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Consciousness and the Paranormal — Part 12


Constance

Paranormal Adept
Interesting, but at the same time, the basic assumption seems to be a non-dualistic perspective on the part of MP. However, that isn't quite the way MP appears to approach the problem of duality. Rather it seems to me that he recognizes that material and mental phenomena both exist, and then attempts to understand how that situation arises. To do that one of the things he focused on was the "Chiasm" of the subjective & objective. This is IMO the nexus of the entire problem of how to classify consciousness. I think you'll really like this paper if you haven't yet read it:

Thanks for the link. I will read the paper, which looks, from your first two sentences above, to be confusing. Perhaps the author isn't read up in phenomenology in general or MP in particular. Will get back to you about this after I read the paper. MP does affirm the value of Descartes' Meditations as first opening up the question of consciousness in Western philosophy, btw.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
@Randle, I've begun reading the paper (beginning with the notes, which is my wont) and it's clear to me already that this author knows phenomenological philosophy in general and MP in particular very well indeed. She also cites three articles by Renaud Barbaras, a major scholar of MP's ontological thought, but does not cite his daunting book The Being of the Phenomenon (which is highly relevant to her paper, and which I've yet read only in parts). You can read a sample of this book at the Google Books page linked below, but for a clear orientation to MP's ontology of the flesh and the Chiasm begin with the eloquently written Translators' Introduction, Barbaras's Preface to the English Translation, and Barbaras's Introduction to the French Edition. Having just read these three sections again I think I'm perhaps better oriented now to tackle The Being of the Phenomenon at one fell swoop.

The Being of the Phenomenon

ps, I think that @Michael Allen might find The Being of the Phenomenon to be interesting and clarifying re phenomenology, so I'm flagging him here.

Also, the author of the paper you've linked seems to spend as much time discussing Gestalt theory as she does MP, which might be because the paper is part of her dissertation or a larger study. I'll read her paper first and then look for my copy of the elusive Barbaras book. I'm very glad you linked her paper and opened this subject up for me again.
 
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USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
@Randle, I've begun reading the paper (beginning with the notes, which is my wont) and it's clear to me already that this author knows phenomenological philosophy in general and MP in particular very well indeed. She also cites two books and an article by Renaud Barbaras, a penetrating scholar of MP's thought, but does not cite his daunting work The Being of the Phenomenon (which I've yet read only in parts). You can read a sample of this book at the Google Books page linked below, but for a clearly and eloquently expressed introduction to MP's ontology of the flesh and the Chiasm begin with the eloquently written Translators' Introduction, Barbaras's Preface to the English Translation, and Barbaras's Introduction to the French Edition. Having just read these three sections again I think I'm perhaps better oriented now to tackle The Being of the Phenomenon at one fell swoop.

The Being of the Phenomenon

ps, I think that @Michael Allen might find The Being of the Phenomenon to be interesting and clarifying re phenomenology, so I'm flagging him here.

Also, the author of the paper you've linked seems to spend as much time discussing Gestalt theory as she does MP, which might be because the paper is part of her dissertation or a larger study. I'll read her paper first and then look for my copy of the elusive Barbaras book. I'm very glad you linked her paper and opened this subject up for me again.
Thanks for your comments Constance. It's nice to see new resources ( at least for me ) like Ergo pop up. There's probably other interesting stuff there, but I haven't had a chance to delve into it yet.
 

Farlig Gulstein

Skilled Investigator
Although a neuroscientist would likely disagree, metaphysics must be discussed when exploring the nature of consciousness.

The following is an excellent talk given by theoretical physicist David Tong via the Royal Institute series. He prefaced the talk by asking “what are we made of?”
Seems to me that Tong and his colleagues have subtly changed the playing ground as to what physicists consider the “fundamental” essence of reality. According to Tong’s talk, contrary to deeply ingrained popular belief even among scientists, particles of the Standard Model are not the fundamental essence of reality, but instead, infinitely vast, three dimensional “fields” out from which the particles arise.

In other words, many three dimensional, interpenetrating fields are actually what support all the tiny, localized vibrations that we know as the various “particles” that make up the universe. Thus, all the expansive three-dimensional fields for particles must exist prior to the existence of any particle. That means that all the physical structures of the universe, from quarks to galactic superclusters, are all suspended in and produced out of these ubiquitous “fields” from which Standard Model particles arise.

Tong goes on to assert, without evidence, that these fields are “fundamental” as if he knows all about these fields. Personally, I doubt that he or his colleagues know much about the fields, nor if they are actually the fundamental essence of reality. It seems quite possible that these fields themselves are composed of their own essential particles so tremendously far below (i.e. smaller than) those of our Standard Model. If so, then I don’t really see any way for humans to use any of our Standard Model-sized measuring apparatus to ever discover much about the nature of these fields.

On the other hand, as Soupie seems to suggest, if these so-called “fields” are the actual basis from which arises all that we see around us as Standard Model physics, then there very well may be extremely fine structures (at unmeasurably small scales) within these fields that make crucial contributions to the differentiation of particles of the Standard Model. Even more, such unmeasurable fine structures may also very well be crucial to the nature of consciousness. In other words, perhaps very deeply below the Standard Model particles that make up our bodies and brains, our sensations of consciousness may actually reside in infinitesimally small fine structures at the level of the essence of these fields.

Various guests on the Paracast present challenging evidence of what we might call “sapiens class intelligent entities” but that are not human beings, and these entities are often reported as virtually undetectable until they choose to make themselves known to us. Some of the paranormal evidence presented also challenges conventional understandings of physics, such as the recent Nimitz anomalous objects.

So, perhaps non-human sapiens class intelligent entities made up of fine structures at the essential levels of the fields actually do exist alongside of us humans. Since we are so overwhelmed by the Standard Model size of things, we cannot easily detect them. It would not be inconceivable that such non-humans could manipulate the fields that support Standard Model physics in ways that seem impossible to us. Perhaps at the "field" level they are not bound to the same “physics” that we are. So, they could operate from below our Standard Model and manipulate our reality as they please. Perhaps.

Such non-human beings would thus not actually be "interdimensional" but they would conceivably be able to manifest however they like at the Standard Model level of physics, and also demanifest at will. Maybe.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Seems to me that Tong and his colleagues have subtly changed the playing ground as to what physicists consider the “fundamental” essence of reality. According to Tong’s talk, contrary to deeply ingrained popular belief even among scientists, particles of the Standard Model are not the fundamental essence of reality, but instead, infinitely vast, three dimensional “fields” out from which the particles arise ...
Excellent post. You're clearly a deep thinker.

It seems to me that fields, particles, strings and vertices, whatever the case may be, are all abstract representations, or models, that we use to plot relationships between the phenomena that makes up our physical world. However the fundamental nature of all such phenomena is still a mystery. Many tend to disagree, stating examples such as light being photons or electricity being electrons, but those labels don't actually explain anything.

Such labels only utilize a particle model as a way of thinking about the phenomena of light and electricity. But a particle model ( or any model ) does nothing to tell us what actually imparts the properties onto the units used within the model. At some point we simply accept that the properties are present, and use them as the starting point.

As we attempt to peer ever closer at the structure of the physical world, what we once theorized as particles, like little round bits of stuff, seem more and more like regions of space with particular properties relative to other regions of space. Hence the idea that particles are more like small fields rather than mini billiard balls of a particular color and number.

Yes we might suppose that such fields are in-turn composed of even smaller billiard ball like particles. But we can do that in an infinite regression, and be no further ahead. We might invoke some arbitrarily small unit of measurement like the Planck length to put an end to the regressive iteration, but that still doesn't provide a solution. It only provides a demarcation point between the larger and smaller.

So the fundamental nature of existence is a more complex problem than we seem to be equipped to deal with. That however doesn't mean that all competing theories or ideas carry equal weight with respect to what our realm of existence is made of, or how it may or may not interact with other realms of existence ( assuming there are any ). By sheer virtue of what we do know, certain rules must logically follow.
 

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