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michael,
i share the exact sentiment.
i get annoyed by those skeptics saying that those anecotal accounts do not mean anything in the name of science, and left it at that.

but in the end, the conviction comes from within. many people have told me that once they're convinced they no longer seek the scientific proof. but then they may become gullible as the result.

i guess once something profound and extraordinary happen, seeking the answer is no longer as important as the experience itself.

One of the complaints most frequently lodged against the paranormal is that the evidence is "anecdotal." This criticism is made so often that it has become almost a knee-jerk response. Often it is inappropriate, as when the term "anecdote" is applied to a carefully investigated case history. Just because something didn't take place in a lab doesn't make it an anecdote.

Biology is full of research that does not take place in a lab.

Physical mediumship is repeatable (medium's hold seances week after week) and reproducable (many mediums have reported physical mediumship). However, it takes time, effort, a sincere desire to do it. The problem is not that it doesn't take place in a lab, the problem is that no one tries it in the "right" labs - either by inviting a medium or by developing a circle.

Developing a circle used to be a popular activity before radio and TV and especially after the fox sisters. I often wonder how many great mediums would have been discovered if not for the invention of radio and TV.

I was reading "Crookes and the Spirit World" by R.G. Medhurst this morning, and this quote came to me as I read your post:

"I think it is a cruel thing that a man like D. D. Home, gifted with such extraordinary powers, and always willing, nay, anxious, to place himself at the disposal of men of science for investigation, should have lived so many years in London, and with one or two exceptions no one of weight in the scientific world should have thought it worth while to look into the truth or falsity of things which were being talked about in society on all sides."

In Home's case the public had nothing but anecdotes until Crookes bothered to investigate, a decision widely praised because it was just assumed that he would expose it as entirely fraudulent. So when prejudices were not confirmed, he was of course attacked and his work trivialized and ignored. Even when the evidence goes well beyond the anecdotal it makes no impact on some people. It's a no-win situation because they cannot accept that such things are possible.

Anything besides modern physics is anecdotal. Physics is really the only place where we discovered some deep principles.

I experience the frustration of the 'anecdotal evidence' argument with regard to my own personal passion; homeopathic medicine. This incredible system, which has been healing people for hundreds of years, is rejected by science because its method of action is not explicable within the current limits of the prevailing materialist paradigm. Nevertheless, I have personally used this medicine to make second-degree burns disappear completely in a matter of hours, and many other such near-incredible things. So have millions upon millions of people around the world for over two hundred years. But, according to science, it is all "anecdotal". It borders on the depressing, particularly when I think about all of the suffering which could be alleviated for humans if not for the bigoted rejection of something not yet wholly understood. So much the more so for psi phenomena and other 'life beyond life' evidences; the alleviation of suffering for the psyche should these facts become widely accepted would be almost immeasurable.

Whenever a Paranormal Researcher lists examples of Profound Veridical Anecdotal Accounts in his/her Research, I've seen Skeptics commenting on it on forums, laughing at such Accounts being included calling them, "Cherry Picked, Anecdotal Garbage", or some such. Ridiculous if you ask me. Auto-Dismissing the Experiences of Thousands or Millions of Individuals, many of them honest, sincere, level-headed, intellegent, and previously skeptical, due to the Skeptic's personal biases against the Phenomenon, and the nonsensical idea that they all must be lying about it together in some grand Universal Conspiracy Theory, since it's "merely anecdotal".

I honestly believe these Skeptics probably see anyone who believes in such things due to first-hand personal experience as a bunch of gullible, low IQed, unintellegent, non-bright, believe-any-and-everything people, when they deal with these "Anecdotes", when that's merely a ridiculous strawman view, and couldn't be further from the truth.

But, you know what they say, it's easier to attack a Strawman, than to deal with something that's real.

Most physicists I have talked to are materialists and accept no evidence for the paranormal. I suspect that the fundamental nature of all life that most call god is not a physicist or mathematician but a quality or essence that is beyond our imagination or comprehension at this time.

I recently saw a special on TV about ufo’s and this physicist was stating that the size of the rockets to give the ufo the power to travel in the universe at speeds necessary to do interplanetary travel would have to be huge. It did not dawn on this materialist that maybe they have a technology we cannot comprehend at this time with our existing level of knowledge..

If a person is waiting for physics to reveal the many secrets of the underlying reality of this physical world and choose not to consider the evidence that keeps pouring in that supports paranormal activity I suspect that person will have a long wait. They better hope for rebirth if they want to be there when those with a materialist paradigm discover the validity of the paranormal.

If you haven't yet, you should go through

"Debunking Pseudo-Skeptical Arguments Of Paranormal Debunkers"
By Winston Wu

there are numerous resources on the web, just google for it..

see one here
http://www.geocities.com/wwu777us/Debunking_Skeptical_Arguments.htm

there is one part that deals with anecdotal arguments and it is perect...

it is here...
http://www.happierabroad.com/Debunking_Skeptical_Arguments/Page5.htm

the whole essay demolishes most of common debunkings... & I am thankful to Mr.Wu for his effort...

One of my favorites into the mind of the ultra skeptic is this article by Neal Grossman entitled" "who is afraid of life after death?"

and if you have leanings towards wanting to become an ultra skeptic this article will help you in this endeavor: "Zen …And the Art of Debunkery" by Daniel Drasin.

William,

Thanks for mentioning Grossman's essay. (A Google search will turn it up.) It's very good - though I think he exaggerates the evidential properties of the Pam Reynolds NDE. Reynolds' NDE began before her heart had been stopped, so it isn't safe to assume that any part of the NDE occurred while she was clinically dead. Even so, it clearly occurred under circumstances where she should not have had any normal way of acquiring information about her surroundings - she was heavily sedated, had molded speakers in her ears that played rapid clicks at 95 db, etc.

Anyway, the rest of the essay is excellent.

I've read Winston Wu's article, which is also quite good. I remember following his dispute with Dr. H. (discussed in the link about anecdotal evidence). One thing he doesn't mention is that after he gave Dr. H his credit card info, Dr. H. then announced he was going to post the info all over the Internet so Winston would be ripped off! However, Winston was too clever for him; the credit card he'd provided was a card he had already canceled. Obviously he didn't trust the mysterious "doctor" - with good reason!

I've spoken to Winston Wu several times via email, and he even has one of our conversations posted in his fan mail section I believe. I'm also on his Paranormal Mailing List, and sometimes I've seen Dr. H and James Randi post on there.

By the way Michael, there is one Veridical Element in Pam Reynolds' NDE that I've noticed that some sources fail to mention. While she was in the prescence of her deceased relatives, she saw a distant cousin of hers among them that she believed to be very much alive, but who had in fact died sometime prior, unknowingly to her, which was later verified to be true.

though I think he exaggerates the evidential properties of the Pam Reynolds NDE. Reynolds' NDE began before her heart had been stopped, so it isn't safe to assume that any part of the NDE occurred while she was clinically dead. - Michael Prescott
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm just curious how you know that to be true?

She reported floating above her body and seeing the surgical team at work. The part of the operation she witnessed (which she accurately described) was performed before her heart had been stopped.

After years of doing research on NDE's the best evidence I could find that consciousness survives outside the mind is often the person experiencing the NDE comes back with information that they only could have attained if they had left their body and entered another room to see others and actually repeat what was said when they awoke.

This suggests to me at least that consciousness may well indeed survive outside the body and independent of the physical body.

But for me NDE's did not give me enough evidence to suggest there was life after death.

A whole host of paranormal phenomena taken together highly suggests to me that life beyond death exists and consciousness will continue to be "a hard problem" for the ultra skeptics.

After years of researching NDE's and the holographic paradigm the most amazing thing to me are the parallels and corroboration between NDE's and the holographic paradigm. When near death experiencers talk about connectedness and oneness, 360 degree vision, feeling and thinking what others felt during their life reviews, being everywhere in the universe at once, being able to travel backwards and forwards in time, holographic balls of thought, etc. it all reminds me of stuff that Michael Talbot talked about in The Holographic Universe. I also see numerous parallels between NDE's and what some quantum physicist say about the Universe. Where does this information come from? No one has ever given me an adequate explanation on how this happens. I highly doubt these people are making this stuff up off the top of their head. I'm not the only one who has noticed this phenomena. Dr. Kenneth Ring devotes a whole chapter to it in his book "Life At Death". Dr. Melvin Morse talks about it in his book "Where God Lives," and most recently Dr. Oswald Harding wrote a whole book about it called "Near Death Experiences: A Holographic Explanation."
- Art

The Holographic Universe - 6 page online essay
http://www.earthportals.com/hologram.html#zine

Mark Horton's NDE description:
http://www.mindspring.com/~scottr/nde/markh.html

How Quantum Physics Validates NDE's:
http://near-death.com/experiences/articles004.html

Emmanuel Swedenborg:
http://www.soultravel.nu/2004/040907-swedenborg/index.shtml

Riding the Dragon - mystical experiences of Scientists
http://www.issc-taste.org/arc/dbo.cgi?set=expom&id=00070&ss=1

do obe really suggest the possibility of an afterlife, even the experiencer is able to describe things and persons from other room?
It could also be a separate not explored sense to get more important information for the brain, near death. Of course, this is speculative.

Taken in part from this post: "One case can be dismissed as coincidence or fraud, but when there are hundreds of cases, reported independently by people reputed for their probity, we have something that has to be considered evidence. Not conclusive evidence, true; but evidence that deserves to be taken seriously, at least."

Comment by William: "After years of doing research on NDE's the best evidence I could find that consciousness survives outside the mind is often the person experiencing the NDE comes back with information that they only could have attained if they had left their body and entered another room to see others and actually repeat what was said when they awoke.

This suggests to me at least that consciousness may well indeed survive outside the body and independent of the physical body.

But for me NDE's did not give me enough evidence to suggest there was life after death.

A whole host of paranormal phenomena taken together highly suggests to me that life beyond death exists and consciousness will continue to be "a hard problem" for the ultra skeptics."

I tend to generally agree with the above. I think they are both well reasoned.

The problem with "life after death" reports is that the good stuff seems to happen randomly (like a lot of paranormal stuff). If someone was dying and said "I'll be back to see you carrying a red sign saying --- HERE I AM" and then this really happened and then we got all kinds of similar reports from all over....THEN, ONLY THEN, I might say well there really is indeed something of INDIVIDUAL WORTH going on. Since this has never happened...I only think bad things!!!!!!

Again, if there were "life after death" one would rightly think that MANY more (if not all) of our loved ones would be coming to us and PROVING BEYOND THE SHADOW OF DOUBT that they are "alive and well." This has not been happening. IT REALLY HAS NOT BEEN HAPPENING!

Yes, there are a few stories here and there of "contact" but like UFOs and "alien contact" what do we make of this?? Are our loved ones in on some conspiracy or playing a game with us (hey, watch your other loved ones die, including yourself one day, and BE BEYOND MISERABLE...isn't it cool?...hey, you'll adapt...it is "good" for you.....CAN YOU IMAGINE THIS BEYOND SICK THINKING)???? Well, actually we can...but no one in their "right mind" would believe that this is what is going on or anything similar to this.

WHY WOULD'T ANY ONE OF THEM TELL US ONCE AND FOR ALL....ABSOLUTE PROOF AS TO THEIR EXISTENCE!!! I have to then conclude BASED UPON THIS FACT (AND IT IS A FACT WHAT I JUST WROTE!!!!!) that there is no "life after death."

Furthermore, need I get into primates, your pets, other animals suriving death? WHERE ARE THEY???????????? WHERE DO THEY GO?? Why don't your pets come back to you....your VERY LOYAL pet(s)?

Do I ultimately believe that consciousness (awareness) can be seperated from the "material" body. POSSIBLY.....ONLY, ONLY if it has some evolutionary advantage not only in this world but assuming other worlds exist, then in them as well.

I do not think for a milisecond that this world (spiritual, material, or whatever this all is) cares about individuals...let alone us as a species. If it ALL does allow consciousness (awareness) to be the "ultimate thing" then IT IS ONLY FOR ITS (the "megaworld(s) PURPOSE(s), IF ANY!!....certainly not for us. Certainly not for us!!

When you ask....where are your loved ones???.....did you ever think that perhaps ALL of what we experience (our thoughts, feelings, etc, etc) is NOT IN OUR CONTROL...NO FREE WILL....if EVERYTHING is being led along and controlled by whatever this world all is....IT DOESN'T MATTER! Did you ever stop and think that "YOU DO NOT MATTER AS MUCH AS YOU ARE MADE TO THINK YOU MATTER...OR YOU DO NOT MATTER AT ALL?" Ask yourself again...WHERE ARE ALL THE LOVED ONES THAT DIED????? WHERE ARE ALL OF OUR FRIENDS THAT DIED???? If you do not know the answer...and rest assure you don't....MAYBE IT IS BECAUSE ULTIMATELY WE DO NOT MATTER....any of us, as individuals, and perhaps as a species as well, ULTIMATELY DO NOT MATTER.


Want to know what matters? Again, whatever this all is (if we can call it something) and where it is going (if we can say it is going somewhere)....THIS IS INDEED WHAT MATTERS! You, me and all those who "came and went" DO NOT MATTER! The proof is in the pudding. I rest my case!


We will never be allowed to know 100% absolutely for certain that there is life after death because death is the ultimate lesson in separation, which has everything to do with "why we are here."

Why We Are Here by Art:
http://www.nderf.org/holographic_universe.htm


Art, while you may be right about death, I don't think the universe is interested in "lessons." If it is, I, and most everyone with a heart, should not be interested in this "game." It is BEYOND sick and furthermore A LOT of us, if the world could just "fix" the suffering and death part, would just deal with the "rest of the suffering," i.e. going for jobs, making money, etc, etc. WE LIKE TO BE INDIVIDUALS...whoever or whatever started the individuality SHOULD FIX THAT ONE "little" problem....wouldn't you and almost six billion people agree?....not to mention other life????? I bet you would unless your foolish. What does this tell me about the world...again, it IS NOT a LESSON....it is just PLAIN SICKER THAN SICK!

Art, while you may be right about death, I don't think the universe is interested in "lessons." If it is, I, and most everyone with a heart, should not be interested in this "game."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Life's lessons are embedded in our everyday lives and we learn holistically what it is we are supposed to learn. There are no coincidences and everything happens for a reason, even the bad stuff. This life is "Maya" an illusion, a holographic projection. We are only here for a short while, just long enough for the soul to experience what it is it needs to learn. The soul knows it only has a short while to imprint all the information it needs before crossing back over into the Implicate Spiritual Universe so it uses up the body learning what it needs to learn. After the soul leaves the body it looks back upon it with as much afffection as we reserve for a pair of worn out tennis shoes. The soul "uses up" the body like a school child uses up a workbody learning about duality and separation, time and space, and imprinting memories of the parameters of the physical body. After crossing back over into the Spiritual Universe it will use those memories to "re-create" it's own reality in a universe where thoughts are things and consciousness creates reality.

Art, "your name" is appropriate to you. ME, AS BEING AN INDIVIDUAL, I like to learn by someone telling me things OR by reading about them on my own...this is why we mere stupid humans (lets not forget the [other] "less fortunate" animals who don't have these "gifts") have SCHOOLS or LIBRARIES or the INTERNET...as ultimately useful or not useful as they may be, like everything else.

Now, you may say well "experience" is BEYOND what one can learn with any of these "mere human creations" and I will say who among us has VOLUNTEERED for this life to experience anything? The answer is obvious...unless you clearly remember saying to yourself "oh what a lovely world to be in," OR BETTER YET!!!!...let me WARN EVERYONE ABOUT EVERYTHING. Then again, given the state of some people, perhaps some did "choose" this place. I MORE THAN STRONGLY doubt this though...wouldn't you agree. Right? Right!

I will also say what lesson did Christopher Reeve learn from falling off a horse and becoming paralyzed and then eventually dying, I believe, of blood poisoning brought on by pneumonia or something like that? What BEYOND SICK lesson did he learn? That he was still loved...?....whether he was or not, does it mean a difference to Joe and Sally going through the very same thing WITHOUT ANY LOVE??? What is the lesson here? Some are schmucks and some are not...regardless of any TRUE RULES of this SICKER THAN SICK GAME????? I just "use" him as an example, of course, since I OBVIOUSLY do imagine the countless others going through this "bizarre" ( again, read sicker than sick) "learning."

So, logically and AS A CARING HUMAN INDIVIDUAL, I cannot for a millisecond believe that anyone learns anything from this place other than, for me anyway (should I not say others as well?), that it should have never been "created" like this in the first place. THIS IS THE ONLY THING I HAVE SEEN WORTH LEARNING besides not "choosing" to help this "place" to continue! Easy for me. Right? Right!

And with this, HAD I HAD THE CHOICE OF CREATION...I could have just imagined the future and said... "NOPE" like a lot of other people, let alone (other) animals. No need to "CREATE" this place...at least like it always has been!

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