Quantum Biology and Hallucinations

I was on a TED talk binge this morning, and I watched Jim Al-Khalili talk about Quantum Biology. Although this is regarded as a relatively new field, it’s not. It’s been around since the 30’s/40’s and was really contemplated within Schrodinger’s book “What is life”.

Essentially Quantum Biology is the study of quantum properties acting within biological systems, like cells. Al-Khalili gave a pretty good summary of the way we have already provided some evidence of this, like the Robin which uses particles that are Quantum entangled in their retina to sense the magnetic poles around the earth–this is how they know which direction to fly during migration. I think this study is the most well known one. The other has to do with Quantum tunneling.

Quantum tunneling is this:

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Basically, a particle has the ability to pass through a physical barrier. This has been shown to be a process within the sun and is a prime occurrence in nuclear fusion, but it has also been shown to occur within enzyme processes. Enzymes are those little guys that help with digestion and metabolism. They keep processes speedy and accurate. It only makes sense that they would evolve a quantum process to help them keep up speed.

If you would like to watch the video and get a better summary/explanation than this, here is the link to Khalili’s Ted Talk. 

What I find so fascinating about this besides the quantum element is what it could mean were we to ever really understand what we’re seeing. Especially what it could mean for medicine. Could you imagine understanding the real quantum process within an enzyme that has been infected with a Cancer?

We’d obviously be dealing with a lot probability and uncertainty, but I think we’d have a greater chance at really understanding what’s going on with diseases like that were we to have somewhat of a better understanding of the process it goes through, and the processes it disrupts. I’m no doctor, and I’m certainly no physicist yet, but I do pride myself on being pretty logical and philosophical and there are a lot of ideas that come to mind when I watch videos like this.

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There are a few more lectures on YouTube about Quantum Tunneling if you’re interested. When I was in high school I got interested in physics and picked up a bunch of books on the subject. This was before I understood an ounce of math, so I didn’t really get that part of things, but I understood the theories. You don’t have to go to college to learn this kind of stuff if you’re dedicated.

Now that I have taken some physics classes, things are even more clearer. So, honestly, had I not read those books I did in high school, I probably would have had a much rougher time in the classes, and I still had a pretty rough time. Too much group work. I can’t group-think. I have to individual-think.

I think the point in all of this is don’t believe everything you see.

There are so many things out in this universe that we don’t understand.

I was listening to another Ted talk from a man talking about how consciousness is basically all of us hallucinating but agreeing on the hallucinations: that’s what we call reality. He said that the brain uses more information that it’s already gathered about the world to show you what you see, rather than actually seeing what’s in front of you, and therefore what we see and experience are kind of like “controlled” hallucinations. This got me thinking, as he mentioned psychosis and other altered states could then be considered “uncontrolled perceptions”. But because he is assuming that all perception comes from something we’ve already perceived, then what is it that the brain has perceived that makes some people see/hear demons, as yours truly does? What is it in this world, outside of our physical realm, that our brains can sense that we can’t?

You can watch that video here.

Consciousness and the world of quantum mechanics is so convoluted and complicated that anyone who claims to really understand any of it is certainly a liar. Anyone who claims they understand the process of hallucinations is also a liar.

Just food for thought: today’s mental truth.

Mmmm Brains.

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I like brains.

I like seeing people’s brains. I like imagining poking people’s brains. I like imagining the second my finger tip touches the outer layer of the cortex, my consciousness gets sucked from my body and enters the space-time continuum surrounded by other floating brains, kind of like that one episode of Futurama, but better because it’s real.

But the main reason I like the brain is because we don’t know half as much as we think we know. I’m convinced our brains, which have named themselves, know things they don’t want us to know–or know things they know we couldn’t handle knowing. Not just about ourselves, but about the universe, the spirit world, particles, biology, consciousness, everything. Think about the layers of protection we have, biologically and strictly mentally. Our body and brain uses every last resource it can to keep us living. Why? Because it’s biologically wired that way? Maybe. But there’s nothing you can say to prove that. And there’s nothing I can say to disprove that.

There’s a new study coming out of a U.S and Japanese research team-up that has compelling evidence the brain duplicates memories upon their formation: one copy for the present, one for the past that gets carried into our future: it’s there for a lifetime. It might not be available to our consciousness for a lifetime, but it’s there.

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In Case You’re A Visual Learner

The hippocampus (short term) and the cortex (long term) are two areas of the brain we know memory is apart of. In mice, this team watched a specific cluster of connected neurons (i.e, a memory) in reaction to shock. To control individual neurons, they used beams of light and could essentially turn memories on and off. Memories were shown to form simultaneously in the hippocampus and the cortex.

These scientists say it may help us understand diseases like dementia. I’m looking at the bigger picture. Essentially, these memories are being “duplicated”. One is cemented in the brain after a few days (the long term memory) and the other is readily available. As long as the biological connection remains between the cortex and the hippocampus, the memories will be available to our consciousness.

So what of fugue? What of amnesia? What of Trauma? What could this potentially tell us about Dissociative identities?

This is why I tend to disagree with people who refuse to believe in the reality of dissociative identity. I disagree for two reasons. 1) I’ve met someone who has shared his personal experience with it. 2) If the brain duplicates memories, one for the long term and one for the short term, what do you think it would do in reaction to memories it doesn’t want to deal with?

Our brains are emotional little creatures. Torture, abuse, anything to hurt our consciousness and soul seems to tip our little brains upside down. They react different ways because each brain is unique. It has the job of not only keeping our physical body alive, but our mental one as well. It harbors everything that we know about life. Taste. Smell. Sight. Hearing. It lets us feel warmth. It hosts every single thought we’ve ever had and ever will have. We learn. Not a computer in the world can match the amount of space or the speed we have in that little jiggly meat sack in our skulls. It interprets life for us and we have no choice but to trust it.

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Could you imagine forming simultaneous memories of being beat every day, locked in a closet, given rotten food for dinner and dirty water to wash it down with?

We know maybe a millionth of what there is to know about the brain. Memories could be duplicated ten times for all we know. We can’t test shit on humans, thanks to the fucking goody-two-shoes ethics committee, so we’ll probably never know.

If the brain has memories even it doesn’t want to see, it can’t destroy them–so it relocates them. And those memories pile up and up and up until they take on a kind of life of their own. A personality of their own, you could say.

Trauma affects everyone differently. Maybe they pile up and up and manifest themselves as mood swings. Maybe they pile up and up and manifest themselves as demons crawling through your floor sinking their bloody teeth into the fleshy parts of your upper arm. Maybe they pile up and up and manifest as a racing heart beat, lightheadedness, a tingling sensation in your limbs, and racing thoughts.

Not that trauma is the only area of life responsible for experiences like that, but for those of us who have been through some kind of trauma, you know what I’m talking about.

Let’s not take everything in life at face-value. And let’s be careful not to sum up such a simply complex experience of being conscious creatures to the limited amount of biology that we know.

If you’ve seen the movie “Split”, and you understood the actual message behind it, not this weird, misguided mass opinion of “uhhhh it’s making fun of people with mental problems errrrrrrrrgaawwdd”, you also know what I’m talking about.

Illusionary Tales

Hello all and good evening.

The experience of NaNoWriMo has been well so far, I would say. Putting myself into the shoes of a character I would never dare to embody brings out conflicting emotions within me. My characters are always an extension of myself, no matter how ridiculous, no matter how fantastical, and pertaining to this one particular character in general that’s a little disturbing. I love having the ability to create falsity in a world bent on “reality” and still have it relevant and meaningful.

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I wrote a stage-play for my English class and used that idea as the basis of this month’s novel. I didn’t start until yesterday, so I have a bit of catching up to do but I think I can manage. I write in my head when I’m not writing on my computer.

But taking part in writing about something that twists and bends reality got me thinking a little more about reality. It got me thinking about quantum mechanics and multiverses and the idea of Synchronicity–that’s basically the “scientific” or at least “textbook definition” version of what many indigenous tribes and people have known for years: there are no coincidences without meaning; you are the universe and your belief creates your reality.

As I thought of this, a notification popped up on my second cell phone. A new article came out in regards to illusions, reality, and consciousness. This article, which you can read here, talks mainly about how rather than thinking of death as an end (which it probably is not), we could more logically think about it as a transfer of energy.

Now, I realize I’m crazy–or at least I’m supposed to be. But I’ll summarize this article and we can think about this.

We have very limited range of observations of the universe, compared to what’s probably out there. However, each observation we do have comes with different probability. The possible observations we do have each correspond to different universes in multiverse or “many-worlds” theory.

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In that case, there could be an infinite number of universes and “everything that could possibly happen occurs in some universe”.

Hmm.

I can’t refute that as a hypothetical possibility. In fact, anyone who does is much too solidified on the idea that our understandings of physics is the only possible understanding of physics. That arrogance, to me, would defy the very core of something like Quantum Mechanics.

Now, let’s get into the idea of death.

Every possible universe would exist simultaneously: there is no end and no beginning, everything loops. Rather than thinking of the big bang as the “beginning of the universe”, as I was taught in elementary school, I often thought of it more as both the beginning and the end. I didn’t tell my teachers that. I also used to doubt the theory of Pangaea but that’s another story for another time.

At any rate, consciousness makes us aware of who we are, and perhaps creates the physical things we experience. Without consciousness, would anything physical exist in relation to us? No. Than how could we conclude it exists at all?

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Our bodies also thrive on energy. So does our mind. I’m pretty sure ATP, the transfer of it, and the real substance of it is still a mystery to the medical world. We know that it’s part of the energy process in the body, but that’s about all we know. Correct me if I’m wrong; it’s something I remember learning from a professor a while back.

That being said, if our body is fueled by something as enigmatic as energy, something we can only define as “the capacity to do work”, something we’ve never seen and will never physically see, something that can never be created or destroyed per our laws of physics, how would death make logic sense? The energy of ourselves can’t cease and poof out of existence. It has to transfer somewhere.

You could probably make several arguments of this. Perhaps our laws of physics are completely bonkers and there is a way to destroy or create energy. Perhaps some of the energy is transferred into the decomposition process. Perhaps this, perhaps that. If you have an argument I’d love to hear it. I’m sure there are many. 

double-slit-experimentIn the article, they also talk about the double slit experiment. I feel this is something a lot of these “exotic” science websites speak about and I wonder how much they really know about it. But essentially, when observed a subatomic particle will slip through individual slits of a barrier and create an interference pattern that hits like a solid through one slit at a time on the area that measures the impacts of the particles. If you don’t observe them, they behave like a wave and pass through both slits at the same time. Conclusion? Reality is impacted by our consciousness.

And How could death exist in a universe, or many universes, or space in general, when time, when the distinction of the past, the present, and the future does not exist past our man-made definitions of them?

I hate when people say “time-change” in regards to daylight savings. You’re changing your clocks. Your clocks. Not time.

Could death perhaps be a case of yet another loop? In Daoism, yin-yang is simply a representation of the connection of everything. You cannot have good without bad or bad without good. They exist because of each other and they could not exist separately without each other. As humans, we certainly haven’t found a way to live without dying, or dying without first having lived, and perhaps our death is our life. Perhaps they’re one in the same.

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The point is nothing is what it seems. The deeper we reveal in the world of physics, the greater we theorize, the more I’m convinced our discrepancies in reality that get rode off as “lunacy”, as “unreality”, are more real than previously believed. It’s real because it’s a perception of our consciousness and the perception of our consciousness is the only reality we really know.

For a doctor to sit there and tell me something I hear, something I see, something I smell, is not real is illogical. It is real. It’s real until I don’t perceive it any longer.

My first argument against myself would be: well, what about tumors? What about tumors or other physical things that create things that aren’t there, sounds, smells, e.t.c. I’ve thought about this more often than I’d like to admit and the answer I’ve come up with is that removing the tumor and having the perceptions disappear doesn’t say anything about their reality when the reality we live in isn’t even confirmed. If something is an illusion within an illusion, how could we claim one unreal and the other real?

Just some things I think about on a daily basis. Back to writing.

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