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Ed Lantz

Ursula: “Let’s try to keep things classy.”


Agreed.  Guess I was feeling ganged up on by you guys. Scientific thinkers and rationalists often have an almost knee-jerk reaction against anything that even remotely sounds religious – especially creationism and intelligent design. I do feel it is important to keep religion out of science, however I also think that many of the concerns of religion are increasingly accessible to scientific scrutiny. As we tread on this territory it can get touchy. Scientists are becoming myth makers (as with origin stories) and spiritual people are using spiritual technologies verified by science (such as meditation).


 I’ve worked hard to integrate my subjective reality with my scientific mind. I studied world religions and began to notice similarities between mystics, shaman and spiritual practices of all faiths. Before tossing out religion I think we need to recover some of the gemstones of truth that are buried within. There are many spiritual technologies therein that help focus and regulate our inner state of affairs.


But the thing that is most interesting to me are mystical/shamanic experiences. These states of consciousness can seem as if we are awakening to a greater reality and peering into infinity and the true nature of reality. I know all the arguments: “it’s just a brain state,” “you’re hallucinating,” etc. I don’t buy it. The problem is we do not have instrumentation that can image the fine structures of consciousness. If taken literally, mystical (and other mental) experiences are pointing towards a greater reality, or alternate realities, and the ability of the mind to navigate through these realities as if they are some sort of informational domain. 


My studies in quantum information science are pointing to the existence of just that: a nonlocal informational domain.  We’ll see if this eventually ties in with consciousness on some level. But for now these ideas remain a bit fringe until they can be tested and verified.


Epigenetics is fascinating. Here is an article discussing recently discovered cases of inheriting epigenetic traits. Sounds like it is still somewhat rare: http://episona.com/3-examples-transgenerational-epigenetic-inheritance/ 


Speaking of classy, I really admire your Religious Naturalist Association: http://religious-naturalist-association.org