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The notion that consciousness is like the point of a phonograph needle as it scans the information in the record groove, has a major problem or limitation. This analogy implies that everything in the spacetime universe including its history in time is already fixed in the matrix. In our lives we are merely playing back our preprogrammed destiny, and have no ability to actually change our environment. This seems to contradict direct experience.

The same problem also applies to the universe is a like a hologram metaphor.

Free will would be mostly an illusion, since the embodied soul would only have the choice of how to mentally and emotionally respond to existing circumstances, not the choice of actually changing circumstances.

I think "the universe is like a digital iterative simulation" metaphor is more satisfactory, in part because it doesn't have this limitation. The processor in the sky obviously is designed to respond to actions of consciousness by instantly changing the underlying information matrix. In this conception, in accordance with our experience human conscious actions can actually change the world, and learning can take place by experiencing the consequences of wrong actions.

\\"A more complicated but perhaps slightly more satisfactory model occurs to me. It involves holography. (Somewhere, Art is cheering.)" -Michael//
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Quietly chuckling to himself.... {smile}

360 degree vision, it's a holographic universe oneness and connectedness thing.

Excerpt from 360 degree Vision:
"Then before me there were images, fuzzy and dark like the scene of the car with my friend and I below. But these images were all around me 360 degrees of vision in a circle that curved up and away like a bowl. I watched as a section of the image became clear and bright. I could see myself at the age of two. It was like a corridor of images stacked one in front of the other running away and up. As the bright area like a flash light was moving from the center in front of me to the left, I watched as the corridors of images showed my life at three, four, five, six and so on until the bright area got to the three o'clock position to my right...(snip)...Then I was asked, "Is this not your father?" I said, "Yes." In an instant, I was back in the darkness where I saw the 360-degree vision."

http://iands.org/ndes/nde-stories/14-near-death-experience-nde-accounts/541-360-degree-vision.html

Great stuff as usual Michael. Hopefully it's not annoying for me to once again note this idea of consciousness as the reader of information is in line with Arvan's Peer-to-Peer Simulation Hypothesis:

How the Peer-to-Peer Simulation Hypothesis Explains Just About Everything, Including the Very Existence of Quantum Mechanics

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1765

"and the highly cultivated self-awareness it entails"

I've been reading your blog for awhile. Very great stuff. Can someone explain the term "self awareness" in practical everyday terms and practice as used in the above quote? Thanks.

The holographic analogy of reality is an entertaining thought exercise but holographic projections as are known seem to be superficial images with no substance although the brain may interpret these projections as reality. I don't think a holographic projection provides a good analogy to use to explain the reality I experience. Neither do I think that a phonograph record is a good analogy. However, I do think a holographic analogy is a innovative way to consider when trying to explain how the brain functions.

This thought exercise does generate a lot of questions in my mind. What about the unseen or otherwise silent internal structures which are known to exist and function in an animal, such as the heart, liver, lungs, brain etc. and of necessity have to exist for the animal to continue to function and ultimately be alive? Are these holographic projections too? Does my consciousness or higher self create and project them? How does it know how to do that? Is there a template somewhere because each species has internal organs that are constructed of the same or similar design? Or, are they all projected by some super consciousness of which each living creation is a part? Or, perhaps, does each cell in a body have a mind of its own creating its own reality? But how does the cell consciousness know the template? Do the amino acids aligned into proteins by DNA 'know' how to construct a liver?

Maybe Dr. Rupert Sheldrake's morphic fields and morphic resonance really do make sense!

We all know that living bodies stop being alive at some point, and that they don't just blink out of existence when the holographic projection stops or the needle is lifted off of the recording. Bodies stay around for a while and slowly disintegrate. I don't think that I would stay around to project my own decaying corpse and why would anyone else want to do that? Is there a holographic projection for a disintegrating corpse? Is this all a whirl of information occurring in my head?

Oh my, oh my! What are the answers?

A phonographic record is really the same as a photograph or hologram in that it is a record of vibrations that happened in the past. Records, photographs and holograms are a way to save vibrations for a vicarious experience but we all know that when we play a record or look at a picture that what we see or hear is not our 'now', but just evidence of something that happened in our 'non-now', in the past as it turns out.

Death and disintegration of bodies along with disintegration of planets and stars seem to exist. It is not all an illusion. Once those things have happened no one is able to bring back the illusion no matter how much they concentrate on the task. Perhaps only in my consciousness can those things be replayed again as a memory written on the hologram of my brain or in the 'Akashic Records.'

My grandmother's physical body does not exist in my 'now', and most likely it has disintegrated into its component atoms to be recycled into other bodies or things. Are those atoms a holographic projection? Her energy or consciousness may continue but her body, that which, if projected as a hologram, is projected as disassociated atoms now. Currently there is no means for me or anyone else to bring those atoms back together again. My grandmother may continue to exist in her now, but neither her body nor her consciousness exist in my now. Do we all have our own separate nows? Are we all separate, isolated in our own nows forever?

I experience my life in a sequence of nows. I experience a sequence of nows which I think of as time but I really can't tell when the now I am currently in becomes another now. All of my nows blend into one eternal now which I move within. Perhaps there is no time and it is I who am moving and I subjectively experience my movements as time.

I would agree with Michael Prescott's assessment that the phonograph analogy fails.

"The model is interesting, but I think at a certain point it fails. If we assume that the needle of the photograph corresponds to consciousness, then presumably death corresponds to the moment when the needle is lifted off the record. But at that point the needle no longer can play any tracks on the record. Yes, the information encoded in the grooves remains, but it is inaccessible to consciousness. It might be seen as a store of information akin to the Akashic Records, but it would not be part of a dynamic, living personality."

Death may occur when the needle is lifted from the record but if we are talking about death of the body, it still exists as perceived by other consciousnesses. Even those who never knew me will see that same dead body that others see. For the consciousness of the dead person the body may have disappeared although some people report that during a near death experience they were able to view their vacated body, sometimes for many days after it had died and a few report that they attended their own funeral. I don't think that they are projecting their own dead body.

And what about when I am asleep. Is the needle lifted off of the record then or is it just playing a quiet interlude before the next tune? I am not aware of my physical body when asleep but other people may be aware of it, although at times I may be aware of being conscious in dreams and interacting with other entities appearing in my dreams.

This all gets very confusing for me and I cannot understand how a holographic analogy or a phonographic analogy explains the reality I experience. - AOD

In my opinion the most serious error of this approach is that the empirical evidence on the existence of an afterlife is not mentioned. NDEs are not mentioned, apparitions, mediumship or people who remember their past lives. Not only we must first examine the evidence and then develop a theory, but that evidence conflicts with biocentrism, since according to mediumship, deceased humans continue acting and doing things, so still in a spacetime. NDErs relate how they perceive events at a time, but from their own time, and so on.

Actually biocentrism is a mortalism, because it coincides with materialism about an afterlife, but according to the empirical evidence mentioned and following the metaphor, the phonograph needle still playing after biological death. Although like Michael I see this metaphor as very wrong, because a phonograph contains dead information, but a sentient being is living information.

\\"The holographic analogy of reality is an entertaining thought exercise but holographic projections as are known seem to be superficial images with no substance although the brain may interpret these projections as reality. I don't think a holographic projection provides a good analogy to use to explain the reality I experience." - AOD//
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Everything that happens, happens inside your brain. What is out there is only interference patterns that our brain interprets as reality. Keep in mind all is "Maya" an illusion and our brain is a holographic projection embedded in a holographic projection.

"Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real." - Niels Bohr, one of the founding fathers of modern quantum physics

"For if the concreteness of the world is but a secondary reality and what is "there" is actually a holographic blur of frequencies, and if the brain is also a hologram and only selects some of the frequencies out of this blur and mathematically transforms them into sensory perceptions, what becomes of objective reality?Put quite simply, it ceases to exist. As the religions of the East have long upheld, the material world is Maya, an illusion, and although we may think we are physical beings moving through a physical world, this too is an illusion."
Excerpt from The Universe as a Hologram,
http://www.earthportals.com/hologram.html

"But the day before he passed away, he wrote me a note: "This is all an elaborate hoax." I asked him, "What's a hoax?" And he was talking about this world, this place. He said it was all an illusion."
From Roger Ebert's final moments with his wife,
http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/tv/news/a26606/roger-ebert-final-moments/

Consilience: "In science and history, consilience (also convergence of evidence or concordance of evidence) refers to the principle that evidence from independent, unrelated sources can "converge" to strong conclusions. That is, when multiple sources of evidence are in agreement, the conclusion can be very strong even when none of the individual sources of evidence is significantly so on its own. Most established scientific knowledge is supported by a convergence of evidence."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consilience

Is it really important to have a way to explain how things could be working?

It seems that there are already 2 working portals in operation.
One is in Brazil with Sonia Rinaldi.
The other in Europe with Anabela Cardoso.

There is one station being set up in North America (Montague Keen on the other side).
It could be in operation by year end.
Do you know anything beyond that, Michael ?

Patrice

AOD, my feeling is the same as yours on this. While the holographic theory makes somewhat sense to me, it also raises the confusion you write about.

The filter theory makes more sense to me, as well as the idea that we bring the best of what we personally find here "over there."

As for true reality here, the idea of connected fields seems to explain a lot, from dogs (and cats) knowing when their owner is coming home, to people inexplicably just knowing that a loved one far away has died. This seems to be reflected in the physics experiment - which I'm probably expressing crudely - in which one particle can affect another despite the fact that they're apart. How this translates into an afterlife, I don't of course know.

Great stuff! No quibbles at all, but there's a typo - 'photograph' for 'phononograph'.

I have to confess I can't understand what the article is trying to say.

"This all gets very confusing for me and I cannot understand how a holographic analogy or a phonographic analogy explains the reality I experience."

It doesn't.

The journey towards God is the journey towards reality - Catherine of Genoa

You will know it when you get there, but you're not there yet.

Thanks for the correction PeterJ. I fixed it.

You only need to take the red pill to experience all this. Everything is God and there is no time. Reality is a hologram, there are infinite universes and versions of you. You can access and view all your lives. Everything is recorded.
It's all one infinite fractal connected. There is no speculation necessary, just take the red pill and find out!

Red pill = LSD, DMT, shrooms, Aya. Or NDE/OBE.

Thanks forposting the reference to the meaning of the word 'consilience', Art. I often notice how pseudo sceptics (a phrase that begins to sound old fashioned) seem to believe that science is only science if it involves experimental design. And that even then it's not science if the conclusion is in conflict with personal opinion.

Hi Julie, I learned what consilience was by reading one of Michael's blogs. I had never heard of it before. He told us what consilience was a few blogs ago and I loved it. It went along with my puzzle explanation of life after death, that it's like looking at a big puzzle with lots of pieces and the more pieces you have the more clear the picture becomes. Consilience is just another piece to the puzzle, as is memories and emotion being connected, quantum physics, holographic universe theory, NDEs, death bed visions, etc. I look at the whole picture and not just individual pieces. When looked at as a whole (holism) it gives me a high degree of confidence that something of who I am will survive the death of my physical body, and I think, from what I've read, that the thing we call "the soul" simply transitions to that giant holographic film that we call heaven. It's as simple as that. No need to make it more complicated.

I got to thinking about a holographic existence and realized that what some people, physicists mainly, have come to believe is that everything is composed of energy and that there are at least two states of this energy. One state of energy is a wave state (vibratory) apparently a non physical form of energy and a particle state that composes three dimensional things that can be seen and touched. The human organism has evolved to be able to detect some wave states such as light, temperature, and sound by the development of special physical sense organs but lives primarily in the particle state. Other animals may have developed these same sense organs to detect wave states or may have developed sense organs to detect wave states that humans cannot detect.

These two energy states, wave and particle, might be part of an essential duality of reality expressed as yin /yang in oriental philosophies; examples of which are soft/hard, hot/cold, male/female; light/dark, wet/dry, young/old, rough/smooth etc. etc. and wave/particle. The two states of energy might be thought to make up a spiritual reality and a physical reality.

There are some scientists, mainly physicists again, who believe that whether energy takes the form of waves or particles depends on whether or not it is being observed. The observer might be thought to be a human but perhaps there is a hierarchy of observers starting with a physical being, progressing to intermediate vibratory beings and culminating in an omnipotent vibratory observer, called God in some cultures. And not only is an observation required to change a wave into a particle but perhaps some intent is also required , that is, perhaps an expectation of outcome is necessary. There are examples of this in scientific studies where believers obtain the outcomes they believe in while non-believers achieve negative results in the same experiments. That is demonstrated in experiments with mediums where believers made contact with spirits and got verifiable results while skeptics used the same mediums and got nothing.

Perhaps human beings and other animals consist of both energy states; particles which make up the physical body and waves or vibrations which make up the consciousness or spirit of the being. It could be that a physical existence allows the vibration state of humans and animals an opportunity to record, somewhat like a holographic record things and events which may be played back as a hologram in a vibratory reality. In such reality the vibratory being is the projector in Summerland, projecting holographic images encoded as vibrations or waves while in the particle state. As the spirit records more and more experiences and grows in knowledge and love (love is really not the right word) perhaps it advances through the hierarchy of vibratory beings and begins to participate in observation of energy fields participating thereby in creation and evolution of physical forms.

Reincarnation may afford an opportunity for spirits to record additional experiences to play back in a vibratory reality. That is, perhaps the spirit becomes tired and bored of playing the same holographic experiences over and over again for eternity in Summerland and willingly dies back to earth to record something new for additional knowledge and future playback. - AOD

The thing that really frightens me is that there is so much negative, fearful and hateful observational intent in the world today.

It seems unlikely to me that this negative intent is coming from vibratory beings but more likely it is all coming from physical beings currently living on earth. If the observational intent is that the earth is warming up due to man-made causes then perhaps that effect will be brought into reality. Global warming may be man-made not because of so-called greenhouse gases (of which CO2 is NOT one) but by a group observational intent that the earth's temperatures are rising, glaciers and Arctic ice are melting and sea levels are rising and coastal towns are being inundated..

Similarly, if a mass observational intent is that the European Union is collapsing then maybe that will become fact when a certain vibratory mass is achieved. If the mass observational intent is that the United States is disintegrating or that it is not a great as it once was then perhaps that is how things will turn out. Mass observational intent probably contributes to all world wars and currently provides the energy driving conquest of nations throughout the world today.

You get the idea. It seems to me that a shift to better outcomes generated by positive, productive, supportive and yes, loving mass observational intent might forestall or prevent such dire consequences. from happening. - AOD

"Everything that happens, happens inside your brain."

Except some OBEs, some NDEs and experiences of the deceased.

But when most people think that everything is speculation about the afterlife, I still believe that we have to prioritize on the collection of empirical evidence on the existence of an afterlife.

Interesting commentary AOD.

I admittedly don't want to live in a world where people's imagination determines the outcome...though at the same time it's better than a mechanistic world of the materialists where everything in life is worthless...

I am thankful that there seems to be a third way the evidence suggests - that even if we take the "Consciousness Causes Collapse" interpretation from what Kaku says in Future of Mind the observer causes potentiality to become actuality however this actuality is not determined by the observer.

Not a definitive refutation of either the hyper-idealistic or materialsit-mechanistic scenarios. Of course there is Psi data suggesting that we do have some influence on outcomes but my hope is this doesn't just make disasters come to pass just by worrying about them!

"I admittedly don't want to live in a world where people's imagination determines the outcome."

The way I see it SPatel is people "imagine" everything in this world. Some people just think they imagine better and we give them credence which is silly. Some people also imagine better than those "experts". I don't give scientists that much credit, science is only in its infancy, cause and effect- the big stuff, was easy. The universe is immense, and its quantum and now its hard. I don't even see them as experts anymore either- I think they are seriously misguided, non rational and bad imaginers. Lyn x.

I also wish peoples imagination had full reign. We separate, and compartmentalise every area of knowledge, or causal conception. If only each area of expertise co-operated with each other, so a combined intelligence could be used to solve, we would understand so much more than we do now.

Some people are just better imaginers, why not use them. Invite creativity to causality. Its ego.

I read today that Richard Branson is asking why are we holding materialism i.e. profit as our highest ideal. When we could all benefit if we directed our energy towards people and the environment. Not to say he hasn't gained by materialism. But yea, over due. There should be a law for that. Lyn x.

"One state of energy is a wave state (vibratory) apparently a non physical form of energy and a particle state that composes three dimensional things that can be seen and touched."

The waves are as physical as the particles. It is true that being intangible, waves intuitively seem us not physical, but they are, and from the waves
none of the other things you have mentioned is followed.

"The waves are as physical as the particles."

That's not correct in the context of QM. The "wave" in QM is a probability wave, not a physical wave. It is a mathematical distribution pattern of possible outcomes. When one of these outcomes is actualized, we call it a particle. As long as no outcome has been realized, the whole distribution is a probability curve or "wave."

It's not a wave like a sound wave, light wave, or ripple on a pond. It's qualitatively different.

I would compare a QM wave to an undecided question, such as "What shall I have for lunch?" The various possibilities (tuna fish sandwich, hamburger, chicken salad, etc.) exist along a probability curve, ranging from the most plausible (sandwich) to the least plausible (pheasant under glass). Only when I actually make a choice does the menu of options contract to a single item ("collapsing the wave function" in QM terms).

QM "waves" have more in common with mental processes than with physical things. That's not to say they necessarily are mental in nature, but they seem to be best understood that way.

"That's not correct in the context of QM."

I was referring to light, sound, etc. And although we refer to the probability waves, this does not imply anything concerning an afterlife or the spiritual.

Of course Michael. Thanks for the clarification about probability waves. - AOD

OT: Michael, now that you have one very good reason (Trump) to vote for Hillary Clinton, here’s another worth considering:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/11/us/politics/hillary-clinton-aliens.html?_r=0

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a president who takes taboo subjects like extraterrestrials and psi seriously? Someone who seems genuinely interested in such things?

Hillary also takes the Shakespeare authorship controversy seriously, as do I.

https://hankwhittemore.wordpress.com/tag/hillary-clinton/

"Hillary also takes the Shakespeare authorship controversy seriously, as do I."

Interesting. I just looked at the whole interview, and she's clearly a genuinely enthusiastic reader. So our choice in November will be between an intellectual, and someone who's written more books than he's read.

Great post exploring an interesting way of looking at things.

Juan said,

||In my opinion the most serious error of this approach is that the empirical evidence on the existence of an afterlife is not mentioned. NDEs are not mentioned, apparitions, mediumship or people who remember their past lives.||

This.

The idea under question seems to be fundamentally materialist in perspective. This world is very hard to figure out, but if anything has been refuted at this point, it's materialism.

\\"Hillary also takes the Shakespeare authorship controversy seriously, as do I." - Michael Prescott//
-----------------

Michael when you get to heaven you will know. It's being totally connected, oneness, holographic universe, "all knowledge" thing. You'll probably have to wait till then to find out though.

\\"I admittedly don't want to live in a world where people's imagination determines the outcome." - S Patel//
--------------------------

In heaven each individual soul creates their own heaven or hell. It is our consciousness that decides where we spend eternity. In Victor Solow's NDE description he describes individual orbs glowing with great luminosity. Each one of those orbs is an individual who is vibrating and "creating" and living in their own little heaven or hell.

We pretty much get what we expect to get. We end up where we are supposed to end up. We don't get trapped in someone else's hell. The place we live now is an amalgam of all consciousness but after we cross over we will each be responsible for our own afterlife.

and from Victor Solow's NDE:
"The last impression I can recall lasted a brief instant. I was moving at high speed toward a net of great luminosity. The strands and knots where the luminous lines intersected were vibrating with a tremendous cold energy. The grid appeared as a barrier that would prevent further travel. I did not want to move through the grid. For a brief moment my speed appeared to slow down. Then I was in the grid. The instant I made contact with it, the vibrant luminosity increased to a blinding intensity which drained, absorbed and transformed me at the same time."
http://tatfoundation.org/forum2003-12.htm

"when you get to heaven you will know. It's being totally connected, oneness, holographic universe, 'all knowledge' thing."

Then why don't mediumistic communicators know?

"So our choice in November will be between an intellectual, and someone who's written more books than he's read."

I think the word "written" needs to be in quotes. Actually, Trump's lack of intellectualism wouldn't necessarily bother me if I thought he had common sense. But he strikes me as mentally unbalanced, prone to believing National Enquirer conspiracy theories and unable to remember his own positions from one minute to the next. He also seems to have the psychology of a small, spoiled child.

Any revelation from her has the same results as the opening of the arc in The Raiders of the Lost Arc.

Lynn on science and compartmentalisation: I always feel even the separation of sciences from other human activities (e.g. arts) to be anomalous. And prior to the spread of usury, in Europe, people did connect everything with every other subject matter. (That's called the Renaissance, of course.)

AOD: 'negative, fearful and hateful observational intent' : an interesting phrase. Here are some illustrations:

http://www.leunig.com.au/cartoons/recent-cartoons/501-a-treasury-of-rotten-looks

https://jasongoroncy.com/2014/12/04/voting/

Michael said:

"Trump's lack of intellectualism wouldn't necessarily bother me"

I agree. What I was really getting at is his lack of curiosity. But then, when you already know the best words, what else is there to learn?

Trump: "I know words, I have the best words. . . "

Bruce quoted Trump: "I know words, I have the best words. . . "

Yes, and then there's this instant classic:

"Asked on MSNBC who he talks with consistently about foreign policy, Trump responded, 'I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.'"

Reassuring.

JR wrote, "Any revelation from her has the same results as the opening of the ark in The Raiders of the Lost Ark."

Revelation from whom? Who is this face-melting female?

On the politics of parapsychology I actually think Trump might be more amenable to really taking a look at that sort of thing in a very public manner.

That said, I'll be voting for whoever has the best chance of stopping him if polls indicate I'm in a swing state...otherwise it's a toss right now between Green & Libertarian...

If there's one thing a skeptic has said that I keep close, it's Michael Shermer's remark that we're all skeptics when it's other peoples' codswallop under the microscope. I just had to comment.

As an example: Trump believes in National Enquirer-tier conspiracy theories, but Shakespeare didn't write Shakespeare and everything you've been told is a lie. Now I don't pretend to have examined the subject in any detail, but at what point does a conspiracy theory (too often nothing more than a dismissive slur that is frequently employed to excuse one from considering a position) graduate to the level of a "controversy?" Is it a matter of evidence, or of the "prior probability" (which is invariably assessed against one's metaphysical outlook, not evidence) that we assign to the idea? I've often seen that the psychology that desires random chance for whatever reason bristles at the idea of design in any capacity, not just divine or spiritual design but even design by other human beings, hence the reflexive dismissal of conspiracy hypotheses. I don't know (or care, really) much about Shakespeare's authorship, nor do I render a judgment on it pro or con, but what exactly does Trump believe that is necessarily less credible than that?

The idea that Clinton takes "taboo" subjects seriously is, to my mind, preposterous. Liberals are chiefly responsible for many of the taboos in our society. If you want to know what is taboo, simply ask what you will be called a racist, sexist, misogynist, bigot or xenophobe for expressing. Those are society's taboos, they are creations of the left and Trump is the one smashing them, not Clinton. Nor is Trump particularly beholden to the scientific establishment, or particularly concerned with its slavering cheerleaders in the media labeling him "anti-science."

But it's the question of mass intent that really interests me. Dawkins' idea of the meme has always been compelling, because I think it argues exactly for something he would no doubt bristle at: a mental field. Memes, brief little snippets that convey ideas, are more powerful in a mass awareness than dry policy discussion, especially when coupled with most peoples' short attention spans. Sure, you can sit down in an intellectual setting with historical sources and surgically eviscerate meme history like the oft-repeated Dark Ages argument, but which has more purchase on public imagination? Trump is a meme candidate, no doubt, who prefers clubbing his enemies with sound-bites rather than fencing them with arguments. That's an advantage, not a hindrance, which liberals should know all too well.

\\"Then why don't mediumistic communicators know?"- michael prescott//
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This is why,
wasn't it Fredrick Myers who supposedly said (from the other side) "that communication was like standing behind a sheet of frosted glass that deadened sound and “dictating to a reluctant and somewhat obtuse secretary."

I believe that a certain amount of mediumistic communication is possible but it must be very difficult to clearly communicate from the other side. John Edward said that the spirits on the other side used his own memories and that he saw pictures that reminded him of things so that he was essentially guessing at what he was supposed to say. That is why they can't just give us all kinds of amazing and futuristic inventions from the future because if it's not all ready in our memories they can't find the information for us to get it.

Did you know the periodic table came to a chemist in a dream? And that the ring formula for benzene also came to another chemist in a dream? That is because the spirit on the other side was communicating with a person who had the prerequisite information all ready stored in their memories and they (the spirits) could put the information together so that those chemists could put the puzzle pieces together. The puzzle pieces have to all ready be available before the spirits on the other side can put them together to where we understand what it is they are trying to show us.

I'm not saying that I believe mental mediums are useless - only that it is very difficult - and that a very limited amount of information comes through. It's a guessing game. It's that "frosted glass and communicating with a rather obtuse and reluctant secretary" thing. It ain't easy.

And I have little to no faith in physical mediums. To me physical mediums are little different from going to a magic show in Las Vegas, NV. There is no way to tell what is real and what is made up hooey.

Michael Vann wrote, "... what exactly does Trump believe that is necessarily less credible than that?"

Birtherism (Obama was born in Kenya and faked his birth certificate).

Anti-vax (vaccinations cause autism).

Ted Cruz's dad was an associate of Lee Harvey Oswald (on the basis of a blurry photo in the National Enquirer).

Antonin Scalia was murdered (also based on tabloid stories).

I think it's clear that Trump has a tendency to accept far-fetched and bizarre conspiracy stories.

And while guilt by association is always tricky, it may be worth pointing out that Trump has been a guest on Alex Jones' InfoWars program (Jones believes in all kinds of conspiracies, including 9/11 trutherism), and on Michael Savage's radio show (he's another anti-vaxxer). Trump also has ties to Carl Gallups, a pastor who believes the Sandy Hook grade-school massacre was faked and the bereaved parents were actors. Trump has praised all these people and has not disavowed any of their notions. I find that ... troubling.

As for the Shakespeare thing, while it's decidedly outside the mainstream of academic thought, it's grounded in more serious research than anything the National Enquirer or InfoWars is likely to provide. And I'm not sure I would call it a conspiracy anyway. I agree with the view proposed by Dennis McCarthy and Sabrina Feldman, among others, that Shakespeare was a play broker who purchased old plays and had them reworked for the contemporary popular audience. Some of those old plays had been written by a courtier, who later supplied him with newer works on the sly. There need not have been any big conspiratorial plot, just an informal agreement similar to what often happened during the blacklist period in Hollywood. (See the movie "The Front" for a good depiction that era.)

More on Shakespeare here:

http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2012/05/shreds-from-the-whole-piece.html

Sorry for continuing the tangent into politics....

"If you want to know what is taboo, simply ask what you will be called a racist, sexist, misogynist, bigot or xenophobe for expressing. Those are society's taboos, they are creations of the left and Trump is the one smashing them, not Clinton." - Michael Vann

I don't think that is accurate. What I think is more precisely true is that the left is *changing* what is taboo; not creating taboos. They are taking old taboos and making them normal behavior and making what was once normal behavior into taboo. It's a 180 degree revolution in social mores.

As for the original post, I am working on a model that I may, humbly, submit to our host if I ever get the time to complete it. It may (or may not) help clarify.

SPatel said:

"On the politics of parapsychology I actually think Trump might be more amenable to really taking a look at that sort of thing in a very public manner."

I don't see it. Only someone who's genuinely curious would be motivated to pursue such an investigation. What has he said or done to suggest that he has the slightest interest in understanding anything not related to making money?

His pleasures seem to be confined to acquiring, dominating, strutting.

In fairness, though, on googling Trump’s interests and hobbies, I notice that he plays golf. Maybe there’s a touch of humanity in him after all. I'd have to see how he behaves on the golf course.

You know I thought about it and perhaps the spirits on the other side, maybe Shakespeare himself, has all ready shared with us from the other side the answer to the quandary as to who he was and who wrote his plays?

The problem might be that the answer simply got lost or mixed with the amount of information that has been written about the subject. Someone might have been told the answer in a dream and they shared it but like everything else in life there is so much information out there that we are able to simply "pick and choose" what we choose to believe and what we dismiss.

I have shared with ya'll numerous times information I believe may have been given to me during a mystical experience but instead of acceptance and belief I am met with skepticism, disbelief, argument, and debate. For me the answers seem simple and straight forward but because it is different than what many all ready believe, or doesn't fit in with a lot of New Age thought it is dismissed.

So, like I said, we'll have to wait till we get to the other side to find the answers to life's most perplexing questions, like who wrote Shakespeare's plays!

I don't want to argue the point but I can't let it stand that those who believe that there is some relationship between vaccinations and autism believe in "far-fetched and bizarre conspiracy stories." As one who sees cases of autism in my wife's medical practice regularly and as one who has read multiple studies concerning autism and immunizations, I have come to understand that the causes of autism are probably varied and many and that overwhelming some children's immune system with multiple immunizations at an early age before their immune system is fully developed probably is not a good thing and either directly or indirectly does damage to their digestive system, their nervous system and brain.

The damage to the digestive system and nervous system can be treated with positive outcomes if detected at an early age and autistic symptoms can be ameliorated or eliminated over time with appropriate treatments. - AOD

Communicating with the other side is not like picking up the phone and talking to people on this side. It is more like having a conversation in a storm where the reception is poor and the communication is coming and going. The person on the other side may not be receiving anything at all, or if they are receiving the message maybe not all of what is being communicated. It has to be interpreted by those of us on this side and our interpretation may be far from what was originally communicated. We get something - but as to whether it is right or not? Who knows?

@ Bruce:

I don't mean that parapsychology is a particular interest of Trump's at the moment but I suspect he'd be more persuaded to really follow the thread all the way down the rabbit hole.

I'm sure Hilary is interested in whether there are aliens out there, somewhere in the galaxy...but IMO that's not what the UFO phenomenon is. There isn't a nuts & bolts explanation but something far more bizarre.

I think Hilary would balk at the realization that whatever this is it has little to nothing to do with aliens visiting us from other parts of our universe.

Trump however, might be willing to follow all the way through for better or for worse. Pure speculation on might part of course ->

On the flip side he might see the questions of consciousness/religion that are raised by the UFO phenomenon as bad for his hotel business as order the records destroyed.

@ Lynn:

I can accept that to some degree with together create a consensus reality - if I've understood them both Leibniz's Monads and Amit Goswami's Idealism see reality in this way.

I was referring to the (admittedly interesting) conjecture by AOD that things we fear may come to pass because we fear them - that we end up with a kind of mass-Psi that manipulates our present actions. (AOD if I misunderstood let me know.)

Though I have to admit I do hope there's more (or perhaps *less*) to the afterlife than everyone having total mastery over time and space. It's the limits of my person that I enjoy in this life, and without those limits I fear a sense of adventure would be lost.

"I think it's clear that Trump has a tendency to accept far-fetched and bizarre conspiracy stories."

This is where I disagree. I don't think Trump accepts them, I simply think he uses them. Whatever you think of them, a large chunk of people are suspicious of vaccines. Which is the surer strategy to corral them into a bloc, dismissing them as imbeciles or giving voice to their concerns? Appearing on "fringe" programs also serves the purpose of exposing him to a large viewer- and listener-ship that the other side's candidates would waste no opportunity to denigrate.

In that sense, I'm not troubled by much of what candidates say, as it's almost entirely for the sake of political expediency. It's in what their supporters say that trouble lies.

Thanks for the link, I'll give it a look.

"I believe that a certain amount of mediumistic communication is possible but it must be very difficult to clearly communicate from the other side. "

If we are prepared to reject the "it's all just random" argument, it would seem the difficulty can't but be intentional. The frosted glass through which we are fain to grope and peer must exist to prevent too much future information from flowing backwards. I wonder, given how much of our mythological and religious imagery seems to derive from transcendental experiences if there weren't a Promethean punishment in store for spirits who try to divulge too much. Has any mediumistic session ever hinted at such a thing?

On Vaccinations leading to autism in some small % of cases - I don't see that as whacking at all either. We know that there are always some people that have severe negative reactions to all kinds of drugs that most people can use with great benefit and no appreciable side effects. Why would vaccinations be any different?

We also know that pharmaceutical companies have created bad batches of drugs and released them to market such that the dosage was either ineffective or harmful; depending on the manner in which the drug company screwed up.And we know that the drug company may try to cover up and minimize its exposure when the screw up is internally discovered.

So an autism reaction to certain vaccines under certain conditions seems to me to be quite reasonable.

The whole thing gets politicized (what doesn't these days) b/c we don't want people to stop vaccinating due to a small risk and end up facing a greater personal and societal risk of contracting whatever the vaccine is supposed to prevent.

But we just can't seem to talk honestly and openly like a adults in the USA. Instead we deny and call names - which serves to strengthen the conspiracy theories for some, rightfully so, I'd say. Trust is eroded. The government thinks we are stupid children that can't handle the truth. Sad.

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