#1
When I was a child, I was an atheist and only believed in what I could see and touch. By age 19 I started to believe in the existence of souls and reincarnation as a result of my exposure to a number of famous Indian yogis and the majestic J. Krishnamurti, who once claimed to have remembered all of his past lives. At age 21 my belief in soul was dramatically reinforced by explosive experiences I had with Acharya Rajneesh, later known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and Osho. I never believed in any "God," but for 35 years I lived under the shadow of the great meditation masters and was fairly certain that we all possessed souls that would survive our physical death. [see photo of J. Krishnamurti * This essay was written in 2004]

Unlike Hindus, most Buddhists believe in some mysterious and poorly defined soulless form of personal karma which survives death. I never believed in the Buddhist concept of immortal personal karma without soul, because when you reject the idea of a soul you lose the only credible vehicle for the transference of karma from one lifetime to the next. To my mind, if there is no soul then there is no possibility of immortal personal karma and reincarnation.

When I met Acharya Rajneesh in 1970, he not only spoke of souls and reincarnation, but also claimed to have the power of astral projection. I believed his claim because of what I thought were authentic experiences I had with this "master" astrally projecting himself, not just into my room, but into my body while he was physically several miles away. After reading Matthew Alper's book, The "God" Part of the Brain, I wonder if those amazing experiences were really what I thought they were. Alper summarizes the latest scientific research into how the human brain functions while having religious experiences. In this essay I have added additional neurological data obtained from medical journals, and my own observations and theories regarding several of the main points of Alper's book.

Medical research has shown that if you stimulate certain areas of the brain with a small electric current, you can give people the experience of spiritual visitation. You may feel that Jesus is touching your heart, or that the soul of a dead relative is near you. There is no evidence to support a belief in authentic soul travel, however, as all studies indicate that consciousness only exists in the brain cells which create it. You cannot remove consciousness from the physical body because consciousness is a physical phenomena created by chemistry, just as a firefly's light is created by chemical reactions. That is why you can turn consciousness on or off by injecting a person with drugs to wake them up or to put them to sleep. [see Scientists test out-of-body experiences and The Electric Brain]

Near death experiences and even certain drugs, such as ketamine and sodium pentothal, can give you the feeling of being outside of your body, but researchers say that is just an illusion of the holographic nature of the human brain. When neural communications between the body and brain are reduced, the brain is free to project your sense of self anywhere it chooses, and this can happen while under partial anesthesia, while partially asleep, or even during the preliminary (and reversible) stages of death. Prolonged fasting and isolation can also produce hallucinations and distortions of reality, and such ascetic practices are a major source of the Asian myths of astral projection.

While true astral projection may be impossible, there is credible scientific evidence to suggest that telepathic communication is possible between human beings. The human brain is an organic electrochemical computer so complex that no existing silicon based supercomputer can approach its capabilities. [see Mouse brain simulated on computer] Think of all the things your relatively simple cell phone can do. There is plenty of computer power in the human brain to imagine that some portion of its circuitry could be allocated to broadcasting and receiving messages, or at least sensing basic electromagnetic radiation from other human brains. Such an ability would have obvious survival value for the species, and thus would be understandable in terms of evolution and survival of the fittest. A rudimentary telepathic communicative ability may be the reason disciples feel the presence of their spiritual teachers so strongly. [see scans prove meditation alters the brain]

The brain is the most metabolically active human organ, and requires a steady supply of oxygen and glucose as fuel. Although the brain represents less than 2% of the body's mass, it utilizes 20% of the body's oxygen consumption and 15% of its cardiac output. Thus, the brain produces an extraordinary amount of energy in relationship to the rest of the body. The entire human body uses chemical reactions to produce both mechanical movements and electrical currents that flow through all of our living cells. The brain acts as both an analog and a digital computer, and the DNA code which creates it is digital. The average human brain contains approximately 100 billion neurons connected by approximately 50 trillion synapses. It is therefore not difficult to imagine that this fantastically complex organic electrochemical device could have mysterious abilities beyond our current level of understanding.

Perhaps what I thought was astral projection was simply Rajneesh concentrating on me, sending me his supermental energy long distance. That powerful jolt of energy may have caused my brain to supply the added illusion of personal visitation on top of the strong telepathic transmission. There is no doubt that Rajneesh had tremendous mental powers, but was that power really supernatural or just a product of his own unique brain structure and meditative skill?


"We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related, the eternal ONE. And this deep power in which we exist and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one. We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are shining parts, is the soul."

Excerpt from The Over-Soul, by Ralph Waldo Emerson, first published in 1841
#2
If you inject any human being with enough sedative, enlightened or not, they will become unconsciousness. If you damage certain areas of the brain you can drastically alter human behavior. You can turn a conservative bank president into a garbage eating bum just by killing off some of the brain cells that contain the biocomputer program for his personality. If you damage other areas of the brain, you can erase all memory.

If consciousness, personality, and memory are all physical phenomena of brain cells, then when your brain dies there is nothing left of your individual identity. Your permanent identity of time-energy-space (see The TES Hypothesis) continues unharmed, but there is no soul, no reincarnation, and no Buddhist transference of personal karma. If this is true, it means that all of the major world religions are wrong. It also means that we all achieve "moksha" (liberation) at the time of our death because there is no personal cycle of birth and death to escape from, and no magical afterlife. You are born once and you die once, and you will never come back.

One theory states that we have souls and/or personal karma which transmigrates from one life to the next, and another theory states that nothing survives death and only DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and the will of the living determines the future of our species. Which theory is correct? I once believed in reincarnation with a high level of certainty. After many years of seeing the rampant corruption of gurus, "enlightened" or not, the idiocy of disciples, cults, and organized religion, and with the new scientific evidence in hand, I find the soul-reincarnation-karma theory far less plausible.

You do not have to believe in anything supernatural to believe in cosmic consciousness (satori). Anyone can take the drug psilocybin and get a dramatic imitation of the natural religious experience. Clinical research shows that our brains are built to have religious experiences. As time-energy-space is one singular phenomena, it is only natural that we occasionally experience the grand cosmic unity. I personally suspect that even animals have satoris, though they apparently have no ability to give it a name or understand its implications.

One of the most interesting concepts of Matthew Alper's book concerns the rise of self-consciousness in human animals and how knowledge of our impending death has affected our brains and even our DNA code. If you put a dog in front of a mirror, he will never figure out that he is looking at his own reflection. If you put a higher primate in front of a mirror, such as a chimpanzee or human child, the higher primate will eventually use the mirror for grooming purposes because he recognizes himself in the reflection. Man's self-consciousness is so highly developed that humans have come to realize that our life expectancy is short and that our personal demise is inevitable.

Other animals fear death, danger, and pain, but they have no real understanding of time and the inevitability of their own destruction. The time-death equation that adult human animals understand becomes a constant source of anguish. A strong survival instinct is built into our DNA code from our long evolutionary journey from bacteria to man. When the survival instinct collides with the self-conscious knowledge of our impending death, the human brain needs both a psychological and a neurological barrier to block the conflict and tension. That barrier we call religious belief and "the God part of the brain." The theory states that man has invented myths of God, soul, reincarnation, karma, and afterlife as a way to provide the brain with mental opium, a buffer to the constant ticking clock inside our heads that tells us that our inevitable doom is getting closer every day.

The psychological need for a feeling of immortality is so great that our religious tendencies have become part of our DNA code. Humans who believe in the supernatural religions tend to be calmer, healthier, and thus live longer than the nonreligious. Believers also tend to show more bravery when courage is needed to protect their tribe. Genetic tendencies to have religious feelings are fortified over thousands of years of evolution through survival of the religiously fittest.

If your religious beliefs feel exactly right to you, it may be because your subconscious mind wants you to believe them so that you will have a better chance for health and a long lifespan. If you intuitively sense that you have been alive on planet earth before, perhaps that feeling of déja vu comes from your DNA code, not from a reincarnating soul, because DNA has been active on planet earth for at least 3.8 billion years, and we are all created and united by its existence.

Scientists know that there is only one real life form on planet earth, and that is DNA itself. DNA is like a giant vine that has taken over the world. Through the never ending chain of DNA code, we are not only closely related to other mammals, but also intimately related to insects, plants, and even bacteria. Many times in earth history the higher life forms have been wiped out by impacts of asteroids and comets, and by massive volcanic eruptions which made our atmosphere toxic, yet the surviving bacteria have always evolved upward into more complex plants and animals. DNA is not just a helpful chemical substance that resides inside us. DNA is our biological level identity, our three dimensional physical 'soul.'

All over the world, wherever you find man, you will find supernatural religions promising some form of life after death. Moslem extremists gladly kill themselves in the name of their religion. American war heroes have died fighting Japanese and Germans in the name of Jesus, and no doubt many felt they were going to heaven for their heroic efforts. God is a pretty handy device to have when your tribe is in trouble. Almost all of us, atheist and theist alike, instinctively call out to God for help when we are in grave personal danger.
#4
Hob Nob?
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cakemonster..you are truly my hero
HONK
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HONK!I like your cake.
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And Cakeface, why didn't you sig my

HONK!

from that other thread?


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I can't stand it any longer.


HONK


Honk if you love cake! HONK!!
#6
could anyone make a 4 scentence summary for me plz?



Stop highlighting my signature!!


</td><h1>yay!</h1>
#7
Quote by numinis
could anyone make a 4 scentence summary for me plz?



I'll give you a Haiku

I read the long post
But i forgot the meaning
I am a liar
#9
Extreme tl;dr.
Quote by ZeBubba!
... Why are you preaching in the pit? The pit is for satanic people looking to fap.


Dost thou feelst lucky, punk?
#11
Quote by CoreysMonster
way too long, didn't read,

this and reproted
Quote by elliott FTW
I LOVE YOU SLOGANKID
silly racist bitch finally kicked the bucket

#12
wow that was a cool read. a little all over the place but i guess thats because you covered such complex topic.
#14
To all the people who said "too long, didn't read": f*ck off.

Anyway, this looks like a really great post, I'll edit this when I've read it all. Is it bad that I scanned to the end to make sure it didn't have a "Bell Air" ending?
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#15
Quote by Yakult
To all the people who said "too long, didn't read": f*ck off.

Anyway, this looks like a really great post, I'll edit this when I've read it all. Is it bad that I scanned to the end to make sure it didn't have a "Bell Air" ending?


You've been here since 2003 and don't realize that the guy joined today and this is spam?
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#17
Quote by Yakult
To all the people who said "too long, didn't read": f*ck off.

Anyway, this looks like a really great post, I'll edit this when I've read it all. Is it bad that I scanned to the end to make sure it didn't have a "Bell Air" ending?


i often find myself asking questions about "the soul" and after afew reads from many articles i thought this one was the best,obviously i didnt write this i just copy-pasted it,but i thought i should share with others interested....so thanks!
#18
should have discussed it in the religion/philosophy thread rather than just copying and pasting it with nothing else added on.
Rhythm in Jump. Dancing Close to You.

Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
#19
Quote by Kensai
You've been here since 2003 and don't realize that the guy joined today and this is spam?

my reply to yakults post will change your opinion, btw....what do you think of this??(after ACTUALLY reading even a tidbit of course!)
#21
Quote by Lemoninfluence
should have discussed it in the religion/philosophy thread rather than just copying and pasting it with nothing else added on.


i tryed copy pasting all of it in there but it says "text is too short" and "fill out subject and text" can you not copy paste things that are too long on here???
#22
Quote by dysons sux0rz
my reply to yakults post will change your opinion, btw....what do you think of this??(after ACTUALLY reading even a tidbit of course!)



Seems interesting though but I'd like some sources

Quote by danohat
It makes me want to join the Navy. Everything does for some reason.


Yvan eht nioj!
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Last edited by Kensai at Jan 7, 2009,
#23
Quote by Kensai


Seems interesting though but I'd like some sources


Yvan eht nioj!


i have a sudden urge to shoot and punch and bite my way through communism **** YEAH!!!!!
#24
Im not sure if this is smap or serious but i read it and its just one of lifes misteries


Made by 'The Sloganizer' ----> «The Pit - be prepared.»

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