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Small correction: I referred to Elsie as the "elder sister," but actually the two girls (Elsie and Frances) were cousins.

This episode is very illustrative of how elusive objectivity actually is, and also of the misunderstanding at the very core of the current debate between advocates of the paranormal and the materialists.

As the excerpt states of Doyle, "His own childhood had been especially rich in fairy lore. Conan Doyle's Celtic heritage was rife with tales of fairy midwives, leprechauns, brownies, and other sprites...."

For Conan Doyle, growing up in a heritage "rich in fairy lore" would have had a profound influence, leaving him especially vulnerable to the mischievousness of the two girls. In the previous thread, I referenced W.Y. Evan-Wentz's study of the Celtic Fairy Faith. Evans-Wentz was remarkably progressive in recognizing that among the people he studied were a certain population that had experienced genuine phenomena that could not be easily explained away by the growing philosophy of materialism, which he pointed out by writing, "In short, the ordinary non-Celtic mind must readjust itself to a new set of phenomena which through ignorance on its part it has been content to disregard, and to treat with ridicule and contempt as so much outworn 'superstition'."

When Stashower informs us, regarding Doyle's father, "We are left to conclude that Charles Doyle, a man widely held to be insane, may well have believed in fairies", he is disregarding, with both "ridicule and contempt", that the ancient Fairy Faith was attempting to express genuine phenomena. The Shamans of contemporary tribal societies also describe phenomena that are not experienced by the anthropologists that study them, an exception being those researchers who choose to partake of Ayahuasca or other psychotropic aids.

In Conan Doyle's case, the 'fairy lore' that he was exposed to as a child left him with a belief in fairies, yet there was no experiential aspect to that faith. If there had been an experiential aspect, he would have known that fairies could not be objectively demonstrated, though they could be subjectively perceived. The idea that "the existence of fairies could be proven" would not have held sway. The fairy faith, as well as the experiences of tribal shamans, are just examples of William Blake's dictum, "If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.”

On pages 122-123 of Evans-Wentz's dissertation, he quotes a John Davies, who says in part, "I am only a poor ignorant man . . . But one does not have to be educated to see fairies, and I have seen them many a time . . . Before education came into the island more people could see the fairies; now very few people can see them. But they (the fairies) are as thick on the Isle of Man as ever they were."

The italicized copy in the above quote is simply another way of saying that education had closed the doors of perception.

Doyle went awry, as many still do today, in failing to understand that subjective phenomena can not be objectively demonstrated. If he had understood that, he would have been insulated from the malfeasance of little girls. As I wrote to begin this post, this misunderstanding is at the core of the debate that continues today. Science continually demonstrates anomalies in many fields - Evan-Wentz's 'x-factor' - yet the assumption that everything can be objectively demonstrated is shared almost universally, especially in the West. This shared assumption not only fuels the ongoing debate, but it also provides opportunity for the fraudulent, whose shenanigans over the decades have only furthered the case of the debunkers.

Ouch,talk about losing credebility.Mainstream media focusses more on his positive accomplishments though.His sherlock holmes books have even inspired cartoons.

Yes, extremely interesting.
From Steve Pavlina’s site, which I know you must have explored:
http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/05/subjective-reality-qa/
-we get:

But I see plenty of evidence that the universe exists outside myself, so that’s why I believe in an objective universe. Am I missing something?

It’s actually the opposite. You see such evidence BECAUSE you believe in an objective universe. Your beliefs about reality will manifest the physical evidence that is congruent with them. So if you look to the physical universe, you will simply see a reflection of your existing beliefs about the physical universe.

So how can I know that subjective reality is real?

Change your beliefs, and then watch the physical universe itself change to become congruent with them.

So if I were to believe in something that didn’t exist or that wasn’t possible yet, it would actually begin to manifest in the physical universe?

Yes, it would. The physical universe is a summation of thought. So first of all, in order to change this universe, you must adopt the belief that creation by thought is possible. You must not only believe it. You must know it.
If you try to create by thought, yet deep down you still believe it’s impossible or highly improbable, then it will not manifest for you. The physical universe, including time and space, can only manifest in a manner that is congruent with your beliefs.

But according to science, history, etc. this can’t be true.

Science and history, past and future, and all your memories exist within your consciousness. You manifested them. If you believe it can’t be true, then it can’t.
Science is based on the presupposition that objective reality exists. The whole notion of an objective observer stems from that assumption. But this assumption is unprovable and may therefore be erroneous. From a subjective standpoint, the belief in objectivity is what manifests all the laws and discoveries of science. To drop that belief is to make it possible to violate the seemingly untouchable laws of science.

--------------------------------------------
-So to Michael H's statement that “subjective phenomena cannot be objectively demonstrated” we must presumably add the rider: “unless you really believe them to the extent of absolutely knowing that they exist."

Naturally, this explains why a science-based education destroys the manifestation of fairies. Conan Doyle is in a not untypical Western schizophrenic situation where everything he has been taught tells him that the likes of fairies can't exist, but his pre-educated childhood self cannot accept it.

Right?!

Oh, and the little girls are evidently symbolic of the childhood he lost as he grew up to embrace the Sherlock Holmes style of reality. Which, apart from chivalry, is why he trusted them so explicitly.

It’s a slippery slope, isn’t it Ross? The thing that is so difficult to get across is the idea that everyone on earth is experiencing a separate reality. What we believe to be true, individually and collectively, appears true.

Consider the http://www.nderf.org/anita_m's_nde.htm#NDERF_INTERVIEW_>statement of Anita M following her NDE.

”When I was in the NDE state, it felt like I had woken up to a different reality. It felt like I had awoken from the “illusion” of life, and from that perspective, it looked like my physical life was just a culmination of my thoughts and beliefs up to that point. It felt like the whole world was just a culmination of the thoughts and beliefs of the collective. That is, the culmination of everyone’s thoughts and beliefs. It felt like nothing was actually real, but we made it real with our beliefs.”

Compare her statement to Pavlina, when he writes, “The physical universe is a summation of thought.”

Sydney Banks says, “Thought is not reality; yet it is through Thought that our realities are created.”

Anyone who has actually caught a glimmer of this has struggled mightily to express it in a way that others can understand. Frankly, all of these examples will appear, to someone who has yet to actually see it as true, as just a spin on the power of positive thinking: “Change your thoughts, Change your life.”

The idea is not to adopt the belief that our thoughts create our reality, or to ‘think positively’. It is simply to shift our inner focus and attention to see ourselves as the ‘thinker’. For those who do so, they will discover that new, positive thoughts just come to mind, naturally, without effort. New thoughts just arrive as insights, they feel fresh and new – there’s a quality that feels like, “Ah-ha!”

As far as how all of this relates to Doyle, it appears to me that he grew up among people who had directly experienced the Fairies that were part and parcel of the collective beliefs of his community, people very similar to those studied by Evans-Wentz. I don’t think he had such experiences himself, but like Evans-Wentz, he came to accept that there were phenomena that some had experienced that were genuine. His mistake was in thinking that these things could be demonstrated to other people. They cannot be – and this is a mistaken line of thinking that continues into the present day. The battle between the skeptics and the intuitives (and paranormal researchers) comes down to the fact that both groups don’t understand how their own consciousness converts their own thoughts into reality.

I do want to be clear that I don’t think the ancient Celtics were ‘enlightened’ by any stretch of the imagination, only that they, like the tribal shamans I mentioned earlier, along with the genuine mediums of today, were open to aspects of reality that the mindset of materialism claims to be ludicrous. As the new mindset gained prominence, the ancient beliefs died away with the funeral processions of those who had experienced the fairies. New collective ‘truths’ ruled the day. And those collective truths still do.

I came across a http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/tagore/tr/index.htm>passage from Rabindranath Tagore last night that seemed appropriate to this point.

Spiritual life is the emancipation of consciousness. Through it we find immediate response of soul everywhere. Before we attain this life, we see men through the medium of self-interest, prejudice or classification, because of the perpetual remoteness around us which we cannot cross over. When the veil is removed, we not only see the fleeting forms of the world, but come close to its eternal being, which is ineffable beauty.

Some seek for the evidence of spiritual truth in the outside world. In this quest one may stumble upon ghosts or some super-sensual phenomenon of nature, but these do not lead us to spiritual truth, as new words in a dictionary do not give us literature.

Doyle’s quest for “evidence of spiritual truth in the outside world” resulted in ridicule. Paranormal researchers today run the same risks, and will continue to do so until there is a broad understanding that we’re all just sharing a reality that is founded on thought itself.

It has nothing to do with Doyle, but I noticed something in the Pavlina excerpt that I feel can lead to some confusion. This is the statement that bothered me:

So how can I know that subjective reality is real?

Change your beliefs, and then watch the physical universe itself change to become congruent with them.

It has been my experience that it's not so much an active effort to change beliefs, as it is simply a matter of noticing that we're experiencing reality through the filter of our beliefs. When we honestly see that to be the case, our beliefs just shift without any active effort on our part.

Not that you're suddenly happy all the time. Hillary Clinton still exists, it's just that you realize you don't have to take her so damn seriously! ;-)

>So how can I know that subjective reality is real?
>Change your beliefs, and then watch the physical universe itself change to become congruent with them.

If I stop believing in the moon, will it go away? And what about the people who still believe in the moon? Will it exist for them but not for me?

It seems to me there are two possibilities (discounting solipsism). One possibility is that the moon is objectively real, and no change of belief can affect its existence. The other possibility is that the moon is subjectively real, but since there is a consensus that it exists, one individual's change of mind will have no affect on it (because the inter-subjective consensus will be stronger than any one person's opinion). Either way, the physical universe won't be changing to accommodate my personal beliefs anytime soon.

Which is too bad, because I would like to believe that Jurassic Park is a real place ...

I got more comments from Keith Augustine from infidels forum just curious if anyone would like to see it.

Originally Posted by LeoM View Post
Ok so Raymond Moody and Mark Twain acknowledge your article but that doesn't mean that they accept your conclusions.
One doesn't have to accept my conclusions to acknowledge that my POV isn't based on obvious fallacies or tricks or deception. My point was simply that if my POV was so obviously fallacious as you and other survivalists have argued, no near-death researcher would have said nice things about my arguments. (Frankly I was surprised to get such feedback given the audience; but it is nice to see that not everybody automatically stereotypes those that disagree with them.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeoM View Post
Here's some interesting where you Keith use a distorted account in a magazine written by two college students.

Comments on ''Does Paranormal Perception Occur In Near-Death Experiences?''

* Kimberly Clark Sharp
That "magazine" was Skeptical Inquirer, and those "kids" were college students who visited the site of the Maria's shoe incident and coauthored a paper whose lead author was the late neuroscientist Barry Beyerstein.

That the account is "distorted" is just bluster; in fact, it was merely a matter-of-fact look at how the information "Maria" supposedly could not get any other way than leaving her body could, in fact, be gotten by normal means. I don't understand why survivalists find this objectionable; objecting to considering normal sources of information is analogous to arguing that whenever we see a light in the sky, we are justified in calling it a UFO without making any effort to eliminate the possibility that it is an airplane, helicopter, or whatever. It is up to survivalists to show that normal explanations don't work before pushing their paranormal ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeoM View Post
* Bruce Greyson

Keith Augustine's critique of studies of veridical perception in near-death experiences is based on unsubstantiated speculation from the popular media, rather than on supportive data or peer-reviewed literature. Nevertheless, addressing the issues he raises would improve the methodology of near-death research and strengthen the evidential database for veridical perception.
In my reply to this commentary, if you would ever bother to read it, I pointed out that I indeed made a presumption, and that that presumption was not based on anything in the popular media (Greyson doesn't cite some TV show I based my conclusions on, for example!), but was an extrapolation based on what near-death researchers themselves have written. In any case, do you have any idea what Greyson assumed in my critique was based on "unsubstantiated speculation from the popular media"? It wasn't facts about any specific case, Leo. It was my presumption that most near-death researchers believe in survival after death. Greyson was challenging that idea. If he is right and there is no reason to think that most near-death researchers believe in survival, that certainly doesn't help your case, though, does it?

As for your question as to whether I think it is certain that death is the end, of course not--but I do think survival after death is highly improbable. And if I am wrong about that (which is a remote possibility that I don't lose sleep over), I don't expect to be "judged" after death merely for getting the facts wrong. If there is some higher being out there who judges people merely for getting the nature of reality wrong, maybe he ought to make it clearer what the nature of reality is instead of leaving us groping in the dark to figure it out all by ourselves. Considering the ambiguity of the evidence, that I got the facts wrong (if I did) is hardly something I am culpable for.


It is surely is a shame that doyle fell for
charlatans this is a certainly a lesson for all of us.

Goodness, Augustine. Almost no one is claiming there is a higher being that will judge people - certainly not the researchers.

This guy has some major distortions going on.

Ross W,

The author of Consciousness is All, a book you mentioned in a previou thread, has been in touch with me and would like to communicate with you. Could you please send me an email, and I will forward your email address to him?

My email address is provided here.

“maybe he ought to make it clearer what the nature of reality is instead of leaving us groping in the dark to figure it out all by ourselves.”

Hey that “he” might be a “she”. I too get upset on occasion that we are often left groping in the dark to figure it all out. But think of the discoveries we make, the realizations we have, and the joy we experience in making those discoveries and having those realizations.

Kind of like god rediscovering itself or reawaking to its potential.

Because god is infinite there is nothing left to discover; but create a process of evolution of consciousness that requires experiences with karma for these perceived Beings to awaken to their true reality by advancing in love and divine intelligence; then you have a process where god can express itself in an infinite number of unique ways.

Nature providing an evolution of consciousness approach to its awaking may be the process god uses to express and experience itself. For Oneness to express itself as twoness there must be ignorance. I.e. unawareness.

How else could this infinite cosmic awareness that some call cosmic consciousness express its potential as unique “PERCEIVED” Beings without these Beings (during their journey back to Oneness) groping in the dark.

We must be unaware of our true reality for god to express its potential and interrelate with itself. Of course god is really not a self, as we know that word, but that’s another story.

Leo you are part of that potential as we are all. The mystics tell us that all that groping in the dark was worth it for the bliss that they experience.

“The other possibility is that the moon is subjectively real, but since there is a consensus that it exists, one individual's change of mind will have no affect on it.”

According to this philosophy, if an individual could somehow really convince himself that the Moon is unreal, then in his perception it must wink out. This is extremely unlikely, because his belief in it is a product of history and culture actually created by him (as a human in other bodies…don’t forget, in Consciousness we are all in fact supposed to be a Single Awareness, One Whole Self). He would somehow be managing to deny what he himself has been believing and manifesting for thousands of years!

I’m not so sure that your word consensus (which is also a word I’ve often used myself), implying multiple minds, is quite right in the context of a Single Conscious Awareness. The Single Awareness creates, by intention and attention, human minds. Minds in themselves do not (again, according to this philosophy) have awareness –they are simply tools used by Awareness for generating thoughts and emotions. Bodies are the tools for generating physical experience.

In view of the fact that I (or You) have apparently created the universe as it is today, your statement “the physical universe won't be changing to accommodate my personal beliefs anytime soon” must presumably be the opposite of what this philosophy is saying. If you said, “the physical universe won’t be changing to accommodate my current preferences anytime soon”, I suppose it would be true. Beliefs are stronger than preferences. They are something I (You) have created over the whole history of the world. Beliefs change through time -more often slowly by evolution than by revolution.

This concurs with Michael H’s misgivings about the sudden revolutionary potential of New Age positive thinking. Can it be strong enough to overturn everything that we have believed before? And his idea of the ‘thinker’ behind the thoughts is (correct me if I’m wrong) another way of referring to the Single underlying Conscious Awareness.

One possibility is that the moon is objectively real, and no change of belief can affect its existence. The other possibility is that the moon is subjectively real, but since there is a consensus that it exists, one individual's change of mind will have no affect on it (because the inter-subjective consensus will be stronger than any one person's opinion).

I choose door number two, MP. Kind of.

One individual's change of mind will alter the reality of the moon only for the individual who has experienced the change of mind. When the mystics speak of physical reality as ultimately illusory, this is what they are speaking to. Everything is always about perception and levels of consciousness. From the standpoint of transcendent consciousness, it is understood that the moon, as well as the entire physical universe, has all the permanence of an idea. The mystic may still see a moon; it's just that they understand the nature of the moon at a much deeper level than those who have yet to experience perception from that level of consciousness.

In any case, the idea is not to change beliefs, it’s to learn to see beyond our beliefs, whether those beliefs involve fairies, or scientific hypotheses, or ‘subjective reality’. Genuine objectivity is much rarer than we imagine.

"Genuine objectivity is much rarer than we imagine."

How few in the world understand this statement. Politics and religion are classic examples of this lack of understanding of the rarity of genuine objectivity. Genuine objectivity may be a perfect example of an oxymoron.

I think one of the reasons I enjoy working with 3 and 4 year olds is that they are so much more authentic, whereas by the time we grow into adulthood society’s socialization process has done its job superbly.

Not trying to judge this socialization process good or bad it may very well be needed to stabilize a society. What would society be like without this process?

"Kind of like god rediscovering itself or reawaking to its potential."
Plenty of wisdom here, William -(your whole post) -nicely put.

"In any case, the idea is not to change beliefs, it’s to learn to see beyond our beliefs" - Yes, Michael H, this may hit the nail on the head. Need to think about this (or should I say, 'let it incubate in consciousness'?!)

“Kind of like god rediscovering itself or reawaking to its potential.”

Although they brought much of their personality with them watching my grandchildren play and go through the discovery process one can see the need for rebirth that brings a newness to this discovery process.

In Emmanuel’s Book One they ask Emmanuel if someday we will ever be able to live as a human forever. Emmanuel responds that he could not think of anything more horrible than to live in these bodies forever.

I have always felt even as a child that if we could understand the simplest of nature’s processes we would understand the most complex mysteries of the universe.

“The Single Awareness creates, by intention and attention, human minds. Minds in themselves do not (again, according to this philosophy) have awareness –they are simply tools used by Awareness for generating thoughts and emotions. Bodies are the tools for generating physical experience.”

As consciousness evolves we appear to gain increased awareness but maybe what feels like individual awareness is nothing more than opening our minds to that awareness that is within us and “outside” us.

Not sure that was stated very well but awareness is infinite so everywhere. Stated another way “there ain’t nothing but Awareness” everything else is a point in time (sequence) and therefore temporal.

I can see by first English teacher I had in college in shock for using the word “ain’t” as she would not even say the word for fear of having that word in her vocabulary.

Awareness is infinite whereas consciousness is temporal.

Michael Prescott wrote: "If I stop believing in the moon, will it go away? And what about the people who still believe in the moon? Will it exist for them but not for me?

It seems to me there are two possibilities (discounting solipsism). One possibility is that the moon is objectively real, and no change of belief can affect its existence."

Those questions are moot, while the existence of fairies isn't. It's more like asking, "If I stop believing in my soul, will it go away?" Or in an audience in which everyone already believes in the human soul, asking, "If I stop believing in my cat's soul, will it go away?"

But I see your point.

Fairies may well be real -- to date that's not been proved or disproved. But they're not observable by the ordinary person, as the moon is, so the only question we can begin to objectively answer right now is, when we see a photo of a fairy, can the photo be believed? The question is first the photo's authenticity, and then the fairy's existence -- the same today as it was in Conan Doyle's day. Today we see pictures with orbs in them, and the same question arises in our minds. Is the photo real? Then, if it's not doctored, and if it's not an accident of light or sun dogs, then what is that orb?

I doubt Conan Doyle's belief in the photos had as much to do with his childhood belief in fairies as it had to do with his lack of knowledge of photographic tricks. Today no one who owned a Brownie camera as a child would be likely to believe them, childhood fairy stories notwithstanding. To me they're obviously cardboard cutouts, clearly two-dimensional. But if I couldn't explain how they got into the pictures, then I'd have to wonder. It's a question of technological savvy, for which Conan Doyle can't be blamed.

Thanks for the link to the photos. I'd heard of them but never seen them.

I personally believe in fairies, as a lower form of angel, or nature spirit. But I doubt I'll ever see their existence proven by photographs, or by any other technical means. It's a very ephemeral belief, but some people claim it helps them as gardeners (see http://www.findhorn.org), and I have to wonder.

”I think one of the reasons I enjoy working with 3 and 4 year olds is that they are so much more authentic, whereas by the time we grow into adulthood society’s socialization process has done its job superbly.

Not trying to judge this socialization process good or bad it may very well be needed to stabilize a society. What would society be like without this process?” - william

I suppose that some socialisation process is needed, but it strikes me as undesirable to have it lead to a loss of authenticity. This is my main objection to the current socialisation process – it seeks to stabilise society by fostering sameness of thinking and behaviour instead of uncovering beauty and strength in diversity.

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