THE GOD THEORY
by BERNARD HAISCH
The spiritual worldview of the mystics is grounded on three fundamental assumptions:
* There is an ultimately benevolent Creator who seeks the good of all, despite evidence to the contrary from our limited historical perspective.
* Human beings are immortal spiritual forms that evolve through temporary bodies.
* There exist realms of reality beyond the presently known particles and forces of modern physics.
Without these assumptions, you can build a system of morals and/or an ethical view of life, but not a substantive spiritual worldview. Each moves what may start as a system of morals or ethics progressively toward a significant new vision of spirituality in nature by marrying the values of objective scientific discovery with the experience of a far larger reality.
All of these assumptions are at odds with the tenets of fundamentalist science. None, however, are genuinely at odds with either the corpus of scientific knowledge or mainstream scientific method. How is this possible? Because mainstream science limits its investigations to the physical world, thereby precluding inquiry into this larger realm. Thus, arguments against these fundamental spiritual tenets are based on dogmatic assumptions grounded in the worldview of fundamentalist scientism, not on any objective scientific evidence.
Three Views of Consciousness
The evidence of the mystics is, of course, intimately connected with the ontology of consciousness.
What is this mysterious consciousness that is the essence of our lives? There are essentially three views we can take on that question.
The first: holds that the material world is all there is. In this view, everything can ultimately be reduced to physics and nothing but physics. Reality consists of nothing more—and nothing less—than the space, time, particles, and forces that physicists document. In this view, of course, consciousness itself must be explained in terms of atoms and molecules, and these explanations abound. One such model views consciousness as nothing but a computer-like function of the brain and claims that thinking is akin to executing a series of algorithms. You may think you are thinking, but it really comes down to neurons in your brain interacting with each other as if your brain were some kind of mental laptop.
In this view, feelings—happiness, sorrow, inspiration, love— must also originate in the physiology of neurons and synapses. Indeed, mood-altering drugs like Prozac and the discoveries of genetics are taken as confirmation of this view.
From this perspective, consciousness, as a strictly epiphenomenal product of the brain, can neither exist apart from the body nor, obviously, survive death. Consciousness is ultimately nothing more than a chemically driven illusion.
The second view: of consciousness holds that material reality is primary, but not exclusive. Something else has managed to come on the scene.
[YES INDEED THE BIBLE SPEAKS OF “THE SPIRIT IN MAN” - I SHOW IN MY STUDY REGARDING IT, THOUGH THE SPIRIT IN MAN GOES BACK TO GOD WHO GAVE IT (ECC. 12:9), IT DOES NOT WORK OUTSIDE THE BODY OF MAN/WOMAN. IF YOU GO BLIND THE “SPIRIT” OF MAN DOES NOT TAKE OVER AND SEE FOR YOU. BUT IT DOES WORK WITH THE BRAIN TO MAKE YOU YOU, AND TO BE CONSCIOUS AS LIKE NO OTHER CREATURE ON EARTH. MY STUDY ON THE SPIRIT IN MAN IS FOUND UNDER “LIFE, DEATH AND RESURRECTION” STUDY NO. 7 - Keith Hunt]
In this view, something greater than material reality has arisen out of ordinary matter through some kind of complex evolutionary process.
[NOT AT ALL…… IT DOES NOT COME THROUGH EVOLUTION, IT IS GIVEN BY GOD, AND GOD TAKES IT BACK WHEN YOU DIE - ECC. 12: 9 - Keith Hunt]
This "something greater" is consciousness.
This explanation of the origins of consciousness is often couched in terms of quantum laws and logic, and sometimes in terms of the non-linear mathematical possibilities afforded by chaos theory. Clearly consciousness, in this view, is normally linked to material bodies.,Whether it can exist apart from material bodies is unknown, but the prevailing sentiment appears to deny that possibility. The survival of consciousness after death is, therefore, also deemed unlikely.
[THIS “SPIRIT IN MAN” IS NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT; IT DOES NOT FUNCTION SEPARATELY FROM THE BODY OF MAN; IT DOES EXIST AFTER DEATH; IT GOES BACK TO GOD - ECC. 12: 9. IT CAN BE LIKENED TO A CD OR DVD - IT RECORDS AND KEEPS A CHRISTIAN’S RIGHTEOUS CHARACTER, ALL SINS HAVE BEEN WASH AWAY BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB - JESUS CHRIST. ONLY RIGHTEOUS CHARACTER EXISTS ON THIS CD/DVD WHEN A TRUE CHRISTIAN DIES. AGAIN THIS SPIRIT IN MAN IS NOT SOME IMMORTAL MAN/WOMAN LIVING, TALKING, THINKING, WALKING, AROUND HEAVEN ALL DAY - SEE MY STUDIES UNDER “DEATH AND RESURRECTION” FOR THE FULL IN-DEPTH STUDIES ON DEATH AND RESURRECTION - Keith Hunt]
The third view: of consciousness holds that material reality is not only non-exclusive; it is secondary. Something else came first.
This spiritual perspective holds that forces and intelligences in a non-material realm or realms created, or perhaps continually create and sustain, the world of matter and physical laws. Human beings have a dualistic nature—a material body and a non-material consciousness. Intelligent thought operates through the brain, but is more than just a physical process. The brain is, indeed, a data processor, but intelligence and consciousness reside elsewhere. The ability of consciousness to exist apart from the body and to survive death is, therefore, likely.
[THIS IS VERY CLOSE TO THE SECOND; WE ARE GIVEN A “SPIRIT” - NONE PHYSICAL THAT UNITES WITH OUR BRAIN TO GIVE US HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS; THAT MAKES US FAR ABOVE ANY OTHER PHYSICAL CREATURE. IT IS A UNQUE SPIRIT THAT MAKES US HUMAN BEINGS; AS OPPOSED TO A SPIRIT IN ANIMALS THAT, ALTHOUGH THEY CAN VARY IN WAYS THAT DRAW THEM CLOSE OR DISTANT FROM MAN, AND HAVE “TYPE” OF PERSONALITY - BEING A HORSEMAN I KNOW ALL HORSES HAVE THEIR OWN PERSONALITY, AS DO DOGS (HAD THREE OF THEM) AND CATS (HAD ONE AND THERE ARE THREE AT THE RANCH, WITH THEIR INDIVIDUAL PERSONALITY) - Keith Hunt]
Indeed, proponents of this view see the physical world as a kind of school, created for the development and evolution of spiritual beings. Through this process, you rise to ever-higher levels of moral development and wisdom.
[THE HIGHER TRUE DEVELOPMENT CAN ONLY COME BY HAVING GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT UNITED WITH YOUR SPIRIT IN MAN. THE BRAIN AND SPIRIT IN MAN CAN DO WONDERFUL THINGS, EVEN GENIUS THINGS, BUT FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN DEVELOPING THE NATURE AND MIND OF GOD, YOU NEED THE HOLY SPIRIT IN YOU, WHICH IS ALSO THE FATHER AND SON CHRIST JESUS IN YOU VIA THAT HOLY SPIRIT - JOHN 14: 23; 16: 7-15 - Keith Hunt]
Through a series of material incarnations, you ultimately attain perfection and are reunited with the creator of all. Thus, "the One who became many is becoming one again."
[THE AUTHOR GOES BACK TO “KARMA” RELIGIOUS STUFF; THAT EVERYONE IS ON A JOURNEY TO UNITE WITH GOD, SOMEDAY, NO MATTER IF A CHRISTIAN OR NOT; JESUS CHRIST IS NOT IN “KARMA” RELIGION - THAT RELIGIOUS THEOLOGY DOES NOT NEED HIM - Keith Hunt]
The issue in this view is thus not the survival of consciousness after death. Quite the opposite. Descent from a spiritual realm and subsequent existence in the material world is only a transitory state. Your natural, timeless home lies in the supernatural world of the Creator. The universe explored by astronomers is merely a physical plane (in a four-dimensional space-time sense) that subsists within that wider, supernatural realm.
[THE KARMA RELIGION IS YOU COME FROM GOD, YOU HAVE YOUR START IN HIM, AND THIS EARTHLY JOURNEY IS JUST A RELATIVELY TRANSITORY STATE, AN EDUCATIONAL STATE OF EVOLVING TO GO BACK TO GOD - Keith Hunt]
The first viewpoint—that of consciousness as epiphenome-non—predominates in modern physical science.
The second view—that of consciousness coexisting with material reality—is accepted by some, though viewed with considerable skepticism.
The third—that of consciousness as primary—is not considered appropriate for scientific discussion today.
Most scientists are not just committed to the belief that reality must be exclusively physical; they honestly cannot imagine any other model. Yet it is precisely this third viewpoint that warrants consideration in a world growing ever more lost in the maze of its own scientific and technological advances.
CONSCIOUSNESS AND PHYSIOLOGY
If you take a skeptical perspective on human consciousness, the question is: Do advances in medicine and pharmacology increase the likelihood that our thoughts and emotions can indeed be explained entirely as the workings of a brain in a body? If a drug can make you happy or cure depression, is it then reasonable to think that further discoveries in biochemistry will eventually explain your entire conscious world—your creativity, your capacity for love and hate, even your spiritual longings? Many reasonable and thoughtful men and women answer yes.
On the other hand, consider this analogy:
An automobile travels from San Francisco to New York. That trip can be explained purely in terms of physics and mechanics. So much gasoline is consumed, the cylinders fire so many times, the drive shaft rotates so many times, the wheels revolve so many times. All true, but none of that explanation addresses how the trip actually takes place, much less why. It ignores the fact that the car is operated by a driver, and that the driver is motivated by feelings and desires. The reductionist analysis grounded in fuel consumption and mechanics is entirely accurate; it is just entirely beside the point. We can consider the functioning of the human body in a similar way. You can analyze all the purely physiological aspects of human actions, thoughts, and emotions and arrive at an accurate, but incomplete and irrelevant, understanding that ignores the most important factor—the driver, or consciousness.
[I AGREE, THE AUTHOR IS RIGHT ON HERE - Keith Hunt]
This analogy is also useful as an answer to those who argue that the demonstrable effects of drugs on human emotion or the inherited abilities described through genetics are evidence against consciousness as anything other than a material substrate. The quality of the drive, the degree of control, the attainable speed— all of these things will indeed vary with the condition of the automobile. A skilled driver may be able to compensate for certain deficiencies of the vehicle, but the performance of a brand new Ferrari will be different from that of a beat-up old Chevy, no matter who is driving.
Mind-altering drugs do act upon physiology, and genes can enhance or limit the capabilities of your body and your brain. Without a doubt, the physiological effects of chemicals and genes can affect your state of mind and your apparent abilities. During your human lifetime, your consciousness is undoubtedly constrained by your brain, although perhaps not as much as you have been led to believe. But, in the third view of consciousness, there is more to it than that.
The Brain as Filter
In his book, The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley tries to make sense of his experience with mescaline, a drug used for centuries by Indians of the Southwest and Mexico to induce spiritually significant altered states. Huxley's experience was profound in a way that transcends language. Being a meticulous observer and an articulate reporter, Huxley strives to describe how his sense perception and his perception of existence itself shifted during his experience. He is only partially successful, because he has, for a time, experienced a totally different reality that cannot properly be reduced to ordinary language.
Reductionists would take this as proof of the physiological influence of a chemical, and claim that Huxley's experience reinforces their view of consciousness as chemistry. Huxley sees a deeper significance. Citing the work of Cambridge philosopher C. D. Broad, he draws the conclusion that we are all potentially "Mind at Large," meaning that consciousness is literally unlimited, as indeed it would be if each individual were a manifestation of an infinite consciousness. Huxley explains that it is the function of the brain to filter out virtually everything other than immediate consensual reality. Rather than being a source of consciousness, as reductionists claim, the brain is thus a tool that extracts a finite drop of "reality" from the infinite sea of consciousness. As Huxley puts it:
To make biological survival possible, Mind at Large has to be funnelled through the reducing valve of the brain and nervous system. What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of the kind of consciousness which will help us to stay alive on the surface of this particular planet.
[TRUE IN THE REALM OF US AND THIS WORLD; THE OTHER INGREDIENT FOR BEING WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO BE, IS ACQUIRING HIS HOLY SPIRIT, WHICH THE NEW TESTAMENT LAYS DOWN AS TO WHAT YOUR MIND-SET MUST BECOME FOR YOU TO RECEIVE THE GIFT OF GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT, HIS VERY NATURE AND MIND - Keith Hunt]
Just as creation can be viewed as a process of subtraction from the infinite rather than as an event in which something pops up out of nothing, your personal consciousness can be viewed as a brain-filtered remnant of infinite consciousness rather than as a chemical creation of the brain. This, in fact, may provide a very natural explanation of certain psychic phenomena.
[WELL FOR ALL THOSE FANCY WORDS PUT IN A PARAGRAPH THE SIMPLE ANSWER IS: A NORMAL BRAIN WITH THE “SPIRIT IN MAN” MAKES YOU, YOU; AND SO IS AS GOD INTENDED FOR THE NORMAL HUMAN BEING - Keith Hunt]
In Huxley's interpretation, mescaline simply puts a crack in your mental filter that allows perceptions that are normally excluded to flood in. Of course, this is not necessarily a good thing for everyday life. If this interpretation is true, your consciousness is limited and attenuated for very good reason—to permit you to exist and function in ordinary reality. The danger, which is clearly evident in the world today, is that you mistake restricted consciousness and its attendant limited reality for a complete explanation. As a result, you completely misinterpret your own nature.
[AGAIN A WAY OF PUTTING HUMAN NATURE, BUT NOT EASY TO FOLLOW. YOU, A NORMAL YOU, ARE AT BIRTH IN A “NEUTRAL” MIND-SET; YOUR NEITHER AUTOMATICALLY KNOWING AND LOVE GOD, AND YOU DO NOT AUTOMATICALLY HATE GOD. IT IS THROUGH LIFE EXPERIENCE YOU MOVE EITHER WAY. I DID NOT KNOW GOD OR SIN OR RIGHTEOUSNESS, UNTIL I WAS 7 YEARS OLD AND AFTER. I WAS NEUTRAL. IT WAS MY EXPERIENCE OF BEING SENT BY MY PARENTS TO A CHURCH OF ENGLAND SCHOOL AND MOVING UP TO THEIR HIGHER SCHOOL WHEN 7, THAT I WAS INTRODUCED TO THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE. WE HAD BIBLE CLASS EACH MORNING FOR HALF AN HOUR; IT WAS THEN I ACCEPTED THAT GOD DID EXIST AND HAD FAITH THAT THE BIBLE WAS HIS WRITTEN WORD, TO TEACH US HIS WAYS AND HIS WAY OF LIFE. THEN IN TIME FROM ATTENDING SUNDAY SCHOOL, I ACCEPTED JESUS AS GOD’S SON AND THAT THROUGH HIM, WE CAN HAVE SALVATION. OUR NEUTRAL BORN NATURE CAN GO IN LIFE’S EXPERIENCE EITHER WITH GOD OR AGAINST GOD; EITHER THE RIGHT WAY TO LIVE OR THE WRONG WAY TO LIVE - Keith Hunt]
Evidence for consciousness as a limited slice of the infinite appears in the amazing feats of those afflicted with dytism—traditionally called "idiot savants" (but now, more humanely, "autistic savants"). The British newspaper The Guardian tells of Daniel Tammet, an unusual autistic savant who can describe, to some extent, the process whereby he performs amazing mental feats. Tammet cannot drive a car or even tell right from left, but he can multiply 377 times 795 while carrying on a conversation. He does so, not by any analytical process, but by seeing the two numbers as "shapes" that change and evolve into another "shape" that is the correct answer. Similarly, he can recite the value oipi to 22,514 decimal places (a world record, by the way, involving a five-hour recitation in front of an adjudicator), not by rote memorization or even by thinking as we understand it. He simply visualizes the value as a story that unfolds. The answers to outrageously difficult mathematical problems just appear to autistic savants without analytical effort. This kind of process for arriving at the correct answer for complex mathematical problems is beyond the bounds of reductionist logic.
[THE BRAIN IS SO UNBELIEVABLY LARGE (NOT PHYSICAL) THAT CERTAIN PATHWAYS CORRECTED CAN MAKE FOR THE “GENIUS MIND” HISTORY RELATES TO US; GENIUS IN MANY FORMS - Keith Hunt]
Nor are their abilities limited to mathematics. Leslie Lemke, a blind savant, played Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 after hearing it once—without ever having had a piano lesson. Kim Peek, the real-life Rain Man, brilliantly portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in a movie, can read two pages simultaneously, one with each eye, and perfectly recall the 7600 books he has read. For recreation, he spends hours memorizing telephone directories.
[TRULY UNREAL CAN BE THE HUMAN BRAIN, IT LEAVES MOST OF US SPEECHLESS WHEN WE HEAR ABOUT THESE “GENIUS” CHILDREN OR ADULTS - Keith Hunt]
The amazing abilities of savants are usually linked to some kind of brain damage or abnormality, like a blow to the head or epilepsy. Although it is easy to understand how brain damage can lead to severe disability, it is much more difficult to understand how it can create enhanced abilities, such as memorizing a million pages of books. I suggest that these amazing abilities, which we would regard as impossible for a human being to do were they not demonstrable, support the idea that individual consciousness is somehow linked to or a part of an infinite consciousness. They also support the view that your brain determines your everyday consciousness, not as a source, but as a filter, and that drugs or brain damage can crack that filter and admit a variety of experiences, including psychedelic visions and mathematical genius.
[I SUPPOSE THAT AT TIMES, AN OUTSIDE WHATEVER INCIDENT, COULD EFFECT THE BRAIN TO BRING FORTH A GENIUS OR THE OPPOSITE. THEN SOME ARE JUST BORN WITH A BRAIN THAT WE CLASSIFY AS “GENIUS”…… SADLY FOR SOME, PHYSICAL WHATEVER PROBLEMS, SOME ARE BORN WITH THE OPPOSITE OF GENIUS - Keith Hunt]
THE PRIMACY OF CONSCIOUSNESS
The most fundamental argument against the scientific view of consciousness is, in my view, conclusive yet ineffable. I know with absolute certainty, with an inner conviction that no amount of external logic can refute, that I am alive and conscious. Indeed, this conviction rests on more than knowledge. The fact that one plus one equals two is a matter of externally acquired and validated knowledge. The fact that I am alive and conscious is a deep, direct, inner experience that transcends all other rationally acquired knowledge. For me, this categorically rules out the scientific view that consciousness is a biochemical, neurological illusion. My inner life of thought and awareness utterly denies that my consciousness is nothing more than an inanimate, chemical creation. I know better, and so do you.
[YES I AGREE, VERY TRUE - Keith Hunt]
The view that consciousness arises out of material reality is fuzzy. In the broadest sense, it can accommodate the kind of ineffable consciousness I experience in myself. Yet I believe it fails in two important respects. If consciousness arises out of ordinary matter, it is really just a rather complex configuration of matter itself, and thus no different from the simple chemical interpretation, just a bit more florid and fuzzy in its articulation. On the other hand, to argue that a truly non-material consciousness evolves from matter itself is to argue for the same duality of matter and spirit that is posited in the spiritual view of consciousness. Of course, proponents of the mind-from-matter viewpoint are uncomfortable with the word "spirit," but that is nonetheless as good a word as any for the inferred trans-material consciousness it would imply.
Taken this way, the only difference between the mind-from-matter view and the spiritual view is that, in one, matter creates spirit; in the other, spirit creates matter. I believe this difference is resolved by the world of inner experience. My consciousness, my spirit, thinks and creates ideas and then actualizes them by acting upon the world of matter. But this is a two-way street. If my body is sick, my consciousness may be affected. Nor is there any doubt that the primary impulse for creativity comes from consciousness; that is where ideas originate. It is my contention, and the crux of the God Theory, that ideas created by a spiritual consciousness are the cause and basis of the physical world.
What I am saying is, of course, nothing like a proof. I am contending that the direct inner experience of consciousness trumps logic and proof.
The perspective of mainstream physical science on consciousness is in direct opposition to the possibility that consciousness is primary, rather than merely an epiphenomenon of the brain. Most of my fellow scientists are, in fact, unable to comprehend how anyone can soberly articulate a model predicated on the primacy of consciousness. The very idea appears to be supernatural mumbo-jumbo to most of them. Yet glimpses of remarkable coincidences continue to occur: the physical constants that permit the evolution of life, the deep connection between properties of matter and an underlying sea of quantum energy, the zero-point field, which recalls the role light played in the creation process of metaphysical cosmogonies.
It is quite amazing how two people, even within the same culture, can look at the identical thing and yet "see" something as different as black and white. To make the point, let me give a perhaps emotionally charged example. A few years ago California voters approved a proposition establishing a medical marijuana law, giving people the right, by state law, to grow and use cannabis to alleviate medical problems, as attested by a statement from a physician. To provide a safe supply—you don't want sick people having to hit the streets in search of pot dealers—numerous "clinics" sprang up across the state that grew marijuana plants and processed the products, in many cases working closely with local authorities to establish acceptable rules of operation, effectively being approved and licensed by local municipalities. Of course by federal law this remained strictly illegal.
To show its authority, the federal government eventually began to selectively raid these clinics. In one particularly public confrontation, the mayor of Santa Cruz along with five out of six City Council members and other local officials gathered in the City Hall courtyard and passed out cannabis products (tinctures, cannabis-laced milk and muffins, buds for smoking) to patients coming forward—according to the San Francisco Chronicle— "in wheelchairs, on canes and with emaciated legs." All the while an unmarked green helicopter hovered persistently overhead. Clearly the city officials saw these people as patients and themselves as do-gooders helping the sick. How did the Drug Enforcement Agency see these people? According to an official statement by their spokesman (who shall remain anonymous): "We see them as victims of their traffickers." A truly amazing black-and-white difference of perspective within a common culture.
A corollary of this dichotomy is that it is virtually impossible for each side not to regard the other as irrational, if not in some fashion insane, and to experience strong emotions in connection with this judgment. It's understandable to get riled up seeing the needs of sick people subordinated to politically-motivated policies: demonstrating a vote-getting tough-on-drugs stance by accusing the handicapped granny in the wheelchair with her Alice B. Tokias brownie of being a criminal. Its easy to get angry with the perceived idiocy of the other side.
We all share the experience of consciousness. Indeed, consciousness is the sine qua non of human experience. I could not write this, nor could you read it, without consciousness. The experiences of life are like waves riding upon an ocean of consciousness. Indeed, I'll go Descartes one better. He wrote: Cogito, ergo sum (I think, therefore I am). I contend that, even when I am not thinking, when I succeed in suppressing all conscious thought, the background hum of consciousness drones on. An awareness of consciousness lingers. Consciousness itself is, therefore, the fundamental inner experience. And since I, as an ordinary human being, sense that, I expect that everyone else senses it as well. But what is it that we are all sensing?
The perspective on consciousness is no less dichotomous and emotionally charged than the example of medical marijuana. I regard my own consciousness as more certain than any rational knowledge I possess. I can imagine being put into a delusional state in which I deny the reality of the outer physical world. Try as I may, however, I cannot imagine denying my own consciousness. Is there even any logical way to consciously deny your own consciousness? It simply is. I therefore regard it as utterly fundamental—tied to, yet more basic than, my physical body. Knowledge of consciousness is root knowledge, as inalienable to my very being as water is to the ocean.
And yet modern Western science denies that consciousness can be anything but a byproduct of the neurology and biochemistry of the brain. Moreover, they state this as dogma, not fact. Facts, you see, can be overturned by evidence; dogma is impervious to it.
[YES WE HAVE AN INNER SOMETHING THAT MAKES US, OR GIVES US “INNER CONSCIOUSNESS” THAT IS VASTLY DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER CREATURE ON EARTH. THE BIBLE SAYS THERE IS A “SPIRIT IN MAN” - IT IS UNITED TO OUR PHYSICAL BRAIN. FOR A FULL STUDY ON THE SPIRIT IN MAN, GO TO “LIFE, DEATH AND RESURRECTION” SECTION OF THIS WEBSITE, IT IS STUDY NO. 7 - Keith Hunt]
"THERE CAN BE NO EVIDENCE FOR SOMETHING THAT IS FALSE"
In September 2002, philosopher Neal Grossman published a paper in the Journal of Near Death Studies entitled "Who's Afraid of Life After Death?" (his answer being modern Western science, by the way) in which he relates a conversation with an academic colleague. The academic cavalierly dismisses accurately reported details of near-death experiences that could only have been perceived from a vantage point outside the body as coincidences and lucky guesses. An exasperated Grossman finally asks: "What will it take, short of having a near-death experience yourself, to convince you that they are real?" Rising to the occasion in a fashion, the academic responds: "If I had a near-death experience myself, I would conclude that I was hallucinating, rather than believe that my mind can exist independent of my brain." Then, to dispose of the annoying evidence once and for all, the champion of inquiry confidently states that the concept of mind existing independent of matter has been shown to be a false theory, and there can be no evidence for something that is false. Grossman observes: "This was a momentous experience for me, because here was an educated, intelligent man telling me that he will not give up materialism, no matter what."
[WHATEVER IT IS THAT MAKES FOR THESE “OUT-OF-BODY NEAR-DEATH” EXPERIENCES, THE FACT IS THAT IT IS NOT DEATH THAT THE PERSON IS IN; DEATH BY THE BIBLE INTERPRETATION IS NON-EXISTING, YOU DO NOT SEE, THINK, TALK, OR MOVE AROUND. THE ONLY WAY OUT OF TRUE DEATH IS BY A RESURRECTION, A MIRACLE FROM GOD. I EXPERIENCED WHAT DEATH MUST BE LIKE. I HAD TO HAVE A MINOR SURGERY; AS WAS TALKING TO THE GUY WHO WAS TO PUT ME “UNDER” ONE SECOND, AND THE NEXT SECOND I WAS “GONE” - UTTER DARKNESS, NO DREAMING, NO NOTHING. I WAS IN EFFECT DEATH AS FAR AS MY MIND WAS CONCERNED, BUT OF COURSE MY HEART AND BODY WAS NOT. THE NEXT THING I KNEW WAS BEING WOKEN UP BY THE NURSE. IT WAS SO “BLANKNESS” I REMEMBER BEING SOMEWHAT SHOCKED BY IT ALL. I SAID TO MYSELF, I HAVE JUST EXPERIENCED WHAT DEATH AND RESURRECTION TO PHYSICAL LIFE IS ALL ABOUT - Keith Hunt]
This conversation was a revelation to Grossman about the true nature of the concept of reductionist materialism within modern science: rather than being "an empirical hypothesis about the nature of the world which is amenable to evidence one way or the other" it has become, in actuality, ideological dogma. This ideology states that there is a physical universe that consists of matter and energy governed by four fundamental forces: elec-tromagnetism, gravity, and strong and weak interactions. That simple construct is complicated by curious facts like matter's ability to convert into energy and vice versa, and the recognition of gravity as a space-time curvature in the theory of general relativity. But mainstream science still assumes that reductionism is the only way to analyze and understand the origin of phenomena: you understand the machine by looking at the functions and relationships of its pieces.
Now admittedly, things get rather fuzzy as the construct gets more complex. Chaos theory, for instance, shows how unpredictable macro effects can arise from micro causes. And things, of course, get even fuzzier when you consider the quantum realm. Current superstring and M-brane theories in physics postulate mini-dimensions, other dimensions of some kind of space orthogonal to our four-dimensional space. These are mathematical-based ideas that so far have proven to be totally beyond experimental verification. Even the most competent physicists who are not specialists in these theories admit to not grasping them in their entirety—at least, perhaps, to colleagues over a few post-colloquium beers.
Yet the dogma of reductionism persists. The details of its supporting evidence fill thousands of books and literally millions of research papers. This evidence all reports reality as something material—that is to say physical, built out of fundamental particles (leptons and quarks that may actually be superstrings, and so on) and elementary processes that are utterly unconscious. The operative word, of course, is unconscious. The litany goes something like this: Whatever we experience as consciousness can be nothing more than a complicated form of unconsciousness, because we are ultimately no more than the sum of our pieces and these are—indeed cannot be anything other than— unconscious.
THERE IS INDEED SOMETHING WE HUMANS HAVE THAT IS NOT JUST BEING ALL “PHYSICAL” AND PHYSICAL IS ANOTHER SUBJECT THAT SCIENCE TODAY SHOWS REALLY DOES NOT EXIST AS SOMETHING SOLID; EVERYTHING IS ATOMS AND WHATEVER ELSE SCIENCE NOW KNOWS THAT MAKES UP WHAT WE SEE AND FEEL AS “SOLID MATTER” - FOR THERE IS NOTHING SOLID AS WE THINK OF SOLID; SO IT IS THAT SOME SCIENTISTS SAY WE ARE LOOKING FOR THE “GOD-PARTICLE.” BUT ASIDE FROM THAT, THERE IS IN MAN An INVISIBLE PART THAT IS UNITED WITH OUR BRAIN. THE BIBLE CALLS IT “THE SPIRIT IN MAN” WHICH INDEED GOES BACK TO GOD WHO GAVE IT, AT DEATH - SEE ECC. 12:9.
THIS “SPIRIT IN MAN” I HAVE EXPOUNDED. IT IS STUDY NO. 7 UNDER THE SECTION “LIFE, DEATH AND RESURRECTION” ON THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt