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Michael said:

"Another thing I don't particularly like about Danison's book is the title. . . . I understand that the author is telling us that we've got it all backwards"

That's funny--my first impression was that the name has a different rationale entirely. It wasn't until I got further into the book that I understood the title the way you do.

The other way of explaining the name is that it describes the journey we take to re-unite with Source.

Source sends us forth into the universe as parts of itself, so that we can be its arms and legs--its extensions into the physical dimension. And then we spend our lives reversing direction--traveling backwards--until we finally merge once again with Source.

I wasn't impressed by the name either, til I came to understood the other meaning--the one you're referring to. But now that I think of it as having TWO sides, I think maybe the title isn't so bad.

After all, the word describes our life's--or multiple-lives'--project, right? Traveling backwards, making that elusive return trip to the Home we left long ago.

But maybe I should trust you on this one, Michael. I've always been impressed by your feel for titles--the names you come up with for your posts. They're to-the-point, fresh, and often have a clever twist.

So maybe you know a bad title when you see one.

A good resume, Michael.

The overwhelming impression I got from Danison’s book was that if she went so far into the light, why did she come back with so few answers, and why do the answers she gives raise so many questions.

Aside from the issues you raise, I particularly regret her lack of information about exactly what the “human animal” is. She says that it’s been designed to be different from Source so that Source can experience what it already knows intellectually. Really?! As Art says (in the previous thread), the emotional immediacy of life for many makes it almost unbearable. It’s a huge cop-out to say that from Source’s perspective, it’s only a dream and we’ll soon get over it. That’s no better than saying that your pain isn’t real because I’m not feeling it! Or that it’s not really pain at all, it’s just the imagination of pain.

She doesn’t explain how, if everything derives from Source, human animals can, in fact, be different from Source. What are the mechanisms for the limitation of the human animal’s responses?

Footnote 30, which says the human animal can exist without a soul, is a shock. So some humans are bots in the computer game. How many, she doesn’t know. If you’d gone into the light, wouldn’t you have tried to find out? And do other animals have souls? Again, unclear.

How was the Earth set up? By mathematical algorithms? She doesn’t say.

I say Nanci needs another download.

Michael, have you read her NDE yet? One of the things that struck me was her immediate nostalgia for life in the body. Even as she describes the ecstasy of her initial embrace by the Light, she also says:

"Much of what happened to me was breathtakingly surprising. Like the fact that I missed the feeling of being alive in a way only a human body can feel. No more could I snuggle into another person's loving embrace, or feel soft breezes on my face, rain pelting my head . . ."

I've heard after-death communicators talk about missing the physicality of life on Earth, but i've never known how to take those remarks. So this is an interesting confirmation, and rather surprising too, I think, given how soon into her experience she feels that loss.

Her words might also be support for the idea that reincarnation really does have its perks--pleasures we take for granted here on Earth that simply can't be enjoyed in the spiritual realm.

Ben said:

"So some humans are bots in the computer game. How many, she doesn’t know. If you’d gone into the light, wouldn’t you have tried to find out? And do other animals have souls? Again, unclear."

So, Ben, you know exactly what you'd investigate if you had a near-death experience, is that right? I think you might want to re-consider that.

Anyone who's had an extraordinary experience like an NDE--an event that involves an unimaginable alteration in consciousness--understands that there's not the slightest way to predict how you'll feel or what you'll do under those circumstances.

Normally, I'd agree Bruce, but Nanci claims she went further into the light than anyone else, she didn't know she was coming back, and then had another download later on.

So I expect more data.

Ben, two other factors you have to consider:

1. How is possible for you to know what, or how much, information is available to an experiencer? What possible basis for determining that do you have?

2. How can you know how much any experiencer will be able to REMEMBER of the things they learned? NDErs all say they learned so much more than they were able to bring back. So you may "expect more data" but I truly can't see how you have any reasonable grounds for doing so.

By the way, I do remember her saying that she went very deep into the Light. Did she really say that she went further than anyone else? You may well be right, but could you find that quote for me?

Thanks!

Maybe she is just making everything up? You got to ask yourself that question too...What should her motivation for sticking to what she truly experienced in her NDE (maybe just a tunnel and a life review) be?

"Maybe she is just making everything up? You got to ask yourself that question too"

To be honest, it's a question I often ask myself about anyone who claims to have a psychic or deeply spiritual experience. I really am a skeptic, you see.

But then I remember my own experiences, and those of friends whom I deeply trust. How do I explain away those?

So that helps me trust people like Nanci D.

But then I remember my own experiences, and those of friends whom I deeply trust. How do I explain away those?

So that helps me trust people like Nanci D.

I can only envy you for your spiritual enlightment. Having never experienced anything slightly paranormal at all it's hard to trust others experiences. That's why I prefer the more structured approach of PSI research and the AWARE study to these things.

Did she have any veridical experiences?

That's why I prefer the more structured approach of PSI research and the AWARE study to these things.

Someone recently asked me why I bother being a research participant because it wasn't like I needed to see research done to know what I already know. And of course there are people who are going to disregard the findings outright, just because they are "skeptics" (but not in the true sense of the word).

My answer is that I think it's important. In part because it's helped me to cope with my own experiences better. It's helped my marriage because my husband gets a lot of comfort from the fact that there are scientists trying to make sense of things that used to freak him out quite badly. But I also think it's important to do what I can to help people understand and learn about psi/pk.

I can't change the world. The paradigm will not change on my account. But a few people interested in learning about anomalous phenomenon will learn something. I think that's important.

"By the way, I do remember her saying that she went very deep into the Light. Did she really say that she went further than anyone else? You may well be right, but could you find that quote for me?" -Bruce

I exaggerated when I said she went further into the light than anyone else; but on her blog she does say she thinks she went very deep (at times calling it a “death” experience rather than a ‘near death’ experience).

In the end, what has she told us? That Source is unconditional love. That we are aspects of source, experiencing on Source’s behalf. That humans are dual body/soul creatures. That there are multiple incarnations.

Original? No. Lots of happy-clappy, not much nitty-gritty. But that seems to be the NDE way. I agree with you, Bruce. I expect too much.

This is because in the one area where she is notably original – that some humans don’t have souls, I would have liked more detail, or evidence. I’d settle for that.

"Original? No."

I think her take on the relationship between the Light Being and its human "host" is somewhat original. The idea that there are two loci of consciousness is helpful to me. YMMV.

"Maybe she is just making everything up?"

It's possible, but if so, she's come up with an interesting perspective. She doesn't seem to be doing this for money; her newsletter is free, and her books are not bestsellers (check the Amazon sales rankings).

Hi Michael,

The 'creating your own reality' bit has been covered by Seth in more detail decades ago. The idea that Seth presents is that we DO create our reality but it is not as simple as doing a bit of positive thinking and a beer fridge appears in the next room.

Seth says we have an inner ego and an outer ego. Beliefs held by the inner ego are then reflected into the outer ego and from there we experience the created world.

We can hold all kinds of beliefs in the outer ego, but this won't change our reality. Only by altering the inner ego can we effect changes. This is VERY difficult: it takes a lot of practice and long term commitment. It is not a simple case of positive thinking.

Even more importantly, Seth says we create cooperatively as well, and we come into this world having made an agreement to accept the 'officially accepted reality'. This core set of beliefs about physical reality (indeed it creates physical reality) is programmed into our inner ego.

It is possible to change this hard wiring but it won't be easy.

Regarding the physical body's own awareness, Seth and Elias say that the physical body has its own awareness, known as the body consciousness. The body consiousness is self-aware but not in quite the same way as we are. It operates more as a cooperative structure made up of minute units of consciousness who agree to come together to form your body for the duration of your experience. Once you are finished, the units of consciousness go their seperate ways and move into different agreements.

I think this description of two types of awareness are quite close to what Danison is talking about.

sbu said:

"I can only envy you for your spiritual enlightment."

I wouldn't call myself enlightened, except perhaps, in a relative sense. "Spiritual growth"--now that's a phrase I feel more comfortable with.

"Having never experienced anything slightly paranormal at all it's hard to trust others experiences. That's why I prefer the more structured approach of PSI research and the AWARE study to these things."

I really hear you on that. Back in the early 1990's, when I was just opening up to spirituality after decades as an atheist, it took me a while to gain confidence in the existence of psi. And the thing that finally did the trick for me was a lengthy experiment I did over a period of months through which I ultimately ended up proving--to myself--that I was having precognitive dreams.

So that gave me the best of both worlds: a structured approach (your words), combined with personal experience (my dreams).

"The 'creating your own reality' bit has been covered by Seth in more detail decades ago. The idea that Seth presents is that we DO create our reality but it is not as simple as doing a bit of positive thinking and a beer fridge appears in the next room."
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LOL! The Powerball jackpot is up to $180 Million dollars and I am fixing to go out in a little bit and buy a few tickets ($3.00 worth). I'll try visualizing myself as a winner and see how that works! What the heck? It's not like I've got any other vices like cigarettes, alcohol, or illegal drugs. I don't even go out to eat all that often. Mostly I stay home and eat chicken leg quarters and Ramen noodles........

There seems to be some agreement amongst mediums (or psychics that have been examined by the SPR) that space and time are not the same in the next world (or are not perceived to be the same). This would seem to severely limit the applicability of philosophy of science, as developed on this world, to the next world.
That the science of this world has abolished the "Ether" does not affect its possible existence in the next world.( the ability of aports and apparitions to move through walls would suggest that the "Ether" of the next world has no resistance)
If we have no knowledge of science as it exists on the next world, there is almost nothing we can say with any certainty; except perhaps that a survey of psychic phenomena that has occurred in this world may , by sheer numbers, give us a base.

In this light Mrs Crowe's book "The Night side of Nature" may be a lot more valuable than as just a collection of ghost stories.
Robert Dale Owen, in his book "Footfalls on the Boundary of another World" also advises that an historical survey of psychic data is a necessary first step

Ben said:

"Original? No."

So many thousands of NDE accounts later, maybe it's asking a lot for an author to be very original. And let's face it, if her account were TOO different, we'd be saying, "Wow--where's THAT coming from. I never heard about that aspect of the NDE. Maybe she's mistaken or making it up."

Think about it.

I haven't finished the book yet, but I agree with Michael that she talks with unusual depth about the relationship between the human host and the spiritual entity that inhabits it.

In addition, she gives new insight, in my opinion, into the reunion that occurs between the (dying) soul and the other members of its soul group that are awaiting it on the other side. I enjoyed that part of her account a lot.

I also appreciate her confirmation of the basic fact that Source splits itself up into an infinite number of entities, each of which is gifted with amnesia as to its origin, so that each can experience the adventure of re-discovering its divinity. (Ok, I admit it--I added that because no one on this forum seems to take me seriously when I myself bring up that concept.) :o)

And there are smaller things, like what I described in my comment (August 05, 2011 at 01:14 AM) about her nostalgia for being in a body, that I find fascinating.

Is the book deeply original? Think of it this way: people have been having, and describing, spiritual experiences for thousand of years. After all this time, maybe the best an experiencer can do is to re-affirm the fundamental spiritual truths--what Huxley calls The Perennial Philosophy--that lie at the heart of reality.

And hopefully, in the process, give an honest account of a personal journey--the quirky details that make each story fresh. And though I'm only about halfway through the book, I think Danison is doing pretty well.

"This would seem to severely limit the applicability of philosophy of science, as developed on this world, to the next world."

Actually, our science might be more applicable in the next world. Many equations in physics are time reversable, that is they work just a well if time is increasing or decreasing. However as biological consciousnesses we never experience time decreasing. For example, an anti-matter particle is mathematically the same as the corresponding normal partical going backwards in time. Anti particles are detectable by our psyical instruments but we see/experience them as anti-particles moving forward not as particles moving backwards in time - because our brain can only percieve time moving forward.


"That the science of this world has abolished the "Ether" does not affect its possible existence in the next world."

The theory of ether, to a mainstream physicist, made very specific predictions that could be detected by experiments - and those experiments did not detect any ether. However the same word ether is often used in spiritual discussions to describe the "matter" of which the spirit world is made from. I think whether or not you can say ether exists, just depends on how you define it.

"Regarding the physical body's own awareness, Seth and Elias say that the physical body has its own awareness, known as the body consciousness. The body consiousness is self-aware but not in quite the same way as we are. "

I used to go to a Spiritualist church where one of the members used to lead a healing meditation where he would have people talk to each of their bodily organs and thank them for their work in supporting life.

He didn't invet this. I forget who did but they have a school, and followers, and stories of miraculus healings etc.

"Danison's main point is that, while we think of ourselves as human beings who have a soul, we would be more correct in viewing ourselves as souls who temporarily inhabit human bodies."

Yepper, that's pretty much what I believe.
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"the human experience is about separateness. Individuality. We are here precisely to experience that feeling."

Yep, that too. If not then the creator of the Universe is quite stupid and inept since life seems to be one big long lesson in separation - from the moment we are born and separate from our mothers till the day we die and our deaths become a lesson in separation to the loved ones we leave behind.
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"But why would anyone choose to incarnate if the life in question will be one of misery and pain?"

Because without it you can't exist as a separate, unique, individual. It takes the suffering to overcome those feelings of oneness and connectedness in heaven - and it has to be emotional because emotion and memory are linked - the more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memory it creates.

Life is the way it is on purpose. This earth life is a school and we are all here for the same reason - to experience duality and separation, time and space, and imprint memories of what it was like to be limited to or by a physical body and live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time universe.

The physical laws of Heaven or the Spiritual Universe are very different than they are here. They are the laws one would expect if the other side is the holographic film and this side is the holographic projection.

"I've heard after-death communicators talk about missing the physicality of life on Earth, but i've never known how to take those remarks. So this is an interesting confirmation, and rather surprising too, I think, given how soon into her experience she feels that loss." - Bruce
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I think that's one of the purposes of this life, to learn how it feels to have a body, to holistically imprint the parameters of the body. Every scrape, cut, itch, mosquito bite, burn, hitting your funny bone, etc. imprints on the soul bits of information, like pixels on a TV screen, the more pixels the more clear the picture. Teaching the soul, which comes from a place where nothing exists unless it is first thought of, what it is like to be limited to and inside a body. If you've spent eternity as some kind of ethereal gas inside a cylinder, occupying the entier cylinder, being everywhere at the same time, how could you know or understand what it is like to be inside a body, to taste, see, hear, feel (touch), and smell?

After we die we will merge back into the original holographic film but instead of being limited by a body our expanded consciousness will allow us to experience everyone's experience, past, present, and future simply by focusing our attention on them. We will know what it's like to be an eagle, a blue whale, a dolphin, or a falcon simply by thinking about it.

"That was really cool! I kind of felt as though my body exploded - in a nice way - and became a million different atoms - and each single atom could think its own thoughts and have its own feelings. All at once I seemed to feel like I was a boy, a girl, a dog, a cat, a fish. Then I felt like I was an old man, an old woman - and then a little tiny baby." - excerpt from Randy Gehling's NDE, http://near-death.com/experiences/animals04.html

Do ya'll see how holographic the above description is?

Perhaps interestingly, to me anyway, most purported communicators through mediums such as Leslie Flint, Emily French and others, talk about their lives (including 'physical' sensations), as being so like those when alive on Earth, that many do not realise what has happened to them at all. This is true also for those who say they have been dead for a long time. The world described by Nanci (as reported here) sounds very different.

They do not report 'knowing everything' - quite the reverse, even for Silver Birch who said he had been a long time over 'there'. I wonder if perhaps those reporting NDEs are reporting experiences when separated from their physical body that do not 'play back' accurately when they are reunited with their physical existence - maybe they are doing the equivalent of playing back VHS recording on a Betamax machine? :)

"The answer, according to Danison, is deceptively simple: God, which she dubs Source, has split itself into countless Light Beings for the purpose of experiencing everything that can be experienced."

"Danison suggests that the experience could compared to watching a horror movie or reading a depressing novel. Many of us seek out these experiences because we know that the movie or book is only a fantasy, and it takes up only a little of our time without any lasting negative effects. "

I can't say that is a very uplifiting explanation. Is there no greater purpose to life? Is the realm of pure consciousness so tedius that they have to invent holocausts to amuse themselves with? I don't think that would inspire anyone to strive to develop spiritual qualities while enduring the difficulties of life.

The conventional spiritual wisdom is that the purpose of life is to develop the spirit to make it fit to enter the higher realms of the spirit world.

But what is the point of that? To eventually merge back into the Source while maintaining identity. But why? Is the Source just collecting experiences as a form of amusement? Or is it collecting identities to grow in power and wisdom? Is there any purpose to it?

Does Danison address this question?

The Source sounds like a civilization of light beings. When they enter the source presumably they have their own interests, projects, competitions whatever those may be.

It would be interesting to know more about the Source. Is there only one, or is there a civilization of sources that interact and develop and have their own projects and activities and competitions - what ever those unimaginable things they might be?

"Is there any purpose to it?"

Danison says again and again that the purpose of life is to experience it!

If you're having a difficult life this time around--and I count myself in that crowd--I know that can sound cruel. But there it is.

I guess that's where a reasoned faith enters the picture--knowing that the overall picture is balanced and beautiful. And that pain is temporary, even when it doesn't feel that way.

"Is there no greater purpose to life? Is the realm of pure consciousness so tedius that they have to invent holocausts to amuse themselves with?" - jshg
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Holocausts cause separation. Separation teaches the soul what it means and how it feels to be separate. Can't learn what it means to be separate in heaven because of those infinite feelings of oneness and connectedness. It's got to be super-duper emotional so that it imprints on the soul what it means to be separate.

We here in the physical universe can't begin to comprehend the overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness in heaven.

You can't become a separate unique individual unless you spend time in the physical universe. Otherwise you're just a Borg drone connected to the hive mind.

"Danison says again and again that the purpose of life is to experience it!"

But what is the reason we bits of consciouness enter into having these experiences?

This gets into what M.P. said in the other thread that he thought she was a bit too sure of herself.

I would describe it as having learned something by rote without understanding it. She states a dogma or a tenet but it has no explanatory power no logical relationship to anything else. She can't convince anyont with reason so she substitutes an emphatic manner and repition.

Maybe there is no more to the explanation, maybe reality really is a pointless diversion from eternal ennui, or maybe I don't understand the significance of what she is saying, but I have to say I'm not impressed with her teaching because to me it seems vaccuous.

""Danison says again and again that the purpose of life is to experience it!"

Me: Why should I eat dinner?

Dannison: To take in food!

Me: Why?

Dennison: To have a meal!

Me: Why?

Dannison: Because you ate lunch at noon and it's now 6:00pm!

Me: But why should I eat at all?

Fredrick Myers: Because the body needs chemical nourishment to maintain life.

"She can't convince anyone with reason so she substitutes an emphatic manner and repition."

Sorry for this anti-religious rant but I call this "church thinking". I think it may be caused by studying catachisms as a child which results in mental disability because it interferes with the development of rationality and stunts intellectual development.

Danison's teaching is intriguing, but as usual there are problems of consistency with reality and human experience. The matter of physical reality being a matter of belief systems is especially hard to swallow. As Michael pointed out, the world was round even when millions believed it was flat, or that it was perched on the back of a cosmic tortoise. There is an objective external reality that is responsible for the whole edifice of modern physics. And as has been pointed out, her teaching conflicts with the picture of the afterlife given by many reputable psychic mediums.

The biggest problem is that her picture completely devalues the ordinary human experience of suffering. To the point where human beings are just vehicles for souls to experience the physical world, with suffering being just as OK as pleasure - just grist for the mill of the soul. Of course a spiritual philosophy's being unpleasant or abhorrent is not logical refutation.

Unfortunately this teaching, like many others I have encountered, is hard to accept because it contains certain parts that conflict with reality, and other aspects that conflict with other seemingly plausible teachings (like the reincarnation issue in the previous thread). Of course you can pick and choose just the parts that seem right, and assume the wrong aspects are distortions from the mind of the originator, but this is just too convenient. It seems that a system should stand or fall as it is propounded by its originator. One false part contaminates the entire teaching as a little poison contaminates the entire well.

Sometimes teachers who feel the need to prove their intelligence by giving reasons for everything fall into a similar trap. I knew a woman who picked it up from her father who was a school teacher. She would constantly make statements like, "I have to get home soon because .... because ... because ... I need to be at my house." Or, I'm so tired because ... because ... because ... I feel exhausted.

Some people just don't understand how reasoning works and I tend to be very skeptical of what they say particularly when they are teachers.

I said:

"The purpose of life is to experience it."

jshgfcre98ijyds said:

"Me: Why should I eat dinner?
Danison: To take in food!"

There's a huge difference between what your little dialogue implies, and saying that the purpose of life is to experience it.

To "take in food" is a mechanical act. Something a robot could do, or for that matter, a garbage disposal. It doesn't in any way suggest an experience.

In contrast, Danison's point, along with countless other spiritual teachers, is that the purpose of life is to FEEL what it's like to do all the things a human being does. To feel happy, sad, loving, excited, triumphant, defeated--the entire spectrum of possibilities.

Does that make sense? It does to me and many others. If it doesn't make sense to you, I can respect that, but the point is probably not one that I'd care to debate.

doubter said:

"It seems that a system should stand or fall as it is propounded by its originator. One false part contaminates the entire teaching as a little poison contaminates the entire well."

Good luck in finding a teacher or teaching that feels 100% right to you. In my experience, it doesn't work that way.

The one time I DID have a guru who I perceived to be 100% in line with my own thinking, I later came to understand that I was responding to this teacher as a cult follower would. Seeing only the positives because I desperately needed the simplicity of finding one source that would answer all my questions. Much as a fundamentalist Christian clings to the Bible.

I think you'll find that one aspect of growth is learning to live with ambiguity. To accept teachers who have something to give you, while allowing them their human imperfections.

Or as some would say: learning not to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

"In contrast, Danison's point, along with countless other spiritual teachers, is that the purpose of life is to FEEL what it's like to do all the things a human being does. To feel happy, sad, loving, excited, triumphant, defeated--the entire spectrum of possibilities."


Me: Why incarnate?

Danison: To experience life!

Me: Why?

Danison: To FEEL!

Me: Why???????

Fredrick Meyers: To make you fit for the higher planes in the spirit world.

"To make you fit for the higher planes in the spirit world."

And what's the purpose of those higher planes?

Excellent review MP. Something I find niggling: if our light being's primary purpose is to grow through saturating itself with every kind of life experience over many incarnations, where does this leave morality? Somebody who commits a heinous crime is punished and viewed with contempt in this life but from a wider perspective they are just slotting in another piece of the experiential cosmic jigsaw. I personally find such an approach disturbing. In fact I'm not too keen on this multiple light-being idea at all.

@Michael
I must not be thinking. What does "YMMV" mean?

I get as far "as your message may" and I get stuck!

.....and me!

"I must not be thinking. What does "YMMV" mean?"

Your mileage may vary.

Oh ok I am an idiot.

'And what's the purpose of those higher planes?'

Dannison: To experience! To FEEL!

Frederic Meyers: They give you different qualities of experience that make fit you to eventually enter the Source.

Socrates: Why enter the Source?

Me: I dunno, everyone else is doing it and if you don't you will be disintegrated? Resistance is futile!!!1!

Marlin Perkins: It is instinctive, like salmon swimming upstream or parasitic nematodes crawing from the gut up the digestive tract into the respiratory tract and down into lungs of their host.


We are making memories of what it's like to be in a body, to see, hear, taste, feel, smell. To make love, what time and space look and feel like.

We are spirit beings. Pure consciousness. How can you create something if you have never experienced it for yourself? The reason our ancestors didn't make airplanes, telephones, cars, etc is because they had no experience of them. They didn't know what metal was so before they could shape it they had to experience it. Some human ancestor threw a rock in a fire that metal ore in it and the metal ran out and cooled and they picked it up and it was hard and they played with it and eventually figured out how to shape it.

A new born baby is born and doesn't know how to control his body. They explore their universe by tasting it, feeling it, learning what it's like to be inside that little body, and they are intensely interested in everything around them because they only have a little while to take in as much information as possible about what it's like to inside that body.

Why? Because after that body is worn out they merge back into heaven, or the spiritual universe, the original holographic film - they are able to maintain their uniqueness because they know what it means to be separate. They don't lose that sense of uniqueness. Simply by thinking about a thing they can create it. A guy named Mark H (not the same guy as Mark Horton by the way) says he thought of a mountain and one appeared. A near death experience that I read long ago said they went into a "hall of learning" and it seemed as if the building itself was "made of knowledge". We are gods in training.

If you had never been exposed to individual things before and all you knew was this sort of gaseous mixture - like a piece of holographic film - before you can create something you have to have some knowledge about what matter looks like, what time and space look and act like, what it feels like to be inside a body, to see, hear, touch, smell, and taste.

The purpose of life is simply to experience being alive, being inside a body. What it feels like to be separate, what time and space look and feel like, make memories of what it's like to be alive. And the really great thing is that we will share all these memories on the other side due to those overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness - and yes you will have "all knowledge." It's a by-product of the holographic film that heaven is made from.

Michael, I believe you have misread the concept represented by "Tomorrow morning, when you awake, you will manifest into reality precisely what you went to bed believing about your world."

About a year ago, I decided to actively work to change my cynical, critical attitude about other people. It's my worst feature, and a treasured one because I'm so skilled at it, so it was a good one to attack.

The response has been interesting. The quality of my life has gone up quite a bit. First, people respond differently when you act differently towards them. Negative actions nearly always reap only negative responses. Positive actions can reap either negative or positive responses, but that's better than an assured negative.

Second, the way you view the world affects the way you feel, and that affects your experience. I am much more positive about my surroundings (and the people inhabiting them), and feel more positive. This make me more productive, and happier, and the result of this is a better life. Because of my different attitude and the resulting actions, better things happen to me.

You said "External reality on spiritual planes does appear to be a direct projection of consciousness, but I don't think the physical world is equally malleable. Indeed, I think this is one of the key differences between the Earth plane and spiritual planes."

From my experience in the last year, I would completely disagree with you. This is not magic; it's cause and effect, a direct result of my projection of a different consciousness, with different results. You WANT it to be about magic, but you have overlooked the very real ability we have to actualize our desires by changing our perceptions of situations.

It would be easy to say that this is a different category of action, but I'm not so sure. Uri Geller maintained that to bend a spoon, one had to really WANT the spoon to bend, on an emotional level. It isn't just a matter of magic, it's a function of desire superimposed on the exterior world. On a very simple level the quality of my life has become the result of my desire for things to run smoothly rather than roughly, visualized over the environment around me.

Who's to say that the process involved isn't analogous? One of the reasons I attempted to improve my attitudes about people was because I have led, by some measures, a charmed life. Things I have visualized have, in many cases happened just as I have visualized them. In many of these situations, I do not feel like I've had direct control.

The current experiment is just an extension of that. Please at least consider that there may not exist the definite line you've drawn between the possibilities of this life, and the possibilities of the next. There's no reason the transition should be as completely abrupt, on/off, as you have visualized it. It may just be a difference of degree and skill rather than process.

"It would be easy to say that this is a different category of action, but I'm not so sure. Uri Geller maintained that to bend a spoon, one had to really WANT the spoon to bend, on an emotional level."

Yes, I would say it is a different category of action. Changing your attitude towards other people is not the same as materializing a beer fridge in the next room.

Even at the psychic level, I've intentionally manipulated people psychically but I have not been able to intentionally manipulate physical objects psychically. In junior high I wanted to get good grades so I tried focusing my mind on my intentions every day. It seemed to work. In one class I had a b+ average and the teacher gave me an A. When I asked her why she said she didn't know why. I stopped doing this. I didn't realize I would be manipulating real people so I stopped. I don't think it is good for your karma to manipulate people psychically - you are interfering with their free will.


Also, are you saying that Uri Geller wanted to bend a spoon more than most people?

I think a better explanation that some people have abilities that other people do not have. Maybe some people can create a material reality, maybe you're one of them.

But, many people fully expect certain things to happen which don't actually happen. We have a word for it: "Surprise!". If this theory of creating a material reality was true, no one would ever experience surprises. So, I think this theory of creating a material reality has been proven wrong over and over and over.

" I didn't realize I would be manipulating real people so I stopped. "

I though I would be causing myself to study harder, I didn't realize I would be influencing other people.

I am skeptical, everything seemed perfect until you mentioned that she believes we can change reality by changing our thoughts. This is absolutely untrue, i would also like to know what are her thoughts on evolution? Does Nanci L. Danison accept that human beings evolved from earlier life forms?

None of the NDE experiences show mental activity in the absence of brain activity. Even if we assume that all of them are 100% accurate, all they show is the memory of mental activity during a period of reduced brain activity. The memory may have been constructed at another time and the perceived timing of that memory altered to correspond to the period of reduced brain activity.

I can change the origin date on files on my computer to before the time that my computer existed. Does that mean my computer is “remembering” pre-construction experiences?

I often wonder about the emotional need many people seem to have, to believe in some invisible soul-stuff beyond the physical brain. To me, the facts as revealed by science are way more exciting than all these made-up stories and speculations about something ‘beyond’. Billion of years of evolution formed complex nervous-systems and brains. Organisms become self-aware, got rich inner lives and awesome cognitive abilities. And all this, just happened on its own. About 3 Billion years of evolution resulted in me, my girlfriend, my friends….how can someone contemplate about this, and not be excited!?
I don’t think that science based naturalism and emotional fulfilment are exclusive. Maybe science, naturalism and skepticism just need to sell itself better and recognize that most people have emotional needs of connection, meaning, wonder (and they are very important to them)…I am sure that people can learn to direct these emotions towards facts and the real world instead of the imaginary and probably non-existent (even after years of cultural and religious brainwashing that thought them otherwise).

If I recall correctly, Carl Sagan reflected in one of his books on the concept of an afterlife. What was interesting about it was that he didn’t just rule out an afterlife on the basis of the mind’s dependence on the brain and end there (although I think he mentioned that, too). He illustrated some of the problems associated with trying to pick out an essential “self” from all of the different mental states that occur during one’s life time – especially at the end, if one’s mind has virtually been lost – say, to of dementia from Alzheimer’s disease – and then project that into a post-mortem scenario.

For me, this is one of the biggest problems with the idea of an afterlife.

I mean, let’s postulate for a moment that an afterlife is true. For someone who is of completely sound mind at death, everything is great. Your soul moves on to heaven with all of the personality, knowledge, memories, etc. that you had at the moment of death.

But what of someone who dies at the end of a long slide into Alzheimer’s? There are only two possibilities, either that person spends eternity in heaven with the mental faculties they had at the moment of death (an idea that, I’m sure, anyone would find abhorrent and impossible to accept), or they are magically “restored” to full mental acuity.

But then the next problem is, what exactly would that mean? If the mind does not arise from the brain, then doesn’t that mean that the Alzheimer’s deterioration resides in the mind? Or do believers somehow rationalize that the physical deterioration of the brain has that horrible effect on the mind, but then once the mind is freed, it springs back to “normal”? What would “normal” mean in this context? The way your mind was before the Alzheimer’s started? How do you define the exact moment it started? Would the person lose their memories of the intervening time? In the early stages, a person with Alzheimer’s suffers intermittent short-term memory loss; their personality is still all there, they experience life and joy and all that. It can take years to get to the point that they have difficulty functioning. Does the soul get deprived of all the memories of those times? Or in the after life, does your soul get restored to what it was when you were 10% into Alzheimer’s? 25%?

But let’s even put Alzheimer’s aside and go back to the person who is of completely sound mind at death. What does it even mean to be of “completely sound mind”? Doesn’t everyone, as they age into their sixties, seventies, and beyond, suffer from some decline in mental acuity and/or memory function? Do you live eternally in heaven, forever forgetting where you put your car keys?

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