The following article was originally published as part of a book draft entitled “Bottoming Out the Universe: Karma, Reincarnation, and Personal Identity” on Richard Grossinger’s website.
Charles Fort, an early twentieth-century amateur American scientist, collected oddities for which apparently “forced or bogus explanations [were offered] by the official intellectuals of the time.  There is no proof that frogs (or fish or periwinkles) ever fell from the sky and piled up on roadsides where they stank to high heaven; that what was photographed resting on a rock or washed up dead on a beach were mermaids, that sentient poltergeist states streak across iodide plates, that individuals spontaneously catch fire and incinerate themselves, etc.
The parallels between the assassinations of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, a century apart, an oft-cited incongruity, fall well within the statistical parameters of chance. Even so, something does seem to be holding them together. The two charismatic politicians were elected to Congress in 1847 and 1947, respectively; to the Presidency in 1860 and 1960. Both were involved in famous debates (Lincoln with Douglas, Kennedy with Nixon). Most strikingly, as if the cosmos were toying with us, Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy who warned him not to go to the theater that night, while Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln who advised him against a trip to Dallas; Lincoln sat in Box 7, Kennedy rode in Car 7.
No big deal: Lincoln and Kennedy are common enough names in the grand shuffle. Still, each had a secretary who….
What about Joseph Figlock, who in 1930 while passing a second time beneath a window, caught and thereby saved the life of the same rambunctious infant?
What about the 1920 train on which the only three passengers discovered that they were Bingham, Powell, and Bingham-Powell?
What about a man, his son, and his grandson who were all struck and killed by lightning in the same backyard in Tarranto, Italy, decades apart, a series beginning in 1919?
What about the twin boys separated at birth, both named James by their adopting families, both trained in police enforcement, both marrying women named Linda, both getting divorced and remarrying a woman named Betty. Both named their sons John Allan, though one used a single “l.” Both had dogs named Troy. These coincidences came to light when they were reunited in 1979 at age 40.
Again, with so many events and so much information flowing through semantic universes, some of it is bound to stick coincidentally. But “Betty,” “John Allan,” and “Troy”! Maybe another reality is being experienced through a glass darkly.
Subjective accounts of nonlocal ranges of consciousness run a gamut: “memories” of pre-birth existence, near-death experiences of tunnels through which a mind-form travels to a realm where its bearer is welcomed by relatives and guides before returning to the physical plane, ghost journeys through hospitals while in surgery during which a patient reports on objects and events viewed in the hospital. In remote-viewing experiments, consciousness seemingly violates the laws of time and space, travels on its own, and imposes its primacy on matter. Telekinesis—the dislocation of matter by mind—combined with remote viewing and quantum entanglement, connect us, at least hypothetically, to the far reaches of galaxies and quasi-stellar objects. Quantum collapse is nonlocality in spades.
These events and propositions are undesignated in their relation to mainstream science. They are ignored or blamed on inaccurate perception, error, intentional deception, lazy thinking, and religious or superstitious belief systems. Collectively anomalies place no weight at all on the scale of materialism. The hole is patched as soon as it forms.Science avoids having to jump its own paradigm.
As long as the basis of consciousness is circumscribed solely in a brain, there is no other reference point nts. A mind separate of a brain cannot travel through space. There would be nothing to generate bioelectrical impulses and cognition. While a body is on an operating table, its consciousness cannot wander down halls and look at waiting rooms, operating schedules, and name badges on orderlies. That’s ridiculous, absurd! Such illicit traipses are coincidences, contaminated evidence, or fake and coached recitals.
A personality cannot reformulate itself after the destruction of its brain; it cannot transfer its memories, abracadabra, to a new cellular matrix. There is no mechanism for a transfer or agency whereby thoughts, identities, or memories of one person can pass intersubjectively into the mind and of another. Reincarnation is not only unverifiable but impossible. Neurologist Oliver Sacks’ commonsense explanation for near-death experiences sets up shop where all serious quests for the artifacts of consciousness land these days: in the mirage machine of the brain:
“[T]he fundamental reason that hallucinations—whatever their cause or modality—seem so real is that they deploy the same systems in the brain that actual perceptions do…..
“Hallucinations, whether revelatory or banal, are not of supernatural origin…. [They] cannot provide evidence for the existence of any metaphysical beings or places. They provide evidence only of the brain’s power to create them.” [“Seeing God in the Third Millennium,” The Atlantic, December 12, 2012].
That is, nonlocal journeys of the mind seem real only because they run through the same neural circuitry into the same cerebral lobes as proprioception of concrete things—they read as real only because the mind is tricked by chemico-electricity into believing them. The brain erroneously validates them like a rubber-stamping machine that has stopped looking at the documents it is authorizing. Consensus reality constitutes a sealed loop.
By the same token, however, this entire reality, including the brain’s role in manufacturing it, has no ontological status apart from the provisional one we give it. The brain is not organized or positioned deeply and objectively enough to give a verdict as to its own objective existence or the existential basis of its flow of information. Why give its processing of information exclusive provenance? Who is some guy manning a piece of fancy machinery on a blue waterworld to proclaim, “Any and all outlier dimensions are mirages”?
When Dr. Sacks says that hallucinations are not of supernatural origin and do not provide evidence for the existence of metaphysical realms, only of the brain’s structure and its mirage network, he is either missing the point or taking ungranted prerogative. I get his intent and, within materialism’s boundaries, it is a sound one; the brain is creating reality—a single, cohesive phenomenon processed inside its own neural matrix—and there is no superordinate metaphysical as opposed to physical event.
Another possibility, however, is that neural membranes, matrices, and networks have evolved by natural selection and genetic parameters as conductors of a transcendental current, having evolved not to create but to intercept waves of information passing through the universe at the discrete frequency of protoplasm. Since atoms are mostly empty space and curvature, mind is a broadcast at the frequency of the electrical energy behind their configurations and thus is present (or incipient) not just in the brain but everywhere. The organ itself—in invertebrates a nerve net; in free-living cells a charged membrane—is a formation that has evolved in bionts to process reality in some fashion. To that degree, all forms are sentient in their way; even stones have elements of primordial consciousness, for they are composed of the same vibrating atomic states. Everything in the universe that isn’t animate and conscious is incipiently animate and conscious.
The brain’s lobes are not source originators and prime movers of consciousness but transformers, capacitators, and tubes in the manner of an old-fashioned radio. They elicit the stream of sensations that accrue as consciousness but don’t produce them. Consciousness is not a property of the brain but preexists as a universal force like gravity or heat. If you smash a radio, the music stops, but that doesn’t mean that sound waves no longer fill the surrounding air.
Meanwhile a subtler brain-like complex, located in Hindu cosmology at a chakra above the crown, is processing a fuller landscape of reality unconsciously. The brain that we know is that higher organ’s homunculus or shadow, so sometimes information from higher octaves seeps down into it.
Animals, plants, and even inanimate crystals tune esoteric information by their nature and placement in the universe.
Trance mediums and shamans in cultures that train higher frequencies believe unconditionally in their ability to exchange information with disembodied entities and channel spirits and higher intelligences, including their own friends and relatives who have passed. Some perform this operation as an intermediary for another person, becoming a conduit for information for which they require no cognition themselves. In these instances the medium is often asleep and does not experience the message and persona that is passing through his or her transmission of it.
In another set of protocols, contemporary shamans practice transferring their own subjective consciousness to a plant or animal or other form as a way of training nonlocal consciousness; that is, specifying the movement of mind with some degree of self-recognition and discrimination so as not to get tossed about at death at the whim of samsara’s surface winds.
Tibetan lamas burnish a specialized application of this art in phowa whereby an adept leaves his body while specifying where his identity-vector will attach next, not only in living exercises but after death. That’s nonlocal praxis. To the scientific establishment, it is an absolute hoax, but to those who hone such arts, it is the most serious fact in the universe. This division cuts through the heart of modernity.
Nikola Tesla, Sir William Crookes, Sir Oliver Lodge, and Lord Raleigh, all participants in the technology from which radios were derived, reasoned along similar lines, and each arrived at the notion that he was working with borderline psychic energy and his mechanical tuners were intrinsically occult. [p. 80]. This view has been marginally reinforced by the preference of nonlocal thoughtforms and spirits for electronic devices: televisions, radios, telephones, global positioning devices, computers, and the like. Telegraphy, telepathy, and the Internet converge as means for intercepting and transmitting information through the cosmos. A hawk or bear at large as much as an electrically charged console: they are all consoles to the greater cosmos.
I am not saying that O.Sacks isn’t right; I am just saying that other interpretations fit the same evidence.
Dead-reckoning is real; it’s where creature life begins, how a reptile cracks its egg and crawls out of its reality into the next.