Evidence for the Second Mind
Updated: Apr 15, 2021
Evidence for the existence of a wider range of consciousness beyond the brain includes:
Cases of severe hydrocephalus in which 95% of brain tissue is apparently lost due to excess fluid in the brain. In half of these cases, people were still found to have average to above average IQ.
Cases of children who remember experiences in another body, describing such details as what they looked like, who their family was, what their environment looked like, injuries sustained, and the circumstances of their body’s death, despite not being informed of such details.
Cases of people using psychedelics with measured decreases in brain activity reporting increased richness, vividness, and transcendent conscious experience.
Cases of people near death with measured decreases in brain activity reporting increased richness, vividness, and transcendent conscious experience.
Cases of traumatic brain injury in which conscious functioning can actually increase after brain injury, as is the case for some savants. This is consistent with the idea that the brain is a physicalized and limited form of consciousness (like a character in a dream). When the physicalized form is disrupted, the expression of consciousness is no longer limited to that form. Consciousness may then express more or less depending on the kind, location, and severity of injury. Certain local bodily functions, such as speech and movement, may have to remain intact so that we can recognize new expressions of consciousness.
Experimental test of local observer independence suggests that apparently objective phenomena are subjective, consistent with a mind-based or consciousness-based view of the world.
Relational interpretations of quantum mechanics suggest that what we perceive as objects are conceptually aggregated perceptions occurring in relationship with a conscious entity. We and the world are not fundamentally different, but rather differentiated aspects of reality.
A proposal for how local realism and apparently objective reality is preserved despite the existence of a Second Mind: veiled non-locality
Every human being’s experience of dreams and daydreams. Dreams and daydreams reveal not only that the Second Mind phenomenon is possible, but that it is already happening routinely at different scales and in different dimensions of experience. The question is whether our waking state is an exception to the rule or an unrecognized example of the rule.
Wisdom traditions like Advaita Vedanta that have been around for millennia and declare that both the subjective and objective world are mental experiences arising in non-local consciousness are finding increasing relevance today in interpreting the meaning of experiments in quantum mechanics and in technological applications.
Virtual reality and artificial intelligence. I suggest that our development of and fascination with VR and AI is due to our intrinsic non-verbal, non-conceptual awareness of the Second Mind and what we might call natural intelligence, which we unwittingly reproduce by programming virtual realities and AI avatars.