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Ramachandran, Dr V S - Removing pain



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 1


One of the more exciting things about studying phantom limbs is that it appears that it is possible to invoke software processes which indicate there is no pain present, in other words, create a frozen actual template in which the limb is absent or feels no pain at all, and the result of amputation is then that no pain is experienced

There are thus extremely complex functional dependencies in operation here.  The virtual world we store is being corrected and influenced the entire time by our 5 senses which themselves are software driven.  All pain, pleasure, experience is illusory, it is simply the execution of a software process.

A description of the experience

Phantoms in the Brain – Dr V. S. Ramachandran [Professor and Director of the Centre for Brain and Cognition, University of California and visiting fellow All Souls College, Oxford]

There are many such stories in circulation, illustrating the astonishing specificity of pain memories and their tendency to surface when a limb is amputated.  If this is the case, one can imagine being able to reduce the incidence of pain after amputation simply by injecting the limb with a local anaesthetic before surgery.  This has been tried with some success.

The implications are radical.  Even fleeting sensory associations … are laid down as permanent traces in the brain and are only unmasked under certain circumstances …... these ideas imply that pain is an opinion on the organism's state of health rather than a mere reflexive response to an injury.  There is no direct hotline from pain receptors to 'pain centres' in the brain. 

The source of the experience

Ramachandran, Dr V S

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