OK. From what I've gathered you have the implications of the double slit experiment/qm, our sense of self, you've mentioned the tradition of this type of thinking being salient, and I'd say the coherent explanatory power (including of meaning/subjectivity/free will, all those aspects of consciousness which mystify us) is a type of evidence. Is that it?
That is indeed part of the personal justifications I have for adopting (and adapting) this belief system, but what I referred to is quite different.
But since now I'm shifting from cautious to mysterious, I'll give it a try, since that is not my intention. Notice that the following is bound to be much more controversial that anything else I've written here so far.
The main postulates of this belief system (in a "raw" form rather different from the "processed" way I've been presenting them here) exist in the "books" of a particular non-mainstream and rather modern Argentinian religious institution. I merely adopted and adapted these (and has no relation to the people that wrote the books first). It is the methodical process used to put these postulates in the church's books in the first place what I referred to. Explaining that, even in its ideal form (which differs from its actual form, as usual) puts me in the "boot-strapping" circular justification problem I mentioned. In any case, below is a brief summary of the foundation behind the method by which those books where written (not so much about the method itself but its foundation).
Consider the following speculative postulates. This is rather long, and I am trying to cut it down to just the postulates needed to explain how the books are (ideally) written.
1.Spirits/Souls/Conscious entities (whatever term your prefer) are only the "CEO" of the hierarchical, modular, nested free-will system that any single biological organism (including human beings) is
Such "CEO" is the me in me (the inner body-independent self).
3.In order to command
the rest of the hierarchical system, there are certain control and feedback mechanisms in place to be used by this CEO.
4.These mechanisms have both physical and non-physical parts.
is the primary (physical) organ of the physical part of the mechanism that controls the system as a whole. It includes, but is not limited to, the physical end of the "interface" between such a "CEO" and the rest of the system.
is the primary (non-physical) organ of the non-physical part of the mechanism that controls the system as a whole. It includes, but is not limited to, the non-physical end of the "interface" between such a "CEO" and the rest of the system.
To illustrate this model of a biological organism let's consider in more detail the "CEO" analogy. A human, for example, would be like a business company, and "we" in a human, would be like its CEO. A CEO might "command" to double sales, but the actual course of action (such as launching a new marketing campaign) is not directly
his command. It is the responsibility of the rest of the system (in particular, the different "managers" at each layer in the modular, nested hierarchy) to figure out how to double sales. Likewise, when I intend to drink a glass of water, my
intention is not directly that (to drink water) but to experience the sensation of satisfaction from the perceived needs of my body (the rest of the system). It is the "mind" which translates that into the human action of reaching out for a glass of water.
Going from the biological need of water that is communicated to the CEO (to me) through the brain, then through the mind, to which the CEO (that is, me), in turn, responds with the command to satisfy that need, going back to the mind and from there to the brain, is actually a really complex process. The "realization" of which is not just the bodily movement towards the glass, but the train of "feelings" (of thirst) and "thoughts" (let's get that glass of water over there). Feelings and thoughts are brain and mind processes (they both participate, not just the mind alone) that materialize the communication from body to CEO (me, the spirit/soul/conscious entity at the very top) and back to body.
of said feelings and thoughts (which are brain+mind processes) is the perception
of those processes that the CEO does, similarly as he perceives the extent, shape and position of the body he is in command. That is, feelings and thoughts are as external to the CEO itself (to me myself) as are the tip of the fingers
7.Such "CEO" of any human being is by itself completely independent of the human being, thus, it (we) existed from before birth and exists after bodily dead.
That is, linking to a biological system (i.e. incarnating
) as it's CEO is effectively as temporary as being employed as a CEO in a business company.
8.Since spirits/souls/conscious entities are effectively independent of being temporarily linked to a biological organism, the outmost extent of reality is populated by much, much more, than "incarnate spirits". In particular, every human being that once lived (but no longer) is not gone but elsewhere.
9.As indicated in postulates 5 and 6, the brain and the mind are devices that control the functioning of the whole biological organism, and a significant part of their functions is to interface with the CEO. That is, there exist a very specific communication mechanism (and channel) through which the CEO (that is me, the incarnate spirit) commands and senses the rest of the biological system (the body
10.As it turns out, that communication mechanism is, like any other mechanism, exploitable
. In particular, it is possible, if all conditions are met, that a spirit/soul/conscious entity that is not
the CEO, interfaces himself
to the body.
This exploit is, again like any other, not out of the control of the actual CEO, and the effectiveness of the "secondary link" (if you wish) depends on the control of the CEO (the incarnate spirit in proper charge)
11.The population of incarnate spirits, that is, humanity, is best seen as a particular "layer" or "level" in a fundamental "soul progression". Like being in first grade if you like. When the biological link expires, we spirits are free to move on in our progression (or not) by any means (other than incarnating). In consequence, the entire
population of spirits is stratified in "progression layers", with humanity being one of these (about in the middle I would say) [for what is worth, the biblical concepts of hell and haven simply refer to these layes below and above "humanity"]
12.Postulate 11 implies the existence of "higher levels", where those spirits that have already progressed further than "us humans" reside.
13.Due to 10, it can and does happen that "spirits in higher worlds" (or progression layers) sometimes use the "spirit<->mind<->brain" exploit to have a human person generate feelings and thoughts whose source is that other spirit from a higher world rather than just himself.
14.That "secondary link" might carry and convey actual information such as "knowledge from higher worlds", specially regarding the larger reality such as that referenced in these postulates I just written here.
Notice how the postulates above attempt to provides a sketch of the mechanism that has always been used by religious communities to come up with their doctrines. Terms such as "revelation", "prophecy"... etc would be folk-versions of the mechanism sketched above.
In the case of the contemporary, non-mainstream, Argentinian religious institution I've mentioned, a group of "investigators" (so I don't use "researchers") methodically used the "exploit" as in postulate 14 to write down the core of the belief system.
In my brief description I omitted a large number of details, but I must say that this method has a nontrivial margin of error (that is, uncertainty), which is attempted to be taken into account in the process. In any case, the "oficial" version of the belief system as you would find it in the books contains all sort of propositions, and in my adapted version (the one I presented here), I took the liberty of rejecting those that made no sense to me (such as a certain account for the origin of men on earth), changing those that I think needed to be changed plus adding my own propositions (such as all the details about free will systems), and disregarded those that can make some sense but the "speculation/utility" ratio was not high enough to be worth adopting (such as accounts of alien or extinct civilizations)
Gertie wrote:Yeah it removes a layer of 'boot-strapping', but you're still left with a brute assertion of the existence of the spirit stuff being fundamental, with the problem of untestable and unknowable.
On the other hand, I believe that what is
testable is the "exploit" I written about above. That is, the reality of the mechanism by which men (any men, not allegedly gifted ones) can effectively gain knowledge of higher worlds. Doing that is, my opinion (and plan), a starting point to find a way to test the rest.
It brings it closer to mainstream philosophy of mind tho I think, just call it consciousness rather than spirit.
From the different reasons I don't call it that, the main one is that consciousness if often understood as conscious awareness, of the kind that is on/off as we switch from awake to sleep. But that
is quite different. Only in certain unqualified contexts the term is used in a way to matches the term "spirit" or "soul".
I agree. But that leads us back to epistemology doesn't it? I'm thinking you have to establish a valid epistemological structure where your belief system can justifiably sit.
Like science and religion do. Maybe it doesn't have to be completely comprehensive, but it has to make sense philosophically.
That is very precisely one of the "lines of work" I intend to follow (but I have a dayjob and a family to take care, so my work is going very very slowly)
I must say it's refreshing how open you are. (Much more than I am about my own pet theories!)
Hopefully, my openness would work for the best. I have plenty of tales in which it got me into trouble, including having girls dump me cold when I was a teen and I ended up taking about this stuff on the second date