Through the Wormhole Into the Afterlife

Earlier this month Science Channel's Through the Wormhole series (hosted by Morgan Freeman) featured an episode on "Life After Death", which touched on a number of topics we've discussed here previously, perhaps most notably 'quantum consciousness' as an explanation for afterlife experiences. This short excerpt below talks to one of our old friends, Dr Stuart Hameroff, about his own theory (proposed in tandem with distinguished mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose):

This echoes what Stuart told me in a Daily Grail interview we did way back in 2004:

TDG: In your opinion, does the hypothesis of 'quantum consciousness' provide a model for anomalous experiences such as Out of Body Experiences (OBEs) and Near Death Experiences (NDEs)?

SH: I would say possibly yes. Under normal circumstances consciousness occurs in the fundamental level of spacetime geometry confined in the brain. But when the metabolism driving quantum coherence (in microtubules) is lost, the quantum information leaks out to the spacetime geometry in the universe at large. Being holographic and entangled it doesnt dissipate. Hence consciousness (or dream-like subconsciousness) can persist.

See the links at the bottom of this post for more reading and viewing on this topic.

You can find out more about Through the Wormhole, which has already asked a number of other fascinating questions in the latest series, at the show's website.

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emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
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4 hours 49 min

I would love to know if Hameroff et al keep an eye on the latest crop of ghost busting shows on the telly to keep them inspired and thinking. These shows are pretty schlocky, and that alone will often inhibit a degreed scientist from fessing up to watching them, but I sometimes suspect these guys stay up late at night with a bowl of ice cream watching Ghost Adventures and mulling over what it means when an child's ball is kinetically affected by "no one" or when an apparition shows up on a UV camera. There is physics happening before their very eyes. It must be a sore temptation for them to watch.

Inannawhimsey's picture
Member since:
14 April 2009
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51 weeks 3 days

You could always ask them :3

---------
All that lives is holy, life delights in life.

--William Blake

Inannawhimsey's picture
Member since:
14 April 2009
Last activity:
51 weeks 3 days

I still remember seeing that conference that Stuart was at where he was going on aboot his theories and the stony angry silence afterward...Lawrence Krauss took a shot at him and a young woman even took a shot at him as well, I think her voice was shaking :3

I like how science progresses -- bit by laborious bit.

And I'm glad their theory is being vindicated :3

EDIT: and my favourite model for the soul by Douglas Hofstadter! WOOT! :3 It makes the concept of the soul participatory; the more people you know and love, the 'stronger' and more distributed your soul is.

---------
All that lives is holy, life delights in life.

--William Blake

Sardondi's picture
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15 October 2010
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13 weeks 3 days

"[C]onsciousness occurs in the fundamental level of spacetime geometry confined in the brain. But when the metabolism driving quantum coherence (in microtubules) is lost, the quantum information leaks out to the spacetime geometry in the universe at large. Being holographic and entangled it doesnt dissipate."

Now, how is it one can read the foregoing without blowing coffee out his/her nose, and still seriously assert that the holding of religious faith and the love of logic & reason are mutually exclusive states of mind?

Inannawhimsey's picture
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14 April 2009
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51 weeks 3 days

I hope when you did that it was cold coffee :3

---------
All that lives is holy, life delights in life.

--William Blake

emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
4 hours 49 min

I don't think anything "leaks." It looks to me like a seething quantum foam quite literally with a multitude of transitions and changes of state happening every moment among which bodily death is almost unnoticed in the larger scheme of things.

Inannawhimsey's picture
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14 April 2009
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51 weeks 3 days

emlong,

now apply that statement to your physical self and you'll see that the boundary between what you call your physical self and your not-self is your choice, a perceptual choice.

So when you or your loved ones are attacked, that is your choice -- you (and they) choose what is 'them' and what is 'not them' :3

---------
All that lives is holy, life delights in life.

--William Blake

kikz's picture
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24 October 2009
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3 years 8 weeks

we've been following this.... i do note..
the total absence of rock star brian cox.. odd...

emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
4 hours 49 min

"now apply that statement to your physical self and you'll see that the boundary between what you call your physical self and your not-self is your choice, a perceptual choice.

So when you or your loved ones are attacked, that is your choice -- you (and they) choose what is 'them' and what is 'not them' :3"

That is very "Sethian." Actually, it is likely far more complicated than that. For instance, an attack on my loved ones inspires retaliation and defense which gives me the chance to exert my own will. If existence is a case of wills in collision both good and bad and we steer ourselves delicately amomg the sea of choices then often what happens to us may be as much a product of other wills as it is of our will. You will sometimes be of high influence and sometimes not, but even when you are more a victim than victor the chain of events ensuing are likely to be "complcated." It is like the old Chinese parable of the man who keeps falling into apparently injurious situations which then turn out to be advantangeous after all. "May be."

Inannawhimsey's picture
Member since:
14 April 2009
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51 weeks 3 days

Yuppers :3

I was having thoughts like what you responded to in May. It had been a really bad day, I wasn't really aware, I had just got back from voting...on the way back I saw a duck milling aboot in a stream so I took out my digital camera and started shooting, still thinking these thoughts...

And I got nailed twice by tsunamis of dirty kerb water :3 Zen master hits me with stick! :3

Here's one of the most succinct discussions of Dependent Origination I've seen so far

See video

---------
All that lives is holy, life delights in life.

--William Blake

emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
4 hours 49 min

I immediately craved the singing bowl being rung in the background. Damn near ruined it for me.

Georgehants's picture
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28 November 2010
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28 weeks 1 day

As usual, response on these subjects has to be based on limited personal opinions, for to find the truth one would have to spend much time looking for hidden research,

This is because "science" in general, beyond the Carnot Cycle is closed minded in the extreme.
They do not have the decency to say we are not interested or able to research consciousness, after death, etc. etc. but then to give full support and funding to those qualified and willing to proceed with the investigation, that most "ordinary" people would be interested in.

They seem to forget that these Tax paying people fund most of their activities.
Their scientific response in these cases, like Cold Fusion etc. is to say it is "beyond known science" therefor it can't happen, and sit on their hands until some brave rebel comes along to prove them wrong.

Will Science ever Grow-up.

georgehants