Science Delusion, 7-8



Are Memories Stored as Material Traces?


pp. 187-8 the absurdity of the materialist hypothesis as concerning memory

p. 187

Most people take it for granted that memories must be stored in brains as material traces. …

p. 188

Yet the trace theory of memory is very questionable indeed. It raises appalling logical problems. … But memory traces are not the only option. Several philosophers in the ancient world, notably Plotinus {Plotinos}, were sceptical that memories were material impressions [1956, Ennead 4, Tractate 6], and argued that

they were immaterial rather than material, aspects of the soul rather the body. [Inge 1929, vol. 1, pp. 226-8]

{Indeed, the propre location of memory must be in the mental plane-of-existence (manas-maya-kos`a).}

Likewise, more recent philosophers, like Henri Bergson and Alfred North Whitehead, saw memories as direct connections across time, not material structures in brains”.

{Direct connections across time would need to be mediated by entities repraesenting the [cosmic] time-cycles and/or segments thereof – such divine entities are found in various traditional religions (Maya etc.).}

Plotinos 1956 = Plotinus (transl. by S. MacKenna) : The Enneads. Faber & Faber, London.

Inge 1929 = William Ralph Inge : The Philosophy of Plotinus. Longmans, London.

pp. 188-91 some logical and experimental problems and morphic resonance as a possible solution

p. 189

Several modern philosophers have pointed out that the trace theory of memory runs into an insoluble logical problem, quite apart from repeated failures to find memory traces. In order for a memory trace to be consulted or reactivated, there has to be a retrieval system, and … the retrieval system must itself have a memory. There is therefore a vicious regress … . [Bursen 1978]

There is a structural problem too. … Francis Crick … suggested a complex mechanism … to preserve the overall state of the memory-storage structures. [Crick 1984] No such mechanism has been detected.”

attempts to locate memory stores have proven unsuccessful over and over again. …

p. 190

Pavlov himself was reluctant to claim that there were specific localised [memory] traces. [Boakes 1984] … Those who knew less about it were less cautious, and in the first few decades of the twentieth century many biologists assumed {erroneously} that … the human mind, could … be … in the brain.

In … experiments …, Karl Lashley (1890-1958) tried to locate specific memory traces, or 'engrams' in the brains … . …

p. 191

[quoted from Lashley 1929, p. 14] The experimental findings have never fitted into such a scheme. …

Lashley [1950, p. 479] suggested that

it may develop … an interference pattern of spreading waves … .

He suggested that recall involved 'some sort of resonance …'.

These ideas were carried further by his former student Karl Pribram in his proposal that memories are stored in a distributed manner throughout the brain analogous to the interference patterns in a hologram. [Pribham 1971; Wilber 1982]

{N.B. A holographic-like semblance would be the nature of the passage-way via certain interdimensional portals (particularly in transmuting the personal-identity-providing mind-potential into a guise suitable for being transported interdimensionally) : in this case there may be a cerebral interdimensional portal involved connecting the material plane with the mental plane-of-existence (manas-maya-kos`a). [comment written Mar 7th (Thur) 2013]}

Bursen 1978 = Howard Alexander Bursen : Dismantling the Memory Machine. Reidel, Dordrecht.

Crick 1984 = Francis Crick : “Memory and Molecular Turnover”. NATURE 312:101.

Boakes 1984 = Robert A. Boakes : From Darwin to Behaviourism : Psychology and Minds of Animals. Cambridge U Pr.

Lashley 1929 = K. S. Lashley : Brain Mechanisms and Intelligence. U of Chicago Pr.

Lashley 1950 = K. S. Lashley : “In Search of the Engram”. SYMPOSIUM OF THE SOCIETY FOR EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY 4:454-83.

Pribham 1971 = Karl H. Pribham : Languages of the Brain. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs (NJ).

Wilber 1982 = Ken Wilber (ed.) : The Holographic Paradigm and Other Paradoxes. Shambhala, Boulder.

p. 192 experimental confirmations of holographic similitude in particularity of regions of brain being irrelevant to memory; and in hippocampus's being relevant only temporarily

the region of the brain involved in the learning process was not necessary for the retention of memory.” (Cipolla-Neto et al. 1982)

The formation of memories involved activities … in the hippocampus. The ability to form long-term memories depended on a process called long-term potentiation, which involved protein synthesis in hippocampal nerve cells.

{Apparently the particular protein synthesized is able to produce the appropriate resonance for transforming the temporary memory into a type fit for inclusion (via interdimensional transport) in the akas`ik records (which records entail long-term memories stored within the mental plane-of-existence). [comment written Mar 7th (Thur) 2013]}

But … Once the memories had been established, ... hippocampus … failed to” be needed further for retention of the particular long-term memories thus entrenched. “Erik Kandel … drew attention to some of these problems … :

[quoted from Kandel 2003] We do not, for example, understand why the initial storage of memory requires the hippocampus, whereas the hippocampus is not required once a memory has been stored for weeks or months.”

Cipolla-Neto et al. 1982 = Cipolla-Neto, Horn, & McCabe : “Hemispheric Asymmetry and Imprinting”. EXPERIMENTAL BRAIN RESEARCH 48:22-7

Kandel 2003 = E. R. Kandel : “The Molecular Biology of Memory Storage”. In :- Hans Jornvall (ed.) : Nobel Lectures, Physiology or Medicine 1995-2000. World Scientific, Singapore.

pp. 193-4 proof from hydrocephalus that no specific brain-structures are necessary for thinking nor for intelligence

p. 193

The British neurologist John Lorber found that some people with extreme hydrocephalus were surprisingly normal, which led him to ask … : 'Is the brain really necessary?' He scanned the brains of … people with hydrocephalus, and found … more than 95 per cent of the cranial cavity filled with cerebro-spinal fluid. Some … were … normal, and some had IQs of well over

p. 194

100. One young man who had … a first-class degree in mathematics … had 'virtually no brain'.

His skull was lined with a thin layer of brain cells about a millimetre thick, and the rest of the space was filled with fluid. [Lewin 1980] …

{Perhaps his fluid-filled cranium was functioning as an abode of miniature undines [or else of their communications-equipment], who gratiously did his thinking for him.}

His mental activity and his memory were still able to function … normally even though he had a brain only five per cent of the normal size.”

Lewin 1980 = R. Lewin : “Is Your Brain Really Necessary?” SCIENCE 210:1232.

p. 194 memory via morphic resonance

there are many subsidiary patterns of electrical activity in different regions of the brain. If these patterns, or system properties, are to be remembered, resonance across time seems more likely … . … . … memories may depend on morphic resonance from an organism's own past.

The brain may be more like a television set than a hard-drive recorder. What you see on TV depends on the resonant tuning of the set to invisible fields.”

{If functioning as a receiver of information via radio/television-like transmissions, then at least some such transmissions may well be received (perhaps through the appropriate interdimensional portal) from communicatory signal-transmitters based in an appropriate plane-of-existence beyond the material plane. Indeed some of the so-called “morphic resonances” may well be information in software computer-data storages located in the computer arrays operated by immortals in transcendental planes-of-existence. [comment written Mar 7th (Thur) 2013]}

p. 196 the 2 sorts of amnesia

There are “two kinds of memory loss :

retrograde (backwards) amnesia, forgetting what happened before …, and

anterograde (forwards) amnesia, losing the ability to remember what happens after”.

pp. 198-9 holograms & the implicate order

p. 198

The most popular analogy for distributed memory storage is holography, a form of lensless photography in which interference patterns are stored … . … But …the holographic wave-patterns are not stored in the brain at all … Pribham … came to this conclusion, and thought of the brain as a 'wave-form analyser' rather than a storage system, comparing it to a radio-receiver that picked up wave-forms from the 'implicate order', rendering them explicate. [Pribham 1979] This … thinking was influenced by … David Bohm, who suggested that

the entire universe is holographic, in the sense that wholeness is enfolded in every part. [Bohm 1980] …

{The doctrine (that the informational content of the universe is contained in each and every particle thereof) is to be found in certain Mahayana Vaipulya Sutra-s, and is promoted by the rN~in-ma denomination.}

p. 199

Bohm thought that the implicate order contains a kind of memory. What happens in one place is 'introjected' or 'injected' into the implicate order, which is potentially present everywhere; thereafter … the implicate order unfolds into the explicate order … . In Bohm's words, each moment will 'contain a projection of the re-injection of the previous moments, which is a kind of memory; so that would result in a general replication of past forms'.” (Sheldrake 2009, p. 302)

Pribham 1979 = Karl H. Pribham : “Transcending the Mind-Brain Problem”. ZYGON 14:103-24.

Bohm 1980 = David Bohm : Wholeness and the Implicate Order. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London.

Sheldrake 2009 = Rupert Sheldrake : A New Science of Life. 3rd edn. Icon Bks, London.

p. 208 the Flynn Effect

[By morphic resonance,] “questions should become easier to answer because so many people have answered them before. … Just such an effect has in fact occurred and is known as the Flynn effect … . Average IQ test scores have been rising for decades … . … There has been a long debate … about possible reasons for the Flynn effect.”

{There is one very glaringly evident reason why persons in the United States and in Western Europe have become increasingly able to perform well on intelligence-tests over the recent decades : namely, that as culture/society hath become increasingly liberalized, people have been abandoning their self-imposed restraint on thinking and reasoning freely. In the past, it was often quite dangerous to one's self for one to be a freethinker or liberal; one would be very likely then to be harassed and/or murdered (by the police or by other capitalist-stooge thugs) for being so. In Democratic-Party-controlled (of the United States; Labour Party in Britain) states and counties (i.e., in the northern United States), performance on intelligence tests is usually much better than it is in Republican-Party-controlled states and counties (i.e., in the southern United States), for exactly this very reason. [We do not really need a postulated “morphic resonance” to explain this.]}

p. 210 judgement of souls after death

In Hindu and Buddhist theories of reincarnation …, memories … are carried over from one life to another. This transfer of memory is part of the action of karma … . …

{Actually, in such Bharatiya systems, the term /karman/ 'work' referreth to 'good works' and 'evil works' performed during life, not to any sort of memory (which is considered inoperative, not carrying over into the antarabhava, let alone into the next life).} {In the Platonic system (as, in the Politeia by Platon), howebeit, memory in the between-lives period is the deciding factor in determining future lifetimes, for the metempsychosis-candidate maketh a free choice (assisted by memory) in the matter.}

In Christianity … the Last Judgement would be would be meaningless if the person being judged had forgotten who he was and what he had done.”

{In this Christian scheme, no retention of memory is implied. The judgement is considered simply to be a vindictive act by a vindictive God (who had the entire population of Kna<an massacred on a merest whim). Indeed, like the meaningless torturing to death by God of His own Son, all the vindictive acts of the Christian God are believed by Christians to be quite meaningless (other than to demonstrate His vicious brutality).}

But whether or not there is an immaterial part of the self that can still access these memories in the absence of a brain is another question.”

{The akas`ik records of each persons' praevious lives are accessible to those persons. Such access is quite different from memory, howbeit. The records are divinely praepared, and are no part of the mortal's actual memory. If the aequivalent could exist in Zaratustrianism (or in Christianity), however, such records would have to be made by the fravas^i (guardian-angel) of the mortal in quaestion.}



Are Minds Confined to Brains?


pp. 212, 214 extension of the mind beyond the body

p. 212

the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget found that before the age of ten or eleven, European children were like 'primitive' people.

the mind … they thought … extended into the world around them.”

{The doctrine that the mind extendeth as widely as the universe is orthodox in Bharata (India) : this is the “vibhu” doctrine. “The Advaita says that manas is vibhu (all-pervading), otherwise, objects at a distance could not be grasped by manas.” (Commentary by S`ri Yogamuni on S`iva-Sutra I. 2 – “ThW”)}

Yet the 'correct' view conflicts with our most immediate experience every time we look around us. We see things outside our bodies; we do not experience images inside our heads.”

p. 214

As Carl Sagan liked to say, 'Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.' Where is the extraordinary evidence for the materialist claim that the mind is nothing but the activity of the brain? … No one has ever seen a thought or image inside someone else's brain, or inside his or her own. When we look around us, the images of the things we see are outside us, not in our heads. … Direct experience offers no support for the extraordinary claim that all experiences are inside brains. Direct experience is not irrelevant to the nature of consciousness : it is consciousness.”

ThW” = “Three Words”

p. 215 projection of attention

The extramission {this word should be /extromission/, by analogy with /extrovert/} theory agrees with people's experience of vision as an active process. We look at things, and can decide where to direct our attention. Vision is not passive. Plato supported this theory of vision, and … Euclid … showed how

projection of virtual images from the eye could explain how we see images in mirrors. Unlike light itself, which is reflected by mirrors, visual projections go straight through them. They [visual projections] are not material.”

{This matter of projecting one's self seemingly into a mirror is of particular significance during dreaming, when in the dream-world some persons report success in entring another dream-realm by projecting their awareness into the imagery within the dream-mirror, so that the mirror is induced to function as a portal into another realm-of-existence – an experience analogous to the entry of another dream-realm (rather different from the usual dream-world, and related to the usual dream-world in a manner similar to the astral-projection-world's relationship to the ordinary waking-world). [written Mar 7th (Thur) 2013]}

pp. 215-6 the paradoxicality of non-perception of inversions in visual images

p. 215

The problem was that the images on the retinas of both eyes were inverted and reversed; in other words, the were upside down

p. 216

and the left side was the right, and vice versa. Yet we do not see two small, inverted, reversed images.” (Lindberg 1981)

Lindberg 1981 = David C. Lindberg : Theories of Vision from Al-Kindi to Kepler. U of Chicago Pr.

pp. 219-20 holographic nature of the perceptual field beyond the body

p. 219

Not all philosophers and psychologists believe the mind-in-the-brain theory, and … a minority [p. 350b, n. 8:18 : “E.g., … Burtt (1932)”] has always recognized that our perceptions may be

just where they seem to be, in the external world outside our heads, rather than representations inside our brains.”

{To consider our minds as located outside our bodies is to regard the world from a beneficially communistic (communalist), i.e., naturally/intrinsically-shared, viewpoint. When resorting to the extravagant hypothesis of minds isolated from each other within separate brains; in such the anti-social capitalist-stooge viewpoint is being promoted to the detriment of all. [written Mar 8th Fri 2013]}

Max Velmans … suggested … 'a kind of neural “projection hologram”. A projection hologram … is perceived

p. 220

to be out in space … [Velmans 2000, pp. 113-4]. … A hologram is … a field phenomenon.”

My own suggestion is that the outward projection of visual images is … physical. It occurs through perceptual fields. These are … physical or natural in that they exist outside the brain and have detectable {detectible} effects [such as do stares/gazes (infra pp. 222, 225)]. … Other animals

see things through fields projected beyond the surfaces of their bodies,

{This is a psychic power known as “remote viewing”. It is related to astral projection. (An alternative explanation is that instead of viewing by means of “fields”, one is then operating as a “walk-in” occupying, in possession of, and seeing through, the body of deity, which divine body is formless and thus indigenous to the causal plane-of-existence. An implication would be that animals who do this achieve causal projection more readily than astral projection.) [written Mar 8th Fri 2013]}

and hear things through projected auditory fields. …

Perceptual fields are not separate from our bodies, but include them. … We are inside our fields of vision and action.” (Gibson 1986)

{Likewise, of course, while in a dream-body our perceptual “field” in able to include that dream-body; and while astrally projected our perceptual “field” is able to include that astral-body.}

Burtt 1932 = Edwin A. Burtt : The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Physical Science. Kegan Paul, Trench & Trubner, London.

Velmans 2000 = Max Velmans : Understanding Consciousness. Routledge, London.

Gibson 1986 = James Jerome Gibson : The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc, Hillsdale (NJ).

pp. 220-1 other philosophers' advocacy of the doctrine of praesence of the mind beyond the body

p. 220

As the philosopher Arva {Alva} Noe: put it [Noe: 2009, p. 183], 'We are out of our heads. We are in the world and of it. …

p. 221

We are distributed'.”

Kevin O'Regan … does not accept that seeing is in the brain”. (Blackmore 2005, p. 164)

Noe: 2009 = Alva Noe: : Out of Our Heads : why you are not your brain, and other lessons from the biology of consciousness. Hill & Wang, NY.

Blackmore 2005 = Susan J. Blackmore : Conversations on Consciousness. Oxford U Pr.

pp. 222, 224-6 confirmations of the fact that one's mind is physically impinging on a object while observing it {Of course, an alternative explanation could be that the mind of one's divine spirit-guide, or guardian-angel, is doing the physical impinging on the object which one is observing – sure such an alternative explanation would be more acceptable to theists. A pious/devout psychic will always proprely ascribe any psychic power, which is being employed, to the spirit-guide/angel, and not to the mortal self. [comment written Mar 8th Fri 2013]}

p. 222

When I look at something, my perceptual fields 'clothe' what I am looking at. My mind touches what I am seeing.

Therefore I might be able to affect another person just by looking. … Most people have felt someone looking at them from behind … . Most people have also felt experienced the converse : they have sometimes made people turn around by staring at them.”

p. 224

Conversely, some photographers … have felt wild animals looking at them. [Corbett 1986; Sheldrake 2003a] …

Some pet owners … can wake their sleeping dogs or cats by staring at them. Others have found it works the other way round and that their animals can wake them by staring.” (Cottrell et al. 1996)

p. 225

Since the 1980s the sense of being stared at has been investigated experimentally both through direct looking and also through closed circuit television (CCTV). In the scientific literature it is variously referred to as 'unseen gaze detection' or 'remote attention' or 'scopaesthesia' (from Greek skopein, to view, and aisthetikos, sensitive). …

p. 226

The effects of attention at a distance show that minds are not confined to the insides of brains.”

Corbett 1986 = J. Corbett : Jim Corbett's India. Oxford U Pr.

Sheldrake 2003a = Rupert Sheldrake : The Sense of Being Stared at, and Other Aspects of the Extended Mind. Crown, NY.

Cottrell et al. 1996 = Cottrell, Winer, & Smith : “... Feeling Stares of Unseen Others”. DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 32:50-61.

pp. 227-8 minds extended in time

p. 227

future goals … exist in a realm of possibility; they are virtual futures. Possibilities are not material. … But the wave function itself is not material; it is a mathematical description of possibilities.”

minds and matter are related as processes in time … . The subject chooses among its potential futures, and the direction of mental causation runs from potential futures to the present. Neither the future nor the past is material, but both have effects in the present”.

p. 228

Neither inherited habits nor future goals are material structures …; instead they are patterns of goal-directed activity. In a similar way neither memories nor purposes are contained in brains, although they influence brain activity.

{The immaterial worlds are those controlled by deities. Such deities may be providing for us all our thoughts of goals and purposes, and even the activity of our memory.}

Most of our mental activity is habitual and unconscious.

{Our mental activity may be “habitual and unconscious” simply because it is being operated for us by deities.}

Conscious mental activity is largely concerned with possible actions … . Our conscious minds inhabit the realm of possibility … . … Conscious minds choose among possibilities, and their choices collapse possibilities into actions that are objectively observable in the physical world. The arrow of causation is from the virtual future, going 'backwards' in time. In this sense minds act as final {purposive} causes, setting goals and purposes. In order to make choices, minds must contain alternative possibilities : coexisting at the same time. In the language of quantum physics, these possibilities are 'superposed'. … According to the hypothesis of morphic resonance, all self-organising systems … are shaped by memory from previous similar systems transmitted by morphic resonance and drawn toward attractors through chreodes. Their very being involves an invisible presence of both past and future. Minds are extended in time … because they are self-organising systems. All self-organising systems are extended in time, shaped by morphic resonance from the past, and drawn towards attractors in the future.”

p. 229 the egregious hypocrisy so very characteristic of materialists {and of fundamentalist Christians and of fundamentalist Muslims}

Even most materialists are not true believers when it comes to themselves; they effectively ignore the materialist theory in their private lives. …

{Likewise, most Christians are not true believers when it comes to themselves; they effectively ignore the Christian commandments in their private lives. (For example, the commandment “Take all thou hast and give it to the poor”.)}

In practice, they are dualists who believe they make free choices. Those who take their materialist faith seriously ought to believe that they are robots with no free will. And some materialists actually want to experience themselves as automata.”

{The same would apply to fundamentalist Christians (especially Calvinists) and fundamentalist Muslims (especially the Jabiriyah and somewhat the >as`<ari), who not only assert that all is praedestined, but who may even proclaim that they seek to be robot-like under control by their God.}

Materialism is unpersuasive if one takes one's own experience into account.

But because it is the creed of established science, its authority is enormous.

{It is likewise effectively the creed of the Established Church, whose Aristotelian authority is enormous.}

That is why so many educated people try to resolve this dilemma by adopting a materialist persona in scientific discourse, while in private accepting the reality of conscious experience and choice.”

{Likewise even educated persons (at least in Great Britain) adopt an Episcopalian persona in public discourse, while in private they ignore it.}


Rupert Sheldrake : The Science Delusion : freeing the spirit of inquiry. Coronet (an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton), London, 2012.