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Very nice post.

What I find interesting is that the Seth channelings came out quite awhile back (1963 to 1984: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seth_Material), but I have seen very little that I don't perceive as jibing with what I would term "mainstream New Age thought." Plus, they match up very well with reports from NDEs, etc. Not to mention my own experiences.

In a world in which skeptics are right (all of this is hogwash), one would expect much less consensus on these matters, I should think. Of course, a skeptic would probably say that there has been mutual cultural influence: Roberts was influenced by Eastern religion, etc., and all of us New Age and SBNR types have been drinking from the same well.

And yet, there is no central committee to ensure orthodoxy. It's very well organized for an enterprise based on loose collusion, isn't it?

A little off-topic, but what a pathetic situation on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Seth_Material#Ownership_proven_by_threats_to_edit_war

You mentioned this recently, Michael: Wikipedia is great on the whole, but the skeptics are strong there and engaged in a war against anything that violates their worldview. Wikipedia definitely is not "NPOV" when it comes to anything spiritual.

I'm sorry, but I think it would have to address more pressing problems as the problems listed in this thread rather than studying parallels between information model and these channeling:

http://forum.mind-energy.net/skeptiko-podcast/5343-two-fundamental-problems-afterlife-16.html

Do you know any case of mediumship which has contributed to new scientific/technical knowledge?

Loving the on-going Seth posts - a real blast from my past!

I was especially interested in Seth's views on the subject of apparitions. I have recently started reading (for the first time) the early SPR books, like "Phantasms of the Living" and Myers' "Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death", and I have been quite surprised at how complex the subject of apparitions really is, and how difficult to explain many of them are. It is very interesting to see Gurney and Sidgwick and Myers ("oh, my!") putting forth their various hypotheses to try to explain various types of apparitions. Some of their hypotheses strike me as more plausible than others, but I usually come away with the feeling that even their best explanations don't quite work. The "Seth/Prescott" view outlined in this post seems to me to be at least a little closer to the right direction....

Speaking of Wikipedia, I received a lengthy email just today from someone insisting that all mediums have been debunked. (It may have been the indefatigable Forests.) He listed numerous mediums with links to their debunkings, but nearly all the links were to Wikipedia entries.

Now, I agree that some of the mediums on his list have in fact been debunked, but Wiki just isn't a reliable source in these matters.

In fairness, he also listed a few non-Wiki sources. They are ...

"Is Spiritualism Based on Fraud?" by Joseph McCabe, text online at:

http://archive.org/stream/isspiritualismba00mccarich#page/n3/mode/2up

An anti-Leonora Piper essay by Ivor Lloyd Tuckett:

http://archive.org/stream/evidenceforsuper00tuckrich#page/320/mode/2up

"Trick Methods of Eusapia Paladino":

http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89090346453#page/333/mode/1up

"Spiritualism and Sir Oliver Lodge":

http://archive.org/stream/spiritualismsiro00mercuoft#page/n3/mode/2up

There is something to note about thought forms as described here.

It suggests an imaginary character possesses some type of abstract autonomy. Dreams consist of thought forms interacting with the bigger mind, and I can see how certain dream characters seem a bit more 'life like' than others.

It's a weird concept and hard to wrap my head around. Do you think a thought form can gain, and gain in autonomy until it becomes a spirit, and then it incarnates on Earth? Do you become like that spirits parent?

Is this an origin of spirits? Just an idea

Juan - Do you know any case of mediumship which has contributed to new scientific/technical knowledge?

This objection to the real existence of discarnates and an afterlife may be a legitimate problem, and has also been discussed on two other threads at the skeptiko forum, at:

http://forum.mind-energy.net/skeptiko-haven/2178-criteria-challenge.html

and

http://forum.mind-energy.net/skeptiko-podcast/3436-criteria-challenge.html


It is interesting that Seth addresses this problem in one of Michael's quotes:

"... Most individuals from these stages who communicate with "living" relatives have not reached the time of choosing as yet, and have not completed their training.

They may still be perceiving reality in terms of their old beliefs. Almost all communications come from this level, particularly when there is a bond of relationship in an immediately previous life."

Of course the skeptic will claim this is just an ad hoc rationalization.

It's an interesting loose collusion, Matt. I was in Church today (trying to mend my ways), and came upon something from someone who may be the original New Ager: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened."

I do think that Seth provides a very elegant explanation of apparitions - if they are real - and he seems to say that they can be real even if they only manifest for some persons -that seems like how it would work.

Regarding apparitions, there is also the interesting fact that they can appear in photographs without anyone present seeing them. Now how does the appearance on film relate to M-space(s)?

I experiments in quantum mechanics (e.g., dual slit) require an adjustment of the M/N-space hypothesis. For there seems to be a kind of *objective* subjectivity at work, not merely individuation in M-spaces. That is, if an apparition is not instantiated in M-spaces at the time, why would it appear on film later and make itself *objectively* present in *all* M-spaces (i.e., everyone who looks at the photograph will see the apparition, or at least what may be interpreted as an apparition).

That doesn't mean I don't think the answer is on the right track, but I think the truth may be even more complicated.

"Speaking of Wikipedia, I received a lengthy email just today from someone insisting that all mediums have been debunked. (It may have been the indefatigable Forests.)"

I received exactly the same oe-mail. Did the sender appear as "Leo Kennedy"? It is not doubt Darryl/Forests
If he bothered with all that,I asked him to send me material where John Sloan and Emily French were debunked and considered frauds.
Still passionely waiting

Yes - Leon Kennedy, actually. I figured it was a mass email, because no one would go to that much trouble otherwise.

Regarding apparitions and photos, one possibility is that they somehow impress their image directly on the film. This was the hypothesis of the Scole group. How they can do this, I have no idea, but I suppose if one can tap into N-space directly, one can manipulate matter (which is only information).

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