Peter Fotis Kapnistos
Does logic survive death ?
February 9, 2009 | 7 comments
Image Credit: Wikipedia
It’s a trick question (or plurium interrogationum) that limits the respondent to a single answer. If you say “No,” you admit the possibility of illogical, irrational, and make-believe actions after death. If you say “Yes,” you acknowledge the prospect of a non-local mind, liberation, and out-of-the-body consciousness.
Logic is generally described as a chain of reasoning. It is commonly represented as a consistent force required for the organization of complex operations. Correct reasoning leads to logical conclusions. Formal logic deals with the structure of statements and arguments to obtain mathematical truths. Propositional logic is used in “logic circuits” essential to computer science. On the face of it, logic is an intangible force that dictates rules of proof and lays down the so-called laws of nature.
No one today doubts that logic is the foundation of modern science. Remove that firm underpinning and scientific experimentation will become utter gibberish. But from where does our miraculous power of logic originate? Is it self-existent? Modern scientists seemingly take logic for granted, but they are unable to explain its origin. They may say logic exists because it makes sense, it all adds up, or simply because it is logically so. But that’s only a bootstrap solution, without identifying any preceding source. In a previous article (“In Search of Nothingness”) I suggested the likelihood of an embedded “logical field” that serves as the background of all being. In other words, even if our entire universe were to suddenly dissolve and totally vanish, we might still presume that a gist of logic would somehow continue to exist — perhaps to express the rules of a new universe.
So, if a logical field can carry on after the annihilation of a universe, can it also survive death? Bruce Duensing, the blog author of “Intangible Materiality,” reviewed my earlier article and wondered if “our thoughts, knowledge, and emotions have a non-sensate material and energetic composition.” He suggested that a “non-sensate form of intangible materiality may be the realm of its subsistence as they may be stationed between the realm of dreams and the realm of delimited potentiality, a quantum state we might call Eternity.” (Bruce Duensing, “Part One: An Ecology of Angels: A Sentience Without A Sensate Form,” Intangible Materiality, January 7, 2009)
To get a better look at the problem, we first need to understand our “frame of reference.” For example, if our frame of reference is stationary and we measure the movement of a train, we might clock its speed at fifty miles per hour. But if our frame of reference is in motion parallel to the train, we could mistakenly suppose that the train is not moving at all. A frame of reference is a coordinate system used to identify the properties of an object. In Relativity theory, each reference frame must have an observer to record events as well as a coordinate system for locating each event. The location of an object is relative to both the viewpoint of the observer and the position of another object. Consequently, by saying: “The comet is behind the Sun” we refer to three points of reference: the comet, the Sun, and the observer himself.
Now let’s consider the death of Julius Caesar. From our frame of reference, we can be sure that logic certainly survived his death. The laws of nature did not suddenly stop or fade out when he passed away. The Sun still shines for us, and life goes on as usual. But what happened from his frame of reference?
We are usually persuaded to suppose that when Julius Caesar died from his restricted viewpoint, logic — and everything else with it — came to a grinding halt. The universe abruptly shut down for him. His mind entered a void state of oblivion and experienced something akin to eternal unconsciousness. After all, that’s what we typically describe as “being dead,” and we openly associate it with nothingness. But, as I tried to show in my previous article, nothingness is merely a product of nihilistic folklore. It is not “a scientific fact” because science has never been able to detect such a condition anywhere in the universe. On the Kelvin scale, Absolute Zero cannot be attained — in nature or in the lab. As Aristotle once said: “Nature abhors a vacuum.” The universe does not shut down whenever someone dies. Nor is it likely that unconsciousness can in fact be everlasting.
The horrendous fault of nihilism is to confuse bodily processes and states of mind with numbers. For if we decide that a comatose blackout is equal to zero, does a sore throat become three, and is acid indigestion forty-nine? When we mix apples with oranges we cross the threshold of an absurd realm of nonsense fed by cunning folklore. So where is the mind of Julius Caesar today? Three degrees above absolute zero is the state of the cosmic microwave background radiation that is all around us. It is somewhat greater than nothingness. Yet can a logical field or sensate mind actually function in such a diffused form, disembodied from its physical corpse?
If we understand that logic is a procession of calculations, a logical field could be perceived as a never-ending string of movement — or a unit of continuous motion (i.e., the absolute quantum of energy). This primal motion produces the interactivity of “emergence” and the basic triad of self-organization recognized as “thesis, antithesis, and synthesis” that is required for complex systems and patterns to arise out of vibrating space. The ancient Greek word theo (the root of theology and theory) originally meant acceleration, responsiveness, or quickness. Is God (or Logos) the cosmic entity of motion?
When cosmic ripples were discovery by NASA’s Cosmic Background Explorer satellite team in 1992, Stephen Hawking called it “the greatest discovery of the century, if not of all time.” Physicists have now confirmed that matter is actually no more than fluctuations in the quantum vacuum. According to “New Scientist” in 2008, Stephan Dürr of the John von Neumann Institute for Computing in Jülich, Germany, simulated the complexities of the quantum vacuum by the equations of quantum chromodynamics, or QCD, approximately by computer:
Dürr’s calculation shows that QCD describes quark-based particles accurately, and tells us that most of our mass comes from virtual quarks and gluons fizzing away in the quantum vacuum.
The Higgs field is also thought to make a small contribution, giving mass to individual quarks as well as to electrons and some other particles. The Higgs field creates mass out of the quantum vacuum too, in the form of virtual Higgs bosons. (Stephen Battersby, “It’s confirmed: Matter is merely vacuum fluctuations,” New Scientist, November 20 2008)
If upcoming accelerator experiments find that a virtual Higgs boson (or God Particle) exists, it will confirm that all of reality emerged from a cosmic ripple — or “theo” according to ancient Greek thought. But if reality is indeed just a unit of motion, what stuff is actually moving? What is the logical field at the background of all being ultimately made of? A consuming fire is one good way of describing it — virtual particles rapidly coming in and out of existence on the microscopic quantum level. And where do those virtual particles finally come from? Perhaps from the future, or as Bruce Duensing would say, “the realm of delimited potentiality.” As the mathematical probability of any tangible future event increases, so will its corresponding quarks and gluons. As the probability decreases, its virtual particles will spontaneously disappear from the vacuum. If so, fluctuations in the fizzing quantum vacuum are not really “random” but virtual components of the future governed by the laws of probability. After all, we can only say that something is random once we are already able to recognize its relative pre-existing order. For example, we can say that the following sequence of numbers is random…
Only because we can compare it and weigh it against the relative pre-existing order found in the correct sequence of numbers below…
Is a logical field the pre-existing order that determines or “wills” how quantum space must vibrate to produce reality? Otherwise, just because something is beyond the fusion frequency of our perceptions or the range of our instruments does not necessarily mean that it is random dice playing. There could be a hidden order to it that we are not yet fully able to discern. Mathematician John von Neumann once said: “Anyone who considers arithmetic methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin.”
It is to some extent ironic that modern science has replaced the consuming fire concept formerly acknowledged as “God” with an exotic form of vacuum fluctuation now called “a quark-gluon plasma” believed to be the state of our universe at the instant of the Big Bang. It is almost certainly the logical field or original design of continuous motion and inflation that created the world we observe today. Indeed, when Albert Einstein identified gravitation as the curvature of space-time, it was no longer necessary to ever mention the word “gravitation” again, or to even believe in its existence, as long as we expressed it anew as “curved space-time.” But that, of course, did not really remove it or disprove its existence. It just added a new dimension of meaning.
It is even more preposterous that while many intellectuals will scoff at the notion of a quark-gluon plasma instructing someone from a burning bush or leading people out of Egypt, the same intellectuals will insist that one subatomic droplet of quark-gluon plasma somehow or other amazingly produced billions of galaxies, miraculously created the initial conditions for life, and by some affectionate means yanked them out of their mothers’ wombs. Whatever happened to sensible respect? If quark-gluon plasma is in truth so physically powerful and bursting with life’s atomic ingredients, perhaps we should all seriously reconsider our relationship to it with a sentiment of wonder, and a silent moment of soul searching. After all, why shouldn’t a logical field be a source of inspiration or an article of faith?
“21 Grams” is a 2003 film starring Sean Penn. The title of the movie comes from the work of Dr. Duncan MacDougall, who in the early 1900s attempted to measure the weight supposedly lost by a human body when its soul departed upon death. MacDougall weighed dying patients to prove that the soul was quantifiable. Although MacDougall’s results are not considered scientifically acceptable today, for some observers 21 grams has become synonymous with the measure of a soul’s mass.
In 1939, Semyon Kirlian accidentally discovered that if an object on a photographic plate is connected to a source of high voltage, “corona discharges” create an image on the photographic plate. Kirlian claimed that the image he was studying might be compared with the human aura. But it now appears that there’s much more to the aura than just electric fields. There is also a strong “foreign” biological component involved. Friendly bacteria or micro-organisms actually construct most of the human body.
In a recent interview with “WIRED” magazine, New York University microbiologist Martin Blaser said: “It’s estimated that the number of microbial cells in the human body exceeds the human cells by at least 10. That’s in all of us every day. At a biological level, we’re 90% them and 10% us — and the subpopulations seem to be changing.”
Scientists aren’t quite sure about what our bacterial robes do, just as they’re only beginning to understand the bacterial ecosystems of our stomachs — or, for that matter, all the bacterial ecosystems in our bodies. In purely numerical terms, bacteria account for about 90% of the cells in the human body. (Brandon Keim, “Collateral Damage in The War on Bacteria?” WIRED, April 3, 2007)
Some people are totally stunned to learn that friendly micro-organisms literally robe and attire most of the human body. Our auras consequently interact with each other and communicate by a chemical process known as quorum sensing, perhaps at extremely high speeds through the forces of quantum entanglement. It was recently discovered that microbes actually “talk” to each other and exchange complex information with signalling molecules known as pheromones. These chemical messengers are transported outside of the human body and represent a primordial “sixth sense.” This certainly puts a new spin to the 21 grams hypothesis. What happens to most of our friendly microbes when we die? They certainly don’t die with us, but most probably spread out into the surrounding locale of death. Although the human body itself is clinically dead, up to 90% of its cells may continue to live. They may linger for several days or even weeks — before being dispersed or caught up by strong convection fields. They may also enter pools of water and channels leading to hydrographic drainage basins or subterranean water catchment areas.
Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) occurs when an organism transfers its genetic material to a being other than one of its own offspring. It was previously thought that, according to Darwin, the only way genes are spread is by passing them on to one’s descendents. But Peter Gogarten, a molecular biologist at the University of Connecticut, recently showed that horizontal gene transfer might signal the emergence of a new paradigm in biology:
According to Gogarten, Horizontal Gene Transfer or HGT leads to a radical new organizing principle. Gogarten’s and his colleagues work shows that genetic information is not only handed down from ancestor to descendent, but also is exchanged horizontally among and between contemporaries; even among different species and sometimes even between species belonging to different domains. Because evolution was first discovered and studied in animals and plants, the standard belief in biology has been that genes would mainly be transferred vertically, but in the microbial world, this paradigm does not appear to be the best way to explain what occurs. The frequent exchange of genetic information among organisms requires a reassessment of traditional ideas. (Peter Gogarten, Ph.D., “Horizontal Gene Transfer - A New Paradigm for Biology,” Esalen Center for Theory & Research Conference, November 5-10, 2000)
Horizontal gene transfer is the movement of genetic material between organisms other than by descent. Because they are unable to vertically reproduce sexually, living cells have horizontal mechanisms by which to exchange genetic materials, often with different and dissimilar species. Their genetic information travels as the cells divide. Now let’s go back to the death of Julius Caesar. From his frame of reference, perhaps he considered himself so important that the whole universe would shut down for him. This, of course, would have allowed him to tactfully escape the laws of cause and effect — particularly with reference to human ethics and morals. But if we are to believe our current research in biology, perhaps something very different came to pass at the hour of his death — horizontal gene transfer.
As soon as the human cells in Caesar’s body received the fatal signal that his heart’s activity was about to discontinue, they began to rapidly transfer their DNA sequences to the bacterial aura surrounding his dying body. One by one, strands of Caesar’s DNA fragments were relocated from his dying human cells to the healthy microbes in the immediate ecosystem. They would be stored in the natural environment for future usage. Does logic survive death? Give me one good reason why the direct exchange of DNA sequences between unrelated cells should not be possible. An attempt to dodge the moral consequences of cause and effect is not a good reason. In fact, it is a significantly evil reason. The debunkers of horizontal gene transfer in this particular frame of reference will often let slip the trace of a sardonic smile in their vain efforts to discredit HGT science. But who can put off the technicalities of death?
Paul Dale Roberts, a paranormal investigator with H.P.I. (Haunted and Paranormal Investigations) of Northern California, and other dedicated “ghost busters” like him now have new procedures to add to their toolkit — pheromone detection and horizontal gene transfer. When DNA is transferred from a dying person to their surrounding aura microbes, complex genetic information — perhaps even rudimentary forms of consciousness — can be stored in the immediate environment. This is no longer speculation. It is becoming the reality of a new organizing principle discovered by radical HGT research.
Gases and liquids are perhaps particularly sensitive to horizontal gene transfer and the storage of human pheromones, according to new research that suggests water may have “memory.” The apocalyptic idea of a deep well or bottomless pit may be a hint of this notion. A well sealed with seven seals may represent a “book of life” containing not only the records of human history in its subterranean strata, but actual human DNA sequences preserved in microbes shaping the structures of water molecules to store data — patiently waiting to be revived when science is finally able to make our legendary well “give up its dead.”
Come gather ‘round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.
(Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A-Changin’ 1963)
At the hour of Caesar’s death, a peripheral layer of microbes corresponding with one another and taking on the form of a diffused “superorganism” absorbed his chromosomal DNA, creating a whole new level of organization. Superorganisms exhibit “distributed intelligence” in which many individual cells with limited aptitude and fragmented information merge their resources to carry out a purpose beyond the capabilities of the individual cells.
This is one possible explanation for out-of-the-body consciousness. If non-local mind is stored in the microbial environment after death, it remains unclear how it may be utilized. Millions of people every year report near-death experiences and the awareness of leaving their bodies. Although they are unable to interact with the environment, they apparently are able to perceive it. One case involved a blind person who reportedly was able to “see” during a near-death experience but was unable to direct or control the body.
While near-death experiences (NDEs) were once thought to be rare, researchers now estimate that about a third of those who come close to death, or approximately 5 percent of the American population, experience an NDE, according to Dr. Bruce Greyson, professor of psychiatry and director of the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia Health System.
In an article published in the journal Perspective in Biology and Medicine, Greyson describes NDEs as “profound psychological events with transcendental mystical elements typically occurring to individuals close to death or in situations of intense physical or emotional danger.” (Carol Sorgen, “Near-death experiences: Hard to forget or explain,” CNN, October 31, 2007)
The causes of NDEs remain unclear. At present, NDEs are considered by several leading scientists to be perceptual hallucinations. But the unanticipated findings of horizontal gene transfer are giving rise to fresh explanations and opening courageous new avenues of research. For some, near-death experiences take on a spiritual significance that can be life changing. Does logic survive death? Perhaps the question we should be asking is this: Do modern scientists want logic to survive death? The ball is in their court now. Unless there is a real transformation we can trust in, the direction of science may increasingly pave the way for unspeakable technologies of death and devastation.