Heidi wrote: I
I wonder if the brain and/or the mind acts as a filtering system to the greater states of consciousness and only when we are able to somehow bypass these filters can we then gain access to the various levels.
Hi, Heidi, John, David and Rey.
Now that you mention OBEs, Heidi, I am reminded of something I forgot to say. When I refer to the physical conditions which allow my OBEs to happen, I usually refer to a mind-awake-body-asleep state
, which involves a specific reference to the mind as opposed to the brain, which I had not explicitly dwelt on to start with.
To answer your question, based on my own personal experience, the brain (which is physical) acts as a reduction valve during our waking state, so that we can focus on everyday life engagements. Based on this theory, the reduction valve can expand, depending on whether we need to be highly focused on something (driving, cooking a meal, multitasking in a busy office and all sorts of other situations), or are free to daydream, meditate, take walk in the country, and so on.
I understand that, when OBEs or even lucid dreaming occur, there are parts of our brain that become unusually active (in lucid dreaming, for instance, I understand researchers are working on the role of the dorsolateral prefontal cortex).
Whatever the case maybe, even though there are NDE researchers suggesting that, with the equipment we have available to date, flat-liners appear to temporarily die and come back to life again, the brain is something that dies for good when the physical body dies for good.
The mind, on the other hand, is a somewhat intangible notion for me, and it could well be a label we use to describe the degree of awareness we are used to in everyday life. All I can say is that when I somehow “wake up” and my body is asleep, I have access to an entirely different dimension, which may still be filtered by my own waking-time expectations, but is nonetheless completely different compared to waking life and also compared to dreaming, the main reason being that my critical/logical faculties are at work without the hindrances that the body-awake involves.
So, now that I think about it, “mind-awake-body-asleep
” sounds a somewhat subjective term to use.
This having been said, it is my opinion that we do have to put up with filters in this physical life, as far as consciousness is involved, and even though I have not had the time and patience to study all these interesting subjects, especially in the light of cultures and traditions other than those I was raised in, NDEs seem to suggest that consciousness is a vast ocean compared to the pond we live in.
Thanks once again for these thought-provoking questions.