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Setting up an experiment in a lab would probably make the procedure too formal and create the tension of high expectations. A lighthearted attitude — not taking the whole thing too seriously — may well be crucial to success.
So, at every dining table at Randi's next annual confab, let there be a pair of pencils!

Intriguing!

For some reason, this reminded me of mirror-gazing - the idea that by gazing into a mirror, you will see those who passed on in the mirror.

I also just found out that Raymond Moody of NDE fame has written a book about people's experiences doing this: "Reunions: Visionary Encounters with Departed Loved Ones." I've never done mirror-gazing myself, but would be interested if anyone had success with it.

I'm not quite so sure about this; if there really are negative/evil entities in the spiritual plane (I keep reading conflicting reports), then it might be wise to avoid having anything to do with them at all, even in jest. It's like how we have dictators, assassins, and drug dealers with us, but it would be extremely dangerous to joke or play around with them, if not suicidal. Better safe than sorry, so to speak.

On a lighter note, it's probably only a matter of days before a film studio makes a found-footage horror film about this. After all, if they did one for Ouija, why not a Twitter fad?

See Michael, I told thee, it's demons!

Also, if we take Sheldrake's idea of morphic resonance seriously, which I am inclined to do, then the more people succeeded with this type of PK, the easier it would be for others to succeed.

By the way, there are a lot of videos on YouTube of people simply doing straight-up PK. Of course, it's impossible to tell if they are fake or not, but certainly a lot of people are *claiming* to be doing it.

Sometime commenter here Sandy (wish she'd come back!) has of course said she has effected PK and has said she has video evidence. I never saw any reason to doubt her.

This is the kind of phenomenon that has the potential to achieve escape velocity from the Skeptics' damage control planet, so to speak.

Don't forget the thousands of innocent spoons that were bent in 60's and 70's.

Off-Topic:

Perhaps this has already been talked about in this blog:

Below is a link to Afterlife TV. The main figure of Afterlife TV is named Bob Olson. He has at least 5 different websites having to do with the afterlife. (See the top of the Afterlife TV home page to see links to Bob's other sites).

His websites are polished -- maybe, for my tastes, a little too polished. I'm feeling tinges of dismay because sometimes it feels to me rather like Olson is marketing McDonald's hamburgers.

That said, there's a lot of value in Olson's websites.

Bob has a degree in Criminology, and was a private investigator for 15 years. He became an open-minded skeptic ("skeptic" with a small-case "s"), and applied his P.I. skills to checking out the afterlife. (He and Victor Zammit, a lawyer, have trod similar professional paths in that both were paid to gather and evaluate evidence.)

Afterlife TV:

http://www.afterlifetv.com/

Bonjour de France

Sokia TK on youtube is an excellent PK user

PK on water ( impressive )
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jX_5Fyj6m_c

**********
Zenzenitude do the same

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIS6UaRjcXxTcqb8Xc-rvTA

but there is faker, zenzenitude debunks Psyman Josh for example ( this teenager blew on the object )

another example from SokiaTK
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcuG6FPMJew&index=14&list=PLtmm-lyGdEx86S2fPcBD5gItOB0ecDcso

Oh, I don't think there is anything to this "Charlie" craze other than the instability in the pencil setup. The pencils are bound to move.

And why is a Mexican demon named Charlie rather than Carlos?

I think this is a poor case choice for PK . You could have done better Michael.

"And why is a Mexican demon named Charlie rather than Carlos?"

If it's PK, the name doesn't matter, right?

"I think this is a poor case choice for PK."

There are definitely more convincing examples out there. What interested me about this case is that it's gone viral on social media. It seems to be a modern-day equivalent of Ouija boards and table-tipping. The psychology of it, at least, is intriguing.

Michael, have you considered seriously the idea that the "spirits" might not be who they say they are? Could these spirits be demonic entities? It is worth entertaining as a valid possibility, even if you aren't a fan of Christianity.

Haven't you ever wondered why the success rate of psychics is so poor? Could it be that the reason for this is because demons are deceiving beings?

Have you ever wondered why people that have sleep paralysis say that the only thing that seems to help them is to call out to Jesus?

Have you studied possession states outside of modern day mediumship? Essentially, the trance medium is allowing their mind and body to be taken over by a spirit entity. What is different to this and shamanism?

Have you ever noticed that there is a large amount of possessed people that talk with a heavy deep accent that is usually in the English accent? And why is that? Perhaps "Charlie" instead of Carlos is another one of these instances?

Did you know that Catholic mystics have levitated and been unsensitive to pain, just like eastern yogis and shamans? Why is it just Catholics and not other Christians? And why, when it is other Christians, it is attributed to demonic possession?

And, last, why do you think there is a connection between psychics and aliens? Why did an alien face show up in the Scole experiment? Why did Uri Geller claim he was abducted by a UFO and later on had communications with ET entities? Why do all channelled writings and visits by the so called spirits of the dead at séances contradict the Bible? Why do they all sound like New Agers? And why do most mediums end up damaged mentally and physically?

Just some thoughts for you to ponder.

David, as a former christian I think you have a good point that we should consider if these entities are malevolent instead of beneficial, but I would caution not to take it too far. I learned the hard way that if you get too caught up in the "what if this is a deception of Satan?" questions, it's easy to see anything and everything as demonic attacks. It's not a pleasant experience, and one I have no desire to repeat again. Just because something doesn't agree with a person's religion doesn't mean it's demonic.

I'm not sure where you got your statistics on psychic failure rates, but like any other specialist, psychics are going to have varying degrees of success and failure, and shouldn't be expected to hit home runs all the time. The only times I remember a specific instance of a psychic ending up physically and emotionally harmed were about Edgar Cayce (who apparently wore out his body by doing too many readings for people in too short a time) and one psychic seeker who gave himself over completely to a disincarnated entity, only to apparently be forced into killing himself (the book title had something to do with hungry ghosts, but I can't remember it exactly). Joan of Arc might also count, as she followed the advice of her spirit guides but ended up being roasted extra-crispy, which always struck me as suspicious (in addition to the idea that God took sides in a war between two nations).

With regards to channeled material, you may be interested in the online book, "Are you Seeking the Light or Just Dancing With the Dark?" which remains one of the most useful and informative spiritual works I've come across in all my years of searching. While I don't agree with all of it, the book does raise many excellent points such as this:

"...a human being can only be given information that they are seeking in direct proportion to their degree of seeking the information! In other words the more an individual truly desires to know something, which we could say is the degree of the individual’s actual seeking, and if the information is in the highest and best interest of the person doing the seeking, then a positive entity is allowed to make contact and share very limited information with an individual on Earth. The information must be very limited so as not to interrupt or influence the present incarnations of anybody presently living on Earth."

In other words, the reason so many communications are different is because they're meant only for a specific group of individuals or a specific mindset. What may help a christian, for example, would not help a freethinker, and vice versa.

In the end, we have no way of knowing for sure if these communicating entities are benevolent, malevolent, or somewhere in between. There's no doubt that channeled material can and does help people grow, but the problem comes when we depend on it for everything and turn our lives over to these teachings and the entities that give them, instead of constantly studying, seeking, and asking questions. The best we can do, I believe, is to ask God/Spirit for guidance, do our best to become more godlike in our character, and to look at all channeled material, even holy texts, with an open but guarded mind.

"Did you know that Catholic mystics have levitated and been unsensitive to pain, just like eastern yogis and shamans? Why is it just Catholics and not other Christians?"

Yes, I know about Catholic levitations, etc. I think some of them are genuine. If these are instances of macro PK, as I suspect, then belief has a lot to do with it. The Catholic Church has generally tolerated and even encouraged miraculous displays, while Protestant churches have not. Pious Catholics, accordingly, are more likely to manifest the phenomena, since their belief system is in line with these things.

"Have you ever wondered why people that have sleep paralysis say that the only thing that seems to help them is to call out to Jesus?"

I don't know that this is true, but if it is, I'd say (again) it's an issue of belief. If someone believes in Jesus, calling out to him would be effective. I doubt it would be helpful to, say, a Hindu who has no particular feelings about Jesus.

"Essentially, the trance medium is allowing their mind and body to be taken over by a spirit entity. What is different to this and shamanism?"

It is not different from shamanism. Why is this a problem?

"And why do most mediums end up damaged mentally and physically?"

Again, I don't know that this is true. One could say that many writers, artists, and performers end up damaged (alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, suicide, etc.). Working intuitively can put quite a strain on the psyche, since intuition is not under conscious control and does not always produce results on demand. This does not mean that writers, artists, and performers are possessed by demons - although some of them may act that way. :-)

"And, last, why do you think there is a connection between psychics and aliens?"

Another such connection is the similarity between so-called alien abductions and out-of-body experiences. I suspect that "aliens" are the mind's way of interpreting nonhuman entities or influences that, in an earlier era, would have been interpreted as angels, devils, or gods. What these entities actually are, I have no clue. Maybe some are demonic, but demons are part of all religious traditions, not just Christianity.

"one psychic seeker who gave himself over completely to a disincarnated entity, only to apparently be forced into killing himself (the book title had something to do with hungry ghosts, but I can't remember it exactly)"

It's "The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts," by Joe Fisher. A very good read (and also troubling).

Amazon page: http://goo.gl/5LIwfM

Most channelers agree that low-level entities can play destructive mind games. These entities are usually understood to be discarnate humans who are not very spiritually evolved, but some could be nonhuman beings. Often they try to communicate through the Ouija board, which apparently attracts malicious or mischievous spirits.

I certainly agree that there is a dark side to the paranormal. I even wrote an essay with that title:

http://michaelprescott.net/the-dark-side-of-the-parano.html

"Could these spirits be demonic entities? It is worth entertaining as a valid possibility, even if you aren't a fan of Christianity."

It is logically possible that all these entities are demons, but also is logically possible that these entities are mere psi constructs of subconscious of medium. However, it is not plausible that all instances of mediumship are instances of demons / medium subconscious constructs, but the most probable is that some instances of mediumship are departed human agencies for several reasons: if something shows traits of X, then it probably is X, these entities through mediums show not only knowledge but also the ignorance that would be expected of certain deceased humans, these entities have narrated what they do when they do not appear in a mediumnistic session...

You think that belief has got something to do with levitation? And you think it is an example of macro PK? I don't. Not at all. The fact that these things don't happen to protestants but only Catholics is a clue to the whole thing. You would have to research how the Catholics are corrupted.

There are numerous instances of people that weren't Christians who have had encounters with these entities and Jesus hasn't only just intervened but when they learn about Jesus the attacks stop. I don't think this is just a coincidence, nor do I believe these episodes stop by any other means.

There are links between eastern mysticism, shamanism, trance states and mediumship and aliens and drugs. They all produce states that lead to demonic oppression and possession.

I have come across a lot of information about mediums becoming ill. Perhaps you haven't?

I would suggest that the reason other religions than Christianity speak about demons is not only because they are real but because "satan" is more prevalent in non Christian settings.

I have been studying the paranormal for decades and I had to come to these conclusions because no other theory made sense.

Does anyone know much about this medium?

www.spiritarchive.org/boerge-michaelsen---levitation.html

Here's a fantastic table levitation at this site.

http://mariondampier-jeans.com/●-mediumship/⊱-physical-mediumship

"one psychic seeker who gave himself over completely to a disincarnated entity, only to apparently be forced into killing himself (the book title had something to do with hungry ghosts, but I can't remember it exactly)"

This is something of a misrepresentation of the story lol

"The fact that these things don't happen to protestants but only Catholics is a clue to the whole thing."

Link? I do not think that is true and levitation has no harmful consequence to be considered demonic.

"There are numerous instances of people that weren't Christians who have had encounters with these entities and Jesus hasn't only just intervened but when they learn about Jesus the attacks stop."

I do not know which cases you mean, but most abductions seem hypnagogic hallucinations.

"There are links between eastern mysticism, shamanism, trance states and mediumship and aliens and drugs. They all produce states that lead to demonic oppression and possession."

Not necessarily. This has a good side and a bad side like everything, and what is e need to learn more about these phenomena, not repress it as some traditions have done.

"I have come across a lot of information about mediums becoming ill."

It does not respond to my arguments...

David, briefly, *most* mediums do *not* display any problems as a result of their mediumship. They lead happy and peaceful lives, which is hardly a sign of "demonic oppression and possession".

"You think that belief has got something to do with levitation? And you think it is an example of macro PK?"

Yes, I think it is PK, as is also the case with many instances of table levitation. Belief plays a big role in PK and in psi generally, as witness the well-known sheep/goat effect.

http://archived.parapsych.org/sheep_goat_effect.htm

"I have come across a lot of information about mediums becoming ill. Perhaps you haven't?"

Not really. I don't recall Gladys Leonard or Eileen Garrett becoming ill from practicing mediumship. Or D. D. Home, either.

Eusapia Palladino complained of temporary illness after some of her sessions. This is one reason she cheated when she could.

Leonora Piper did get worn-out for a while, until a new group of controls took over and apparently made the process easier on her.

Arthur Ford, who faked at least some of his sessions, became an alcoholic.

Overall, as far as I can tell, mediums don't get ill or suffer breakdowns at a higher rate than artists, writers, and performers, all of whom also rely on intuitive abilities for their livelihood. Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, and Ernest Hemingway all became severely ill, no doubt in part as a result of mental strain; it does not follow that they were doing the bidding of demons!

"I have been studying the paranormal for decades and I had to come to these conclusions because no other theory made sense."

I suspect you've come to these conclusions because you're predisposed to believe in a certain form of Christianity (apparently Protestantism) and to regard all other religions, and even other Christian denominations, as demonic. IOW: "My religion is true, so I will go to heaven; everyone who believes something different has been misled by demons and is going to hell."

I'm not inclined to think in these terms.

David R,

I'll answer your questions, and I've got some back to you about your own belief system.

||Michael, have you considered seriously the idea that the "spirits" might not be who they say they are? Could these spirits be demonic entities? It is worth entertaining as a valid possibility, even if you aren't a fan of Christianity.||

I have considered and rejected the possibility, yes.

For you: How does God regulate demons' access to people, including Satan's ability to tempt us? Clearly, even good Christians have temptations that they ascribe to Satan or demons. Does God have like a safety valve with which he allows demons to tempt even good people "just a little bit"? If God *does* regulate demonic access, then isn't God complicit in the access? If God does *not* regulate access, then why don't Satan and demons chatter in our minds 24/7?

You see, there has to be a limiting factor. Satan and demons are said to have an infinite desire to tempt us, corrupt us, and harm us. If there is nothing holding them back, then they would seem to have the power to destroy all of humanity.

||Haven't you ever wondered why the success rate of psychics is so poor? Could it be that the reason for this is because demons are deceiving beings?||

Sure, I'm psychic, and I know what it's like. Most of the time, we psychics are not getting our information from "entities." We are seeing images directly, or the facts simply appear to us as facts. Today I was doing a reading for my friend. I got her car model, year, and color right. I just "saw" it or otherwise sensed it. So perhaps a demon put that information in my mind?

For you: Why is it in the interest of demons ever to provide factually wrong information if they have the power always provide correct information? Wouldn't it be better strategy to be 100% correct as to the facts but steer people *morally* in the wrong direction?

||Have you ever wondered why people that have sleep paralysis say that the only thing that seems to help them is to call out to Jesus?||

I've never heard that.

||Have you studied possession states outside of modern day mediumship? Essentially, the trance medium is allowing their mind and body to be taken over by a spirit entity. What is different to this and shamanism?||

What Michael said. It's not different from shamanism. I don't necessarily recommend trance mediumship, either. At least not the kind in which one is inviting spirits in. I don't see a reason to give up that basic level of control. In any case, trance mediums are rare these days.

||Have you ever noticed that there is a large amount of possessed people that talk with a heavy deep accent that is usually in the English accent? And why is that? Perhaps "Charlie" instead of Carlos is another one of these instances?||

Nope. I think possessed people are rare in the first place.

For you: Same thing about access. If demons *can* possess people, why don't they do so as much as possible?


||Did you know that Catholic mystics have levitated and been unsensitive to pain, just like eastern yogis and shamans? Why is it just Catholics and not other Christians? And why, when it is other Christians, it is attributed to demonic possession?||

I was raised Catholic, and I was never taught that other Christians are incapable of being involved in miracles or that the miracles in which they were involved were due to demons, so I reject that idea.

I think Michael's explanation of why it is Catholics and not other Christians is correct. It is based on belief system.

For you: There are plenty of Christians who are not Catholics who are involved in faith healing, snake handling, prophecy, etc. Do you think demons are at work in all of that too?

||And, last, why do you think there is a connection between psychics and aliens? Why did an alien face show up in the Scole experiment? Why did Uri Geller claim he was abducted by a UFO and later on had communications with ET entities?||

I think the ETs people encounter psychically are mythological constructs. Same thing with UFO encounters and alien abductions. They may have some relationship to flesh-and-blood ETs living or deceased, or they may not. Most of the ETs that New Agers encounter, by the way, are loving, advanced, and positive. Not negative ETs like the Greys that abduct people.

||Why do all channelled writings and visits by the so called spirits of the dead at séances contradict the Bible? Why do they all sound like New Agers?||

Thanks for noticing! Have you considered that perhaps the New Age belief system is true? One reason I participate in the belief system is because it is consistent with NDEs, mediumistic communications, channeled messages, and more.

||And why do most mediums end up damaged mentally and physically?||

Care to provide any examples for that.

For you to respond to: You have a fear-based belief system. You have a God that threatens you with eternal damnation if you don't believe in what He says to believe in or do what He says to do. At the same time, this supposedly benevolent God of yours is content to have His Church splinter into a thousand disorganized factions. He's content to have the one true belief system *not* cover the globe after 2,000+ years and actually be on the wane. He's been content to have false religions appear and attract billions. He's content to have demons tempt and corrupt even those that believe in His teachings and call out to Him for help (e.g., Ted Haggard, caught with meth and gay prostitutes; Jimmy Swaggart, caught with prostitutes, and the list goes on). He is content to have people live in doubt as to what is true.

If your religion were true, we should not even be having this discussion. Benevolent Christianity should reign supreme on the earth by now, and its truth should be obvious to all. Instead, we have doubt and chaos. Is that what your God really wants?

What I noticed was that people were claiming that I was a religious person with a religious point of view. They offered no real evidence of this but assumed it only.

It would take more than typing an entry into this weblog to fully respond to the issues raised. But I can certainly try to look up all the resources I know of and put it in a list form so that other people can understand where I am coming from and what I am saying.

"What I noticed was that people were claiming that I was a religious person with a religious point of view. They offered no real evidence of this but assumed it only."

Well, you did keep talking about Jesus and Christianity. For instance:

"Have you ever wondered why people that have sleep paralysis say that the only thing that seems to help them is to call out to Jesus?"

"There are numerous instances of people that weren't Christians who have had encounters with these entities and Jesus hasn't only just intervened but when they learn about Jesus the attacks stop. I don't think this is just a coincidence, nor do I believe these episodes stop by any other means."

"... 'satan' is more prevalent in non Christian settings."

This is all the "evidence" necessary to establish that you're "a religious person with a religious point of view."

Unless, of course, you're just trolling us, as seems increasingly likely.

David R,

||What I noticed was that people were claiming that I was a religious person with a religious point of view. They offered no real evidence of this but assumed it only.||

I'm in agreement with Michael. Only a religious person would say what you're saying.

If it's trolling, it's more likely concern trolling: "I'm not particularly religious, but have you considered JESUS?!"

||Have you ever wondered why people that have sleep paralysis say that the only thing that seems to help them is to call out to Jesus?||

"I've never heard that" (Matt).

I'm sure some people may have thought there were spirits in the room etc., as to cry out to Jesus, there's bound to be the odd one I guess.

Here's how I tend to see that phenomena. In my early twenty's I had three episodes of sleep paralysis. Brought on I think because I was living in an older house that had a faulty front door lock, and if there was a heavy wind it had the tendency to fly open in the middle of the night.

So I think during sleep if I heard a noise it would jolt me awake consciously, while my body was still immobilised by natural sleep hormones. The first time, I wondered what on earth had happened, but by the second and third it was old hat.

When it happens your vision is very blurred and tunnelled, with the periphery darker, and so surrounding objects appear like large looming shadows. Your thinking is unaffected however. The first time I was terrified as I thought the door was open and someone had come in. It is terrifying anyway, as you can't see properly and you can't move, a problem particularly if you can't make an exit incase someone has come in. The more you try to move I found as well, the more your body works to immobilise you. So after the first time, I quickly tried to calm myself and relax.

So I can see why people think there are spirits, etc in the room - objects do look dark and ominous, and its frightening not being able to move, so you are likely to think the worst. Not to say the odd spirit could have visited some people at this time- hey they seem to be around at other times.

But for the most part, I think its just a natural phenomena.
Cheers Lynn.

@Matt:

"God's all right. He's just an under- achiever." - Woody Allen

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

What do you mean by "religious" then? I'm sure if you defined it it could probably apply to everybody here. It wouldn't matter if I said I subscribed to no religion if you have made up your mind, especially adding that I could be a troll. Certainly I detect animosity there, which isn't surprising at all given the subject matter. By the way, I never knew that asking questions and having discussions back and forth was considered a form of trolling.

"I have come across a lot of information about mediums becoming ill."

I've come across a lot of information about nearly EVERYONE becoming ill - I also hear that everyone even dies "just 'cause"! Unless you really want to hold onto that Original Sin thing, getting ill or dying isn't correlated with morality. I had a lot of ardent Protestants in my family who got ill and died too young.

Regarding the sleep paralysis thing, I vaguely recall a Christian guest on Skeptiko claiming that calling out to Jesus was a cure-all for sleep paralysis.

I admit there is some creepy stuff out there that I don't understand, but I find a lot of Christianity creepy too!

Here, I think this is the guy on Skeptiko who made a sleep paralysis/Jesus connection:http://www.skeptiko.com/conservative-christian-chris-white-debunks-ancient-aliens-theories/

I don’t think that there is a clear dichotomy between “good” and “evil”. These labels are subjective evaluations primarily culture-based. For myself, I have never given much thought to ‘Satan’ ‘The Devil’ malevolent spirits etc. I don’t think that they exist.

I do think that there are many misguided spirits in numbers similar to the number of misguided incarnated souls. Freedom from the physical does not miraculously relieve a spirit of hate, avarice, jealousy, fear and all of the other non-loving emotions and desires. Those spirits perhaps tend to remain close to the earth sphere easily influencing receptive persons.

If there is a resonance between a spirit in a physical incarnation and a spirit freed of that encumbrance, then misguided spirits might effect some harmful influence. On the other hand there have been reported cases of possession which have resulted in positive outcomes. A strong example would be ‘The Watseka Wonder' case, that is, the case of Lurancy Vennum and Mary Rolf where Mary Rolf possessed the body of Lurancy for several months after which Lurancy was reportedly cured of her physical and mental infirmities and went on to live a normal life, marrying and having several children.

I also think that one has to look at cases of multiple personalities as possible possession. Dr. Morton Prince spent several years treating Christine Beauchamp for what he diagnosed as multiple personality disorder during which he thought that he had discovered four or more distinct personalities, one of which was ‘Sally” whom he was not able to meld into the integrated personality of Christine Beauchamp. Although I think that Christine and Dr. Prince were both involved in a pas de deux that entertained them for several years, one might also think that “Sally’ was not part of their dance and that she was a somewhat benign mischievous spirit possessing the body of Christine at times but doing no permanent harm. - AOD

"I never knew that asking questions and having discussions back and forth was considered a form of trolling."

Trolling comes to mind because you presented a Christian point of view and then, when it was challenged, claimed you aren't religious. This kind of behavior is typical of trolls, though I concede there may be other explanations.

Rather than having us guess about your actual viewpoint, how about if you lay it out for us? What is it about Jesus that allows the invocation of his name to dispel sleep paralysis? If Jesus was not the deity incarnate, then how is he different from many other religious sages? Or if you maintain that he was the deity incarnate, then how is that not a religious position?

You've clearly thought a lot about this subject, and I'm willing to listen.

Hi David
I and perhaps most people in the West think that someone is ‘religious’ if they subscribe to the Judeo-Christian ethic and they fully participate in various dogmas, rituals and practices related to their belief system. I have no way of knowing, really, whether or not you are religious and I can’t determine that just based upon your comments here.

I want to say that as someone who has a blog of my own, that blog owners may become somewhat sensitive to comments that seem to strongly counter the basic premise of the blog. There has been a lot of damage over the past years to this blog in particular by people who just want to disrupt the conversation so I can appreciate Michael’s sensitivity to your comments.

Just let it go, and continue to contribute your thoughts to this and other discussions. - AOD

First, people are replying to me on this blog before I have replied to initial posts, and this can cause confusion, because I don't get enough time to respond to everything.

Second, Michael, I never presented a Christian point of view because I am not a Christian. I am here to ask questions and research and investigate, not to convince anybody of some religious dogma or belief. As to presenting a Christian point of view it isn't that my belief is Christian, it is that there are discrepancies in all religions but for some reason I do not understand, Jesus seems to be very powerful compared to other religious figures, and I don't know what to make of that.

I don't maintain that Jesus was God incarnate at all. The Old Testament God is Yahweh who seems to start off as a kind of primitive barbarian psycho ordering sacrifices of murder and rape etc, who turns into the love and compassion of the Jesus figure, and the former is different to the latter in many, many ways. I don't know if mythology is involved, I don't know if I can debunk the resurrection and subsequent proliferation of Christianity, or the mystical experiences with Jesus that people have, whether sought out or not. But there is something going on with that stuff that really has no mundane explanation. How can the Bible have over 300 prophecies of Jesus and thousands more in the OT if the OT God is a psychopath compared to Jesus with his examples of peace, love and goodwill? And how does this expand into the present time of people have spiritual awakenings of this Jesus thing if the God of the OT is a horrible psycho tyrant? It makes no sense to me at all.

Nor does the concept of an eternal punishment in hell make rational sense for the mortality of one life on this earth.

Do you still think I am trolling?

"Do you still think I am trolling?"

I really can't say. You make a lot of factual claims that I find doubtful, such as the claim that there are thousands of accurate prophesies in the Bible or that mediums are prone to ill health or that sleep paralysis can be uniquely dispelled by calling out to Jesus. Since I doubt these things are true, I don't see any big mystery that needs to be explained. But I'm always happy to have the conversation go in new directions, so have at it! :-)

The Bible prophecy thing isn't something I made up or even claimed, it is something anybody can check out by doing some research. If you doubt it without researching it seems a bit one sided. On the other hand, why don't you look into it and if it isn't true then we can move on.

I didn't say that mediums are prone to ill health. I'm sure I said that many of them were. I offered to give a list so that we could discuss it further.

There seems to be different ways of dispelling sleep paralysis but I am sure that the Jesus thing comes up more than it doesn't. Again, this has nothing to do with any religious beliefs that I hold, it is just what I have come across time and time again and am throwing out there for further discussion.

Clearly, if you believe that I am just a troll then there is little point in my continuing to post here because it seems you have already decided the matter. I really don't have the time to waste in those circumstances and would rather not keep any discussion going because I feel that I have been put down rather than welcomed. And of course if I decide not to post any longer this will be seen as a sign that I really was a troll. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

David,
You seem to be flailing about, apparently discovering what many people have found when they read the entire Bible, that yes there are a lot of discrepancies, contradictions and barbaric behaviors written there so one needs to understand the context of the times in which those various oral testaments and teachings were spoken, eventually collected and written down to become something called ‘The Bible’.

Jesus is the driving force in the New Testament while various and sundry persons are featured in the ‘Old Testament’, e.g. Adam, Abraham, Moses, Job, David (your namesake) to name a few. All of them have things to say to us. But they say them within the culture and mores of their own time, not ours. And to complicate things, the Bible is a construct of many writers, translators, editors, proof-readers and censors over many centuries.

Perhaps you believe the Bible is the infallible word of God and if so, I can understand your confusion and view of God as a psychopath. However, not everyone, including many Christians believes in the doctrine of infallibility.

Here in the Western World, we tend to know more about Jesus due to Christian European dominance in religious thought in our past so Jesus is perceived in the Western World as very powerful---to use your words---but that is not true in other areas of the world such as India, China, Africa and the Middle East where other religious figures dominate and until recently, Jesus may have not been known of at all.

Why entertain a need to debunk anything? Just read the various books of the Bible and take them for what they are. The collection of writings in the Bible is an attempt by man to explain God. No one can really do this, not even God himself since He is not the same today as He was yesterday or will be tomorrow. - AOD

"The Bible prophecy thing isn't something I made up or even claimed, it is something anybody can check out by doing some research. If you doubt it without researching it seems a bit one sided."

I'm pretty familiar with Biblical studies. I do not believe it's true that there are thousands of correct prophesies. To give a couple of examples, there are "prophesies" in the Book of Daniel that are true, but that's because Daniel was actually written centuries later than its purported date of composition. So the "prophecies" were in fact merely recapitulations of things that had already occurred. When the author of Daniel tried to predict things that really hadn't happened yet, he got them wrong.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/daniel1.htm

Another example is the claim that Jesus' birth to the Virgin Mary is forecast in Isaiah 7:14. The word translated "virgin" in the King James Bible should actually be translated "young woman" and has nothing to do with Jesus or Mary; it refers to an entirely different matter.

http://outreachjudaism.org/dual-prophecy-virgin-birth/

You keep contradicting yourself, backtracking, and complaining about unfair treatment without saying much of substance and without offering any substantiation for your factual claims. I think it's most likely that either you're concealing your position or you have no clearly thought-out position.

But I could be wrong, and as I said, you're welcome to continue dialoguing with those readers who are interested.

Here's an interesting study on an OBE that points to its validity.

http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com/out-of-body-experiences-proven-by-scientific-study/

I agree with Pk as a possible theory here Michael, and may be more effective in a group. Much as prayer has been shown to have an effect, and spoon bending by many people. The mind appears capable of affecting the physical.

Cheers Lynn.

Uri Geller bends a spanner at Silverstone?

I'm sure people have seen this, and there's bound to be some disagreement, but I am a little intrigued. A lot of people are disbelieving of Uri for a number of reasons-myself included.

But I read the original article about this incident some years ago and in his favour, there were quite a number of people present (who were named) and he arrived at the pit to be handed the spanner, so it's doubtful that he could have planted another.

http://site.uri-geller.com/geller_spanner_silverstone

This is no ordinary spanner apparently, they are a lot harder in the pits. Lyn x.

I respect your views. I thought I would throw out some questions to see what you think, not to proselytize or force any views on anybody else here. As I said, I am not part of any religion or church, I just have some personal beliefs that I find hard to square with this new age stuff.

It would have been better if I didn't type anything on this thread at all because it now looks as though I am been deemed a troll. So I will bow out of this.

Looks like the Charlie thing was an advertising campaign for a movie: http://www.projectcasting.com/news/charlie-charlie-challenge-fake/

I slowly put the two together myself on Friday night when I went to the movies to see Insidious 3. The preview for "The Gallows" played and they were calling on "Charlie" during it. My slow mind said to myself, "Huh, how'd they make a movie about it so quickly?" ...then I realized I'd been had.

H/T: The Daily Grail

P.S. About that sleep paralysis thing. As I said, my Skeptiko link above to the Chris White interview will fill you in. Here's an interesting quote from that interview:

Chris White: "Another thing that I would like to say in conclusion about this point is that in regard to sleep paralysis and experiencing these attacks, science has no explanation for it. They have no cure for it. They’ll tell you there is no cure. But I can say over hundreds and hundreds of cases that there is a cure. You can stop this from happening to you for good."

Alex Tsakiris: "And of course the way out is through Christianity."

Chris White: "Initially it can essentially be calling on the authority of Jesus Christ to stop the individual attacks. The person doesn’t have to become a Christian to stop the individual attacks but they will keep coming back."

Funnily enough, White also blames Freemasonry in the bloodline for people suffering sleep paralysis.

Chris White: "in Freemasonry there’s oftentimes rituals. The person doesn’t know what they’re doing in these rituals that they’re doing but essentially they’re giving away—the parent or grandparent has authority over their children to a certain age in the spiritual sense and essentially these rituals are designed to give that authority away to what they probably think is some benevolent force.

"But that’s how that realm operates. As I mentioned, they’re incredibly brilliant. That’s the first thing you need to know about them. Secondly, they have an agenda and part of their agenda is to get people to what we call “open doors” to this."

Most of the men in my family have been Freemasons. The local lodge is actually about to vote on my own petition to join. I feel compelled to join because it's been something my family has been involved in for centuries. I don't want to lose that part of my heritage as I've lost other parts. I guess we've all been duped and are now forever in the grip of the diabolical. Any kids I might ever have will just have to pay the price, 'cause that's how an all-powerful, all-loving God likes to roll - the son must suffer for the sins of the father, etc. :p

David R,

I agree with you about the unpleasantness of the Old Testament God. It has led some Gnostic sects to posit that the Old Testament God and the New Testament Father are two different beings.

You wrote,

||As to presenting a Christian point of view it isn't that my belief is Christian, it is that there are discrepancies in all religions but for some reason I do not understand, Jesus seems to be very powerful compared to other religious figures, and I don't know what to make of that.||

If Christianity is correct, then other religious figures (outside the Christian mythos) should have no power at all.

I certainly think that Christianity has power. Christian prayer and ceremony has power. We've talked on this blog before about "functional entities." Enough people believe in Jesus, so Jesus becomes real in a certain sense. Moreover, prayer and ceremony have magical power. I.e., externalized intention has real power to change both the external and internal world. Especially the internal world, as it is much more malleable, so to speak.

I was trying to find the bookmark right now but couldn't, but there is an article I read online about someone who was a Christian but quit. He later became an atheist and quit that too. At any rate, his observation was that, when he was a Christian, prayer would work to help him get and accomplish things that were compatible with his faith.

And I think that is true. Belief can be very powerful, and it can mold reality to seem compatible with the belief system. And it can also influence external reality to some extent.

I think this is why you won't find many New Agers proselytizing for the New Age belief system: we recognize that other belief systems can truly work for people, and the specific mythology one selects can be a matter of personal preference. I do oppose, however, Christians spreading fearful beliefs. I will not try to convince an individual Christian, but if someone is debating in a forum such as this, I will definitely argue back.

That said, I do think that more flexible and non-dogmatic belief systems are preferable to the Abrahamic religions.

My $0.02 on all that!

Thanks for the update on Charlie, Philemon. I guess it was too good to be true! I sorta hate these viral ad campaigns that fool you about what's real and what isn't. They're like those damnable fake news sites.

About sleep paralysis, from what I've read, science seems to say it prevents us from acting out our dreams. Back when humans slept in trees to keep away from the big cats roaming the African plains, it would have probably been really important not to tumble out of your branch! This seems entirely reasonable to me, I don't know why anyone would attribute a supernatural cause of it.

Off topic...

I'm reading Bernardo Kastrup's new book "Brief Peeks Beyond", which, although shortly over my head at times, is an incredible read so far. Our very own Michael Prescott is briefly quoted in it. Highly recommended. I would be very curious to hear others' thoughts and views on Kastrup's opinions.

The one thing that motivates me to frequent this blog is how quickly M.P. and most of its commenters embrace self correction. Very little ego and dogma here.

In retrospect, the first clue that the Charlie Charlie 'fad' was a hoax should have been how dramatic the effect appeared to be. Most legitimate social media videos displaying PK affects involve delicate and less substantial objects like pinwheels and electronic data within number generators. More massive objects like pencils, people, cars and buildings are tougher to effect, which is likely a very good thing.

Also, the best case evidence for psychic and spiritual phenomena is usually extremely personal, making it difficult to document, and sometimes impossible to accurately describe with mere words.

It's just the nature of nature.

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