Action! Directing your Dreams may soon be Possible

Film-Studio-Set-775

It’s always been one of our dreams… to be able to direct our dreams. it’s known as lucid dreaming. A dream state where you are totally or partially aware of being in a dream and being able to act and direct yourself and others within it. Imagine being the star, director, and scriptwriter for your own ultra-realistic dream-film!

Scientists have discovered that it is possible to induce lucid dreaming in sleepers by applying mild electrical currents to their scalps, a recent  study reported in the publication Nature Neuroscience says.

Professor J Allan Hobson, from Harvard Medical School co-authored the paper. He said:

“The key finding is that you can, surprisingly, by scalp stimulation, influence the brain. And you can influence the brain in such a way that a sleeper, a dreamer, becomes aware that he is dreaming.” 

It is a continuation of previous research in this field  led by Dr Ursula Voss of Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University in Germany who said:

“Lucid dreaming is a very good tool to observe what happens in the brain and what is causally necessary for secondary consciousness.”

Prof. Hobson also thought it could have medical benefits:

As a model for mental illness, understanding lucid dreaming is absolutely crucial. “I would be cautious about interpreting the results as of direct relevance to the treatment of medical illnesses, but [it’s] certainly a step in the direction of understanding how the brain manages to hallucinate and be deluded.”

By examining the sleepers’ REM (Rapid Eye Movements- the indicator of deep sleep dreaming) and brainwaves over a range of frequencies, scientists have found that lucid dreamers demonstrate a shift towards a more “awake-like” state in the frontal and temporal parts of the brain, with the peak in increased activity occurring around 40Hz.

a83822021

The study involved 27 volunteers, none of whom had experienced lucid dreaming before. The researchers waited until the volunteers were experiencing uninterrupted REM sleep before applying electrical stimulation to the frontal and temporal positions of the volunteers’ scalps. The applied stimulation had a variety of frequencies between two and 100Hz, but neither the experimenter nor the volunteer was informed which frequency was used, or even whether a current was applied. Five to 10 seconds later the volunteers were roused from their sleep and asked to report on their dreams. Brain activity was monitored continuously throughout the experiment.

The results showed that stimulation at 40Hz (and to a lesser extent at 25Hz) resulted in an increase in brain activity of around the same frequency in the frontal and temporal areas. They  found that such stimulation, more often than not, induced an increased level of lucidity in the dreams of  the sleepers.

The authors suggest triggering lucid dreaming in sleepers might enable them to control nightmares, for example returning soldiers  suffering with PTSD; post-traumatic stress disorder.

But for others, the chance to be “awake within a dream” may be possible… perhaps a dream come true?

Dreamsblog

VN:F [1.9.11_1134]
VN:F [1.9.11_1134]

Stephen Hawking and his fear of Artificial Intelligence

gaming_team_fortress_man_vs_machine

In the blue corner we have Stephen Hawking, representing mankind; world renowned physicist, presenter, philosopher and cosmologist, author of the blockbusting book “A Brief History of Time”, and a brain the size of a small planet.

hawking

In the red corner, a computer. Or a computer programme, perhaps, representing AI. Artificial Intelligence.

Seconds, away, Round One. Well, not just yet, this is to be a future bout of boxing, in the not too distant future. Humankind versus AI. Some would say it should never be a contest at all. We humans invented AI, and can control it. It is our baby, our spawn of the future, and it can never bite the hand that feeds…. or can it? Stephen Hawking thinks AI is a threat to all our futures…

Stephen Hawking, in an interview with a UK Sunday paper is quoted thus:

“Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last.”

Hawking thinks we are moving too quickly, too far, without considering the possiblerepercussions. From digital personal assistants to self-driving  cars- he believes we’re on the cusp of the kinds of artificial intelligence that were previously exclusive to science fiction films. Shades of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Hal 9000 and I, Robot? The possibility of smart robots roaming the streets is not so far-fetched.  he basically asks who will control AI when AI becomes programmed to control itself?

download (1)iRobot_G_08

It’s not just that there may be massive unemployment due to robotisation, if a robot is sufficiently intelligently programmed to consider itself “aware” or even “alive” then why would it allow anyone to control it, or worse still, switch it off? If the answer is no, then we could be on the way to a global conflict between humans and robots. Pure fantasy? Stephen Hawking doesn’t think so. Perhaps we should start dumbing down drones already….

predator-firing-missile4

 

VN:F [1.9.11_1134]
VN:F [1.9.11_1134]

‘Shrooms Prove Previous Lives

fly-agaric-mushrooms_00433075 (1)

Don’t try this at home!  Researchers have been conducting controlled experiments using volunteers and the fairy-tail red and white mushroom, the Fly Agaric.

Given in small quantities, many of those interviewed experienced memories they had forgotten about, usually associated with their early childhood. Playground incidents, seeing a steam train for the first time, a Christmas unwrapping… Many of those interviewed swore that these were genuine memories unlocked by the ‘shroom.

The next stage of the experiment was to increase the amount of the mushroom given to the volunteers. This had to be undertaken under strict medical supervision because too much Fly Agaric and the mouth and throat could become numb, and close due to anaphalactic shock. A proportion of those who had the higher dose of mushroom reported memories that were not of their childhood, and were not of their existing lives at all. They wrote down what they had “remembered” and were then interviewed by psycho-analysts to test the veracity of their memories. They all appeared to be genuine and not manufactured.

Researchers are preparing a report to publish but have already claimed that the mushroom has unlocked memories of previous existences that were locked and retained in some immortal part of the soul- it could not be the brain because the brain and body dies and rots. However the theory is that like a cloud-based IT application, upon being re-born, your characteristics from previous lives are re-loaded into your body as you develop in the womb. However the memories from previous lives are not normally accessible and are screened out. But the Fly Agaric mushroom stimulates a small part of the brain where these past-life memories are normally concealed.

LIFE-GENDER

Could this be evidence that we are immortal and have lived previous lives? The research is being peer-reviewed before publishing, and a number of volunteers are repeating the experiment to confirm the results.

But don’t try this yourselves. The Fly Agaric is a poisonous mushroom, and this experiment could only be conducted under strictly controlled medical conditions.

703065548-Fly_Agaric

VN:F [1.9.11_1134]
VN:F [1.9.11_1134]

iCub is Growing up Fast!

iCub

Financed by the European Union’s cognition unit (€8.5m)  iCub is a robot with an impressive AI. It has has sophisticated motor skills, which include the ability to grasp and manipulate objects. However, unlike other “programmed” robots, iCub acquires its skills naturally,  using its body to sense, then gbather information and then explore the world. This is of course similar to the way a two-year-old baby learns and interracts with the environment around it. That may be why iCub has a baby-like face.

iCub is not a single entitiy anymore; a creche of 25 iCubs have been rolled out to centres across Europe, the US and Japan who are collaborating in the programme. Most specialise in some aspect of AI/robotics, such as Dominey’s facility in Lyon, where they are concentrating on iCub’s ability to interact with humans on shared tasks through language and action. Others focus on the more practical side of manipulation of objects.

All the various parts of this series of ambitious projects are connected by using how a baby/child learns as he or she grows and advances . By 18 months, a human can already understand the gesture to pick up a pencil.  This is not about language (at least not to begin with). Young children are born equipped to explore their environment and interact and co-operate with their parents before they can speak or understand speech. These social developmental drives are built into iCub’s operating system. Then, it’s simply a question of interacting with iCub and letting its own body and sensors guide it. Using a bow and arrow? No problem!

Through repetitive play, one team has taught iCub to distinguish a stuffed toy octopus from a purple car, this despite iCub never having seen the objects before. New gestures are learned by grasping iCub’s arm and rotating it in a certain way. These are then recorded in its autobiographical memory. Consequently next time it can make the gesture without being prompted. In the same way iCub can be taught new words and concepts, by through interacting with its human tutor, much in a way a baby interracts with its mother during play.

Recent developments include a touch-sensitive skin to enhance iCub’s ability to gauge when it is getting too close to an object and is in danger of hitting it. This is onviously a prerequisite for persuading people that it is safe to interact with robots at close quarters!

Watch out for more news about iCub as it learns and grows- perhaps into an iWolf?

VN:F [1.9.11_1134]
VN:F [1.9.11_1134]

Download Your Memories Before You Die: Upload them Later when Revived

61_computer

It’s been talked about often over the past years, but as advances in artificial intelligence, understanding how our brains work, and computers become faster and smarter, means that it could be decades rather than centuries before we will be able to upload the complete contents of our brain to a computer. We’d be storing memories, personality, abilities and knowledge.

But then we die. Even with all the advances in medical sciences there is a limit to how long life can be prolonged unless a cure for random cell mutation is found. Yep, cancer is likely to get us all in the end- it’s the ultimate backstop to stop us living forever.

But if you have all your brain’s content stored on a computer, the possibilities of how one can retrieve them after death become intriguing. If your body was cryogenically suspended just before you succumbed to an incurable disease, it could be revived in the future when a cure had been discovered. In that way you could back in your old skin with your noddle intact and resuming your life where you left off. Or, if your body is no longer available (someone switched off the freeze control in the cryogen suspension chambers dammit) then future computers may be able to actually use the information on them from your brain to give you an existence within the computer. That may sound like Tron on a bad day, or a permanent dream-like state for the mind without a body, but at least you’d have consciousness of your existence. Communication with the outside world would be as simple as how a computer now communicates with us today- text, images, sound,  you name it.  There are even likely to be sophisticated programmes in existence whereby you can “see” yourself and interact with the real world (or a damn good copy of it). A virtual life programme for you. Not only that, you would still have all the computing power of your brain, but massively racked up with all the computing power of a future computer. You could learn, experience, expand… as near immortality without sterility as you could imagine.

Far-fetched? President Obama is spending a cool $1 billion to map the brain in its entirety, while the European Union announced it would fund a $1.3 billion effort to build a human brain in a silicon substrate.  First we have to find out where our memories exist and how they are stored and accessed in the brain when required.

David Chalmers is one of the world’s leading philosophers of the mind. He has written some of the most influential papers on the nature of consciousness. He is director of the Centre for Consciousness at Australian National University and is also a visiting professor at New York University. He’s no slouch or frizzy-haired boffin on Cloud Nine.

Chalmers addressed a conference in New York called Singularity Summit, where computer scientists, neuroscientists and other researchers were offering their visions of the future of intelligence.  Some speakers spoke of the possibility of a time when we would understand the human brain in its fine details, be able to build machines not just with artificial intelligence but with super intelligence and be able to merge our own minds with those machines.

The leap may be just as great as the one imagined in Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein: Prometheus Unbound. Just as no-one knew whether life had been bestowed to the  creature after being subjected to lightning, and what sort of life, and whether it would be grateful, we wouldn’t know whether an uploaded system of your brain into a machine, body or computer would be conscious, a zombie, or mad as hell!

Chalmers didn’t see why an uploaded brain couldn’t be conscious.  He opined that there’s no difference in principle between neurons and silicon.

Watch this space, and don’t forget to leave a note where to find your memory stick…

 

VN:F [1.9.11_1134]
VN:F [1.9.11_1134]

The Third Eye: Short Profile of Lobsang Rampa

220px-Thirdeye

I first heard about the Third Eye when working for the Government Radio Regulatory Department in 1976 when a Communications Technician told me about a book he had read by one Lobsang Rampa. He said it was all about being attuned to your senses. As an example he said in one part of the book, Rampa describes how just by observing body language and speech patters it was possible to predict behaviour patterns. He loaned me the book and I read it with interest. Who was this Lobsang Rampa?

He was born Cyril Hoskin on 8 April 1910. At the age of 37, shortly after the second world war he told his wife that he was going to change his name to  Carl KuonSuo. He felt that as a writer he would have more success under this name. He and his wife moved to a more secluded part of England, and he broke off ties with friends and family.On 13 June 1949 He fell from  a tree that he was pruning and suffered concussion.  When he awoke it seemed that a Tibetan lama had taken over his body. This was Tuesday Lobsang Rampa. The extent to which Rampa had taken over Hoskins’ body, seems total.

Rampa then wrote the book for which he is best remembered, the Third Eye. It was published in 1956.  In it Rampa describes in colourful detail how he was accepted in a monastary at the age of seven, and later had the operation to produce the third eye to bring him in line with the other monks.

In the book he describes the operation just after a small hole was drilled into his forehead just above the nose bone:

“The instrument penetrated the bone. A very hard, clean sliver of wood had been treated by fire and herbs and was slid down so that it just entered the hole in my head. I felt a stinging, tickling sensation apparently in the bridge of my nose. It subsided and I became aware of subtle scents which I could not identify. Suddenly there was a blinding flash. For a moment the pain was intense. It diminished, died and was replaced by spirals of colour. As the projecting sliver was being bound into place so that it could not move, the Lama Mingyar Dondup turned to me and said: You are now one of us, Lobsang. For the rest of your life you will see people as they are and not as they pretend to be.”

The book is a great read, whether you believe his story or not. He meets yetis (“abominable Snowmen” as they were called at the time) and tells of the time when earth was struck by another planet to shape the Tibet we know today. He talks about the fact of  reincarnation and being able to travel in the astral plane when sleeping or in a trance.  His later books became even more off-the-wall, and in one he said that he had converations with his cat, Mrs Fifi Greywhiskers.

In the end, Lobsang Rampa went on to write another 20 or so books with occult and quasi religious themes. The British press were not kind to him and claimed he was a charlatan and that the book the Third Eye was plagiarised.  He upped sticks and went to live in Calgary, Canada where he died (and presumably was reincarnated) in 1981 at the age of 70.

His books still hold a great fascination today and are a good read, whether you take it all in at face value or not.

VN:F [1.9.11_1134]
VN:F [1.9.11_1134]

What is reality? “The Brain in a Vat” Hypothesis

brain-in-a-vat

The Brain in a Vat hypothesis is one of the better known “thought experiments” where someone (usually a philosopher, scientist or student of noetics) thinks up a situation, experiment or hypothesis, to illustrate a conundrum, moral dilemma or illustrate a theory. It is said that Einstein’s Theory of Relativity was based on a thought he had when he was 16 years old. He wondered that if he shone a beam of light into space, and then was able to fly and catch up with that beam and look sidewards at it, travelling at the same speed, what would he see? Would the light appear stationary?

With more than a nod to some Gothic horror story, the “brain in a vat” imagines that a demented scientist has successfully removed a human brain from its body. The brain is then placed in a vat of nourishing liquid that keeps it functioning and to all intents and purposes “alive”. Out spaced-out scientist then attached electrodes to key areas of the brain, and connects these to a sophisticated computer that generates images, sensations and emotions taken from the real world. The brain then receives these electrical impulses which simulate in every detail everyday experiences. In other words the brain receives all the information it would receive through sight, smell, touch etc as if it was back in its a body. The question is, would the brain be able to know that what it was experiencing was not reality, but a simulation? Would that simulation be, in effect reality?

At its heart, the exercise asks you to question the nature of experience, and to consider what it really means to be human. Do you need a body to be human? Even the famous philosopher Descartes questioned whether he could ever truly prove that all his sensations were really his own, and not just an illusion caused by as he put it an “evil daemon.” Descartes concluded “cogito ergo sum” (“I think therefore I am”).  However, the brain in the vat thinks, and therefore exists.

Now you know where the idea for the film The Matrix originated!

VN:F [1.9.11_1134]
VN:F [1.9.11_1134]

Presentiment. Did you see it Coming?

KathleenRobertson1

Here is a scenario. You are at work on your official break. You have been told that you shouldn’t use your Office PC to access social media- you should go to the library to do that. You just want to check Facebook quickly and can’t be bothered top leave your desk. While you’re looking at your new messages, you get an uncomfortable feeling. You shut down the screen- just before your manager comes into the room. Phew! But how did you know she was on her way?  A similar feeling can occur when you sense that someone is staring at you. You can’t see them, but something makes you turn round and clock them. What was that?

It’s called presentiment- it’ s not like Nostrodamus’ predictions, or crystal ball scrying. It’s more short-focused than that. Analysis was undertaken last year at Northwestern University, Illinois, in the United States. Julia Mossbridge a neuroscientist at NW University is the lead author of the review of data from 26 mainstream psychological studies and experiments dating back as far as 1978.

“Our analysis suggests that if you were tuned into your body, you might be able to detect these anticipatory changes between 2 and 10 seconds beforehand…”

The test subject volunteers in the studies exhibited significant changes in heart and brain waves as well as electrical measurements in their skin up to 10 seconds prior to experiencing randomly chosen stimuli. These were not just anticipating the random arrival at the boss at your work station, but a disturbing or arousing photo. It seems that many of the subjects somehow anticipated they were about to see something that would provoke a strong response such as fear, embarrassment or desire.

Ms Mossbridge said that researchers are not sure whether people are really seeing into the future or just reacting to their bodies somehow pre-anticipating something a few seconds before it occurs. Whatever the explanation, it’s an interesting step towards accepting that there is something akin to a sixth sense.

 

VN:F [1.9.11_1134]
VN:F [1.9.11_1134]

Die in a Dream = Die for Real?

insomnia2

The British 20th century author Dennis Wheatley, famous for books such as The Devil Rides Out (which was made into a film with Christopher Lee), had a theory about the relationship between dying in a dream and dying for real. He believed that with practice you could become aware within your dreams and direct them.  He believed that there were dark forces in the astral (dream) world as well as in the real world. He believed that there was an invisible silver cord that connected your slumbering body to your astral projection that roamed the worlds in your dreams. It could stretch to almost infinite distances. If threatened in a dream, the silver cords would pull you back and you’d wake up. If however, due to drugs, evil demons, or some other physical or non-corporeal entity you couldn’t get back into your sleeping frame, you’d die in the dream and also die in your sleep. There’s little or no scientific proof to back up Wheatley’s theory.

Even if there was a connection between dying in a dream and dying for real, there is no way one can ask the dead person whether they dreamt they died, so that’s a dead-end. So what do we know about the brain and sleeping? The part of our brains that controls basic functions such as breathing is automatic but is connected to the activities of the brain that cause dreams. That’s why your breathing can increase during a troubled dream, REMs occur (Rapid Eye Movements). In theory, a dream could cause so much trauma to your automatic functions that you suffer a heart-attack- but even then scientists say that you would wake up at the point that your life functions are in danger.

In conclusion there is no proven link between dying in a  dream and dying for real.  But equally it’s something hard to disprove unless you can use a Ouija Board and chat with someone who died in their sleep! And what about Dennis Wheatley? He died in his sleep…

Dennis Wheatley

VN:F [1.9.11_1134]
VN:F [1.9.11_1134]

Twins’ Telepathic Link

Silent-Twins

I had a boss at work who had a twin brother. He told me a tale that during the period of the late nineteen forties,  when people had to do National Service, his brother joined the Royal Air Force.  On a particular day when my boss was at work, and his twin brother overseas, he was at a meeting when he suddenly got a very strong feeling pf panic and dizziness.  He was helped from the meeting, and was gripped by a real panic that his brother had died.  He said that after contacting the RAF base in Egypt, he was told that his brother hadn’t returned after a reconnaisance mission.  However ashortly afterwards, his brother had managed to signal the base that he had crach-landed due to engine failure, but was ok.
He was alter picked up and returned to normal duties.  My boss and his brother got together at Christmas and compared notes on the incident nad my boss’ panic attack. Both occurred at exactly the same time, a few minutes after 10am, and the feelings of dizziness weer due to the fact that the plane was in a tail spin. My boss cannot explain why this occurred and doesn’t believe in ESP or the power of the mind, but was absolutely certain that he had an emotional/noetic link with his brother, that activated in such an abnormal situation.
There are many other examples given by twins. A common one is that twins share the same or very similar dream- and sometimes even communicate with each other within the dream and carry on the conversation the next morning after they have awoken!
There have been a lot of studies done on twins to try to show that there is a mental telepathic  link between them.  Yet in scientific clinical “laboratory” environments, the link cannot be replicated to any great degree. The link seems to be strongest of all between identical (monozygotic) twins, but even there you will be hard pressed to find uncontroverible scientific proof.  Yet if you ask twins, they will almost always have one or more stories to illustrate their shared telepathic link. What is telepathy? It’s the linking of ideas, thoughts, pictures, conversations, emotions and signals without using sight, sound, smell, taste or touch. It is an extra sensory perception. It seems that the power that twins have cannot be controlled or ordered. It occurs as and when, usually triggered by events that have cause emotional trauma in one of them.

Research and tests involving twins seems to have tailed off in recent years, perhaps because of the disappointment in getting results in test conditions. But this phenomenon happens and happenes quite regularly, and with almost all twins. I hope that more sophisticated equipment can be developed that will be able to reveal and isolate what the ESP link is. That may then uncover a first step towards all of us beginning on a path towards telepathic communication. Now there’s a thought to be shared!

VN:F [1.9.11_1134]
VN:F [1.9.11_1134]

Are You Telekinetic?

images (1)

Ever since the film Carrie, Telekinesis has had a bit of an image problem, but there’s no doubting that there is massive potential for the power of the mind over matter. But with so many illusionists, conjurers, charlatans, publicists, self-seekers and con-men around, it’s difficult to sort out just who has the gift, and who is a faker.  But I’m getting a head of myself- let’s get back to basics- what is Telekinesis?

Telekinesis means movement of objects with mind power: It is achieved by projecting a portion of your consciousness in the object that you want to move.

What is clear is that very few people have the power of telekinesis straight off. however some people may be able to acquire the power. How? Practice and dedication. One technique that works for telekinesis is to concentrate on the object , consider the object an extension of yourself , a part of your being. When you have a sense that you are projected into the object then you can attempt a movement . As you and the object are now the same , see the object as your third hand and move it. It really is a matter of mind becoming melded with matter.

Here is an exercise you can try and repeat to see if you have the gift latent in your brain, and can train yourself to hone the ability:Fill a bowl with water then place a small drop of oil in it. Either machine/car oil or cooking oil will do. As the oil is lighter than water , the oil will float on the surface. Let the water settle and then try to move the oil with your mind , imagine that you are one with the oil then try to move it. Take your time, perhaps do a bit of yoga or meditation beforehand to clear your mind of any spurious thoughts. Try the exercise at the same time each day, every day. Be patient. Just think of the joy if or when you manage to shift that oil a little to the side!

Some people believe that telekinesis isn’t a gift. They think that we all have the power in the cortex of our brain, but we have lost the ability to harness the power as we have come to rely on tools and artificial power such as electricity, fossil fuels, etc. These people say that the only thing that holds you back, is not believing in yourself. The problem with this is that you have to know your limitations. You can’t fly and no amount of believeing you can is going to make you be lighter than air!

But to be able to move something very small with the power of the brain is something that many people say is achievable. Try the oil and water test.  Good luck!

VN:F [1.9.11_1134]
VN:F [1.9.11_1134]

Sex, Life, Death, and Dawkins!

Sex__Death_and_the_Meaning_of_Life (1)

Earlier this week, More 4, who seem to almost be the main sponsor for Prof Richard Dawkins’ theories, broadcast the first of his trilogy of programmes; Sex, Death and the Meaning of Life. As always, there’s going to be a fuss. As an atheist who favours science over faith, he’s never going to be Mr Popular. Except of course among fellow atheists. But the problem is that trying to gather atheists into a united group to challenge anything is like herding cats. Because atheists are made up of people from all walks of life, genders, countries, politican views, cultures… but of course excluding faiths and religions. A belief in science alone, is not enough to bond atheists into a body that might challenge and be heard more effectively. However, this series of programmes give those willing to listen without prejudice, an insight into his thinking, and a way to decide whether you agree with his views.

The first episode, repeated at the ungodly hour (sorry) of 2.30am this Friday 22 October on Channel 4,  the evolutionary biologist and bete noir of organised religion, explores ethical questions, pondering what would happen if people abandoned all religious beliefs. He examines the roles of reason and science to inspire and guide life, beginning with a look at sin and morality, an undertaking that sees him travelling from inner-city London to America’s Bible Belt. You must try to catch the programme- it should make you think and question no matter where you lie on the line from atheist, through agnostic to believer to zealot. There are interesting expositions given that suggest that those without religious convictions can still be “good” even moral, while those who preach a code of conduct will sometimes go against that code when their religious beliefs are challenged. What makes non-believers good? Science? Genes? A love of fellow man? Parental control?

In the upcoming episode 2, next week, Dawkins asks why do human beings so crave an afterlife? How do we face death if there is no God and death really is the end? This isn’t all talking to the camera, thank heaven. We see a funeral pyre in India and a meeting with the discoverer of DNA James Watson. Dawkins suggests that the traits we inherit and pass on are the closest humanity will ever come to immortality. Good news for the cryogenics industry or not? His starting point is that ‘religion denies death is real.’  But he’s not really that provocative- in fact almost mellow in mood. And that means you are less likely to be offended, and more likely to listen.

Well worth watching whatever your views. The problem is that if you have faith in a religion, then to “lose faith” is always seen as a retrograde step, a failing, and not as a revelation as scales are lifted from the eyes. I really don’t think this programme will convert many believers to the Dawkins view, but will probably just reinforce established views. Perhaps the best bet is for agnostics to be persuaded to one side of the fence or the other. As in politics- go for the floating voter!  But the one question he seemed to skip over was that strange beast- the religious scientist. Many eminent scientists, biologists and doctors, who know how we tick, have religious beliefs. Id science is the all-conquering.. how come? Are they just hedging their bets?

I will have the answer for you. But unfortunately not until after my death.  Catch you later, then…

VN:F [1.9.11_1134]
VN:F [1.9.11_1134]

Phone App Allows you to Select a Dream

dreamonbigiv

Dream:ON is a nifty little name for an application for your iPhone that allows you to choose the type of dream to dream before you go to sleep.  Before going to bed you indicate the type of dream you would like to have and when you want to wake up. You then place your iPhone on your bed and go to sleep. Dream:ON then activates and begins monitoring your sleep pattern. When Dream:ON senses that you are dreaming, it plays a ‘soundscape’ that has been carefully designed to help the dream you chose earlier. Whilst your chosen soundscape is playing, Dream:ON continues to monitor your movement and adjusts the volume accordingly to ensure you’re not woken up.

It’s welll established that we dream the most during the REM stage of sleep; that’s when we have Rapid Eye Movements. Not only do we dream the most at this stage, but the brain is particularly alert to senses such as sound. That means that we are most likely to hear the soundscape within the dream and react to it.  According to the people who made the App, it may take a while for your brain to get used  to the soundscape system and begin to react to it during sleep.

In the morning Dream:ON presents you with a graph of your movement during the night, and allows you to tag any of your friends who appeared in your dreams via Facebook (just like you would when you tag a picture). Therefore it’s a sort of ongoing social experiment. You can post a short description of your dream to add to a ‘Dream Bank’., thus creating what Dream:ON claim is the world’s largest dream experiment.

The application was introduced at the Edinburgh International Science Festival in Scotland earlier this year,  and there have been over 300, 000 downloads.

According to Dream:On’s designer, psychologist Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire, the app is still in the testing and trial phase. “He asks users to report their personal results for a ‘mass participation experiment’ testing how well it works.” Naturally there’s no guarantee that the application will work for you, but reading some of the comments on Facebook, it seems to be pressing the right dream buttons for some people!

The key time for the soundscape to begin is 20 minutes before the alarm goes off. So if you set your alarm for 7am, the soundscape will begin at 6.40am. That’s because the last 20 minutes of sleep is where you are in the deepest dream, and most likely to be receptive to the soundscape.

Is it just a bit of harmless fun, or could the app be on to something big? Well, provided the soundscape doesn’t keep waking you up 20 minutes before you’re due to get up, I guess it’s worth a try. Now, what’s the soundscape for me to be flying on the back of a Giant Albatross with Cheryl Cole by my side and whispering rude things in my ear? Dream On!

 

VN:F [1.9.11_1134]
VN:F [1.9.11_1134]

Consciousness Is The Programming Language Of The Universe

This video gives a good understanding of how we are directly responsible for our own Universe.  Includes a short interview with Dean Radin of the Institute Of Noetic Sciences. Great background information for those interested in the law Of Attraction.

VN:F [1.9.11_1134]
VN:F [1.9.11_1134]