EEG spikes in humans and rats at end of life and what this means for the supposed 'evidence' for idealism

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Dave casarino
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EEG spikes in humans and rats at end of life and what this means for the supposed 'evidence' for idealism

Post by Dave casarino »

Bernardo Kastrup and other non materialists have long relied on near death experiences as evidence against a materialist explanation of consciousness. He and others will make the claim that because there is no brain activity when the brain is dead then materialism cannot possibly explain such occourences, often materialists will postulate katamine or DMT release in the brain as an explanation piece for NDE's but this has been argued to be conjecture only and has no strong basis of proof other than comparing the subjective contents of such drug induced experiences to those of NDE's. However under the noses of both idealists and materialists alike it seems that a decent number of EEG readings have been done on dying patients cut off from life support as well as being recorded on deliberately euthenised rats under anesthesia. Surprisingly in both cases no less than strong gamma oscillations, the EEG reading coinciding with the highest metacognitive processing has been recorded consistently in cases of deceased human and rat alike. Kastrup's insistence that materialism makes no sense whislt strong subjective experiences are happening when the brain is essentially dead may be a biased claim made without consideration for these recordings and their subsequent reports, gamma waves are the highest brain wave oscillation and if they are induced automatically (which one paper suggest happens because of a "cellular loss of membrane polarization due to hypoxemia" which in turn will lead me to investigate Kastrup's claims of hypoxemia as evidence for MAL when it could coincide with a physical neuro-electrical reaction, possibly aslo reading as gamma waves on an EEG recording) due to electro chemical reactions that occur near, during or after death than this could spell big trouble for Kastrup's bold argumentation. But does this spell trouble for idealism in general? One could say that the EEG readings are in the gamma frequency because the brain is being exposed to information that is not open to us currently disassociated alters, this information only becoming apparent due to the process of reassociation that occurs at death in idealism (which could coincide with end of life lucidity in patients with neurodegenerate diseases). What are your thoughts? Is this bad news for idealism? Will this be properly considered or will this be dusted under the rug? I will have to see but for all intents and purposes give me hell.

Here are the studies on humans: https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... 9/download
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19803731/
https://www.pnas.org/content/110/35/14432.short
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28145850/
Here is the one on rats: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10 ... 00800/full
Along with a reply to prominent NDE advocate Dr. Bruce Greyson: https://www.pnas.org/content/110/47/E4406
And here is an article on Gamma waves and what they do: https://www.healthline.com/health/gamma-brain-waves
Jim Cross
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Re: EEG spikes in humans and rats at end of life and what this means for the supposed 'evidence' for idealism

Post by Jim Cross »

There has been quite a bit of discussion on this in other threads.

I also wrote my own post on the topic primarily focusing on Susan Blackmore theories. I cover some of the rat and human research in it.

https://broadspeculations.com/2021/09/0 ... -and-ndes/

The gist of her theory is that uncontrolled firings in the area of the temporal parietal junction (TPJ) creates OBEs of which NDEs are one type. The brain goes through a stage of uncontrolled firings that can last up to 3 minutes - the electrical bursts found in the brains of dying rats and humans - just before it goes inactive. It seems like the brain is reacting to dying by trying to make a final attempt to create one final model of the world. If the brain the saved and the dying person resuscitated, these can be remembered as NDEs. OBEs can be directly created through stimulation of these same circuits. The different experience of OBEs in the non-dying vs NDEs in the dying is produced by the fact that in the brain in the OBE case the uncontrolled firings are not throughout many parts of the brain but instead localized to the TPJ.

One could (and some do) argue that this electrical activity is neural extrinsic image of intrinsic conscious experience but BK seems to be make the argue that these bursts do not exist or don't explain the experience, that in fact the brain is dead while the experience is occurring. Yet it would be strange to ignore these bursts as the simplest explanation that fits existing evidence.
Dave casarino
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Re: EEG spikes in humans and rats at end of life and what this means for the supposed 'evidence' for idealism

Post by Dave casarino »

I had a hunch that I'd get a reply from mister Cross and tumbleweeds from the others in this forum lol. Are any of the others going to take this challenge on for what it is?
Dave casarino
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Re: EEG spikes in humans and rats at end of life and what this means for the supposed 'evidence' for idealism

Post by Dave casarino »

I am still hearing crickets from the alters, I am quite disappointed, I did a lot of research into this and because it may inconvenience some assumptions on part of idealists (if they want to take the proof game seriously) this post is left in the dust. In many interviews BK has talked about how science is hunting bizarre mathematical abstractions that can never truly accommodate a worthwhile understanding of reality, yet on this forum the reaction to such abstractions has turned into exactly what it was refuting, phenomenal abstractions spoken of as apparent facts without comparing such assumptions with dynamical evidence and what that evidence implies, we seem to have gone into out of space, whether you like it or not science is the bread winner for a metaphysical argument in this day and age (this is true regardless of what esteem you hold this particular era and it's ways) if an assumption is compatible with the science then it is viable, if it is not then it is not a viable assumption to be held. Now on the off chance that I am an utter and total moron and for some reason my argument right here is to be utterly dismissed due to it's immensely unapplicable stupidity in regards to these matters I would thoroughly like to know in detail why that is?
Ben Iscatus
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Re: EEG spikes in humans and rats at end of life and what this means for the supposed 'evidence' for idealism

Post by Ben Iscatus »

My view on this is the same as it is for all correlates of conscious activity. Where exactly in gamma waves, described by frequency, or electrical bursts, described by voltage and amperage, are rich experiences located? - in other words, measurable quantities do not describe or explain the immeasurable qualities of experience.
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Cleric K
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Re: EEG spikes in humans and rats at end of life and what this means for the supposed 'evidence' for idealism

Post by Cleric K »

Dave casarino wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 5:57 pm One could say that the EEG readings are in the gamma frequency because the brain is being exposed to information that is not open to us currently disassociated alters, this information only becoming apparent due to the process of reassociation that occurs at death in idealism (which could coincide with end of life lucidity in patients with neurodegenerate diseases). What are your thoughts? Is this bad news for idealism? Will this be properly considered or will this be dusted under the rug? I will have to see but for all intents and purposes give me hell.
I think you have already given (bold) the most appropriate answer from the standpoint of dissociative idealism.

If we don't get caught up in the dissociation dogma, it is really the case that in these moments something happens which brings another type of consciousness which is normally not experienced in the ordinary course of life, except in accidental NDEs, OOBs or when one works consciously on spiritual development.

From the perspective of higher cognition, all these events can be described as the etheric (life) body being loosened from the mineral (physical) body. In our ordinary life we can at some occasions feel this loosening when a limb goes to sleep. The tingling sensation that we get is somewhat related with such a loosening of the life body. There's a place in the human body where the etheric is always slightly loose from the physical and this is the brain. This is what in fact allows us to have consciousness in the brain. It is only because of this relative leeway between our thinking activity (which is spiritual and not of biological-computational origin) and the firm resistance of the physical brain and senses, that we can experience ourselves as conscious. If our etheric brain was firmly bound to the physical, we would have no consciousness. We would be as a blind natural process, flowing on the waves of necessity.

Through spiritual training we learn to achieve this loosening of the etheric body through our own forces. Just as a limb can go to sleep and produce the tingling sensation, so our etheric brain can get even more loosened than it normally is, which also produced the tingling sensation in our whole head but this is experienced cognitively, as a new kind of consciousness. Instead of pins and needles in the foot, we experience these as a plethora of thought-like phenomena flooding the whole volume of consciousness. I've spoken about this from another angle when I mentioned the analogy with aliasing. Our normal linearly hopping thoughts are only like mineral-like extracts of this encompassing thought-world. In certain sense, our normal thoughts are like rhythmic intersections between the physical and the etheric.

To gain consciousness of the etheric world, which is always present but can't be captured by the aliased sequences of thoughts, we need to break away from the habitual thinking flow, the torrent of inner chatter, and learn to concentrate all our activity on various thought-images. The so called 'dissociation' is not some law of the universe but the inability of modern man to extricate himself from thinking only in rigid concepts, which is only possible through the firm support of the brain. This inability is not some hard rule of nature but simple result of a civilization where the development of such skills is not only not motivated but feared and ridiculed. So the fact that the average person lacks these skill doesn't mean that they don't exist. Who of those reading this can ride a unicycle? It's not because it is not possible but because our life interests are in many different directions, none of which include developing the skill of riding a unicycle. In the same sense, the fact that modern man has practically no control of his soul life is not because it is impossible but because the outer civilization makes everything in its power to dissipate man's energies in the senses and the corresponding habitual thoughts and feelings.

In our normal consciousness it is as if we are in the water at the beach but we can't yet swim, we need to feel our feet stepping firmly on the solid bottom. To advance to Imaginative cognition we need to learn to swim. We don't lose the bottom, it is still there but we can also swim. This is achieved by loosening the leeway between the etheric and the physical brain. Please note that it is part of healthy spiritual training that we are always in control and can at will step in the firm ground of the brain. This is not the case in all the abnormal ways of loosening the etheric body (NDEs, OOBs, drugs, hypoxia, etc. - actually OOBs don't involve much loosening the etheric, but that's another topic). In all these abnormal ways we're not free and we experience the loosened etheric in a kind of a dream-like state - that is, being thrown around by unknown forces, without any control. This can be potentially dangerous for mental health, especially when all kinds of fantastic interpretations are drawn from these chaotic experiences. None of these dangers are present when this ability for loosening the etheric is acquired through disciplined training, whose primary task is precisely to develop the strength of character, moral integrity and healthy sense for truth, without which one opens up for a world of illusions.

It can't be said that the etheric is fully independent of the physical or vice versa. There's constant interplay - the mineral element restricts and gives the firm support (as said, we wouldn't be able to have consciousness able to think in point-like concepts without the physical body), on the other hand the etheric continually shapes and organizes the physical. For this reason, when the etheric is loosened and completely new world begins to flow in consciousness, this normally reflects in the physical too - the physical brain can't remain unaffected by these experiences. There are also good reasons why in some cases brain activity seems to be diminished while the person reports very vivid experiences, but this will take us too far for this post.

In summary, NDEs, drugs, etc. are able to loosen the etheric body and introduce visionary states but this is achieved in abnormal way, where man is unfree and is completely at the mercy of forces unknown to him. The proper way, for man in our modern age, to loosen the etheric body, is through rigorous training, where the primary concern is the strengthening of our character, transforming unexamined desires, attaining clarity of thinking and love for Truth.

The ultimate loosening of the etheric body occurs at the moment of death. Then the bodies are completely separated and we can see what the mineral body really is when it is not united with the etheric - it is only the physical corpse. It is precisely this final loosening of the etheric that brings the final 'psychedelic' state for the person, which can be experienced also as the well known terminal lucidity and which may find its reflection in heightened brain activity in the last moments of life.
Jim Cross
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Re: EEG spikes in humans and rats at end of life and what this means for the supposed 'evidence' for idealism

Post by Jim Cross »

Ben Iscatus wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 11:58 am My view on this is the same as it is for all correlates of conscious activity. Where exactly in gamma waves, described by frequency, or electrical bursts, described by voltage and amperage, are rich experiences located? - in other words, measurable quantities do not describe or explain the immeasurable qualities of experience.
You can make that argument for a different issue but it doesn't really explain the issue at hand - scientific evidence on OBE/NDE that is contra BK's views. I think that is what the post is about. For example, the surges in electrical activity before brain death seem to be correlates of NDEs whereas BK's view is that there is little or no brain activity during NDEs.
measurable quantities do not describe or explain the immeasurable qualities of experience.
What does?
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Soul_of_Shu
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Re: EEG spikes in humans and rats at end of life and what this means for the supposed 'evidence' for idealism

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

Ben Iscatus wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 11:58 am My view on this is the same as it is for all correlates of conscious activity. Where exactly in gamma waves, described by frequency, or electrical bursts, described by voltage and amperage, are rich experiences located? - in other words, measurable quantities do not describe or explain the immeasurable qualities of experience.
@ Dave ... Ditto that, BK could be completely wrong about the hypothesis that the rich, complex, profoundly meaningful experiences associated with so-called near death events must somehow only correlate with some reduction in brain activity, and still there remains the challenge of explaining how any brain activity accounts for any experience whatsoever. If and when materialist science can come up with a definitive explication of how that happens, then that indeed will present a challenge to idealism. Myself, I remain ambivalent about BK's hypothesis in this regard. Perhaps it has some merit, perhaps very little. I suspect the proponents of Steiner-esque idealism in this forum disagree strongly with BK's hypothesis in this regard, so they certainly won't be jumping to defend it. In any case, how many participants here feel that BK's hypothesis is the final word, and feel inclined to expound on his behalf, in a forum that is called metakastrup for a reason, could actually be quite few. Really, the one who needs to expound on it is Bernardo, in which case, you may well need to seek him out directly, since the only engagement BK seems willing to indulge these days is via an interview, or perhaps sign up for this free online event, and take him to task in the Q&A part.
Here out of instinct or grace we seek
soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
Jim Cross
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Re: EEG spikes in humans and rats at end of life and what this means for the supposed 'evidence' for idealism

Post by Jim Cross »

Soul_of_Shu wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 1:02 pm
Ben Iscatus wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 11:58 am My view on this is the same as it is for all correlates of conscious activity. Where exactly in gamma waves, described by frequency, or electrical bursts, described by voltage and amperage, are rich experiences located? - in other words, measurable quantities do not describe or explain the immeasurable qualities of experience.
@ Dave ... Ditto that, BK could be completely wrong about the hypothesis that the rich, complex, profoundly meaningful experiences associated with so-called near death events must somehow only correlate with some reduction in brain activity, and still there remains the challenge of explaining how any brain activity accounts for any experience whatsoever. If and when materialist science can come up with a definitive explication of how that happens, then that indeed will present a challenge to idealism. Myself, I remain ambivalent about BK's hypothesis in this regard. Perhaps it has some merit, perhaps very little. I suspect the proponents of Steiner-esque idealism in this forum disagree strongly with BK's hypothesis in this regard, so they certainly won't be jumping to defend it. In any case, how many participants here feel that BK's hypothesis is the final word, and feel inclined to expound on his behalf, in a forum that is called metakastrup for a reason, could actually be quite few. Really, the one who needs to expound on it is Bernardo, in which case, you may well need to seek him out directly, since the only engagement BK seems willing to indulge these days in via an interview, or perhaps sign up for this free online event, and take him to task in the Q&A part.
Good that you are responsive to Dave's points. Perhaps this thread is another that should have been Topic Specific if he expected people to stay on point.
the challenge of explaining how any brain activity accounts for any experience whatsoever.
Similar to Ben's point so same question. What does explain experience? Unless you can explain it, you would be hypocritical in faulting science for not being able to explain it.

One other point - science really doesn't need to explain to do what it does. We don't need to measure the immeasurable to understand that brain activity associates with consciousness.
Ben Iscatus
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Re: EEG spikes in humans and rats at end of life and what this means for the supposed 'evidence' for idealism

Post by Ben Iscatus »

What does explain experience? ]
Idealism!
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