Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Thoughts on Time, Consciousness, Philosophers and Physics

Since the dual attack on my very existence, (as described in the following blog post:)( I've been mulling over the experience of having an extremely unpleasant episode and not remembering it so that in my experience, it never happened?

This experience has awakened in me a renewed interest in life and death, time and consciousness. My wife Lynn was at my bedside for much of the time I was unconscious, hallucinating, and semi-conscious, and related my behavior during these times. I have no memory of most of this and from her descriptions of the pain I suffered during some procedures I’m thankful I don’t have a memory of it. 

Mt Shasta Lenticular Moment
When we are asleep it seems we still have a consciousness at work albeit on a minimal power. We are aware of dreams and noises and some actual noises we incorporate into our dreams. What I’m saying is even in a sleep state we are aware or so it seems. While in ICU, my body shut down completely for a time. Also, my body was shut down via drugs so I was in an induced coma. During these times Jack Sutton seemed to have disappeared out of existence.  I say this because I am told that there were times I was in excruciating pain, such as caused by medical procedures, twice I was subjected to spinal taps. Most of the time I spent in ICU I have absolutely no memory, that includes two separate times.  Having no memory of past events can be a good thing, especially when those events were traumatic, painful or unpleasant. If you don’t have a memory, then you cannot suffer further from a traumatic event by re-living it again. Why do we continually suffer from past events, it’s through memory and re-living these events that are brought back into consciousness through memory. Perhaps Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a good example of this. So the question is, can we erase memories that are unpleasant so that we only suffer once and never again by nasty experiences? I will return to this later.

When I was a young man, I spent a lot of time in thought experiments. One such experiment, involved imagining myself floating in outer space. I would travel to the far reaches of the universe but could never get to the end. I would contemplate questions like what’s beyond the end, what was there before the beginning, question I could not grasp or answer. When I asked myself these question, a brick wall went up stifling the thought. Years later after I had explored Buddhism and Hinduism, taken the EST Warner Earhart seminars, participated in the Avatar course, read the Course in Miracles, many books by Eastern Spiritual Gurus and New Age wannabes, some dim light appeared!  

One day I got the answer or at least a direction to the next step. The concepts of what was before the beginning or what’s after the end are thought limitations! We live and communicate in the world of thought, nothing outside that world can exist as long as we remain and communicate in the realm of thought. The Eastern philosophers grappled with this dilemma and believed the way out is through meditation. I always thought when asked, what is meditation, the best answer is It’s not what you think?  Most spiritual paths, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and most others, emphasize meditation heavily. So in my present state of spiritual development, I’m over the thought restricted question and concentrating on where meditation might take me. I can’t make any super spiritual claims, it’s a difficult path and may not yield any results, but to me it’s worth pursuing.  
Look at time; it cannot exist outside of consciousness. How do we experience time, pretty much through consciousness? If I don’t see you for a while, then see you, my mind immediately brings up an image of you, a memory (not necessarily accurate) to compare with the present you. Since the two images are not the same, I infer you have changed (time), you look older, and thus time must have passed. Older/younger are thought restrictions that we have adapted as true. Imagine floating in space, the only objects we encounter are celestial bodies, through consciousness we calculate our relative position which is stored as a memory. Then later we check the celestial bodies, then compare to our memory of those bodies and determine the positions have changed and thus re-enforce the time concept. Without consciousness, the bodies remain the same or are always in the present moment, no time, no beginning no end!

Scientist creates models of phenomenon that they can test against their theories of exactly what is happening in any given system. If the results support the model, then the model is a good frame of reference to go further. The model however may not be construed as representing the actual thing being studied. We now have models for black holes, quarks, gravity and the Higgs boson particle; they don’t really represent the actuality, but are a good reference in that experiments are predicted by the models. Gravity is well understood and most of the advances in our world came able through the gravity mathematical model. However if you ask most scientist what gravity is, they cannot answer, the model works, but it is not gravity! As soon as experiments move away from the model, the model is discarded and a new model created. Recently the Higgs boson experiments have not behaved as predicted, so I suspect there are some scientist madly working up new theories and models.

I think some of the ancient eastern scholars where in tune with quantum mechanics without knowing it.
So what would the model of the known universe as we know it look like? Hmmm, I thought about this and what pops up a lot for me is the world as we know it is an illusion! Wow, we have really fooled ourselves and created an illusionary world. Even some physicist after studying quantum mechanics have said in deeply studying the universe, it eventually appears that we are studying our own consciousness!  This is where thought ends and the unknown begins! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Sword Of Don'tDropPlease

Jack Sutton Seton Hospital ICU
On March 26th 2014 after several days of feeling ill, I was rushed to Seton Hospital’s emergency room and teetered on the brink of death with a 104 temperature for several days. The hospital staff likened the illness to some sort of meningitis as fluid had formed on my brain. I underwent a spinal tap, MRI, and every possible test to ascertain what the problem was.  I was pumped full of antibiotics and eventually after about 5 days in ICU, I started to respond. After 12 days in the hospital and 4 days in rehab, I returned home.

My recovery seemed to be going well, when again I got sick and was once again in the Seton Hospital’s emergency room on May 2nd 2014. I became totally unresponsive and was put on a respirator for several days.   This time my hospital stay was 14 days, ICU and recovery, then another 14 days in Linda Mar Rehab in Pacifica, California. This inactivity resulted in several blood clots forming in my lungs and in my leg. Currently, I’m on Coumadin (Warfarin) and need blood test about once per week that is monitored by the Anticoagulation clinic at the Veterans Administration hospital in San Francisco, CA. Again, a battery of tests and procedures could not isolate what caused me so much agony. The head neurologist at Seton put it to me this way; we ended up on your case with no name, no pathogen, and no idea what happened. He also said I had a remarkable recovery.

So right now I feel like Damocles with a sword hanging above my head held by a human hair, so the story of the Sword of Damocles becomes for me the Sword of Don’tDropPlease.  Sure could use a Dionysius to trade back places with.  I guess we all eventually have to deal with the Sword of Damocles!