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It's really surprising to see an article like that in the WSJ, of all places.

I'm pretty certain myself I saw an apparition as a small child. I've also caught glimpses of what may have been apparitions.

I've also felt a lot what I call "dread" experiences. These involve places I've been to where I've seem to felt dread or heaviness, such as in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Walking the battle, one really seems to feel something - but is it just because I knew what happened there?

One another occasion, I was in Paris, walking around, and came to a place where I felt physically very cold and uncomfortable all of a sudden. I even mentioned it to my companion. Later I found out that this was the place where executions occurred during the French Revolution. I'd be interested to know if other people have experienced this.


Ultimately, though, I think most people are still afraid to admit to these experiences for fear of being mocked or discredited, especially if one is in uptight profession.

Interesting!

Yes, the odd thing about believing in these things is that, until fairly recently, a lot of people shared the beliefs but could share them with others with much efficiency.

I also agree with Kathleen that a lot of people are still holding back.

This page appears to be related to the paywalled WSJ article. On the video, you see an apparent diaphanous spectre, which the child in the crib stands up to watch. Here is the explanation given for what we "think" we see:

According to Lawrence Balter, professor emeritus of applied psychology at New York University, much of this may be to do with the natural nervousness a new parent might feel about protecting their child.

"If you weren't nervous you probably wouldn't make that interpretation," he said. "You'd say it's probably some sort of technological glitch. But if you're nervous and worried about your newborn's well-being, you might jump to a conclusion that's less than logical."

Perhaps I'm the nervous type too, but it looks to me as though the child is captivated by the "technological glitch" in the video.

As for Heinlein, he gives good advice to his correspondent: "In the meantime, be patient. And walk on past the churches and try the public library it is an interesting subject to dig into".

Stranger in a Strange Land was an underground sensation in the days when the underground was really such—1963. It was being past around in the East Village then, and was quite different from any other of Heinlein's works, which I'd liked as a kid. Its hero was a martian who had all sorts of unearthly ideas. Some terms have become common, like "grok," meaning to comprehend in fullness.

Let's face it, whenever MP endorses a book, the price skyrockets through the roof.
The minute he links to a interesting article online, it gets tucked behind a paywall. Can't help but wonder if MP and his fabulously wealthy one percenter buddies are in cahoots. :D

Seriously, I've noticed a slow but steady shift in mainstream coverage of spiritual and paranormal stories over the past few years, and the pace of that change seems to be accelerating. As more Millennial's, Gen X and Gen Zer's begin to fill the ranks of science and journalism, expect the whole paradigm to shift. It's the old 'one funeral at a time' principle in action.

Political positions to the side, Marianne Williamson's presidential candidacy is one glaring current example. No one seriously expects her to win, and she is by no means my choice as a poster child for rational discussion of the paranormal. Still, there is no way she would have been up on the debate stage ten years ago.
Speaking of politics, Donald Trump is another example of this paradigm shift. Whether he wins of loses his reelection, the narrative has changed. No matter where people stand in the political or spiritual spectrum, the usual bullsh*t won't work anymore.
The rise of the spiritual but not religious type is another quiet backlash. In this case, it's rebellion against accepting mainstream church doctrines without question.

It's hard to recognize the depth of a major social paradigm shift when you're in the midst of it, but we are definitely in the middle of a major collective worldview upheaval.

Not sure why the WSJ piece is suddenly paywalled, but here’s a related article:

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/terrified-parents-claim-theyre-recording-haunting-images-on-their-baby-monitors-but-psychology-experts-say-they-are-just-nervous-for-their-newborns/ar-AAFMVtU

Here’s another article that reprises most of the info in the WSJ piece, including the color photos:

https://www.singularfortean.com/news/2019/8/16/pink-and-purple-hued-apparitions-captured-by-parents-on-cocoon-cam-baby-monitor

“It's hard to recognize the depth of a major social paradigm shift when you're in the midst of it, but we are definitely in the middle of a major collective worldview upheaval.”

I agree and welcome it, Rabbitdawg!

I don’t think that the Christian and Jewish religions will survive many more generations as strong meaningful belief systems. Islam will survive as long as it is a forced religion and there are people who intrinsically have desires and behaviors validated by the religious dogma but eventually, new belief systems will take the place of the old ones.

I don’t see a future without some belief system(s) to help people survive in the presence of some existential dread and ennui, which is sure to engulf all of those searching for a meaningful existence in the absence of a ‘religion’. If human life is just a paltry few years of suffering which eventually comes to all and the universe is just some big explosion of energy without meaning or wonder then why not just end the human experience by sterilizing each newborn child and let the species die out.

The developing “spiritual but not religious” belief system may be the one that eventually wins. As there are increasing reports of ‘evidence’ supporting a spiritual life, such evidence coming from several sources including NDEs, tales of reincarnation, mediumship, and other reports of paranormal activities. Younger generations of people may be more inclined to accept them as true. -AOD

Interesting thoughts, Rabbitdawg. I’m a little more skeptical of the long-awaited paradigm shift. Is Marianne Williamson's presence on the debate stage any more noteworthy than Henry Wallace's term as FDR's Vice President? Wallace, deeply into mysticism, was the "New Age" politico of his day. (Not to be confused with the segregationist governor George Wallace of a slightly later era.) Or how about the seances held in the Lincoln White House? Accounts differ on Honest Abe's attitude toward those sessions, but the fact that they were held at all might have been seen as evidence of fast-approaching mainstream acceptance of mediumship. Yet it didn’t happen.

As a society, we seem to approach broader acceptance of these ideas and then repeatedly back off. Perhaps they are too destabilizing, both psychologically and socially, to be fully and openly embraced by most people.

I do agree that mainline organized religions are presently losing their appeal in the West, but who knows what the future holds? Religious enthusiasm waxes and wanes. Crises tend to bring people into the arms of a protective institution. In the event that our soft affluence morphs into civil unrest, major depression, or a major foreign war, I suspect you’ll see people flocking to the churches and synagogues again.


"As a society, we seem to approach broader acceptance of these ideas and then repeatedly back off. Perhaps they are too destabilizing, both psychologically and socially, to be fully and openly embraced by most people."
- M.P.

Gee, thanks for the ice water Michael! :)
Truth be told, that's one of the things we love about this blog.
Whether it's from you or the commentators, we can always come here for new information and cool, objective, reasoned and balanced observations.

Maybe it's wishful woo-woo thinking on my part, but I wonder if we aren't in the midst of a New Axial Age. It won't go smoothly, and it may get ugly at certain points; major societal shifts usually bend like that.

One example: astronomical research on extraterrestrial life is accelerating quickly, and UFO's are slowly being taken seriously, albeit no one seems to know where to go with them at the moment.

I also believe there is a major backlash brewing against the technology-as-god mentality. Not Luddite-like, but personal human experience can't be thrown out with the bathwater in our approach to a greater society.

One of the few issues (probably the only issue) I strongly disagree with you on is anthropomorphic climate change. Ironically, technology will likely provide some of the answers to that problem. Then again, it definitely won't go smoothly.

Bottom line, the internet and information technology is to our age what the printing press was to the 15th Century. It can be used to aid as well as undermine social change.
Being in the midst of this change, I have no idea how it will manifest itself, and I'm not even sure it will be a good thing in the long run, but here is where my woo comes into play.
I believe, or at least hope a Greater Force is slowly steering the ship, dragging us kicking and screaming into a better world. We'll see...

Religion and church are alive and well and living in the South. It's a big deal here. Very social. Lots of stuff, church dinners, youth devotionals, singing, picnics, barbecues, cookouts, soccer, easter egg hunts, etc.

In the South "Church" is the center of our social life. If you live in the south and you are a sourpuss atheist and abhor the idea of religion and church you're going to be one lonely fella. Church is where you meet people and talk and find friends to go fishing/boating and/or hunting with (which is also a big deal in the South), and camaraderie and friends.

We sing songs, some of which I've noticed sound very much like they might have been borrowed from the Spiritualist Church like "Happy Summerland of Bliss" for instance. It's great fun and I don't mind the praying and I really enjoy the social aspects of our church. There are some really big churches nearby and they got softball and basketball and soccer and all kinds of stuff for the kids. There are lots of families here because there are lots jobs and growth here in Tennessee. So I don't see it suddenly disappearing. You may not be a part of it but there are a lot of people who are.

Hello! I-m new to this blog! This is unrelated to this particular post, but I wish to say something...

I was aware of this blog a few months ago, since the beginning of the year, and read a whole lot of it, since the stuff from early 2000s until today.

I want to say good blog! very nuanced and fair, and polite too.

Sincerely, AB

Art: "It's great fun and I don't mind the praying and I really enjoy the social aspects of our church."

I'm glad you're getting something out of Christianity, Art, but are you the same Art who was so enthusiastic about the "holographic universe" here some years ago?

Of course there's no reason admiring such ideas need interfere with having fun or the social aspects of church.

If you are that same Art, I thought of you recently after purchasing a new edition of The "Unknown" Reality, Volume One (I'd last read the book from cover-to-cover in 1982 and my old copy had disintegrated) after opening it and coming across this blurb:

"To my great surprise -- and slight annoyance -- I found that Seth eloquently and lucidly articulated a view of reality that I had arrived at only after great effort and an extensive study of both paranormal phenomena and quantum physics..."

-- Michael Talbot, author of The Holographic Universe and Beyond the Quantum.

Should you purchase and read any Seth books after reading this blurb, I'm not sure whether it would be wise to mention this to any of your fellow churchgoers; doing so would not be much of problem at any number of churches here in the North, but my understanding is that things are different in Tennessee.

Regarding baby monitors and odd images -- Here's a possibly relevant snippet (of course taken completely out of context):

"The soul _can_ be considered as an electromagnetic energy field, of which you are a part. It is a field of concentrated action when you consider it in this light -- a powerhouse of probabilities or probable actions, seeking to be expressed; a grouping of nonphysical consciousnesses that nevertheless knows itself as an identity." ~Seth in Session 528 in Seth Speaks.

Regarding Rabbitdawg's "new Axial Age:"

Just today I was discussing with someone on FB whether or not channeled information contained in David Spangler's Revelation: The Birth of a New Age could be connected with the present global situation; some of Seth's comments regarding future probable mass realities also entered into the discussion.

Of course all of the words came from the 1970s. Spangler has, apparently, modified his views somewhat since then. (Seth has not spoken since Jane Roberts death in 1984.)

There was no public Internet during the earlier days of Findhorn or when Jane Roberts was giving voice to Seth. "Climate Change" was not a concern, and the political situations in many places, especially in the U.S. and the UK, were quite different from those of today.

We are still dealing with empires (even if not called empires), however, as humanity has been for at least the last 6,000 years and that was connected to the "changes in consciousness" associated with both authors, but no final conclusions were reached.

I think its interesting to see the attitude towards the state run churches in 1968 in the letter , when it took me many years to realize that the actual story of Jesus was rewritten by the authorities during the time of Constantine's reign and placed on top of the ongoing setup and business carried on as usual with the same religious days in place with new names , you will never find answers to the questions or the real answers to reality in a Church

On a similar note, in the spirit of mainstream publications taking non-materialist thought and experience seriously, here is a link to a straightforward article in The New York Times about Monica Gagliano. She's a scientist who takes plant consciousness seriously, even though she risks her reputation and career.
However, she does have the research and experience to back up her claims.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/26/style/can-plants-talk.html

\\"I'm glad you're getting something out of Christianity, Art, but are you the same Art who was so enthusiastic about the "holographic universe" here some years ago? - Bill//
-------------------------

LOL! Yes, I am absolutely that guy! And our preacher and everyone else knows that I am a pro NDE, deathbed vision, holographic universe & quantum physics loving spiritualist. He knows I see spirituality and science together as one thing. By the way I was brought up as a Lutheran and in case you didn't know Lutherans are very liberal and really big on grace. Like there are no "yeah buts" with grace. So a lot of what I believe I think might be a little bit of a holdover from my Lutheran upbringing.

I even told our preacher that one of the songs we sing quite often is obviously borrowed from the Spiritualist Church... "Beyond this land of parting" In the song one of the lines says "Oh happy summerland of bliss." Here's a Church of Christ singing it, Not our church but a Church of Christ. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChvYKHYsguc

Our preacher has a Masters Degree in Religion and I really like him. He had an out of body experience when he got zapped by 220 volts of electricity one time. We had one guy from our church who had an NDE when he was 8, and one of the women in our church her brother had terminal lucidity at the end. It was nice talking to them about it.

\\you will never find answers to the questions or the real answers to reality in a Church." - Ken//
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What you will find are friends and stability and learn how to be functional and church dinners and singing and church picnics and love and acceptance. I found my wife at church and we've been married for 45 years now. We don't just go to church and then run out of the building as fast as we can at the end of the service. We stay and talk and enjoy the company. And there are plenty of different flavors of churches that you can probably find one that will accept you no matter how quirky you are.

It just depends on your attitude. A lot of what you find will be a reflection from inside yourself. If you got a negative attitude and are ready to run at the first sign of anything you don't like then yeah, don't even bother.

\\"Because we are called to walk worthy of our calling, we are told by the apostle Paul to walk "with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love" (Eph. 4:2 )."//
----------------

Our preacher says that "forbear one another in love" means "put up with one another." Remember as weird as you think someone else is you are probably just as weird and quirky as they are.

https://www.prca.org/resources/worship-devotional/meditations/meditations-ii/item/1169-forbearing-one-another-in-love

Welcome to the Michael Prescott blog AB! The archives are a rich resource for deep, informative and sane information about spirituality and the paranormal, among other things.

You also might want to check out MP's essay's:
http://michaelprescott.freeservers.com/essays.html

Art wrote, "In case you didn't know, Lutherans are very liberal."

Depends on the Lutherans. My parents were kicked out of a Lutheran congregation for saying they believed in evolution.

This was around 1960, and if I recall correctly, this particular church was associated with the Missouri branch of Lutheranism, which is (or was) the strictest.

Actually it looks like the Missouri Synod hasn’t changed. A few years ago they expelled a pastor for, among other things, disputing creationism and a literal reading of Genesis.

//Becker’s insistence on talking about such issues has led certain members of the church to file charges against him to the synod, triggering several investigations.

To the disappointment of some, church panels handling the investigations have consistently cleared Becker, allowing him to remain in the church.

Yet, Becker, 52, was officially ousted last week..//

https://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/outspoken-pastor-ousted-from-the-lutheran-church-missouri-synod/article_d0434c63-7dcc-5d9b-bca9-89fd7111fa8c.html

There are churches, of various denominations, and there is Salem, Massachusetts. I live a mere 12 miles from the place, home to the famous Witchcraft Trials of 1692 and 1693.

It's also home to Laurie Cabot. (I've met her. I took a four-night class of hers a few years ago focused on "Alpha" and remote medical readings.)

Has the photo of Ms. Cabot and her crew, found in the April, 1979, issue of National Geographic ever been discussed here?

https://thedemoniacal.blogspot.com/2009/12/laurie-cabot-explains-famous-witch.html

I go to a conservative fundamentalist little country Church of Christ and they are very tolerant of me. Really nice people. My wife's daddy was a Church of Christ preacher. It's been good for me. Taught me how to be decent and stable and functional. I've had a good life and I think I owe a lot of it to the Church of Christ. And oh yeah, Church Dinners are the best!

\\"Depends on the Lutherans. My parents were kicked out of a Lutheran congregation for saying they believed in evolution." Michael Prescott//
-----------

My boss at the Uni. of TN Vet School was a Lutheran and he told me that he didn't believe in the virgin birth.

That's the interesting thing about religion and the bible... it doesn't have to be either all true or all lies. It can be some of both, and you can pay attention to the stuff you like and ignore the stuff you don't. I pretty much ignore or don't pay attention to all of the Old Testament. Sometimes atheists who want to prove a point will start quoting some old testament verses to me and I try and tell them that doesn't mean a thing to me. But there is a lot of good stuff in the New Testament that I do like, like Galatians 5 and Colossians 3... stuff about being a good person, persevering, being kind, compassionate, loving other people, being forgiving, etc.

I think the whole idea of being saved by what we believe makes no sense whatsoever. Let's face it, what we know about life after death and "God" and consciousness and the really big stuff is so small that there is no way we are even coming close to the "All that Is." The great "I Am." I said to our preacher one time "that bible is not God." But that doesn't mean that there isn't some good stuff in it.

I agree with Art's larger point about the social benefits of being part of a congregation. I’m not a member of any church, but I know a widow in her 80s who met a very nice man through her church and ended up in a happy, loving relationship. Without her church group, she probably would have spent her remaining years alone. As long as churchgoers can make friends and even spark romances, church will continue to be part of people's lives.

And to the extent that churches have fallen out of favor, it’s notable that studies show that people in the developed world are increasingly isolated and lonely. It’s not clear that anything has come along to replace the role of organized religion in people's social lives.

\\"It’s not clear that anything has come along to replace the role of organized religion in people's social lives." - Michael Prescott"//
--------------------------

Even though the people at church don't believe exactly the same thing I do I still enjoy being part of a fellowship of believers. We share a common belief in the big things, life after death, some sort of heaven, God, etc. I do believe in Jesus although maybe not exactly in the same way they do? I believe he lived and was a teacher, and was highly articulate and intelligent, and that he died on the cross, was entombed for three days, and arose from the dead. But I also believe that what happened to him has happened to a whole lot of people - people as in near death experiencers. I believe that the "parables" or stories he describes in the New Testament are probably Jesus's attempt to explain to his followers what the Kingdom of Heaven is going to be like. Just like the stories that near death experiencers do when they they share their NDE descriptions.

But I also believe that storytellers probably embellished the story, added on to it - borrowing stories from other religions that were common in the 1st Century, and told it out of sequence in an attempt to make it more interesting and stretch it out. Most NDE descriptions aren't that lengthy but when I read their books they describe everything, how they ended up dead on the operating table, and came back to life, and how it has affected them.

But bottom line... I believe in life after death. Something of who I am survives the death of this physical body. At what that something is? I'm not exactly sure. People who have NDEs do say things though like "the real me was up by the ceiling looking down on that thing down there." They feel no attachment to their physical body, and in fact Pam Reynold's did not want to get back into it but her deceased Uncle pushed her and she woke up back in her body.

Bill, you reminded me of one thing interesting thing Seth said, that weather disasters are manifestations of anxiety or distress among a particular population. With a big hurricane bearing down on Florida, I do wonder...as people in Florida do seem particularly "high-strung." That is, if you read about some odd or unpleasant event or incident, it's usually not surprising that it happened in Florida. New York City has a huge population, but you don't see the kind of stories that you see out of Florida. I'd love to see Seth's take on climate change and all that's going on today. It'd be quite interesting.

Life doesn't have to be about all or nothing. Sometimes in adult Sunday School class our preacher will ask us how we feel about something and I say "it depends on the day." I freely admit my feelings and beliefs are not a straight line or linear but more of a wavy line. I have good days and bad days just like everyone else.

It can be about money or if my back is hurting or the weather or how the people I love are doing. I can put on a face and pretend I'm not worried about anything but if I'm worried about a loved one inside I can be going through a range of emotions and those emotions can affect my thoughts.

"I do believe, help my unbelief." Mark 9:24

I've had OBEs only a few times once in a blue moon. And when I did, I'm about maybe 7 feet away from my body. No further than that, due to fear of going beyond, but I'm working on it. I’m trying to control that.

I've been a bit skeptical of obes, probably because I've been exposed to things like the Skeptic dictionary website and more.
But I'm starting to think that obes might be more than just the mind/brain playing tricks.
I’ve engaged with many skeptics. But this one engagement I've had with a skeptic/materialist online went something like this:

Me: I think you're being a little too quick to call obes and such, delusions and fantasies.

Skeptic: No, they really are hallucinations and delusions. Believers in a spirit world interpret them as something more, because they desperately want to believe there's more to life than just this mundane one.

Me: But there are quite a few people who've had nde/obes who were very skeptical about them like you are right now. And there were people who dismissed and doubted them.
For example Robert Monroe.
He thought he was seriously mentally ill when he first started having them. He went to the doctor to see what was up. And the doctor said nothing was wrong. Even I was skeptical before having mine. And even then, I was still skeptical and thought I was mentally ill for YEARS before finally accepting and learning about them.
I own a couple of books about obes and such now. I think years of denying, doubting, and beating myself up for seeing them as transcendental, when I really don't have a 'sick brain', mental illness, or schizophrenia/schizotypy, is plenty long enough. I would like to stop now.

Skeptic: Robert Monroe? You mean the one who has a
MonroeInstitute site? I've heard of him.
He was having hallucinations. He went to the doctors, they said he was okay, and nothing was wrong with him. Even though he was clearly hallucinating. He should've gotten a second opinion.

Me: I know you've copy-pasted that phrase out of Robert Carroll's Skeptic Dictionary site. I've seen that before. He said that phrase on the OBE section of his Skepdic site.

Skeptic: Yes, because nde/obes are the result of the nervous system, hallucinations, evolution and evolutionary mechanism/adaption, and wishful thinking. Like belief in an afterlife, they're just crutches to get through life's tough times ( like illnesses ). Your biology will create an illusion of an astral realm if you believe in it.
But that's just it. The result of your imagination, fantasy, and illusions, not a spirit world. People with Fantasy Prone Disorder and schizotypy are more likely to have and believe in such BS.
If people keep this up, they're going to start calling being drunk on alcohol, ADHD, schizotypy, and many mental illnesses "doors to the spirit world", when it's all in their heads.
That is the dangerous pseudoscience, and delusions that make people refuse therapy, medications, psychiatry, and other treatments. Go see a doctor, not a shaman, folks.
And to quote Carroll again "People like Monroe should get a second opinion, if they are told they're mentally and physically okay the first time".
We need to get rid of these harmful eastern beliefs, and harmful superstitions.

Me: But there are cases of obe/ndes who've gotten details of an area correct, when they were nowhere near the area. I can name a few.

Skeptic: All of those are still hallucinations. All these people are doing is trying to deny nihilism. They're afraid of nihilism. Obe/ndes and other paranormal phenomena have all been debunked. But whiny paranormal New Agers like Chopra ( who whines about materialists, and Wikipedia not accepting his pseudoscience woo woo ), refuse to accept that.

Me: Skeptic, none of this has anything to do with wanting to 'deny nihilism'. It has nothing to do with 'clinging to a belief in an afterlife either. Because many of them did NOT fear death before the experience. Some of them did, but not all of them. They're not mentally ill either.
Like I've said, there are people who were hard skeptics, before their experiences. Look at Howard Storm on near-death.com
He was pretty upset to discover that he was out of his body at death, because he wanted oblivion.
And are you for real? Nobody really takes Chopra and Lanza seriously. I know I don't. I can't.
And many proponents do NOT refuse to seek help or treatment for mental illnesses.

Skeptic: That woo woo Harry Potter website? That's for people who are already convinced there's an afterlife and have made up their minds. And so are nde books and the like. Nothing but biases like cognitive and confirmation, cherry-picking, cognitive dissonance, denial, willful ignorance, and wishful/magical thinking.
That site and those books just help believers sleep peacefully at night. Look at real science, and skeptical blogs, not anti-science new age websites and books. Graham Hancock calls things like drugs and mental illnesses “visits from spirits”.

And the skeptic continued:

Skeptic: "I was still skeptical and thought I was mentally ill for YEARS before finally accepting and learning more about them them.
I own a couple of books about obes and such now. I think years of denying, doubting, and beating myself up for seeing them as transcendental, when I really don't have a 'sick brain', mental illness, or schizophrenia/schizotypy, is plently long enough. I would like to stop now."

I have not come across one healthy person who bluntly disagrees when their biases are pointed out, healthy people reflect, BUT delusional people, especially those who have something significant to lose (e.g. effective denial of nihilism) are those who need to do whatever it takes to maintain self serving delusional believes. It is your life to waste, buy as many books as you want, I just hope you don’t have children. http://whatstheharm.net

Me: I'm currently traveling the world right now. How is that 'wasting my life'? Look at people who are fully grown adults, that spend 98% of the time, and money, playing video games.
And having children is definitely NOT on my agenda ( what does having children have to do with maintaining “self-serving delusions” ). Too much responsibility. And I've already said that nihilism or 'wanting to deny nihilism' is not what drove me to see these experiences as something more.
If this life really is the only one we get, so be it. If there's no afterlife, that's a win-win to me, because we'll never know. And personally, I think 'nothingness' after death is still 'something'. The afterlife is 'nothing'.

The skeptic said nothing else after my response.
While I was not surprised by the skeptic's last response, as I've seen many responses that were WAY worse than the one above from other skeptics ( such as, "You should check yourself into a mental hospital." And "You should jump off a bridge. Because we have too many stupid delusional people in the world already." ), that last sentence was uncalled for. And I've engaged in sites like scienceblogs, InternationalSkeptics, Freethoughts, PZ myers, PsychologyToday and many more. That’s the last time I tell a materialist/skeptic about my own experiences. And probably the last time I will ever engage with them.

I do agree that there are too many whiny New Agers, that twist quantum mechanics/physics and other things, and use big and sciencey words to fit their beliefs and agenda. I'm extremely skeptical and don't really like Chopra, Bruce Lipton, and Robert Lanza. I'm also a bit skeptical about Eben Alexander and Graham Hancock as well.
But you can’t just lump people as pseudoscientists and 'delusional people with severe psychosis’, every time someone questions or disagrees with the materialistic view, especially when the reasons seem rational.
‘Skeptics’ may call that ‘whining and complaining as they wish.’ But that won’t change anything. Contrary to what the skeptic said, many proponents are NOT like Graham Hancock.

Oh, and that Whatstheharm website? I think that website is something some hard materialists use as an excuse to avoid questioning materialism further. There are many deaths, scams, and suffering. And MANY of them do not involve beliefs in the supernatural and paranormal.

Yeah, Kathleen, all of those old retired people in Florida do seem to be “particularly high-strung.” In contrast, New Yorkers do seem to be particularly placid. - AOD

"I have not come across one healthy person who bluntly disagrees when their biases are pointed out, healthy people reflect."

And yet this Skeptic doesn’t pause to reflect when his own biases are pointed out.

😄

I suspect that Florida gets hit by hurricanes because of ocean temperatures and wind currents, not the social atmosphere in the state.

The most emotionally charged locality in the US is probably Washington, D,C., and yet D.C. hardly ever gets hit by natural disasters. (I’m tempted to add, "Unfortunately.")

"And yet this Skeptic doesn’t pause to reflect when his own biases are pointed out."

That is sad. But not as sad as seeing materialists write this:

"At the risk of sounding misogynistic...it is mostly women who are into new age and magical thinking stuff
The few men who are into that tend to be either the leaders/guru or they sell related stuff - to gullible women - and they are in it for the money ( or to bed women who are naive, I know a few pick up artists and women who believe in magical stuff are easier to bed ).
I have asked other men if they believe in that stuff and if more females of males around them believe in that.
their answer; Few men believe and it is mostly females who believe in magical hokey-pokey stuff such as " the Secret", the power of crystals, Homeopathy etc etc
I remembering reading an article ( with survey numbers ) that was saying even in 2012 women have a lower scientific curiosity than men, and as a result women are less scientifically literate
now connect the dots...
Just like a child who does not know enough to understand Santa Claus can not fit a bicycle trough the chimney, a lot of women because they know almost nothing of science, of the world around them, don't know enough to understand that most of that new age stuff is impossible... or worse that we know enough that we can explain and demonstrate - with the help of science, the very science those women know almost nothing about - why some of that new age stuff is simply not true and some of it simply idiotic.
Some women know so little about science that they distrust it and have more trust in some new age guru.
I have spent hours explaining to women why, for example, Homeopathy does not make any sense - but they only get mad at me.
Instead of accepting the scientific facts, they say I am mean.
Ignorance makes people gullible and makes them be on the defensive.
and it seems things are not changing much, despite more and more women in our Universities, few are interested in science ( physics, chemistry, maths etc )..."

I don't think gender has anything to do with scientific curiosity, education, interest in university science, etc.
Who knows? maybe they're right.

But I don't believe in 'The Secret' or 'Law of Attraction' thing. I also don't believe in homeopathy, crystals and such. I am not a scientist, but I am interested in science.

When it comes to "skeptics" like the one mentioned by Mary I have just learned it is best to ignore them. It is no different then arguing with a Jesus Myther or a Creationist. Time you waste arguing with them is time you could spend learning and more importantly teaching others.

"I don't think gender has anything to do with scientific curiosity, education, interest in university science, etc.
Who knows? maybe they're right." - Mary

Actually, "science" does have a lot to say about gender differences with regards to thinking styles, emotions and career choices. The science is clear. men and women are, naturally, very different.

When given equal opportunity, in countries like Sweden, women *more* often elect to study and engage in occupations that are traditionally female - these are roles that involve nurturing and feelings more than analysis and hard science.

The social science on this is clear. I'm sure someone here is going to say it isn't because they don't like it, but that is awfully ironic.

btw - the same crowd that says it's all for "science" also believes that a man in a dress really is a woman and has menstrual cycles and can even have babies. They also believe that socialism can work. They further believe in things like the "Big Bang" because science! even though they can't explain what existed before the Big Bang (i.e. where did all of that stuff that went "bang" come from?).

Everyone loves science until it conflicts with their opinions, desires and beliefs. It's too often just a club to hit "the other" on the head and make oneself sound smart, when, in reality, one is just as ignorant as the target of their vitriol.

AOD, most New Yorkers are actually pretty sensible and well-behaved compared to a heck of a lot of people in Florida, that's all I can say.

"I suspect that Florida gets hit by hurricanes because of ocean temperatures and wind currents, not the social atmosphere in the state." And how do we know that some of those crazy Floridians aren't causing those ocean temperatures and wind currents? (What Seth would say.) Of course, I'm not being entirely serious, I just think this part of Seth's teaching very interesting.

"And how do we know that some of those crazy Floridians aren't causing those ocean temperatures and wind currents? (What Seth would say.)"

Sounds like the movie named Geostorm to me. Ever seen it?

Once ONE paranormal phenomenon is validated, capital-S Skeptics will no longer have recourse to half their dismissive boilerplate, such as Mary described one such doing. And the Overton Window will have opened enough that knee-jerk dismisslar, or a firmly cynical attitude, can no longer be default positions.

As I argued years ago here, the phenomenon that could best be proved would be demonstrations, by dowsers, of their ability to map underground pipe networks whose layouts would only be known to a few engineers or buildings-and-grounds personnel. One such person, employed by Harvard, was described in its alumni magazine as being relied upon to locate undocumented pipes when new construction was being planned.

I envisage four, say, dowsers, being transported by Skeptics and esteemed neutral, to a series of college campuses whose B&G departments would score them on the accuracy of their mappings. The Skeptics on the tour would be given though opportunity to map the networks also, plus maybe some experienced underground pipe-layout expert too, who might be aware of subtle clues to likely layouts.

If the dowsers were repeatedly far more accurate than the others, and were rated high by the B&G crews, it would go far convince the public and the clerisy (opinion leaders) that they were tapping into some non-material reality. (It would probably take annual repeated tours to wear down some die-hard skeptics, though.) Once recognition of a non-material reality were achieved, the door would be open to just about anything. (Woo!)

Kathleen: Regarding Seth and climate change -- there are solitary Seth readers and there are Seth readers who interact on-line. The topic comes up fairly often on-line but as Seth has been silent since 1984, there is no definitive answer.

His book The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events offers some clues, as do his other books, but nothing specific on this topic. (He does suggest, as you note, that we literally create the weather, but weather is not climate, by official definitions.)

I became a Seth reader after "seeing" (with my mind's eye) a persistent, full-color image of the cover of _Seth Speaks_ the first time I ever meditated, in 1982. I stopped, hiked into Harvard Square, went into a bookstore, and discovered that there actually was such a book. Naturally, I had to purchase and read it, then all of the other books Seth had dictated that were then in print.

That was life changing; in fact, I used what I learned from Seth's teachings to "create" a job in the middle of a recession but the job was so demanding that it would be many years before I again focused on Seth's writings, teachings, and exercises with an intensity at all like that of that long ago spring and summer. (I found one of his exercises -- Practice Element 1. in The "Unknown" Reality Volume One very powerful and experienced an alteration of consciousness that lasted several days.)

Years later, I was an "early adopter" in terms of PCs & the Internet and eventually discovered other Seth readers on-line, on a mailing list.

This ultimately led to all kinds of "adventures in consciousness," some quite unbelievable. This started, unexpectedly, when we began to "meet up" physically and discovered that a kind of "psychic concentration" could be achieved in groups enabling experiences quite difficult for solitary folks to create.

That era wound down rapidly beginning at about the time of the events of 9/11.

The present era of FB Seth-related interaction is very different, in many ways, as different as FB is from those old pre-Yahoo Group UNIX ListServe mailing lists.

Now, many younger Seth readers have electronic versions of Seth's books (thanks to Amazon's Kindle) while two large sets of books have been published containing "early" and "personal" sessions that weren't available in previous days.

One result is that they tend to quote small chunks of Seth's writings, incessantly, in post after post. The whole "feel" of these FB group environments is different from that of yesteryear, while none of the "adventures" described above seem to have developed -- that required a kind of intrepid experimentation (and a willingness to travel) that seems to be quite absent these days.

In my dot com circles, for example, "autotyping" -- a form of writing in trance -- caught on, and I knew about three dozens folks who engaged in this; some were truly quite talented.

Despite all of the changes, there are still discussions, they just tend to not last nearly as long as discussions on the old mailing lists.

Climate change is a complex topic to tackle from the perspective of Seth's teachings for a number of reasons. Basically, though, Seth's teachings aren't compatible with the assumptions that underlie modern science.

Explaining this in detail would require a major effort; someone with sufficient time and energy might collect all relevant quotes from the material and assemble them. Better yet, a genuine philosopher of science might create a critique of modern science based on Seth's thought, however far fetched that might sound (but see Norman Friedman's Bridging Science and Spirit: Common Elements in David Bohm's Physics, the Perennial Philosophy and Seth).

I certainly don't have the time to do this, while I work in a technology area that wouldn't exist if not for the existence of modern science -- I can't afford to be "anti-science" even if my major personal interest deals with "inner" realities and experiences that science, owing to its nature, is more or less clueless about.

So I can't give you a quick answer Re: Climate change, except to say that 1.) It's apparent to me that ice is melting and the oceans are warming, even if I have no immediate, firsthand experience of this ("primary" experience, per Seth); and 2.) Seth called physical reality "camouflage" reality, with all that implies.

Regarding sceptics: They'll eventually die, as everyone does. In the meantime, they're welcome to believe whatever they wish to believe; it's not my job to convince them that they have no idea of the nature of reality.

Well yes, ignore the hardcore materialists that insult every single person or thing that disagree with them.

But I’ve seen many atheist/skeptics that were a LOT more civilized and open to paranormal phenomena, than the ones I’ve been mentioning. So there’s really no excuse to hurl insults over it.

I am going to say some most likely important things.
I think people like Yakaru, an Australian blogger of Spirituality Is No Excuse, need to calm down a bit ( and maybe change the name of his blog ).
I’ve read his About page and completely understand his frustrations regarding gullible/naive people, lack of critical thinking/skepticism, lack of rationality, pseudoscience, and harmful superstitions. That he’s trying to make people aware of the many types of biases ( which nobody is immune from, no matter how many times we say we are ), and face the real world as is.
And the fact that many people in general, not just spiritual people, would rather believe and accept things that give them happiness and comfort, not fear and misery, be it true or not. Because hey, fairy tale unicorn fantasy la la land is much better than reality, right?
Changing or having one’s worldview shaken up is hard. I know what that’s like.
I’ve had my comforting beliefs in a spiritual realm challenged and questioned when I first started looking at skeptical sides. My sources were crushed constantly. As a result, I was a mess. My health wasn’t all that great, I had frequent headaches, felt sick, and lost a lot of sleep, to the point of collapsing and waking up on the floor many times. I looked horrible too.
So I get it, nobody really wants to go through that, or similar. While I really hated the way I was unable to function and rest properly, I’m still glad I was exposed to skepticism. Otherwise I would probably be one-sided. I can now function again. Better than before my beliefs were shaken up. I still have bags under my eyes, but nothing like a little cucumber treatment can’t cure.

However, I think Yakaru needs to take a looong break from blogging and cut back on the internet a little bit. Take a walk, get a massage, or something. Maybe he needs a hug as well ( only if he’s a hugger and won’t push me away ).
Because he got himself worked up ( and still does ) over post-materialists. His entire archives show a huge history of him and his followers getting worked up over people like Sheldrake ( I own one of his books, Science Delusion, but I take it with a grain of salt, like I do with many other things ), Chopra, NDERF site, Lipton ( I seriously do think Lipton, Chopra, Lanza and the like, give serious post-materialists and serious consciousness researchers bad names and reputations ), SAND site, etc: https://spiritualityisnoexcuse.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/there-is-no-taboo-on-studying-psychic-phenomena-just-boredom/

On the bottom of the article, there’s an interesting debate between Yakaru and a mind-beyond-brain proponent, named Roman Voronjanski,.
Roman was young ( 21 years old ), so because of that, Yakaru said to him he was “being naive, reading too many anti-science spiritual sites and books, he should visit and read more skeptical material, sources and blogs. And that he was “old enough to understand and accept the cold hard reality/fact that the mind is the brain, and there is no afterlife”.
When Roman told him that he has been looking at skeptical sources and blogs as well, not just ’New Age’ ones, Yakaru then said to Roman “You’re too happy to look at skeptical sources and books, because you’re impervious to criticism. That stuff has been thoroughly debunked, and yet you’re still refusing to let go of your cherished afterlife beliefs. You’re not being skeptical enough. Those sources you linked to have been discredited. Wake up, face the real world, and throw away your comforting afterlife fantasies.” ( even though Roman told him many times he was not trying to reinforce his beliefs, or look at things like ndes to cling to them, and if materialism really is the ultimate reality, then he would accept that, no matter how depressing )

Anyways, I do not think Yakaru’s blog and YouTube ( I think YouTube is where materialists are extremely aggressive. Countless ‘debunking’ videos ) are places for agnostics ( me currently ). In fact, years ago, Yakaru’s blog was the one that caused me to doubt ( unnecessarily ), and spiral into months of not functioning properly and poor health in the first place.
I recommend lesswrong.com instead.
I don’t comment there, but I do visit often.
I think they’re much more civilized and rational there. If not open, then still civilized. Unlike Yakaru and his gang, they do not get themselves worked up over every single “science-hating, fact/reality-denying anti-materialist” they discover. Nor do they write a lengthy blog post about how “spiritual people whine, don’t like materialism and being reduced to mere meat.” I rarely see sites that are like LessWrong nowadays. And when I do find some, there’s either very little activity, or they’re completely inactive/dead. What a shame.

What’s really funny is near the end of his debate, Yakaru said “I know that no immaterial spirit realm exists, and that there’s nothing after death, but I turn to zen, because I need something to accept even though zen is completely brain-based, because sometimes being alive is hard (( Um, Hello? Yakaru? Aren’t you the one who just said to face reality, no matter how painful, or how much suffering you go through in life? The same person who basically told a 21 year old proponent to “grow up and face the real world”? ))
Zen is not spiritual, but spiritual people twist it to make it so. They truly believe, or desperately wish to believe they exist beyond their bodies. That’s why they accept ndes/obes, and another reason they accept them is because they’re trying to feel better about themselves.”

Oh, and when Roman mentioned Sam Harris at the end, one of Yakaru’s supporters got worked up, because Sam Harris ( one of atheist’s heroes ) is “following Thomas Nagel’s woo footsteps by calling consciousness and qualia ‘mysterious’, when qualia don’t exist and consciousness is the brain”.

They don’t sound like a lot of fun at parties, or at dinner tables.

“Everyone loves science until it conflicts with their opinions, desires and beliefs.”

You’re right, Eric. I definitely agree with that. In fact, I say this all the time: People do indeed love science, when it agrees with them, they think it agrees with them, or fits their beliefs.
BUT the second it starts keeping them awake at night, makes them lose sleep, or disagrees with them, that’s when they start hating it, twisting and distorting it.
But of course, materialists think only mind-beyond-brain proponents do that, when in reality, everyone does it, no matter the worldview.

It’s amazing how I’m a chatterbox when it comes to commenting online, but in real life, I can’t say anything that’s more than 6 words per sentence, unless I really have to.


So basically if you do not completely agree with them after reading their arguments you are close minded and irrational. Who can argue with such brilliance. Amazing how free thought is encouraged provided you never do anything free with it.

In the end materialists either have good arguments against the "paranormal" or they don't. In the end they do not.

Mary:

I would never bother with anyone like Yakaru -- he believes what he believes and confuses believing with knowing. He's not likely to ever change those beliefs, and he is not likely to experience anything that might threaten his beliefs -- he will make sure that never happens.

Anyone who bothers to dig deeply enough into the history and philosophy of science will become aware that it rests on assumptions -- beliefs -- that aren't provable by its own methods.

It seems to "work" (look at all of the endless applications) but few consider that it only applies to a very limited domain or realm and under certain specific circumstances, while it is unable to penetrate large areas of reality, self, consciousness, and so on, owing to the way it is designed and its assumptions.

Believers in "scientism" imagine that it will, eventually, conquer such areas, as for them, modern science is the pinnacle of human understanding of everything, superseding all previous attempts at understanding, all belief systems, forever expanding and perfecting itself through experimentation. It is "the truth," forever and ever. (Those in earlier periods held similar beliefs about whatever system of thought or theology was prevalent in their time.)

Science as we know it definitely has and has had great value, but should it grow to encompass those areas it is currently unable to fathom (again, owing to its design and its underlying assumptions -- formally stated or not) it will no longer be what we currently call "science."

What we're dealing with regarding extreme sceptics and scepticism are beliefs, and the tales of Catholic officials who refused to look through new fangled telescopes because of _their_ beliefs is illustrative.

Everyone has beliefs and this is a fundamental component of Seth's teachings, but he stresses how what we believe is key to the reality we create, perceive, and experience; hence his admonition to examine our beliefs and change them, where appropriate.

There's something about extreme scepticism that's connected with fear, and this may have to do with a fear that self is not as "separate" as most of us have been taught to believe from an early age and that is one component of materialism.

You can see this with famous sceptics, even those who were quite intelligent, such as Carl Sagan and Martin Gardner, but you can also see it nearly everywhere, including within the U.S. military.

Numerous examples of the latter can be found in Annie Jacobsen's Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government's Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and Psychkokinesis. When "psychics" demonstrate provable abilities, sceptics are simply unable to accept it.

You can see similar beliefs at work, in an earlier period, in Deborah Blum's Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death.

Compounding the situation is something that George Gurdjieff called "sleep," a condition that has much in common with Seth's "ego bound" as in:

"Most of my readers are familiar with the term, 'muscle bound.' As a species you have grown 'ego bound' instead, held in a spiritual rigidity, with the intuitive portions of the self either denied or distorted beyond any recognition."

(from Seth Speaks)

(That's all I can post at the moment. The topic, like many, has no end.)

I gather that Skeptics are having an awkward time employing their usual torrents of condescension on the news of the recently reported naval UFO encounters. Their nitpicking is obviously merely captious criticism. Won't it be a laugh if/when the government spills additional beans, and Skeptics are forced to further scramble to keep up.

A few years ago here links to numerous debunking-the-debunkers sites were posted. One was titled something like Zen and the art of debunkery. At that time I commented that it would be wonderful if someone would compile an anthology of such material—it would be a best-seller and set the cosmic know-it-alls back on their heels. It would arm the innocent with rebuttals to standard Skeptic talking points and boilerplate. I hereby repeat my wish.

It is very easy to ignore data that conflicts with our preconceived notions. People do it all the time. Look at how some people refuse to admit that some police officers are very much racist toward minorities and no matter how much evidence you give they always find a way to rationalize the evidence or blame minorities. Materialists simply do that to all paranormal evidence. Hence why they denigrate studies of the paranormal, people who have experienced it or websites that discuss things such as NDEs. It's human nature I fear.

Bill, honestly, I really never knew what to make of the Seth books. I found them interesting and relaxing to read. But there's really nothing magical about the concept that our beliefs create our reality...but only up to a certain point of course.

One of the best books, no, the best book on "spiritual" matters is Chris Carter's "Science and the Afterlife Experience." I think he did a masterful job in refuting the materialist perspective.

I hate to say it, but most of the hard materialists, at least most of them that I’ve seen so far in person, on YouTube and Reddit, and some of PZ’s posse, are college-aged. Like around 18 to 23 years old. I even said that to some of them around that age group upfront, in person, and in the most kind and lighthearted way possible.
That many of them prefer to party, gamble, drink, play video games, go to movies, and go clubbing, rather than open their world up to the possibility of something bigger than all of those. Now I’m not against any of those activities ( except drinking and gambling ), because they are very fun. But when I said that, their reactions were “You’re ageist AND superstitious. I hope you’re not a teacher, or don’t become one.”

And this one time on Reddit, when I mentioned that science seems to be moving away from materialism, even people like Christof Koch, Chalmers, etc are starting to rethink it( I know, big mistake ), a redditor’s reaction was a long and aggressive response ( you are all gonna laugh at this one ):
“Science has gone off the rails since the last century, and it needs to get back on track. Even brilliant Nobel prize winning physicists, like Brian Josephson have veered off the rails, because they suspended their critical thinking, and believed in things like ESP, remote viewing, alternative medicine, and astral projection. This is exactly what happens when people stop thinking critically. And now they refuse to let go of their superstitious beliefs and fantasies. They’re seeing patterns that aren’t there.
Penfield accepted dualism, Bohr believed in other BS. Many more scientists and quantum physicists accepted the same and other types of BS. That proves that many smart, highly educated, and intelligent adults can be, or do believe in childish supernatural nonsense. Therefore going off the rails.
Koch and Chalmers have succumbed and veered into comforting woo fantasies, and away from science, reason, and reality. The fact is consciousness is completely dependent on the brain and neural activity, there is no excuse for denying that fact.
Sadly, they know every fact needed yet reject the science, because they were fence-sitting believers who wanted an excuse to believe.
They’ve fallen into a trap of walking away, believing that atheism is dead or dying. If evidence for the paranormal were standing right in front of us, we wouldn’t cowardly cover our eyes, try to make it go away, or pretend it doesn’t exist. We would happily accept it.
But we need to be more skeptical about people like Koch and Chalmers now, we shouldn’t trust those people just because they’re currently popular brilliant scientists. They’ve fallen into a delusional mysticism trap, and they’ll never get out. We should be worried. Because with this kind of stuff, we’ll be going back into the dark ages.
We need to maintain critical thinking and rationality. Visit this site here by John l. Ateo, to educate yourself on some critical thinking, what happens when you stop applying that, how even very smart highly educated people can believe in or succumb to pseudoscience and irrational superstition without thinking, and how people can disguise or sneak religion into science: http://www.sillybeliefs.com/index.html

Some people have a biological predisposition to see purpose in nature, and believe in ghosts, dualism, afterlife, etc.
Anyone who is having frequent visions, hears voices, obes, severe sleep paralysis, or being assaulted by demons or aliens would be well advised to see a neurologist. There are a number of minor brain hiccups that can be the source of even the most powerful experiences. Understand the source will make the events much easier to deal with and as powerful as the images are, they are no more meaningful than any regular dream. You are not actually smoking a joint with the Buddha or being attacked by demons. We pride ourselves as members of an intelligent species but in truth we are intellectually lazy and want someone to spoon feed them a reality where everything is planned and has reason and purpose rather than chaotic with no fixed guarantees, and no happy ending guarantee.
The fear of death and the desire to insulate ourselves from that reality inspires some very strange mental gymnastics and a lack of objective questioning. In fact, many fear the questions themselves, feel threatened by them.
Some people really love their visions and feel they make them special. And it helps them cope with hardships in life. Like injuries and sickness. And keeps them from getting too depressed. They want to feel like their life has meaning.
Hallucinations have been very common for generations. Which is how spirituality and religion formed. Inside people’s brains. NDEs are from expectations. Please explain why some NDErs see nothing at death.
The real world is full of physical suffering. When life gets hard, spiritualists hide behind their delusions regarding OBEs, rather than actually dealing with it. But we need to suck it up, and embrace reality, not a fictional spirit realm. They need to let go of those myths and become adults: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4LhyvL94C0
https://www.youtube.com/user/robertwlester/videos

And don’t you dare tell me that atheists and skeptics became believers after a certain experience. Because I’ve heard of skeptics-turned-believers. They have been deluded or deluded themselves into believing in a comforting fantasy world, delusions, and hallucinations, and now they’re suddenly convinced that there’s something more, when they’re just going through fulfilling hallucinations and filling in blanks to make them fit or confirm their beliefs. Some were ignorant atheists who should know better, but didn’t apply enough skepticism.
The DMT itself stimulating various centres of the brain while the body is unable to act and so the stimulus of various centres creates a remarkable and utterly real dream.
It's funny how a tipper, one who is on the fence then tips over to religion after an excuse is found, is willing to accept anything, even a probable DMT trip in a coma, or while recovering, as evidence.
Don’t let your hopes and dreams blind you to reality. And don’t believe everything you read, especially on the internet and spiritual New Age pseudoscience books and woo websites. They’re still no different than dreams: Please watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jJMPyE_ND0

Spiritualists can keep their delusions to themselves, but they need to realize that it’s all created from the brain, not from something bigger than themselves.
You and spiritualists need to accept this. I know it’s painful, but it’s reality. You cannot be a reality denier just because it feels good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk_Av05xBIU
Don’t waste your life hoping and searching for things that don’t exist. Shake off those fantasies. Live the one and only life you actually have: This one.
Please browse Robert Lester’s channel and accept the fact that none of this New age, buddhism, dualism, spiritualism, eastern belief, crap is real. Just delusions, misinterpretation, irrationality, wishful thinking, desperation. and distortion of facts. When it comes to reality, spiritualists distort it and come up with excuses like “what is reality? isn’t everything true if we think about it?”

We need to move beyond our faith, what we think we know, and think honestly about our experiences. Western science is rational. Where free thoughts are born. Eastern enlightenment and mysticism isn’t.
Ignorance is a disease and most of the world is sick.”

Had I read that response BEFORE I was exposed to skepticism and had my beliefs shaken up, that response and those links would’ve killed me. But that wasn’t the case.
Here’s my equally long reply:
“This will be my last comment here.
I’m not even remotely surprised by any part of your response or any of those links you sent. One of the typical reactions of many materialists, when other materialists move beyond, or at least question widely held materialism, or when something contradicts it. But this is the appropriate behavior to have, huh? Just assume and accuse them all of succumbing to superstition pseudoscience and going off the rails, no matter how skeptical they were beforehand? Yeah, that sounds very rational and mature. Not!
Sorry, but I’m gonna have to pass on that John Ateo website. I used to visit that site before. I went there because the role of the site says “embrace skepticism and rationality”. But I’m not seeing skepticism… or rationality. All I’m seeing is whining. He’s the same person who basically throws a tantrum when an ATHEIST disagrees with Dawkins, he calls agnosticism ‘weak-atheism’, he cries about Gary Schwartz, and writes lengthy replies telling people who’ve had NDEs/OBEs to read books that debunk them, they’re delusional, dreaming, and stupid.
I’ve seen way better sites than that. I prefer SamHarris.org and his site forum.
But you’ll probably just call Harris “a highly educated rational person who’s veered off the rails of science, and believes in new age woo”, because he’s questioning hard materialism as well.
Many people were very angry and have called him that already, because he ‘never really let go, or refuses to let go of dualism, which is woo, he’s interested in buddhism, which is also woo. Which means everyone should be worried and even more skeptical about Harris now. He’s off based’. Those were the reactions to his book titled Waking Up. And the fact he said the trigger word ’spirituality’. A lot of people were saying almost the same thing you’re saying.
A lot of those responses, including yours, do not seem rational to me. People are moving beyond materialism, because it’s outdated, not because they ‘refuse to let go of myths and superstitions and had a powerful dream and hallucination’.

I don’t even know what I was watching on that fourth link you sent, but I won’t discuss that one with you. However, I will talk about the other video links.
This Robert W. Lester person is saying nothing new. Neither are you.
Did you even watch the videos? Or did you just pick the videos by looking at the titles, comment sections, and send them to me? His entire channel is all about debunking New Agers that no real consciousness researcher, or OBE/NDE researcher take seriously. I can’t take any of them seriously. He’s debunking low-hanging fruits. I don’t believe in mediums or psychics. I know The Spirit Science by Jordan Pearce is a joke. Teal Swan? Sylvia Brown? Channeling Erik? Come on, I don’t believe in any of those people or the 90% of the stuff Lester mentions on his channel. Many of us already know they’re insane, quantum woo, frauds, questionable, pseudoscientists, etc. He also seems to love quoting Oliver Sacks, when it comes to spiritual experiences.
You and Lester are constantly saying that no supernatural phenomena exist, there’s no real evidence for an afterlife, and the mind is the brain. Anyone who disagrees is a ‘New Ager’, can’t face reality, wants to believe, is severely psychotic, irrational, and can’t accept that their loved ones are gone and can’t let go. I’ve heard all of that over and over. He repeats this again and again on his site here and in 70% of his videos: http://robertwlester.blogspot.com/2016/12/new-age-inner-conflict.html
And when someone disagrees with his videos ‘that person doesn’t like the harsh truth and are suffering cognitive dissonance’.
Like, he needs to give it a rest. I think we all get it, alright? Lester’s an atheist who used to believe in New Age feel-good comforting fluffery, but he started “asking more questions and reading up on neurology and hallucinations. He didn’t find sufficient evidence, only pseudoscience and dishonesty, scam, lies, cults, con artists, charlatans, false hopes, went beyond his faith and became a skeptic and atheist”. That is true, and those are very good reasons to doubt and question things. We heard him loud and clear.
And more things Lester and you have both made crystal clear, “don’t believe everything you see and read on the internet and books. You can’t just believe or accept things without evidence, just because it feels comforting”. I agree with all of that as well.
But here is something I disagree with: “All others who think, seriously believe, or are convinced there is more and an immaterial reality exists are arrogant, denying reality, gullible, desperate, ignorant, don’t know any better, not looking for truth, poorly educated, bad scientists, are scared of death, looking for happiness and comfort, want a reward for their physical suffering/hardships in life, and ways to sleep at night. They need to get off their high-horse. And that western enlightenment is a lot wiser than eastern enlightenment, beliefs, and mysticism.”

Many people, including me, do not think there’s more just for simple comfort, or to cope with hardships by “hiding behind hallucinations, fantasies, and delusions.”, or “can’t tell from fantasy and reality”.
There are many well-educated scientists ( real ones, not pseudoscientists ) that were completely convinced of mind being brain-based, but changed their minds for rational reasons. But you already dismissed the ones I mentioned as being ‘ignorant skeptic/atheists, not enough skepticism, and “rejecting science, succumbing to fantasies, and fence-sitting believers who wanted an excuse to believe”.

Viewing a spiritual reality as hallucinations and dangerous psychosis that need to be treated, is not new or uncommon. But they’re not ALL psychiatric illnesses, schizophrenia, and delusions as you would like to believe. You seem to be making people feel terrible about themselves for trusting their experiences. I’ve seen that countless of times, “those people need to go to the doctor, and stay there until they’re good to go. Medical literature and doctors need to be more strict, because they are letting their mental illness go untreated, just so they can believe in afterlife fantasies and alternative realities. They strongly believe they’re communicating with their deceased loved ones, or a higher power, when they’re really just severely mentally ill. We shouldn’t even call them ‘altered states of consciousness,’ because that’s just giving them excuses to keep believing in their fantasies. Same with drug users.”

I’m not trying to convince you or anyone of anything. I’m just trying to shake you up a bit, and get you to look away from the pure materialist view for at least a minute. But it looks like I’ve received an aggressive, but unsurprising response instead. And a bunch of low-hanging fruit debunking YouTube links. Oh well. Good day.”

That was the end of our discussion.

That fourth video link the redditor linked to, that I was not in the mood to talk to him about, was a video debunking Koi Fresco. Who in the world takes Fresco seriously? Again, another low-hanging fruit.
And there’s one thing I seriously do not understand about that video. Why is Chocolate Hat, the debunker ( who said nothing new in the video ), hiding behind an owl puppet in his entire channel and videos? We’re adults, not four year olds ( tbh I never really liked puppet shows. Even at the age of four ). I’m drawing a complete blank here, because I don’t get it.

Anyways, I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, but since materialism is not really ‘science’ or a ‘fact’, and there’s contradicting evidence against it, it looks like science is going to stay ‘off the rails’, and never go back. You can call it “encouraging, promoting, or spreading a severe mental illness epidemic” all you want, but that’s not going to make materialism a reality or science. It’s time to move on. It seems as though the further science moves away from materialism, the more aggressive the responses seem to get. And I think that response from the redditor is a perfect example.

And from the look of things some people DO technically ‘cover their eyes and pretend that contrary evidence is not there’.

"Science has gone off the rails since the last century, and it needs to get back on track."

That’s pretty funny. It reminds me of my days as an Objectivist (Ayn Rand fan). Her "intellectual heir," Leonard Peikoff, offered taped lecture courses, some of which dealt with science. Peikoff's attitude (and presumably Rand's) was in line with the quoted comment. For instance, the paradoxes of quantum mechanics, which seemingly violate Aristotelian logic, meant that QM had to be wrong and must be revised. Peikoff liked to say that philosophy, by which he meant Objectivism, has "veto power" over science. It would be amusing to see him try to enforce that veto.

People like this confuse rationality with rationalism. Rationalism means starting with certain assumptions and then demanding that empirical facts adjust themselves accordingly. Any facts that can’t be made to fit are simply left out. It’s a mindset that seems to be correlated with very control-oriented, anal-retentive, stereotypically "left-brain" personalities.

By the way, it might be better if you could keep your comments a little briefer, simply because many people take a "too long, didn’t read" approach to lengthy posts.

Michael: "... I had no idea that science-fiction great Robert Heinlein had any interest in, or knowledge of, evidence for life after death."

Robert Heinlein: "Yes, I do believe in life everlasting. I will not attempt to offer up 'proof' of this; my reasons for so believing are strong and sufficient but so personal that I cannot communicate them."

I would expect untold numbers of people, including the famous and the obscure, to share (and to have shared) Heinlein's beliefs, including the 'proof' bit.

Whether we're focusing on "psi," "ufos," or no end of other subjects, such as "Why did Building 7 collapse?" we find a mixture of beliefs -- including opposed beliefs -- and what is defined as "solid evidence."

Per declassified U.S. government documents, "psi" -- and "psychokinesis" exist.

The Scole Experiment produced a good pile of "solid evidence" for the existence of life after death.

Those who believe there is no such thing as psi, psychokinesis, or life after death, or that the $20,000,000 million NIST study "proves" the U.S. government's explanation for the collapse of Building 7, will not accept any evidence to the contrary; those who believe the opposite, in each case, will readily accept such evidence.

So "believe" is key -- what each of _us_ believes is key.

We can take Heinlein's approach: "My reasons for so believing are strong and sufficient but so personal that I cannot communicate them" or we can communicate or share our "reasons for so believing."

If we do, we are likely to run into those who hold beliefs opposed to ours (except on FB, where "friends" tend to be grouped in accordance with their beliefs).

Multiply subsets of over 7.3 billion sets of beliefs and you find yourself in the realm of "mass" beliefs.

Both personal and mass beliefs change (for example -- it's not too common to hang people for practicing witchcraft today; bloodletting is not a currently acceptable medical practice), while "official" beliefs are underlain by private beliefs, often in conflict with those official beliefs, as in Heinlein's case.

One of my interests is in developing methods or techniques for enabling experiences of "inner" realms. If I do this well, then by sharing these with others those others may have experiences similar to mine. In that way, we have more to do go one than literature.

This is my own personal answer to the question posed by Vladimir Lenin as "What is to be done?".

So basically those materialists are hedonists who wish to live for the now, know it all, have little use for the elders who disagree with them and have the answers to the world problems. Young people.

Invariably this path of hedonism fails for almost everyone's life because reality gives them responsibility whether they like it or not. The once great pleasures become boring. They will see many of their all so clever ideas fail and remember the warnings of their elders. Eventually they will settle down and have families and realize they cannot live in the now.

Basically they will grow up.

Bill Ingle said:

“One of my interests is in developing methods or techniques for enabling experiences of "inner" realms. If I do this well, then by sharing these with others those others may have experiences similar to mine. In that way, we have more to do go one than literature.”

I’m with you on this, Bill. As I see it—along with countless NDErs, STErs, psychonauts, and other mystics—what we find in those “inner realms” is so mind-blowingly magnificent, it has to be experienced to be believed.

"So basically those materialists are hedonists who wish to live for the now, know it all, have little use for the elders who disagree with them and have the answers to the world problems. Young people."

I don’t know if they’re necessarily hedonists. I think many debunkers have a huge aversion to being fooled or tricked or taken advantage of. Naturally, we all try to avoid being conned, but some people take it to an extreme. Their defense mechanism is to preemptively dismiss any idea that could be associated with gullibility or naïveté. People in general choose putdowns that reflect their own fears. If you’re afraid you’re unattractive, you call other people ugly, because it’s the most hurtful insult you can think of. Debunkers typically accuse others of being credulous, childish, duped, etc. Clearly this is the characterization they are most eager to avoid.

I think there’s also an element of phony toughness, almost a macho thing. The universe is just a meaningless accident, nothing matters, you’re just a machine made of meat, etc. It’s a kind of hyper-aggressive nihilism, an over-the-top embrace of attitudes that can sound world weary and unflinchingly honest. It’s as though they’re saying, I'm too hardbitten and jaded to fall for your fairy tales.

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