Via Reality Sandwich:
In Chapter 2 of Why Materialism Is Baloney, I illustrate a broad pattern associating procedures that reduce brain activity
with expanded consciousness. These include hyperventilation, meditation, ordeals, gravity-induced loss of consciousness, strangulation, cardiac arrest, brain damage, and even psychedelics.
Indeed, a 2012 paper by Carhart-Harris et al. has showed that psychedelics only reduce neural activity, with no increases anywhere in the brain. This is counter-intuitive from a materialist perspective since, according to materialism, consciousness is brain activity (a totally inactive brain is, after all, a dead and unconscious brain under materialism). Recently, however, an inaccurate and misleading media report on a more recent paper by the same team has claimed that the researchers have now “found increased activity in regions of the brain that are known to be activated during dreaming.” This, if it were true, would contradict the conclusions of the earlier study. However, it is simply false. In this article, I want to clarify this.