What science tells us about the existence
A sketch of a world-view, a view of life and the human being mainly based on what was known to science in 1996/97.
Along the Border of Insight is a comprehensive, cross-disiplinary
analysis of what nature is. The project had two objectives: To
find out what science knows - or thinks it knows - about nature
and ourselves along the frontiers of science within the following
aerias: The human psyche and consciousness - The human body, as
the most advanced biological "machine" - The socalled
paranormal phenomena - The origin and development of life - The
material world from microcosmos to macrocosmos.
A surprising and manifold reality presents itself to thouse who go along the border of insight; from the smallest to the huge, from lifeless to the living and from matter to subtalty. The frontier of science is not unambiguous with its different opinions and theories. Former "truths" may even fall and be replaced by new ones. In spite of this, one knows quite a lot, but one has no idea of how much one does not know.
This journey is indeed interesting. But just as interesting is it to consider all this simultaneously in order to understand the totality somewhat better. As we know, reality is not divided into branches of knowledge. Based on observed facts the author undertakes his reasoning so that the readers may follow themselves. This process has uncovered surprising cross-connections between many of the branches and make us suspect a greater undevided wholeness.
You can buy this book (360 p. in Norwegian) in your bookshop from medio Des. 1998. The author wishes to get in contact with a suitable UK or USA publisher. After the table of contents you will find a synopsis.
Background and intention - Methodology - About the border of insight
|2||OUR MATERIAL WORLD - THE UNIVERSE
Existing phenomena in the micro-cosmos - Existing phenomena in macro-cosmos - Special phenomena in "intermediary" cosmos - The laws of nature, the constants of nature, the role of mathematics - The basic theories - How the universe has come into being and developed - Which image do we have so far of the material world?
|3||THE VARIETY OF LIFE
Microorganisms and the building bricks of life - Propagation and inheritance - Special phenomena - Principles of life
|4||HUMAN BEING, WHO ARE YOU?
Normal and unusual psychic phenomena - Hypothesis on consciousness - Summaries from other theories - The construction and functionning of the brain - The cooperation between psyche and brain
|5||THE HUMAN BODY
The organisation and functionning of the body - The body's active and passive measures against riscs - Inheritance and the development of the fetus - Special phenomena of the body - Main characteristics - The cooperation between psyche and body - Theories about the human beeing - Retrospect at relationships between the body and the model of the psyhce and consciousness
Introduction and systematizing the paranormal phenomena - The different phenomena and how they may be explained (Paranormal information phenomena that are experienced passively - Paranormal information phenomena executed actively - Paranormal treatment - Paranormal phenomena executed actively) - Criteria for accepting as fact - A comprehensive view at the paranormal phenomena - New light on not accepted phenomena? - Need for a new systematic order for the paranormal phenomena, and what it might look like
|7||A COMPREHENSIVE VIEW OF THE HUMAN PHENOMENA|
|8||THE ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF LIFE
How has life come into being on Earth? - How has life developed? - New light on life and how it might have come into being?
APPENDIX: Parapsychological words and notions
Synopsis to ALONG THE BORDER OF INSIGHT
© Johan Lem
Page 24 - About the border of insight
The longer one keeps investigating the border of insight, the more overwhelmed one becomes by the enormus quantity of knowledge. On the other hand one has the unclear feeling that it might only be an infinitesimal part of the whole. The more one studies the clearer it becomes how little one knows. In addition is the border unsharp. The border between what is known and what is unknown is unclear - out of various criteria: (1) lack of knowledge and understanding, (2) human weakness and (3) lack of intelligence.
Along this border you will find hypothesis and theories describing what exists and explaining how things work together. What do we know, what do we understand and what do we eventually understand? One may have a well established model, that fits some of the relevant phenomena, but not all of them. One may have an unverified hypothesis or only a "feeling". Different groups working with the same problems may also come up with different, mutual competing hypothesis.
Along this border one will find supporter of a theory and opponents who in their way make the border unclear. In some fields there is an official view and other, not accepted views. History has shown that the right view may also be found among the unofficial ones. In this case an unofficial view has been at the frontier of insight, while another false view has been recognized as the right one. We have no reason to believe that this cannot happen again.
Within some diciplines is the border also unclear because some researchers are able to understand, and others are not, as many researchers move along the border of their own understanding capacity. It may sometime be right to ask for the reason why we are at the border of insight; is it lack of knowledge, lack of understanding or lack of brain capacity?
The quest of this book is then; has important insight got lost due to traditional division of research in faculties? Is it possible to broaden one's insight if one put this division aside and combine things that normally are not connected? We shall now together go along the frontier, or border of insight within the mentionned diciplines. Based on what realities we will find here - if accepted or not - we will try to find out if it is possible to understand more, broden our insight, if we try to have a more comprehensive look at it all. That must the reader find out for himself.
Pages 89/90 - On micro-organisms, their construction and functioning
Although the structure and functioning of the virus are well known now, is their basic nature still mysterious. Together with the cell they form a special living system within the cell. The special method used by virus to exploit their environment is an exception in the living world (20).
A virus can only attack a cell if its capsule is made of the right protein. It is nearly a stroke of genius that the virus have capsule proteins corresponding with the receptors at the surface of the host cells so that they may enter the cell. The genes of the virus can keep quiet for a long time, and then suddenly become active for a short time. It is not clear why this happens, But it occurs often in connection with stress, anxiety or reduced power of resistance of the host cell.
Some bacteria have astonishing abilities. (25): When bacteria get in contact with a new antibioticum in the body, its genetic information may find out - through the trial and error method - what inner changes will be nessecary to withstand that antibioticum. And a bacterium can - within a short period of time - develop a new type of poison and become aggressive.
Commentary: That means that the bacterium adjusts its DNA to changes in its surroundings, in this case to an antibioticum. Have other species the ability as well to adjust their DNA in a similar way, where the adjustment - as we have seen - does not occur by chance through mutations until an ability offers survial? During the last 10 years one have found out that bacteria may help each other to become resistant. They exchange peaces of DNA giving resistance! This may contribute to explain why resistance can come into being so quickly and efficiently as it does.
The cell must have existed before reproduced virus, because the virus cannot reproduce without the cell. The idea is that virus came into being based on peaces of free DNA in the cytoplasma of the cell. This implies that new virus may come into being even today in addition to new variants of "old" virus.
Finally we must come back to the priones at the border of insight. Researchers think now that they come into being through mutation in a suitable gene in any nerve cell. The gene will then code for the prione instead of the right protein. Afterwords the priones will transfer their relatives without the use of genes - like a catalytic enzyme. In addition they may spread, eventually to other species, an change - and as a result they seem to be "alive".
Page 125 - The thinking process
Babies are language geniuses. Research indicate that the basic mechanisms of learning languages are inborn. Babies seem to have a universal ability to separate certain sounds - the phonems - the smallest unit in a language with a meaning. Children early learn to distinguish the different phonems of the mother tongue. However, during this process the child loses the ability to distinguish between phonems from other languages.
The elements of thought
The thinking process takes place within our heads. It is obvious that there is a process in our heads generating a product - thought. What does thought consist of? It is not difficult to see that thought may consist of different "things" such as words (from different languages), images, sounds like music etc. It is important to be aware of the fact that words and images with a meaning - a content of information - are symbols, and that these symbols are not the facts - the realities.
Let us consider the relationship between the symbols and the realities they are presumed to represent. The symbols may represent a known (type) of reality: The word "house" represents a known type of reality. We use however words, where it is not so easy to find the counterpart in the real world that the word pretends to represent. Love is such a word, and intelligence, anxiety and future etc. The word may represent something real in spite of this, although it must not necessarily be so. To the extent we use such words we may cause misunderstandings. In addition there are of course undiscovered and undefined realities without names. This is especially the case when we move along the border of insight.
Thought has created abstractions and given them names. The word "house" is such an abstraction. The abstraction is a common term for objects with certain common qualities. In our example is house the common term for all objects meeting those qualities. The words "past" and "future" are also abstractions created by thought. We see that some of the abstractions are connected with the real world, and others are not. Many people may be surprised to realise that there is nothing in the real world matching the terms past and future. In the worlds of parapsychologists and modern cosmologists such terms may have a real content.
Thought and sensation
The elements of thought come from within ourselves, from a smaller or larger ocean of registrations as described above. We realize easily that the impressions received through eyes and ears play a dominating role when the elements of thought are created.
Page 139 - On Consciousness
If the alert consciousness is directed towards what takes place in the psyche and in the body, one may discover how consciousness - in this passive and awake state - automatically brings about someting without wishing it and without doing something actively. If you have sit tense and afterwords direct your attention towards these tense muscles, you will experience that they relaxe. Most people have had this experience. The attentive consciousness has the same ability if it is directed towards the mechanism of pushing away in the psyche, or if it is only attentive without direction.
If consciousness - as an example - observes the anxiety in one's own psyche in this alert and passive way, the anxiety is seen through; it goes without saying and disappears. In an analogous way the attentive consciousness makes the thinking process calming down by itself without any inner force or dicipline.
One has made the important discovery in oneself that the seeing "agency" in me, is not the same as the thinking and feeling "agency".
As tensions in the muscels and the thinking process are material processes, consciousness - as perhaps something immaterial - through its mere being can influence material processes in human beings and change their structure. (As we have seen, indicate experiments in the quantum mechanic field that consciousness may even influence material processes outside the body). In such situations consciousness "sees" what happens while it happens without thought being present. And it understands immediately - without mediation - what is happening. Consequently this type of understanding and intelligence must be a quality of consciousness.
Consciousness can also be given a direction. When consciousness is directed towards or away from something, is it doing it by itself or is it done by another "agency"? It is obvious that impulses from outside may call upon the consciouness' attention, for instance an unexpected movement. Something in our genes semes likewise to give consciousness direction (for example the interest in the opposite sex and what we are clever in doing) or the conditioning of our psyche given by anxieties or wishes. In both cases seems the psyche to be active, not consciousness itself.
We have now come to the question what the conciousness' content consists of. It is easy to see that our everyday consciousness mainly consists of information from our outward and inner senses, of thoughts of different qualities from our own psyche and emotions, such as anxieties, loneliness, anger etc. In addition we have some unverbalized knowledge telling us that we are in the state of normal day consciousness. We know that we are awake, and we are aware of our sex. In the unverbelized knowledge we also include indistinct feelings from the body, such as weight, balance, relief and the feeling of time. We normally become aware of these feelings when we lose them. This indicates that there at the periphery of consciousness is some awareness of a normal state. Only deviations from this normality become conscious.
Page 169 - Interaction between mind and brain
We told about a woman who defeated her fear for spiders by gradually exposing herself to their presence. (31): The treatment that helped her to tackle this fear for spiders seems to have operated in the field of the biochemistry of the brain. Although the treatment was psychologic and behavioral, the effect must also have been chemical. Her brain adjusted its own chemical network. The brain researchers still do not know how. That would open for new possibilities for influencing the bio-chemistry in the brain, for exampel for treatment of anxiety by medicine. The important information to us from this example is that "deprogramming" of anxiety through making conscious must have chemical - that means material - consequences in the brain. The new tomographs have now made it possible to study the brain functions related to emotions, such as anxiety, sorrow and anger, at least in broad outline. The interaction between emotions and the other brain functions are now more eagerly studied, (SA.6.94).
Roughly spoken one may say that understanding intellectually means to create a realistic image and realistic interdependences in the brain. That makes it possible for the brain to simulate (imitate) complicated processes and tasks by thought. You may fetch information from all stages of the simulation. And it will be correct as far as the model and the simulation are correct. The brain works similar to a computer.
Intellectual understanding has something to do with intelligence although intelligence is no unambiguous notion. Neither is there a clear relation between the brain volume and intelligence, although such a connection exists statistically. Within a certain tolerance will a larger brain volume give a higher intelligence. Intelligence may also depend on the number of specialised micro-curcuits in the brain, (69).
Understanding may arise on another basis as well. The intellectual understanding imitate reality by means of symbols of thought. The direct understanding arises on the other hand when one sees reality as it is without the mediation of thought. One sees and understands directly what is happening when it is happening, and thought is absent. In our thought-oriented culture is this possibility not so often focussed.
The brain uses the principle of delegation in several connections. It seems useful on the psychlogical and the physiological level. How this principle works becomes clear when one exercises skills, such as learning to play an instrument or learning to play a piece of music by heart. When one has learned to play the piece, one hear the music within oneself and the fingers create the music as good as the learned and delegated "programmes" make possible. One has an overall control at the conscious level, and the tecnical details are delegated to an unconscious level.
Page 180 - Operating functions, maintenance and development
The functions of the body may roughly be devided into three groups: operating functions, maintenance and development. The operating functions manage dayly doings within the body and outwards, such as digestion and walking. Maintenance has to take care of, protect and maintain the body. And the tasks of the developing functions are to develop the body through growth, maturing an eventually growing old. Here we will go deeper into maintenance and the process of growing old.
The body itself manage an enormous maintenance job. It consists mainly of replacing the celles of the body. Nearly all of the 100 billion cells in the body are replaced within different intervals. There are, however, som specialized cells - the brain cells, some muscle cells and some cells from the immune system - which do not divide and - as a concequence - are not being replaced. The intervals in which the cells are replaced vary from few minutes to several years.
The renewal takes place when some cells die, and some other
cells devide to replace the loss. The division of the cells (anabolism,
a) must be seen in context with the dying of cells (catabolism,
b). They obey a common control: In an adult person of constant
weight a = c. In growing children a is larger than c. And in old
persons a is smaller than c. In all cases the dead cells desintegrate
and leucocytes take them away. The loss and the creation of new
cells have a 24-hour period.
Some examples may illustrate how the body replaces its cells. All cells of the bone-marrow are replaced approximately 24 times a year. The liver is replaced 0.6 times a year and the overskin 12 times a year. The small intestine and the mucous membrane of the colon approximately 60 times a year. Every 24 hours are 200 billion red blood corpuscles replaced, or 2.3 million per sec. The pancreas replaces most of its cells every 24 hours. Our leucocytes are replaced every 10 days, and 98% of the protein in the brain is replaced during less than one month. In spite of this replacement we recognize ourselves all the time. We have the same forms and lines in the skin. This means that the new cells have found their place in the same, existing pattern that lost its cells.
Another quality of the maintenance system is that damages are
repared. Wounds are healed and damaged nerve cells are to a certain
degree able to repair themselves. The liver has a special ability
to being rebuilt. The liver of a donor, who has got his lefthand
liverlap removed, gets its original size after 1-2 months, (IV.4.90).
Although the transfer of DNA from the mother cell to daughter cells takes place with great accuracy, some changes in it occurs. The reason may be radiation or chemical influence, but many mutations happen without a known reason. It is remarkable that most mutations are being repaired. Some agency notices that someting is wrong and takes measures to repair the damage. This takes place at the molecule level! (NS.8.4.95).
Page 205 - Paranormal phenomenon
It is not possible nor preferable to come to definite conclusions in a field where one has done so little research as in parapsychology. As we said, this book doesn't want to convince anybody of anything. It wishes to take the reader on a discovery trip in an unknown and exiting land, a land that may become important for the meaning that the reader may find with and in life. On the other hand there must be an explaination behind real paranormal phenomenon like any other real phenomenon. We cannot expect to find explainations to paranormal phenomenon within our "normal" fields - the fields that are known through research and common experience. We have to realize at the beginning that these phenomenon may take place within conditions and in accordance with natural laws that we do not know yet. The discussions here are of course coloured of that fact.
The question whether something is accepted by science and the opinion or not, is of course not decisive for the existence of anything. The globe was even then a sphere when one thought it was flat. To explore the unknown one has to be open to learn new things and accept the exclusive original existing teacher, namely what is. That only can tell us how reality is, if we open up for this teacher, humble and without prejudices. As you will see, there are many white spots in our knowledge, and much research work has to be done. The following text will roughly spoken follow this pattern:
- A general description of what it is all about, eventually
- A short description of the types of phenomenon dealt with in the section
- A closer description of different phenomena
- Examples to make the phenomenon more concrete
- Possible explanations are discussed for each type of phenomenon
As far as possible are conventional definitions used. But some of them are not appropriate. It is obvious that the name of a phenomenon should not include a possible explaination of the phenomenon! That can easily lead to wrong associations and false interpretations. The name of a phenomenon should only be linked to special qualities of the phenomenon itself and not to an eventual explanation. As a contribution to a better set of notions some new definitions are introduced. In the appendix you will find a directory with the most common notions. The table of contents show the detailed structure.
Page 291 - Commentaries
Many researchers now question the neo-darwinism claim that occational mutations and natural selection have been the main driving forces of the development of life on earth. They ask wether organisms can generate mutations in DNA as a direct "planned" consequence of outward stress. Organisms could that way adapt more rapidly to changes in the environment. Recently some experiments have been executed indicating that such an adaptation may occur. Some reseachers even think that far more chemicals in lower concentrations than one thought before may cause such mutations. Different forms of stress can also rise the mutation rate. This opens up for some sort of systematic mutation of great importance for past development and what may come in future. If that is real, a new question arises: Which reverse mechanims change the DNA so that the organism quickly and "planned" can adapt to the changes in the environment?
One has found out that behind each quality there may be many genes, and that the genes may have different consequence in different surroundings. In addition, individual development is not covered by the actual theory of development. In some way are organisms able to create nearly identical phenomena based on quite different gene complexes and vice versa. Although man and the chimpancy are quite different is the genetic difference only 1-2%. It is possible to construct quite different organisms based on genes with limited differences.
The genes do not control, some researchers say. They only supply the cell or the organism with an important protein. The coordination of these proteins can not be found in DNA. It must be found elsewhere in the cell and depends upon a lot of information coming from many parts of the organism. Development is not controlled by a simple one-dimensional genetic order. It seems to depend upon a complex, non-lineal(?) order nearer to the chaos theory than to the genetic theory. Many experiments have shown that an organism can live without what was thought to be decisive genes. When a gene is missing, will the organism find other ways to use the remaining genes to produce the same or nearly the same! (F.P.4.1).
Seattle Institute for the Life Sciences has a list of more than 250 serious problems and contradictory views in mainstream biology. Let us mention a few of them: The particle-wave duality may exist at the molecular level in biology. What does it imply? Why react biological tissues on magnetic fields? Why "breathe" chords of DNA several times per second, and why do they oscillate in resonance with certain electromagnetic waves? Why have all living tissues an emission of photones? Why are only 20 aminoazids specified in the genetic code of the 140 found in proteins? (FP.4.2).
Page 314 - Vacuum
Where do we find states similar to vacuum? Simple calculations presuppose that atoms exist in vacuum. In fact, they do not. As to H.E. Puthoff, is the zero point energy present and it plays even a role for the stability of the atoms. All atoms in all organic and anorganic matter are in the fluctuations of the quants with the possibility to absorb energy from this background. The structure of the atoms is based on this background fluctuation. Without it the atoms would collapse!
Andrei Sakharov suggested as early as 1968 that gravitation might not be a fundamental power, but rather a result of unbalanced zeropoint fluctuations in vacuum in the presence og matter. And Puthoff has continued those thoughts the latest years. The movements of the quarks are maintained by the zeropoint fluctuations, and as they have an electric charge they will create electromagnetic fields. Thus a single quark is influenced by the electromagnetic backgroundfluctuations and by electromagnetic fields from the near by quarks. If one calculates the forces within this constallation, one gets the well known gravitation constant as a result!
If this is so, one would have a theory with harmony between gravitation and the quantum theory. One would have explained why gravitation is so weak and why it is exclusively attractive. In addition one would understand why gravity penetrate any shield. Several experiments support the theory. Research is going on to investigate if it is possible to make practical use of the enegy ocean of vacuum. Ten years ago an utopic thought.
Ervin Lazlo has had similar ideas. He thinks of a fourth powerfield in addition to the four dealt with in section 2.4.1, namely the vacuum field as a basic layer under the physical univers. Vacuum is not empty. It has a nearly unlimited quantity zeropoint energy, although no one has been able to measure or make use of this energy. The vacuum field, he says, is a developing field of information and unity that may be a referance frame for all that is going on in the universe. The zeropoint field is beneath and behind the quants, which become some sort of information messengers between the vacuum field and the manifest universe. (F.10).
Page 332 - Is Cosmos alive?
Life, its various forms and consciousness are not part of the formulas of the physicists and cosmologists. Nevertheless are they - life and consciousness - facts in the universe and therefore part of the universe. No one can deny that. They exist outside the field covered by mathematics. It must be a false conclusion to say that something cannot exist because mathematics do not cover it. Mathematics which have been linked to physics of matter until now, are developing in many ways. All observations and reasoning linked to non-physical phenomena indicate that all incidents are regulated - that means with laws not yet covered by mathematics. That implies that future mathematics may contribute to investigate non-physical or non-material phenomena. Although mathematics only cover material processes until now, indicate the fact that mathematics cover material processes, that there is something behind, something that mathematics do not cover, namely consciousness and intelligence. Without it universe might not - through mathematics - be " in dialogue with itself"?
When mathematics that dominate our thinking about cosmos, cannot answer our question, let us ask: Has matter caused or generated consciousness or has consciousness with its intelligence generated matter? It is clear what seems to be the most logic answer. But many reseachers think the opposite.
What did we - in addition - find out about life in the previous
chapters? It seemed possible - from two different positions -
to experience something that might be called life in cosmos. When
the brain and the ego-identifying activity there have calmed down
and become quiet, it might be possible to experience unity with
a greater consciousness covering the immensity of the universe
and an ocean of information. And we have argued that it is the
same greater consciousness with which the clairvoyant person communicates
via the "mirror of life" and the collective psyche.