[ExI] Why stop at glutamate?

Giovanni Santostasi gsantostasi at gmail.com
Thu Apr 13 22:16:30 UTC 2023

Hi Daniel,
These experiences are mysterious but at the same time, I'm pretty certain
can be understood in a completely physicalist and scientific way. When I'm
in awe about how it "feels" to have these kryas I was always say, well I'm
not levitating 1 meter from the floor. In other words, no laws of physics
are violated.
Now, they are interesting and they could shed light on what consciousness
is. In particular, this sense that somebody else is moving your own body.
It seems the brain can experience something from a completely different
point of view even when it happens inside you. That is really fascinating
and relevant to this discussion.
But yes I don't think there is anything else needed beyond what we already
know about the universe.
There are mysteries but they are the type of mysteries that I heard explain
by Douglas Adams in a lecture.
He said there are 2 types of mysteries in nature. He gave a cool example.
Imagine there are 2 detectives, one is a detective from the 18th century
that is transported to our current time and then another detective that is
a contemporary one. They have to resolve a crime and part of the
information they have is that the suspect was in London yesterday and today
he was sighted in California. The first detective has absolutely no clue
how this happened, it is a complete mystery that seems to involve some sort
of magic, the second detective thinks this is interesting and he has not
all the details of how it happened, for example, which airline company the
suspect used or if he used a private jet or a commercial one, but the
nature of what happened is not really a deep mystery.
I think this is where we are with our scientific view of the universe there
are some deep mysteries of the first kind and many others of the second
kind. Consciousness in my opinion is more like the second kind. It is
mysterious but not where it has to be considered something akin to magic.
There are some mysteries of the first kind, maybe why GR and QM are not
compatible, or what is the final symmetry structure of the universe and
things like that but consciousness would turn out to be something
relatively simple once it is understood and I think it will happen soon. If
anything progress in AI is indicating that behavior and properties we
assigned to human minds can be reproduced by humans. Language in particular
was considered until recently one of the jewels of human capabilities,
unmatched by any other animal minds but we can see how machines can be even
better than humans in their mastery of language. People are freaking out
and some are finding excuses (like Gordon and his linguist friends) about
how these AI use language but they don't understand it, lol. Excuses but
they will not last for long. AI will be really conscious soon in a way that
will make our conscious look as if we are dreaming. I want to merge with
such a Buddha AI.


On Thu, Apr 13, 2023 at 1:55 PM efc--- via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Thu, 13 Apr 2023, Giovanni Santostasi via extropy-chat wrote:
> > By the way I do know a thing or two about subjective experiences and
> higher states of consciousness. Notwithstanding my scientific
> > and "materialistic" stance (it is a bad name for sticking to reality)
> I'm interested in spiritual things since I was a child. I
> > meditated for most of my life. I also had very powerful spiritual
> experiences like a full Kundalini awakening that lasted 12 hours.
> I'm very curious, how did you reconcile that with your scientific
> training? Do you let it remain a mystery, do you try to transpose it
> into your scientific language?
> > something that can be studied scientifically and it is my intention to
> do so eventually.
> Here I think there is a significant barrier of external indicators vs
> the personal.
> There are techniques and methods that have been used for thousands of
> years such as meditation, chanting, mushrooms etc. as well as more
> modern ways such as the "god helmet". They can cause deep and very
> meaningful experiences, and we can most likely pinpoint what areas
> "light up", but at the end of the day, for me, I would have to look at
> it from a pragmatic point of view. Does it make me better? Does it add
> something to my life? I can talk about it, describe the way, but the
> destination and effect is unique for each being.
> > the opposite, they are universal. In fact, the entire goal of
> transcendence and experiencing higher states of consciousness is to
> > experience something that is shared by all of us and it is cosmic and
> universal. It is the opposite idea of qualia.
> Well, that is certainly the description by many who had these
> experiences, but at the end of the day it is their experience. As long
> as no one else confirms, it is me feeling unity with the world.
> > So we can have a science of subjective experiences and the Eastern
> culture has done already a lot of work in this direction.
> > It would be very interesting to merge the Western understanding of the
> world with the Eastern world. More studies are necessary to
> I think transpersonal psychology is a start. I also am very interested
> in this topic as well as the therapeutic potential of these types of
> experiences.
> Best regards,
> Daniel
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