March 29, 2002 at 2:11 am #62536
In an essay on OBE research in the Journal of the Society for Psychial Research (July 2001) author John Poynton makes some interesting observations regarding the attempts of conventional science to test the validity of mind/body duality in the form of OBEs. I believe these comments can be extended to other aspects of this research as well. It is pointed out that OBE challenges prevailing ideas of what is normal and what is real. He says these ideas are largely carried over from the 19th century, and that even in parapsychology they have tended to remain unchanged by radical advances in 20th century physics and philosophy. The author believes that so long as psi phenomena are expected to be explainable within the framework of accepted principles of mainstream science (quotes: Irwin, 1999) as seen from a perspective of psychology, then the phenomena will continue to remain unexplicable. He quotes another writer, Pratt (1974) who said “psi will begin to make sense ONLY when we investigate it in terms of its own principles…If we insist on carrying out experiments on the assumption that psi is simply another process in a one-level universe of impersonal cause and effect relations and if this assumption is wrong, failure is built in into the very approach to the phenomena. By allowing for the possibility that psi may be a different kind of process that occurs at a different level of reality, we will begin to think differently about parapsychological research.”
The challenge then for the future of this field, from a scientific perspective, is to heed the advice of the last year and for scientists and skeptics alike to start thinking out of the proverbial
box.March 29, 2002 at 5:51 pm #71901VTFlowerGirlParticipant
Well said Steve. “Coincidentally”, I just finished reading the most recent edition of the American Dowser Quarterly Digest published by the American Society of Dowsers. Science aspects of dowsing are highlighted in this issue, I know you would totally enjoy it if you found a copy of it.
The first item that caught my interest (though it’s hard to narrow down the list because I couldn’t put it down start to finish!) – was an information packed letter filled with studies “proving” the dowsing phenomenon exists. However, the writer states “I am not surprised that the US Geological Survey as well as some geologists do not know about dowsing. The US is behind some other nations in research on the human mind.
In any event, just because some folks do not dowse does not mean that others do not. Remember the homing instinct of birds. Some birds home and some don’t . (Robert T. McKusick)
Noted this quote followed the above:
“Sometimes the ordinary is exalted to the extraordinary only because of its placement in time.” – from Small Miracles II.
Then there was an article on continental drift, and how the scientiest Alfred Wegener’s theory found more support after his death in 1930. By the late 1960’s plate tectonics was well supported and accepted by almost all geologists. ” Some truly revolutionary scientific theories may take years or decades to win general acceptance among scientiss. This is ceertainly true of plate tectonics, on of the most important and far-ranging geological theories of all time. When first proposed it was ridiculed, but steadily accumulating evidence finally promoted its acceptance, with immense consequences for geology, geophysics, oceanography, and paleontology. And the man who first proposted this theory was a brilliant interdisciplinary scientist, Alfred Wegener.
Tomorrow I take my first official dowsing class and I can’t wait. I’ll write more about it in the dowsing board when I get back. It’s awesome to participate in something that is so powerful yet so misinterpreted and misunderstood by some. Very powerful too are the scientific studies accumulating to document some of what dowsers and other persons who participate in unexplicable phenomena have been doing for centuries.April 29, 2002 at 6:06 pm #76772
“It is pointed out that OBE challenges prevailing ideas of what is normal and what is real. He says these ideas are largely carried over from the 19th century, and that even in parapsychology they have tended to remain unchanged by radical advances in 20th century physics and philosophy. “
One thing that came to me while reading your text was the aspect of new technologies, new devices that could be developed to more readily sense and test spiritual matters.
The current list of Electro-magnetic field meters, infrared remote thermometers, night vision equipment, ion dedectors, geiger counters, etc. are fine for a start and have rendered some interesting findings. However, this is not to say that we won’t be able to concentrate our mental forces and bring to bear some even better technologies for spiritual/energy research in the near future.
Repeatibility is a necessity for scientific research. IN reference to ‘unseen’ phenomina — An oriental master can sense chi and direct it at will, but it is often not repeatable due to eventual fatigue. Improved mechanics/sensors, etc. might aid in this field. Is this point addressed in any of John Poynton’s field research that you know of? It seems to me to be very important in ‘proving’ or ‘disproving’ in this matter.April 29, 2002 at 9:30 pm #76783
I heartily agree that we have technology today which could provide the physical evidence previous researchers could not obtain.May 14, 2002 at 2:43 am #77101
Sgrenard, I’m reading a book which talks about ancient Tibet. They pair philosophy with science as being similar. What are your thoughts on this in relation to the modern mode in scientific psychic investigations and your own personal spiritual revelations?May 14, 2002 at 2:54 am #77102
K: I’m reading a book which talks about ancient Tibet. They pair philosophy with science as being similar. What are your thoughts on this in relation to the modern mode in scientific psychic investigations and your own personal spiritual revelations?
Reply: I do not have spiritual revelations, Any experiences I have had IMHO have a physical basis and we need to search for that. I am familiar with the fact that of all the major faiths Buddhism takes a pragmatic, some say scientific view of survival; I am reminded of a quote by Stevenson who said that skeptics admonish him for wasting money on reincarnation research because they say it doesn’t exist and Buddhists admonish him for wasting money on this research because they say they already know it does exist.
I take a secular, physicalist view of psi and believe that we will find the basis for our experiences one day but it is turning into one of the most difficult and time consuming tasks ever faced. Its understandable why some take a shortcut and attribute their experiences to either religion or a secular spiritualist or supernatural reason. I can never be certain but I believe one day none of this will be paranormal but normal, and not supernatural but natural. Since so many have had the experiences, it is obvious that the majority of mainstream science, in spite of its technology and resources, haven’t found the answer.
Maybe the Buddhists are right. :cool:May 16, 2002 at 3:39 pm #77167
S:”I do not have spiritual revelations, Any experiences I have had IMHO have a physical basis”
I take a secular, physicalist view of psi”
“Since so many have had the experiences, it is obvious that the majority of mainstream science, in spite of its technology and resources, haven’t found the answer. Maybe the Buddhists are right. “
In regards to your first and second statement, so then would you classify yourself as a ‘materialist’, where there is nothing but the physical, nothingness after death, etc. or since you are acknowledging personal testimonies of experiences where can not be readily measurable, quantifiable, etc., NDE etc., do you also acknowledge there being an everlasting spirit/energy wihin each of us?
In regards to the measurable and taking only that as prove of something’s existance, I think about medical testing in modern day areas and the placebo effect — not mind over matter so much (although that does explain a lot), but moreso, the experimenters taking SIGNS as well as SYMPTOMS into, for all accounts, equal consideration – even though one is measureable/observable, etc and the other is ‘merely’ hearsay from the patient — personal testimony.May 16, 2002 at 10:05 pm #77193
K: In regards to your first and second statement, so then would you classify yourself as a ‘materialist’, where there is nothing but the physical, nothingness after death, etc.
Reply: On the contrary. There is clear and compelling evidence that the consciousness survives death, is more than static memories and is able not only to communicae the past but the past after it ceased to exist physically, it also is able to holographically reproduce itself, it is able to observe and continue to learn and in many cases seems to be able to reveal the future. This is because there is no provision for linear time in this state or parallel universe or dimension.
K: … or since you are acknowledging personal testimonies of experiences where can not be readily measurable, quantifiable, etc., NDE etc., do you also acknowledge there being an everlasting spirit/energy wihin each of us?
Reply: You can call it spirit, soul, energy (I am not certain of it’s exact form or what it should be called) or consciousness, my preference. But the short answer is: yes.
K: In regards to the measurable and taking only that as prove of something’s existance, I think about medical testing in modern day areas and the placebo effect — not mind over matter so much (although that does explain a lot), but moreso, the experimenters taking SIGNS as well as SYMPTOMS into, for all accounts, equal consideration – even though one is measureable/observable, etc and the other is ‘merely’ hearsay from the patient — personal testimony.
Reply: The fact is that what we speak of here has been demonstrated through testing,(*) repeatedly and that this testing will continue. A history from a patient of their medical problems is hardly always hearsay and forms an important part of the diagnostic process along with symptomatology and objective measurements (X-Rays, lab assays, etc). However, when that history is corroborated by others, as it is in mediumship, it is no longer hearsay. Hearsay, in a legal sense, is second hand testimony. If I told you something and you repeated it to another (under oath) then that would be hearsay. I suppose you are saying a medium told me X and then I told you X, so I would be comitting the objectionable offense of hearsay. However if a medium told me X, and a hundred others witnessed that, and ten of them knew it to be true, than it is not hearsay.
So when many have corroborated or witnessed that to which you are testifying and, moreover, agree with its validity or truth (veridicality) , then it is not hearsay.
(*) In the U.S. most recently by Schwartz et al and in the U.K. during 2000-2001 by Robertson and Roy. And by Greyson, Stevenson, and more recently, in the UK by Parnia and in the Netherlands by Van Limmel et al. Visit our website for this information: http://www.survivalscience.orgMay 18, 2002 at 2:05 pm #77281
In order to more fully appreciate what I am talking about here with respect to a physical, measurable em energy thing underlying this, I am cross-posting from another list the following item which deals with measuring these energies at a distance from the body. Mainstream science may not have cut it in the past but appears to be catching up:
Subtle Energies Emanating from the Body
As some of you from the old list (survivalscience) may recall we had a lively discussion concerning the work of Janusz Slawinski. Dr. Greyson was kind enough to point out that almost an entire issue of a journal he edited, the J of Near Death Studies, was devoted to a review by Slawinski plus a host of peer reviewer comments.
One of the sections in a rebuttal Slawinski wrote piqued my interest:
A thought is a psychological process, but it is also an an energy that causes the neurons in the brain to fire in a certain pattern. That pattern produces low intensity ionic currents along certain paths in the cortex that can be detected with sensitive instruments through electrodes on the surface of the skull or EVEN AT A DISTANCE. == (caps mine)
He is speaking of what we know as the EEG.
Then he goes on to quote two references in Russian journals which are inaccessible to me. These both allude to the fact you can measure these EM energies at a distance from their source.
In addition he says:
Through the propagation of those ionic currents, a thought that starts out as a tiny perturbation of the electrical field can eventually develop into a relatively strong force producing a 90 microVolt potential. The thought fires the first neuron, which in turn causes others to fire. If we can detect the energy of that thought outside the head (and we can) then the energy of that thought must be broadcast in the form of electromagnetic waves. How could that be if the thought, a psychological process, and the electromagnetic wave, a physical process, were totally different, incommensurate realities?.
The key to the truth of the above resides in the ability to measure that energy outside the head, away from the head.
When the EEG was first developed it was necessary to put needles into the brain to measure the potential. Improved technology and learning that the bone of the skull, the fluids around it and the skin could be excellent conductors, enabled medicine to record the EEG by slipping tiny needle electrodes just
breeching the skin slightly above the cranium. Further refinements in electrode technology and recording devices has finally enabled the EEG to be recorded with surface (non-invasive) electrodes applied externally on skin which has been prepped and abraded (to lower impedance). An interface of electrolyte jelly or cream is also needed to insure good contact between the skin and the electrode. Now along comes Slawinski and his Russian references, back in 1987 no less, who say we can measure the EEG without even touching the head, from outside the head. No skin contact, no electrolyte cream, no
physical conductors of any kind.
Interested in this not only for what it posits for psi and even survival of consciousness, I really wanted to know if I could measure the EEG or ECG for that matter, without placing anything on the test subject. So I searched for research on non-contact EEG and ECG, and along came back a host of sites and articles on TT and other psi-related or paranormal physics philosophies and theories. However I think I finally hit paydirt with the following sites. The first one is a company that has developed an non-contact optical sensing electrode that will pick up EEG and ECG in the atmopshere, without contacting the physical source (e.g. human). I also came across two other sites, the last from a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA is part of the U.S. Dept of Defense) report indicating that they now have technology that could monitor a soldier’s EEG and ECG and perhaps other electrical potentials through clothing, while they are in the field. There is nothing new about remote sensing, a technology known as telemetry. But even telemetry, which amplifies and broadcasts such signals from afar to a receiving set (like a radio) uses radiowaves and requires the measuring electrodes to be applied on skin contact with the subject. Now they can just throw a sensor on one’s clothing and watch your brain waves and heart from half way around the world (they do it from space actually but again, skin contact electrodes are applied to the astronauts).
So check these sites out:May 18, 2002 at 3:06 pm #77286
THank you so very much for the overview of external energy detection.
” Through the propagation of those ionic currents, a thought that starts out as a tiny perturbation of the electrical field can eventually develop into a relatively strong force producing a 90 microVolt potential. The thought fires the first neuron, which in turn causes others to fire. If we can detect the energy of that thought outside the head (and we can) then the energy of that thought must be broadcast in the form of electromagnetic waves. How could that be if the thought, a psychological process, and the electromagnetic wave, a physical process, were totally different, incommensurate realities?. “
This brought to mind something I read recently in A Seth Book, The Nature of Personal Reality. Seth (a channeled spirit through the medium, Jane Roberts) repeats that our external reality is created by our internal thought/creativitiy/imagination/inner true self. This may be more than just wishful thinking, linking plausible cause and effect events in order to give them pointed meaning, or psycho babble. If our energy emanations truly exist as measurable by science (unless something is wrong with measuring instrument or results are misconstrued by the researchers) that must mean that our psychic energies do actually exist outside the framework of human flesh and bone, thus taking up space exterior to the flesh body. As these emanations are exuded and take up exterior space, those molecules that were priorly present are then, logically, moved aside, absorbed, or changed once affected upon by exterior human energy.
Seth, repeats that our very thoughts, both conscious and unconscious, are felt, are made manifest by material results in the outer environment(s). Apparently, this process gives credience to the old philosophy of not only We Think therefore we are, but also to We THink therefore everything else is, too.
Personally, I haven’t swallowed all this Seth material, hook, line and sinker; however, I do see a correlation between what Seth has gotten across in a spiritual/energy context and what you are saying in a scientific/energy context. I find that very interesting.
My next question is, what ramifications could this have for proving/disproving spiritual healing/healers?
Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.
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