The Western mechanistic view of mind-as-brain, or thought as a material process, is far from the only model of our experience of Being. Western science is outrageously arrogant in supposing they have a monopoly on truth, especially when they can’t even be honest about the (considerable) gaps in their theories.
But the bottom line is they don’t really have a model of self at all. People are just an expression of “brain-ness”! We have no souls, no free will and are not really there at all: if the brain were to shut down, we are gone!
Fortunately, many scientists are recognizing that this silly materialistic model is just not valid. So while the hard core pseudo-scientists are banging on about “voodoo science”, many knowledgeable free thinkers are coming to the idea there has to be more to thought and imagination than just material firings of cells inside the skull.
Now we live in an age called “post-material”, meaning there is increasing recognition that the material-only model of mind and being has proved itself pretty much worthless and untenable. Recognition of phenomena such as OBEs and NDEs is forcing a reappraisal of what it means to be conscious and aware. Or even what it means to be alive, or dead!
It’s one of the biggest mysteries in human biology: What happens when we die? Non-material science is really starting to take giant leaps forward, and more studies are emerging every year suggesting that a person’s consciousness continues to work after the body has died.
The newest one comes from a team from New York University’s Langone School of Medicine. They investigated twin studies from Europe and the United States that looked at dead people. We’re talking about people whose hearts have stopped; once this happens, blood no longer circulates to the brain, which means brain function is also completely dead.
A crucial study, conducted in 2008, was the largest of its kind. It involved 2,060 patients from 15 different hospitals in the United Kingdom, United States, and Austria, who suffered cardiac arrest, flatlined, and then came back to life. The study found, as have several others, that many of these patients were still aware and able to see following their biological death, but from “outside” their body, so to speak.
For example, one patient, who was a 57 year old man at the time, despite being pronounced dead and completely unconscious, with no detectable biological activity going on, recalled watching the entire process of his resuscitation.
The man described everything that had happened in the room, but importantly, he heard two bleeps from a machine that makes a noise at three-minute intervals. So scientists could time how long the experienced lasted for.1
The portion of the study that focused on UK cases, which was conducted over a four year period by researchers at the University of Southampton, found that nearly 40% of people who survived described some type of ‘awareness’ during the time they were pronounced clinically dead, before their hearts were restarted.
When science examines non-material concepts such as this, it is often hindered by skeptics who are unable to set aside their beliefs in the quest for truth, which is perhaps why we find labels like “pseudoscience” draped upon concepts that have gone through rigorous investigation, and shown to be repeatable.
Immediately then, we have a clearer understanding of the phenomenon of possession by entities. I don’t want to overplay the “possession” part, since in my view that’s something the Catholic Church orchestrates in a rather cynical and manipulative way. You should dismiss from your mind movies such as The Exorcist, which is pure fiction by William Peter Blatty.
But occupation by semi-aware, or nuisance, other-than-self conscious entities is surprisingly common, indeed universal. At different times in our lives we encounter non-material spirit beings that want to share our psychic space and, most unfortunately, share the use of our bodies too.
I’m not unique in my research that Man is a complex of multiple beings, a multi-partite personality. Gurdjieff, for example, wrote of “multiple I’s” (multiple Me’s). But I believe I have carried this story further forward than any previous research and it IS the new definition of humankind and consciousness.
What I call “cloud consciousness” is a descriptive term for the fact that Self is not a simple unity at all. We are, as Dr. Samuel Sagan MD said, a “mob”! It’s even present in our language. You will hear people say things like, “I little voice inside me said…”, “I don’t know what came over me; that wasn’t me!!” “I’m of two minds about this….”
There are two aspects to this:
- Other selves
- Non-self others
What do I mean? Other selves are parts of our whole, that act as independent beings. They think separately and behave in their own way. More on that shortly.
By non-self others, I mean we are surrounded by a cloud of beings who have their own identities and own thoughts and agendas, but they are in our psychic space sufficiently to influence our thoughts, moods and beliefs.
Some of them even move into our body, literally and figuratively and we call that a “walk in”.
There is the germ of this multiple-being idea in teachings going back centuries. The early Christian Gnostics understood this phenomenon very well: “For many spirits dwell in it [the body] and do not permit it to be pure; each of them brings to fruition its own works, and they treat it abusively by means of unseemly desires.” (Valentinus, 100- 160 AD)
Basilides, teaching around 120- 140 AD, said [Man]… “preserves the appearance of a wooden horse, according to the poetic myth, embracing as he does in one body a host of such different spirits.”
Life after death researcher Frederick W. Myers wrote movingly of “group souls”.
In the late 20th century, Ernest Hilgard floated the concept of “divided consciousness” He also gave us the term “Coconsciousness”, meaning more than one part to the conscious entity.
Richard C. Schwartz PhD has developed what he calls Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy.
My own particular contribution is to point to the clear difference between what may appear as other aspects of the self (other selves), as opposed to other beings drifting about in our psychic space and maybe influencing our thoughts and moods but not being actually “self” (non-self others). I don’t think this is difficult. The indications I am correct are everywhere and fully explain many otherwise-deceptive phenomena of consciousness and cognition.
Unfortunately, health related specialties like psychology and psychiatry do not recognize this phenomenon and insist that “self” is crushed down to a single identity. Since it’s a lie, it adds to the sickness. Telling schizophrenics they must be imagining voices within, they are hallucinating, is an abuse, as well as a criminal ignorance.
See my earlier piece on “hearing voices” by clicking here.
Not surprisingly, then, schizophrenic patients or “multiple personality disorder” victims cannot be helped by conventional approaches. What “science” regards as a sickness we know to be working normal.
No matter. We can help. If you have disturbances of “self”—indeed any kind of psychological disturbance—we can help. Just write to Vivien about our Supernoetics® classes.