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I was wondering what you would make of it...I think you reacted to it much as I did. As I said in my comment, I told you it was more speculative than evidential.

I recommended it based on your remark "there is either a monster in the lake or there isn't'. Holiday, and others like Keel, raise a third possibility that somehow fits the odd facts of so many 'sightings', whether of UFOs or Mothman, the Loch Ness monster or the New Jersey Devil. That possibility is some combination of telepathy and some sort of...external intelligence is perhaps the best way to phrase.

In any case, without offering answers, The Goblin Universe shifted my questions. And sometimes asking different questions is progress.

“Every atom carries an electrical charge and is acted on by the field of the organism.”

We are Beings of light some brighter then others but all loved, cherished, and innocent in the awareness of infinite intelligence. Yes even Hitler and Stalin.

The Goblin Universe seems to cover a lot of the same ground as Patrick Darfur’s “Daimonic Reality”. But Darfur does not speculate about anything as proto-physical as L-fields. Whether daimons manifest physically or mentally depends partly on our cultural expectations.

He talks of Plato’s Anima Mundi, Jung’s Collective Unconscious and the human imagination (William Blake style) as three ways we have to try understand how and why daimons of all kinds are made manifest.

Diotima in Plato’s Symposium, said:
“Everything that is daimonic is intermediate between god and mortal. Interpreting and conveying the wishes of men to gods and the will of the gods to men, it stands between the two and fills the gap…God has no contact with men; only through the daimonic is there intercourse and conversation between men and gods, whether in the waking state or during sleep. And the man who is an expert in such intercourse is a daimonic man.”

Darfur says that Jung was clearly such a man. To Jung, daimonic manifestations are denied or unrecognized truths that need to be integrated into our psyche. Basically, the daimonic is as real as anything else; it’s just that culturally, we repress it. Therefore, most of the time, we’re blind to it.

Darfur later proposes a strong argument against dualism (sorry, ZC!)

In the seventeenth century, there were a few wise men left – the Hermetic philosopher Robert Fludd, for instance, one or two Cambridge Platonists, even Isaac Newton who spent twenty years on the study of alchemy. But for the most part the educated elite were, then as now, less than wise. They embraced the new emerging worldview – scientific, secular, skeptical – which even after three centuries is still more or less intact. This worldview did not so much demomize the daimons, let alone Christianize them, as simply refuse to recognise them. They were impossible – and so they did not exist.

Central to this development was the dualistic philosophy of Descartes who… effectively divided the world into Mind and Extension, that is a subjective consciousness and an objective, external world.

(The groundwork for such a division had been laid centuries before, at the Church Council of 869, which established dogmatically that Man was composed of two parts, body and spirit. The third component –soul- was subsumed under spirit, and so an essential distinction was lost. For it is precisely to soul (Greek psyche, Latin anima) that psychic reality refers: an intermediate world between the physical and spiritual, partaking of both.)

Nature was no longer a living entity in which we participated; it was a separate realm full of soulless objects. So, forced out of nature, the daimons were compelled, as it were, to take refuge in the other half of the permitted world –in the subjective realm of the Mind.

But Mind was more or less identified with consciousness and, shortly, Reason. It, too, had no room for the daimonic realm, which was forced “underground”, into the unconscious region of Mind. In fact, it might be argued that the “unconscious” was formed during this period; that the Soul of the World was withdrawn from “outside” and relocated “within”, as the collective unconscious, eventually to be rediscovered by depth psychology.

Meanwhile the eighteenth century humanists, who had no concept of an unconscious, ascribed the daimonic to the faculty of the imagination…”

I prefer this approach - that reality is shaped by our beliefs (often influencing our minds unconsciously by powerful collective ideas) than that reality is an objective series of laws to be discovered and fixed forever in immutable equations.

Darfur points out that the quantum world is daimonic reality playing tricks on physicists: it refuses to be objectified, and every time a new “fundamental” particle is discovered in those ridiculous particle accelerators, it breaks down into something even simpler. Reality of course will have the last laugh.

Central to this development was the dualistic philosophy of Descartes who… effectively divided the world into Mind and Extension, that is a subjective consciousness and an objective, external world

I agree that Descartes' dualism played a large role in the secular or mechanistic worldview.

Descartes accepted a mechanistic view of nature, and opposed to it consciousness or subjetctivity.

Being incapable of explaining how that subjectivity or immaterial soul is connected with an extended matter, was one of the reasons why dualism was rejected and a fully materialist mechanistic worldview was embraced.

As an historical fact, it's perhaps indisputable.

But i'm not sure that that historical fact is a good philosophical argument against dualism.

It's simply obvious that consciousness is different of the material world. And this is evidence that they're qualitatively different.

I'd like to mention an argument of Antony Flew here (Flew is certainly not a friend of dualism or immortality): "I believe that the origin of life and reproduction simply cannot be explained from a biological standpoint despite numerous efforts to do so. With every passing year, the more that was discovered about the richness and inherent intelligence of life, the less it seemed likely that a chemical soup could magically generate the genetic code. The difference between life and non-life, it became apparent to me, was ontological and not chemical"

The difference between life and non-life is not chemical, but ontological. There is an ontological dualism between life and non-life.

In my opinion, this is the case of consciousness and the material world too. The obvious differences are not merely of superficial traits, but they're (we dualists think that) ontological.

Perhaps, as Ben suggests, the external world is a kind of product or creation of consciousness, or perhaps a kind of collective illusion where the only actual existence is consciousness itself in its different manifestations. (In this case, the difference between the external world and consciousness wouldn't be ontological, only phenomenological).

This view could be true, and I don't discard it. In fact it's hard to refute, but not because its truth be obvious, but because it's hard to think that evidence or argument would count against it (but it is not by itself a fatal flaw; many philosophical positions, including some dualisms, suffer of this too).

And there are able and sophisticated defenders of this position.

But I think the dualist position hasn't been undermined by Descartes' contrast between a mechanistic matter (extended) and the soul/mind, and his unability to account for their connection.

Even though Descartes' solution was crude, his intuition of the mind as something obviously and basically different than any other known object is basically right and hasn't been refuted.

Also, a nonmechanistic view of matter doesn't entail panpsychism nor idealism.

Aristotle and Aquinas viewed the natural world as something teleological and as something that points out to something beyond itself, namely, God (unmoved mover).

So some kind of dualism could be preserved even if we abandom the mechanistic materialist philosophy about the natural world.

It is not an argument against idealism or panpsychism. Rather it's an argument for the current validity of dualism.

"But I think the dualist position hasn't been undermined by Descartes' contrast between a mechanistic matter (extended) and the soul/mind, and his unability to account for their connection." -ZC

Perhaps (to follow Darfur's argument to its logical conclusion), he is suggesting a kind of Christian trialism - where body is the phenomenological world, Spirit is transcendent Mind and Soul is the daimonic "interpreter".

The notion that life and non-life is ontological and not chemical is backed by experimental science.

We know from experiment that 'life comes from life' (Louis Pasteur)
The term 'abiogenesis' (life from non-life) was coined by Thomas Huxley in 1870 in response to the experimental demonstration by Pasteur of biogenesis (life comes from life)
Biogenesis is the experimental fact. Abiogenesis is the non-falsifiable hypothesis.

Over the last 80 years the scientific effort has been to find the 'primordial soup' from which life arose. You were no doubt taught that life came from soup in school.
News Flash-- It is becoming recognized that there was no soup--

A recent book "Signature in the Cell" by Meyer takes up the difficulties in the abiogenesis research.-- I understand it is an excellent book, but I have not read it.

If you'd like to take another step into the fog, here are two other books I recommend. (There are several others). Both are enjoyable because they don't push their thesis too hard and because there's lots of off-topic lagniappe.

Three Men Seeking Monsters by Nick Redfern.

In the Big Thicket: On the Track of the wild Man

Sample quote from the first:

"Jon was unsure of the cause of all this mayhem and mystery, but speculated that some form of ethereal, superior intelligence coexisted with us -- and had for millennia -- and that, for reasons of its own, was constantly manipulating and molding the human mind with images of bizarre and unexplained phenomena."

Quotes from the second:

"When the nature of these ape-man creatures is finally understood, it may constitute a discovery that is considerably more than a Zoological breakthrough."

(Regarding a purported ape-man photo): "From the look on its face, and its stooped neck, and the callouses on the seat of its britches, I'd say it's a retired East Texas domino player."

"About the only wild men you could expect to encounter in that part of Texas these days would be money-crazed real estate developers."

"If you just think you saw the Light, you ain't seen it. There are plenty of stories from people like Jim who don't just think they saw the real deal on Ghost Road. To them it is useless to trot out theories of car lights and swamp gas."

"There are more theologians and philosophers per square mile in Hardin County, Texas, than anywhere in the world."

Michael, when you consider matter - i.e., what you, me, and everything's supposed to be made of - 's almost entirely empty void; when you further consider the teensy-weeny particles strung through that void creating everything're also waves - i.e., energy - then it becomes almost inexplicable why so many scientists ignore, or're even downright hostile to theories or research which emphasise the effects supposedly weak fields of energy have on us.

Part of the problem's Newtonian physics historically preceded Quantum physics, but according to the Big Bang version of events it went the other way 'round - the unknown physics of the pre-Quantum state of things led to the emergence of quantum energy which, in turn, led to the emergence of matter.

But here's the kicker - the reason why they're spending so much time and money on the search for the Higgs boson is because no one knows why an empty void strung throughout with endlessly interconnecting lattices of teensy-weensy little 'weak' waves of energy seems so SOLID.

And that's before you factor in how life - but, more critically, sheer awareness/consciousness - could arise from the same set-up...

Without the Higgs boson, we can be pretty certain about the emergence of energy waves, but far less certain the emergence of 'particles of matter' isn't a sort of illusion.

The truth is, what we call existence is much closer to the holodeck creations aboard Picard's Enterprise than some people can bear to think about.

"The truth is, what we call existence is much closer to the holodeck creations aboard Picard's Enterprise than some people can bear to think about." -alanborky.

Yes, that's true, Alan. I remember when Picard said that the holodeck was all "photons and force fields" ...just before he disengaged the safety protocols and machine-gunned the Borg. ("Assimilate that!")

An interesting new experiment is challenging an experiment done on free will that Bejamin Libet did in the 1980's. You can read this article here:

FYI, here's an interesting Web page with a lot of excerpts from Harold Burr's book "Blueprint for Immortality":

If he actually did find solid evidence to back up his claims, it's astonishing that the scientific establishment has ignored him. But perhaps his experiments were not as well controlled as he believed. I would like to know if anyone ever tried to reproduce his results.

Newton's four laws of motion apply to indestructible, inelastic particles operating in a perfect frictionless void (vacuum)
Even though neither particles of that type or a perfect vacuum actually exist, the rules work well enough for what does exist that we can accurately predict the motions of much of this universe.
It is not true that a model has to be an accurate description of the underlying reality for that model to be useful. Or --Just because a model is useful,doesn't mean it accurately portraits the underlying truth.

Michael: I've been catching up reading your blog lately, love the new posts.

Off topic, but do you know of any known critique of Richard Dawkins' "Enemies of Reason" Documentary? Skeptic friends of mine keep recommending me to it, claiming that it "totally debunks and disproves" Mediumship, and many other Paranormal Topics.

I've noticed from reading several reviews of it, that Dawkins uses and interviews Derren Brown for it. And Dawkins interviews several purported mediums, and they get critical information wrong on him.

I've seen Brown's Mediumship and Remote Viewing "Debunking" videos and found them very unconvincing when you compare them with the best data, the best mediums, and the best remote viewers. They'd only be convincing to someone unaware of good contrary evidence and valid counter-arguments.

You yourself Michael wrote several Blogs a few years ago critiquing Derren, when I sent you a link to one of his videos. (The Mediumship one.)

Rupert Sheldrake was going to be interviewed for Enemies of Reason, but when the interview started, and Richard Dawkins started circling him and making accusations against him and his research, Rupert responded by countering and shooting down each and every single accusation and statement Richard was saying. And asked him to deal with the data.

Dawkins responded, "I don't want to discuss evidence. There isn't time. It's too complicated. And that's not what this programme is about." The camera stopped.

The Director, Russell Barnes, confirmed that he too was not interested in evidence.

Rupert said to Russell, “If you’re treating telepathy as an irrational belief, surely evidence about whether it exists or not is essential for the discussion. If telepathy occurs, it’s not irrational to believe in it. I thought that’s what we were going to talk about. I made it clear from the outset that I wasn’t interested in taking part in another low grade debunking exercise.”

Richard said, “It’s not a low grade debunking exercise; it’s a high grade debunking exercise.”

That spoke VOLUMES to me.

Here's Sheldrake's full take:

If anyone hasn't tackled this "Documentary" of Dawkins indepth yet, at least the Paranormal Critiques in it, someone should.

Skeptics constantly recommending it to me as a "total debunking" of the paranormal is as annoying as when they constantly recommend Penn & Teller's BS Show as a "total debunking" of the paranormal. Only people not familiar with the topic, research, and good data would be convinced by it.

I might write an indepth critique of it coming up, if I have time, but only the Paranormal Critiques. (The second portion of it deals with Alternative Medicine.)

I've asked Alex Tsakiris if he ever gets Dawkins to appear on Skeptiko, that this "Documentary" and Sheldrake's experience with it, should definitely be brought up to him.

- Eteponge

Regarding Deren Brown, Here's a link to a damaging 2003 Daily Telegraph article, "Spectacular Psychology or Silly Psycho-Babble?"

I haven't seen the documentary, but since Dawkins is well known for his polemical style, I wouldn't think anyone would accept his assertions at face value.

John C. Lennox's book "God's Undertaker" demolishes Dawkins, in my opinion. Another worthwhile critique is "Darwinian Fairytales," by David Stove.

As far as mediumship goes, there are certainly a lot of fake mediums, and it's not difficult to find some. Even genuine mediums can get some facts wrong, and if the tape is edited to exclude the hits and include only the misses, they can be made to look bad. (Of course, if the tape is edited to include only the hits, they can be made to look better than they are, so it works both ways.)

Thanks for the book recommendations Michael.

Yeah, fake mediums have always been an issue. Especially after a high profile murder case or a missing person case, police will be flooded with thousands of phone calls and tips from purported "psychics" (who are mostly composed of well meaning but deluded individuals, wanna be psychic new agers, and deceitful people seeking attention and recognition) and the police waste their time with thousands of contradictory false leads being sent in by purported "psychics", sometimes even draining lakes and canals on their "tips" and finding nothing. Which of course, makes all Psychics look bad.

Say for example, that there are some authentic psychics giving authentic psychic information to police during these times. They are quickly drowned out by the thousands of fake "Psychics" giving out contradictory false "tips" to the same police departments.

So, Richard Dawkins tests several random people who claim to be Psychic, and they get critical information wrong, therefore, he concludes that no psychic ability exist.

Which is like the people at the police department acting on several of the thousands of "psychic tips" they get flooded with, and if they don't pan out, all psychics are therefore considered fake.

I'd like to see Dawkins have a session with George Anderson or a similar Medium with an excellent track record.

Finding good mediums is a lot like finding talented singers. Look at how many terrible singers audition for American Idol. The judges go through an awful lot of very poor to average singers just to find a few really talented people.

The mediumship studies done at the Windbridge Institute go through the process of "auditioning" potential mediums before they participate in scientific testing. That makes a lot of sense. Many people are not good judges of their own abilities.

If Dawkins used a random selection of people who felt that they were talented mediums, that might be akin to producing CDs for the first 100 people who came into a recording studio claiming to be great singers and expecting hit songs to result from such an effort.

Sandy- that is an excellent point and you've stated it very well- can I use that?

"Finding good mediums is a lot like finding talented singers. Look at how many terrible singers audition for American Idol."

Great point, and all the more frustrating when you realize that the terrible singers are so certain they are brilliant...The proof lies elsewhere than with the conviction of the practicioner.

Thanks, sonic. Go ahead and use it. I've gotten all the mileage from it that I'm likely to, lol.

Tony, it probably doesn't help that very few mediums have the experience of ever meeting another medium. As a musician, I've auditioned and played in bands so that I have some idea how well my playing compares to other musicians. But I've never met anyone else who sees ghosts. I've corresponded with a number of psychics, and even talked to one on the phone, but that isn't the same thing. I'm not particularly good at talking to ghosts, so I would guess I'm pretty low on the scale of such abilities. Without having anyone to compare myself to, it is pretty hard to tell.

"Finding good mediums is a lot like finding talented singers. Look at how many terrible singers audition for American Idol."

And of course certain people have the knack of attracting paranormal phenomena of other kinds in the same way. In the old tribal societies, they would have been trained to be shamans. Now they're just regarded as odd. Our rational society has no means of initiating or training them (or even recognising their abilities).

I'm thinking of old Arthur Shuttlewood, who used to take people out on Cley Hill in Wiltshire to view UFOs in the 1960s. A UFO always appeared when he took people out, but not if he was absent. He had the ability to attract or manifest them.

“A UFO always appeared when he took people out, but not if he was absent. He had the ability to attract or manifest them.”

Over ten years ago I had a friend who kept claming they could see UFO’s often. Of course I was pretty skeptical of this but one day in broad daylight riding down the freeway lo and behold there were two small saucers flying around at high speeds and they could turn and stop on a dime and start the other direction. It was amazing to watch so the next day I looked in the paper and not one word about these sightings.

Also this person claimed sometimes when they walked under a streetlight the light would turn off. Well one night driving down a freeway and this person was having some emotional issues in their life every time we drove under a streetlight I would look in the rear view mirror and sure enough the light would turn off at the exact moment we drove under that light.

Some more of these mysteries of life. But I will never forget those saucer shaped objects flying at high speeds over the mountains. They say some of the same things can happen during a séance if someone is a total skeptic and maybe give off negative energy the séance is unsuccessful. Of course the skeptic just states see I told you so this is all fake.

Re: Harold Burr's L-fields, see the wiki article:
There are a few references to other scientists work. One comment at the discussion side (a must to look at when reading about controversial subjects on wikipedia) comments on Sheldrake's work.

I saw this article today and was wondering how you guys think this impacts the survival theory.

“Instead, new research shows, it's the connections between very specific areas of the brain that determine intelligence and often, by extension, how well someone does in life.”

Connections don’t determine intelligence but they may determine intellectual abilities and capacities. Of course my operational definition of intelligence is different than most I suspect. From my point of view intelligence is in the realm of understanding whereas intellectual ability is in the realm of knowledge and memory.

A person might be considered a genius and have little understanding of reality.

“In an earlier study, the same team of investigators found that this brain network was also important for working memory, "the ability to hold a certain number of items [in your mind]," Glascher said. "In the past, people have associated general intelligence very strongly with enhanced working memory capacity so there's a close theoretical connection with that."

There is mind and there is brain. What we call brain matter may not be all that matter’s.

Research into why and how some brains function better than others is needed research but it still does not address the scientific hard problems: consciousness and awareness.

Take a look at this brief article and amazing video on a forthcoming TV episode on the Brown Mountain ghost lights:

Sorry, chap, but you blew it for me when you said a plesiosaur was a marine mammal.....

And plants and animals are not "controlled electronically"-the processes within them create a bio electrical potential.

It only needs a couple of slips like that to really get the sceptic hounds baying.

Hmm. You're right, I did say "mammal." Not sure why, since I know plesiosaurs were reptiles. I guess that's what happens when you blog too fast.

But the point isn't very important, since Holiday's theory is that Nessie is not any kind of organic creature.

"And plants and animals are not 'controlled electronically' ..."

That depends on whether or not holiday's interpretation of Burr's findings is correct.

This is on-topic and pertains to people seeing holographic projections. It is an excerpt from Arthur Conan Doyle's book The Edge of the Unknown. It was originally published as a little book called An Adventure by two schoolmistresses.

"This adventure, shortly told, consisted in the fact that during a visit to Paris they entered gardens of Versailles in order to see the Grand Trianon, and that while in those gardens they had a most extraordinary experience, which in the case of one of the ladies was repeated with variations upon the occasion of the second visit. They suddenly appeared to be in the gardens as they were a century before, at the time of the French Revolution, and to see, and in some cases actually speak with, gardeners, messengers, and others who were there in the days of Marie Antoinette. So natural was it all, beginning and ending with normal life, that the ladies hardly understood what had happened to them until they began to compare notes, and realized that some of the buildings and garden arrangements which they had seen had not existed within the memory of man. Both ladies carried away a clear remembrance of digified officials in grey green coats and small three cornered hats, of an intensely still landscape, of trees that looked like tapestry, of cloaked large hatted figures, of a running messenger who shouted instructions to them, of a long waisted full skirted lady with a pale green fichu, of a jaunty young footman, and other quite definite details - all this at four o'clock of a summer afternoon. A second visit by one lady alone, some four months later, produced similar effects, differing in detail but not in general character from the first."

Michael Talbot tells of a similar story in his book The Holographic Universe about a man who stepped out of his house and saw a scene that seemed to be straight out of the past. Instead of a paved road he saw a dirt road in front of his house and a man coming down the road dressed in attire that was worn long ago, and the scene was like one from long ago. What was interesting was the man from the past also saw him and was surprised.

UFO's, Marian visions, gnomes, fairies, trolls, leprechauns, Yetis, Sasquatch, Nessie, etc. can all be easily explained with the holographic universe theory. If our universe is a holographic projection, and past, present, and future all exist at once, and what is projected depends on the angle of the light that is focused on the original holographic film, then what we see may very well be dependent on what we focus on, and sometimes our attention gets redirected to some long past scene.

Art, this is what spirit teachers have always said i.e. we live in an eternal NOW.

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