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The solid substance of things is another illusion. It too is a fancy projected by the mind into the eternal world. We have chased the solid substance from the continuous liquid of the atom, from the atom to the electron, and there we have lost it. Actualities have been lost in the exigencies of the chase.
I assert the nature of all reality is spiritual, not material or a dualism of matter and spirit.
Werner Heisenberg, Nobel Prize in Physics (1932)
Mind is, by its very nature, a singulare tantum, I should say: the overall number of minds in just one. I venture to call it indestructible since it has a peculiar timetable, namely time is always now.
There really is no before and after for mind.
The show that is going on obviously acquires a meaning only with regard to the mind that contemplates it. But what science tells us about this relationship is patently absurd: as if mind had only been produced by the very display that it is now watching.
Erwin Schrodinger 1887–1961, Nobel Prize in Physics (1933)
Are the brain and mind the same thing? But If we are essentially spirits in a material body that live after the death of the body, what happens to the mind when we no longer have a material brain? How would it be possible to function in the afterlife? Not surprisingly, most neural scientists would say it's not possible and so obviously there can be no afterlife. This subject is debated and discussed several times throughout Elysium's Passage.
For anyone interested in the question of who and what we are, I have included a short excerpt of a discussion on this topic that occurs between the two main characters James and Mo. This is taken from Chapter 7 of Elysium's Passage; The Summit. Are we spirits or are we just material beings that have evolved over time by chance? James, the philosopher, argues for the material brain as being mind while his companion Mo argues that the consciousness of the mind is of the Spirit.
The dialogue below is one of their first discussions on this controversy.
Eli hadn't returned with the firewood yet, so Mo suggested we take a short hike along the Summit. While we climbed up to the ridge, he said, ‘Eli and I were wondering if you still have any questions about how the life you’re experiencing here with us now.’ Had he been reading my mind?
‘Of course,’ I said, most emphatically. Ever since I got here I’ve asked you and Eli about a lot of things without getting any satisfactory answers.’
‘So what would you like to know,’ he said. ‘Aren’t things rather obvious to you by now? Have we not been constantly telling you that you now exist here as an immortal spirit body, even while your mortal physical earth body remains convalescing in London. The problem with our answers is that you can’t seem to accept them, preferring to dismiss them as fantasy. Once you accept your current state of existence, however, everything else will make sense to you. So why do you still find this so hard to believe?’
‘Because it makes no sense,’ I said, almost shouting. ‘It’s simply not possible for anyone to exist outside their biological body. As I’ve said before, one may have hallucinations of being outside the body, but such experiences are only mental distortions of what’s occurring within the brain: nothing more. You don't go anywhere, it’s only an illusion. And so, whatever paranormal experiences I seem to be having up here is a result of my brain being knocked about during my fall.’
‘I see,’ Mo said, ‘it would appear then, you really don’t have any questions, since you already have it all figured out. Or is it simply a matter of beliefs; what you believe to be possible and you don’t? If so, then let me tell you how important it is that you don’t cling too tightly to old beliefs because they may blind you from seeing the truth of what else is out there.
‘Contrary to what some say, reality isn’t just based on whatever we wish to believe. Though perceptions may vary, truth is truth. Even though it’s possible to create an illusion of reality, which is what the ego does, the truth is often much different than what many are willing to accept. Spiritual reality, from which all temporal experiences are derived, is more expansive than can possibly be imagined, which is why it scares so many into living small insular lives when they could have so much more.
‘With that said, let me reaffirm your current state of existence here since you still seem to have much confusion about it. Though your physical body continues to function on the earth plane, albeit marginally, you are here with us in an imperishable, non-temporal form. Let me state once again, most emphatically, this is not a dream or hallucinatory state of existence you are experiencing with us. This will later become obvious when we visit your body in London.
‘In the future, after you awake in your physical body, you will become aware of all your lessons here, including whatever experiences you may have in an even higher dimension. Assuming, of course, you return to your biological body.’
‘But then,’ I said, ‘what is it that’s having these experiences here? You seem to have forgotten the question of individuation. Obviously, it wouldn’t be possible to have an individuated identity without the boundaries of a body.’
‘That's correct,’ Mo said, ‘and that's why we keep telling you that you will always have a body, even after the death of your mortal body. You seem to still have this belief that only your physical body can be a body. Not so! In fact, it never was who you were, no matter how impressive you thought you looked on the outside. It never was your identity, but the means by which you express your identity and whatever beauty lies within. As we say, what appears outwardly in the spirit body is what already exists within; form follows content, never otherwise.
‘It may be said, therefore, inward consciousness is what characterizes the soul no matter what suit you may be wearing. Yet it's difficult for you to accept you're not currently in your biological form, even though your current experiences and past memories will always remain accessible to you in this spirit body.’
‘Let's back up a moment,’ I said. ‘You still didn’t answer how it would be possible for me to have memories if I didn’t have a brain.’
‘It’s possible because your memories aren’t there, only the material impressions are. And of course, these memories can be stimulated from these imprints, which are adaptations for the material plane of existence. But these are but recorded effects of your memories like grove imprints on a CD or vinyl record. They are not the music; the music belongs to the spirit, therefore the music remains when the soul departs the body.’
‘But still, where are they? They have to be somewhere if not in the brain.’
‘And so they are,’ Mo said. ‘Like a radiant wave, they dwell in the amorphous field or cloud of universal consciousness. But memories are not composed of brain meat. By the way, materialists don’t appreciate this frank talk about meat when such starkness threatens their reverence for the brain.’
‘It does seem rather disrespectful,’ I said, ‘to not give credit to what it is able to do.’
'The wonderment isn’t what it does,’ Mo said, ‘but how it does. Consciousness may create brain patterns, as the science of neo-plasticity shows, but the brain can’t create consciousness, no more than it can create memories.
'However, the brain’s ability to access memories, or remain conscious, may be affected by biological limitations, which is often evident with ageing or brain injury, as with you. Regardless of memory loss, or the brain’s decomposition after death, memories remain in the universal field of consciousness, which may also be understood as ultimately existing within the Mind of God, since the Source is all there is or can be.’
‘That may be fine for you to believe. Perhaps you're a religious man, but I’m not. With few exceptions in the past, I would describe myself as an agonistic.’
‘The same goes for agnostics, atheists and mud wrestlers; no exceptions,’ he said. ‘Reality is reality whether you acknowledge it or not.’
‘Well fine, but in my reality, I would say that one body is plenty enough. And most obviously that body is mine!’
‘Of course, it is; but it’s interesting that you didn’t say that body is me, just that it is mine.’
‘Yes, I suppose that’s rather interesting I would say that. I must be spending too much time with you two.’
‘What you don't realize,’ Mo said, ‘is that in order for you to be here with us, you had to leave that body behind, along with its brain, since it’s limitations obstructed your view of us in this domain, and for that matter, the view of our cabin.’
‘And yet I know of no respectable philosophical discipline which accepts such a notion of leaving the body behind.’
‘No?’ Mo said. ‘Well, you may be astonished how many traditions accept these beliefs, whether you consider them respectable or not.....
I have included another short but interesting dialogue from the yet unpublished Book 4, Elysium's Passage: Surreal Adventures, that occurs in a university lecture hall in a virtual world called the Flatlands.
‘Thank you for your query,’ he said; ‘are there other questions in the audience?'
‘I have one more,’ Rhom said, ‘since you have yet to satisfactorily address the first.’
By now it was very apparent there was a trouble maker in the crowd. Many looked back at us, some seemingly angry. The speaker didn’t seem pleased either with Rhom’s continued impudence.
It’s amazing! Rhom said to the speaker; how nature can of its own, with enough time and chance, self-organize, create and then replicate as though creation was a posteriori rather than being a priori. This doesn’t make any sense to me. You say nature explains everything, but I still don’t understand the process.
The speaker was now looking a bit stunned, searching in his mind how best to respond or whether to end the session by saying time has run out.’
‘Perhaps,’ Rhom said, ‘as you’re thinking about this, you can also tell me how nature was able created consciousness. How did the brain eventually emerge out of the elements with sufficient awareness to provide us with awareness? A most curious phenomenon; wouldn’t you say, considering no one on earth seems to know what consciousness is?’
Again the speaker, looked down at his notes, I’m sure wishing this would all be over so he wouldn’t have to put up with more of Rhom’s effrontery.
‘Perhaps I should restate the question more succinctly,’ Rhom said. ‘How could the consciousness of mind be derived from unconscious matter? In other words, how was the animated brain derived from inanimate, inert chemicals, the very ones it now observes through our eyes in the laboratory? As the esteemed Physicist, Erwin Schrodinger so aptly commented several years ago, as if the mind had only been produced by the very display that it is now watching.
Saying consciousness is an epiphenomenon of the brain, is a way of saying a few pounds of fleshly matter is what brings our reality into existence. As superficial as that is, they buy it. That’s what we pity. It’s like giving names to energy particles to make mind-stuff seem more materially palatable.
There was some murmuring from the audience and then silence. Then after a few more moments of reflection, the speaker regained his composure and finally looked up with a condescending smirk.
‘Sir,’ he said, ‘if you were at all familiar with the concept of consciousness, you wouldn’t need to ask such a question because you would already know awareness is nothing more than an epiphenomenon of the brain, sometimes referred to as an emergent quality within the cortex.’
‘I see,’ said Rhom, ‘but what does that mean and how does it work?’
‘If it helps you to understand,’ the speaker said, ‘think of consciousness as an emanation of an electromagnetic wave from the brain, much like a hot current emanating off a wire as with heat off a turbine. Thank you for your question but I think it’s time we move on to other questions more relevant to the topic.
‘Could we now have a more judicious inquiry about the intricacies of the brain, he asked the audience, ones that are factually based on science?’
Considering the renewed raucous laughter, the crowd must have been relieved and pleased with his repartee as several hands shot up, presumable so the speaker wouldn’t have to endure more of Rhom’s brazen audacity.
Not feeling especially welcomed here anymore, we walked out and down the street. Rhom said, with a chuckle; it seems I’ve been duly informed about the nature of human existence. It’s too bad I had to come halfway across the universe only to find consciousness is like a hot current emanating off a wire.
Simple minds require simple answers,’ I said; ‘it sounds reasonable, so I guess it must be.
‘I doubt if there was one person there that caught that non-sequitur;’ I said, ‘which was tantamount to saying consciousness exists because it’s like a hot current emanating from the wires of the brain. Somehow the question of how a hot current is anything like consciousness was forgotten, along with the question of what it means for consciousness to emanate.
‘Did the instructor really believe what he said or did he just use circular reasoning to say what the Flatland authorities expected him to say. Nevertheless, I can see myself standing in this crowd as an impressionable undergraduate several years ago, nodding my head like all the other bobbing heads there. And I think, at least until I came to this side, I was still too often bobbing my head unquestioningly along with everyone else. Which makes me wonder, what was I thinking? After all, philosophers are supposed to be incisive enough to critique underlying assumptions, rather than just apologists for the status quo.’
‘Don’t be too hard on yourself, matey. You were hardly alone who assumed everyone knew what were they’re talking about. From my observations, it seems to be rather common for philosophers to critique only what issues are currently considered appropriate for critiquing. It’s safer that way since no one will accuse you ad hominine of questioning what isn’t to be questioned. One’s career may depend on having a few blind spots rather than probing the legitimacy of popular beliefs.
The video below featuring Dr Leaf gives a brief but excellent understanding of the relationship between the brain and mind.
Dr Leaf is a communication pathologist and cognitive neuroscientist with a Masters and PhD in Communication Pathology and a BSc Logopaedics, specializing in cognitive and metacognitive neuropsychology. Since the early 1980s, she has researched the mind-brain connection, the nature of mental health, and the formation of memory. She was one of the first in her field to study how the brain can change (neuroplasticity) with directed mind input. During her years in clinical practice and her work with thousands of underprivileged teachers and students in her home country of South Africa and in the USA, she developed her theory (called the Geodesic Information Processing Theory) of how we think, build memory, and learn into tools and processes that have transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), learning disabilities (ADD, ADHD), autism, dementia and mental ill-health issues like anxiety and depression. She has helped hundreds of thousands of students and adults learn how to use their minds to detox and grow their brains to succeed in every area of their lives, including school, university, and the workplace. Dr. Leaf is also the bestselling author of Switch on Your Brain, Think Learn Succeed, Think and Eat Yourself Smart, and many more. works She teaches at academic, medical, and neuroscience conferences, churches, and to various audiences around the world. Dr. Leaf is also involved in the global ECHO movement, which trains physicians worldwide on the mind-brain-body connection, mental health, and how to avoid physician burnout. Dr. Leaf is currently conducting clinical trials using the 5-step program she developed while in private practice to further demonstrate the effectiveness of mind-directed techniques to help relieve mental ill-health problems such as anxiety, depression, and intrusive thoughts. The primary aim of these trials is to make mental health care more affordable, applicable, and accessible worldwide, and to reduce the stigma around mental health.
SUMMARY OF THE ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE SERIES
ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE: THE SUMMIT is the first in a series of five Elysium’s Passage narrations regarding a young British philosopher named James Phillips who finds himself living in an altered state of reality while still remaining on earth.
After experiencing a near-fatal fall while climbing to the summit of a remote mountain in the Andes, James awakens in a new dimension. He soon encounters two mysterious beings who provide him with a very different perspective on the nature of his existence. Over the next year, before his body recovers from the coma, he is challenged to re-examine his understanding about life’s meaning and purpose far beyond anything he previously believed or could believe.
An engaging and sometime surreal adventure with intimations of impending romance, the narrative explores the most important questions about life, death, reality and our ultimate destiny.
The Plains of Elysium (Champs-Élysées) was described by Homer, Hesiod, Virgil and many other poets as the paradisiac afterlife realm reserved for heroes. As the title suggests, this is about a journey through a passage that leads towards Elysium’s exciting realm of existence.
PENDING PUBLICATIONS ELYSIUM’S PASSAGE SERIES
The following titles in the Elysium's Passage series are projected to be released as follows:
THE ASCENT fall 2021
THE SUMMIT fall 2021
QUANTUM LEAPS spring 2022
SURREAL ADVENTURES summer 2022
MYSTICAL ROMANCE spring 2023
HE ELIXIR spring 2023
THE RETURN sometime in 2024
The following comments are among the first Amazon reviews of Elysium’s Passage: The Summit. All are Five Stars! Others reader reviews are included below, along with excerpts from two professional reviews. To read full reviews, go to READER REVIEWS on www.elysiumspassage.com
"Quietly, gently, and without imposition, the Author unfolds the pages, creating an intricate, interlocking bridge spanning the chasm between mind and heart. Renewing, refreshing, restoring. In my bereavement, it was vigil and light…"
"A delightful mix of fantasy, reality, conjecture and humour; Mr. Meyers draws the reader into the story with a gentle narrative that captures imagination, leaving one anxious to get to the next page drawing you into his exceptional world.”
“Excellently written with an exceedingly deep understanding of this world and the next. The characters are very well written and engaging. I can't wait to complete this book!"
“Takes the reader on both a philosophical and spiritual journey, a journey that at times is both disquieting and tranquil. James, a British Philosopher can be irreverent and caustic, traits that should have left me cringing, but instead made me laugh out loud. Elysium’s Passage is a fun, enlightening and remarkable book.”
“This is a masterful fantasy, becoming a real possibility, as the reader is drawn into the story. The Summit leaves you anxious for the next book in the series, yet also leaves you totally satisfied with the world you have just visited. Genius! An exciting, yet calming, experience that is not to be missed."
"There was hardly a page on which I did not find at least one sentence worthy of hi-lighting for future reference. In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed the main character, James, whose personality and passionate verbal exchanges with the other characters, kept me coming back for more. I am reading the book for a second time while I wait for the next one in this series to be made available."
“N.G. Meyers has clearly put a great deal of research and thought into what the afterlife may look like and I like his perspective. It’s an altogether welcoming and exciting vision. The book gives one a great deal to think about and a reassuring confidence that the end of our lives is truly the beginning of life in the next. I highly recommend it."
“The humour interjected into a serious discussion makes me laugh out loud. Totally unexpected....l may be in the presence of at least a master, if not a genius. A fair ride into reality... seeking that which is unseen, yet absolutely real.”
“An engaging story of adventure embracing man's deepest desire to search for meaning and purpose, N.G. Meyers takes the reader on an adventurous thought provoking journey. This book has substance. It is a perfect blend of adventure and fantasy combined with spiritual philosophy. It ignited my imagination. The author magically weaves a good story laced with wit and humor together with deep philosophical wisdom. This book has it all!”
“An evolution in thought is triggered by many fresh philosophical themes which could inspire readers to re-think their reality and former ideologies that have dictated their lives… the author fires readers’ imaginations to view what could be possible when spirit vacates the body.”
“This is the book spiritual seekers have been waiting for. For me, it granted a great read as well as increased inspiration to live every day with a heightened sense of purpose. I highly recommend it.
“The Summit is capable of hooking readers and luring them to search for Book 2 to discover more about Dr. Philip’s surreal trek into the mysterious unknown universe. This thick book is well worth the read and to share…”
“Mind-blowing statements and speculation (‘…everyone is a non-physical thought form conceived in the Mind of God, preserved for all eternity because God’s thoughts never die…’). Many will find Meyers’ journey up the Mountain intriguing—and possibly even life-changing.” (BLUEINK REVIEW)
“In its effort to grapple with fundamental questions about the meaning of life, it raises questions that have echoed throughout the ages, including about where we come from, where we are going, who we are.” (CLARION REVIEW)
FACEBOOK: Elysium's Passage Novel Series, Elysium's Passage Public Group page, Elysium's Passage Author's Page, or to my personal page Neil Meyers
LINKEDIN: Neil Meyers
BLOG POSTINGS: https://digitalbloggers.com/articles/elysiumspassage or the Elysium's Passage website
Sample press review: https://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15515775.htm