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A Heaven (and Hell) That “Is All in Your Mind,” Real and Eternal

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by Bryon Ehlmann, May 31, 2019.

  1. Bryon Ehlmann

    Bryon Ehlmann Contemplating Life

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    There is a heaven. (There’s also a corresponding hell, but I’ll focus on the heaven). It is not like the conventional heaven that most people envision, but I claim it can be the most heavenly possible. First of all, it is natural, versus supernatural—meaning its existence is supported by current scientific, i.e., psychological, principles and human experience and also its properties are logically consistent. Given it was found, how could it be otherwise? Second, it is relativistic—meaning it’s real only from the perspective of, i.e., relative to, the dying person, not from a material perspective. That is, when you die, “it’s all in your mind”—meaning it is psychological. And finally, although it is eternal (deceptively so and only to you when you die), it’s timeless—meaning no events occur, but you will never know this.

    Admittedly, such a heaven may be hard to fathom. The short essay below may help by providing an inkling into the psychological basis for a natural eternal consciousness (NEC) and based on it, a natural afterlife. Articles about these phenomena can be accessed on the internet and describe their elusive essence, argue for their reality, and briefly address their relevance to religion. The article Your Natural Afterlife: the Non-Supernatural Alternative to Nothingness provides a short overview of the natural afterlife and references more comprehensive and scholarly articles.

    Questions for debate: If you have read the essay below and one or more of articles on the natural afterlife, are you convinced of its reality? If not, can you identify any flaws in the arguments given for its reality? (Warning: If you find yourself just regurgitating hyphothesis 1, you don’t understand the NEC and natural afterlife. They don’t require a functional brain!)


    The Psychological Basis for the NEC and Natural Afterlife

    From a general understanding of psychology, two opposing hypotheses can be deduced for what one will experience upon death. The first is based on the definitions of mind and consciousness like those given in many introductory psychology textbooks. The second delves just a bit deeper and is based on human experience and established cognitive principles in time and conscious perception.

    Hypothesis 1: Quoting from a © 2014 psychology textbook by Zimbardo: “The mind is the product of the brain,” consciousness is “the brain process that creates our mental representation of the world and our current thoughts” and “as a process … is dynamic and continual rather than static.” Therefore, when the brain dies, the mind as its product and consciousness as a brain process must totally cease to exist and one will “experience” a before-life kind of nothingness.

    Hypothesis 2: Before death a still functioning brain produces a last discrete present conscious moment of a perceived event within some experience and then is forever incapable of producing another moment that would cognitively supplant the last present moment from one’s consciousness. Therefore, one is never aware that one’s last experience is over, and so a remnant of consciousness, an experience as captured by its last moment, will become imperceptibly timeless and deceptively eternal, i.e., static, relative to one’s perspective. (Here experience is not in quotes as it is indeed experienced before death.)

    Hypothesis 1, despite lacking empirical verification, has been accepted as orthodoxy by many. It can only be verified after death, which is impossible. Hypothesis 2 on the other hand, hitherto likely overlooked by the orthodoxies of both hypothesis 1 and religion, can be verified before death. It is verified to some degree with each everyday human encounter with timelessness, much like that of death—e.g., when sleeping. Especially relevant are those encounters after which one awakes instantly surprised when their first conscious moment is completely inconsistent with their last—e.g., when waking up after an intense dream. One need only ask: “Suppose I never woke up?”

    For more discussion of hypothesis 2, read The Theory of a Natural Eternal Consciousness: The Psychological Basis for a Natural Afterlife.
     
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  2. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta, Theosophy, Spiritualism
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    @Bryon Ehlmann You posted this once before on this forum but you never returned to discuss the follow-up comments you received.

    I'll paste my comments here:

    I feel I understand what the so-called 'natural afterlife' is saying (so I voted 'Yes') but do not think it means much or makes much sense as there would be no 'experiencer' after the last thought. Hypothesis 1 and 2 both say about the same to me except in #2 the last few seconds are more vivid somehow.

    On that note, I actually believe in what I call a super-physical but still 'natural afterlife' myself on the higher planes/dimensions of nature. Consciousness is not a creation of the brain in my beliefs.
     
  3. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    What's natural about it?


    BTW, welcome.
     
  4. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Then you would be dead. :shrug:
     
  5. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg One Planet One People Please
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    I see heaven and hell are states of being. It is our given purpose in life to train our mind in all the heavenly aspects of life, to find, think and live all the virtues and attributes.

    "In the Súriy-i-Vafá Bahá'u'lláh explains the meaning of heaven and hell. Heaven is not a place, but nearness to God, and hell is remoteness from Him. In this Tablet He states that in this world heaven 'is realized through love of Me and My good-pleasure'. He further asserts that 'for every act performed there shall be a recompense according to the estimate of God'. Indeed, within every action is embodied its reward or punishment. For instance, punishment for an ignorant man is his ignorance, and the reward for a learned person is his knowledge..."

    There is a lot on this subject in the Baha'i Writings.

    Regards Tony
     
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  6. Bryon Ehlmann

    Bryon Ehlmann Contemplating Life

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    My original post was taken down before I could reply as it was too much like another post I had done in anther forum. So I revised the post before re-posting it. I appreciate you sharing your views.
     
  7. Bryon Ehlmann

    Bryon Ehlmann Contemplating Life

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    Yes, but how would you know your last experience was over?
     
  8. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    One has to be awake/conscious to be aware, to be able to experience anything. I assume never means never.
     
  9. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    You might be interested in this guy.
    Robert Lanza » Books

    Robert Lanza - Biocentrism
     
  10. tayla

    tayla My dog's name is Tayla

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    The physical universe doesn't contain such a thing as consciousness, period. Not as an emergent property, and not as a process of the brain. There is no law of nature called consciousness. There is no quantum field called consciousness.

    The soul integrates with the brain at the level of the neurons and the neural web. The soul grew along with the brain. The soul experiences certain brain states consciously. Other brain states do not result in consciousness, but the soul experiences these with its mind. Both mind and consciousness (with its contents) reside within the spiritual realm.
     
  11. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    Everything's natural actually. Empirically , or naturally made up in someone's mind. ;0)
     
  12. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    Consciousness is merely a result of how living matter communicates. Results of a chain/chemical reaction based on stimuli.
     
  13. Bryon Ehlmann

    Bryon Ehlmann Contemplating Life

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    That's the point. You are having an experience, one conscious discrete moment at a time. You can only be aware of something within these moments. You are aware of your last moment and all that the experience encompasses at a point in time. Then you die. Because "One has to be awake/conscious to be aware, to be able to experience anything," you never (and that does mean never) are aware that your last experience is over and you don't "experience anything" more (unless supernatural), certainly not your death. Your last experience in your mind as been paused and you don't know it. There will be no "The End" displayed.
     
    #13 Bryon Ehlmann, Jun 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  14. Bryon Ehlmann

    Bryon Ehlmann Contemplating Life

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    Yes, I've read his first two books on Biocentrism and have thought that my NEC theory is very compatible with his thinking in that he stresses that what is important is what your mind can perceive.
     
  15. HolyHolyHolyEvil

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    I can assure you that hypothesis is false but I will also tell you that what I'm about to say you have no ability to believe because,

    1. You have no authoritative reference
    2. You do not recognize me as authority on the matter

    The human brain is the product of the mind and not the other way around. The mind is eternal, existing before the universe does.

    Everything exists before the universe does, it just does not exist physically. It exists immaterially in the form of thought, memory, information and knowledge.

    Consider the keyboard you use to type (any form of keyboard). It first existed in the mind as a thought before it became a physical object. Now you understand immaterial to material.

    Consciousness is a product of identity. Identity is the primary point of mind. Identity > consciousness > materialization.
     
  16. night912

    night912 Well-Known Member

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    There's an obvious flaw in your argument. It's a contradiction.

    "Everything existed before the universe "
    The "universe" is a "thing". So according to your logic, the universe must exist before its existence. That's a contradiction. Something can't both exist and not exist at the same time.
     
  17. HolyHolyHolyEvil

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    The time and place before the universe explodes into existence is called NOTHING, also called preexistence. It is my original abode and where I come from. Do you seriously think I'm going to allow ignorance to school the master? Spare me.

    Leaving this disgusting website. It is full of snakes.
     
  18. night912

    night912 Well-Known Member

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    So the "thing" which you called the "universe" exist and not exist before it exited. Yep that's a contradiction alright.

    And to answer your question, no. I don't seriously think you're going to allow ignorance to school the master, that's why you didn't allowed you to school me and chose to run away instead. :thumbsup:
     
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