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Are Dreams an Extension of Physical Reality?
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DCJack



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:03 pm    Post subject: Are Dreams an Extension of Physical Reality? Reply with quote

from Huffington Post, Sept 16

Robert Lanza, M.D.Scientist, Theoretician
Posted: September 16, 2010 07:30 AM
Are Dreams an Extension of Physical Reality?

You spend a third of your life sleeping. What if your dreams are real? Perhaps our dismissal of dreams as "just dreams" is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of consciousness and physical reality.

"I am real" said Alice (in Wonderland). "If I wasn't real, I shouldn't be able to cry."

"I hope you don't suppose those are real tears?" Tweedledum interrupted in a tone of great contempt.

We take for granted how our mind puts everything together. Everything we experience is a whirl of information occurring in our heads. Biocentrism -- a new "theory of everything" -- tells us that space and time aren't the hard objects we think, but rather tools our mind uses to put everything together. They're the key to consciousness, and why in experiments with particles, space and time -- and indeed the properties of matter itself -- are relative to the observer. During both dreams and waking hours, your mind collapses probability waves to generate a physical reality, replete with a functioning body. You're able to think and experience sensations in a 3D world.

We dismiss dreams because they end when we wake up. However, the duration of the experience doesn't mean it has any less basis in physical reality. Certainly we don't think day-to-day life is less real because we fall asleep or die. It's true we don't remember events in our dreams as well as in waking hours, but the fact that Alzheimer's patients may have little memory of events doesn't mean their life is any less real. Or that individuals who take psychedelic drugs don't experience physical reality, even if the spatio-temporal events they experience are distorted or they don't remember all of the events when the drugs wear off (certainly, anyone they had sex with would confirm this).

We also dismiss dreams as unreal because they're associated with brain activity during sleep. But are our waking hours unreal because they're associated with the neural activity in our brain? Certainly, the bio-physical logic of consciousness -- whether during a dream or waking hours -- can always be traced backwards, whether to neurons or the Big Bang. But according to biocentrism, reality is a process that involves our consciousness.

In contrast to dreams, we assume the everyday world is just "out there" and that we play no role in its appearance. We think they're different. Yet experiments show just the opposite: day-to-day reality is no more objective or observer-independent than dreams. The most vivid illustration of this is the famous two-hole experiment. When you watch a particle go through the holes, it behaves like a bullet, passing through one hole or the other. But if no one observes the particle, it exhibits the behavior of a wave and can pass through both holes at the same time. This and other experiments tell us that unobserved particles exist only as waves of probability.

Critics claim this behavior is limited to the microscopic world. But this "two-world" view (that is, one set of physical laws for small objects, and another for the rest of the universe) has no basis in reason and is being challenged in labs around the world. Last year (Nature 459, 683, 2009), researchers showed that quantum behavior extends into the everyday realm. Pairs of vibrating ions were coaxed to entangle so their physical properties remained bound together when separated by large distances ("spooky action at a distance," as Einstein put it). "Such situations are not observed in nature," stated the authors. "This may be simply due to our inability to sufficiently isolate the system of interest from the surrounding environment -- a technical limitation." Other experiments with huge molecules called "Buckyballs" also show that quantum reality extends beyond the microscopic world. And in 2005, KHC03 crystals exhibited entanglement ridges one-half inch high, quantum behavior nudging into the ordinary world of human-scale objects.

Whether awake or dreaming, you're experiencing the same bio-physical process. True, they're qualitatively different realities, but if you're thinking and feeling, it's real. Thus, René Descartes' famous statement Cogito, ergo sum ("I think, therefore I am").

Biocentrism (BenBella Books) lays out the full scientific explanation of Lanza's theory of everything.

Robert Lanza is considered one of the leading scientists in the world. He is currently Chief Scientific Officer at Advanced Cell Technology, and a professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
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planstodream



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem is that the real world is consistent, while the dreamworld is not. Every dream takes you to a different place, many of which don't exist outside of that dream. Even places that do exist outside the dream are often subtly different in the dream, and in different dreams, the "same" place will look completely different. That doesn't happen in reality. My home is the same today as it was last week, last month, last year. It only changes when I deliberately change it, and then it stays that way until I change it again. The real world is consistent and exists independently of me. My dreams exist entirely inside my head.
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DCJack



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 4:29 pm    Post subject: Not really Reply with quote

Thanks planstodream for your explanation of the standard delusion.

In fact advanced neurobiology has shown that the "physical" world as we perceive it only appears consistent because we are expending untold amounts of energetic resources to maintain it. Just as your body is using large amounts of energy to reproduce cells, fight infection, beat heart muscles, and even breathe without your conscious input, so too is your mind creating the world that you imagine to be "real".

Your mind does this to give you a sense of safety in the consistency. Your create the illusion of a stable world in order to feel that you have some control over what happens to you. It terrifies most people to imagine this.

The experience of fluidity in lucid dreaming is a closer approximation of what is "true" reality. Everything is in a constant state of flux and in consciousness, we have the ability to recreate any state of reality we chose. This is too much for most people who prefer a state of sleepwalking that they call "reality". It is actually an unconscious maintenance of a state that feels consistent to us. Everybody learns in high school physics that an atom is 99.99% empty void (as far as we can measure), but they still prefer to believe that physical experience is real.

And since most of us believe that it really is real, it is actually less real than lucid dreaming because it is a self imposed state of severe limitation. We are more powerful than we know and we are afraid of our natural power.
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Freddy885



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you saying that dreams are an extension of actual physical reality, or the reality we create in our minds?

If you're saying that dreams are made up of physical matter... dreams are way to unstable to even think that's possible.

But if you're arguing that dreams are an extension of what we perceive as reality, I'm pretty sure most people would agree. After all, reality as we perceive it is just a bunch of chemical reactions taking place in our brains, nothing more.
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planstodream



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:27 am    Post subject: Re: Not really Reply with quote

DCJack wrote:
In fact advanced neurobiology has shown...


Source?

DCJack wrote:
...that the "physical" world as we perceive it only appears consistent because we are expending untold amounts of energetic resources to maintain it.


If that's true, and there is no stable external world, then how can we have this conversation? When I log onto lucidipedia.com, if you're right, then my brain should be "expending untold amounts of energetic resources" to make it appear as though lucidipedia.com is just the same as it was when I logged off last time. In other words, the site would appear without your response in this forum topic.

Without some stable external world, it's impossible for us to communicate at all, except perhaps through some kind of direct telepathy. (Assuming you actually exist in the first place.) Indeed, without a stable external world, how is my mind expending any resources at all? Why not simply create whatever resources my mind needs, or recreate reality into one where it doesn't need to use any resources?

Furthermore, if we have "the ability to recreate any state of reality we choose", why try to convince me of your position with words? Why not simply recreate our reality into one where I agree with you? Maybe you can't influence my mind directly for some arbitrary reason. But if you do have the ability to recreate any state of reality, why not simply recreate the reality around me into one where your position is undeniable?

I know that an atom is almost entirely empty space by volume, but I also know that the eletromagnetic force prevents my atoms from passing through the atoms in the wall. I can't walk through a wall just because of what I choose to believe, because that wall actually exists independent of me or anything I believe. If you can walk through walls, I would LOVE to see the video.
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SwedishFish



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:26 am    Post subject: Re: Not really Reply with quote

planstodream wrote:
If that's true, and there is no stable external world, then how can we have this conversation? When I log onto lucidipedia.com, if you're right, then my brain should be "expending untold amounts of energetic resources" to make it appear as though lucidipedia.com is just the same as it was when I logged off last time. In other words, the site would appear without your response in this forum topic.


I think maybe what he means is that your brain is doing the exact same thing when you are awake as it is during a lucid dream when you are trying to keep it stabilized. When you "relax" (whatever that actually means) during sleep, your brain does not actively use its energy to uphold this stable representation of the world, and you can drift into what could be another view of the "reality". And your brain does not expend the energy to make lucidipedia.com appear the same, just as it does not expend the energy on keeping your lucid dream the same - it uses the energy to create something that is believable or consistent.

I will try to make a metaphor:
When you are watching an interesting movie, you are so focused on it that you forget about "real life". Your brain is spending energy on making you actually believe that what is happening in the film is true and real. But if you manage to look away you can see that the movie is just part of your reality, although a couple of seconds ago you thought that it *was* reality.
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planstodream



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Not really Reply with quote

SwedishFish wrote:
I think maybe what he means is that your brain is doing the exact same thing when you are awake as it is during a lucid dream when you are trying to keep it stabilized. When you "relax" (whatever that actually means) during sleep, your brain does not actively use its energy to uphold this stable representation of the world, and you can drift into what could be another view of the "reality".


If that's true, then why does external reality seem to be consistent between waking periods? If I'm relaxed enough while asleep to "let go" so to speak, how do I find myself in the same reality every time I wake up? (FAs excluded.)

SwedishFish wrote:
I will try to make a metaphor:
When you are watching an interesting movie, you are so focused on it that you forget about "real life". Your brain is spending energy on making you actually believe that what is happening in the film is true and real. But if you manage to look away you can see that the movie is just part of your reality, although a couple of seconds ago you thought that it *was* reality.


Movies can be very convincing, and very emotional, but I've never watched a movie that I actually believed was reality until I looked away. But even if I accept the metaphor, it still requires that there is an independently-existent brain that is spending some independently-existent energy to convince me about what is real and what is not. There must be something external to the mind that truly exists and is independent of the mind.
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SwedishFish



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Not really Reply with quote

planstodream wrote:
If that's true, then why does external reality seem to be consistent between waking periods? If I'm relaxed enough while asleep to "let go" so to speak, how do I find myself in the same reality every time I wake up? (FAs excluded.)


Maybe because it is as you say: "why does external reality seem to be consistent between waking periods".
That is exactly what's so special about lucid dreaming: You actually question if the situation is real or not. Normally when you dream, "the dreaming you" don't question the dream, but seem to accept the dream as reality.

You wake up in the same reality every time, because your brain tells you (or you tell yourself) that this is what the reality is like and what it was like yesterday too.
But maybe you are awake in the same (or very similar) reality every day, but you are asleep in different realities every night. Does that make sense?

planstodream wrote:
There must be something external to the mind that truly exists and is independent of the mind.


That depends on if your mind is part of the universe or if the universe is part of your mind.
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DCJack



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Einstein: "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."

Quote:

planstodream wrote:
There must be something external to the mind that truly exists and is independent of the mind.

SwedishFish wrote:
That depends on if your mind is part of the universe or if the universe is part of your mind.


Thank you SwedishFish. It sounds as if you have a similar understanding to mine.

I have taught myself to stay aware as I fall asleep as well as being aware during dreaming and again maintaining awareness as I transition from sleep to awakeness. I witnessed the recreation of my personality, every aspect of it as I moved from sleep to awakeness. This happens to most people before they become aware at awakening, so they assume that the world is just as they left it, when in fact they recreated it just before they awakened. It happens fairly quickly because we do the same thing every single day and we are familiar with what is required.

The reason that the world seems so consistent is that so many people are expending their energy to recreate it every moment. Lucky for you planstodream, that you do not have to do it all by yourself. As an architect, I sometimes spent weeks and months designing buildings that were never actually constructed. In my mind they existed. When I later drove by the empty lot, it was disorienting that the building had only existed in my own reality. I did not utilize the combined energies of all of the construction workers and neighbors who, watching it be built, would integrate it into their world view thereby perpetuating it.




Quote:
Without some stable external world, it's impossible for us to communicate at all, except perhaps through some kind of direct telepathy. (Assuming you actually exist in the first place.) Indeed, without a stable external world, how is my mind expending any resources at all? Why not simply create whatever resources my mind needs, or recreate reality into one where it doesn't need to use any resources?


Planstodream, you erroneously assume that the ways you are accustomed to communicate are the only ways possible and that the energy sources of which you are aware are the only ones there are. Many have already created the possibilities that you imagine and the only thing keeping you from recognizing them is that you believe that what you are already familiar with is all there is. In fact your questioning is bringing you closer to knowing the other realities firsthand.

Quote:
Furthermore, if we have "the ability to recreate any state of reality we choose", why try to convince me of your position with words? Why not simply recreate our reality into one where I agree with you? Maybe you can't influence my mind directly for some arbitrary reason. But if you do have the ability to recreate any state of reality, why not simply recreate the reality around me into one where your position is undeniable?


Yes, that reality already exists. You will realize it when you step into it.

Most people desperately want a stable predictable world to exist. That is why it appears to exist. Lucid dreaming can show one that a more fluid reality is also possible. Most dreamers prefer to believe that the dream life and the awake life are separate and incongruous because this seems more manageable. When one experiments with bringing the lucid potential into waking life, then what is accepted reality begins to shift. To those committed to the standard paradigm, this is seen as very threatening and those who dabble in these alternate realities are usually labeled as "insane".

“The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.”
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planstodream



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SwedishFish wrote:
That is exactly what's so special about lucid dreaming: You actually question if the situation is real or not. Normally when you dream, "the dreaming you" don't question the dream, but seem to accept the dream as reality.


True, but that's because there's a part of our brains (the lateral prefrontal cortex) that is active when we're in a lucid dream, but not when we're in a normal dream. This is the part of the brain that enables lucidity within a dream. That area is active when we're awake, so I think it's fair to say that we are "lucid" when we're awake.

SwedishFish wrote:
You wake up in the same reality every time, because your brain tells you (or you tell yourself) that this is what the reality is like and what it was like yesterday too.


Then why are my dreams different every night? If reality is the same every morning only because my mind recreates it the same every morning, then why does my mind create different dream worlds every night?

SwedishFish wrote:
But maybe you are awake in the same (or very similar) reality every day, but you are asleep in different realities every night. Does that make sense?


Yes, that's exactly true. And that makes perfect sense if the waking world is a real, physical world that exists independent of my mind, while the dream world is a limited, mental world that exists entirely within my skull. But if the dream world and the waking world are the same, then it doesn't make sense that there should be any such distinction between the two.

SwedishFish wrote:
planstodream wrote:
There must be something external to the mind that truly exists and is independent of the mind.

That depends on if your mind is part of the universe or if the universe is part of your mind.

DCJack wrote:
Thank you SwedishFish. It sounds as if you have a similar understanding to mine.


No, SwedishFish, it doesn't. If I am all that exists, then what is it that convinces me that something else exists? You can call it "my" mind, but if it's working at cross-purposes to me and is capable of deceiving me, then it's not really me. It may be some other Mind or Descartes' evil demon, but there must be something external to me that truly exists and is independent of me.

DCJack wrote:
Einstein: "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."


Einstein also asked, "Do you really think the moon isn't there if you aren't looking at it?"

DCJack wrote:
When I later drove by the empty lot, it was disorienting that the building had only existed in my own reality.


If there is no external reality independent of your mind, then you never would have driven past that empty lot. In your mind, you had already constructed a building there. But the stubborn fact that the building did not exist jolted you back to reality. Sure, it's easy for you to imagine that you've constructed some massive new building, but if you can't even fool yourself into thinking that it really exists, why would someone else believe in it?

What I get from these paragraphs is that you have a very active imagination, and that's great. But there's a huge difference between imagining something to be real and actually creating a real thing. If you can "recreate" a reality with your imagination, which only you can see, and then when you stop it goes back to actual reality... that's not a big deal. I can do that too. The difference is that I still know there's a difference between actual reality and my imagined non-reality.

DCJack wrote:
The reason that the world seems so consistent is that so many people are expending their energy to recreate it every moment. [...] Planstodream, you erroneously assume that the ways you are accustomed to communicate are the only ways possible and that the energy sources of which you are aware are the only ones there are.


I think you misunderstand me, and maybe that's because I misunderstand you. Do you contend that there is no true reality external to your mind, that all of it is created on a constant basis by your mind (with the exception of other minds who are also creating their own realities)? That's the impression I'm getting, and maybe I'm reading too much into your posts.

If that is your position, then the only way for us to communicate is directly from one mind to another. If the only things that exist are our minds, then there is no medium for communication except direct telepathy. There's no room for other ways to communicate, and there's no room for novel energy sources, because our minds are the only things that exist. It doesn't matter whether I know about these communication media and energy sources or not, because there is no possibility for them to exist. Indeed, the ones I do know about also do not exist.

In order for there to be some energy source that my mind is using to construct reality, there must be some external reality that contains said energy source! The assumptions that you've made require an external reality even as your conclusion seems to be that there is no external reality. This is why I think I might be misunderstanding you, so please correct me if I'm misrepresenting what you're saying.

DCJack wrote:
Most people desperately want a stable predictable world to exist. That is why it appears to exist. Lucid dreaming can show one that a more fluid reality is also possible. Most dreamers prefer to believe that the dream life and the awake life are separate and incongruous because this seems more manageable.


Here, you run into the same problem that SwedishFish does. If my mind desperately wants a stable world and if my mind is capable of controlling my perceptions so that I believe the world is stable, then why aren't my dreams stable too? Why doesn't my mind control my perceptions of my dreams so that I believe they are stable?

Here's a final question for you: What is the ontological status of this conversation? Does this conversation exist? If it does, then where does it exist? If it doesn't, then why would my mind convince me that it does? If my mind is so set on maintaining the illusion that reality is consistent, why would it create any suggestion to the contrary?
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Alinor



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

planstodream wrote:
The problem is that the real world is consistent, while the dreamworld is not. Every dream takes you to a different place, many of which don't exist outside of that dream. Even places that do exist outside the dream are often subtly different in the dream, and in different dreams, the "same" place will look completely different. That doesn't happen in reality. My home is the same today as it was last week, last month, last year. It only changes when I deliberately change it, and then it stays that way until I change it again. The real world is consistent and exists independently of me. My dreams exist entirely inside my head.


Well the idea that reality is consistent is also another belief based on our experience, why can't another reality be inconsistent?
We simply base the idea of real on this reality but how strange would this reality be if you were living in the dream and came here? Then the dream would be real and inconsistency and flexibility of reality would be something very normal and real, while consistency of this(our physical) reality would be very strange!
It is all a matter of perception. And reality must be taken for what it is and not for what it is perceived to be. And if you examine the facts - dream world no less real then this world it is just different.
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DCJack



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You sound rather argumentative, Planstodream. You seem to be locked into a particular paradigm and very resistant to opening to the possibility that the mental model of the world that you have constructed in your head is only a very limited approximation of the true vastness of reality. If you look back on our past as humans, you will see that at each and every point in recorded history people believed things that were untrue. In spite of your confidence in the perspective that you have learned from books and others, this is also true of you and everyone else alive today, even the most advanced scientists.

So at this point, you are faced with a choice. You can either open your mind to the possibility of new horizons, or stay trapped in the one you are in. Since you are on a site devoted to lucid dreaming, then you must know that the vast majority of people think that it is nonsense. I assume that you are more open than those people. But unless you have actually experienced lucid dreaming, you can’t really know what it is. So it is with the view of reality that we are discussing here.

If you have a curious mind, you will explore the possibilities discussed here and try some experiments in consciousness yourself. It could possibly take you decades just to feel a basic proficiency in LD. It is worth the effort. Since you quoted Einstein, it was said that as late as 40 years after his theories of relativity were published there were only perhaps 50 people in the world who understood what he wrote. That understanding is much more widespread today. Attempting to describe the delusion of the permanence of physical reality is similarly daunting, a bit like explaining how a radio works to an aborigine. It would take years of basic science to develop just a basic understanding in him.

Here’s a big clue about how ignorant modern science is about how the “brain” works. As you described, scientists have found that certain areas of the brain are “active” during certain functions. I hope you can possibly see how primitive and meaningless this bit of information is. It is a bit like assuming that the “activity” of a polygraph tells you anything about what truth is. It doesn’t. And yet people would like to pretend that this information is significant and that they have acquired some meaningful insight for knowing it. Even the most advanced scientists are not even close to understanding what consciousness is and they know that. If you don’t know what consciousness is, you cannot possibly know what “reality” is.

I tried to explain to you that what you experience as reality is consistent because so many people have invested so much of their time making it that way, but this understanding seems to elude you. People resist change except in minor ways under which they feel they can maintain a sense of control. In response, you simply repeat the same question, a variation of “how can that be?” That is what the aborigine would say about the radio.

The reason your dream life seems meaningless is because you have not trained it. What would you expect? If you trained your dream experience, you could have the same dream every night if you wanted. Then it would be just like your life. But you haven’t disciplined your dream life, so it has seemed random.

Everyone participates in the maintenance of the physical world. Only you are responsible for your dream life. That is why one seems consistant and one variable. In fact, if you could witness life on a different time frame, say sped up 100x, even life on earth would seem quite variable. I assume that from your studies that you can appreciate that time is an arbitrary perspective.
It is erroneous to assume that waking life is real while dreaming is not real. It is similarly erroneous to assume that fundamental laws of the quantum realm do not apply to the physical world. There is continuity to life.

Planstodream, you have imagined that the form that you exist as is real, but it too is only a dream. You are lost in the dream believing it is real, asking if this is not real, then what is? You desperately want something to be “real”. This stubbornness will limit what you are able to experience. One way to overcome this self-imposed limitation is to imagine what it would feel like if the “you” that you believe yourself to be did not exist. What would remain if your sense of personal identity was erased? If you search for an “answer” like one that you might find in a book, you will never know the truth. Seekers spend years searching for this understanding just like they spend years attempting to lucid dream. Once you find it, reality will never be the same for you.

It appears that you also erroneously believe that physical sense experience is more valid than imagination. This is the favorite comfort zone of the limited consciousness right before “it is not real if it can’t be proven”. Imagination is a tool as valid as vision hearing or thought. Einstein made it his primary investigative tool and he did more to advance our understanding of consciousness than anyone in the last 100 years.

Your question should not be “what exists?” That just comes from your need to have some sense of security in a world you do not understand. Instead it would be better to ask “what am I?” What you think you are is extremely limited. You are much more vast than you can imagine.
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planstodream



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alinor wrote:
Well the idea that reality is consistent is also another belief based on our experience, why can't another reality be inconsistent?


What would you consider to be a belief that is not based on experience?

Alinor wrote:
We simply base the idea of real on this reality but how strange would this reality be if you were living in the dream and came here? Then the dream would be real and inconsistency and flexibility of reality would be something very normal and real, while consistency of this(our physical) reality would be very strange!
It is all a matter of perception. And reality must be taken for what it is and not for what it is perceived to be. And if you examine the facts - dream world no less real then this world it is just different.


But we do live in the dream! While we're in them, dreams can be just as real and meaningful as actual reality. We experience both the dream world and the waking world, we live in both. Yet even within dreams (when we know that it is a dream), we acknowledge that it is less consequential. That's part of the allure of LDing, being able to access a realm where actions don't have consequences.

Now we could debate the meaning of the word real, but in my opinion, anything labeled reality must have the property of being consequential. To the extent that dreams aren't consequential, I think it's perfectly fair to say that they are less real.
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planstodream



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DCJack wrote:
You sound rather argumentative, Planstodream. You seem to be locked into a particular paradigm...


I wouldn't consider myself locked into a particular paradigm. I am entirely willing to change my most deeply held beliefs if the evidence warrants a change. You claim that our minds use unnamed "energetic resources" to "recreate reality," but where is the evidence?

DCJack wrote:
So at this point, you are faced with a choice. You can either open your mind to the possibility of new horizons, or stay trapped in the one you are in.


Again, I'm perfectly open to new horizons, but if you want me to believe the same as you, you're going to have to show me the evidence that backs up your claim. Unfortunately, in my experience, claims that the other side is close-minded tend to come from those who have the least evidence on their side. Even so, I'm willing to be proven wrong.

DCJack wrote:
But unless you have actually experienced lucid dreaming, you can’t really know what it is. So it is with the view of reality that we are discussing here.


Since I have experienced lucid dreams, I have to heartily disagree with this statement. You can know what a lucid dream is, even without having had one. By the same token, I can know what a banana is without having ever been a banana. I can see that here you're trying to suggest an experiential requirement for knowledge, and I can tell you that it's not going to hold up.

A lot of other people have tried the same thing, from Hindus and Buddhists to Muslims and Christians. Many of them say you can't really understand their religion unless you experience the same connection to the universe/God that they have. I've even seen atheists claim that you can't really understand atheism until you give up your belief in God! It all boils down to that same experiential requirement for knowledge. But if I have to actually believe a statement before I can pass judgment on whether it's true or not, how could anyone ever figure out the truth? More importantly, what basis does anyone have to say that anyone else's belief is false?

DCJack wrote:
As you described, scientists have found that certain areas of the brain are “active” during certain functions. I hope you can possibly see how primitive and meaningless this bit of information is. It is a bit like assuming that the “activity” of a polygraph tells you anything about what truth is. It doesn’t.


For the most part, I agree with this. I think neurologists tend to put too much importance on neural "activity" without understanding what it is. Even so, there's a big difference between admitting that something isn't necessarily 100% true on the one hand, and claiming that it is "primitive and meaningless" on the other hand. No true scientist would ever claim that something is necessarily 100% true, because new evidence can always prove it wrong. But that's no reason to ignore the conclusions that the best current evidence seems to point to.

DCJack wrote:
Even the most advanced scientists are not even close to understanding what consciousness is and they know that. If you don’t know what consciousness is, you cannot possibly know what “reality” is.


This is wrong. It's easy to determine (or define) what consciousness is. What we don't know, and what "the most advanced scientists are not even close to understanding" is how to get consciousness from the brain as we currently understand it. That's a big difference.

DCJack wrote:
I tried to explain to you that what you experience as reality is consistent because so many people have invested so much of their time making it that way, but this understanding seems to elude you. People resist change except in minor ways under which they feel they can maintain a sense of control. In response, you simply repeat the same question, a variation of “how can that be?” That is what the aborigine would say about the radio.


Actually, no. "How can that be?" doesn't describe my questioning in the least. But let's assume that it does, and that I've actually been asking, "How can this be?" all this time. If you travel back in time and show a radio to a common person a thousand years ago, and they ask, "How can this be?", you could give a fairly complete answer. Assuming that you have enough time and that you actually know how a radio works, you can teach this person from the past all they would ever want to know about the inner workings of a radio.

In comparison, if I ask, "How can that be?" for your worldview, the response I've gotten so far more or less sums up to, "Because I said so, and if you disagree, you have a closed mind, and you're holding on to the idea of a stable reality as a psychological crutch." Answers like that won't convince me. Evidence will.

DCJack wrote:
The reason your dream life seems meaningless...


I really don't recall saying that, and in fact, I've said exactly the opposite many times, in other Lucidipedia forum topics if not this one. I find the assertion that it is meaningless (as well as the general tone here) rather patronizing, but I'll choose to ignore that.

DCJack wrote:
If you trained your dream experience, you could have the same dream every night if you wanted. Then it would be just like your life.


When, precisely, was I able to train my waking experience to achieve such consistency? If the inconsistency of the dreamworld is the default for the waking world as well, how was it ever possible for anyone (let alone everyone) to train themselves to overcome it?

Note that these questions are not variations on an incredulous, "How can it be?" They point out logical flaws in your argument. Do you have a rebuttal to these specific points?

DCJack wrote:
Everyone participates in the maintenance of the physical world. Only you are responsible for your dream life. That is why one seems consistant and one variable.


On the one hand, you claim that there is no physical reality, that it is entirely created by the mind. On the other hand, you claim that everyone participates in physical reality. Which is it? (Again, this is a logical flaw in your argument. Do you have a rebuttal?)

DCJack wrote:
It is erroneous to assume that waking life is real while dreaming is not real. It is similarly erroneous to assume that fundamental laws of the quantum realm do not apply to the physical world. There is continuity to life.


Yes, there is continuity to life (in the waking world). But for the most part, there is not continuity between dreams. You may say that I can train myself to achieve continuity between dreams, but no one ever trained themselves to achieve continuity in the waking world. Indeed, if we started in a world with no continuity at all, it would be impossible to train to achieve that continuity!

DCJack wrote:
Planstodream, you have imagined that the form that you exist as is real, but it too is only a dream... This stubbornness will limit what you are able to experience...


Again, show me evidence. Vague assertions on my psychological state that could've come from Morpheus himself don't cut it. What's the evidence for what you believe? In this post and the ones before, I've tried to point out places where your claims contain logical flaws, or contradict the balance of evidence, or even contradict each other. If you want to convince me, you need to do away with the vague psychological rambling and address those logical flaws. Instead of just saying that I'm wrong and close-minded and stubborn, show me why I'm wrong, and more importantly, show me why you are right. Give me evidence.

DCJack wrote:
It appears that you also erroneously believe that physical sense experience is more valid than imagination. This is the favorite comfort zone of the limited consciousness right before “it is not real if it can’t be proven”. Imagination is a tool as valid as vision hearing or thought. Einstein made it his primary investigative tool and he did more to advance our understanding of consciousness than anyone in the last 100 years.


You're putting the cart before the horse, here. If Einstein had relied solely on imagination, who would he have convinced? Yes, his theories are elegant and, to the extent that math can be beautiful, his equations are beautiful. But if imagination is just as valid as logic and evidence, then his equations are meaningless. I could imagine that the Grand Unified Theory is a butterfly, and it would be beautiful, but that doesn't make it true.

So you don't like the approach that "it's not real if it can't be proven," okay. How about this: It's not real if it can be disproven. Now in this post and the posts above, I've identified a number of areas where your claims are simply not logically consistent. Unless you can show me why your claims are logically consistent in spite of these apparent flaws, these flaws are enough to your claims disproven. Can you use logic and evidence to show me otherwise?

DCJack wrote:
Your question should not be “what exists?” That just comes from your need to have some sense of security in a world you do not understand. Instead it would be better to ask “what am I?” What you think you are is extremely limited. You are much more vast than you can imagine.


I didn't ask, "What exists?" I asked, "Does this conversation exist?" I assert that it does. Your claims assert that it does not. Can you demonstrate how your worldview allows this assertion despite the logical flaws that it implies (and that are outlined in post where I asked this question)?

Again, I'm not interested in vague platitudes of unimagined greatness or patronizing assumptions on my psychological state. I'm interested in the evidence, and the logic. What is your evidence?
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Alinor



Joined: 01 Feb 2009
Posts: 121

PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

planstodream wrote:
Alinor wrote:
Well the idea that reality is consistent is also another belief based on our experience, why can't another reality be inconsistent?


What would you consider to be a belief that is not based on experience?

Alinor wrote:
We simply base the idea of real on this reality but how strange would this reality be if you were living in the dream and came here? Then the dream would be real and inconsistency and flexibility of reality would be something very normal and real, while consistency of this(our physical) reality would be very strange!
It is all a matter of perception. And reality must be taken for what it is and not for what it is perceived to be. And if you examine the facts - dream world no less real then this world it is just different.


But we do live in the dream! While we're in them, dreams can be just as real and meaningful as actual reality. We experience both the dream world and the waking world, we live in both. Yet even within dreams (when we know that it is a dream), we acknowledge that it is less consequential. That's part of the allure of LDing, being able to access a realm where actions don't have consequences.

Now we could debate the meaning of the word real, but in my opinion, anything labeled reality must have the property of being consequential. To the extent that dreams aren't consequential, I think it's perfectly fair to say that they are less real.


For something to be consequential, there has to be time that is moving in one direction. Time in the dream is not moving in one direction, this time anomaly is what gives the dream world it's properties.
If time moves in one direction and you can not move in time then broken glass can not be put together, it's broken forever. Well if you can move in time just like you move in other dimensions then you can move back in time and put that glass together. And so you are saying that the fact that you can move in time makes dream reality less real?
All of the anomalies you see in the dream have to do with time, rapid changes in the environment can be easily explained as shifts in time, if you shift in time 100years from now location you are in will be very different, that is what you observe.

My implication is that what we perceive as real is bound to physical laws and our experience here, but for someone living in a dream dream environment is more real then physical. It's a matter of perception.
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