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Life/Death/Time & Consciousness


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I'm trying to put my figure on the nature of the experience of consciousness and the impact of death with the absolutely least number of hypothetical unknown factors - just based on what we understand about time and physics etc.

 

My thought is:

 

1) right now we are conscious, and we are alive

2) before and after we exist, there is no consciousness, no measure of time or any such thing.

3) if time is just a point, such as a point in space/time there is no objective 'now' just the relative 'now' experienced by any consciousness in that moment.

 

So really, my question is - will death have any real effect at all? It will certainly mean there are no future moments of consciousness, but it doesn't actually change what has already happened... but if time has no objective 'present' that defines where we are (because there would then be no objective singular me in any single point in time that coincides with the objective present, just me in all the points of time where I was conscious throughout my lifespan) and time exists as a dimension than the point in time where I am dead is already out there in the future - and it's having no impact on any past experience.

 

Whether the universe is deterministic or probabilistic (with many worlds) then my future(s) already exist just as tangibly as anything in my present or past - including my death.

So why should I experience a fading that slips into oblivion for all eternity, etc?

 

The strangest thing is that consciousness feels like being at a point and moving forward through time in the present, but that is a pretty understandable illusion that would manifest regardless of whether or not 'time' moved forward like that. If it is an illusion, then every moment coexists at once each with us certain we just arrived there from the moment preceding it and certain we are about to move into the next.

 

I find it quite baffling, but my best estimation is that life is not a 'once through' of consciousness from the time you are born to the time you die - every moment you are alive exists equally and without an objective 'moment' in which it's being lived, just a subjective one pertaining to that point in space and time. Regardless of death then, all those moments will continue to exist all equally convinced it is in 'the present' and that which creates this illusion of consciousness over time will persist indefinitely - just with nothing more than the sum of our lives.

 

Does that make any sense?

 

Any other ideas that can account for all these factors?

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You got it.

I would add that our life is futal and our death is as if we never existed.

 

Who knows what goes on in the electricity that runs our bodies to create conciousness.

We live our life to the fullest and enjoy every moment of our existance.

 

The end comes to everyone to our rest from our labor in life.

 

We keep looking in our mirroe every day and think ( Gosh ) i;m still a young man in my memory but the mirror shows an (Old Man Looking back ) a us and we wonder ( Who's that old man i;m looking at ?. Why thats me but my mind says different.

So one day I'm rushed to the emergency room and get hooked up to monitors and oxygen mask.

So then I gaise at the clock on the wall and realise I have only 15 minutes left to my worthless stinkin life before I take my ( LAST GHASP ) of air and then drift off into unconciousness.

There are two ways to let go of life, One is to die in pain and the other is to drift off in peace.

If we have an electricle currant and conciousness and a spark in us all that goes back to the cosmos thats good. Maybe we are burried like an animal as if we never existed.

We will all know about our conciousness and life 15 minuted before we take that last gasp of air.

The Pharoho's believed of life after leaveing our bodies and maybe they were right all along and maybe not.

For to believe in something about death and a hear after ( Don't cost you a dime and you drift off in peace.

NO one knows but the end of life will show us whats real.:D

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You got it.

I would add that our life is futal and our death is as if we never existed.

That's actually the opposite of what I am saying: while the pervading feeling about death is it leads to oblivion as if we never existed, I am suggesting that, if time itself is entirely relative and there is no objective point in the 'present' anymore than being at mile marker 454 on a highway is an objective 'here' than every moment of life exists independantly, including the moment of death, which already exists and does not stop any other point of our life from being experienced consciously. I am suggesting that death is just the end of new stuff, but everything that we've ever been and every moment we've every said "I am right here right now" is still out there, and we still feel we are there as completely as we do right now - in all those moments at once, and without any end. The feeling that "time is fleeting" is the illusion, and we will always exist as points in space and time.

 

In that sense there isn't really an "end" and honestly that makes the most sense to me logically. Just based on what I have gathered from physics and stuff, it seems the most logical possibility without requiring assumptions that require further assumptions.

 

What perplexes me though, is how we always do feel like we are in only one moment of time and moving forward - because if that is an illusion it's one heck of a convincing one, and I don't know how to reconcile the fact that it is most likely an illusion and how I have such a strong identity as an individual moving forward through time towards and end. I guess that's what sketching me out the most.

Who knows what goes on in the electricity that runs our bodies to create conciousness.

We live our life to the fullest and enjoy every moment of our existance.

 

The end comes to everyone to our rest from our labor in life.

 

We keep looking in our mirroe every day and think ( Gosh ) i;m still a young man in my memory but the mirror shows an (Old Man Looking back ) a us and we wonder ( Who's that old man i;m looking at ?. Why thats me but my mind says different.

So one day I'm rushed to the emergency room and get hooked up to monitors and oxygen mask.

So then I gaise at the clock on the wall and realise I have only 15 minutes left to my worthless stinkin life before I take my ( LAST GHASP ) of air and then drift off into unconciousness.

There are two ways to let go of life, One is to die in pain and the other is to drift off in peace.

If we have an electricle currant and conciousness and a spark in us all that goes back to the cosmos thats good. Maybe we are burried like an animal as if we never existed.

We will all know about our conciousness and life 15 minuted before we take that last gasp of air.

The Pharoho's believed of life after leaveing our bodies and maybe they were right all along and maybe not.

For to believe in something about death and a hear after ( Don't cost you a dime and you drift off in peace.

NO one knows but the end of life will show us whats real.:D

 

It probably won't show us, as we probably won't be around to see it. The whole deal with the concept I am considering is to consider life, death and the universe from a perspective that has the least possible number of assumptions that require further assumptions. This could all be a dream, but that assumption implies the assumption of a dreamer, etc, so using the fewest assumptions that require further assumptions I've tried to analyze the situation with just the barest facts we assume to be true about physics, which I could of course have wrong, but they seem to be the most inline with occam's razor.

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I've been exploring similar thoughts for a lot of years now. Much of what you're saying reminds me of a book I read by Julian Barbour called "The End of Time." He's written much more since then, and he also recently won a prize for this:

http://www.fqxi.org/data/essay-contest-files/Barbour_The_Nature_of_Time.pdf

 

 

Here's a link to some other really great essays on time which were part of that contest:

http://www.fqxi.org/community/forum/category/10

 

 

 

(another prize winner was this one: http://www.fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/237)

 

 

Hat tip to Martin for drawing these to my attention a few months ago. :)

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I really think it's all relative to how we store and recall memories. The recollection of the stored perception of the past generates the feeling of 'now' by placing it on the end of a line that's been running for as long as you've been alive. The continuous presence of this activity I feel creates the sense of consciousness. Not merely the ability to make decisions, but recursively remembering how you came to the conclusions just seconds before.

 

I can tell you from experience that during a blackout(alcohol induced) your body is still capable of performing actions and your brain makes decisions, but since there is no memory of these events, it's as though it never happened. Consciously it is as if that period of time never existed(similar to a dreamless sleep). I would relate this experience very much to your point #2, which led me to my feelings on the experience of memories bringing about the feeling of consciousness.

 

I have in the past likened this to be similar to what would constitute a possible experience of death. An existence without conscious perception of time or recollection of the past.

 

I wonder how different the world will feel once we can remove or implant memories as we please, as I believe they have a direct impact on our sense of time and at least for me, my sense of consciousness.

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I have always thought this, when we die and lose all conciousness are we able to observe the entire universe at all points of time. In heaven can we go through time and become the gaurdian angel of any person I desire. Or are our souls trapped on earth and we roam as ghosts of terror, joy, and inspiration. I want to know what happens and be able to tell someone.

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Verse 5 sums it up nicely. We might not be conscious after we die, but we still have our part to play somewhere.

 

If you put some dust in your hands and rub it, the dust will disappear. Well, it disappears from sight that is. Where does it go ? In fact, where does everything 'go' ?

 

 

DESIDERATA

 

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,

And remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender

be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly & clearly;

and listen to others,

even the dull & ignorant;

they too have their story.

 

Avoid loud & aggressive persons,

they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,

you may become vain & bitter;

for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

 

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;

it is a real possession in the changing future of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs;

for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;

many persons strive for high ideals;

and everywhere life is full of heroism.

 

 

Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love;

for in the face of all aridity & disenchantment

it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,

gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue & loneliness.

Beyond wholesome discipline,

be gentle with yourself.

 

You are a child of the universe,

no less than the trees & the stars;

you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,

no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

 

Therefore be at peace with God,

whatever you conceive Him to be,

and whatever your labours & aspirations,

in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery & broken dreams,

it is still a beautiful world.

 

Be cheerful.

 

Strive to be happy

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your life is full of energy. Energy is constantly being converted as you live, irreversibly.

 

Your life impacts the universe of energy because the energy states of life are changed by your interval of of interacting with these energies in spacetime. COnsciousness is but one of these energy states.

 

Having a baby proves energy continues and also moves in the universe, beyond the life of our own organic bodies. It takes energy to produce a baby. And lots of energy to clean those dirty diapers too.

 

Every relationship influences other things and people, thus changing those energies. When you teach someone, your consciousness effectively transfers in the process, which then lives on in those you teach. ENergy is transfered by teaching.

 

The minimal effect is to live as a hermit, and even then its not absolutely fruitless cause you will still consume of the earth. COnsuming changes the energy of the universe.

 

TO sum it up, energize your life by relating more so that, at the time of your death, the energy of the universe cannot avoid being different from when you first entered it. Irreversibly.


Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged

[quote=

 

Hat tip to Martin for drawing these to my attention a few months ago. :)

 

thanks now for your posting of these references, they are very useful. I had been trying to express similar ideas via another threat "energy independent of time", but I didnt quite have the language and logic expressed right, so my presentation wasnt clear enough for a physics forum. I can rewrite a bit of it now with these articles.

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