Hmmm, hmmm, and hmmm. These are interesting stories. Touching even. I am very interested in knowing what happens next. But I’ve never been content to just accept such things. Water into wine? Blind men restored to sight? Dead raised to life? These are miracles, and miracles do not happen. There must be an explanation...
But a funny thing happened to me on my way through the multiverse, and in time I found the lines between fact and desire, the solid and the ethereal, to blur. Being the good scientist, I found this to be disturbing. But the more I pondered, the more the black and the white interbled and formed, not gray, but every other pretty hue. Not very precise. Not very logical. But stubbornly real.
It has to do with assumptions. The ones we’re sure don’t exist. The ones we don’t even know about. The assumption that the earth is flat, that it is the center of the world, that consciousness arises from the brain, that effect proceeds from cause. It ain’t necessarily so.
When you realize that just because the sun has risen every day for billions of years doesn’t mean it’s going to rise again tomorrow, then you’ve caught a glimmer of something that can unlock ancient secrets. When you recognize that the dim light of human consciousness is but a flashlight in the moonless rainforest, you realize how infinitesimally little of what is actually happening in the crevices, under the roots, in the branches, and in the burrows and grasses right underneathe your feet makes it to your awareness. It dawns on you that you know nothing.
Of near death and out of body experiences, one voice of science recommends these to hypoxic brains and a hyperactive lobe responsible for the awareness of bodily position. It’s all a simulation in your brain! We’ve found the physical trace, therefore...
And there the conclusion coughs and dies, because it cannot be drawn. Because it depends on which you perceive as the cause and which as the effect. That is entirely an assumed bias; therefore, all conclusions drawn upon it are only true relative to it. There is no more reason to suppose that a physical trace gives rise to an experience of consciousness than there is to suppose that the ghost in the machine leaves a physical trace. It is a version of the ancient, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" Nor can hypoxia and wishful thinking explain this. Might it not be possible that light is the ultimate substrate from which everything proceeds, and that matter is more the illusion, and consciousness more the reality?
Yes, maybe there’s an explanation. Maybe it’s the obvious one. Maybe the only thing preventing its recognition is an assumption of which we are not even aware.