Tag Archives: Deepak Chopra

Just face the facts, there is no soul, there is no afterlife. It’s your wishful thinking that deceives you.

In the autumn of 2014 Dr. Sam Parnia’s long awaited AWARE study about the authenticity of Near-Death Experiences (NDEs) as evidence of a surviving soul was published.

Dr. Parnia’s study can, at best, be described as very disheartening and depressing for those believing that NDEs are evidence of a soul that survives the bodily (physical) death.

Almost exactly a year ago I posted this blog focusing that interesting subject, see: https://bbnewsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/as-i-said-before/

Now, a year later, I think it’s about time to have a new look at the NDE phenomena and how they can be explained without involving religious bullshit concepts like god(s), soul(s) or afterlife.

Let me start by asking you this question: Are you acquainted with a blog named “Imperfect Cognitions”?
Anyhow, it’s a site where all kinds of delusional beliefs, hallucinations and distorted memories are discussed:
In today’s newsletter from “Imperfect Cognitions” I found this blog post, written by Hayley Dewe, a PhD student from the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham. The title is: “Debunking Dualist Notions of Near-Death Experiences”.  You find her article here:  http://imperfectcognitions.blogspot.se/2015/09/debunking-dualist-notions-of-near-death.html .
Hayley Dewe’s research is based in The Selective Attention and Awareness laboratory, directed by Jason Braithwaite. Her research focuses on the neurocognitive correlates of anomalous (for example hallucinatory) experience, specifically pertaining to the ‘self’, embodiment, and consciousness.She explains NDEs in the following way:

NDEs are striking experiences that typically occur when one is close to death or exposed to life-threatening situations of intense physical and/or emotional danger (first coined by Moody 1975, Life after Life. New York: Bantam Books). This unusual experience includes a variety of aberrant components such as: sensations of peace and vivid imagery, bright flashes of light, the sensation of travelling through a dark tunnel towards a bright light, a disconnection from the physical body (a shift in perspective: the Out-of-Body Experience), and the sensation of entering a light / visions of an ‘afterlife’ etc.

And she continues:

From a parapsychological (or survivalist / supernatural) perspective, NDEs are understood as mystical and spiritual experiences that expose the individual to another world (or afterlife). This is taken as evidence for the survival of bodily death (i.e. dualism); that the mind/consciousness is not dependent on the brain.

In stark contrast is the scientific/neuroscience perspective. Here, it is argued that NDEs are hallucinatory phenomena, generated by a disinhibited and highly confused, dying brain (known as the ‘dying brain account’).

After this introduction she argues that:

#1: There are a host of logical fallacies and methodological discrepancies within the parapsychological literature.
#2: There appears to be no objective study validating the presence of an entirely inactive human brain with the simultaneous occurrence of an NDE!
#3: Even if there were evidence of a completely inactive brain, and subsequent recollection of an NDE, how could one pinpoint the precise time frame during which the NDE components occurred? That is, the NDE itself may well have occurred before levels of brain activity became ‘inactive’ (or ‘flattened’), or even experienced and recalled afterwards, during recovery.
#4: No component of the NDE is actually unique to the ‘near-death’ experience.
#5: As a matter of fact, you needn’t necessarily be ‘near to death’ to experience NDE phenomena.
So the only reasonable and likely conclusion seems to be: Dualist / Survivalist arguments of NDEs are, at the very best, flawed.
And I myself want to add here: They are not only flawed. They are completely wrong, built as they seem to be on wishful magical and religious bullshit thinking .
In short: THERE IS NO SOUL! Forget what you’ve read or heard about that religious bullshit concept.
And if souls don’t exist, the corollary must be: YOU’D BETTER FORGET ABOUT THE BELIEF IN AN AFTERLIFE, TOO.
For more details, see: https://www.skeptic.org.uk/magazine/onlinearticles/497-braithwaite-dying-brain (Towards a Cognitive Neuroscience of the Dying Brain), and:  https://www.academia.edu/10060970/Occams_Chainsaw_Neuroscientific_Nails_in_the_coffin_of_dualist_notions_of_the_Near-death_experience_NDE_  (Occam’s Chainsaw: Neuroscientific Nails in the Coffin of Dualist Notions of the Near-death Experience [NDE]).
In the coming weeks or months I hope to have time to blog about the non-existent soul and non-existent afterlife.
But for the time being I have to confine myself to recommend all (true) soul believers – that is those who refuse to abandon their bullshit ideas of soul and afterlife – to study the contents in blog posts like these: https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/sean-carroll-we-dont-have-immortal-souls/ , http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2011/05/23/physics-and-the-immortality-of-the-soul/#.Vgrou3qqqko , and http://jayarava.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/there-is-no-life-after-death-sorry.html .
Need I say more? Yes, I think I also need to say that true believers are not so easily convinced that soul and afterlife are typical religious bullshit concepts. Sacrosanct beliefs, anchored in religious faith, are unfortunately extremely difficult to eradicate. For more details, see: https://victorianeuronotes.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/are-brainwashing-techniques-in-the-bible-and-strategically-used-in-churches/ .
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Feeling sad today? Then have a look at Rosa Rubicondior: The Wit and Wisdom of Deepak!

Rosa Rubicondior: The Wit and Wisdom of Deepak!.

This is hilarious reading. Thank you, Rosa! You made my day!

A QUOTE: It has been said by some that the thoughts and tweets of Deepak Chopra are indistinguishable from a set of profound sounding words put together in a random order, particularly the tweets tagged with “#cosmisconciousness” [sic!]. This site aims to test that claim! Each “quote” is generated from a list of words that can be found in Deepak Chopra’s Twitter stream randomly stuck together in a sentence.

Why not take the test yourself?

See if you can pick out the genuine Deepak Chopra quotes taken at random from his twitter feed, from the randomly generated fictional Deepak Chopra quotes from this site.

Enjoy sentences like: A compassionate heart, tapping into the inner ocean of unconditional acceptance, flows in waves of love.

Oh yeah! Peace & Love upon that. 

What about this one: Each one of us is created with an inherent light within – a light made up of limitless spiritual power.

Oh yes! Halleluiah! Amen to that.

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Q: When does the human fetus become a conscious being? A: When the thalamus is able to connect to the cortical regions of the brain.

I just reblogged two very fascinating articles from the blog Emergent Cognition, see

1) https://bbnewsblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/emergent-complexity-collage-emergence-the-complex-the-complicated-and-the-chaotic/ and

2) https://bbnewsblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/emergent-cognition-collage-the-emergence-of-fractals/ .

I recommended this site, http://www.quora.com/Is-consciousness-an-emergent-property-of-the-brain-or-a-fundamental-property-of-matter , too.

Now, if you’re interested in how the human fetus develops awareness and consciousness – I hope and think you should be –  then I strongly recommend you to read this neuroscientific paper, The Emergence of Human Consciousness: From Fetal to Neonatal Life (by Hugo Lagercrantz and Jean-Pierre Changeux, and published in Pediatric Research (2009) 65, 255–260; doi:10.1203/PDR.0b013e3181973b0d .

The full text is available here,   http://www.nature.com/pr/journal/v65/n3/full/pr200950a.html .

Here’s the abstract:

A simple definition of consciousness is sensory awareness of the body, the self, and the world. The fetus may be aware of the body, for example by perceiving pain. It reacts to touch, smell, and sound, and shows facial expressions responding to external stimuli.

However, these reactions are probably preprogrammed and have a subcortical nonconscious origin. Furthermore, the fetus is almost continuously asleep and unconscious partially due to endogenous sedation.

Conversely, the newborn infant can be awake, exhibit sensory awareness, and process memorized mental representations. It is also able to differentiate between self and nonself touch, express emotions, and show signs of shared feelings.

Yet, it is unreflective, present oriented, and makes little reference to concept of him/herself. Newborn infants display features characteristic of what may be referred to as basic consciousness and they still have to undergo considerable maturation to reach the level of adult consciousness.

The preterm infant, ex utero, may open its eyes and establish minimal eye contact with its mother. It also shows avoidance reactions to harmful stimuli. However, the thalamocortical connections are not yet fully established, which is why it can only reach a minimal level of consciousness.

They also mention that most neuroscientists argue that consciousness is a progressive, stepwise, structural, and functional evolution of its multiple intricate components.

And the authors conclude, A pending question is the status of the preterm fetus born before 26 wk (<700 g) who has closed eyes and seems constantly asleep. The immaturity of its brain networks is such that it may not even reach a level of minimal consciousness. […]

[Furthermore,] the timing of the emergence of minimal consciousness has been proposed as an ethical limit of human viability […].

Here’s my own conclusion: If you after reading this paper still believe in a soul (brought to us by a divine being), then you seemingly must be a pure (pseudo)religious woo. The concept of soul is a mass delusion a.k.a.magical & religious woo-bullshit thinking.

That’s my humble opinion. ;o)

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Emergent Complexity | Collage: Emergence – The complex, the complicated, and the chaotic

The scientific evidence is on the side of consciousness being an emergent property. Also have a look at

1) http://www.quora.com/Is-consciousness-an-emergent-property-of-the-brain-or-a-fundamental-property-of-matter

2) http://emergentcognition.com/2015/06/12/emergent-cognition-collage-the-emergence-of-fractals/

The idea that consciousness is a “fundamental property of matter” is mostly built on pure ontological speculations and wishful thinking that life is a gift from some divine being and thus must have a “higher” meaning and goal.

Emergent Cognition Project

Emergence, as it is used here, is a type of complexity. Which is to say, all emergent phenomena are complex, but not all complex phenomena are emergent.

Complex is also distinct from complicated, and this distinction can be characterized in the context of processes and results. Ordered processes that produce predictable results constitute a simple system. However, a system involving disordered processes that produces predictable results is complicated. A system of ordered or disordered processes that produces unpredictable results is complex. Emergent complexity has typically referred to systems of ordered processes and unpredictable results.

Although there are more technical attempts at defining complexity, it is helpful to remember its dynamic nature. All complex systems involve elements of both chaos and order. Ironically, it is the complementary dimension of order that makes complexity more complicated that chaos.


SCHOLARPEDIA | COMPLEXITY

The complexity of a physical system or a dynamical process expresses…

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Emergent Cognition | Collage: The emergence of fractals

Emergent Cognition Project

Fractals are a visual metaphor for emergent processes. They demonstrate how the iterations of a pattern and the pattern of iterations can define new patterns at a greater scale, yet these new patterns only exist as phenomena emerging from the original pattern at a lesser scale.


ERIC WEISSTEIN (WOLFRAM: MATHWORLD) | FRACTALS

http://mathworld.wolfram.com/images/eps-gif/Fractal1_1000.gif Weisstein, Eric W. “Fractal.” From MathWorld–A Wolfram Web Resource. http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Fractal.html

A fractal is an object or quantity that displays self-similarity, in a somewhat technical sense, on all scales. The object need not exhibit exactly the same structure at all scales, but the same “type” of structures must appear on all scales.

Reference
Eric Weisstein (Wolfram: MathWorld) | Fractals


WIKIPEDIA | FRACTAL

A fractal is a natural phenomenon or a mathematical set that exhibits a repeating pattern that displays at every scale. If the replication is exactly the same at every scale, it is called a self-similar pattern…Fractals can…

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Two articles by Victor Stenger that woos like Deepak Chopra and Robert Lanza should read and try to understand

The late physicist Victor Stenger didn’t like the ideas of Deepak Chopra, Robert Lanza, and other woos. So he tried to debunk their thought paradigms. In the two articles below you can all see that professor Stenger has got many very good arguments against Chopra, Lanza and others who believe in a soul and that consciousness survives the physical death of the human body.

1) See http://www.csicop.org/si/show/quantum_quackery/ . An article by Victor Stenger. A quote: Quantum physics is claimed to support the mystical notion that the mind creates reality. However, an objective reality, with no special role for consciousness, human or cosmic, is consistent with all observations.

2)See http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/Quantum/QuantumConsciousness.pdf . Yet another article by Victor Stenger. A quote: The overwhelming weight of evidence […] shows not a hint of a violation of reductionist, local, discrete, nonsuperluminal, nonholistic relativity and quantum mechanics – with no fundamental involvement of human consciousness other than in our own subjective perception of whatever reality is out there. Of course, our thinking processes have a strong influence on what we perceive. But to say that what we perceive therefore determines, or even controls, what is out there is without rational foundation.

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