machine brains

ray scanlon rscanlon at wsg.net
Mon Nov 17 12:02:33 EST 1997



Oliver Sparrow <ohgs at chatham.demon.co.uk> wrote in article
<01bcf048$ba1cea60$fe7a61ce at asdf>...
>  "ray scanlon" <rscanlon at wsg.net> wrote:

> To get relevant, a striking thing that assorted mountaineers have
> described (and I
> experienced on the Bolivian border with Peru) is the capacity to
ambush
> the mind when it
> is working. Most describe it as seeing a city from the air, an array
of
> clocks setting
> each other's time: my own experience was of immensely complex,
modular
> things feeding each
> other... well, whatever they were feeding. The theme crops up in high
> altitude art, from
> the Andes to the Himalayas, when you know what to look for. Doubtless
a
> common symptom of
> anoxia in the drowsy mind, one does get a glimpse of something in the
> mirror. 

I have great difficulty in attempting to understand what such
experiences tell us about the underlying brain (if anything). My
personal recollection involves an hallucination, the only one I ever
experienced.

About twentyfive years ago I was lying in bed while my wife was
standing in front of a dresser (to the left) preparing for bed.
Suddenly I was aware of dreams from long ago in a space to the right
about ten to twenty feet out. The dreams were completely real and could
be compared to a 3D movie being run for a second time. On the one hand
I was aware that it was a rerun, on the other hand it was new. The
process continued for several minutes. Accompanying this (possibly
leptic) experience was an aura of enormous cosmic importance. There was
enough of this to start three new religeons.

This little experience, totally meaningless in itself, gave me the
tools to get some small understanding of what hallucinations are to the
subject and how an aura can color them.

What else? Nothing much except I think it would be much easier to talk
of hallucinations if everyone had such an experience. Note that in the
matter of mountain climbing and diving these experiences (possibly
relating to anoxia) are so common that people may talk about them
easily.

Ray

-- 

email: rscanlon at wsg.net

If you are interested in how the brain works, visit
http://www.wsg.net/~rscanlon/brain.html 



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