17. Random Motion and order forming the Brain’s Synapses

Random motion of the mind in trance state and/or transcendental meditation, and its equivalence to the order forming of the cognitive synapses of the brain in memory and highly structured thought.

Started 16/11/22

I was first hugely impressed as a student in 1966 by the ability of a stage show hypnotist to be able to place members of the audience into hypnotic trance state. This enabled them to accomplish actions and mental capabilities of which they would not able when normally conscious. A friend of mine was put through her paces to enact sequences of events suggested by the hypnotist, so that I was quite convinced there was no dissimulation involved for her, at very least.

Years later I watched television programmes that  demonstrated how individuals in trance state could be regressed to enact in astonishingly convincing detail episodes of their past lives back to early infancy, and again it seemed to me the possibility of purposeful fraud in the majority of such cases, although possible, was small. I also read a fair amount about the subject of how individuals in trance could be regressed to apparently re-experience in great detail episodes of their past lives back to childhood and even infancy. I was impressed by the possibility that here was something which seemed quite inexplicable, and yet caused so little comment.

Later again, when I was amazed to discover that so little was known or even agreed about the mechanism behind memory, my reaction was to consider it seemed likely that if regression was a genuine ability when in a trance like state, then there was the distinct possibility that every iota of past existence by one individual could be recalled in such circumstances. If so, then either such perfect memory had to be capable of being stored physically stored in one individual’s brain, or alternatively, that there had to be some external process involved whereby all previous experience could be evoked and repeated. In other words, the mental processes in the form of the complex firings of the cognitive synapses in the brain, would have to be capable of being perfectly duplicated at some later time.

It seemed clear to me, that the latter alternative was far more likely, and doubtless it can be calculated in terms of the requisite quantities of bits of information that one brain is not physically extensive enough to hold such a huge amount of information. Thus, there has to be this external process as a sort of resonance or echo effect to explain regression, also experienced as eidetic memory.

Wikipedia describes  eidetic memory as “Eidetic memory, (commonly called photographic memory or total recall) is the ability to recall an image from memory with high precision—at least for a brief period of time—after seeing it only once[1] and without using a mnemonic device…………Scholar Annette Kujawski Taylor stated, “In eidetic memory, a person has an almost faithful mental image snapshot or photograph of an event in their memory. However, eidetic memory is not limited to visual aspects of memory and includes auditory memories as well as various sensory aspects across a range of stimuli associated with a visual image.”[9] Author Andrew Hudmon commented: “Examples of people with a photographic-like memory are rare. Eidetic imagery is the ability to remember an image in so much detail, clarity, and accuracy that it is as though the image were still being perceived. It is not perfect, as it is subject to distortions and additions (like episodic memory), and vocalization interferes with the memory.”

So, it seemed to me during the late 1970s , having taken a couple of years away from office life, that I should persevere in devising an explanation for memory which did not rely on an internal physical storage process, and fortunately at about that time, I had  been encouraged by correspondence with Arthur Koestler, to also read about the work of Karl Pribram and David Bohm and their holonomic brain theory. I found Bohm’s physics hard to assimilate but could at once see that it was a non local effect and which might be considered as a means to possibly transfer projected images across both time and space via the involvement of quantum entanglement. However, better still was Pribram’s research of complex structures of firing synapses and neurons in the brain. These would inevitably create interference patterns, which if sufficiently ordered, would create  holographic images emitted  from the brain. This was exactly what I wanted  in principle at least, to devise a description of how memory and/or thought might be little more than these recreations in 3d Holographic form. As to how such images were registered,  that is a separate subject into which I will not delve here. However, Pribram’s conception of thought and memory as recreated 3D images could be dovetailed most conveniently into my own explanation in principle  for memory, which by this time I had started to describe as Duplication theory.

At a later stage in the attempted development to provide an explanation for memory at least in principle, the following occurred to me. When, for instance, being put into a state of trance, the hypnotist involved would usually issue instructions to the individuals involved that they should be totally relaxed and their minds should be completely emptied. Since the synapses of the brain could never cease activity, this suggested to me that this was equivalent to setting the firing of these synapses and neurons as close as possible to perfect random motion. This would result in the mind being void of any structural thought at all, assuming that were possible. In other words, the intention would be to set the activity of the synapses near to the perfect disorder that would be achieved if perfect randomness was possible.

By this time in the development of my proposals, I had also concluded, as part of Duplication theory, that there was a general condition in existence generally that I defined and described as singularity states. These all shared a common factor as conditions that could never be achieved, either in fact or by definition, in concept. These were all states in nature that could never be achieved, despite the fact that it would be possible to make close approaches thereto. The outstanding example of this would be light speed, but there were many examples of lesser consequence, such as absolute zero of temperature,  the minimum quantum dimensions of time and space, superconductivity and perfect randomness: all were examples of unachievable singularity states. This general rule also applied to concepts such as that of infinity, and the overall common feature of all such states was that although they could never be achieved, when close approaches were made thereto, the laws of nature as they were formerly familiar, always, but always, had to start to be radically amended (I have an earlier separate paper on this subject from January 2018).

Perfect randomness is impossible to achieve and therefore is by definition another singularity state. Thus, by the rationale above, when close approaches are made thereto, we might expect, some formerly unanticipated results. These might even tend to change our understanding of current reality, if it was possible for a mind in trance were able to increase its entropy to a maximum state. This would involve its  synapses to have to be firing as close to perfect randomness as possibly might be achieved.  Such a conclusion struck me as not improbable, and ex hypothesi,  it seemed to be able to reinforce the claims that are made by not only practitioners of transcendental meditation, but also the beliefs of Vedic religions that have been practiced for millennia. Why the trance state might lead to increased understanding of existence takes a little more rationalisation, very briefly  as follows.

If one considers a mental image of the structure of a few molecules of gas confined in a vessel at very low pressure. Their motion will be all over the place, with precious little indication of order. However, if  the number of molecules involved in that same space were to be much increased to higher levels (higher pressure)  thus becoming in effect more complex, the motion of such vastly increased numbers will be far more constricted and will inevitably become  more ordered and thus increasingly more structured, and will actually become so. (See diagram below which I inserted used in a paper quite some years ago to illustrate this effect).

In short, there will be  there will be a corresponding increase in the order of formation of these particles with increasing complexity for an external observer. The result is that if disorder is contained with a system (Markov blanket effect and free energy principle of Karl Friston) and then its content numerologically increased, thus increasing its  complexity, then a stage will be reached when it becomes self-ordering. This seems a similar rationale for the Nobel award for Ilya Prigogine’s thesis on dissipative structures that become self-ordering if adequately accelerated. Thus, my contention is that a brain in circumstances where motion/firing activity of its synapses become increasingly random in trance state, also results in an increase in the capability of that brain to become self-ordering. A by-product of this self-ordering effect might be for events registered and experience in the past, to be recreated in holographic form as eidetic memory sequences, as a resonance effect. There would also have to be  physically stored engrams to instigate such flows of sequences, but there is a great deal of research being carried out on the locations and composition of such engrams, albeit as yet unresolved.

As to the mechanics of how circumstances observed and registered in the past are brought forward back in to the present, we are currently lacking any established explanation here other than quantum entanglement effects over time have  been shown to be experimentally possible  (Eli Megedish et al 2013).  However, this is the major stumbling block yet to be surmounted  for any explanation for memory invoking such quantum effects.  From what I understand of Anton Zeilinger’s explanations of experimental quantum entanglement by teleportation techniques, these latter only start to become apparent when extremely large numbers of similar particles, absolutely indecipherable from each other in composition (photons for example), become part of the experimental process. Quantum effects do not become materialised until streams of large numbers of identical entities are involved: this is a crucial quality of the quantum world’s operation. 

Furthermore, for such non local quantum effects to become manifest, these photons have to be emitted from the transmitting source as randomly as can possibly be managed and received by a similarly  sensitive source, also capable of detecting  when certain particles can be  distinguished from the mass of the great majority. But to repeat, and it is a crucial point, these ‘spooky’ quantum effects do not take effect unless these vast numbers of identical entities are involved, so that when one irregularity might be transmitted in an otherwise sequence of conformity, then its difference from the rest  is at once and instantly detectable at the receiving end. This occurs as a non local correlation.

But such sensitivity depends on both the transmitting and receiving devices being able to detect such microscopic schisms on the otherwise regular and uniform passage between the two locations. When this occurs then a correlation takes place and at once become detectable in the teleportation of photon experiments arranged along these lines. But there is an inherent problem here in that an external observer at one end can never know that such an instant correlation has occurred across distance between the two locations, simply because the information involved cannot can only be transferred in confirmation of what has actually taken place, back to the observer no more rapidly than light speed allows.

Thus, effectively, information can be transferred by the physical passage of photons at the finite limit of light speed of the photons. But it seems in teleportation experiments, that if in this stream indecipherably identical particles/photons between two locations, then it is this divergence from the existing high order of transmission delivery that can be detected and registered at once and simultaneously, at the receiving end. This would render it as a non local effect, with no medium of transmission intervening between the two ends. It would seem to be that any sporadic different order in which such a regular stream of vast numbers of photons is transmitted, might also account for such an irregularity/interruption to the otherwise steady flow, and this could be detectable instantly at both the receiving and transmitting ends.  

This is the way in which I understand the problems  involved here, which I have to describe verbally in more or less visual terms, regrettably having little ability to translate such visual  images into descriptions governed by rules of mathematics, the usual theoretical procedure for any proof of a theory. Furthermore, we also now have experimental evidence that this latter non local  teleportation effect can act over time as well  which I have incorporated into my description of how eidetic memory might operate when the cognitive synapses of the brain have initially been allowed momentarily to fire as close to perfect randomness as possible. For this to occur, it is necessary that such a receiver at different times should have identical brain composition as that for  a receiver in the present, or in other words the same individual brain (or possibly and occasionally an identical twin). Thus, this presents a possible basis in principle to describe the operation of eidetic memory or perfect recollection of past mainly visual observations for one individual, assuming the composition of an individual brain remans pretty much constant in its overall construction over time.

For many years this scenario has been for me the fundamental mechanism involved in transcendental meditation, or in a  somewhat different aspect, that of trance where individuals under hypnosis are  capable of abilities of which they would not be capable when normally conscious. Watching such a stage show in Dublin in 1966  was perhaps the initial event that initiated my later  fascination with the mind’s operation: how was it that there was no agreed explanation then for this trance state, and for which there is still none 56 years later?

But if the brain’s synapses can be set into random motion in a moment of cognitive blankness, which I subjectively seem to experience occasionally, then the rationale above might explain in principle  both eidetic memory and/or regression. However, I also conjecture that if a physically stored engram, encoded with a single structure of a particularly striking event from an earlier moment in time, is evoked by resonance to initiate a short burst of  an earlier sequence of events, or circumstances formerly experienced, then these can be duplicated in the present as working memory, rather than a much longer eidetic burst. Working memory would then have to be a series of such original longer sequences curtailed own into fractions of a second in the event of a tiger’s approach. This would be so that in practical terms the individual might then decide upon a suitable response that would prompt an appropriate  physical reaction. However, this is all explained in greater detail in my paper titled Consciousness, together with other phenomena very similar to those described by Rupert Sheldrake’s first book  on morphic resonance (1981). Had he not written this pivotal treatise I would probably have thrown in the towel three decades ago on my attempts to understand and explain the mechanism behind memory.

Furthermore, the Vedic explanation of emptying the mind to gain enlightenment, bliss or whatever, and which I have always admired but never yet had the patience to practice, relies on an ability to empty the mind, think of nothing, to presumably set in motion the most relevant sequences of events experienced in the past, via telescoped working memory.  But this is exactly equivalent to my argument of the synapses having to fire as close to perfect randomness as possible in order to achieve perfect recall. The latter ability is also linked with what I describe as intuitive ability, which is a similar entanglement process into which I shall not delve here, but which also relies on the theories of holographic images and the research of Karl Pribram with whom I exchanged some correspondence in the late 1970s and later met.

Finally, as a tendentious  afterthought, in October 2022 I drafted a per titled ‘Quantum Entanglement and Contextuality’ which might be attached  (2 pages) and which was my initial attempt to explain how information might actually be transferred rather than only correlated via a quantum process. The latter has been for many, and certainly for me, the overriding problem incorporating entanglement procedures into an explanation for memory or thought. From the total lack of response to this paper I posted once recently on the internet discussion group (The scientific basis of consciousness), plainly the experts interested in such subjects were not impressed assuming they bothered to read it at all in the first  place. I was not that surprised but until somebody else puts up an alternative proposal for the transfer of information via  entanglement, then it is the best I can manage for the time being. I have to say, I consider it almost too simple in principle to make an impression on the cognoscenti, who have this tendency to wallow in unintelligible detail. This seems especially so if the problem itself seems initially almost impossibly baffling due to its apparent awful complexity, never mind it might possibly be resolved by anything initially seeming rather straightforward: heaven forfend.


Nick Greaves


Bohm, D.      —  Wholeness and the Implicate Order,   Routledge Kegan Paul,   1980

Friston, K.J.  — The mathematics of mind-time, Aeon  May  2017

Greaves, N.G.— Duplication theory,  ResearchGate 2016

Greaves, N.G.— Similarities between quantum entanglement & Duplication theory, ResearchGate 2016

Friston, K.J.  — The mathematics of mind-time, Aeon  May  2017

Greaves, N.G.—  The Significance of singularity states,  ResearchGate,   2017

Greaves, N.G.—  Transfer of information across space & time to explain memory via quantum entanglement,   Research Gate 2018

Greaves, N.G.—  Intuition,    ResearchGate   2020

Koestler, A     — The Sleep Walkers,   Hutchinson  1959

Koestler, A     — The Act of Creation,  Hutchinson  1965

Megedish, E. et al — Entanglement swapping between photons that have never co-existed,   Physics  Letters review 110 May  2013

Pribram, K.M. — Languages of the Brain, Globus et all: eds. P 56 Plenum, New York  1971

Prigogine, I.     —Self organisation in non-equilibrium states. Wiley, 1977

Sheldrake R.    — A New Science of Life.  Blond & Briggs, 1981

Schrodinger E. — What is life?  Cam. Univ. Press 1944

Zeilinger, A.    — Dance of the photons, Farrar Strauss Giroux, 2010

Diagram 1

Very few gas molecules in irregular motion at varying velocities and distances apart. No degree of perceivable order and pattern at all.

Diagram 2

Greater number of gas molecules in same volume. Greater degree of uniformity of distance apart and velocities of molecules.

Diagram 3

Great numbers of molecules in same volume, all in motion, which will be at similar velocities and the spacing between molecules will be very similar. As the pressure of the gas increases, so will the complexity of the contained structure of its component molecules increase, as will their order and pattern.