Physicist, writer, and musician Melvin Felton has an M.S. in Physics and has been employed as a physicist at a U.S. national science laboratory. In the first half, he presented his idea that the human brain is a physical model of the universe because of structural and dynamical similarities shared between the two systems. We can think of the universe as a kind of 'Cosmic Brain,' he mused, though it's not conscious in the way we are. The Cosmic Brain doesn't influence what's going on as perhaps a God-like entity might, he continued. The fascinating theoretical 'string theory,' which suggests that reality is made up of infinitesimal vibrating strings across different dimensions, may also reflect what is happening in our brains, he added.
Through his intensive research into various esoteric aspects of religion and philosophy, he determined that "the universe is a mental creation," and further, "we are a microcosm of the universe and/or of the entity that created it." If we look at the picture emerging out of neuroscience of the human brain and compare that to what is being revealed through physics about the universe, "we should be able to see some parallels," he remarked. Felton noted that his modeling, as well as string theory, could possibly be applied to AI neural networks to increase their learning capabilities.
Author and instructor of writing at UCLA, Lynn Hightower, has lived in a haunted house and maintains an interest in the paranormal. In the latter half, she discussed the difference between hauntings and possession and how the practice of exorcism is on the increase. Hightower researched exorcisms and possession for her latest novel, The Enlightenment Project. The main character in the book, a neurosurgeon named Noah, studies neurotheology, looking at where spirituality exists in the brain, but he harbors a dark secret-- a demon possessed him as a child. Hightower noted that possession is now recognized as a genuine psychiatric condition-- it's differentiated from mental illness as it stems from an external rather than internal cause.
In Milan, there's actually an exorcist hotline set up by the Catholic Church to deal with the demand, she reported. In contrast to how exorcisms are portrayed in films, the ritual often needs to be conducted multiple times as part of a process in order for a possessed person to fully recover, she detailed. Hauntings, she pointed out, are typically of a less malevolent nature than demonic infestations. Hightower shared some of her personal experiences with ghostly phenomena. At her family home, there was a hutch owned by her grandmother where on occasion, the disembodied sounds of a family dinner and voices would seem to arise out of it. She also experienced poltergeist-type activity when the water was suddenly blasted out of the faucet, and her bedroom light would turn on by itself when she was sleeping. Curiously, the light turned off when she said, "Stop it!"