility that this is where physics ends up. But I still hope this is a fad that will soon die out. Finding a better, deeper understanding of the laws of physics is incredibly challenging, but it’s within our capability as humans, as long as the effort is not overwhelmed by those selling a non-answer to the problem.”

I personally think the concept of parallel universes is real, but currently unprovable by early 21st-century. But this is not the multiverse concept that physicists are proposing. Their concept of the multiverse is one of multiple physical dimensions that is a natural “fallout” of supersting theory  with its 10 or 11 dimensions and physical dimensions where only a few of the dimensions can be expressed together (such as our 3-dimensional physical universe).

Conditioned Space and Spirituality

In Frontiers of Knowledge, I emphasize the significance of conditioned space in supporting unusual consciousness phenomena, including mind-body effects. Going back to my original training as a Science of Mind practitioner, I want to quote from Ernest Holmes, the founder of the Science of Mind philosophy and its spiritual healing practices, about one aspect of how this works:

“When a group of people come together with one accord and with one thought, a greater power is generated. Not because the Creative Principle responds to a number of people more than it does to one, but because the combined faith of group reaches a higher level of acceptance. Therefore, group spiritual practice should be definitely with the purpose in mind of arriving at a deeper conviction.”

Holmes’ “higher level of acceptance” is about an expectation, or belief, that something creative is more possible, and that it can be expected to occur. In Frontiers of Knowledge, I call this creating a conditioned space where our conscious desire/goal is expected to happen–be it a healing, a new creative expression, or a new insight.

Holistic Health and Medicine

In my books and this website, I have been writing about reality being much more than the physical. Behind the physical are many spiritual dimensions. Because of this, we should expect that health and medical treatment to be to be much more than a physical process. This is confirmed by Dr. Norm Shealy, one of the foremost practitioners of holistic health and medicine, when he wrote in his editorial column for the first issue of the new Journal of Comprehensive Integrative Medicine:

Conventional Medicine, dominated for the last century by the American Medical Association, has focused on drugs and surgery, which are often helpful in acute problems, but which more often create new problems in chronic conditions. Hans Ingelfinder, editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, said it better than anyone else when he stated in 1977 that a majority of illnesses are either self-cured or not helped by modern medicine. Indeed he suggest that 10% are made worse, and 11% are miraculously cured. “Thus we wind up barely on the positive side of zero.” ‘ [Emphasis added.]

The role of medicine should be assist in healing, with minimal risk. In my opinion, current medical practices of coronary bypass surgery, anti-hypertensive drugs, anti-depressant drugs, anti-anxiety drugs, statin drugs and chemotherapy all do far more harm than good. As early as 1972, I also showed that a minimum of 80% of those failing back surgery had never had ruptured discs, for which they were supposedly operated.

Shealy goes on to write about the nature of holistic health; one that includes a significant role for mental-emotional-spiritual attunement:

Holistic health does not require any specific technique or procedure but emphasizes the need for balance of the big three: nutrition, physical exercise, and mental attitude, which includes attunement with spiritual ideals.

Holistic medicine builds upon holistic health but recognizes that some persons who have neglected good habits need help in being restored to a state of minimum health from which they can further build high level wellness. When the diagnosis reveals a serious illness, drugs or surgery may be indicated, but when the dis-ease is mainly one of stress, then a wide variety of alternatives is available. Treatment may include the entire array of chemical, physical, and mechanical devices, but it will emphasize mental-emotional-spiritual attunement.


SSE Presentation (May 30, 2015)

On Sat., May 30, I made a presentation at the annual conference of the Society for Scientific Exploration (SSE) on “Similarities of NDEs with Between-Lives Regression Accounts.” I started the presentation with a context chart on “range of consciousness-related anomalies” in which I listed three general categories of phenomena: (1) simple Psi, (2) mind-related, and (3) soul related. The soul-related ones included NDEs, reincarnation, and between-lives regression accounts.

The underlying idea is that type 3 phenomena is more paradigm breaking than types 2 and 1, which can be explained by introducing expanded capabilities and concepts of the human mind. I believe type 3 phenomena can only be explained by bringing in the concept that our essential nature and consciousness is provided by our immortal, nonphysical soul. I and many others see strong evidence, or support, for this is in the many NDE accounts with rich experiences of a nonphysical realm in which their consciousness exists in a nonphysical form. Also, many of the reincarnation studies, especially those of children who remember (CWR) their last past live in detail, support this view. (Note: some the CWR cases include remembrances of a nonphysical realm.)

After a brief introduction, I cite the 4 types of NDEs given in Atwater’s Big Book of Near-Death Experiences: (1) initial experience ( mostly just an OBE), (2) unpleasant and/or hell-like experience, (3) pleasant and/or heaven-like experience, and (4) transcendent experience. Atwater believes these different experiences are created by the individual’s conscious “needs.” For example, type 2, hell-like NDEs come from the individual’s guilt about how they have lived their life, Basically, they believing they should be punished. (Note: they usually “come out” of the hell experience and transcend/transfer into type 3 NDE. This is what Eban Alexander did in his NDE.)

I stated that the pleasant and/or heaven-like NDEs more directly compare with between-lives regression cases. Both are experiencing the “lower” spiritual realm where almost all returning souls reside. I next listed the 12 general experiences of type 2 NDEs. Only the very strong NDEs experienced all of these in “rich” detail, and I introduce Jan Price’s NDE as an example of a very rich NDE–briefly describing 3 of her experiences. One of these was Price’s experience of a “community setting” where she saw and experienced a”community of souls” involved in group activities of art, music and dancing, plus “broadcasting” idea and concepts to humans. [I only had 20-minutes; so I had to limit my NDE coverage.]

I next did a quick overview of between-lives regression: its development (primarily by Dr. Michael Newton, but with contributions from others), the different levels of soul energy-consciousness development (beginners, intermediate, and advanced). I next briefly described how Newton was very methodical in his investigation, using a consistent set of prompts and working almost all of his subjects through the full set of experiences in this realm. Newton’s (and others) most significant findings are that this realm is organized for the development of each soul’s energy consciousness. Also, as a soul develops it joins on of the different “professions.” which are organized similar to medieval guilds (apprentices, journeymen, masters, and grand masters). I present several examples of these profession (5 of Newton’s 20+). Basically, I see Newton as providing us with a preliminary mapping of this realm’s sociology.

I next show that in a typical between-lives regression cases, the soul’s key experiences in this realm are very similar to those found in NDEs, which I illustrate with the 12 NDE elements experienced in a very-rich NDE. But I also list key experiences not usually found in NDEs: planning their next human life, coordinating this with other souls, and preparing to leave this realm for life in a physical realm.

If you would like a copy of my briefing, please email me.

Efforts to Explain Junk DNA–Onion Genome (DNA) is Five Times Human’s.

A 2015 New York Time science article on junk DNA* starts off by summarizing the test results for the DNA size of an onion vs. that of the NYT’s reporter’s: the onion is five times larger. Why is this so? Researcher summarizes the finding that has become accepted reality: that the size of an animal’s or plant’s genome has essentially no relationship to its complexity.

In the past, all of the “extra” DNA was considered to be junk. But today, researchers are coming to the view that noncoding DNA (the so call “junk”) seem to be as important to our survival as the DNA genes that encode proteins. Zimmer quotes Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, January comment, “Most of the DNA that scientists once thought was just taking up space in the genome ‘turns out to be doing stuff.'” Zimmer’s article is mostly about the “the junk DNA wars are being waged at the frontiers of biology.” The history that Zimmer overviews is fascinating, and he gives the reader an historical account of this ongoing “war.” In one respect is is a battle about the correctness of the natural selection role in evolutionary biology.

An example is when he writes, “Scientists have long known that the human genome contains some genes for other types of RNA: strands of bases that carry out other jobs in the cell, like helping to weld together the building blocks of proteins.” This is how the fetus develops our structure from the limited amount of DNA genes.

Zimmer gives example from John Rinn from Harvard who did extensive research on an RNA molecule that, “somewhat bizarrely, was produced widely by skin cells below the waist but not above.” Rinn found that this molecule (he call it “hotair”) stuck to a protein called Polycomb that “turn genes on and off in different patterns, so that a uniform clump of cells can give rise to bone, muscle and brain.” Rinn contributions are summarized by Zimmer as follows, “there are thousands of RNA molecules encoded in our genomes that perform similar feats: bending DNA, unspooling it, bringing it in contact with certain proteins and otherwise endowing it with a versatility it would lack on its own.” DNA researchers talking about “folding” of genes in a manner similar to how we create 3-D structures by folding paper in different ways.

Another researcher, Alex Palazzo (a biochemist at the University of Toronto) writes, ““Much of what has been called ‘junk DNA’ in the human genome is actually a massive control panel with millions of switches regulating the activity of our genes.”

This is a fascinating article that I encourage you to read so that you can understand what is happening at the frontiers of evolutionary biology research, especially in the ongoing “DNA war.”

*Carl Zimmer, “Is Most of Our DNA Garbage?” March 5, 2015 NY Times Mag

Between-Lives Regression Demo at Pathway’s Expo

On Sunday April 12, I had a booth and a workshop at the Pathway Magazine’s spring Expo in Rockwell MD (part of the greater Washington DC metro area). In my 50-min. workshop, I did a 30-min. group past-life regression for around 70 people. Most had a good past-life experience and 50 percent or more had the first several experiences of the Michael Newton’s life between-lives (LBL) regression journey: meeting their guide, being energized by the guide, and meeting their spiritual family. Many can up to me afterwards at my booth and described how amazing their experiences were. Needless to say, I was very please to be able to add some of the LBL regression experiences to a short group-regression demo.

Interactive Parallel Universes–Many Interactive Worlds

Prof. Howard Wiseman, a physicist at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, along with several collaborators has published a different theory on the many-worlds interpretation. The new one is titled many interacting worlds (MIW). In it parallel worlds (universes) exist, but that they interact with our world on the quantum level and are thus detectable.

Though still speculative, Wiseman and his colleagues believe that this new theory (or interpretation) may help to finally explain some of the bizarre consequences inherent in quantum mechanics: wave-particle duality, quantum entanglement, quantum tunnelling, etc. Key aspect of MIW are:

  • The universe we experience is just one of a gigantic number of worlds [universes] with some are almost identical to ours but most  very different
  • All of these worlds [universes] are equally real, exist continuously through time, and possess precisely defined properties
  • All quantum phenomena arise from a universal force of repulsion between “nearby” (i.e. similar) worlds, which tends to make them more dissimilar.

The authors of the MIW theory believe that quantum effects can be explained by factoring in this force.  Move information on MIW can be found here, here, and here.

In chapter 11 of Frontiers of Knowledge, I introduce and discuss the many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics and present information from several spiritual sources (the channeled entity Seth and several of Diane Cannon’s good hypnosis subjects). Interesting, both of my spiritual sources describe parallel universes that interact — the many interacting worlds perspective.

NDE Accounts of “Heaven”

One of the key qualities of NDE that subjects have of the spiritual realm (heaven) is that most are creating scenes and images from their human belief system. This is illustrated by many of the accounts by Christians highlighted in an New York Book Review of many NDE and related books by the reviewer, Robert Gottlieb. The article, titled “To Heaven and Back” is a non-subscription article that can be found [here].

Gottlieb lists 17 books in his review that includes the following:

  1. Some of the basic research books: Raymond Moody’s Life after Life and Jeffery Long’s Evidence of Heaven
  2. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s On Death and Dying and On Life After Death
  3. Carl Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflection
  4. Some of Plato’s writings that seem to be describing an NDE
  5. A best selling popular book on a young boy’s experience: Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent’s Heaven is for Real
  6. Eben Alexander’s Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife
  7. Three books on experiences of/or with animals in the afterlife.

Gottlieb starts out with book #5, the experience of Colton, the young boy, in his out-of-body experience (OBE) in the hospital. It then goes on to his experience in the spiritual realm (what he calls heaven). There Colton discovers that he has another sister–one that died during the pregnancy. To give you some of the experience and how it was shaped by his Christian beliefs, I provide the following quote: “‘God adopted her [his still-born sister].’  . . . Before returning to earth, Colton also witnessed the battle of Armageddon and saw Jesus victorious and Satan defeated and thrown into hell.” Gottlieb highlights the commercialization of Colton’s accounts by all involved, but still acknowledges, “Despite all the commercialization, I believe that they [the parents] believe; that little Colton said things he thought to be true and that were shaped into this artful narrative by an astute collaborator

Gottlieb next goes back to the beginning of NDE as a new type of phenomenon that was brought to the public’s attention by Moody’s first book, Life after Life, He correctly credits Moody with validating the NDE phenomenon. He also sees Kübler-Ross role in bringing insights to the dying process as preparing the way for Moody’s work. He then uses Long’s book to present a list of the different experiences that can occur in NDEs. He ends this part with highlights from the NDE of General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, when he was a young man. In his NDE, Booth met Jesus, and was told, in essence, to return and “do my work.”

At this point, Gottlieb briefly mentions that there are historical account in the literature by Plotinus, Meister Eckhart, Blake, Swedenborg, and Dostoevsky that could be alluding to an OBE or NDE. Jung’s account of an NDE-like experience occurred when he was 68 (his book is listed above).

Next, Gottlieb takes on Eben Alexander’s story in Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife. He briefly summarizes Alexander highlights, and then proceeds to “takes on” Alexander in the sense of pointing out Alexander’s human flaws and questionable descriptions in his account–especially, his veracity about the medical facts of his coma.

At this point I found him getting bogged down in the petty human qualities of many of the popular  NDE books and their stories. Here is a quote from him: “Sadly, the avalanche of books on the subject includes many that, to my personal knowledge, have been fabricated by unscrupulous self-promoters cynically seeking notoriety or financial gain rather than true advancement in knowledge.”

In the end, Gottlieb tries to bring it all together–the profound, the absurd, what he sees as the commercial exploitation–but he has not done the research work to provide the full prospective, especially the serious investigative research and synthesis that has been done. I wish he had talked to Dr. Grayson, one of the founders of IANDS (International Association for Near-Death Studies), or another of the serious NDE researchers.