Abstract Details

Idealism, Dualism, Physicalism and Subjective Experience  Stephen Pollaine , Dani Caputi; Leo Madrid Jr. (Occidental, CA )   P1

Theories of consciousness include materialism, in which consciousness is generated by the complexity of the brain; physicalism, in which consciousness is generated by the physical properties of the brain; panpsychism, in which all physical objects have some degree of consciousness; and idealism, in which consciousness is fundamental and the physical world arises from it. We are currently conducting experiments that seem to show that consciousness can affect quantum random number generators, given appropriate feedback (See C22, Caputi et al, "Consciousness and Music Festivals: Increasing the Effect Sizes of Psychophysical Interaction"). If verified, it implies that consciousness can affect the physical world, and provides support for idealism and how the physical world may arise from consciousness. We present various forms of subjective experience that by its very nature can't be replicated, but if accepted also points to idealism. This includes two cases of apparent reincarnation that have been verified to a remarkable degree; a near-death experience where the subject saw a woman he didn't know, but turned out to be a biological sister he had never met; and a remarkable account of a World War I soldier whose life was saved by the apparition of his dead brother. The existence of disembodied consciousness could explain these subjective experiences, and if true would imply that idealism is a better model for consciousness than physicalism or panpsychism. Idealism points to the existence of non-physical realms of reality, and can account for indigenous practices such as ancestral worship and shamanism, as well as experiences of self-realization. The logical connection between these extraordinary phenomena and the implication of idealism will be discussed.