I once read an article in, I believe, Time Magazine, about the relatively
new field of "neurotheology" which investigates what goes on in the brain
during ecstatic states, etc.  One suggestion that intrigued me was that it
may be possible that in such a state, and I believe that schizophrenics were
also mentioned, that the brain is malfunctioning in such a way as to allow
it to perceive states of reality other than that which the normal brain
would perceive.  In other words, the "antenna" (brain) is picking-up signals
that are usually beyond the scope of the normal brain.  I wondered if anyone
could comment on this, and if there was any reason to even entertain the
thought that perhaps some people have passed through a crack in the division
between our universe or dimension, into perhaps another?  I read this
several years ago and wish that I could recall the details of the article,
but I don't have it anymore.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Cc: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>; <everything-list@eskimo.com>
Sent: Monday, May 09, 2005 11:19 PM
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

> Russell,
> To be fair, I should elaborate on my earlier post about amnesics and
> psychotics. If I consider the actual cases I have seen, arguably they do
> have *some* sense of the passage of time. Taking the first example, people
> with severe Korsakoff Syndrome (due to chronic alcohol abuse) appear to be
> completely incapable of laying down new memories. If you enter their room
> perform some uncomfortable medical procedure and they become annoyed with
> you, all you have to do is step outside for a moment, then step back
> and they are all smiles again, so you can have another go at the
> and repeat this as many times as you want. While you are actually in their
> sight, however, they do recognise that you are the same person from moment
> to moment, and they do make the connection between the needle you are
> sticking into them and the subsequent pain, causing them to become annoyed
> at you. So they do have a sense of time, even if only for a few seconds.
> The second example, the disorganised schizophrenic, is somewhat more
> complex. There is a continuum from mild to extreme disorganisation, and at
> the extreme end, it can be very difficult to get any sense of what the
> person is thinking, although it is quite easy to get a sense of what they
> are feeling and it would be very difficult to maintain a belief that they
> are not actually conscious (you really have to see this for yourself to
> understand it). Usually, even the most unwell of these patients give some
> indirect indication that they maintain some sense of time. For example, if
> you hold out a glass of water, they will reach for it and drink from it,
> which suggests that they may have a theory about the future, and how they
> might influence it to their advantage. Occasionally, however - and I have
> confess I have not actually tried the experiment - there are patients who
> seem incapable of even as simple (one could say near-reflexive) a task as
> grabbing a glass of water. With treatment, almost all these people
> and it is interesting to ask them what was happening during these periods.
> Firstly, it is interesting that they actually have any recollection. It is
> as if the CPU was defective, but the data was still written to the hard
> drive, to be analysed later. They might explain that everything seemed
> fragmented, so that although they could see and hear things, the visual
> stimuli did not form recognisable objects and the auditory stimuli did not
> form recognisable words or other sounds. Furthermore, the various
> data seemed to run into each other spatially, so that it was not possible
> distinguish background from foreground, significant from insignificant.
> Catatonic patients, on the other hand, may (later, when better) describe a
> state of total inertia, being stuck in the present moment, unable to move
> either physically or mentally, unable to even imagine a possibility of
> change from the present state, aware of everything going on around them as
> kind of extended simultaneity.
> --Stathis Papaioannou
> >On Mon, May 09, 2005 at 11:02:18PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > > Dear aet.radal ssg,
> > >
> > > I think you missed my point about the amnesic and psychotic patients,
> >which
> > > is not that they are clear thinkers, but that they are conscious
> >a
> > > disability which impairs their perception of time. Your post raises an
> >...
> >
> >As I said before, I think this is a valuable contribution, but not
> >something I know how to deal with at this point in time. Presently,
> >these psychotic patients account for only a fraction of conscious
> >observers (assuming they are conscious as you say they are). Quantum
> >Mechanics only requires that most observers have their own time like
> >domain, not that all of them do. I'm still not convinced that TIME
> >isn't a necessary property of observerhood, as opposed to a likely
> >contingent one, but there the debate stagnates, as I'm not an expert
> >in psychiatry.
> >
> >I did want to throw one more po thought. Even though standard QM is
> >based on continuous time, nowhere does TIME require time to be
> >continuously. It could just as easily be the Cantor set, say. Might not
> >the time experienced by these psychotic people be a fractal set like
> >that, or are you saying they have absolutely no sense of time at all?
> >
> >Cheers
> >
> >--
> >*PS: A number of people ask me about the attachment to my email, which
> >is of type "application/pgp-signature". Don't worry, it is not a
> >virus. It is an electronic signature, that may be used to verify this
> >email came from me if you have PGP or GPG installed. Otherwise, you
> >may safely ignore this attachment.
> >
> >A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 8308 3119 (mobile)
> >Mathematics                                0425 253119 (")
> >UNSW SYDNEY 2052                  [EMAIL PROTECTED]
> >Australia
> >http://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks
> >             International prefix  +612, Interstate prefix 02
> ><< attach3 >>
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