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Topic: Psi evidence
Message: Posted by: Smoking Camel (May 27, 2013 06:35AM)
Some recent studies plus the well known ones can be found here:

http://deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm

Enjoy!



.......Exasperated, I asked, “What will it take, short of having a near-death experience yourself, to convince you that it’s real?” Very nonchalantly, without batting an eye, the response was: “Even if I were to have a near-death experience myself, I would conclude that I was hallucinating, rather than believe that my mind can exist independently of my brain.”
Message: Posted by: Tom Jorgenson (May 27, 2013 12:28PM)
That person will hold that opinion until they have their own NDE.

No one who has ever actually had an Out of the Body Experience will say they think it was an hallucination.

It seems that PSI experience falls into two separate categories: Experiential or Observational. Neither is proof, but experiential is often proof enough.

Tnanks for listing that valuable resource...well worth bookmarking.
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (May 27, 2013 12:52PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 13:28, Tom Jorgenson wrote:
No one who has ever actually had an Out of the Body Experience will say they think it was an hallucination.
[/quote]
Couldn't that be partly because some people believe hallucinations only happen to crazy people?
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (May 27, 2013 01:11PM)
I had Out of body experiences (OBEs) for years when I was younger. Starting from aged 8 they were sporadic, then in my mid to late teens they became more and more frequent until I was having cycles where at some points I would have them every night, always involuntarily.

Finally I found out what they were and realised that I was not the only one in the world having them (I'd asked all my friends). I found out that there were different methods to bring the OBE on and soon learned to bring them on at will.

It got more difficult, the older I got and I rarely do it these days and if I am tempted, I find it harder to stay out for any length of time. Other OBE sufferers/partakers out there will know what I mean when I say that one lapse from the deep place that your brain goes to and you snap back to your body instantly.

What I mean to say is, it's the most amazingly real experience, beleive me I know, but I think it's a result of what our incredible brains are capable of. It's literally a dream world that you are awake in and if experienced, can control. I couldn't call it an hallucination because the whole experience is as real as real life. The same effect can be brought on by a sensory deprivation chamber for those that find it difficult to do.


It's always interesting for me to read the differing view on OBEs so good post :)

Best
Sean
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (May 27, 2013 01:16PM)
I hope I will enter a realm of love.

I don't know.

So I hope.
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (May 27, 2013 02:05PM)
How does one distinguish between an actual experience and an incredibly vivid hallucination?
Message: Posted by: dmkraig (May 27, 2013 02:14PM)
MG: everything comes through our senses and is interpreted by our minds. How, then, do you define the difference between an "actual experience" and an "incredibly vivid hallucination?"

I think there is ample evidence to show that two people could observe the same thing and interpret it differently. Our minds delete, distort, and generalize the raw data that is input to them through their senses.

I believe it's going to come down to what Dunninger (maybe someone said it earlier) used to say: For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't believe, no explanation is possible.
Message: Posted by: Smoking Camel (May 27, 2013 02:28PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 15:14, dmkraig wrote:
MG: everything comes through our senses and is interpreted by our minds. How, then, do you define the difference between an "actual experience" and an "incredibly vivid hallucination?"

[/quote]

Maybe they are one and the same. Reality is not actually made up of matter, it's actually made up of thought form that people just project onto.
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (May 27, 2013 02:33PM)
Maybe I could have been clearer by saying "actual [i]event[/i]" instead of "experience."

How does one distinguish between something that has actually occurred in objective reality from an incredibly vivid hallucination?

As for the Dunninger quote, if no explanation is possible then wouldn't the search for "psi evidence" be an exercise in futility?
Message: Posted by: Smoking Camel (May 27, 2013 02:57PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 15:33, Mind Guerrilla wrote:


How does one distinguish between something that has actually occurred in objective reality from an incredibly vivid hallucination?

[/quote]

Assuming there's a difference....
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (May 27, 2013 03:47PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 15:33, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
Maybe I could have been clearer by saying "actual [i]event[/i]" instead of "experience."

How does one distinguish between something that has actually occurred in objective reality from an incredibly vivid hallucination?

As for the Dunninger quote, if no explanation is possible then wouldn't the search for "psi evidence" be an exercise in futility?
[/quote]

You always know you are having an OBE when in the middle of one. You are completely self aware (unlike in dreams) and you know that you are separate from your body and where your body is.

And like vegas, 'what happens on the astral plane, stays on the astral plane' and whatever you do, it affects nothing in the real world. I've seen believers account for this by saying the astral world is a copy of our world but not the same place. Personally I think it's an amazing product of brain function. That's why it possible for veteran out of body experiencers to change aspects of the environment just by thinking about it.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 27, 2013 04:18PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 15:33, Mind Guerrilla wrote:


As for the Dunninger quote, if no explanation is possible then wouldn't the search for "psi evidence" be an exercise in futility?
[/quote]

Not at all. You left out half of the quote (which, by the way, predates Dunninger and was used earlier in the novel and film, "The Song of Bernadette").

It's only an exercise in futility for those who have already made up their minds NOT to believe regardless of the proof presented.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (May 27, 2013 04:23PM)
"It's only an exercise in futility for those who have already made up their minds NOT to believe regardless of the proof presented.

For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't believe, no explanation is possible."
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 27, 2013 04:35PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 13:28, Tom Jorgenson wrote:
That person will hold that opinion until they have their own NDE.

No one who has ever actually had an Out of the Body Experience will say they think it was an hallucination.

It seems that PSI experience falls into two separate categories: Experiential or Observational. Neither is proof, but experiential is often proof enough.

Tnanks for listing that valuable resource...well worth bookmarking.
[/quote]Except that your claim is demonstrably untrue. Like Sean Giles, I have had more than one OBE. I have also had many experiences that would convince at least some people that the paranormal is real. And yet I do not find those experiences convincing.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (May 27, 2013 04:42PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 15:33, Mind Guerrilla wrote:

How does one distinguish between something that has actually occurred in objective reality from an incredibly vivid hallucination?

[/quote]

Through rigorous testing. Something the gullible find objectionable for some reason. They have a million reasons why testing extraordinary claims is useless, impossible and just plain wrong, some of which will now appear below.
Message: Posted by: Smoking Camel (May 27, 2013 04:53PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 17:42, Randwill wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 15:33, Mind Guerrilla wrote:

How does one distinguish between something that has actually occurred in objective reality from an incredibly vivid hallucination?

[/quote]

Through rigorous testing. Something the gullible find objectionable for some reason. They have a million reasons why testing extraordinary claims is useless, impossible and just plain wrong, some of which will now appear below.
[/quote]

Eh? I don't think so. The list of "rigorous tests" for the "extraordinary claims" appears above. Mr Radin has thoughtfully compiled the list for those people that don't think that these things hold up under scrutiny and would therefore never bother to conduct their own tests.
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (May 27, 2013 05:07PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 16:47, Sean Giles wrote:
You always know you are having an OBE when in the middle of one. You are completely self aware
[/quote]
I was completely self aware when I experienced sleep paralysis. However, until I found out that such a thing as sleep paralysis exists, whenever it occurred I thought maybe I was being possessed by a demon (I should mention I went to Catholic school for 12 years. :) ).
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 27, 2013 05:11PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 17:53, Smoking Camel wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 17:42, Randwill wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 15:33, Mind Guerrilla wrote:

How does one distinguish between something that has actually occurred in objective reality from an incredibly vivid hallucination?

[/quote]

Through rigorous testing. Something the gullible find objectionable for some reason. They have a million reasons why testing extraordinary claims is useless, impossible and just plain wrong, some of which will now appear below.
[/quote]

Eh? I don't think so. The list of "rigorous tests" for the "extraordinary claims" appears above. Mr Radin has thoughtfully compiled the list for those people that don't think that these things hold up under scrutiny and would therefore never bother to conduct their own tests.
[/quote]Not really. Radin is, in my opinion, one of the few big name parapsychologists who attempts to be honest but who fails in the application. The fact that the linked list includes both the Targ & Puthoff paper along with Ben's work reveals that his usual lax standards are in play here. The key to controlled testing that should change someone's mind is not that someone wrote a paper (many of Radin's references are meta-analyses and not studies) but that purportedly successful experiments are replicated and that the replications, along with the original, are properly documented and stand up to scrutiny. Peer review is, of course, the best way to ensure this.

What Radin has done is simply search the literature of questionable, unreplicated studies, and picked a bunch he likes. My quick review indicated that the only ones with some modicum of potential support for the paranormal are the Wiseman Schlitz (sp?) papers on the Sheep Goat effect.
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 27, 2013 05:14PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 18:07, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 16:47, Sean Giles wrote:
You always know you are having an OBE when in the middle of one. You are completely self aware
[/quote]
I was completely self aware when I experienced sleep paralysis. However, until I found out that such a thing as sleep paralysis exists, whenever it occurred I thought maybe I was being possessed by a demon (I should mention I went to Catholic school for 12 years. :) ).
[/quote]Very similar to some of my experiences.
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (May 27, 2013 05:23PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 18:14, Garrette wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 18:07, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 16:47, Sean Giles wrote:
You always know you are having an OBE when in the middle of one. You are completely self aware
[/quote]
I was completely self aware when I experienced sleep paralysis. However, until I found out that such a thing as sleep paralysis exists, whenever it occurred I thought maybe I was being possessed by a demon (I should mention I went to Catholic school for 12 years. :) ).
[/quote]Very similar to some of my experiences.
[/quote]
THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE
(Whether we like it or not) :D
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (May 28, 2013 12:55AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 18:23, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 18:14, Garrette wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 18:07, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 16:47, Sean Giles wrote:
You always know you are having an OBE when in the middle of one. You are completely self aware
[/quote]
I was completely self aware when I experienced sleep paralysis. However, until I found out that such a thing as sleep paralysis exists, whenever it occurred I thought maybe I was being possessed by a demon (I should mention I went to Catholic school for 12 years. :) ).
[/quote]Very similar to some of my experiences.
[/quote]
THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE
(Whether we like it or not) :D
[/quote]

Sleep paralysis can be very scary if you don't know what it is, and even then it's still very freaky. If you are experiencing sleep paralysis you are one step away from an OBE.

Did you experience vibrations and loud noise during sleep paralysis?
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (May 28, 2013 01:00AM)
Never successful with an OBE (and I have tried!) I frequently enjoy lucid dreaming and use “Reverie” as a regular part of idea creation. Maybe Sean can give me some pointers. :)

While not an existentialist at heart (some beliefs can be chosen or by consent) I do recognize that the mind relies on its own interpretation of whatever stimulus it receives to determine what’s real as opposed to what’s fantasy. Even joint or common experience does not necessarily verify “reality”.

I have experienced a shared “vision”, where there was no doubt that it was subjective only, but there was also no doubt that we saw the same things. As we began to compare notes, my “investigator” mindset kicked in and we began writing down what we remembered rather than speaking it aloud (thereby mitigating suggestion). Twenty one matches out of 23 items listed are fairly a strong indicator.

“Rigorous testing” notwithstanding, this particular event has only happened once, it was 16 years ago, and I have no idea how to replicate it. Is Randy going to sleep with me until such time as it recurs? The “rigorous testing” crowd is just as blind to reality as anyone else. Look at the laboratory definition of “unscientific”; it means, in simplest terms, nobody can think of a way to falsify it.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (May 28, 2013 02:28AM)
Sleep paralysis.

The go to for religious folks here in my country when proving demons exist.

It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (May 28, 2013 02:35AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 02:00, DWRackley wrote:
Never successful with an OBE (and I have tried!) I frequently enjoy lucid dreaming and use “Reverie” as a regular part of idea creation. Maybe Sean can give me some pointers. :)

[/quote]

If you've experienced lucid dreaming in it's literal sense (i.e. you've woken in the dream world and realised your body is asleep and you are in a dream) then you've pretty much experienced and OBE.

I've never got into an OBE through lucid dreaming myself but I understand that it's indistinguishable from OBE/Astral projection/NDE. They are all the same phenomena, it's just the catalyst that is different.

There are many different techniques to bring on an OBE and they all make use of deep relaxation. You basically have to get yourself to that point between waking and sleep, where you are about to fall over into sleep. It's a deeply relaxed state where you are no longer aware of your body through the normal senses (don't move a muscle at this point or you will become attached to that part of your body again and the spell will be broken)

At that very moment, instead of falling into sleep, you can suddenly 'see' the room you are in (even though your eyes are still closed) and it's a small step to push yourself up and out of your body. From there you can go anywhere you want. With practice you can visit anywhere in the world.

It's an incredible experience and well worth the effort. And it gets easier, the more you do it too.
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (May 28, 2013 02:40AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 03:28, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
Sleep paralysis.

The go to for religious folks here in my country when proving demons exist.

It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.
[/quote]

Along with sleep paralysis can come the feeling that you are not alone in the room and there is an evil presence with you. I've never had that but many report it. I can see how someone with a religous predisposition could attribute it to demons.

Google 'old hag syndrome' it's creepy. And sleep paralysis can be frightening, especially if you experience the vibrations and loud noise as I used to.
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 28, 2013 03:11AM)
So, how can a cat know when someone is about to die and humans don't? How can my Service Dog, Limora, know when someone is ill -- lie with them for an hour, go outside an throw up and the person get better.

Methinks maybe the Randi types are looking in the wrong place for answers -- like looking in the tool shed for a can of beans.

I hope to have many OBE only because this body is failing me -- so, if I want to complete all of my desired tasks I had better find a different way. When I hire help and they do the task "as if I were there" is this not also an OBE?

Actually, if an employee's mind were actually on his work today I would considered it a return of their mind to their body. Ask a teenager why they need a device in their ear in order to do homework. You will discover they have to be "out of body" in order to function -- the "here and now" not being a place of their acquaintance.
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (May 28, 2013 04:38AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 04:11, funsway wrote:
When I hire help and they do the task "as if I were there" is this not also an OBE?

Actually, if an employee's mind were actually on his work today I would considered it a return of their mind to their body. Ask a teenager why they need a device in their ear in order to do homework. You will discover they have to be "out of body" in order to function -- the "here and now" not being a place of their acquaintance.
[/quote]

Hi Funsway,

The OBE that I'm discussing here is a specific kind of experience and has nothing to do with the two examples mentioned above. Your real body doesn't really do anything except stay in a deeply relaxed state and is not capable of doing homework or anything while you are 'out'.

As for hiring help and they do the task "as if I were there", I don't see any parallels with an OBE. Where does the experience of leaving your physical body come into it?

best,
Sean
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 28, 2013 05:33AM)
Thought you would know I was joking ;-)

except ...

our perceptions of what occurs in any state of physical being must be related to experiences in other states. I would think that any condition in which the seemingly automatic functions of the physical body are disconnected with conscious thought is relevant. For example, there is evidence that some people think on multiple levels simultaneously -- and can sit down and write a symphony or poem or computer program without any conscious process of analysis or directed effort. Part of their mind was "out of body" while performing other functions.

What if what is considered to be an OBE as described by your example is a "normal state" for the individual and very much of "being in bodY' for them? What if being trapped in your physical body is the exception -- a common disease? I guess I just see little value in exploring OBE in a vacuum -- much more intrigued by how creativity in many forms seems disconnected with body. If you can perform independent mental activities without having to go into a trance, wouldn't that be of greater value?

I experience "working out of body" every day. Why would I wish to stay in a "deeply relaxed state?" I have far too much to do.
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 28, 2013 05:39AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 01:55, Sean Giles wrote:

Sleep paralysis can be very scary if you don't know what it is, and even then it's still very freaky. If you are experiencing sleep paralysis you are one step away from an OBE.

Did you experience vibrations and loud noise during sleep paralysis?
[/quote]My sleep paralysis experiences (hypnagogia and hypnopompia are more accurate terms) do not constitute my OBEs, though you are correct that they approach it. Mostly I did not experience vibrations or loud noise. When I had them as a teenager and young adult (when I still believed in the paranormal), they were identical, as far as I can recall: lying on one side, unable to move, unable even to open my eyes, and barely able to breathe. Absolute terror because of the certainty that I was awake and that some force held me down as some thing watched from behind me. I knew two opposing things simultaneously -- that if I turned to look at the thing then it would consume me and that if I failed to turn to look at the thing it would consume me. I was physically unable to turn, though, until at some point I would fall back to full sleep or wake up enough to where I could open my eyes, at which point the entire hallucination vanished, though the terror lingered.

As an adult, I have such experiences only rarely, though I still have them. It was as an adult during such an episode when I felt the thing actually set its weight on the bed behind me. I felt the mattress give to that side and heard the creak of the springs. By this time, though, I had long learned that I could tell myself this was sleep paralysis; this nearly always woke me from the dream. That is what happened on that occasion.
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 28, 2013 05:50AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 04:11, funsway wrote:
So, how can a cat know when someone is about to die and humans don't? [/quote]The question in this case is not "how" but "if." It is certain that many people are convinced that cats do this, and it is nearly certain that cats exhibit behavior which -- in the lack of full information -- leads reasonable people to reach the conclusion you have reached. The few rigorous attempts of which I am aware (actually, I can only recall one off the top of my head, and I only recall its content, not its name) demonstrate that cats only give the appearance of having Death Knowledge but do not possess the actuality of it.

But even were it true that cats have this ability, one would need to exclude mundane explanations before jumping to paranormal ones. There is nothing mysterious about cats having refined physical senses that humans do not possess which allow them to sense certain physical changes. Dogs are known to do this, particularly in regard to some cancers. It is a matter of smell, not otherworldliness.


[quote]How can my Service Dog, Limora, know when someone is ill[/quote]Smell. This isn't a mystery.


[quote] -- lie with them for an hour, go outside an throw up and the person get better.[/quote]Please do not take it personally when I tell you that I doubt the accuracy of this. I do NOT doubt your sincerity, but I do doubt the facts as you have come to recall them.


[quote]Methinks maybe the Randi types are looking in the wrong place for answers[/quote]This puzzles me. Separate from the fact that not even Randi considers his challenge as scientific proof or disproof of any general existence of the paranormal, where else are we to look if not to the claims themselves?

Claimant: X is true.

Skeptic: Wonderful. Please demonstrate X in such a way that precludes non-paranormal explanations.

Claimant: You're looking in the wrong place.


[quote] -- like looking in the tool shed for a can of beans.[/quote]See above.


[quote]I hope to have many OBE only because this body is failing me -- so, if I want to complete all of my desired tasks I had better find a different way.[/quote]I hope you achieve your wish about OBEs. Regardless of explanation, the experience is intriguing.


[quote]When I hire help and they do the task "as if I were there" is this not also an OBE?[/quote]I'm afraid I don't follow. Can you clarify?
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 28, 2013 05:56AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 06:33, funsway wrote:
Thought you would know I was joking ;-)

except ...

our perceptions of what occurs in any state of physical being must be related to experiences in other states. I would think that any condition in which the seemingly automatic functions of the physical body are disconnected with conscious thought is relevant. For example, there is evidence that some people think on multiple levels simultaneously -- and can sit down and write a symphony or poem or computer program without any conscious process of analysis or directed effort. Part of their mind was "out of body" while performing other functions.

What if what is considered to be an OBE as described by your example is a "normal state" for the individual and very much of "being in bodY' for them? What if being trapped in your physical body is the exception -- a common disease? I guess I just see little value in exploring OBE in a vacuum -- much more intrigued by how creativity in many forms seems disconnected with body. If you can perform independent mental activities without having to go into a trance, wouldn't that be of greater value?

I experience "working out of body" every day. Why would I wish to stay in a "deeply relaxed state?" I have far too much to do.
[/quote]These are good points. I think that there is more than evidence that such people exist; I think there is proof. I am not sure if it is true, but there is a common claim that U.S. President Garfield could write simultaneously with both hands in different languages. There is not, however, a simultaneous claim of paranormality or "out-of-body" explanation. It is merely an impressive feat. I find that marvelous -- to know that with nothing but what is physically here, humans can accomplish tremendous and amazing things on both grand and local scales.

We should be careful about how we use "OBE." I use it here not as a literal term in which some aspect of me literally separated from my physical existence and observed or accomplished things that I cannot. I use it more as short hand to describe the feeling of the experience. I think your description of events in which automatic functions are disconnected from conscious thought falls in that category.
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (May 28, 2013 06:03AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 06:39, Garrette wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 01:55, Sean Giles wrote:

Sleep paralysis can be very scary if you don't know what it is, and even then it's still very freaky. If you are experiencing sleep paralysis you are one step away from an OBE.

Did you experience vibrations and loud noise during sleep paralysis?
[/quote]My sleep paralysis experiences (hypnagogia and hypnopompia are more accurate terms) do not constitute my OBEs, though you are correct that they approach it. Mostly I did not experience vibrations or loud noise. When I had them as a teenager and young adult (when I still believed in the paranormal), they were identical, as far as I can recall: lying on one side, unable to move, unable even to open my eyes, and barely able to breathe. Absolute terror because of the certainty that I was awake and that some force held me down as some thing watched from behind me. I knew two opposing things simultaneously -- that if I turned to look at the thing then it would consume me and that if I failed to turn to look at the thing it would consume me. I was physically unable to turn, though, until at some point I would fall back to full sleep or wake up enough to where I could open my eyes, at which point the entire hallucination vanished, though the terror lingered.

As an adult, I have such experiences only rarely, though I still have them. It was as an adult during such an episode when I felt the thing actually set its weight on the bed behind me. I felt the mattress give to that side and heard the creak of the springs. By this time, though, I had long learned that I could tell myself this was sleep paralysis; this nearly always woke me from the dream. That is what happened on that occasion.
[/quote]

That sounds terrifying. Really terrifying! Did it ever happen as you fell into sleep or was it always on waking from a dream?

Mine was always the former. I would get to the very point of falling asleep and at that moment of falling I would go into sleep paralysis instead. Unable to move a muscle, a vibration would start that began in my hands and feet and got more and more uncomfortable as it spread up my arms and legs. This was accompanied by a rushing noise in my head that got louder and louder as I felt myself slowly rising up off the bed. After maybe a minute, it was very uncomfortable and I would be desperately trying to break the hold that it had on me, frightened of what would happen if it reached the creshendo it seemed to be rushing towards. I could eventually break it by shouting (in my head) Thankfully I never had the feeling of an evil presence in the room, as you did. It was bad enough without that!
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (May 28, 2013 06:05AM)
Many times I’ve “become aware” that I’m dreaming, and also that I can control what happens in that dream. (The second part is a little tricky, because you can accidentally awaken yourself.) I’ve never equated that to OBE or Astral Projection, which I take to mean one’s consciousness traveling through the REAL world (or a model thereof). Gotta think about that one.

When I was a child, I’d see books that I could read, but when I moved my eyes, I’d awaken. Later I learned to “gradually” scan, and could actually gather information from them (sometimes useful, often not). Always tried to put that down to a subconscious release, but some things came up that I couldn’t account for how that knowledge would have been obtained (whether consciously or otherwise).

One more item, just thought of. I was estranged from my family for a period of about 10 years, hard feelings and no communication whatsoever. During that time, my mother underwent surgery for cancer. I did NOT know exactly what was wrong, only that SOMETHING was urgent, and I spent part of a day calling hospitals in the area (something I’ve NEVER done, before or since) asking if they had admitted anyone by the name of “Rackley” (in those days they could tell you). I found her just as she was coming out of surgery. How would Randy replicate that?

But then, the “rigorous testing” group doesn’t have to deal with it at all; it’s only anecdotal. A nice Out.
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (May 28, 2013 06:30AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 06:33, funsway wrote:
Thought you would know I was joking ;-)

except ...

our perceptions of what occurs in any state of physical being must be related to experiences in other states. I would think that any condition in which the seemingly automatic functions of the physical body are disconnected with conscious thought is relevant. For example, there is evidence that some people think on multiple levels simultaneously -- and can sit down and write a symphony or poem or computer program without any conscious process of analysis or directed effort. Part of their mind was "out of body" while performing other functions.

What if what is considered to be an OBE as described by your example is a "normal state" for the individual and very much of "being in bodY' for them? What if being trapped in your physical body is the exception -- a common disease? I guess I just see little value in exploring OBE in a vacuum -- much more intrigued by how creativity in many forms seems disconnected with body. If you can perform independent mental activities without having to go into a trance, wouldn't that be of greater value?

I experience "working out of body" every day. Why would I wish to stay in a "deeply relaxed state?" I have far too much to do.
[/quote]

I'm happy for you to open the discussion up. I beleive you are refering to the body working on automatic while the mind is in another place. Both controlled by the brain but you are only consiously aware of the latter. An example is driving. Your body is able to carry out complicated tasks and negotiate difficult roads and roundabouts without any concious thought. The mind is then free to wander where it wants.

It would be great to be able to leave your body while it carries on doing whatever it is doing but as far as I'm aware that's not been done. When having an OBE, your real senses are practically shut down and your body is receiving no feedback. It has to be that way to acheive seperation in the first place (if you are bringing the OBE on yourself, as opposed to it being involuntary)

As for "Why would I wish to stay in a "deeply relaxed state?" I have far too much to do.", I can certainly appreciate that. I'm also too busy these days :)

And like Garette, although I might use terms like OBE, astral projection and astral world, these are only terms to help explain the experience and I'm unconvinced that we actually go anywhere real.
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (May 28, 2013 06:36AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 07:05, DWRackley wrote:
Many times I’ve “become aware” that I’m dreaming, and also that I can control what happens in that dream. (The second part is a little tricky, because you can accidentally awaken yourself.) I’ve never equated that to OBE or Astral Projection, which I take to mean one’s consciousness traveling through the REAL world (or a model thereof). Gotta think about that one.

When I was a child, I’d see books that I could read, but when I moved my eyes, I’d awaken. Later I learned to “gradually” scan, and could actually gather information from them (sometimes useful, often not). Always tried to put that down to a subconscious release, but some things came up that I couldn’t account for how that knowledge would have been obtained (whether consciously or otherwise).


[/quote]

If you are reading a book and become aware that your eyes are closed and you can still see the pages, this is very similar to those first few seconds as you leave your body. You should at that point be able to push yourself up and out. I have had many spontaneous OBE's from sitting and reading.

And your Lucid dream sounds exactly like an OBE :)
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 28, 2013 06:53AM)
It would be great to be able to leave your body while it carries on doing whatever it is doing but as far as I'm aware that's not been done."

I also don't buy into "going anywhere real" except that most people live in a fictional world all the time -- so where would they go?

My experience is that this is done "all of the time" -- but not considered a psi experience -- just norma; for those who do it.

My older brother, for example, always thinks on several other planes at once -- completely separate functions from the task at hand. This is not simple "being on automatic" as he is completely attentive to the work he is doing on a conscious level -- yet is also doing math problems, programming or writing music simultaneously. The are other people who can write a different story with each hand simultaneously. This is not the popular "multi-tasking" but the ability to split the brain into separate functioning units. The point is that what some call OBE may be something else -- it is only the "near death experience" that causes them to admit it.

Recall that Shaman of forced themselves into artificial states for a spiritual view, as did Medieval Mystics though starvation and pain. But the latter wished to learn to "ignore their body" rather than transcend it.

Today the concept of "Self-actaulization" seems dead since folks never get "away from body" -- forever tapped as consumers of imagined physical needs. Depriving them of artificial stimuli like TV and CellPhones will force an OBE as surly as drugs or meditation.

The issue may be that if a Mentalist wishes to use something like OBE as a basis for a demonstration/effect they must consider what is the popular view of such things as opposed to proponents of a specific view. Even if you could "go some where" -- why not explore your inner self?
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 28, 2013 06:56AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 07:03, Sean Giles wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 06:39, Garrette wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 01:55, Sean Giles wrote:

Sleep paralysis can be very scary if you don't know what it is, and even then it's still very freaky. If you are experiencing sleep paralysis you are one step away from an OBE.

Did you experience vibrations and loud noise during sleep paralysis?
[/quote]My sleep paralysis experiences (hypnagogia and hypnopompia are more accurate terms) do not constitute my OBEs, though you are correct that they approach it. Mostly I did not experience vibrations or loud noise. When I had them as a teenager and young adult (when I still believed in the paranormal), they were identical, as far as I can recall: lying on one side, unable to move, unable even to open my eyes, and barely able to breathe. Absolute terror because of the certainty that I was awake and that some force held me down as some thing watched from behind me. I knew two opposing things simultaneously -- that if I turned to look at the thing then it would consume me and that if I failed to turn to look at the thing it would consume me. I was physically unable to turn, though, until at some point I would fall back to full sleep or wake up enough to where I could open my eyes, at which point the entire hallucination vanished, though the terror lingered.

As an adult, I have such experiences only rarely, though I still have them. It was as an adult during such an episode when I felt the thing actually set its weight on the bed behind me. I felt the mattress give to that side and heard the creak of the springs. By this time, though, I had long learned that I could tell myself this was sleep paralysis; this nearly always woke me from the dream. That is what happened on that occasion.
[/quote]

That sounds terrifying. Really terrifying! Did it ever happen as you fell into sleep or was it always on waking from a dream?

Mine was always the former. I would get to the very point of falling asleep and at that moment of falling I would go into sleep paralysis instead. Unable to move a muscle, a vibration would start that began in my hands and feet and got more and more uncomfortable as it spread up my arms and legs. This was accompanied by a rushing noise in my head that got louder and louder as I felt myself slowly rising up off the bed. After maybe a minute, it was very uncomfortable and I would be desperately trying to break the hold that it had on me, frightened of what would happen if it reached the creshendo it seemed to be rushing towards. I could eventually break it by shouting (in my head) Thankfully I never had the feeling of an evil presence in the room, as you did. It was bad enough without that!
[/quote]I only remember them happening in the middle of the night, not upon falling asleep. I do not recall them as happening after dreaming though I cannot say that they did not.
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 28, 2013 07:04AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 07:05, DWRackley wrote:
Many times I’ve “become aware” that I’m dreaming, and also that I can control what happens in that dream. (The second part is a little tricky, because you can accidentally awaken yourself.) I’ve never equated that to OBE or Astral Projection, which I take to mean one’s consciousness traveling through the REAL world (or a model thereof). Gotta think about that one.

When I was a child, I’d see books that I could read, but when I moved my eyes, I’d awaken. Later I learned to “gradually” scan, and could actually gather information from them (sometimes useful, often not). Always tried to put that down to a subconscious release, but some things came up that I couldn’t account for how that knowledge would have been obtained (whether consciously or otherwise).

One more item, just thought of. I was estranged from my family for a period of about 10 years, hard feelings and no communication whatsoever. During that time, my mother underwent surgery for cancer. I did NOT know exactly what was wrong, only that SOMETHING was urgent, and I spent part of a day calling hospitals in the area (something I’ve NEVER done, before or since) asking if they had admitted anyone by the name of “Rackley” (in those days they could tell you). I found her just as she was coming out of surgery. How would Randy replicate that?

But then, the “rigorous testing” group doesn’t have to deal with it at all; it’s only anecdotal. A nice Out.
[/quote]I used to frequently be aware of a dream as a dream, though it happens less lately, and I have never been able to control it (lucid dreaming). One of my sons, however, has lucid dreams frequently and tries to make himself have them. He has some success, but he isn't sure if it's a greater success rate than if he weren't trying to make it happen.

Regarding the experience with your mother's surgery, I don't have an answer, though I can think of at least a couple possible explanations that do not require paranormality. Whether they are correct or not, I don't know, but without really investigating the situation, neither do you. And after the passage of time and without contemporary record-keeping, it likely falls into the category of "Un-investigatable and therefore unknowable." Possibly paranormal? Sure. Likely paranormal? I'm not convinced.

Regarding Randi, I have two comments, and they may seem flippant, but I don't intend them that way; they are key both to such investigations and to an understanding of what the Million Dollar Challenge both is and isn't:

1. It isn't for Randi to replicate anything; it is for the claimant to replicate it

2. If the claimant does not claim an ability to replicate, then it is not suitable for the Million Dollar Challenge. That doesn't make it proven or unproven; it simply makes it not suitable for that challenge.

And the idea of non-replicability as an out for skeptics is mistaken. If anything, it is an out for those who support paranormal explanations:

"I experienced X and can't explain it, but you can't test it so you can't prove another explanation was possible therefore it's true."

The skeptic stance on the other hand is rather like: "You experienced X which you believe to have a paranormal explanation, yet we cannot replicate it and therefore cannot rule out any explanation. That means we simply don't know what happened."
Message: Posted by: George Hunter (May 28, 2013 08:20AM)
It has been suggested in this thread that the bibliography disproportionally features studies that support paranormal possibility, but the several "debunkers" I have read cite only opposition studies, and they barely acknowledge the existence of studies with a different outcome; with a sweep of the hand, such outcomes are "impossible."

The category of "paranormal" may, unwisely, lump a range of experiences together that may not be intrinsically connected, in the sense that if you "prove" (or disprove) one, you have proven (or disproven) everything in the alleged category. So, for example, if some out-of-body experiences are valid, that does not mean that alien abductions necessarily occur; or if telepathy is valid, that does not validate psychokinesis.

George
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (May 28, 2013 08:27AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 07:53, funsway wrote:

...My experience is that this is done "all of the time" -- but not considered a psi experience -- just norma; for those who do it.

My older brother, for example, always thinks on several other planes at once -- completely separate functions from the task at hand. This is not simple "being on automatic" as he is completely attentive to the work he is doing on a conscious level -- yet is also doing math problems, programming or writing music simultaneously. The are other people who can write a different story with each hand simultaneously. This is not the popular "multi-tasking" but the ability to split the brain into separate functioning units. The point is that what some call OBE may be something else -- it is only the "near death experience" that causes them to admit it...

[/quote]

I like what you are saying but the term 'OBE' refers to a specific experience which is very different from what you are describing. It's not a state of mind where you can do anything you want, it's a very particular kind of experience and reality where you believe you have physically left your body (because that is what all your senses tell you is happening). Broadening the term to encompass doing two tasks at once or even working on several levels at once adds confusion to what an OBE actually is (it's difficult enough to articulate the experience to someone who is yet to have one) :)

Interesting view point all the same :)
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 28, 2013 09:01AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 09:20, George Hunter wrote:
It has been suggested in this thread that the bibliography disproportionally features studies that support paranormal possibility, but the several "debunkers" I have read cite only opposition studies, and they barely acknowledge the existence of studies with a different outcome; with a sweep of the hand, such outcomes are "impossible."[/quote]I know that such "debunkers" exist, just as there are "believers" who exist who refuse to acknowledge mundane explanations for experiences they unreasonably insist can only be paranormal. And let's be clear: I myself am biased just as I suspect everyone in this thread is biased. There is nothing wrong with being biased; it is virtually impossible for humans not to be biased. The issue is whether we can control for our biases when investigating matters that will lead us to draw conclusions. None of us can do that perfectly, but we can all do it if we take the time to learn about hidden biases and common fallacies.

I used to be biased in favor of paranormal beliefs, very strongly so. It was partly my attempts to prove the reality of the paranormal that caused me to recognize my own failings and to ultimately discard those beliefs, despite having multiple experiences I used to believer were undoubtedly paranormal and which rival most experiences I have heard others describe since.

But discarding studies simply because they are pro-paranormal is not really in most skeptics' toolkit, though I can understand why it appears so. Speaking only for myself, I am fairly well read when it comes to the paranormal (though I admit I have dropped off lately), and I have read literally hundreds of pro-paranormal studies which have been touted as the final proof positive. Without fail, the studies have come up short of the hype (I will reiterate my one possible exception regarding Wiseman's Sheep-Goat effect, but the best that can be said of that is that more studies, better refined, are in order, not that the effect actually exists). Most of the times the flaws in the studies are discernible with a simple but determined reading. Sometimes it takes a particular specialist or expert to pick out the errors (I can do layman's statistics pretty well, but when they get too in depth I have to find help to see if it was done correctly). Frequently I contact the authors to ask questions.

Where do I find the studies I look at? Most often it is in forums like this one, but I also used to participate in pro-paranormal sites. For a while I subscribed to the Society for Paranormal Research and received their journal (the JSPR). One would think that the JSPR represents the best of paranormal research, and the articles in there were unquestionably presented as such, but they were embarrassingly bad. I can't recall the name of the last article I wrote the author about, but it concerned what he (the author) claimed was indisputable proof of mediumship. It involved a seance in Iceland which revealed a near-simultaneous fire in Europe. Since the seance occurred before the telegraph or telephone had reached Iceland, mediumship seemed the only answer. In the article, the author listed everyone present and cited as proof the fact that immediately after the seance and before verification of the fire arrived by boat, the key members of the seance approached the local pastor (vicar? priest?) who entered it in his churchbook. Other such "proofs" were mentioned in the article.

But what were the references in the article? Two books, each written by a member of the seance, the earliest being written around ten years after the fact. The churchbook? Not in the references. I emailed the author and asked if I were misreading the article. His response confirmed that the two books were his only sources and that no one had ever found the churchbook or even looked for it.

It is only after years of reading such disappointingly poor articles and studies that I have come to an admittedly somewhat cynical viewpoint when another article or study is cited as proof. I'll believe it when it withstands scrutiny, and I am willing to take the time to do it (when I have the time), but I hold out little hope and do not take someone's word that this is finally The Big One. I become further cynical when lists such as Radin's are brought out, and those lists include items that any reliable researcher would not include if he wishes to be taken seriously. Targ & Puthoff come to mind.

Short version of the above: No, I don't believe. Yes, I'm biased. But, yes, I can be persuaded though it will take more than the list provided here.


[quote]The category of "paranormal" may, unwisely, lump a range of experiences together that may not be intrinsically connected, in the sense that if you "prove" (or disprove) one, you have proven (or disproven) everything in the alleged category. So, for example, if some out-of-body experiences are valid, that does not mean that alien abductions necessarily occur; or if telepathy is valid, that does not validate psychokinesis.[/quote]I agree completely, as would most skeptics in my experience.
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (May 28, 2013 09:35AM)
My sleep paralysis consisted mainly of perceiving a malevolent presence in the room and, occasionally, some guttural sounds.

I always thought of my sleep paralysis as creating a kind of feedback loop. As I lay there I'd wonder "Am I frozen because I'm scared or am I scared because I'm frozen?"

Sleep paralysis happened to me during that twilight state between being awake and being asleep. I believe this is the same state (theta brainwaves) reached in deep hypnosis, when people are highly suggestible and when hallucinations are most easily induced.
Message: Posted by: Jon_Thompson (May 28, 2013 11:50AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 15:05, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
How does one distinguish between an actual experience and an incredibly vivid hallucination?
[/quote]

Let me answer that with a short poem:

Reality is not what we see.
It's the map, not the territory.
Message: Posted by: Smoking Camel (May 28, 2013 12:07PM)
Replicating synchronistic events is not a problem. They happen to people all day every day.
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 28, 2013 01:00PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 13:07, Smoking Camel wrote:
Replicating synchronistic events is not a problem. They happen to people all day every day.
[/quote]I know what "synchronistic" means, but I am not sure of its application here. If you mean that events that seem far too coincidental to actually be coincidental happen every day, I agree, but I emphasize that they only "seem" too coincidental; they aren't actually indications of anything paranormal. Even if they were indicative of something paranormal, they are not replicable at all despite there being myriad of them.

[i]Somebody[/i] winning the lottery is a near certainty. [i]A particular, pre-designated person[/i] choosing the correct lottery numbers is a near impossibility (though not, of course, actually impossible).
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 28, 2013 01:02PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 12:50, Jon_Thompson wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 15:05, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
How does one distinguish between an actual experience and an incredibly vivid hallucination?
[/quote]

Let me answer that with a short poem:

Reality is not what we see.
It's the map, not the territory.
[/quote]I'm a poetry fan, and this one is nice, but I don't think it aids in determining the actuality or falsity of the paranormal.
Message: Posted by: Smoking Camel (May 28, 2013 03:16PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 14:00, Garrette wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 13:07, Smoking Camel wrote:
Replicating synchronistic events is not a problem. They happen to people all day every day.
[/quote]I know what "synchronistic" means, but I am not sure of its application here. If you mean that events that seem far too coincidental to actually be coincidental happen every day, I agree, but I emphasize that they only "seem" too coincidental; they aren't actually indications of anything paranormal. Even if they were indicative of something paranormal, they are not replicable at all despite there being myriad of them.

[i]Somebody[/i] winning the lottery is a near certainty. [i]A particular, pre-designated person[/i] choosing the correct lottery numbers is a near impossibility (though not, of course, actually impossible).
[/quote]

I don't think this is fair. Its easier for me to quote someone else than type my own argument here:

David Metcalfe writes:

"The paranormal, it turns out, is as much about meaning as matter. And we -- not as surface egos, but as some still mysterious force of consciousness -- are its final authors. If the paranormal, though, is as much about meaning as matter, as much about the subject as the object, then science can never truly grasp it, for science must turn everything into an object and cannot treat questions of meaning. We thus need a new way of knowing, a way that can embrace both the sciences and a new art of reading ourselves writing ourselves."

Whether or not they are provable in a laboratory setting, anomalous experiences remain a part of life for a surprising number of people. Gallup polls show that 17% of the population in the United States claim to have had a UFO experience. The Baylor Religion Survey, as detailed in NYU Press' recent publication Paranormal America, shows that, in the United States, 45% of women and 32% of men believe in the existence of ghosts, and 31% of women and 28% of men believe in telekinesis. Taking into account the various categories of paranormal possibilities close to half of the population believes in, or claims to have experienced, something out of the ordinary in their lives.

These statistics show that the paranormal is a significant motivating factor in how our culture develops and understands itself. The hope fostered in the formation of the SPR was that by investigating these experiences we would be lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. Ultimately the secrets of anomalous experiences, whether they are purely psychosomatic or actually based in fact, go right to the heart of the secrets of human experience itself."



I don't believe The "seem" paranormal cannot be dismissed that easily.
Message: Posted by: Smoking Camel (May 28, 2013 03:18PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 16:16, Smoking Camel wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 14:00, Garrette wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 13:07, Smoking Camel wrote:
Replicating synchronistic events is not a problem. They happen to people all day every day.
[/quote]I know what "synchronistic" means, but I am not sure of its application here. If you mean that events that seem far too coincidental to actually be coincidental happen every day, I agree, but I emphasize that they only "seem" too coincidental; they aren't actually indications of anything paranormal. Even if they were indicative of something paranormal, they are not replicable at all despite there being myriad of them.

[i]Somebody[/i] winning the lottery is a near certainty. [i]A particular, pre-designated person[/i] choosing the correct lottery numbers is a near impossibility (though not, of course, actually impossible).
[/quote]

I don't think this is fair. Its easier for me to quote someone else than type my own argument here:

David Metcalfe writes:

"The paranormal, it turns out, is as much about meaning as matter. And we -- not as surface egos, but as some still mysterious force of consciousness -- are its final authors. If the paranormal, though, is as much about meaning as matter, as much about the subject as the object, then science can never truly grasp it, for science must turn everything into an object and cannot treat questions of meaning. We thus need a new way of knowing, a way that can embrace both the sciences and a new art of reading ourselves writing ourselves."

Whether or not they are provable in a laboratory setting, anomalous experiences remain a part of life for a surprising number of people. Gallup polls show that 17% of the population in the United States claim to have had a UFO experience. The Baylor Religion Survey, as detailed in NYU Press' recent publication Paranormal America, shows that, in the United States, 45% of women and 32% of men believe in the existence of ghosts, and 31% of women and 28% of men believe in telekinesis. Taking into account the various categories of paranormal possibilities close to half of the population believes in, or claims to have experienced, something out of the ordinary in their lives.

These statistics show that the paranormal is a significant motivating factor in how our culture develops and understands itself. The hope fostered in the formation of the SPR was that by investigating these experiences we would be lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. Ultimately the secrets of anomalous experiences, whether they are purely psychosomatic or actually based in fact, go right to the heart of the secrets of human experience itself."



I don't believe The "seem" paranormal can be dismissed that easily.
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Fire Starter (May 28, 2013 04:14PM)
Journeys out of the body by Robert A Monroe is a fantastic book if anyone want's to read up on the subject.I myself got interested in the subject of OOBE in the late eighties after waking from a dream and floating over my sleeping body even seeing my own REM. I did do a lot of experimentation and could get the vibrational state but I did get very scared so never took it any further, nearly getting out is proof enough for me that this phenomena does exist and very real at the time to the person experiencing it.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (May 28, 2013 04:53PM)
If you read the Blue Sence you will find hundreds of cases where PSI has helped solve criminal cases.... It also reveals how Pseudoskeptics dogmatically refuse to look at the entire picture due to their presuppositions and closed mindedness.
Message: Posted by: MrPoponi (May 28, 2013 04:58PM)
I already had in my life four out of body experiences. Seem to be very real. It's something different than a dream because the level of consciousness is different. So already studied, I believe that all this can be explained naturally. Our brain is an amazing machine. Also I think that religions may have had its origin based on these experiences.
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (May 28, 2013 05:11PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 17:14, Fire Starter wrote:
Journeys out of the body by Robert A Monroe is a fantastic book if anyone want's to read up on the subject.I myself got interested in the subject of OOBE in the late eighties after waking from a dream and floating over my sleeping body even seeing my own REM. I did do a lot of experimentation and could get the vibrational state but I did get very scared so never took it any further, nearly getting out is proof enough for me that this phenomena does exist and very real at the time to the person experiencing it.
[/quote]

Monroe has some good techniques for getting 'out'.

If you got to the point of vibration (not everybody experiences the vibrations leading up to seperation), then you were almost there.
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 28, 2013 05:56PM)
So, what is the difference from a "unitive experience" as explored by experts like May in WIll and Spirit and other writings?
Message: Posted by: Fire Starter (May 28, 2013 06:05PM)
Yes you are right there Sean just quite scary stuff to mess with I think.You certainly have had some fantastic experiecnces described.I studied the 7 chakras and Kundalini yoga/ meditation and have opened the 7th chakra/third eye/thousand petaled lotus and have seen the very bright golden light,also have experienced the ethric tube/tunnel that is very strange blueish mist in colour and pulls you towards it.At this point I got scared as you have the feeling that if you let yourself go, then you will leave your body.I did have a lot of correspondance with DR Susan Blackmore who had dabbled in it but them became quite skeptical.
Message: Posted by: George Hunter (May 28, 2013 08:08PM)
Garrette (and all):

Sorry for this delayed response. I am also, overall, on the doubtful side, but am more doubtful of some experiences that have been lumped in the "paranormal" category than others. To be specific: on the fence about telepathy, a little more dubious of clairvoyance, still more dubious of precognition; on-the-fence, if not somewhat affirmative, about some out-of-body experiences, on the fence about ghosts, quite doubtful of alien abductions. As a Methodist Christian, I believe in the probable reality of supra-mundane personalities classical called "angels" and "demons"--but nowhere near the cartoon caricature of either.

I am increasingly aware that known empirical scientific methods may simply be incapable of understanding some experiences, whether normal or paranormal or spiritual or relational experiences. I was schooled to expect honest researchers to admit their biases, to state their hypotheses, and then do their best to DISPROVE their biases and hypotheses. Also, that kind of rigor appears to be largely absent in the two camps of "believers" and "skeptics."

George
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 28, 2013 08:19PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 16:16, Smoking Camel wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 14:00, Garrette wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 13:07, Smoking Camel wrote:
Replicating synchronistic events is not a problem. They happen to people all day every day.
[/quote]I know what "synchronistic" means, but I am not sure of its application here. If you mean that events that seem far too coincidental to actually be coincidental happen every day, I agree, but I emphasize that they only "seem" too coincidental; they aren't actually indications of anything paranormal. Even if they were indicative of something paranormal, they are not replicable at all despite there being myriad of them.

[i]Somebody[/i] winning the lottery is a near certainty. [i]A particular, pre-designated person[/i] choosing the correct lottery numbers is a near impossibility (though not, of course, actually impossible).
[/quote]

I don't think this is fair. Its easier for me to quote someone else than type my own argument here:

David Metcalfe writes:

"The paranormal, it turns out, is as much about meaning as matter. And we -- not as surface egos, but as some still mysterious force of consciousness -- are its final authors. If the paranormal, though, is as much about meaning as matter, as much about the subject as the object, then science can never truly grasp it, for science must turn everything into an object and cannot treat questions of meaning. We thus need a new way of knowing, a way that can embrace both the sciences and a new art of reading ourselves writing ourselves."

Whether or not they are provable in a laboratory setting, anomalous experiences remain a part of life for a surprising number of people. Gallup polls show that 17% of the population in the United States claim to have had a UFO experience. The Baylor Religion Survey, as detailed in NYU Press' recent publication Paranormal America, shows that, in the United States, 45% of women and 32% of men believe in the existence of ghosts, and 31% of women and 28% of men believe in telekinesis. Taking into account the various categories of paranormal possibilities close to half of the population believes in, or claims to have experienced, something out of the ordinary in their lives.

These statistics show that the paranormal is a significant motivating factor in how our culture develops and understands itself. The hope fostered in the formation of the SPR was that by investigating these experiences we would be lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. Ultimately the secrets of anomalous experiences, whether they are purely psychosomatic or actually based in fact, go right to the heart of the secrets of human experience itself."



I don't believe The "seem" paranormal cannot be dismissed that easily.
[/quote]I'm not sure what you mean by it not being fair. I'm not trying to blindside you.

As far as the piece you quote above, I'm sorry, but I find it empty of meaning. It has two main points which when boiled down amount to the following:

1. We can't prove paranormal claims, but that doesn't matter, and

2. Since a lot of people believe a lot of different things, [i]some[/i] of it must be true.

It is possible I am misreading, but if I am I will need you to point it out to me.
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 28, 2013 08:22PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 17:53, Slim King wrote:
If you read the Blue Sence you will find hundreds of cases where PSI has helped solve criminal cases.... It also reveals how Pseudoskeptics dogmatically refuse to look at the entire picture due to their presuppositions and closed mindedness.
[/quote]No. The Blue Sense explores claims of psychics solving criminal cases and finds them largely unfounded and exaggerated in their retellings. And that's from Truzzi, perhaps the least dogmatic of the skeptics.
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 28, 2013 08:28PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 21:08, George Hunter wrote:
Garrette (and all):

Sorry for this delayed response. I am also, overall, on the doubtful side, but am more doubtful of some experiences that have been lumped in the "paranormal" category than others. To be specific: on the fence about telepathy, a little more dubious of clairvoyance, still more dubious of precognition; on-the-fence, if not somewhat affirmative, about some out-of-body experiences, on the fence about ghosts, quite doubtful of alien abductions. As a Methodist Christian, I believe in the probable reality of supra-mundane personalities classical called "angels" and "demons"--but nowhere near the cartoon caricature of either.

I am increasingly aware that known empirical scientific methods may simply be incapable of understanding some experiences, whether normal or paranormal or spiritual or relational experiences. I was schooled to expect honest researchers to admit their biases, to state their hypotheses, and then do their best to DISPROVE their biases and hypotheses. Also, that kind of rigor appears to be largely absent in the two camps of "believers" and "skeptics."

George
[/quote]No problem on the delay in response. My time comes in spurts that cannot always be anticipated, so I may drop out for long periods myself.

You are correct that, in my words, science cannot explain everything, but that means there is something we do not know. Using a lack of knowledge as a basis on which to claim knowledge (of the paranormal or spiritual, etc.) is not a mark of wisdom or insight. And the scientific method generally involves the attempt to disprove a hypothesis while controlling for biases. That's why I admitted earlier that I am biased. I am. Nothing wrong with that, just as there is nothing wrong with believers in the paranormal having their biases. The issue is whether those biases are controlled for when conducting experiments and when reviewing the research.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (May 28, 2013 10:03PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 21:22, Garrette wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 17:53, Slim King wrote:
If you read the Blue Sence you will find hundreds of cases where PSI has helped solve criminal cases.... It also reveals how Pseudoskeptics dogmatically refuse to look at the entire picture due to their presuppositions and closed mindedness.
[/quote]No. The Blue Sense explores claims of psychics solving criminal cases and finds them largely unfounded and exaggerated in their retellings. And that's from Truzzi, perhaps the least dogmatic of the skeptics.
[/quote]
Ha H Ha Ha ... Truzzi was the whistle blower on the crafty yet untruthful pseudoskeptics!!!! In fact I think he invented that name for you guys!!! LOL
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 28, 2013 10:17PM)
The fact remains that "The Blue Sense" hardly supports the proposition that psychics have been very helpful in in solving criminal cases.

Marcello had an open mind about psychic claims, but he was hardly a wide-eyed believer in all things paranormal.
Message: Posted by: Curtis Alexander (May 28, 2013 10:35PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 13:28, Tom Jorgenson wrote:
No one who has ever actually had an Out of the Body Experience will say they think it was an hallucination.
[/quote]

I've got to call BS on this one. Unless we have a different definitions of "Out of Body Experiences" and "hallucination", I think there are many people who would come to this conclusion, including myself.

What I don't like is the framing of the original quote as being narrow minded, which isn't the case if there is a naturalistic explanation of NDE's and OBO's which I think is most likely the case.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (May 28, 2013 11:57PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 23:17, mastermindreader wrote:
The fact remains that "The Blue Sense" hardly supports the proposition that psychics have been very helpful in in solving criminal cases.

Marcello had an open mind about psychic claims, but he was hardly a wide-eyed believer in all things paranormal.
[/quote] Truzzi was an amazing writer and his exposure of the pseudoskeptics was groundbreaking. It's actually too bad that more people didn't hear of the scandal he exposed and the hundreds of books and articles that support PSI.
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 29, 2013 03:30AM)
I guess I just have a problem with automatically linking a claim of "PSI event" with a search for a "paranormal" cause. What about allowing for a "natural" cause not fully understood? Advances in neurobiology have shown that some of what we "fully understand" is false, e.g. what textbooks say such as "cognitive dissonance" and Piaget's Theories. These advances also indicate that what has previously been considered to be "other than normal" is completely normal for some while excluded from others by genes.

Much of what is touted as "scientific proof" is just "Theory" -- but that part of the label is dropped though common acceptance that it "must be true."

Under the general label of "Mentalism" we all desire to give demonstrations of what most people would consider "other than normal" in a controlled fashion, with an allusion that "special mental ability" is the cause, or that we can orchestrate the conditions under which the actions are "more normal." To this end we must be more concerned over what is considered "other than normal" by our intended audience than by what scientists and skeptics claim "can't be proved." On a personal level we all might be called to explore "inexplicable phenomena" in an attempt to understand "what we pretend at," but that is not required for a good and entertaining demonstration.

I prefer to demonstrate "innate" abilities of all people "made manifest" under controlled conditions rather than pretend at something "paranormal" -- but recognize this has limited "entertainment" potential. Yet, what would be wrong in announcing that everyone in the audience has many OBE but don't recognize them. In fact they are evidence of the Spirit attempting to get more "into the body" that "get out." What if having some part of your consciousness be "out of body" is normal and it is only our social "dis-ease" that traps it inside? Our culture and indoctrination teaches us to hide such experiences along with making nudity evil and a mandate to "feel shame" over much of what is natural.

Can I "prove" such a Theory? No. Would an audience believe it? Yup! Now -- allow me to demonstrate ...
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 29, 2013 05:18AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 00:57, Slim King wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 23:17, mastermindreader wrote:
The fact remains that "The Blue Sense" hardly supports the proposition that psychics have been very helpful in in solving criminal cases.

Marcello had an open mind about psychic claims, but he was hardly a wide-eyed believer in all things paranormal.
[/quote] Truzzi was an amazing writer and his exposure of the pseudoskeptics was groundbreaking. It's actually too bad that more people didn't hear of the scandal he exposed and the hundreds of books and articles that support PSI.
[/quote]

His book "The Blue Sense" does not support the theory that you seem to think it does. Yes, Marcello was a fine writer who can best be characterized as an open minded skeptic. His books and articles didn't support psi, per se, they supported continued psi research. Big difference.
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 29, 2013 05:24AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 04:30, funsway wrote:
I guess I just have a problem with automatically linking a claim of "PSI event" with a search for a "paranormal" cause.[/quote]I think I understand what you are saying, but I'm not sure, so I will try to rephrase it. Please let me know where I go wrong:

[i]When something happens which has the hallmarks generally associated with being paranormal, the fact that you reference that event as a PSI event does not mean that you assume it really is paranormal.[/i]

Is that close, or am I way off base?


[quote]What about allowing for a "natural" cause not fully understood?[/quote]I'm all for that.


[quote]Advances in neurobiology have shown that some of what we "fully understand" is false, e.g. what textbooks say such as "cognitive dissonance" and Piaget's Theories.[/quote]I completely agree that humans (including skeptics) are frequently wrong about things for which they claim certainty. I'm not qualified to discuss Piaget, though.


[quote]These advances also indicate that what has previously been considered to be "other than normal" is completely normal for some while excluded from others by genes.[/quote]Can you give examples?


[quote]Much of what is touted as "scientific proof" is just "Theory" -- but that part of the label is dropped though common acceptance that it "must be true."[/quote]I think you may be falling victim to a common misunderstanding. How the scientific world uses "theory" and how the general population use "theory" are entirely different things. The population tend to think of a theory as something that is at best an educated but unproven guess. In science, the word for that is actually hypothesis. "Theory" in the scientific world does mean for all intents and purposes "proven." (Everything is provisional in science, so even theories can be discarded later, but the odds are along the lines of one pre-designated person choosing the correct lottery numbers with one try).

The General and Special Theories of Relativity is not an unproven, educated guess. It is fact. Ditto for Quantum Theory, though I am using the term loosely there. String Theory is sort of a borderline case in that it is mathematically demonstrated but not experimentally so.

My point being, that when discussing science, one needs to be careful about terms.


[quote]Under the general label of "Mentalism" we all desire to give demonstrations of what most people would consider "other than normal" in a controlled fashion, with an allusion that "special mental ability" is the cause, or that we can orchestrate the conditions under which the actions are "more normal." To this end we must be more concerned over what is considered "other than normal" by our intended audience than by what scientists and skeptics claim "can't be proved." On a personal level we all might be called to explore "inexplicable phenomena" in an attempt to understand "what we pretend at," but that is not required for a good and entertaining demonstration.

I prefer to demonstrate "innate" abilities of all people "made manifest" under controlled conditions rather than pretend at something "paranormal" -- but recognize this has limited "entertainment" potential. Yet, what would be wrong in announcing that everyone in the audience has many OBE but don't recognize them. In fact they are evidence of the Spirit attempting to get more "into the body" that "get out." What if having some part of your consciousness be "out of body" is normal and it is only our social "dis-ease" that traps it inside? Our culture and indoctrination teaches us to hide such experiences along with making nudity evil and a mandate to "feel shame" over much of what is natural.

Can I "prove" such a Theory? No. Would an audience believe it? Yup! Now -- allow me to demonstrate ...
[/quote]This is good stuff and leads to the ever-contentious discussion about disclaimers and such, but it is a separate issue from the one regarding actual evidence for PSI.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 29, 2013 05:35AM)
Thank you, Garrette, for pointing out the common misunderstanding about the scientific meaning of a theory.
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 29, 2013 05:45AM)
My pleasure, Bob. I appreciate your comments about The Blue Sense.
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 29, 2013 06:11AM)
I understand the distinction of Theory, but feel that "our audience" is more confused than ever. Claiming something to be "scientific fact" is like believing some guy in a TV commercial just because he has a stethoscope around his neck. We all have every reason to distrust politicians, priests, teachers and financial advisors. Why should we believe someone just because they claim to be a scientist? Besides, today's youth will believe some stranger on YouTube over a rennouned expert and some other kid on the CellPhone over anything in print.

One key element of "paranormal" is a concept of what is "normal." This is in doubt and not readily testable by scientific method.

If I wish to "entertain" I will go with "Common misunderstanding" every time. Everyone seems to prefer a good fantasy over fact (or a real life).
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 29, 2013 06:15AM)
I could probably find things to quibble about, funsway, but I think that we are largely in agreement. In this thread, though, I think I will hold off on getting into the discussion about how to present something in performance.
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 29, 2013 06:56AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 06:24, Garrette wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 04:30, funsway wrote:
I guess I just have a problem with automatically linking a claim of "PSI event" with a search for a "paranormal" cause.[/quote]I think I understand what you are saying, but I'm not sure, so I will try to rephrase it. Please let me know where I go wrong:

[i]When something happens which has the hallmarks generally associated with being paranormal, the fact that you reference that event as a PSI event does not mean that you assume it really is paranormal.[/i]

Is that close, or am I way off base?

Garrette, this is a good statement in its own right, but not exactly what I was trying to get at. Observing an inexplicable event does not require that we find an explanation. One hallmark of being human is the capacity to retain an idea as imaginary and compare it with other things of which we a certain (sic). Unfortunately, traditional education pretends that there is a proper label for everything as an excuse for not thinking. Calling something either "PSI event" or "paranormal" or "scientific fact" stifles creative thinking and substitutes "believing" for "knowing." To link PSi with paranormal serves to end exploration of alternative causes just as saying, "Hand of God."

Being able to control a pendulum is within the capability of any person despite the fact that there is argument over how this is accomplished. You might choose to label it as PSI or paranormal or "a matter of faith" but the placing of that label has nothing to do with fact -- only acceptability to the present audience. Now, if I demonstrate the ability to control a pendulum without touching it a line is crossed for most people (and Mentalists.) They would rather use a label of paranormal rather than doing the work to learn how.

You later mention the "evidence of PSI." How does the label of paranormal provide any evidence at all?

[quote]These advances also indicate that what has previously been considered to be "other than normal" is completely normal for some while excluded from others by genes.[/quote]Can you give examples?

One is the ability of people to sense objects near them without the use of common senses like sight, hearing or smell. This is generally accepting in blind people, but it is now accepted that everyone has such abilities but it is suppressed. Ever try my effect "Close Call?" Everyone can sense the proximity of a sharp metal object close to their head. It can be demonstrated as a Mentalism feat or a scientific one. Either way it can be entertaining and a good lead in to other effects.

There is also evidence that the ability to be astonished without a need for resolution is gene based. Thus, the reason why we'all play with magic rather than observing it is a gene deficiency. We lack the ability to just appreciate the sensation and warm fuzzies.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (May 29, 2013 10:24AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 06:18, mastermindreader wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 00:57, Slim King wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 23:17, mastermindreader wrote:
The fact remains that "The Blue Sense" hardly supports the proposition that psychics have been very helpful in in solving criminal cases.

Marcello had an open mind about psychic claims, but he was hardly a wide-eyed believer in all things paranormal.
[/quote] Truzzi was an amazing writer and his exposure of the pseudoskeptics was groundbreaking. It's actually too bad that more people didn't hear of the scandal he exposed and the hundreds of books and articles that support PSI.
[/quote]

His book "The Blue Sense" does not support the theory that you seem to think it does. Yes, Marcello was a fine writer who can best be characterized as an open minded skeptic. His books and articles didn't support psi, per se, they supported continued psi research. Big difference.
[/quote]Bob, it's one of my favorite books and a treasure trove of references to books and articles that DO support PSI....
Countless examples of Paranormal events are found within the book. Truzzi turned on the Pseudoskeptics and pointed out their deception and how they Flim Flamed the simple minded dogmatic know it all's out of millions every year ... They are the true rip offs!!!!
Message: Posted by: dmkraig (May 29, 2013 10:37AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 06:18, mastermindreader wrote:
Yes, Marcello was a fine writer who can best be characterized as an open minded skeptic.
[/quote]

"Open minded skeptic?" That sounds redundant to me, sort of like an "author who writes."

By definition, a skeptic IS open minded. That means those who are not open minded (although they may falsely claim to be so) are not skeptics. At best they are what Truzzi described as pseudo-skeptics.

IMO they have, in essence, stolen the term "skeptic" and redefined it because they hate describing themselves as debunkers. They have obliterated the original meaning of skeptic as "a person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions." Instead, many have a devotion to a belief system/ersatz religion I call "scientism," which uses scientific terms but behaves in a way totally antithetical to science. They will defend scientism with all the fervor of a fundamentalist religionist defending his or her faith. This includes lying and deception and feeling justified in using these techniques.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 29, 2013 10:50AM)
Dmkraig-

You are right. "Open minded skeptic" is redundant. "True skeptic" would have been a better choice of words to describe Marcello. I just wanted to make a clear distinction between the type of skeptic he was as opposed to the pseudo-skeptics he criticized. (But cut me a break, I posted that in the middle of the night and wasn't feeling all too erudite. :eek:)

I agree with your conclusion. Pseudo-skeptics are models of confirmation bias in action.

Good thoughts,

Bob
Message: Posted by: Slim King (May 29, 2013 11:02AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 11:50, mastermindreader wrote:
Dmkraig-

You are right. "Open minded skeptic" is redundant. "True skeptic" would have been a better choice of words to describe Marcello. I just wanted to make a clear distinction between the type of skeptic he was as opposed to the pseudo-skeptics he criticized. (But cut me a break, I posted that in the middle of the night and wasn't feeling all too erudite. :eek:)

I agree with your conclusion. Pseudo-skeptics are models of confirmation bias in action.

Good thoughts,

Bob
[/quote] I agree Bob!!! On a side note ... Are you performing anytime between June 7 and 20 in the Northwest? I'll be vacationing up there.
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 29, 2013 11:25AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 11:50, mastermindreader wrote:
Dmkraig-

You are right. "Open minded skeptic" is redundant. "True skeptic" would have been a better choice of words to describe Marcello. I just wanted to make a clear distinction between the type of skeptic he was as opposed to the pseudo-skeptics he criticized. (But cut me a break, I posted that in the middle of the night and wasn't feeling all too erudite. :eek:)

I agree with your conclusion. Pseudo-skeptics are models of confirmation bias in action.

Good thoughts,

Bob
[/quote]I also agree that (a) "Open minded skeptic" is redundant and (b) Pseudo-skeptics abound. Where I think you and I would disagree some, (and I and some others would disagree a lot) is in the list of people to whom the label "pseudo-skeptic" should apply.

Not that it should matter for this thread. If the topic is "evidence for psi" then so long as we stick to that topic, someone's pseudo-ness or otherwise is, perhaps, moot, yes?
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 29, 2013 12:42PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 07:56, funsway wrote:

Garrette, this is a good statement in its own right, but not exactly what I was trying to get at. Observing an inexplicable event does not require that we find an explanation.[/quote]Agreed.


[quote]One hallmark of being human is the capacity to retain an idea as imaginary and compare it with other things of which we a certain (sic). Unfortunately, traditional education pretends that there is a proper label for everything as an excuse for not thinking. Calling something either "PSI event" or "paranormal" or "scientific fact" stifles creative thinking and substitutes "believing" for "knowing." To link PSi with paranormal serves to end exploration of alternative causes just as saying, "Hand of God."[/quote]If something's nature is unknown, then I am fine with saying "I don't know," but I see no problem with calling it what it is once its nature [i]is[/i] known, nor do I find anything wrong with searching to discover what that nature is. I think you would agree with me up to this point. Where we might disagree is this next bit:

I am also okay with saying what something is [i]not[/i] (provisionally) based on what is known. When someone comes to me and swears he has just received proof of life-after-death via someone's mediumship, and when the event is described to me I see nothing that differentiates it from any or all of the myriad [i]non[/i] life-after-death explanations, I am comfortable with my conclusion that no such proof was received after all. I could, of course, be wrong, but I could also be wrong about expecting that my mattress will hold me up tonight when I fall back onto it; after all, it is possible that I could phase through it. But I don't think it irrational or closed-minded to conclude that my mattress actually will hold me up, and the person did not actually receive the proof claimed, pending actual proof to the contrary.


[quote]Being able to control a pendulum is within the capability of any person despite the fact that there is argument over how this is accomplished.[/quote]Is there? I thought there were two methods (assuming you mean holding the pendulum yourself and not controlling from across the room): (1) Intentional manipulation, and (2) Ideomotor.


[quote]You might choose to label it as PSI or paranormal or "a matter of faith"[/quote]I wouldn't, at least not unless there were strong evidence to demonstrate it as such.


[quote]but the placing of that label has nothing to do with fact -- only acceptability to the present audience.[/quote]It is true that labels are not themselves determiners of fact. My concern is that the facts are established first so that the label can be created and affixed to match them.


[quote]Now, if I demonstrate the ability to control a pendulum without touching it a line is crossed for most people (and Mentalists.) They would rather use a label of paranormal rather than doing the work to learn how.

You later mention the "evidence of PSI." How does the label of paranormal provide any evidence at all?[/quote]It doesn't. Perhaps I have been unclear. I am not claiming that there is evidence of PSI (at least not strong enough evidence to conclude that PSI exists).


[quote]One is the ability of people to sense objects near them without the use of common senses like sight, hearing or smell. This is generally accepting in blind people, but it is now accepted that everyone has such abilities but it is suppressed. Ever try my effect "Close Call?" Everyone can sense the proximity of a sharp metal object close to their head. It can be demonstrated as a Mentalism feat or a scientific one. Either way it can be entertaining and a good lead in to other effects.[/quote]No, I haven't tried Close Call, but it sounds intriguing.


[quote]There is also evidence that the ability to be astonished without a need for resolution is gene based. Thus, the reason why we'all play with magic rather than observing it is a gene deficiency. We lack the ability to just appreciate the sensation and warm fuzzies.
[/quote]I would be interested in links to any info on this.

Thanks
Message: Posted by: Michael Daniels (May 29, 2013 02:52PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 11:37, dmkraig wrote:

"Open minded skeptic?" That sounds redundant to me, sort of like an "author who writes."

[/quote]

I also agree, although because of the way that the term "skeptic" has been appropriated by those with a closed-minded ideological agenda, it can be useful or necessary these days to qualify one's position as an "open minded skeptic".

I tend to prefer the term "open minded inquirer". This from a short web article I wrote several years ago:

"People differ in their attitudes towards the paranormal. At one end is the devout believer who will not consider any counter arguments or evidence. At the other end is the aggressive sceptic who dismisses or seeks to debunk any apparent evidence for the paranormal. Somewhere between these two extremes is the open-minded inquirer who has no particular axe to grind and is willing to consider the evidence on its own merits. Psychical Research and Parapsychology operate somewhere in this open-minded middle ground, although (adopting Occam's razor) the burden of proof always lies with those who would make paranormal claims."

Mike
Message: Posted by: Slim King (May 29, 2013 02:57PM)
Here'a my question Mike ... If someone has a definite paranormal experience to base their belief on, how is that the same as someone who has never had one and insists that they don't exist?
Message: Posted by: Michael Daniels (May 29, 2013 03:57PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 15:57, Slim King wrote:
Here'a my question Mike ... If someone has a definite paranormal experience to base their belief on, how is that the same as someone who has never had one and insists that they don't exist?
[/quote]

It's not the same at all. The former has the evidence of his or her own experience on which to inform an opinion. The latter is simply opinionated.

However, that doesn't mean that people cannot misunderstand or misinterpret their own experience, for example by considering it to be paranormal when, in fact, there is a perfectly normal or natural explanation, such as coincidence. To give another example, an OBE is certainly a definite (and often profound) experience, but that does not mean that it is a "definite paranormal experience", and is often not interpreted as paranormal even by those who have experienced it.

Mike
Message: Posted by: Slim King (May 29, 2013 04:42PM)
I suggest that EVERYONE on this thread look up the REAL MEANING of the word Paranormal ...Not Scientifically Explainable ... It's pretty simple once we use the correct definition.
Message: Posted by: Michael Daniels (May 29, 2013 04:47PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 17:42, Slim King wrote:
I suggest that EVERYONE on this thread look up the REAL MEANING of the word Paranormal ...Not Scientifically Explainable ... It's pretty simple once we use the correct definition.
[/quote]

The problem is that we can never know whether or not something is scientifically explainable. We often cannot even agree whether something is already scientifically explained.

Mike
Message: Posted by: Slim King (May 29, 2013 04:48PM)
If the scientists can't explain it ... It's paranormal ...simple!!!! LOL
I just like to keep it REAL!!!
Message: Posted by: Amirá (May 29, 2013 05:57PM)
Our audience really care if we are doing scientifically proven demonstrations?

It´s fine to know this facts and believe in the "invisible" , but at the end our focus must be on the emotions evoked, I think.


Best
Message: Posted by: Tom Jorgenson (May 29, 2013 06:00PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 23:35, Curtis Alexander wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-27 13:28, Tom Jorgenson wrote:
No one who has ever actually had an Out of the Body Experience will say they think it was an hallucination.
[/quote]

I've got to call BS on this one. Unless we have a different definitions of "Out of Body Experiences" and "hallucination", I think there are many people who would come to this conclusion, including myself.

[/quote]

You have had full Out of Body Experiences?
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 29, 2013 06:25PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 17:48, Slim King wrote:
If the scientists can't explain it ... It's paranormal ...simple!!!! LOL
I just like to keep it REAL!!!
[/quote]

There are countless things that science, as yet, cannot explain. Take gravity, for example.

http://www.einsteins-theory-of-relativity-4engineers.com/what-is-gravity.html

By your definition, gravity must be paranormal. But, obviously, it is not.

Not so simple, after all.
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 29, 2013 07:00PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 17:42, Slim King wrote:
I suggest that EVERYONE on this thread look up the REAL MEANING of the word Paranormal ...Not Scientifically Explainable ... It's pretty simple once we use the correct definition.
[/quote]

not sure what source you are looking at. It appears that the first documented use of the word was in Webster's 1913 addition of their popular dictionary.

"Of or pertaining to parapsychology; pertaining to forces or mental processes, such as extrasensory perception or psychokinesis, outside the possibilities defined by natural or scientific laws; as, paranormal phenomena."
Message: Posted by: Slim King (May 29, 2013 08:55PM)
Might I suggest something LESS than 100 years old ROTFLMAO
SOMETIMES YOU GUYS CRACK ME UP!!!!!
Message: Posted by: Slim King (May 29, 2013 09:01PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 19:25, mastermindreader wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 17:48, Slim King wrote:
If the scientists can't explain it ... It's paranormal ...simple!!!! LOL
I just like to keep it REAL!!!
[/quote]

There are countless things that science, as yet, cannot explain. Take gravity, for example.

http://www.einsteins-theory-of-relativity-4engineers.com/what-is-gravity.html

By your definition, gravity must be paranormal. But, obviously, it is not.

Not so simple, after all.
[/quote] Or you are taking something paranormal for GRANTED!!!! Like DeJaVue ... There is absolutely no agreed upon scientific explanation for someone knowing the future before it happens.... just theories upon theories that change every year.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 29, 2013 10:14PM)
So you're saying that gravity is paranormal?

BTW- there is, in fact, a scientific explanation for deja vu, which is not foreseeing the future, but having the feeling that you've experienced a particular event before.
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (May 29, 2013 10:27PM)
I’ve been called down before for committing “etymological fallacy” but specific words (and parts thereof) have specific meanings. Para (in English borrowed from Greek) usually refers to “other than, alternative, or beside, or ancillary to” the base word. Think of paramilitary or paramedical. If we consider paranormal to be “other than normal” or [i]maybe[/i] even “ancillary to normal” we might have a suitable springboard. These experiences are most assuredly outside the normal range of expected daily occurrence, and apparently outside the ability of science (at its present level) to quantify or even verify.

I think at some point we’re going to have to accept that even (especially?) in science, we don’t have all the facts. An old argument for sure, but radio waves existed long before Marconi discovered them (or DeForest or Telsa or…). They might not have been modulated to carry information but they existed nonetheless, and [i]may[/i] have had effects that were unrecognized at the time; static discharge, corona displays, even “spooky noises” have all been attributed to various frequencies of EM radiation in specific circumstances.

Like Michael Daniels, I was also uncomfortable with the word [b]Skeptic[/b] as anything other than closed minded, at least in recent times, even though technically it should not have that meaning. [b]Inquirer[/b] can include those on both “sides”; not all believers are ignorant and not all doubters are blind.

For an Inquirer to state simply “I don’t know” even if it’s followed up with “but I doubt it”, then we have something to work with.

Often the answer to one question produces only more questions. (Sounds like a cliché, huh?) In Randy’s test for dowsers, a buried system of water pipes might be the wrong test. What if (another question) what if the dowser’s information comes not so much from the presence of water, but from water-related deformations in the natural terrain, which are geologically reliable but not recognized on a conscious level? A better question might be how can we test that?

I enjoy MythBusters, but a few times they’ve missed it completely for lack of knowledge. I’m thinking of a particular episode where they “busted” the idea of an arrow being split by another arrow. The single feature they missed was that today’s arrows are not manufactured in the same way as “ye arrows of olde”, which were not lathed or turned, but were found and shaped from the straightest of live tree branches. The difference? The lay of the wood grain. In turned wood the grain may have no relation whatsoever to the final shape, which is exactly what M.B. demonstrated. In a natural branch, the grain runs end to end, and it is actually quite difficult to get a branch NOT to split full length.

Digression finished :) : at least a part of the search has to be in asking the right question.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (May 29, 2013 10:48PM)
Those who need scientific evidence will never convince those who don't that scientific evidence is needed.

Case in point, deities.

I'll leave it at that.
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (May 29, 2013 10:56PM)
Good point, Pakar. But more to the point, if it could be put into a bottle, it wouldn't be a god, right? :)
Message: Posted by: Slim King (May 29, 2013 11:08PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 23:14, mastermindreader wrote:
So you're saying that gravity is paranormal?

BTW- there is, in fact, a scientific explanation for deja vu, which is not foreseeing the future, but having the feeling that you've experienced a particular event before.
[/quote] Science has never agreed upon Deja vu ... for years they had theories but all have been debunked.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 29, 2013 11:19PM)
Where, exactly, has the explanation by psychologist Edward B. Titchener in his 1928 book [i] A Textbook of Psychology[/i], been "debunked?"

A few popular authors have suggested that the phenomenon is somehow proof of reincarnation, but that's about it.
Message: Posted by: Smoking Camel (May 30, 2013 12:42AM)
I recon that in the moments right before death, all skepticism crumbles.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (May 30, 2013 01:34AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-30 01:42, Smoking Camel wrote:
I recon that in the moments right before death, all skepticism crumbles.
[/quote]

Skepticism about which religion?
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (May 30, 2013 01:49AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-30 01:42, Smoking Camel wrote:
I recon that in the moments right before death, all skepticism crumbles.
[/quote]

I reckon that in the moments right AFTER death, all religion crumbles :)
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (May 30, 2013 01:53AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-30 02:49, Sean Giles wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-30 01:42, Smoking Camel wrote:
I recon that in the moments right before death, all skepticism crumbles.
[/quote]

I reckon that in the moments right AFTER death, all religion crumbles :)
[/quote]

:applause:
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 30, 2013 03:13AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 21:55, Slim King wrote:
Might I suggest something LESS than 100 years old ROTFLMAO
SOMETIMES YOU GUYS CRACK ME UP!!!!!
[/quote]

you cited the "REAL MEANING" of the word Paranormal. Where else would you go except the original source. Again -- what is your source?

Please explain why some later source (if it exists) is more valid than the original. You allude to people having the wrong definition. Did you just make yours up?

I 'might suggest" you look up the meaning of "source"

You might have been trying to make some valid point with your earlier post. That is now lost in your waffling. What respect I had for you before is now dwindling away.

The real issue is that your claimed definition is WRONG -- neither accurate nor valid as has been pointed out by others.
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 30, 2013 03:20AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-30 00:08, Slim King wrote:

[/quote] Science has never agreed upon Deja vu ... for years they had theories but all have been debunked.
[/quote]

Wrong again. Recent publications of neurobiology offer explanations that have not been debunked or even challenged.

Your suggestion that a scientific theory that cannot be prove, or is proved wrong, means the scientists involved must have been "full of bunk" is insulting. "Debunking" implies some fraudulent attempt by the claimant. Do you have any evidence of this? -- or something else you just made up?
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 30, 2013 03:32AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-30 02:49, Sean Giles wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-30 01:42, Smoking Camel wrote:
I recon that in the moments right before death, all skepticism crumbles.
[/quote]

I reckon that in the moments right AFTER death, all religion crumbles :)
[/quote]

ah -- but "spirituality" and "religion" are not the same thing. Yes, religious beliefs may slough away with a heightened awareness -- while some knowledge of one's spiritual nature is enhanced.

But, if suggested either skepticism or religion crumbles -- why do not those who have claimed a OBE experience evidence a heightened spiritual awareness.

I realize some only claim a "near death" experience, while other have been declared dead -- with or without an OBE.

This means that "death" "near death" and being "out of body" are all definitional and relative to the perceptions of the persons involved and not armchair quarterbacks.

A person experiences something that defies ready explanation and grasps for some concepts that might give some anchor or relevance to that experience. The clutch at words learned or acceptable to listeners with little regard to scientific validity. The later claims of others that they bit into an orange rather than peach does not deny that they tasted something -- the experience and memory is real for them. The folly perhaps is assuming there must be some explanation at all.
Message: Posted by: mindmagic (May 30, 2013 03:53AM)
I'd like to recommend the book I'm currently reading. It should be the essential textbook for all psychology courses, but it won't ever be so because it's going to upset (or be ignored) by most mainstream scientists. Just be warned: it's written as and like a psychology textbook, 800 pages of dense type, including extensive references and index, together with a reading list for psychical research. Take a look at the contents pages on "Look Inside".
http://tinyurl.com/qy5z9s9

Barry
Message: Posted by: Michael Daniels (May 30, 2013 05:16AM)
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first definition of "paranormal" (adj.) is found in Webster's New Internat. Dict. Eng. Lang. (1920) as "designating phenomena analogous to physical phenomena but with no known physical cause, as mediumistic 'raps', telekinesis, etc."

The OED also has the first definition of paranormal (n.), i.e., "the paranormal", as dating to 1958 in J. Blish "Case of Conscience" (1959, i. 82): "He has no belief in the supernatural - or as we're calling it in our barbarous jargon these days, the 'paranormal'."

Interestingly, "parapsychology", though often a term attributed to J.B. Rhine in the 1930s, actually dates to 1887 according to the OED, though not with its present-day meaning - Science 27 May 1887, 511/1: "The term 'para-psychology' may be invented to apply to those weirdly imaginative systems of thought by which some intellects strive to satisfy their inner longings, and to make the world seem rational."

Parapsychology in its modern sense (as the field that studies the paranormal) was originally a German term "Parapsychologie" (M. Dessoir, 1889, in Sphinx, 7 June, 341).

For what it is worth, my own definition of "paranormal" is "Beside or beyond the normal. Inexplicable in terms of our ordinary understanding or current scientific knowledge." ( Glossary of Parapsychology - http://www.psychicscience.org/paraglos.aspx )

Mike
Message: Posted by: Slim King (May 30, 2013 08:22AM)
Scientists may have THEORIES but there has NEVER been any proof of exactly what DeJa Vu is .. It's all theory and conjecture.
Yet many millions of people have memories before the events happen!!!!! It is so frequent that others say it's NORMAL .... But it's not. We are surrounded daily buy many Paranormal events.
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 30, 2013 09:59AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-30 09:22, Slim King wrote:
Scientists may have THEORIES but there has NEVER been any proof of exactly what DeJa Vu is .. It's all theory and conjecture.
Yet many millions of people have memories before the events happen!!!!! It is so frequent that others say it's NORMAL .... But it's not. We are surrounded daily buy many Paranormal events.
[/quote]You are mixing the layman and scientific definitions of "theory," and you are contradicting yourself about extant theories within your own post. But for more specific criticism, many millions of people do not "have memories before the event happens," they have the [i]impression[/i] of having memories. Critically, they don't notice having these memories until the event actually happens. [i]Deja vu[/i] events do not consist of someone saying "I'm about to walk in that room for the first time, and I will see a red overstuffed chair next to a floor lamp with fringed shade." What happens is they walk in to the room, see the red overstuffed chair next to a floor lamp with fringed shade and say "This [i]feels[/i] like the second time I've done this even though it's only the first time."

Without reference to any scientific studies, examination of those details regarding the order in which [i]deja vu[/i] occurs should be sufficient to cause pause before jumping to a definition of paranormal even absent a specific mundane explanation.

But [i]deja vu[/i] is actually an excellent example of a couple of ideas in this thread: (1) whether the lack of a specific explanation makes something paranormal, and (2) the question of replicability.

There are, in fact, likely non-paranormal explanations for the sense of [i]deja vu[/i], at least one of which has been mentioned in this thread. The more recent hypotheses involve a misfiring of neurons (or synapses? sorry; I'm not a scientist and don't have the articles to hand so I may misremember details) such that what should be stored as a short-term memory upon first experience instead dumps immediately into long-term memory causing a dissonance between expected feeling and actual feeling. Slim King is correct in his claim, even if not stated properly, that this is not proven, but he is mistaken in his implication that this means there is no reasonably conceivable mundane explanation.

A major reason that the hypothesis is not theory is that the experience cannot as yet be reliably replicated. In this instance, what science does is say [i]"We think it is likely X, but we're not sure."[/i] The mistake some non-scientists make is to take that honest admission of uncertainty as license to claim that [i]any[/i] conceivable explanation is just as likely. While a conflation of short and long term memories may in fact be the wrong explanation for [i]deja vu[/i], it does not follow that pixies implanting false memories has as much merit. Likewise, it does not follow that actual "pre-memories" is an as-likely explanation.

My short point being: Saying "we don't know" is not equivalent to saying "any answer you can think up is reasonable."
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 30, 2013 10:16AM)
And as I observed earlier, there is no definite scientific explanation of gravity. That doesn't make it paranormal.
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 30, 2013 10:20AM)
Yeah, I was going to write a similar post, but you were quicker than I was, and probably far more succinct.
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 30, 2013 10:47AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-30 01:42, Smoking Camel wrote:
I recon that in the moments right before death, all skepticism crumbles.
[/quote]Missed this before, but I have to disagree. I have had more than a couple of moments when I thought I was near death. There was not one instance in which I adopted a belief I had previously discarded. Nor am I the only one who disproves the old "no atheist in a foxhole" canard along with its multiple variations.
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 30, 2013 11:01AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 23:48, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
Those who need scientific evidence will never convince those who don't that scientific evidence is needed.

Case in point, deities.

I'll leave it at that.
[/quote]Sorry for the string of posts, but I'm avoiding a task I don't want to do... (sigh)

I mostly agree, but I think something important is being missed. "Needed" depends on context.

Nearly everyone I know personally believes things I do not. They don't "need" evidence for their beliefs, and I don't suggest they need to show me such evidence. I take no issue with anyone's beliefs (there are extreme exceptions; I'm only human). I take issue when others suggest that there [i]is[/i] evidence (or more correctly, [i]sufficient and compelling[/i] evidence) and therefore non-belief is factually incorrect.

Do you believe something? Okay.

Is it a belief you hold because (a) it comforts you, (b) you have personal experiences that convinced you, (c) a combination of the two? Okay.

But if you take the next step and say "Here is evidence that should convince you that my belief is factually correct," then I will look at the evidence to determine if it is sufficient to support the belief, and I will do it in as objective a way as I can, and I will do it acknowledging that my conclusions are provisional and possibly mistaken. I will [i]not[/i] do it so I can say "abandon your belief," though I may say "your belief isn't supported by the things you claim are sufficient evidence."

So "need?" For most things, there is no need. If I am remembering correctly, even Paul Kurtz, (secular humanist) chose Deistic belief not because it was factually supported but because it was comforting. He had no need for evidence, and I would have had no need to ask it of him.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (May 30, 2013 11:24AM)
Garret. You are simply wrong and your assumptions are just that.
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 30, 2013 11:32AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-30 12:24, Slim King wrote:
Garret. You are simply wrong and your assumptions are just that.
[/quote]I'm genuinely interested in specifically what is wrong and what you consider are my assumptions.
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (May 30, 2013 01:22PM)
Although I’m quite guilty of holding beliefs that are patently untestable, I’m leaning toward Garrette on this one. I do look for reasonable alternatives. (But being from the “Thoughts are Things” school, I probably lend more weight to the subjective than he would). Even my experience with calling the hospitals on cue could be laid to simple coincidence. (Think of the “uninteresting numbers” paradox.)

There are a number of reasonable possibilities for Déjà vu, including the simple observation that many places, scenes, and settings APPEAR similar on cursory inspection.

I’ve been working on a text about fear (for a few years now :) ), and one of the things that keeps coming up is the power of the Amygdala/Hippocampus (taken as a unit) in “setting up” a sort of trigger for emotional recall, including a kind of “pre-conscious” fear.

That is to say, a person can walk into a room and be completely safe, but find enough similarities to another time when they were afraid, and even if they are not consciously aware of the similarities, they will experience a fear response “for no reason at all”.

(To my thinking, the misdirected feedback loop so often cited as a cause for Déjà vu is much less plausible (my opinion only), but still not unreasonable.)

But here we have a testable example of a current encounter triggering a response from a previous experience. Who’s to say that at least SOME feelings of Déjà vu aren’t simply a remembered pattern?
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (May 30, 2013 02:39PM)
You're wasting your time intellectually debating anything with Slim King.

Imo... :ohyes:
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (May 30, 2013 02:41PM)
He uses X-Files science!
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 30, 2013 02:45PM)
@DWRackley: The idea of a remembered pattern isn't one I had really considered. A very interesting take on it. Thanks.

@Pakar Ilusi: I suppose it can be a waste of time, but that depends on goals, which change over time, or even between log-ins. While I don't find anything Dave has posted in this thread to be convincing, and I can't recall a time when I've agreed substantively with him in the past in this type of discussion, I have found that he can on occasion cut through a lot of bull (including my own which I don't realize is there) and get straight to the point. Even if I don't agree with his conclusions, he can sometimes wave away the fluff that unnecessarily muddies the water.
Message: Posted by: Smoking Camel (May 30, 2013 04:43PM)
Here's an interesting take on "The science delusion" .the science folk at TED subsequently banned(?) the talk. It's 20 mins but well worth a watch.

http://youtu.be/JKHUaNAxsTg
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 30, 2013 08:35PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-30 17:43, Smoking Camel wrote:
Here's an interesting take on "The science delusion" .the science folk at TED subsequently banned(?) the talk. It's 20 mins but well worth a watch.

http://youtu.be/JKHUaNAxsTg
[/quote]I’ve got a lengthy discussion of Sheldrake’s lecture, but I’ll start with a short version for those who don’t want to read the whole thing (and I don’t blame you):

=======
Sheldrake speaks well, but his talk has at least the following flaws:

1. He moves between definitions of “science” without making it clear when he does so

2. He falsely attributes 10 Dogmas to science

3. He misrepresents changes in the speed of light and in the Gravitational Constant as actual changes as opposed to refinements in measurement

4. He presents his idea of Morphic Resonance as both hypothesis and theory

5. He claims evidence of Morphic Resonance but has no references for that evidence either within the lecture or outside it

6. He takes a Dawkins quotation out of context to misleadingly change its meaning

In short, it is not a convincing lecture at all.

=======

And here’s the long version for those of you with too much time and too high a tolerance for boredom and pain:

I’m afraid that I find Sheldrake to be far from convincing, and given his obvious intelligence, breadth of experience, and excellent education, I find it hard to be charitable regarding his motives for basic errors.

He speaks at time of “science” as a methodology, as an institution, and as a body of facts. The problem is he slips between them without making it clear in order to imply whichever definition fits his current point. He starts out saying

[i]Science believes it understands the nature of reality in principle, leaving only the details to be filled in.”[/i]

Well, science believes no such thing as it is simply a methodology. As for individual scientists, the degree to which they think there are only details left varies, but if the majority thought there were no more houses to be built but instead only baseboards and carpeting to be installed, then no one would be discussing String Theory or M-Theory and no one would be using the Large Hadron Collider. Frankly, on behalf of the legions of scientists who toil every day both in the application of known facts and in the search of new knowledge, I take offense every time somebody who knows better (like Sheldrake) throws out this misguided insult.

Do you not think that any of the scientists that Sheldrake derides wouldn’t love to be the one to prove that the speed of light is NOT constant, that G is not constant, or even that Morphic Resonance is true? Fame and Nobels await such a scientist.

Sheldrake compounds his insult with the tired and mistaken characterization of scientists as people who [i]“don’t believe in God [but] believe in science.”[/i] Do no scientists believe in God? If they don’t, does this automatically mean they are blinkered functionaries? What if they believe in a God different from the one in which Sheldrake believes? Are they still men of little mind? More than that, the idea of “believing” in science is nonsense. Belief implies a non-evidentiary position. Science is exactly the opposite. The methodology has proven to be effective (note: it has not proven to be perfect). As such, it has earned the trust of those who practice it as well as those who deride while enjoying its benefits.

Frankly, Sheldrake’s statement that there is a conflict between “science as a method of inquiry…and science as a worldview,” and that the latter “has come to inhibit and constrict the free inquiry which is the very lifeblood of the scientific endeavor” is ludicrous. Science is not a worldview. Science is, as he says, a method of inquiry. Even if it were a worldview, how does it inhibit or constrict anyone’s free inquiry? Sheldrake himself is free to conduct whatever inquiry he likes. The fact that he can’t support his conclusions with evidence is not indicative of a shortcoming of science but of his methods. He is a man made of souring grapes.

Sheldrake further earns my scorn when he quotes Richard Dawkins out of context. Sheldrake says that Dawkins called humans “lumbering robots,” and Sheldrake means it as an example of Dawkins subscribing to the evil scientific worldview. But the entire context of Dawkins’ remarks (from “The Selfish Gene”) make it quite clear that he was calling both the body and the mind together (remember that Dawkins distinguishes the two; it disproves another of Sheldrake’s points) a lumbering robot [i]in their role as[/i] the vessel that allows the replication and therefore survival of the gene. It is not a trivial distinction, and Sheldrake’s characterization of Dawkins’ comment as evidence that scientists view everything, including people, as mere machines is simply and factually wrong. Moreover, Sheldrake is smart enough to know this. If he isn’t, he has no business making such a speech as is in the link; if he is, he’s being intentionally deceptive.

Sheldrake lists 10 “Dogmas of Science” in order to attack them. I won’t list all ten, but most are simply incorrect. I will list a couple of the major ones that are incorrect and incorrect in such a way as to undermine all of Sheldrake’s position.

Dogma #2: [i]”Matter is unconscious. There is no consciousness in stars, planets, or plants or animals, and there ought not to be consciousness in us, either, if this thing is true.”[/i]

While it is true that most scientists do not hold that there is consciousness in stars, planets, or plants, it is a minority of scientists who hold that there is no consciousness in at least some animals and certainly a negligible minority who think there is or ought not to be consciousness in humans (though most won’t separate them from other animals, either). Sheldrake is simply wrong, and as his attack on this dogma is one of the key pillars of his position, his entire argument falls here. Scientists, psychologists, neurologists, and biologists cannot fully explain consciousness, but its existence is not in itself a puzzle. Consciousness as an emergent property (and “mind” as an emergent property) is hardly new and is certainly not the means by which Sheldrake’s evil materialistic enemy is to be overthrown.

Dogma #4: The total amount of energy in the universe is always the same except at the moment of the Big Bang [i]”when it all sprang into existence from nowhere in an instant.[/i]”

The first part of that is true in a broad sense. The net amount of energy (calculating mass in there, too), is zero, just as it has been since at least micro-seconds after the Big Bang.

The second part is only trivially true. “Nowhere” didn’t exist at the moment of the Big Bang because “somewhere” didn’t exist. Sheldrake may have meant “nothing” instead of “nowhere,” but it doesn’t help his case. “Nothing” can’t really exist. This isn’t a philosophical position; it is a consequence of quantum physics and its principles, specifically the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. I am far, far, out of my depth in discussing this, but I am knowledgeable enough to know that Sheldrake (who, though well educated, is no more a quantum physicist than I am) is out of his depth, too, and has missed a key point.

Dogma #10: [i]”Mechanistic medicine is the only kind that really works”[/i] therefore Governments [i]”ignore complementary and alternative medicine.”[/i]

In the United States, the National Institute for Health began sponsoring Complementary and Alternative Medicine Centers in 1994, and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 1999. In the United Kingdom, complementary medicine has been part of the National Health Service for years. Frankly, I don’t think the NCCAM should exist, and its track record bears that out, but the fact remains that Sheldrake is again factually wrong. The Government has adopted those medicines, and it did so long ago.

He is wrong about his other dogmas, too, at least most of them, but I don’t want this to be longer than it already will be, so I will skip the others and move on to physical constants.

Sheldrake spends a lot of time discussing the speed of light and whether it actually is a constant. To be honest, I don’t know why he spends time on this, because if it were shown that the speed of light isn’t constant it would mean that most of the models of the universe and cosmos would need to be adjusted. That would win people some Nobels and lead to even greater understanding, but it would not suddenly prove telepathy. Universal models have changed before; it is likely they will change again. Big deal.

But even if it mattered, Sheldrake provides exactly zero evidence that the speed of light isn’t a constant. His entire argument rests entirely on a misunderstanding of what he was told by the head of “Metrology at the National Physics Lab.” Finding the exact speed of light is a matter of measurement AND of correlating with other knowns in the scientific world. Sheldrake fixates on a non-controversy from 1928 to 1945 when the recognized speed of light shifted by less than an error bar from earlier measurements. He then misstates when the latest speed of light was settled on by saying it was defined into existence in 1972. Well, it actually was “defined”, but it was in 1983 and it wasn’t arbitrary. There was science behind the decision, science based on the knowledge that finding a perfect vacuum in which to use perfect instruments to perfectly measure how fast light moves is impossible.

He does virtually the same thing with the Gravitational Constant, though he is more vague in his attacks. Suffice it to say that, just like for the speed of light, Sheldrake offers exactly zero evidence to support his claim.

Finally, there is why Sheldrake is really at the TEDx talk: To promote his hypothesis of “Morphic Resonance.” He bounces back and forth between calling it a hypothesis and a theory, but it doesn’t matter. There is insufficient evidence to say it has merit. I’m not saying he should abandon it. Sheldrake can hypothesize it and research it all he likes, and when he actually proves it, then I will applaud him as he accepts his own Nobel Prize. Until then he needs to be honest and say that his hypothesis is no more than that, but he doesn’t.

He talks about evidence. Evidence that isn’t really there. He says there is evidence that rats trained on a new trick in one location make it easier for rats of the same breed to learn the same trick in another location, yet he provides no references. (I went to his website hoping to find references there; the only remote reference is an offhand comment in one of his articles (not scientific papers) about how it happened long ago, but there is no mention of a paper confirming it and no indication that Sheldrake himself has attempted to replicate it).

He says the same thing of crystals. They have memories. Make a new crystal, and it may be difficult to do. Make a second and it is easier because the second crystal has the memories of the first. The third is easier still, and so on. Is there evidence of this? No. Has Sheldrake done any experiments on it? No.

One can only assume that dogmatic scientists hide in Sheldrake’s lab waiting to knock beakers from his hand should he dare attempt to create a crystal.

Sheldrake speaks well, and he is quite engaging, and he quotes a friend of his who has a catchy phrase about scientists and the Big Bang ([i]”Give us one free miracle, and we’ll explain the rest.”[/i]). But the catchy phrase is in the end as empty as Sheldrake’s lecture.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (May 30, 2013 10:34PM)
Wrong again!!!! LOL
Message: Posted by: Smoking Camel (May 31, 2013 12:41AM)
Garrette. Thanks for your comments.

This kind of stuff needs to be interpreted on an intuitive level. There's many different layers to reality and our narrow minded senses can only percieve a small fragment of the whole. Have you tried getting making contact with your higher self or your spirit guides? They will no doubt help you grasp the reality of all of this.

Have you entertained the idea of a trip to Peru? Spend sone time with a shaman, Recieve higher wisdom and guidance form the vine...... Maybe we could organise a Café trip...... See if randi will sponsor it.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (May 31, 2013 12:50AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-30 21:35, Garrette wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-05-30 17:43, Smoking Camel wrote:
Here's an interesting take on "The science delusion" .the science folk at TED subsequently banned(?) the talk. It's 20 mins but well worth a watch.

http://youtu.be/JKHUaNAxsTg
[/quote]I’ve got a lengthy discussion of Sheldrake’s lecture, but I’ll start with a short version for those who don’t want to read the whole thing (and I don’t blame you):

=======
Sheldrake speaks well, but his talk has at least the following flaws:

1. He moves between definitions of “science” without making it clear when he does so

2. He falsely attributes 10 Dogmas to science

3. He misrepresents changes in the speed of light and in the Gravitational Constant as actual changes as opposed to refinements in measurement

4. He presents his idea of Morphic Resonance as both hypothesis and theory

5. He claims evidence of Morphic Resonance but has no references for that evidence either within the lecture or outside it

6. He takes a Dawkins quotation out of context to misleadingly change its meaning

In short, it is not a convincing lecture at all.

=======

And here’s the long version for those of you with too much time and too high a tolerance for boredom and pain:

I’m afraid that I find Sheldrake to be far from convincing, and given his obvious intelligence, breadth of experience, and excellent education, I find it hard to be charitable regarding his motives for basic errors.

He speaks at time of “science” as a methodology, as an institution, and as a body of facts. The problem is he slips between them without making it clear in order to imply whichever definition fits his current point. He starts out saying

[i]Science believes it understands the nature of reality in principle, leaving only the details to be filled in.”[/i]

Well, science believes no such thing as it is simply a methodology. As for individual scientists, the degree to which they think there are only details left varies, but if the majority thought there were no more houses to be built but instead only baseboards and carpeting to be installed, then no one would be discussing String Theory or M-Theory and no one would be using the Large Hadron Collider. Frankly, on behalf of the legions of scientists who toil every day both in the application of known facts and in the search of new knowledge, I take offense every time somebody who knows better (like Sheldrake) throws out this misguided insult.

Do you not think that any of the scientists that Sheldrake derides wouldn’t love to be the one to prove that the speed of light is NOT constant, that G is not constant, or even that Morphic Resonance is true? Fame and Nobels await such a scientist.

Sheldrake compounds his insult with the tired and mistaken characterization of scientists as people who [i]“don’t believe in God [but] believe in science.”[/i] Do no scientists believe in God? If they don’t, does this automatically mean they are blinkered functionaries? What if they believe in a God different from the one in which Sheldrake believes? Are they still men of little mind? More than that, the idea of “believing” in science is nonsense. Belief implies a non-evidentiary position. Science is exactly the opposite. The methodology has proven to be effective (note: it has not proven to be perfect). As such, it has earned the trust of those who practice it as well as those who deride while enjoying its benefits.

Frankly, Sheldrake’s statement that there is a conflict between “science as a method of inquiry…and science as a worldview,” and that the latter “has come to inhibit and constrict the free inquiry which is the very lifeblood of the scientific endeavor” is ludicrous. Science is not a worldview. Science is, as he says, a method of inquiry. Even if it were a worldview, how does it inhibit or constrict anyone’s free inquiry? Sheldrake himself is free to conduct whatever inquiry he likes. The fact that he can’t support his conclusions with evidence is not indicative of a shortcoming of science but of his methods. He is a man made of souring grapes.

Sheldrake further earns my scorn when he quotes Richard Dawkins out of context. Sheldrake says that Dawkins called humans “lumbering robots,” and Sheldrake means it as an example of Dawkins subscribing to the evil scientific worldview. But the entire context of Dawkins’ remarks (from “The Selfish Gene”) make it quite clear that he was calling both the body and the mind together (remember that Dawkins distinguishes the two; it disproves another of Sheldrake’s points) a lumbering robot [i]in their role as[/i] the vessel that allows the replication and therefore survival of the gene. It is not a trivial distinction, and Sheldrake’s characterization of Dawkins’ comment as evidence that scientists view everything, including people, as mere machines is simply and factually wrong. Moreover, Sheldrake is smart enough to know this. If he isn’t, he has no business making such a speech as is in the link; if he is, he’s being intentionally deceptive.

Sheldrake lists 10 “Dogmas of Science” in order to attack them. I won’t list all ten, but most are simply incorrect. I will list a couple of the major ones that are incorrect and incorrect in such a way as to undermine all of Sheldrake’s position.

Dogma #2: [i]”Matter is unconscious. There is no consciousness in stars, planets, or plants or animals, and there ought not to be consciousness in us, either, if this thing is true.”[/i]

While it is true that most scientists do not hold that there is consciousness in stars, planets, or plants, it is a minority of scientists who hold that there is no consciousness in at least some animals and certainly a negligible minority who think there is or ought not to be consciousness in humans (though most won’t separate them from other animals, either). Sheldrake is simply wrong, and as his attack on this dogma is one of the key pillars of his position, his entire argument falls here. Scientists, psychologists, neurologists, and biologists cannot fully explain consciousness, but its existence is not in itself a puzzle. Consciousness as an emergent property (and “mind” as an emergent property) is hardly new and is certainly not the means by which Sheldrake’s evil materialistic enemy is to be overthrown.

Dogma #4: The total amount of energy in the universe is always the same except at the moment of the Big Bang [i]”when it all sprang into existence from nowhere in an instant.[/i]”

The first part of that is true in a broad sense. The net amount of energy (calculating mass in there, too), is zero, just as it has been since at least micro-seconds after the Big Bang.

The second part is only trivially true. “Nowhere” didn’t exist at the moment of the Big Bang because “somewhere” didn’t exist. Sheldrake may have meant “nothing” instead of “nowhere,” but it doesn’t help his case. “Nothing” can’t really exist. This isn’t a philosophical position; it is a consequence of quantum physics and its principles, specifically the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. I am far, far, out of my depth in discussing this, but I am knowledgeable enough to know that Sheldrake (who, though well educated, is no more a quantum physicist than I am) is out of his depth, too, and has missed a key point.

Dogma #10: [i]”Mechanistic medicine is the only kind that really works”[/i] therefore Governments [i]”ignore complementary and alternative medicine.”[/i]

In the United States, the National Institute for Health began sponsoring Complementary and Alternative Medicine Centers in 1994, and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 1999. In the United Kingdom, complementary medicine has been part of the National Health Service for years. Frankly, I don’t think the NCCAM should exist, and its track record bears that out, but the fact remains that Sheldrake is again factually wrong. The Government has adopted those medicines, and it did so long ago.

He is wrong about his other dogmas, too, at least most of them, but I don’t want this to be longer than it already will be, so I will skip the others and move on to physical constants.

Sheldrake spends a lot of time discussing the speed of light and whether it actually is a constant. To be honest, I don’t know why he spends time on this, because if it were shown that the speed of light isn’t constant it would mean that most of the models of the universe and cosmos would need to be adjusted. That would win people some Nobels and lead to even greater understanding, but it would not suddenly prove telepathy. Universal models have changed before; it is likely they will change again. Big deal.

But even if it mattered, Sheldrake provides exactly zero evidence that the speed of light isn’t a constant. His entire argument rests entirely on a misunderstanding of what he was told by the head of “Metrology at the National Physics Lab.” Finding the exact speed of light is a matter of measurement AND of correlating with other knowns in the scientific world. Sheldrake fixates on a non-controversy from 1928 to 1945 when the recognized speed of light shifted by less than an error bar from earlier measurements. He then misstates when the latest speed of light was settled on by saying it was defined into existence in 1972. Well, it actually was “defined”, but it was in 1983 and it wasn’t arbitrary. There was science behind the decision, science based on the knowledge that finding a perfect vacuum in which to use perfect instruments to perfectly measure how fast light moves is impossible.

He does virtually the same thing with the Gravitational Constant, though he is more vague in his attacks. Suffice it to say that, just like for the speed of light, Sheldrake offers exactly zero evidence to support his claim.

Finally, there is why Sheldrake is really at the TEDx talk: To promote his hypothesis of “Morphic Resonance.” He bounces back and forth between calling it a hypothesis and a theory, but it doesn’t matter. There is insufficient evidence to say it has merit. I’m not saying he should abandon it. Sheldrake can hypothesize it and research it all he likes, and when he actually proves it, then I will applaud him as he accepts his own Nobel Prize. Until then he needs to be honest and say that his hypothesis is no more than that, but he doesn’t.

He talks about evidence. Evidence that isn’t really there. He says there is evidence that rats trained on a new trick in one location make it easier for rats of the same breed to learn the same trick in another location, yet he provides no references. (I went to his website hoping to find references there; the only remote reference is an offhand comment in one of his articles (not scientific papers) about how it happened long ago, but there is no mention of a paper confirming it and no indication that Sheldrake himself has attempted to replicate it).

He says the same thing of crystals. They have memories. Make a new crystal, and it may be difficult to do. Make a second and it is easier because the second crystal has the memories of the first. The third is easier still, and so on. Is there evidence of this? No. Has Sheldrake done any experiments on it? No.

One can only assume that dogmatic scientists hide in Sheldrake’s lab waiting to knock beakers from his hand should he dare attempt to create a crystal.

Sheldrake speaks well, and he is quite engaging, and he quotes a friend of his who has a catchy phrase about scientists and the Big Bang ([i]”Give us one free miracle, and we’ll explain the rest.”[/i]). But the catchy phrase is in the end as empty as Sheldrake’s lecture.
[/quote]

Wow, nice... :applause:
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 31, 2013 05:32AM)
An "out of body" story -- at least one in which a person is "asleep" but their mind is "out and about."

Offered to stimulate some alternative thinking rather than challenge anyone's view ...

All that sways …

“If only telepathy was real!” The whispered plea echoed off the walls solid and imagined. Several others nodded in agreement.
Jessica was pleased that so many had come. She chuckled inside at the hypocrisy since few had come when she could still speak and move. Did they crave what she might say and felt guilt over not having asked or shared when they could? Or were they now secure in acceptance that she could never tell what she knew? Love or fear? What drew them now? She was far from death but understood that her paralyzed state was considered more dreadful than death for many. Her sister was a dancer. Perhaps that is why she had cried out.
“If you ask specific questions I can answer,” Jessica projected. A single tear welled up in her right eye when she thought “yes” and two when she thought “no.” But each grieving guest was too filled with themselves to either ask or see. “Look mom!” she prayed internally. “Remember when you would have me hold the Rosary and I could make the suspended Crucifix swing or twirl? You thought it sacrilegious – my laughter and not the actions I think.” From her propped position she could only see the window with its blind-filtered setting sun. Faces and forms and fumbling fingers were all around but she was not allowed to see. Actually, no one thought that she might wish to see them, projecting that she would be distressed by their closeness. “If only you had heard what I was saying! If only you would listen now!”
“I don’t know about telepathy but think it is kind of magical that the entire family is finally together again.” Jessica recognized Uncle Phil’s voice – not heard joking for more than twenty years. She did not have to see the reproachful glances.
“Yes, she thought,” and a single tear drop fell and the dangling beads in her mother’s hands swayed in sympathy. “You all create illusions rather than dealing with life as it is. Magic isn’t about tricks and deception. The magic is that you are alive to see something of awe and wonder and share it with one another.” An ancient song misted into her thoughts:
“Look at me, just look at me – I am here inside,” the Slave Girl Song.

The dangling cord on the window blind quivered a bit! Then it began to swing.

“Do you remember the stilts I made for you when you were ten?” asked Jimmy, searching for some moment of joy from their past.

“No,” responded the pendulum as Jessica recalled that the stilts had been made for a neighbor girl and she had not been allowed to try them. The cord swinging in a circle went unnoticed and her two tears were quickly wiped away. Another tune interrupted her discomfort as she reached out to her brother as best she could. “If you could read my mind, love – what a tale my thoughts would tell…”

Jessica chose to dream rather than attempt to communicate any more. She sensed her soul suspended from a silver thread that stretched into a starry reach of ever. She swung gently to and fro, every swinging, ever aware of the magic found in the ability to say “yes” again and again and again.
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 31, 2013 06:13AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-30 23:34, Slim King wrote:
Wrong again!!!! LOL
[/quote]Dave, I’m human, so if it turns out I am wrong, my ego will take a hit, and I will resist at first. Ultimately, though, I will appreciate being corrected, so I will ask a favor:

Point out the two things in my post where I am most egregiously in error and let’s discuss them. We may each learn something.



@Pakar Ilusi: Thanks



[quote]
On 2013-05-31 01:41, Smoking Camel wrote:
Garrette. Thanks for your comments.

This kind of stuff needs to be interpreted on an intuitive level. There's many different layers to reality and our narrow minded senses can only percieve a small fragment of the whole. Have you tried getting making contact with your higher self or your spirit guides? They will no doubt help you grasp the reality of all of this.

Have you entertained the idea of a trip to Peru? Spend sone time with a shaman, Recieve higher wisdom and guidance form the vine...... Maybe we could organise a Café trip...... See if randi will sponsor it.
[/quote]Hi, SC.

I don’t think I fully agree on interpreting things “on an intuitive level.” I’m a big fan of intuition, and there are countless people – include most people on this board who perform readings – who have far more finely tuned intuitions than I ever will, but intuition is not paranormal and does not trump fact.

You might skip the rest of my post, but please read this part: If you accept my analysis of Sheldrake’s lecture, are you willing to discard it as support for the position that the paranormal is real? If you don’t accept my analysis, can you point out where I have gone wrong?


I’m not sure what you mean by “layers to reality,” but it is true that humans’ limited sense cannot perceive it all, or even most of it. But what can be perceived and understood through technology has grown exponentially over the past couple of centuries.

Regarding higher self and spirit guides: Yes, I have. I spent my first 25 years or so as a very strong believer, and I didn’t just believe; I sought out. The stories I have told about my Castaneda phase have frightened people (me, too, at the time). I was the person deemed most talented at “sensing ghosts,” and even now I can give that impression. (I can even convince people who consider themselves excellent ghost detectors that they are mistaken about where the presence is: [i]”No, no. It’s not there; it’s in THIS room.”[/i]) To be honest, I recall feeling special during those years of belief, as if I were attuned to knowledge that few others had, but I never felt I had grasped reality. And my sense of wonder and astonishment now that I have relooked at those beliefs and ultimately discarded them has grown far beyond what I felt I had then.

Regarding Peru, I would love to travel there under nearly anyone’s sponsorship, whether it be Randi’s or Sheldrake’s. I would like to see Machu Picchu, but as it is so heavily traveled now, I would prefer alternate sites like the more recently (re)discovered city of Choquequirao (“the other Machu Picchu”). While I doubt it would result in a spiritual re-awakening, I am open to it. And if the trip happened, it woudn’t be my first visit to a supposedly sacred site. I have spent time with shamans (African, not South American), and with Native American Medicine Men, and with Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani (nearly as wise, and certainly as humane, a man I have ever met), and had lunch with Tahseen Saeed Bek, the leader of the Yazidi religion, in the sacred city of Lalish where I entered their temple cavern (I was not allowed into the Holy of Holies, but I went everywhere else). The early part of my martial arts career was in a form of ninjutsu, one aspect of which involved the focusing and use of chi. I studied the religion of my parents and very nearly went into it as a vocation. The number of Christian holy sites I have visited is literally in the thousands; the number of revered priests, nuns, and monks with whom I have spoken (beyond shaking hands as the service let out) is in the hundreds. The books on spirituality I have read and owned is equal or greater than the books on skepticism and science.

What I’m saying is that I am not coming into this as a newbie. Perhaps there are things I have not experienced that you would consider critical to my ability to make a decision regarding spirituality and the paranormal, but I daresay I could turn that back around and say there are things you have not experienced or studied regarding science and skepticism that are critical to your ability to make a decision.

Thanks, and cheers.
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 31, 2013 06:18AM)
Funsway,

A very nice tale. I especially like the Gordon Lightfoot reference. One of my all time favorite songs. Your leaving the telekinesis unnoticed was the right decision; a lesser author would have taken the other route.
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (May 31, 2013 06:36AM)
Nice tale Funsway :) I don't know if it was intentional but the silver thread you mentioned is often experienced during an OBE (although not by me).

Garette, I very much enjoy reading your thoughts and rebuttals. You have a way of very clearly putting your point across that cuts through all the mumble.

Best
Sean
Message: Posted by: Fire Starter (May 31, 2013 06:57AM)
Silver thread, sometines called the Aka Cord

AKA is the Hawaiian Huna word for the energy substance which surrounds us and connects us to each other it is how information and mana ( the life force and energy) travel. All contact whether in the physical or on another level involves the exchange of threads of aka material or energy. It has been said that some Astral Traveler's see this cord to help them still feel connected safely to their physical body while other's do not see it.
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 31, 2013 02:18PM)
A rough translation of a an ancient Turkic poem/reflection more than 8,000 years old. Sung, of course, rather than written an Carvanserai and only set down in parchment during the Ottoman reign.

"there’s a silver thread by connection
between one’s inner eye and divinity;
and you only need to hang your heart there
to know the secret essence of living."

So, does one see something profound that is called a "silver thread" or is the thread remembered or known from other loves?
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 31, 2013 03:04PM)
Interesting, but what it mostly has done is make me have to listen again to Loreena McKennitt's "Caravanserai" from her CD "The Book of Secrets." Highly recommended.
Message: Posted by: Garrette (May 31, 2013 03:05PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-31 07:36, Sean Giles wrote:
Nice tale Funsway :) I don't know if it was intentional but the silver thread you mentioned is often experienced during an OBE (although not by me).

Garette, I very much enjoy reading your thoughts and rebuttals. You have a way of very clearly putting your point across that cuts through all the mumble.

Best
Sean
[/quote]Thanks, Sean. I enjoy your posts, too.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Jun 1, 2013 08:59AM)
Here is Websters!!!!!

Definition of PARANORMAL

: not scientifically explainable : supernatural


If Science can't explain it ... Then it's paranormal!!!! Simple as that!
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 1, 2013 09:17AM)
So now gravity is "supernatural" as well?

BTW- "Websters" is a public domain name. There are literally dozens of dictionaries that call themselves "Websters." Any one can. Definitive dictionaries include the OED, Websters New Collegiate Dictionary, etc.

You have defined the word so broadly that it really has no definite meaning at all.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Jun 1, 2013 09:46AM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-01 10:17, mastermindreader wrote:
So now gravity is "supernatural" as well?

BTW- "Websters" is a public domain name. There are literally dozens of dictionaries that call themselves "Websters." Any one can. Definitive dictionaries include the OED, Websters New Collegiate Dictionary, etc.

You have defined the word so broadly that it really has no definite meaning at all.
[/quote] I didn't define it Bob ... Just using the one provided by the number one skeptic forum. BTW Are you performing anywhere public from the 7th to the 20th of June ... I'm in the northwest and I'd love to see you in person.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 1, 2013 10:08AM)
Unfortunately not. I won't be performing in the area during that period.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Jun 1, 2013 12:08PM)
Too bad ... I was hoping to get to Pike Street and see Sheila Lyons.
Message: Posted by: griffindance (Jun 1, 2013 04:05PM)
I thought TMC shut down discussions regarding supernatural themes...
I was told the decent into name calling was a very sudden and prolonged expectation.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 1, 2013 04:34PM)
No. We can discuss the paranormal in this mentalism area, since many of us base our performances on paranormal themes.

It is RELIGION that can get a thread shut down.

If the Café was going to shut down discussions regarding supernatural themes, why do you suppose they have a bizarre magic forum?