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Searching for Spirit by Chris Lind

Searching for Spirit

Searching for truth about mind and morality

by Chris Lind


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Where IS your mind? Is your mind located somewhere in your brain? Does your brain create your mind? If the answer to these questions is yes, the belief held by many religions that there is life after death is false. If the answer to these questions is yes, then morality is a product of the functioning of a brain, and the belief that there is an absolute morality is false.

The idea that mind is created by brain pervades our entire culture. I have heard people from all walks of life casually comment that a person of high intelligence has “good brains” or that a particularly challenging problem “makes their brain hurt” or is a “brain teaser”.
 
The idea that somehow mind is created by brain is part of a much broader belief system called materialism. At its core, materialism is the belief that matter and the mathematical rules of physics and chemistry are sufficient to explain EVERYTHING that exists, including your mind.

Generally speaking, there are two competing alternatives to materialism; dualism and idealism (also known as mentalism or mental realism). Dualism is the belief that in addition to matter and the mathematical rules of physics and chemistry, mind exists as a separate and distinct entity. Most Christians and Muslims can be categorized as dualists. Idealism is the belief that fundamentally the only thing that exists is mind. 

Searching for Spirit is a quest to discover the true nature of both mind and morality.

The overall purpose of Searching for Spirit is to challenge the belief system of materialism. Specifically, it challenges the belief that a brain or any other physical process can create mind. In its’ place, both dualism and idealism are explored as possible explanations of both mind and existence.

Chapter 1 of this book, “What is Life?” preps the reader for the journey ahead by challenging the biologist’s definition of life as a system capable of reproduction. In its’ place self awareness is offered as the defining characteristic of life. Examples of life being fundamentally mind or self awareness are presented that (I hope) the reader will find both intuitive and familiar.

Chapter 2 of this book, "Problems with Materialism", will expose what I believe is a fundamental flaw in this belief system, discrediting it as a possible explanation of mind. At its core, the chief problem with materialism is that it ultimately claims that "You don't exist, you simply think you do". You in this sentence referring to your mind. If you don't exist, who or what is doing the thinking?

Chapter 3 of this book, “Quantum Physics: The new Frontier of Dualism”, explores the possibility that mind is in fact a separate and distinct entity from brain. This is the land of dualism, and the interpretation of quantum physics is its’ new frontier. Most materialist philosophers claim that dualism is incapable of providing a satisfactory explanation for how a non material mind can interact with a material world. This claim is unfounded. Many of the world’s leading physicists believe that it is possible. Travel to the laboratories of the world’s leading quantum physicists and discover how the ability of the mind to interact with brain is a special case of the ability for mind to interact with the physical universe in general.

Chapter 4 of this book, “Idealism and the Metaphysics of Information”, explores the possibility that fundamentally, the only thing that exists is mind. The truth is, not a single one of us has ever directly experienced “matter” or even the material world. What we experience is…experience, our thoughts…the content of our minds, and we label these thoughts as matter and the material world. The fact that the world which we experience seems to operate under the mathematical equations of physics and chemistry does not necessarily imply the existence of a material universe, but it certainly implies the existence of both an orderly and objective one. This view is consistent with the direction that physics in the 21st century is heading. Many physicists are beginning to suspect that fundamentally, the universe may be made up of information, not matter. The catch phrase for this new way of thinking, originally coined by the physicist John Archibald Wheeler, is “It from bit”. In other words, things, “it”, from information,”bit”. Fundamentally, what we are aware of, the very content of our minds, is information. From the point of view of idealism, if the “It from bit” conception of the universe turns out to be true, then the universe itself is literally made of the same stuff as the content of mind, information.

When idealism is taken to be a possible explanation of existence, some very interesting and satisfying alternative notions of time emerge. Chapter 5, “The Meaning in Time”, gives an idealist account of time and draws parallels between our experience of time and our experience of meaning.

The search begins…

To learn more about the author and his search for spirit, visit http://www.SearchingForSpirit.org

 

 


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  • Published: March 2008
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: S026079
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