Our culture tends to devalue things that can't be observed by multiple people, but some of the most important aspects of life (for instance, pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow, the very feeling of meaning) can't be observed by anyone but the person experiencing them. In today's post on PsychologyToday.com, I argue that it's time… Continue reading Inner Experience Is Real, and It Matters
In 1988, Claire Sylvia received the first heart-lung transplant performed in New England. In the days and weeks following her surgery, she realized that she had some strange new cravings. For one thing, she found herself “dying for a beer,” even though she’d never liked beer before. She also began to add green peppers to… Continue reading Can an Organ Transplant Alter Your Identity?
Physicalism is often seen as being a simple, no-nonsense theory of reality, well suited to hard-nosed, scientifically minded folks. But, in fact, the classic physicalist view postulates much stranger, more mysterious entities than another type of view that's now gaining currency in philosophical circles: the view that everything that exists is conscious. I explain this… Continue reading Why It’s Simpler to Believe That Everything Is Conscious
My video interview with molecular biologist Ryan Bissett of the new consciousness-focused podcast Chasing Reality is now available on YouTube! We cover so much ground: the place of consciousness in our world, laboratory research on psychokinesis, our personal spiritual journeys, and of course the source and significance of coincidences! Ryan is a wonderful host, and… Continue reading My interview on Chasing Reality
Today on PsychologyToday.com, I discuss strange coincidences where the world seems to respond uncannily to our thoughts and emotions. The most dramatic thought-mirroring synchronicity I describe is one from my own life: the smartphone GPS incident that was the tipping point in my interest in this subject. Along with a couple of other anecdotal examples, I… Continue reading Mind Over Matter
My most recent post over at Psychology Today focuses on the aspects of near-death experiences that can be verified to accurately reflect reality: specifically, verified perceptions of events at a distance and verified perceptions of events that occurred during the period when the NDEr's body was in cardiac arrest and had minimal to no brain function.… Continue reading Are Near-Death Experiences Just Comforting Illusions?
Today's post on my Psychology Today blog, "Mysteries of Consciousness," explores a question that has bothered skeptical philosophers for centuries, if not millenia: How do we know that life is not just a dream? I argue that this is not just an idle question and that the answer to it stands to have important empirical… Continue reading Is Life a Dream?
Those of you who are particularly interested in the scientific and philosophical underpinnings of my research into coincidences and consciousness may also want to follow my new Psychology Today blog, "Mysteries of Consciousness." My first post, yesterday, was called "What If Consciousness Comes First?" and discusses how finding an adequate explanation for the way the… Continue reading Introducing my Psychology Today blog: “Mysteries of Consciousness”
This weekend saw the release of Dr. James G. Matlock's new book Signs of Reincarnation, which will no doubt become the book of reference for those wanting a thorough, scholarly introduction to the current state of reincarnation research. Reincarnation research, you may ask? Yes, there is such a thing, and there has been for many… Continue reading Signs of Reincarnation
When I was in graduate school for philosophy, I took a class with Derek Parfit who was known for his work on the relationship between personal identity and ethics. One of the thought experiments he asked us to consider (taken from his book Reasons and Persons) involved our brain's being transplanted into two separate bodies--half of… Continue reading Can a Heart Transplant Change Your Identity?