The TGD based interpretation of the God helmet experiments
In the previous posting I described the God helmet experiments of Persinger briefly and Persinger's own interpretation of the results. Anyone interested to understand what neurotheology is about should listen the inspiring talk God and the Brain - The Persinger 'God Helmet', The Brain, and visions of God by Todd Murphy.
In this posting I will discuss the TGD inspired interpretation of the results of Persinger's experiments. To put it in very concise manner: whereas Persinger interprets right brain as "visitor" explaining sense of presence experiences and even meeting of God, I identify the "visitor" of the visitor experiences as the personal magnetic body or in the case of enlightment experiences as the emergence of a new layer to its fractal structure. Magnetic body would be also responsible for the third person aspect of conscious experience, which means that we tend to see ourselves from bird's eye perspective. Magnetic bodies make as social animals, and are responsible for the cultural evolution and explain why we differ so much from our cousins although the genomes differ so little.
1. Frequency modulation as a "code of consciousness"
Maxwell's electrodynamics would suggest that a superposition of endogenous and external magnetic fields takes place in God helmet experimens and is partially responsible for the effects. This is clear from the fact that quite spesific magnetic stimulation is used (signals derived from EEG during the second stage). In TGD framework one should be able to interpret this.
- In TGD Universe endogenous magnetic fields could form a fractal hierarchy: flux quanta inside flux quanta. Several critical values of magnetic field expected. Flux quanta could be flux tubes or sheets (DNA strands could be traversed by flux sheets and one could have hierarchy of genomes making possible collective gene expression at various levels).
- There is a hierarchy of Planck constants so that one can assign to the cell membrane potential a Josephson frequency proportional to 1/hbar and to cyclotron frequencies photon energy proportional to hbar.
- The code for the communications from biological body to various levels of the magnetic body relies on the modulation of the Josephson frequencies assignable to the cell membrane. Assuming that the value of Planck constant is integer multiple of its standard value these frequencies span an enormous range. In the case of EEG the Planck constant is of order 1013 in order to for photons with the energy of visible photon to have frequency about 10 Hz. Since Josephson frequency is proportional to the membrane potential, the modulations of the membrane potential induce modulations of Josephson frequency so that the signal sent to the magnetic body is modulated and this frequency modulation must define the "code of consciousness".
- The frequencies involved with these communications are sums of harmonics of Josephson frequency and cyclotron frequency and also cyclotron frequencies can be modulated by modulating magnetic fields. The simplest possibility is that the external magnetic field induces modulation of the magnetic field. This modulation is small since the field strength is of order .01 Gauss and by a factor 1/20 smaller than the endogenous magnetic field Bend=.2 Gauss suggested by the effects of ELF em fields on vertebrate brain. Of course also other field values are expected to be present.
2. The basic philosophy behind the TGD based model
The basic philosophy behind the TGD based explanation of God helmet experiences differs in many respects from that behind the model of Persinger and Murphys. Therefore it is good to describe this philosophy first.
- In the normal social consciousness based strongly on verbal communications the left brain self dominates and social interactions actually split the left brain self from right brain self so that right brain self remains a silent companion unable to express itself except throught intuitions. This raises some questions.
Could just the need to communicate the experience verbally automatically project "me" to left brain me and cut if from "right brain self" so that only the memories of left brain self are communicated. What would happen if the subject person would communicate with external world by singing? Often persons who have lost their ability to speak and comprehend spoken language can communicate by singing. Would the the projection occur to left brain self and could the memories be different?
- Persinger and Murphy seem to assume that right brain is God from the perspective of the left brain. Magnetic body is responsible for the third person aspect of consciousness and also for the ability to see the dying biological body from the bird's eye perspective during OBEs accompanying also NDEs, which accordingy to Murphy could be quite real. There is indeed evidence that a subject person unable to move from bed has been able to see objects which she should not have been able to see. If magnetic body is real it could also receive extra-sensory information.
Could the magnetic body of right brain or of the entire brain be in some sense the God from the view point of the brain? The TGD based interpretation for the vision of Jaynes about bicameral consiousness as a predecessor of modern consciousness would conform with this. The God of old testament would be the personal magnetic body which would not have yet become a highly integrated part of self and could be experienced as an outsider. Jaynes also proposes that the consciousness of schizophrenic is much like bicameral consciousness.
- It is not necessary to assume that the right amygdala is specialized to produce negatively colored motions and left amygdala positive emotions. Same applies also to the proposed roles of right and left hippocampi. In fact, according to Wikipedia article about lateralization of brain function depression is linked with hyperactive right hemisphere and selective involvement in "processing negative emotions, pessimistic thoughts and unconstructive thinking styles". A relatively hypoactive left hemisphere is said to be "specifically involved in processing pleasurable experiences" and "relatively more involved in decision-making processes". One can interpret this in many manners. The hyper-activity of right hemisphere could tend to cut its connection with its magnetic body and cause a depressive mood.
Intense nerve pulse activity could cause this if nerve pulse generation breaks coherence of the EEG oscillation due to the oscillating membrane potentials inducing generation of signals to the magnetic body. The reduced neural activity of left hemisphere would mean a better connection to the magnetic flux tube and positive emotional coloring.
- Note that this picture conforms with spiritual practices which teach that the manner to achieve piece of mind and bliss is to stop thinking, which indeed means reduce neural activity and more stable connection to the magnetic body. If one takes this conceptualization seriously, one could conclude that the modern hectic society tends to split the connections to the personal magnetic bodies. Since they represent higher levels in the hierarchy of conscious entities, this would lead to a loss of spirituality and also social regression if magnetic bodies are responsible for social structures and cultural evolution.
- For about 26 years ago I had also a long-lasting "enlightment" experience - actually two of them. The general structure of these experiences fits with thde proposed general format. The first experience began with the experience of getting in contact with what I spontaneously called Great Mind. I started to make all kinds of questions which I imagined of writing to a monitor that I saw in front of me. Later I realized that the writing was not necessary. I also understood that our communication was severaly estricted by the fact that my language did not yet have words for to express the messages of this Great Mind so that the messages contained a lot of "blancos".
I had an experience of profound understanding but did not know what I understood. I also felt that everything around me has extremely deep meaning. One of the first questions I did was "How long I will live?". From the humorous reply expressed as an endless rapid running of a counter containing a long sequence of digits I understood that there is no death. I also asked "Am I alone in this Universe?". The reply was enigmatic "You are a God!".
Later it somehow became clear that this God like entity was actually in some sense me. A possible interpretation could be that a new higher layer to the hierarchy of layers of my personal magnetic body had emerged as this God like creature became a part of my personal magnetic body. Much later I realized that this paradoxical realization was the analog for Brahman=Atman identity of Eastern philosophies.
Consider now the more technical assumptions.
- One can assume that right and left brain selves can entangle to form a single self and that magnetic flux tubes between brain hemispheres closely associated with the connecting nerve bundles serve as a correlate for this entanglement. In TGD framework the notion of negentropic entanglement makes sense and means entanglement entropy defined number theoretically is negative rather than being positive as usually. Negentropy Maximization Principle for quantum jumps guarantees the stability of negentropic entanglement. Entanglement probabilities must be rational or at most algebraic numbers or negentropic entanglement.
- The basic mechanism would be reconnection of magnetic flux tubes. Typically two parallel connecting flux tubes would touch each other and reconnect to form U-shaped flux tubes representing flux tubes beginning and returning to left (right magnetic body). What is the role of the external magnetic field in this process? Could the closed flux tubes of the external magnetic fields reconnect with those connecting the right hemisphere to left hemisphere. Suppose that magnetic flux tubes indeed serve as geometric correlates for attention interpreted as negentropic entanglement.
Could one say that the magnet creating chirp signal catches the attention of the right brain magnetic body directed to the right hemisphere? Could the splitting of the connection to the magnetic body create the negative emotions. It is enough that the magnet- magnetic body entanglement becomes entropic to destroy the entanglement in state function reduction if one believes in NMP and perhaps this occurs.
- One an ask whether this kind of mechanism could explain also the effects of strong (or order 1 Tesla) fields on brain in transcranial magnetic stimulation or is the standard explanation in terms of eddy currents inducing nerve pulse patterns enough to explain the effects.
3. The model for God helmet experiences
Consider now a the general TGD inspired model explaining God helmet experiences.
- The magnetic chirp during the first stage tends to decouple the right hemisphere from its magnetic body and possibly also from the magnetic body of left brain. This alone creates the negatively colored emotions- kind of feeling of being abandoned by God. This could be also general mechanism of depression and the manner to cure depression would be re-establishment of this connection.
At quantum level the cutting of the magnetic connection would mean the desctruction of entanglement between parts of the two brain hemispheres or between part of right hemisphere and its magnetic body temporarily. This would lead to the splitting of self to right and left brain sub-selves or the loss of the right hemisphere magnetic body entanglement.
- If one is ready to take seriously the notion of number theoretic entropy, the minimum condition would be that the magnetic chirp causes the entanglement probabilities become non-rational or even non-algebraic numbers so that the number theoretic entropy does not make sense. Ordinary entanglement entropy is always non-negative and state function reduction reduces the entanglement and self splits to two.
- During the second stage the simultaneous activation of both hemispheres by artificial neuronal signals derived from the EEG of amygdala and hippocampus would fuse both hemispheres to single coherent unit so that the mental images of the right hemisphere would contribute to the conscious experience. The coherence could increase from what it is during ordinary wake-up consciousness dominated by verbal communications. "Being nearer to God" alone could give rise to highly positived colored emotions and to a direct experience of seeing the God/light being/magnetic body and explain the experience of meaningfulness and deep understanding without being able to express what one understands. This inability could be simply to the lack of appropriate language. There is no need to assign this experience to the right hippocampus.
For background and pdf version of the text see the new chapter TGD Based View about Classical Fields in Relation to Consciousness Theory and Quantum Biology of "TGD and EEG".