Re: Altered states of consciousness

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 23:02:48 +1100

2009/3/30 Bruno Marchal <> wrote:
> Hi Kelly, and others,
> Well, thanks for your report. Did you smoke the extract? It usually
> last for 4 minutes. It is amazing it did last so long with you, I know
> only one case of an experience lasting 20 minutes. I am happy you found
> your experience interesting. You can consult and discuss your
> experience, and those of others here:
> Now the real question is, does that experience helped in providing, for
> example, an answer to my last remark to Quentin?
> I quote the question again. It is important concerning
> comp-immortality, and eventually how to derive physics from computer
> science.
> I do think such a question is difficult, and show the weakness in
> identifying the self with personal memories, and this justifies the
> necessity of the AUDA move, I think.
> Of course, if you enjoy dream-state-like, you can enjoy Salvia without
> troubling yourself with hard metaphysical questions. Yet I would be
> interesting if Quentin or Stathis, or anyone, could acknowledge a
> conceptual difficulty here.
> <<Hmmm...
> I ask you, and others, this question. What is the probability "now",
> that you will find yourself in Washington and Moscow the 24 december
> 2009, when you are annihilated in Brussels, now, (17 March 2009) and
> reconstituted in both Moscow and Washington the 18 March 2009, say)?
> The problem is that the reconstitution machine did dysfunction in
> Washington, so that, from the 18 March 2009 up to the 20 Augustus 2009
> you (the you in Washington) suffered a  "total amnesia".  And then,
> "you" recovered slowly and progressively from that through adequate
> medication up to a total recall, the 23 December (and none of yous did
> move from W or M).
> Note that with high concentrated extract of Salvia Divinorum, people
> can "suffer" (or "enjoy") a total amnesia, where you forget not just
> your name and memories of life, but you forget even what is a person,
> what is space, what is time.  Yet you remain conscious. Life appears as
> a dream, that you recall vaguely, and then forget, and then you forget
> you did that dream. Yet "you" come back. (See the reports, I don't
> encourage its consumption, but anyone interested by consciousness can
> be interested by such reports).>>

It does indeed present conceptual difficulties. The problem is that
our notion of personal identity is dependent on the world in which we
evolved, where these duplication experiments don't happen. The
conceptual difficulties vanish if we say that there is no such
metaphysical entity as a person persisting through time, but rather a
set of observer moments, each one complete in itself and independent
from the others, which only associate due to their information content
- their psychological connectedness. In other words, we all survive
only momentarily, but we have the illusion of persisting through time
due to memory, quasi-memory or partial memory.

I would consider a period of consciousness with complete destruction
of the ego, such as induced by Salvia Divinorum, as equivalent to a
period of unconsciousness or an unrelated person's consciousness,
provided there were no memory of the event as the experience was

Stathis Papaioannou
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Received on Mon Mar 30 2009 - 08:03:14 PDT

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