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Beautiful evisceration of nitwittery!

This is dramatic, but as a hypnotist let me tell you it is possible to induce recall of events that occurred as early as 2 years of age, even in individuals with a below-average memory. One can even have a person relive a surgical experience in which they were generally anaesthetised.

It's my opinion that subconsciously awareness is retained even in deep chemical anaesthesia, which can be a bad thing, since doctors are prone to make stupid and insulting remarks which then can result in what are called "iatrogenic" illnesses.

Nothing is forgotten. Nothing. What's different about this lady is that it's so readily accessible to consciousness; you don't have to do any digging.

The internet makes you stupid. Well known fact.

“These people really are hopeless. Carefully researched, extensively documented, multiply verified anomalous facts stare them in the face, and rather than revising their worldview, they close their eyes and sing, "La la ... LAAA!" at the the top of their lungs. And if that fails, they crack dumb jokes about them danged wimmin and their nutty, estrogen-stoked behavior”

I think it is pure fear. When something comes into their life that challenges their existing system of beliefs that I suspect these beliefs over time has given them comfort they respond by going into some type of denial by cracking dumb jokes or ridiculous reasons that this can occur or state she is just a fraud.

I know during this last 17 years I have been doing this reading and research into the mysteries of life when data started to contradict my existing beliefs it was very upsetting. Avoidance of mental pain is a powerful motivator.

I suspect but don’t know that the human brain has much more to offer the human species and we have only touched the surface of its potential. Also could it be she is accessing some type of storage of memories that exist on the other side?

History has shown that most humans if not all to a certain degree tend to resist information outside their existing paradigms. We have much to learn and much change will occur in our species but that is the journey of not only the human species but also our souls.

What I find very fascinating is how the ultra skeptics and the ultra religious share so much in common when it comes to dealing with data outside their beliefs.

Then there's the inevitable scientific fundamentalist, for whom life holds no mysteries. He already knows all the answers because he learned them in junior high.

And it seems to get even worse as the education extends into postgraduate school. I think the writers of Irreducible Mind termed it 'hardening of the categories'. The problem with these people doesn't seem to be so much about a lack of intelligence as it is about lack of humility.

Oh, well. Anyone interested can find the the National Geographic article that profiled this woman http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/11/memory/foer-text>here. The piece also discusses an elderly gentleman who cannot form any new memories at all, though he does have access to memories created prior to 1960.

David Brooks has an http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/13/opinion/13brooks.html>excellent column on where neuroscience may be heading in today's New York Times as well.

Haha, loving your scathing post today, Prescott. I never thought I'd see you use a common Internet acronym like that. >_>

"One can even have a person relive a surgical experience in which they were generally anaesthetised"

I can vouch for this one, it happened to me in 2001. I had surgery don't remember anything about it, other than the fact the surgeon told me later when she visited me back in the ward, that I joined in on the conversation in the theatre and even forecasted her future marriage, which by the way happened 2 years later with the same guy she was with. But at the time she was considering walking away from him for the last time.

She had left her home state in Queensland to follow him to Perth (his hometown) but the relationship was on its last legs due to his commitment issues (already together three years, mostly on and off from the beginning).

The marriage took place as forecast and they are still married taking them to 10 years all up and going strong. But no kids yet. I made a point of calling her in 2004 and then late last year, because my curiousity often gets the better of me. Apparently the proposal was unexpected and the ring blew her away, seems he got over his hangups after all ;-)

The Skepticons really did it this time.I do agree though,preposterous dismissals out of hand.I wonder what the archskeptic Randi would have to say about this phenomenon.

Michael P, this is a very witty and perceptive article. Brilliant, even. But it is important not to get angry at skeptics. You yourself have previously said, “I apologize for overreacting...and for persisting in the argument after I should have let it go.” I thought this was wise.

Fundamentalists feed on anger. It reinforces their worldview, that we are all reactive and self-centred. If you can see them as innocent, like children (see William's posts), you will be able to shake your head and smile at them. By all means point out fallacies in arguments, but in a purely logical or humorous way rather than in an angry and adversarial way. Not always easy to achieve, but I think we ought to try. We don’t want to contribute to blogs of hate.

Guess this is a good of place as any to share this link I just found tonight and shared it two blogs back but worth repeating here.

http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2008/05/09/gandhis-top-10-fundamentals-for-changing-the-world/

I like all of the steps but take some issue with step number two. Kind of. The quote is great if one looks through the eyes of the soul and not human behavior but the explanation I think missed what Gandhi intended.

The level of compassion we have for another person’s ignorance is an indicator of our level of soul development. Although the origin of ignorance is innocence that was a discovery of mine not a realization. World of difference. Hopefully this discovery will be a prelude to a realization. I.e. wishful thinking here.

Interesting to me it took a realization on the relationship of variation and leadership abilities to find the answer to a simple question to state but difficult question to answer. What is the origin of our ignorance? I thought this an important question to ask as the Buddha realized (not discovered as he already knew this as an Hindu) that the origin of suffering was ignorance.

At the very heart of the manifestation and creation process is variation and within that variation is an innocence of our true reality and potential.

"I like all of the steps but take some issue with step number two. Kind of. The quote is great if one looks through the eyes of the soul and not human behavior but the explanation I think missed what Gandhi intended."

This reminds me of these verses in Ephesian (Christian Bible):

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

Of course the language is different as its based in ancient times.

The solution which was just before this was to put on the armour of God, which would mean demonstrating "love" as described in Corinthians 13.

Some people mistake these verses to only mean everything is about evil spirits and demons (or whatever term one is accustomed to call these things), but the reality is, it speaks also about our weak flesh or ignorance.

I guess if our negative "thoughts" or ideas have a life in themselves in the cosmic consciousness or astral plane or "high places" we can see that not much has changed in spiritual wisdom, just interpretation or lack of understanding the language of the time.

The wrestling not against flesh and blood is what William pointed out, about not looking to the human beings actions but what drives them to do what they do. Just had to clarify that in case anyone is unsure.
:-)

William Ghandi's wise words are found in most religious teachings dating 1000s of years, so nothing new to me, but great advice.

Spiritual maturity is a process of evolution and these wise words need to be reflected on a daily basis, with the desire to change and make the commitment too it.

Otherwise they tend to be things that people just read for 5 minutes and put aside on their mind's shelves with all the other knowledge they have gained, through reading or through other people's advice.

The other thing is that even when one does decide to do this, and progress occurs, it's still very easy to "slip" back into old habits the minute one has lost focus, since life is always throwing out challenges in various forms.

The reality is no one is infallible and even the wise (ie Ghandi is open to bad days and mistakes).

"At the very heart of the manifestation and creation process is variation and within that variation is an innocence of our true reality and potential."

I know of someone who had the mantra, "God is an infinitely variable constant"


--Fundamentalists feed on anger--

Don't agree this is the reason they like a good argument. Its because theyre good at math and physics and know most religious folk arent. And because theyre no good at anything else. So theyre protecting there egos.

"That proves she's memorized her own diaries ...."

Even Diane Sawyer raised this question on 20/20 - and it was sufficiently rebuked by the diaries themselves with 100s of pages of densely packed writing.

Do these people even read what they are responding to?

"Michael P, this is a very witty and perceptive article. Brilliant, even."

I agree, read it a few times now :-) (*applause*)

Why should today's scientists face any less blind disbelief (it's not really skepticism, skeptics will change their minds if convinced by empiricism ie doubting Thomas) than Copernicus, Gallileo, Newton, and Darwin. They've got their minds made up, don't confuse it with facts.

“I know of someone who had the mantra, "God is an infinitely variable constant”

Very nice way of expressing the mystery of God. The concept of infinite surely helps to define God. The word variable surely articulates how God expresses its potential and the concept of constant expresses the spirit within us. That which never changes or leaves us.

Infinitely variable constant? How is that for a paradox?

Of all things it was the concept of variation and its necessity for a relative world that allowed me to connect the dots between innocence and suffering. Years of teaching, at least intellectually, the understanding of variation but it took a revelation (only one I have ever had to date: i.e. awareness in an instant) to see the necessity of understanding variation to optimize organizational and educational performance. Not having a clue at the time that it would have something to do with the origin of ignorance. The universe works in mysterious ways. Very mysterious.

The guru I studied under W Edwards Deming understood variation the very best but failed to see the connection between variation and ignorance and how that ignorance invariably leads to what most religions call sin.

Side note; Deming predicted accurately what the future of America would be unless we as a nation took the time and effort to understand variation in our schools and organizations. Surely a man ahead of his time.

By the way the no child left behind approach to education had to be a complete failure as it fails to understand the role of variation in evaluating and enhancing the learning process. Very sad the politicians did not consult Deming though a medium as he crossed over in 1993. Could have saved Americans a few billion dollars in tax money.

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