Correct me if I'm wrong, but mostly as atheists, we believe in nothingness after death, or at least I think I do. But then we have all of this stuff with mediums and spirits that maybe point to evidence to an afterlife. Some mediums have told people things that no one else has known, so that really makes me wonder.
I was really just wondering what everyone's opinions were on afterlife and spirits and stuff like that. Like, what exactly do you think happens after death?

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Okay, there you go again with the use of "we," in "we have an extensive understanding of consciousness and how it develops." This is untrue. If you were to look up "consciousness" in any psychology book or neuroscientific medical book, the resounding message you'll find is often quoted as, "Nothing worth reading has been written about consciousness." The very thing that is most familiar to us, yet it is the one thing we know very little about.

As Steven Pinker once said, "Consciousness rest on a chemical foundation, it is not a product of it." Mind may be an epiphenomenon that is based in both the quantum world and the physical realm, but I don't think there's any neurobiology or neuroscience being done as of now that would claim to have some kind of understanding of "consciousness" that would be able to define what exactly is going on.

You said, "Near-death-experiences" are just that. Well, perhaps you're not familiar with N,N-DMT as it's now been proven that the near-death-experience is an experience of the natural induction of endogenous N,N-DMT.

Steven Pinker once said, he said, "The way I think of mind is as a 4th dimensional organ of your body

The irony here is that Pinker isn't at all suggesting what you seem to be taking away from his abstract description of mind. Wouldn't your interpretation be closer to Chopra's?

Pope Paul, I've never read anything relative to Chopra in my life. Pinker, on the other hand, is a person that I've read extensively upon. So, maybe you can enlighten me with your interpretation. Why do you believe it's closer to Chopra's view?

The example I gave doesn't discount these instances of brain injuries. So, I'm not sure what you aimed to prove with your response. I said that these things may be intertwined, not that it's solely that consciousness resides elsewhere completely separate from the brain, but that consciousness is a kind of projection into an "elsewhere", if you will, that M-Theory or String theory proposes. After all, as in the example I gave, where is the tree?

Well, I've already answered this question by giving the example of the imagined tree and also quoting from Steven Pinker. I'm not sure if you read it, but if you're interested, it's on page 10.

How it relates to the full-blown psychedelic experience is a little more tricky. Terence had one idea that somehow maybe the neurotransmitter, whether it be DMT or psilocybin (which is converted to psilocin when it passes the blood-brain barrier), maybe is a kind of transceiver of some sort that has a lock and key fit into the thousands of synaptic receptor sites, the thousands of serotonin receptors in your brain, and the informational content that you're accessing is non-local, as in Bell's non-locality.

Terence McKenna - Radio Interview

I just came across this audio piece where Terence seems to go a bit deeper into that concept than the Radio interview which I'll post below:

Terence McKenna - Psilocybin and the Sands of Time

Well, that's his take, I think I've interpreted something very similar which I'll go into on another post. But your question, I did answer it on page 10, but if you find that explanation a bit vague, I'll try and make it less unambiguous on my next post.

However, I want to make clear that I only offer these concepts as heuristic insight into what these compounds may be doing. You're perfectly welcome to completely dismiss it all, but I maintain in order to truly judge this, you must experience it for yourself in a shamanic fashion, meaning at the dose range necessary to elicit the "full-blown psychedelic experience." Then, you have a basis on which to speak from regarding these experiences.

Well, you're confusing my example as my own concept of this hypothesis, and it's not. This is not my concept, what I'm referring to in the example is David Bohm's "Quantum mind" hypothesis. I only gave the example so you could attempt to wrap your head around how it may work.

So, it's not as though this is my concept that I'm trying to prove which you've seem to have interpret that way. This is a response to "The Hard Problem of Consciousness" which gives way to more questions as in the "Quantum mind-body problem." You're perfectly free to look into it yourself, I only offered the example of the imagined tree as to offer you a way to think about these things.

Pope Paul replied to this thread, but immediately deleted his post, perhaps you saw it. He wrote the following which I'll emphasize with italics, "Can anyone recommend an atheist website where respect has a higher priority? If I had more time, I'd jump in more with something positive when possible, but sometimes I just want to read for new ideas.

(Nothing personal, guys... different strokes and all that. I'm probably just an oddball, but I'd often rather not compete with the personal jabs.)

This perfectly describes most of the people posting on this thread, they feel more compelled to insult people rather than entertaining new ideas. Maybe M-theory or even David Bohm's "Quantum Mind" hypothesis goes a little over your head. So, instead of responding seriously, you respond very similar to what is referred to in cyberspace as a troll.

Maybe he deleted it immediately because someone might make a parody of his post and then insult him. Who knows? You'd think this is TA, a place filled with open-minded individuals who are willing to discuss anything from DMT to M-Theory, but that isn't the case, apparently.


I never said that Bohm's "Quantum Mind" is proven. What I was trying to get at here is that there may be more to consciousness than what we find on the surface. It's you who was under the impression that I was proposing these concepts as truth, you see.

So, there is obviously a misinterpretation on both of our parts, maybe, but the point is that neuroscience, psychology, neurobiology, or science in general does not as of yet have the complete picture of what's going on. If it did, then there'd be no discussion or debate.

And about the psychedelics, yes, I still maintain that a full-spectrum dose of psychedelics, at the very least, will show you that everything you thought you knew about the universe is wrong. It's an experience that will challenge your ontology to its core. So, yes, I believe that until someone takes on this experience, they will continue to scoff it, mock it, and underestimate it.

Not just a full spectrum dose, however - for you've also stipulated, several times, that a 'shamanic setting' also may or may not be required.

Well, it depends on what you mean by "setting" here. In other words, yes, the "shamanic dose" is required, but a precaution that is often taken is what Timothy Leary called "set and setting" as these things can lead to a potentially dangerous situation. For instance, if you take these things while you're depressed and you have things like a hand-gun present, etc. (Very bad combination, I'm sure I needn't mention in this setting.) 

"Set and setting" refers to the set, in other words, the mindset you're in while you partake in this experience, and the "setting" meaning the environment you take these things in. One thing that is often posed against these substances is that they're often accused for people who decide to jump off third story windows. Well, that could be completely avoided if you simply do not take these things at great heights. Okay, so that's pretty obvious.

However, I know Graham Hancock uses the phrase "in a shamanic setting" in that podcast with Joe Rogan. So, that can be confusing, but I really believe he's referring to is dose range, the shamanic dose range, because it is necessary to breakthrough a certain physiological threshold in order to have this experience in the first place. It's necessary to take a "heroic dose" or "shamanic dose" to elicit this phenomenon in consciousness.

Okay, so that was a long-winded answer to a question that perhaps could've been answered more simply on my part, but I emphasize those details as to avoid any further ambiguity and confusion. 

So, the short answer is that the "shamanic setting," if you're referring to a kind of ritualistic or specific environment isn't necessary, but only taken into consideration as a kind of precautionary measure, but what is necessary is dose range which can vary between individuals, but by rule of thumb is usually (when concerning psilocybin-containing mushrooms) is about 5 to 5+ dried grams, and there's many factors involved, of course, like fasting, lack of sleep, synergies (meaning other drugs you've taken in combination) etc.

@Gallup When Josh Westhoelter mentioned Bohm's "Quantum Mind" as hypothesis I had no quarrel, because it is, in fact, speculatory. When you asked for "evidence" for "Quantum Mind," I was under the impression that you were asking why is this something that's speculated in the first place, and that's why I referred to the example as to offer an explanation of why this is even considered or entertained in neuroscience as a possible explanation for consciousness. I'm not sure if you understood the metaphor or even Pinker's statement about it, because you didn't exactly respond to it.

If I believed that the Quantum Mind hypothesis was true, then I would have referred to it more as a law of nature rather than conjecture. If I thought "Stoned Ape" was true, then I wouldn't have said it was a plausible possibility. 

The one thing I do hold as true is that psychedelics offer a pathway to a colossal state of consciousness that will, in fact, require every ounce of courage to take and will challenge your entire ontology whether you're an atheist or a Buddhist monk, and it's not a religion, it doesn't care whether you believe in it or don't believe in it, and you will, as I mentioned before, continue to mock it, scorn it, and even doubt it until you have it for yourself.

You said you didn't entirely agree that we know the mind is a product of the brain. I aimed to prove that science does know this. Brain injuries prove it. The evidence is overwhelming.

But don't you see, GM? The mind is very tricky. When you injure the brain, it starts ACTING like that injury has an impact on the mind. It's just like the way 
God fools us by putting dinosaur bones around that carbon dating tells us are far older than 6000 years. 


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