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I Will Love You, Forever! --The Quantum Mechanics of Love
I Will Love You, Forever! --The Quantum Mechanics of Love
by James H. Williams Jr.
Edition: Paperback
Price: $35.00
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quantum Leap into Eternal Love [previously submitted by Alex Vary under obsolete e-mail address], April 19, 2014
I Will Love You, Forever! --The Quantum Mechanics of Love
by James H. Williams Jr.
Edition: Paperback
Price: $31.50
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quantum Leap into Eternal Love, May 13, 2009
This review is from: I Will Love You, Forever! --The Quantum Mechanics of Love (Paperback)
Professor Williams, certainly firmly grounded in the conventions of modern science, cosmology and quantum physics, nevertheless poses the enigmatic concept of 'lovions' or 'quanta of love'. He assigns to these quanta of love an astonishing reality, durability and persistence. In his Epilogue, Williams writes: "Lovions uniquely unite the God of Spirit and the God of Matter . . . The God of Spirit is the ethereal, intangible God of unpredictable miracles . . . The God of Matter is the physical, rational God of scientific axioms and principles . . . the reductionist God of quantum forces and energies."

One may argue that since the concept of lovions exists, therefore lovions exist - at least in a transcendental sense. Williams studiously avoids explicit detailing of the quantum mechanics of lovions. Still, he might well assert that lovions are transmittable entities, that is, are memes that mediate between bodies and souls. Lovion memes may be among the affinities described by Dawkins in The Selfish Gene and elaborated on by Narby in Intelligence in Nature. Dawkins originally introduced the idea of the meme as a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes.

In The Emperor's New Mind Roger Penrose writes: "I imagine that whenever the mind perceives a mathematical idea it makes contact with Plato's world of mathematical concepts. . . . When one 'sees' a mathematical truth, one's consciousness breaks through into this world of ideas, and makes direct contact with it. . . with the same eternally existing Platonic world!" Following Penrose, we may admit other ideas as resident in the Platonic world, not just mathematical ideas but also an idea such as eternal love. Like mathematical ideas it is pure and perfect. Like perfect mathematical figures eternal love is an ultimate reality not found in this mundane world but an ideal, a guiding concept. Professor Williams illustrates with four instances of his life experience the worldly guidance from and the ultimate reality of eternal love. This ultimate reality can appreciated only by leaping beyond the bare words of Williams' memoir.

In his Epilogue, Professor Williams casts himself as a hopeful, optimistic romantic: "This is our world; this is a world shaped by free will; this is a world in which we can choose. You may. We may. As human beings, we can. We can choose to love. We can love as we choose. We can choose to express love to those who are living, and in return to resonate with and to accept their love. Human beings choose to commit to vows of loyalty, fidelity, generosity, compassion, charity, fairness, mercy, and tolerance; even patriotism and science. . . . We can choose to love; as the essence of our being, as the surrender of our borders, as the strength of our yielding. We can choose to capture love, and let love capture us. We can choose; for as long as our love will allow: forever!" This echoes his Prologue ". . . here's the essence of what I have concluded: mutually intense love can be eternal." His conclusion follows because 'love memes' are by definition eternal, refinable Platonic templates for interpersonal and collective affinities.

One might ask whether Professor Williams has departed from the straight and narrow path of scientific inquiry, he has not. It is well that scientific inquiry has lead us to discovering disease-causing microbes and away from attributing plagues to astrological omens. Among the vast host of benefits bestowed, science has given us spectacular suspension bridges and terabyte memory chips. Williams has intimately practiced that science and the engineering based upon it. In his memoirs, he tacitly invites us to innovatively apply scientific inquiry to explore the intangible aspects of our innermost being.


Consciousness Explained
Consciousness Explained
by Daniel C. Dennett
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.97
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Transcendent Consciousness Examined, Exposed, and Excluded, April 9, 2014
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In Consciousness Explained, Daniel Dennett, writes, "Human consciousness is just about the last surviving mystery. . . Consciousness stands alone today as a topic that often leaves even the most sophisticated thinkers tongue-tied and confused. . . . With consciousness . . . we are still in a terrible muddle. . ." Neither Dennett's reductionist approach nor David Chalmers' non-reductionist approach have thus far provided the pivotal concepts needed to resolve the question of the nature or origin of human consciousness. However, Dennett provides a touchstone for testing Chalmer's innovative out-of-the-box conjectures.

In The Conscious Mind, David Chalmers introduces the notion: qualia - phenomena where subjective processing is accompanied by ineffable aspects of conscious experience (which apprehends the redness of red, the beauty of mathematical forms, love, the selfness experience). Indeed, qualia are in the eye of the beholder: the beholder's perceptual experience, the beholder's subjective experience, and the beholder's conceptualization of esoteric attributes of the experience. Dennett presents an argument against qualia; that the concept is so confused it cannot be put to any use or be understood in empirical ways; that qualia do not constitute a valid extension of physical experience.

While refuting qualia, Dennett extols memes which are pregnant ideas and cultural items putatively transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes. Dennett, sees memes as a units of selection, which persist across generations like genes. He posits a neural Darwinism where meme evolution can even account for the origin of morality and explain religious belief and adherence to it (Darwin's Dangerous Idea and Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, also by Dennett)

Dennett attributes the seeming transcendence of consciousness beyond its neural network containment as the "tricky illusory theatrics of consciousness." Dennett's analyses of consciousness places much faith on what constitutes accepted scientific truth and dogma; on huge collections of reproducible experimental data, but not on imaginative thought about what the data might mean or ultimately signify. There is a large body of accumulated physical and neurophysiological data that virtually cries out for imaginative reinterpretation to break the logjam which is blocking blanket acceptance of the transcendence of human consciousness.

In My Universe - A Transcendent Reality Alex Vary offers an imaginative reinterpretation of the empirical data Dennett esteems and contemplates. Vary proposes a paradigmatic framework and some new concepts which can help explain the seemingly transcendent nature of human consciousness. What Vary proposes are akin to 'tools of thought' advocated by Dennett in Consciousness Explained and should serve at least for discussion and elucidation purposes.

Vary presumes that consciousness is an attribute of a reality that preexists its localized foci in self-aware human or their neural networks. Dennett dismisses the notion of such selfness existing before birth as a fiction, ". . . an organization of information that has structured your body's control system (or, to put it in its more usual provocative form, if what you are is the program that runs on your brain's computer), then you could in principle survive the death of your body as intact as a program can survive the destruction of the computer on which it was created and first run." Dennett characterizes the notion of an automaton's or a computer's assumption of transcendent consciousness as a hankering for immortality; as if a computer program could hanker for self-perpetuation, or anything beyond its ken. Dennett shrugs off the dilemma by declaring "as with all the earlier mysteries, there are many who insist - and hope - that there will never be a demystification of consciousness."


The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory (Philosophy of Mind)
The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory (Philosophy of Mind)
by David J. Chalmers
Edition: Paperback
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Conscious Mind Searches for Its Transcendent Origin, April 8, 2014
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In The Journal of Consciousness Studies, David Chalmers wrote: “ Consciousness poses the most baffling problems in the science of the mind. There is nothing that we know more intimately than conscious experience, but there is nothing that is harder to explain. All sorts of mental phenomena have yielded to scientific investigation in recent years, but consciousness has stubbornly resisted.” The mystery of consciousness revolves around the question: “How can living physical bodies in the physical world acquire such phenomena?” Chalmers favors the non-reductionist, non-physical approach which may ultimately provide pivotal concepts needed to resolve the question.

In The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory, David Chalmers introduces the notion of the hard problem of consciousness. According to Chalmers, the hard problem of consciousness is explaining how we experience it with respect to: (1) sensory inputs and the mysterious modes of their neural processing and (2) qualia - phenomena where the processing is accompanied by ineffably subjective aspects of conscious experience which apprehend the redness of red, the beauty of mathematical forms, love, the selfness experience. These have a relationship with physical brain-states, but are not identical to brain states because they are transcendent - essentially objectively unmeasurable - states of consciousness.

Chalmers observes that subjective information processing invariably accompanies sensory and neural signal processing. We do not just retain visual sensations; we judge the quality of colors, the contrast of dark and light, the quality of depth in a visual field with meaningful images that are conjured up mentally, that are felt emotionally, and inspire experiential conscious thought. What unites these states of consciousness somehow transcends the physical sensory experiences.

Empirical science and neuroscience have attempted to explain the nature of conscious experience. But to fully account for conscious experience, Chalmers suggests that we need an extra ingredient to explain and elucidate the hard problem of consciousness. That extra ingredient should explain how accumulated experiences, arising in and retained by the brain, are elaborated, interpreted, and qualified by our consciousness.

Roger Penrose and Staurt Hameroff (Toward a Science of Consciousness), suggest that human cognition may depend on quantum wavefunction collapses in microtubules, the cytoskeletons of a neuron. Penrose and Hameroff suspect that wavefunction collapse in microtubules may be the physical basis of conscious experience. In The Conscious Mind, Chalmers writes that although “these ideas are extremely speculative . . . they could at least conceivably help to explain certain elements of human cognitive functioning.”

Our embodiment is primarily a survival machine with no inherent consciousness, a Chalmerian zombie. In The Conscious Mind David Chalmers describes an isomorph, “A zombie [that] is just something physically identical to me but which has no conscious experience ‒ all is dark inside.” In any case, survival machines are programmed to respond to and survive their environments, to replicate and evolve, without any urgent need to assume human consciousness or engage in social intercourse.

Chalmers argues for the transcendent nature of consciousness; insisting that “consciousness is simply not to be characterized as a functional property” and that, “No explanation given wholly in physical terms can ever account for the emergence of conscious experience.” In My Universe - A Transcendent Reality, author Alex Vary proposes a conceptual framework to help elucidate the transcendent nature of consciousness and its relation to the physical world. The proposed framework is based on deductions and information revealed primarily by distinct quantum phenomena which are demonstrably transcendent. An essential feature of the framework is the mesostratum; a signal transmission modality. The mesostratum machinery that Vary imagines offers an explanatory gap-filling linkage from a transcendent continuum to a physical neural discontinuum. Vary suggests ways to access the mesostratum, to explore it, to explain the nature of human consciousness; and cites examples of access to the mesostratum. Chalmers essentially intuits that non-physical agencies (perhaps mesostratum agencies) participated in the appearance and evolution of human consciousness. If mesostratum agencies modulate human consciousness then at least select humans should be able to reciprocally access, explore, and exploit resources of the mesostratum. Anecdotal examples are legion: prodigious savants, geniuses, virtuosos, such as Mozart, Goethe, John von Neuman.


My Big TOE - The Complete Trilogy
My Big TOE - The Complete Trilogy
by Thomas Campbell
Edition: Paperback
Price: $23.27
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Big TOE Kicks Up Transcendent Dust, April 7, 2014
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Campbell genially takes the hand of the least sophisticated reader to whom he seemingly addresses the book and guides that reader around conceptual mires and moors laced with transcendent consciousness. I began reading My Big TOE having full familiarity with the terrain through which he offers guidance, but nevertheless forgave Campbell’s condescending tone. Indeed, Campbell describes what he terms the Big Picture in a way that is appropriate to engage and instruct the uninitiated - perhaps those he considers insufficiently enlightened.

Campbell serves a great and noble cause, his is a loving condescension, not at all contemptuous. He strives to enlighten readers who might not normally acknowledge or grapple with the larger unbounded reality he perceives and elucidates in My Big TOE. His goal is to foster every individual’s spiritual growth and recognition of their role in the larger reality. “The fish does not ponder the nature of water, it swims in . . . not aware of the ocean, but only of . . . local interactions with it.” Campbell strives to acquaint us with our ocean of consciousness and urges exploration of it. Campbell’s personal mystical experience (for example with auras), his self-enlightenment beyond the narrow boundaries of contemporary physics, encouraged his intellectual exploration of the transcendent ocean and its nitty-gritty details.

Campbell’s main Theory of Everything theme is that: “All consciousness is nonphysical while consciousness containers [such as you and I] may appear to be physical or nonphysical . . . we are primarily nonphysical beings. We are created as individual units of consciousness.” Accordingly, our consciousness transcends our physical being which is but a projection into a virtual reality that Campbell denotes as a Physical Matter Reality (PMR) while we actually occupy a transcendent Non-Physical Matter Reality (NPMR).

In this way Campbell sets the stage for understanding and accepting Einstein’s statement that: “Reality is merely and illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” Campbell encourages his readers to accept the further and more esoteric notion that “space-time is not the place we live in, but rather a field of which we are part.” . . . an Absolute Unbounded Oneness (AUO) . . . which generates an Absolute Unbounded Manifold (AUM) filled with resources we can access and as we evolve can better appreciate and apprehend its bountiful content. This needs lots of background verbiage, explanation, and illumination which Campbell abundantly furnishes in some 820 pages.

In the final two chapters appended to the trilogy, Campbell remarks that only after its completion did he do a scholarly literature search to see if he was on the right track in declaring the cogency of his Big TOE. Campbell was not surprised to find ample salutary supporting evidence, mostly eloquent authoritative gems of Western wisdom, validating his Big TOE, which he happily quotes in an annotated anthology in Chapters 91 and 92.

The Campbell trilogy is good and is needed in this epoch. He wants the world to reassess its reason for existence and its larger mission, individual by individual; each by becoming aware of its role in a larger reality: in the Big Picture. He generously gives an elaborate and detailed, but often tedious, account of the Big Picture; but he misses the opportunity and fails to discover clues for assessing and presenting the Whole Picture.

In My Universe - A Transcendent Reality, Alex Vary proposes a conceptual framework to help explore the Whole Picture; the transcendent nature of consciousness and its relation to the physical world (Campbell’s PMR). Vary’s proposed framework is based on clues and deductions from information revealed primarily by distinct quantum energy transfer phenomena which are demonstrably transcendent.

Vary found it useful to define the mind as a trinity of soul ~ spirit ~ body spanning three strata: (1) the superstratum (the transcendent domain of pure thought), (2) the mesostratum (the mediating domain of information, signals, energetic fields, and indeed Platonic perfect forms, templates, patterns), and (3) the physiostratum (the material domain of spacetime and temporal objective reality). In this context, soul is redefined as an individualized focus of a transcendent consciousness while spirit is a conveyor of signals (information) between soul and body. The soul radiates from the superstratum to the body/brain in the physiostratum via the spirit through the mesostratum interface.

The mesostratum, as conceived by Vary (the AUM, as conceived by Campbell), is an energetic signal/information transfer modality that mediates between the superstratum and physiostratum. The mesostratum is at least conceptually useful to help explain the remarkable and fascinating resources that seem to be available not only to rational visionaries like Thomas Campbell but also to prophets, prodigious savants, geniuses, virtuosos, and perhaps all inquisitive, inspired, innovative people to different degrees.


The Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological Investigations
The Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological Investigations
by Stephen E. Braude
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.50
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harmonizing the Music of Psi, Jazz, and Metaphysics, April 3, 2014
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Seemingly, it takes an improvisational jazz musician like professor Stephen Braude to witness and harmonize parapsychology with metaphysics in ways that can make a skeptic pause and perhaps reconsider a belief system founded solely on twentieth century science and empiricism. In The Gold Leaf Lady, Braude dauntlessly sinks his “philosophical teeth” into things that may “brand me as a crackpot.” This reader is grateful that he did so because in doing so Braude opens doors worthy of being opened despite rampant objections by his antagonists and devious skeptics. He performs a great service with his eloquent and rational review and assessment of parapsychology.

As in physics research, psi research requires carefully calibrated, tested, refined instrumentation; but in the latter the essential instrumentation consists of observers who must react and record impartially, intelligently, intellectually. Braude is not reluctant to point out that a particularly abusive skeptic “treated Dennis like s***” when Dennis, failed to demonstrate his reluctantly claimed psychokinetic ability under formal laboratory test conditions. According to Braude fair psi tests require objective but sympathetic observers. He cautions that psi by its very nature could evade all conventional experimental controls and might be “activated or inhibited by subconscious states which we can't conclusively identify and which we certainly can't control.” Indeed, the observer, perhaps unintentionally, perhaps intentionally, may somehow participate in the nature and outcome of paranormal events.

The role of the observer in physics laboratory experiments is invoked in Thomas Young’s classic ‘double slit experiment’ which produces an unexpected, ostensibly paranormal, diffraction pattern with many small interference fringes. The observed (photographically detected) pattern is impossible to explain with light consisting only of a beam particles (photons). A calculation pretending that the light is behaving as a wave is needed to precisely predict the pattern. But, when the fringe pattern is examined, it is evident that the pattern was built photon by photon; not by continuous wave-fronts. Physics theorists claim that the waves have ‘collapsed’ on the photosensitive surface, piecemeal forming diffraction pattern. The experiment is said to demonstrate ‘wave-particle duality’ and ‘wave function collapse’.

John von Neumann in The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, concluded, “only a conscious observer doing something that is not encompassed by physics can collapse a wave function because only a conscious observer can actually make an observation,” . . . famously adding “then, a miracle happens.” This is complemented by Princeton physicist John Archibald Wheeler’s emphatic proclamation, “No phenomenon is a real phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon.” Oxford professor Sir Roger Penrose (The Road to Reality) believes there is no need to invoke any conscious observer in order to achieve the reduction of the quantum state when a measurement takes place. He prefers interpretive viewpoints that do not necessarily mandate a conscious observer. Instead he prefers the notion of some kind of ‘objective reality’ which sustains the phenomena observed.

In My Universe - A Transcendent Reality, Alex Vary proposes that the ‘physiostratum’ where we live coexists with the ‘mesostratum’ where paranormal and transcendent phenomena operate and sustain our physical reality. Vary writes, “The mesostratum is readily apparent, never concealed or obscured. We cannot avoid being aware of the mesostratum. Physiostratum phenomena arise prominently as results of mesostratum phenomena. . . . [an] . . . example is the experimental revelation of magnetic fields by their effect on iron filings. A magnetic field is a continuum thing that exists solely in the mesostratum. Yet the presence and geometry of magnetic fields is clearly demonstrated by the alignment of iron filings that were originally randomly scattered on a cardboard sheet just before being placed over a magnet. The tiny particles of iron ‘line up’ along imaginary ‘lines of force’ filling the space between the magnet’s north and south poles.”

The mesostratum, as proposed in My Universe - A Transcendent Reality is essentially an energetic signal source and transfer medium with properties that may underlie the psychic and paranormal phenomena described by Braude. The mesostratum is at least conceptually useful to help explain the remarkable and fascinating resources that seem to be available not only to mediums but also to prodigious savants, geniuses, virtuosos, and perhaps all people to various degrees.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 5, 2014 6:14 AM PDT


The Sculptor in the Sky
The Sculptor in the Sky
by Teal Scott
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.47
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Infinite Personhood Beyond Incarnation, March 18, 2014
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The heart of Teal Scott’s book is to instruct the reader about pathways toward deeper self-realization, indeed toward coalescing with one’s transcendent consciousness and savoring the goodness of it. When one actually follows any of the pathways Teal recommends, something remarkable happens. One begins approaching, as closely as any human can, the Source [the Soul] of ones being. According to Teal, Source signifies ultimate oneness, the transcendent consciousness that unites us all and which is the origin of all that is. When we explore the realm that Teal’s pathways lead to, we discover our unified consciousness; and as T. S. Elliot wrote: ". . . the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." In Teal’s words: “And when we trace the thread, back to the beginning we find out what we really are is immeasurable, is unsurpassed.” She adds, “It may seem odd to many of us that [our] unified consciousness would want to leave oneness in the first place . . . if it already had it.”

Teal surprises us by writing our, “Source . . . at its core . . . is its role as creator [of] this physical reality.” The Source devises and accepts physical incarnation in order to fulfill the desire to know itself as well as true oneness. She explains that Source always knew it is part of a cycle that separates from transcendence, “only to then catalyze all separateness back to true oneness.” Source, in this context, is analogous to Soul, which in My Universe - A Transcendent Reality Alex Vary redefines as the focus of a transcendent human consciousness ‒ an individual Source consciousness ‒ which is, in turn, a focus of an ultimate supernal consciousness ‒ often called the Mind of God. Although Teal surprises us with her intuitive apprehension of the nature and reality of Source/Soul; Alex provides a theoretical foundation that helps explain that reality.

In My Universe - A Transcendent Reality Vary explains that the ultimate reality in which Source/Soul is immersed extends far beyond the observable cosmos. To understand this, one must accept Vary’s argument that the Source/Soul is an attribute of the Universe of pure thought, and that the cosmos is but a minuscule part of the ultimate reality - the Universe which is immense and transcends time, space, beyond description, measurement, or knowledge. Thomas Campbell in My Big TOE - The Complete Trilogy wrote, “The smaller your reality, the more convinced you are that you know everything.” Knowing everything is a dead end proposition that is unworthy of the thoughtful explorer who hopes for endless adventure and discovery in travels beyond the confines of mortal existence. It is true that many of us are like Campbell’s fish which knows nothing of water. Water just is, has always been, and is taken for granted. The fish does not ponder the nature of water, it swims in it. We swim in an ocean of consciousness. Many are not aware of the ocean, but only of their local interactions with it. Teal Scott urges us to acquaint ourselves with the ocean of consciousness and reap the benefits of true oneness.


History Is Wrong
History Is Wrong
by Erich von Däniken
Edition: Paperback
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Demystification of Extraterrestrial Messages, March 16, 2014
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This review is from: History Is Wrong (Paperback)
Erich von Daniken attempts to ferret out conclusions, interpretations, and truths that contemporary archeologists have missed or discounted. After closely analyzing hundreds of ancient and apparently unrelated texts, he proclaims that human history is nothing like that which world religions claim. The essential objective of von Daniken's work is the reinterpretation of all religious theology, texts and scriptures from the standpoint of messages presumably delivered to humanity by extraterrestrials.

Among the problems Daniken contends with is the propensity of ancient (and even modern humans) to venerate the messenger and misread the written message (often clouded by imprecision, strangeness, ambiguous cryptography, archaic iconography). Daniken and fellow researchers must also contend with derivative texts, hidden meanings, or dogma-driven modifications that bungle the original message.

In History Is Wrong, von Daniken examines the cryptic Voynich manuscript and the equally inscrutable Book of Enoch. Von Daniken describes a subterranean labyrinth in Ecuador that is said to contain an extensive library of thousands of gold panels. He contends that this metal library has links not only to the Book of Enoch but also to the Book of Mormon. In addition to textual messages, totems, drawings, wall paintings, and carven artifacts, von Daniken contends that the mysterious lines in the desert of Nazca, which can only be appreciated by aircraft flyover, may also communicate messages if properly interpreted. He disagrees with archeologists who claim that these lines are merely ancient procession routes.

Von Daniken points out that, "Archeologists live from debris. . . . On the basis of a few tiny fragments, they make their conclusions and apply them to the entire broad plateaus of Nazca and Palpa. Any further questions are unnecessary and unwanted; doubts are ridiculed. Students have no chance against the monolithic immutability of professorial wisdom. Half-knowledge is promoted to the definitive established wisdom that the next generation of students has to swallow. And, before you know it, all of the opinions follow the same pattern, from scientist to journalist." He laments that this process shuts the door on potentially more accurate and perhaps more revealing assessments of ancient history, testimony, and texts. Tantalizing findings, knowledge, and accompanying questions may remain unanswered or misinterpreted.

Since the advent of von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods and his hypothesis that the technologies and religions of many ancient civilizations were given to them by ancient astronauts who were welcomed as gods, the idea of extraterrestrial visitors has gained considerable acceptance. Today, credibility is given to UFO citings and reports with the presumption that ancients also almost certainly saw and experienced similar visitations. This underlies von Daniken's contention that UFO phenomena are not just disconnected events but have global spiritual and religious implications. Centuries-old documents in Sanskrit imply that extraterrestrials visited India as far back as 4000 B.C. There is much fascinating information about flying machines, even fantastic science fiction weapons, to be found in translations of the Vedas, Indian epics, other ancient Sanskrit texts, and annals of the Chinese Shang Dynasty .

The point that needs to be made with respect to these annals is that they are writings, scriptures, anecdotal accounts that may be based on legends, dreams, hallucinations or on purposeful manipulations devised to serve specific doctrine, religious objectives, and population management. Such manipulations are historically common in the establishment of religious and social institutions. Outside of writings, imaginative illustrations, carved images, and artistic artifacts, there are no known pieces of ancient UFOs or other flying hardware.

Emperor Cheng Tang of the Shang Dynasty, ordered a flying chariot to be built. After it was tested and flown, fearing that the secret of a flying mechanism machine he had built might fall into enemy hands, he had it destroyed by imperial edict. One is amazed at the wealth of detail in the ancient tales and documentation, and is lead to wonder what stimulated them - fantasy of the authors or memories of actual happenings. Allowing that ancient aircraft were actually built and flown, one needs to ask about the source of blueprints, propulsion modes, and flight instructions. Von Daniken's answer would be that the science and technology were supplied by extraterrestrial visitors. It does not necessarily follow that the visitors physically traveled to Earth across interstellar or galactic distances to deliver instructions and messages.

In My Universe - A Transcendent Reality author Alex Vary describes how communication with extraterrestrials may be done through a sharing of consciousness with extraterrestrial beings. This is based on the transcendent nature of human consciousness; a faculty that some individuals possess to a greater degree than others. Those possessing the faculty to a very high degree are recognized as geniuses, innovators, great leaders, and often as prophets. Through this shared transcendent consciousness we are, to various degrees, extraterrestrials.

Vary's concept helps remove the mystery of how messages may have been (or are being) delivered to humanity perhaps by extraterrestrials enjoying life on planets with advanced technologies and social structures. Von Daniken's Chariots are not of gods but simply manifestations derived from a shared consciousness. Von Daniken's History is his attempt to unravel the messages that shared transcendent consciousness has deposited in the diverse forms of documentation that we find around the world.


The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day
The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day
by David J. Hand
Edition: Hardcover
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Loose Ends, March 14, 2014
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The Improbability Principle begins by recounting what David Hand calls the simply unbelievable coincidence of three unrelated events: (1) In November 1971, author George Peifer gives an annotated copy of his novel The Girl from Petrovka to a friend. (2) His friend loses the copy in Bayswater, London. (3) In the summer of 1972, actor Anthony Hopkins waiting for an underground train at Leicester Square tube station, sees a discarded book lying on the seat next to him. It is Peifer's annotated copy of The Girl from Petrovka. Hopkins had been unsuccessfully searching London bookstores for the book. As if that was not coincidence enough, more was to follow. When he had a chance to meet the author, Hopkins told him about his find. A quick check of the annotations in the copy Hopkins found showed that it was the very same copy that Peifer's friend had mislaid.

Hand explains that theses and similar coincidences are explained by the ‘improbability principle’, which he elaborates upon in the book. He asserts that extremely improbable events are commonplace; a consequence of a collection of more fundamental laws which all tie together to lead inevitably and inexorably to the occurrence of such extraordinarily unlikely events. According to these laws, and the improbability principle, the universe is in fact constructed so that these coincidences are unavoidable: the extraordinarily unlikely must happen; events of vanishingly small probability will occur. In The Improbability Principle Hand endeavors to resolve the apparent contradiction between the sheer unlikeliness of such events, and the fact that they nevertheless keep on happening.

Hand admits that improbability principle is not a single equation, such as Einstein's famous equation, but a collection of strands which intertwine, braiding together and amplifying each other, to form a rope connecting events, incidents, and outcomes. The main strands are the law of inevitability, the law of truly large numbers, the law of selection, the law of the probability lever, and the law of near enough. Putatively, anyone of these strands is sufficient, by itself, to produce something apparently highly improbable, but it is when they combine and work together that their real power takes hold. Hand insists in the Epilogue that when these laws - the intertwining strands - are put together, virtually every simply unbelievable coincidence may be explained.

Just at the point where one expects Hand to illustrate intertwining of the strands, and event connections, he quickly concludes the book by merely listing a number of extraordinary events by which we should be unsurprised, given the improbability principle. He disappoints by abdicating an expected detailed example of at least one illustrative instance of how various strands may braid together to connect exemplary unrelated events. His detailed expositions of the law of inevitability, the law of truly large numbers, the law of selection, the law of the probability lever, the law of near enough, their apprehension by the human mind lay the foundations for the expectation. This reviewer has found one such illustration - but prefers to await the author’s genius to produce several better ones.

In the recent book My Universe - A Transcendent Reality author Alex Vary describes ‘impossible loops’ that may underlie and explain the inevitability of remarkable coincidences. In Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas Hofstadter expounds on the intricate coincidences of and recursive interplay of mind, matter and universe. David Hand may well have considered how the improbability principle explains Hofstadter’s paradox which he entitles 'which came first - the ribosome or the protein?' Hofstadter observes that in order for a ribosome to be made, certain kinds of proteins must be present, and rRNA must be present. Of course, for proteins to be present, ribosomes must be there to make them. Each ostensibly pre-exists the other. This and similar coincidence paradoxes are resolvable when they are considered in the context of communication, interplay and exchanges engendered by impossible loops, perhaps in concert with the improbability principle.


Our Enigmatic Universe
Our Enigmatic Universe
by A. H. Batten
Edition: Paperback
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightened Exploration of the Enigma, November 21, 2013
This review is from: Our Enigmatic Universe (Paperback)
In Our Enigmatic Universe astronomer Alan Batten brings clarity to a range of interrelated and difficult subjects. Batten’s dissertation is elegant and balanced. His stated conclusion is basically in the form of a plea to colleagues in the sciences to acknowledge that the ultimate reality transcends the material world. He recognizes at the outset that he must deal discreetly with a conventional orthodoxy that pervades the scientific community. The orthodox community, that Batten in effect challenges, rather rigidly maintains that reality is only that which can be seen, touched, measured, and described (preferably mathematically).

Batten strongly defends the position that there is a transcendent realm which is inaccessible by current empirical methods. Although he acknowledges the great progress made by observational sciences, he cites illustrative examples of features of the universe and human consciousness that evade explanation by the reductionist approach. Batten points out that, ironically, physicists who work with inanimate matter seem to be more aware that much in nature eludes our understanding ‒ more than are many of those who work in the biological sciences or who study the workings of the brain and consciousness.

Historically, theoretical physicists have asserted that what is not observed does not actually exist; further asserting that observation defines objective reality. This derives from attempts to explain rather esoteric phenomena such as those revealed by Thomas Young’s celebrated double-slit wave-particle duality experiment. In that experiment, photons or electrons in transit are described by wave functions until they ‘collapse’ and are detected as quantum particles. John von Neumann in The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics concluded, “only a conscious observer . . . can collapse a wave function because only a conscious observer can actually make an observation,” . . . famously adding “then, a miracle happens”.

John A. Wheeler emphatically proclaimed, “No phenomenon is a real phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon.” Indeed, John Wheeler further insisted that in this sense, somehow, we all actually participate in the propagation and perfection of the cosmos! Batten cites Paul Davies who argues that observation determines the nature of the past. In quantum interference experiments this applies to only a few nanoseconds back in time. But Davies argues that in principle one could extend this sort of argument back to the Big Bang itself; that the existence of life in the universe now has in some sense determined which past history or many possible ones our universe actually experienced. This is not only counter-intuitive but invokes a transcendent aesthetics that is quite foreign to the prevailing reductionist attitude.

Batten very likely agrees with Roger Penrose (The Road to Reality) who believes there is no need to invoke any conscious observer in order to achieve a collapse to the quantum state, as when a measurement takes place. Penrose prefers a viewpoint that does not mandate a conscious observer; preferring instead the notion in which inferred wave-particle duality is just an interpretation of an objectively real physical process. Batten offers an alternative to Paul Davies’ argument by putting forth the notion of design that pre-exists the observable universe, the material cosmos. This is reminiscent of Sir James Jeans’ exclamation in The Mysterious Universe, “. . . the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine.” Perhaps, an omniscient consciousness creates just such a great machine, the dynamic milieu of the cosmos, and then endeavors to put things into spatiotemporal order, to bring order out of chaos; as contemplated by Ilya Prigogine and Isabelle Stengers in Order out of Chaos.

Another major challenge that Batten undertakes is to show that the relation between science and religion is not necessarily one of conflict. This is the centerpiece of Rabbi Jonathan Sack’s book The Great Partnership in which he advocates the necessary and profound interdependence of religion and science. Rabbi Sacks argues that religion and science provide the essential perspectives that allow us to perceive the nature of the universe in depth: Science teaches where we come from. Religion explains why we are here. Science searches for explanations. Religion searches for meanings. Pope John Paul II produced the encyclical letter, Fides et Ratio, roughly two centuries after Voltaire and his cohorts mocked the Christian church as the bastion of irrationality, in which he argued for reason and for faith as reason's ally. I suspect that Batten would agree that perhaps it is better to set faith, associated belief systems, and religious practices aside and instead to advocate a science-based theology.

Among the questions that Batten poses and answers in a variety of ways throughout the book, a primary one pertains to our relationship to God and the manner in which we may best fulfill our role in that relationship. He mentions that our self-awareness uniquely distinguishes us as we ponder why we seem special in the milieu of the creation. Jacob Needleman in his book What Is God? invokes the metaphor of awakening to the presence of “. . . the invisible mountain around which light curves so that the mountain is invisible and untouchable - until . . . the mountain chooses to touch us, to draw us toward itself only because we wish to find it . . .” In his journey from atheistic godlessness to experiencing God, Needleman found himself awake by directing his attention, his awareness, inwards. I surmise that Professor Needleman, as we all must ultimately, became aware of the transcendent nature of the consciousness we seemingly share with God.

What ties together all of Batten’s book is his notion of the transcendence of human consciousness. He regards consciousness as more than self-awareness or reaction to stimuli. This becomes apparent when the stimulus is, for example, a fork in the road. The decision-making entity that chooses the left or right path is not the physical neural mechanism, it is a conscious choice. The question of how this consciousness arises from the purely physical brain has come to be known to neuroscientists as the ‘hard problem’ and, although brain states may underlie consciousness, Batten notes that consciousness cannot be predicted from detailed knowledge of brain states. He stresses that, even if we knew the state of every neuron in the brain of a given person, we could not deduce from that knowledge the content of that subject's inner experience and feelings.

One can posit that the brain is associated with a ‘conscious mental field’ whereby different parts of the brain can affect each other, even if there is no direct connection between them. Such a conscious mental field is not observable by physical means - as electromagnetic signals/fields. This non-physical consciousness field may well be the transcendent entity that Batten seemingly seeks to define.

We might admit that all self-aware conscious beings and entities ‒ perhaps even genetic entities in living cells ‒ possess an imprint of a primordial consciousness. Resultant entelechy is ostensibly attested by the trillion cell colonies comprising the human body ‒ cells that differentiate, organize, communicate, and cooperate to comprise suitable housing for a contemplative and consciousness entity. This defies the current reductionist convention that human consciousness is a lately emerging neural attribute which is approaching a pinnacle.

In The Selfish Gene Richard Dawkins introduced the idea of the meme as a cultural item transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes. Memes are replicating ideas; not just simple ideas, but often quite complex cultural templates that form themselves into distinct units that influence and engender genetic evolution. Physiologically, they produce alleles, alternative genes, that compete with existing genes and when successful, cause hereditary variations. The original genes will attempt to repudiate these newcomers, but after many replications, successful alleles may prevail in a new branch of species evolution. In My Universe - A Transcendent Reality I point out that Dawkins, inadvertently advocates and endorses intelligent design by urging us to take the idea of meme evolution literally. It should amuse Alan Batten that Dawkins suggests a means of employing intelligent design, which he argues in Our Enigmatic Universe; based on these transcendent entities, memes, that arise purely from the exercise of conscious choice, indeed, of a transcendent consciousness.

Alex Vary


The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning
The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning
by Jonathan Sacks
Edition: Hardcover
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sacks and the Samurai Sword, October 4, 2013
Rabbi Sacks argues that religion and science provide the essential perspectives that allow us to perceive the nature of the universe in depth. Science teaches where we come from. Religion explains why we are here. Science searches for explanations. Religion searches for meanings. Science is reductionist; taking things apart to see how they fit together and operate. Religion is transcendent; seeking to know why things exist and persist as they do. In The Great Partnership Rabbi Sacks advocates the necessary and profound interdependence of religion and science.

Renowned cosmologist Sir James Jeans exclaimed in The Mysterious Universe, ". . . the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine." Adopting his symbolic language, we might say that science attempts to explore and describe the `great machine' down to its most minuscule elemental parts and that theology attempts to understand and explain the `great thought' and its origin. Religion seeks to reconcile our seemingly insignificant presence in an immense turbulent, hostile, unfriendly cosmos with a personified benevolent transcendent consciousness that putatively originated the cosmos.

In My Universe - A Transcendent Reality I declare and illustrate that all language, even mathematics - the language of science, is an imperfect tool. Arthur Schopenhauer noted that a thought, particularly a complex thought, once written, is lost: "Thoughts die the moment they are embodied by words." Rabbi Sacks overcomes Schopenhauer's concern by honing each paragraph just as Samurai sword-maker heats, hammers, quenches and forges his work of martial art. The Samurai sword is a monument to the sword-maker's art but its efficient employment depends on the hand that wields it.

Rabbi Sacks does indeed wield language with cutting precision, deploying his skill to chastise modern atheists who criticize religion without understanding it . . . "quoting texts without contexts, taking exceptions as the rule, confusing folk belief with reflective theology, abusing, mocking, ridiculing, caricaturing, and demonizing religious faith and holding it responsible for the great crimes against humanity." He acknowledges that religion has done harm, but cautions . . . "the cure for bad religion is good religion, not no religion, just as the cure for bad science is good science, not the abandonment of science." Examples of bad science are: politicized science (a hybrid of political science), science that accommodates some societal agenda, science by consensus that adheres to dogmatic orthodoxy.

My appreciation and agreement with Rabbi Sacks' dissertation generally attaches to his introduction of the term reflective theology. I suggest that the great partnership advocated by Rabbi Sacks might be well distinguished by the term science-based-theology or scientific theology. I would have preferred positing a partnership of theology and science while defending and lauding Abraham's good religion and good practice thereof. The enduring theology that Abraham founded was based on the best science of his time; interpreted and extrapolated to acknowledge a transcendent unity: one universe: one God. It is noteworthy that originally the term science (scientia) simply meant knowledge.

Among the ultimate questions that Rabbi Sacks poses and answers in a variety of ways throughout the book, the primary ones pertain to our relationship to God and the manner in which we may best fulfill our role in that relationship. He mentions that our self-awareness uniquely distinguishes us as we ponder why we are special in the milieu of the creation. Jacob Needleman in his book What Is God? invokes the metaphorical of awakening to the presence of ". . . the invisible mountain around which light curves so that the mountain is invisible and untouchable - until . . . the mountain chooses to touch us, to draw us toward itself only because we wish to find it . . ." In his journey from atheistic godlessness to experiencing God, Needleman found himself awake by directing his attention, his awareness, inwards. I surmise that Professor Needleman, as we all must ultimately, became aware of the transcendent nature of the consciousness we share with God. Rabbi Sacks puts it plainly and directly, "God lives wherever we open our eyes to his radiance, our hearts to his transforming love."

This transcendence of human consciousness is the essence of our relationship to God and guides us to the best manner in which we may fulfill our role in that relationship. When Rabbi tells how God spoke to Adam and Eve, I am convinced it was through their transcendent consciousness. I suppose that the consciousness we share with Adam and Eve preexists and transcends its earthly material embodiment - that human consciousness is global, extending beyond the neural boundaries of the brain, beyond self-awareness, beyond sentience. To propose and argue the transcendent nature of consciousness, one must boldly assume that it transcends everything material - that consciousness transcends every aspect of the material world, even the observable cosmos!

I propose that Adam and Eve symbolize the first human vessels to be endowed with souls. This interpretation makes sense to me as the culmination of an elaborate, time-consuming process needed to evolve suitable vessels for housing souls. It is understandable that orthodox scriptural accounts avoid describing a process during which huge populations of humanoids were simultaneously, perhaps gradually, endowed with souls and prompted to practice social intercourse in pacific and plentiful Edens. Soul endowments likely happened elsewhere at different epochs, perhaps dating back millions of years. Adam and Eve are easy-to-understand representations of the pinnacle of a rather extended and complicated genetic program of evolution. Although God may be the ultimate programmer, Rabbi Sacks suggests that God is outside the physical system that applies the program, that God transcends the machinery of evolution.

The nature of the transcendent consciousness that we share with God is perhaps best illustrated by the following passage from Baruch Spinoza's foundational work Ethics, which I modified by inserting the word consciousness wherever Spinoza mentions God: "Consciousness is one, that is, only one substance can be granted in the universe. Whatsoever is, is in consciousness, and without consciousness nothing can be, or be conceived. consciousness is the indwelling and not the transient cause of all things. All things which are, are in consciousness. Besides consciousness there can be no substance, that is, nothing in itself external to consciousness." I believe that this modification of Spinoza's declaration opens the door to understanding what Rabbi Sacks means when he writes, " . . . now join together to protect the world that has been entrusted to our safekeeping, honouring our covenant with nature and nature's God - the God who is the music beneath the noise; the Being at the heart of being, whose still small voice we can still hear if we learn to create a silence in the soul; the God who, whether or not we have faith in him, never loses faith in us." . . . . the God who trusts us to share his supernal consciousness.

Stephen Hawking in The Grand Design eschews God as a first cause and prefers instead what might be termed Darwinian cosmology, where the cosmoses appear and evolve - from nothingness - and the fittest survive. Regarding a `theory of everything' Hawking writes, "If we do discover a complete theory . . . it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason . . ." Hawking's quest for a grand design is focused purely on "understanding of the laws governing us and our universe" and "abstract considerations of logic" that "lead to a unique theory that predicts and describes a vast universe full of the amazing variety that we see." He adds, "If the theory is confirmed by observation, it will be the successful conclusion of a search going back more than 3,000 years. We will have found the grand design." Hawking's idea of a grand design excludes God because "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going." Implicit in Hawking's idea is the presupposition of universal laws and a grand design that pre-exist the material cosmos, while God transcends the machinery that makes the cosmos.

In My Universe - A Transcendent Reality, I write, ". . .when I attempt to exclude God, the concept of God keeps reasserting itself. God or the imperative for a first cause springs up when cosmologists declare: there was nothing, then bang! there was something, space, time, atoms, stars, planets, galaxies and so on. The question following such a declaration might well be `How and why did the immense and unique cosmos spring into being and why am I here to ask?' My earthbound mentality demands causes, then causes of causes, finally a first cause, an uncaused cause. I can not be satisfied accepting a cloudy causeless past or fuzzy fragmented future. So, I posit God, a God that knows what I cannot know. I then assert that I am somehow an aspect of such a God, a supernal consciousness, which I could neither originate nor perpetuate and certainly never presume to completely comprehend. My mind, the typical human mind, is imprisoned in space and time. Earthbound minds are so ensnared in space and time that it seems necessary to speak of a first cause or place and time of origin and an evolving reality. We insist on an initiating cause and a tangible venue for every event. If we could attain the intellectual capacity of transcendental spiritual beings, we might not be distressed by a lack of concrete space-time coordinates. I imagine souls reveling in a timeless transcendental domain are quite at ease flitting about in a realm devoid of the shackles that bind mortal beings to a material, space-time world."

Rabbi Sacks reports that Richard Dawkins considers faith ". . . the principled vice of any religion . . . one of the world's great evils." In The Selfish Gene, Dawkins urges us to take the idea of meme evolution literally. Memes are replicating ideas. Not just simple ideas, but often quite complex cultural templates that form themselves into distinct units that replicate and engender genetic evolution. Physiologically, they produce alleles, alternative genes, that compete with existing genes and when successful, cause hereditary variations. The original genes will attempt to repudiate these newcomers, but after many replications, successful alleles may prevail in a new branch of species evolution. Although Dawkins disparages religious faith, he asks us to accept transcendent entities, memes, on faith. In the midst of The Selfish Gene, Dawkins inadvertently produces an argument that sets a basis for intelligent design, presumably not overseen by God, but bearing all its hallmarks. Rabbi Sacks assures us that this is still good science, quoting Max Planck, ". . . over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: Ye must have faith. It is a quality which the scientist cannot dispense with."


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