What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Discussion of the nature of Ultimate Reality and the path to Enlightenment.

Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby jupiviv » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:04 am

Talking Ass wrote:The recognition that there IS a heart is a big one.


The "heart" that I think Nietzsche was speaking of has nothing to do with feelings. It's just the faith in one's reasoning mind, hence "the head is only the bowels of the heart, and the heart wills the down-going(to the bowels, that is)."
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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby Kunga » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:48 am

Talking Ass wrote:Nice, Jupi. The recognition that there IS a heart is a big one. And that it is this heart that asks us to 'down-go'.


lol
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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby Talking Ass » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:50 am

'The Soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd,
Lets in new light through chinks that time has made;
Stronger by weakness, wiser men become,
As they draw near to their eternal home:
Leaving the Old, both worlds at once they view,
That stand upon the threshold of the New'.

Edmund Waller (1606-87), from 'Of the Last Verses in the Book'.
With all due respects, Jupi, at least keep an open mind (heh heh). I don't personally think that Nietzsche would have preached any such doctrine, and that you have 'willfully misunderstood'. The question has to do with what sort of heart one has, which I guess has to do with how sincere and unencumbered it is. As in those super-sensual videos, filled with a general lustiness which is also pure life-energy and the energy of life of this plane of existence, which sensuousness so easily turns into a trap that sucks (no pun intended) away the vital energy we need even to begin to realize some of the important stuff in this life, it would seem the trick is to find a way to have and hold and increase one's natural vital energy, but to be [somehow] in control of it, directing it, channeling it, into those areas of vital necessity. Similarly with the heart, so obviously (in the sense you mean, I think) connected with the sexual center. The same 'beating heart' is then the 'thumping heart'. It is exactly that whole area which is so terribly difficult to deal with, so it seems the best thing to do is to cut oneself off. But I don't think the goal is therefore to cut oneself off from either one's natural vitality or the vital centers, but to learn to use that energy creatively. Unfortunately indeed, if the compendiums of literature, wise sayings, and of wisdom generally have it right: we often don't see the light until a later stage. Until the 'light starts coming in through the chinks'.

Diebert 'Light Years Ahead' van Rhijn wrote: "The way out is the way in and through and only by knowing your own mind you will know and rule your own heart."
This is also very nice, but it may indeed be that there is not quite the separation as the words imply. So, it is all in the same general area. There is a part of the heart that is mind, and a part of the mind that is heart. And there is heart/mind. I suggest that it is foolishness to see them as separate. No matter what, and certainly for 'spiritual life', one needs both of 'them'. Intact and pulsing. It is that we don't seem to know a great deal about the 'higher heart' though we know much about 'higher mind'.
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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby Dennis Mahar » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:59 am

Heart is courage to be,
commitment,
a stand based in Reason.
conventional reality (herd consensus) is the production of robots, sticks-in-the mud, fallen angels.
courage to be opens up possibilities that transform that kind of resignation.

possibilities are generated out of sound algebra.

If World Peace is a rational possibility.
generate that,
one monkey at a time.
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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby Dennis Mahar » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:50 am

It's astonishing how one can be standing in 'ouija boards'.
WTF?
monkey business.
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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby Kunga » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:41 am

Dennis Mahar wrote: 'ouija boards'.


When i was a kid , my mom bought one for a Christmas present ! lol
I was afraid of it...lol.
I never was attracted to the occult & majic .
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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby Dennis Mahar » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:12 am

She didn't get your possibility for authentic being.
Some mothers do have 'em.
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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby Jamesh » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:52 pm

[There is a part of the heart that is mind]

That is actually literally true (probably).

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/Heart,%20Mind%20and%20Spirit%20%20Mohamed%20Salem.pdf

In terms of reaction speed it makes sense that the immediate reaction needed after certain observations might be quicker if they were to initially bypass the frontal cortex and instead send direct signals to the heart - such bypassing could be learnt by experience. Also if magnetism plays a role, and I'm sure it does, then the heart might be able to sense this directly.

For example, our emotional reaction to a child falling or being suddenly scared is very sudden - we react before even before our frontal lobes "feel".

Kevin Solway has a bad heart (presumably he is still alive), I wonder if David and Dan have issues in that regard.
A possibility is that heart disease, a gradual slow event, may cause a different reaction to experiences - there may be a disconnect between the heart and brain, and the brain no longer receives the same sort of feedback relating to emotions it once did as a child. Overall emotional impulses would decline, which in turn would turn the brain to concentrate more on pure thinking to a greater degree.

Laird,

How do these evil and good external influences affect us?

I'm not talking of outcomes like someone murduring, I'm talking about how and when these intrude and change us. Does the evil one only get in when we are already feeling emotional turmoil, or can it just happen out of the blue to anyone?

TA,

Synchronicity...
is starting to give me the willies :)

There was an online article in the paper the other day about a woman slipping and falling on her bottom and peoples reaction to this and I posted a comment - so what happens - later that day I slip on some icecream and fall flat on my arse.

Secondly, on Friday night some Asian woman downstairs was howling - wife bashing I presume. It sounded like he was torturing her (low key) rather than bashing - didn't hear him speak or any hitting sounds at all. Might just have been nasty hair pulling or something similar. I was the only neighbour who reacted, albeit weakly - I knocked on the door than ran away (I have no fighting abilities and don't exercise, and asians are known to use knives), and as it didn't stop, I yelled in their window that I was calling the cops (I didn't though). I've still to work out what to do about this if it occurs again. Been years since I've heard a significant domestic like this.
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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby Talking Ass » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:11 pm

A note on Synchronicity.

Signs and omens, prayer and invocation, activity and desire, have always been connected. In the Old Days there were established priesthoods dedicated to invoking and interpreting 'omens'. The 'science' of omens and reading of them is also linked to hunting and a hunter used all skills and perceptives to get.to his game. Omenology is a hermetic science insofar as Hermes is messenger, revealer. Hermes rules signals and signs and is in fact the capacity to interpret them.

The psychological factor is peculiar. Omens and signs (synchronicites) will generally only arise around things one holds in the mind. Here is an illustration: I used to make artwork that incorporated feathers (imitating Huichol 'prayer-arrows'). I needed feathers for this. But you just don't find dead birds as often as you might need, especially owls and hawks and such. I remember that I had a series of dreams that birds were presenting themselves to me. On a psychic level the channel opened and thereafter I began to find feathers, or come across dead birds, and once even someone who knew I wanted feathers left a dead flicker (woodpecker) in a bag on the doormat.

Since it is 'psyche' that is involved, psychic work will often draw out of 'the world' its correspondences. This is a basic principal of magic: focus, will, intent.

True, the whole world is driven by its desires and these generally always remain semi-conscious and obscure. It is when a man refines his targets as it were, which is personal, interior work, that 'the world' responds in kind.

There is also another level to this: when the responses take on their own dimension and fullness, such that they seem to be intelligent responses, in much the same way that dream intelligence creates dramatically brilliant scenarios that we do not seem to be creating but yet which thorough reflect and respond to our own psychic material. When omens of that magnitide occur it is a great puzzlement to our day-in-and-day-out mind.
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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby guest_of_logic » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:15 pm

Hi James,

First things first: yes, Kevin's alive and well. Also, thanks for that PDF link, it was very interesting.

You asked: "How do these evil and good external influences affect us?

I'm not talking of outcomes like someone murduring, I'm talking about how and when these intrude and change us. Does the evil one only get in when we are already feeling emotional turmoil, or can it just happen out of the blue to anyone?"


I don't have enough personal knowledge to answer your question in general. I can, though, at least offer my intuitions on how it happened in my specific case, which might or might not be generalisable, and I can also offer some summaries and excerpts from my readings of authors who do have generalised knowledge.

In my own case, I think it was due to a combination of factors over the course of about five years:

  • the emotional impact of the death of my mother from throat cancer when I was in my final year of high school aged 17 (we were very close), combined with the emotional impact of intense unreciprocated adolescent love, and the emotional and physical impact of a car crash in which I could easily have killed both my passenger and the children of the occupants of the house into which's brick mailbox I crashed - the children usually played in that area
  • experimentation in psychoactive drugs - marijuana, magic mushrooms (once or twice) and a single (horrifying) acid trip
  • over-indulgence in social drugs - alcohol and caffeine (energy drinks mostly; I don't drink coffee)
  • participation in the ouija board session I described in an earlier post.

I'm sure there is more to it than that, because other people have had similar experiences without falling prey as I did. Perhaps I had karma that opened me up, or I lack(ed) spiritual/psychic defences that are more developed in other people.

In answering from my readings of expert authors, I'll summarise from a book I mentioned in an earlier post to cousinbasil, Dr Shakuntala Modi's Remarkable Healings: A Psychiatrist Discovers Unsuspected Roots of Mental and Physical Illness. I know you weren't asking about outcomes, but let me summarise those first. According to reports from her patients under hypnosis (confirmed by the healing, also under hypnosis, of those symptoms), demons can cause "every type of physical and psychological problem", including in the physical, "any symptoms from head to toe. Every organ, every tissue, and every part of the body can be infested and afflicted by the demons. They can cause aches and pains, numbness, weakness, and diseases in every organ and every part of the body". Psychologically, demons in her patients claimed (when speaking through her hypnotised patients) "to be the single most common cause for most psychiatric problems. They cause them directly and indirectly".

To answer your actual question - "how and when these intrude and change us" - summarising from various parts of Dr Modi's book, demonic entities can enter when we (and this is not a comprehensive list):
* drink alcohol or take drugs, particularly if we are alcoholics or addicts
* "watch violent, horror, X-rated and pornographic movies, and listen to music with negative messages"
* are anaesthetised for an operation.

Dr Modi also indicates that some people simply have very weak or porous auric shields that spirits can move in and out of at will.

Some specific techniques other than directly entering and possessing people that Dr Modi cites being used by demonic forces include the insertion of devices, the focussing and amplifying of thoughts on targets, and the focussing and amplifying of thoughts of Satan worshippers.

In Spirit Releasement Therapy, William J. Baldwin, D.D.S., Ph.D., writes: "Spirits invade us through chinks in our natural armor caused by emotional and physical trauma. If a person gives in to temptation and strongly indulges the carnal appetites or succumbs to the lure of occult or spiritualist practices, he renders himself vulnerable to infestation by demonic energies (Basham, 1972, p. 123-136). Without the proper awareness of this condition, continuation of this life-style can lead to obsession by demonic influence, which is seen as quite common, and finally to full demonic possession, which some people believe to be rare. Diabolic possession, or possession by the devil itself (even more rare), is extremely dangerous both for the victim and for the exorcist (Rodewyk, 1975; Martin, 1976; Brittle, 1980)".

He also writes: "Feelings of anger, hatred, rage, and vengeance open the door for demonic infestation. These emotions distort the consciousness and the offer of assistance in the act of vengeance is accepted all too quickly and all too often".

As well, he writes: "The dark beings can pass from one person to another through sexual contact, whether the contact is consensual or forced".

Of the ouija board he writes:

People have used instruments of divination similar to the Ouija board for more than 2500 years. In ancient Greece, the philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras encouraged such an instrument. Earlier in ancient China, such instruments were commonplace and were considered a non-threatening way of communicating with the spirits of the dead. In third-century Rome, in thirteenth-century Tartary, in North America prior to the arrival of Columbus, in France of the nineteenth century, such instruments were used to predict, divine, and locate lost articles and missing persons (Hunt 1985, pp. 3-4).

In rare instances, the Ouija has been used to release earthbound spirits [human spirits who failed to travel to the light after death and instead attached to a living human, as opposed to demonic spirits --Laird]. Even so, its use is fervently discouraged for this or any other purpose. Without thorough education and preparation, opening the door to one's psychic ability is unwise. One type of opening question constitutes an open invitation to any spirit:

"Is anyone there?"
"Is there anyone on the board right now?"
"Is there anyone who wants to communicate?"

This open invitation will be accepted, and the spirits who arrive may become permanent residents. Many cases of serious and damaging possession have begun with an evening of innocent "fun" with the Ouija board.


I hope that this partial answer to your question is in some way helpful. Feel free to ask follow-ups. I'm happy to look up in the glossary the references Dr Baldwin cites in those extracts if you want me to.

Diebert,

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:The point as always is that having something (A) in mind is a fundamental observation. Which means one doesn't have something else (anything not A) in mind. This is true fundamentalism simply because one cannot get around it. It's beyond good and evil in its simplicity but the focus is different: it's about the camel on which all the gnats are living. It's not about denying or sifting any gnats. Though some interpret it as if gnats are ridiculed by the mere suggestion of any camel.


In other words, "Yes, the QRS trip". This might sound harsh, but equally good words as "fundamental" to describe your observation are "trite" and "facile". Everybody knows this camel, Diebert. Why tout the shallows as the depths?

The rest of your post is, to be honest, quite astonishing. You are not being rational, you are rationalising (and in denial).

guest_of_logic: One might be able to defend judging a single "highly probable" event as "coincidental", but add another... and another... and then the countless others that one will encounter through the smallest bit of reading... and, well, you get the point.

Diebert: It's a common mistake to think that a string of coincidences somehow would automatically change the statistical probability of each individual case.


It's also one that I'm not making. It's hard to believe your misreading of me is not wilful. My point was actually a different one: that the more "high probable" events there are, the (much) less is the overall probability that all of these events are false positives. More than enough such high-probability events have been raised in this thread alone to make the probability outlandishly small.

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:For these cases where someone like you tries to assert a fact in the realm of phenomena, the scientific method and community has been developing over the centuries and it suffices in my opinion. It has its major shortcomings but more often critics just don't understand the basic principles at all.


Science is fundamentally about fair-minded investigation; in you I see instead preconception and denial.

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:Impossible truth violating fantasies


Here's a perfect example of your preconception in operation: which truth is being violated and how did you come to determine that it is true?

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:You can chain thousands and thousands of easy to refute imaginary experiences together


Easy to refute? You're twisting the truth. You haven't even acknowledged most of those that have been put to you, let alone refuted them, let alone done so "easily". The best you've come up with in the single example I gave you is that a door was opened unbeknownst the occupants of the house, all of whom were involved in the ouija session - a highly implausible proposal on a remote rural property aside from the fact that there was no door in the direction that the wind came from (the kitchen, which opened up onto the dining room where we were seated).

Go ahead and "easily" refute the healings I quoted out of Dr Kenneth McAll's book. Even just acknowledge them for a start. Then acquire the book and "easily" refute every single one that he documents. Then "easily" refute the hands-on healing of my friend badly scalded in a motorcycle accident. Then "easily" refute BeingOf1's testimony in the two posts linked to (one by you and one by me). Hey, again, even just acknowledge most of them. Aside from the fact that in that thread he answered your question about how he knew the bullet went through the man's body ("there was a hole in the center of the back of the chair where this man was sitting. We found the bullet later"), you didn't even acknowledge let alone refute the many other specific incidents he documented, even though you acknowledge him as sincere. If the testimony of the following is "sincere", then it's not in the slightest bit "easy" to refute it - in fact it's effectively impossible:

  • "I witnessed my mother speaking in fluent languages she had never learned, seen oil flow out of the pages of scripture, blind eyes opened, deaf ears unstopped, people leaping out of wheelchairs, a bone appearing in a mans head(that had been cut out in surgery), internal bleeding instantly healed, and on and on".
  • "I have a friend who was instantly healed of teberculosis in the early 60`s when prayed for by this man".
  • "I was instantly healed of the luekemia - without a trace". [yes, you responded to this with the assertion that it was a mind over matter thing - evidence of the way your mind works; rather than accept the spiritual explanation, as congruent with the rest of Bo1's testimony, you offer one inconsistent with the pattern but that better serves your own ideology]
  • The synchronicity of the meeting whilst camped out at the river with two mothers whose dead children had known one another: "The two kids had dated each other".

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:And although I believe he's sincere I don't think there was any credible witness to that event [the healing of the female victim of a car crash] making it a personal experience with only value to those witnessing and zero value to prove supernatural events.


What exactly are you trying to imply with this? That he, his friend, the healed victim and the person in the crowd who corroborated what had happened are not credible? How is it that he could be sincere but not credible? Did all four of them hallucinate the same mirage of broken bones reforming themselves - was the victim in fact not injured in the first place and all of them just hallucinated the injuries as well as the subsequent healing? How is the mental and perceptual congruence required for a group hallucination of that order in any way more plausible than the spiritual explanation, especially taken with the preponderance of Bo1's other spiritual experiences?

David,

To add to my answer to your original question, here's a quote from the section titled "Schizophrenia" in Dr Modi's book that I quoted from earlier in this post. Please bear in mind that Dr Modi is a qualified and practising psychiatrist:

Before describing this case [the subsequent schizophrenic case study that I have not quoted --Laird], I would like to give definitions of terms, for understanding.

Schizophrenia: A disturbance that lasts for at least six months and includes at least one month of active-phase symptoms, that is, two or more of the following: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behaviour, and negative symptoms (DSM IV).

The following definitions are taken from Kaplan and Sadock's Synopsis of Psychiatry.

[for brevity, I have omitted the definitions cited - Psychosis, Reality testing, Hallucinations, Auditory hallucination, Visual hallucination, Olfactory hallucination, Gustatory hallucination, Tactile hallucination, Somatic hallucination, Illusion, Delusion, Paranoid delusions, Delusions of persecution, Delusion of grandeur, Delusion of reference, Delusion of Self-accusation, Delusion of Control, Thought Withdrawal, Thought Insertion, Thought Broadcasting, Thought Control --Laird]

Over the years, working with these therapies [those described in her book --Laird], I have come to recognize that the patients who have auditory, visual and other hallucinations and different types of delusions are often clairvoyant, clairaudient, clairsensient, and psychic people. They can perceive beyond the five physical senses. The voices they hear and people and things they see, which other people cannot see or hear, may be real human, demon, and other spirits whom they are seeing, hearing, and feeling.

These spirits who talk to the patients may be inside the body or outside. The spirits who are inside the patients can directly talk to them or to other spirits who are inside the patients or outside. These visions, voices, and thoughts are also fed to the patients by the demons in hell who have possession of one or more soul parts of the patients. Through these soul parts and their connecting cords, the demons can transmit visions, thoughts, and feelings into the patient's body, who receives them as their own. Some of these patients are also very sensitive and are aware of the feelings in their bodies, which are called somatic delusions.

Because other people around them, including the psychiatrist, do not see, feel, or hear beyond their five physical senses, they think that the patients are imagining things and have lost reality.

Antipsychotic medications work to some extent in these patients because they also sedate the possessing spirits, but as soon as the medication is stopped or reduced, the symptoms return. Shock treatment may work sometimes because the spirits may be shocked out of the patient's body, but they return and go inside the patient again because their shields are often porous and weak. As long as those spirits are there in them, they will continue to be sick.


Many of the specifics in Dr Modi's book were new to me, but the general idea of negative spirit influence and the fact that the things I sensed were the result of conscious entities beyond my mind was one I had, as I wrote in my first answer to your question, known from the start.
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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby guest_of_logic » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:06 am

guest_of_logic to Diebert wrote:It's hard to believe your misreading of me is not wilful.


I apologise, Diebert, that was uncalled for - my point wasn't explicit and it's actually not obvious that your misreading was wilful; more likely it was an accidental misreading.
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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:48 am

Laird, I'm going to address only a few points. Frankly you sound increasingly confused and absurd. Not to mention your attempts to paint me as some denier or hyper-rational unbeliever and only because your mind cannot even grasp the possibility that you're just an absolute beginner if it comes to the supernatural inquiry. It's an inquiry which will lead to nowhere eventually but if you want to waste your life on it I cannot stop you. But keep in mind people seek out generally the very thing which maintains their confusion.

My point was actually a different one: that the more "high probable" events there are, the (much) less is the overall probability that all of these events are false positives. More than enough such high-probability events have been raised in this thread alone to make the probability outlandishly small.

It's not a different point at all or you just didn't grasp it. You don't want to accept that you cannot add the events up like that. They are still what they are: "high probable" separated events without established correlation (yet). To establish such correlation something more than a hunch is needed.

Easy to refute? You're twisting the truth. You haven't even acknowledged most of those that have been put to you, let alone refuted them, let alone done so "easily".

It was just reflecting your "one might be able to defend judging a single "highly probable" event as "coincidental", which means they were easy to refute for those judging, okay?

Go ahead and "easily" refute the healings I quoted out of Dr Kenneth McAll's book.

What a weird request. How would the stories be falsifiable? What kind of refutations would you accept and not belittle? You see, first one has to agree on standards and procedure. But you know that, right? Or you just like to impress with a book of some psychiatrist or a dentist without any references to their credibility.

"there was a hole in the center of the back of the chair where this man was sitting. We found the bullet later"

Which might be evidence that a gun was fired and hit the chair at some point. There are so many questions! Was the hole already there? Did the bullet hit it from the back or the front (ricochet). Was the bullet found from the gun that was fired? Without these elemental key evidences, a rational person assumes a natural cause of affairs. And yet he might still investigate further. The silly man just draws conclusions and yelps hallelujah because faith has been strengthened, the goal accomplished. Why bother with more?

I've participated in many prayer healing meetings with its miracles, Laird. Don't try to teach an old dog same old tricks. But I actually knew the people involved and followed up, saw how they were doing later. Book writers often don't, they move quickly on to the next crowd. You seem like such a newbie with this.
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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby Tomas » Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:16 am

guest_of_logic wrote:As a traveller back in 1997 I was visiting friends near Shepparton in Victoria, and the idea came up that we would try to conjure spirits one night with a ouija board, as I had never done that before and was (foolishly) curious about whether these boards "worked".

Laird,

Was gonna PM you with a couple experiences regarding Ouija's but they (these boards) "work".

In lower-grades high school (1964-65 or so), in some off-room at school probably a Saturday at the Book Club, most likely. Somehow, it was decided I should be one of the first two to have a sit-down, can't recall who sat across the desk or table.

The box was unsealed and the board and runner laid out.

Someone in the room had brainstormed with a few folks (boys and girls present) in the room and had some 15-20 questions prepared.

I and the other person placed our thumb and fingers on the runner and for some unknown reason I blurted out, "Who runs this thing?

The runner started spelling out L-U-C-I-F-E-R.

At that time in space, I'd not placed much thought on who that dude was (though had I been reminded from the many sermons in church I'd maybe have remembered but this was an event-in-itself of our own making). We found a dictionary to find the answer to the answer.

Many questions followed that day. One was "What would the homecoming football score" end up to be. Something like 45-22, at that's what the score was. Another was "How many forks are in the school kitchen silverware drawer"? Three people would hoof down to the kitchen and each would individually count the pieces and write on a piece of paper the results and back to the room for results. The 20 some questions became the answers .. were straight-on correct.

There were perhaps another four occasions (throughout the years) whereupon I was one of the two guinea pigs to sit front-and-center with that contraption.

Witchboard World
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http://witchboards.stores.yahoo.net


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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby Talking Ass » Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:31 am

A possibility for comparative purposes is to translate or transpose this (Laird's material: the Catholic doctor, etc.) to another and very different cultural setting (say Jainism, or Buddhism, or 'shamanism') which from the start subverts it. You can only receive a message in a language you understand and have mastered. The more mastery, the more complex and nuanced the content. One can also shift it over to say a basic physiological-psychological system and see how tbe same 'actors' appear and play out. But you cannot necessarily wipe off the table the individual and the inner issues: they rarely just vanish into thin air.

If one REALLY believed in the mission of Jesus Christ and the dramatic healing power of the Eucharist [place your version of your story here] all one'd have to do is submit on those terms and *poof!* the existential problems would vaporize.

The key to any of this---any hermeneutical system---is your talent in getting the system to work and getting the result.

But when two or more radically different interpretive systems oppose and contradict each other, and when the conflict is played out in a person (society, cultural, epoch), that is when no integrative 'decision' can be made, and things remain 'hang-fire'.
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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:30 am

Tomas wrote:Someone in the room had brainstormed with a few folks (boys and girls present) in the room and had some 15-20 questions prepared.


LOL. You must feel silly now thinking back. The "other person" was in the position to prepare the questions AND have the hand on the runner? It wouldn't surprise me if the "other" also noted down the answers and compared them after homecoming football in case anyone forgot the numbers. On a different note I once shocked a group of people by yelling "here come 5 x 6" at a series of Yathzee games. The first time I announced anything after hundreds of throws but I did got 5x6 in one throw on a crucial moment. What's the chance, really? Or lights go out during a games of dart and it's pitch black. I need the bull and throw anyway, not even knowing where the wall was anymore. But it was bull's eye and I never hit anything during the light. Of course nobody believed. I could go on with hundreds of events just as improbable and meaningless. Picking up an astrology book from a shelf in a store, flipping to yesterday since there were memorable events and there is was describing the day in detail including several specific objects and activities by name which played an important role that day. But no other day matched when I looked further/ How to explain, what does it mean? Is there really anything to learn from it or is it belly button gazing?

In my view it doesn't have to be impossible to "dare" events into submission (or 'read the future' as it can appear as). But how meaningful is it really, folks? Just another quirk in an improbable looking world.
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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:43 am

Talking Ass wrote:But when two or more radically different interpretive systems oppose and contradict each other, and when the conflict is played out in a person (society, cultural, epoch), that is when no integrative 'decision' can be made, and things remain 'hang-fire'.


Good thought. The 'magic' left the world, so to speak. But isn't our mixed metaphorical modernity also a hermeneutic system, being it dominantly about "getting the system to work and getting the result"? In many ways a complex web of magic just as well. The magic of yesterday is the science of today. And I might sound at times like some over-rational, mathematical, pro-logic technocrat for those with carrots in their ears but this is only because I cast some spells using contemporary runes. To "get the system to work and get result".
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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby David Quinn » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:21 am

guest_of-logic wrote:Go ahead and "easily" refute the healings I quoted out of Dr Kenneth McAll's book. Even just acknowledge them for a start.

Has the claims he makes been tested by the rigors of mainstream science?

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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby David Quinn » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:52 am

cousinbasil wrote:David - did you attend school at any point? Be honest.

Do you think I haven't been brainwashed enough? :)

Yeah, I went to school. I've been well-educated. I even have a Bachelor's Degree in Surveying from the University of Queensland.


cousinbasil wrote:
DQ wrote:I will state openly that in no way would I consider the rapist/torturer in the above scenario to be "evil". I don't even consider Hitler and the entire Nazi system to be evil, any more than I consider their victims to be good. So why would I consider a solitary rapist/torturer to be evil?
But women...they've gotta go, right?

Listen, David, don't you see what kind of asshole you are being when you say shit like this? You do not need to judge the victims of Hitler's regime to be good. Let's assume they are just people, navigating life's vicissitudes. But there is a common politically identifiable element to them - they are different. They are Jews, Gypsies, and faggots - and Jehovah's witnesses. But how is rounding them up and exterminating them like rats not evil?

Your knowledge of what the "entire Nazi system" comprised is staggeringly warped and revolting. Personally, I am neither a Jew nor a faggot not a JW nor a Gypsy - rather, I am of German descent. I seek to understand the truth. I thought that was your life's mission as well. Do you not know that in all of recorded history, the Nazis were the singularly best example of institutional evil? Not the only one, of course. I suggest you read what the Japanese did to Chinese civilians. Even the the slaughter of civilians during the Tokyo firebombing and the subsequent nuclear strikes cannot be considered evil to this extent. Because those programs were indiscriminate - in war time, civilians are merely soldiers who have not been nor could be conscripted. In Germany, Nazi actions were anything but indiscriminate. They were carried out internally, like Saddam killing his Kurds.

There is no question that the Nazis were a disaster on so many levels. Hitler was a buffoon, the German people were desperate enough to follow him, and all sorts of low-quality, criminal-types were allowed to assume positions of power. Whichever way you look at it, whether from wisdom's point of view or the common human's point of view, it was sick behaviour with little or no redeeming features. No one in their right mind could possibly condone it.

From a wisdom point of view, the trauma created by the Nazis was the worst of it - not only for the individual victims involved, but for their friends and family, their communities and their nation. Even the Germans themselves, seventy years on, are still traumatized by their own behaviour, let alone the Poles, the Dutch, the French, the Brits and so on. The Jews are always in a state of trauma - and loving it.

But to call what the Nazis did "evil" - that's a step too far. That is to grace them with qualities which they didn't really have. It glamorizes them.



Kunga wrote:
David Quinn wrote: So why would I consider a solitary rapist/torturer to be evil?

You don't... because you've never experiemced being raped and tortured.

Exactly. Here we see the issue in a nutshell. The use of the label "evil" is closely linked to the psychology of revenge.

If we had had the power to stop the Nazis in their tracks simply by flicking a switch, thereby bringing their destructive behaviour immediately to an end, our view of the Nazis would have been very different. Instead of thinking in terms of evil, we would have judged their behaviour for what it was - namely: misguided, deluded, immature, hysterical, etc. But because we weren't able to flick that switch and the Nazis were able to continue what they were doing unchecked, we suddenly lose our minds in a fit of despair and call it "evil".

It is nothing other than an act of revenge instigated by the powerless. And a very lame act of revenge it is.


And women that are obsessed with clothes & fancy underwear, etc., are conditioned to be that way, by men. Women want to make men happy. Men want women to make them happy. Would a woman that is a fat slob, stinking, with facial hair, that loves philosophy & is a genius make you happy ? lol

I would be blown away!

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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby cousinbasil » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:57 am

jupiviv: That's the definition I'm using. There is only one true essence in a person, and that is the essence shared by all other things except that person as well.
GoL: I'm not sure what you mean by "except" in "shared by all other things except that person"
jupiviv is referring to the fact that a finger cannot point at itself.
GoL wrote:In any case, yes, these are both valid definitions of the word "spirit": spirit as in "essential nature" and spirit as in "immaterial/non-physical (usually conscious) substance". In different contexts, one or the other is most appropriate. Obviously, in the context of my own posts, I'm using the latter definition.
It is, I think, a mistake to include as a part of the definition of spirit that it is "immaterial" or "non-physical." Of course, if you mentally added "relative to the body" then you can avoid the mistake. Suppose it is a substance as you suggest. Then it would be subject to gravity, even as light is. The earth is simply not massive enough to keep such a thing bound to it; but elsewhere I can imagine planets so immense that a soul might live there without having to be wound up and tethered to the Material Coil.
Re purity and innocence: I do believe that they are our original state which we tarnish to various extents through our choices in the world. Something you might not have considered about why we put women and children first, and why sometimes we see them as more innocent than men is that, aside from women's nine month gestation period being the limiting factor in the reproduction of our species, women and children are physically, and in the case of children, mentally and emotionally weaker than men, and thus less capable of defending themselves. We thus impose less obligation on them to defend themselves and thus there is less opportunity for them to "get themselves dirty" in the course of that sometimes ugly job - and so they often retain more of their original state of purity and innocence than do men, which is not to devalue men and the role they perform in any way.
I know you are just dashing off common wisdom here, Laird, but sheesh. Let me point out that if there is less opportunity for women to "get themselves dirty," they are all too willing to let men do their dirty-work for them - and somehow have the men come away feeling as if they've been done a favor.

Really this thread has become very interesting. But wouldn't one have to conclude that if the Ouija board works, then so must casting sticks and reading Tarot?
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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby David Quinn » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:09 am

cousinbasil wrote:
DQ wrote:Or to summarize, you can only enter authentic being when you have nothing to lose.

Then what? Can one then proceed to acquire things without losing the authentic being...?

One never acquires anything, but one is still free to enter into any world one likes.

As Ramakrishna said:

    When the tail of the tadpole drops off, it can live both in water and on land. When the tail of ignorance drops off, man becomes free. He can then live both in God and in the world equally well.

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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby Talking Ass » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:57 am

Diebert, as to 'magic' and such. I think we have to establish that the highest act of magic, spirituality.and religion is one in which we discover or arrive at clarity about who and what we are and also where we are. I think we have to broach the subject of 'gnosis' in its most arcane sense. I am not at all convinced that knowledge of tbe former is achieved by merely piling up facts, and so 'hermeneutics' becomes a bizarre and unpredictable game. But statistics and the handling of statistics is no such difficult, dangerous or unpredictable game. To handle life in the sense I mean (an interior, incommunicable gnostic sense) entails outsmarting the statistical platform. This is where aome level of advantage shows up as offering advantage.

That one can evoke omens from the world is one thing, perhaps extraordinary, perhaps not. But.if one can invoke those omens which lead to empowerment of the self in this trecherous world, and if that experience is also wrapped in and charged with 'gnosis', that is all the difference in the world.

The 'science' of 'opening roads' is what it hinges on, and in this sense the most relevant message that can be communicated to anyone, but Laird in this case, is: get a handle on knowledge and self-empowerment so to get out from under controlling influences (in this case of a negative order, though the self-knowledge gained.through doing this may well be thoroughly 'positive').

If I.use the word 'magic' it is in this sense: a.creative use of mind and energy to increase self-knowledge and empowerment. Other usages are.often more deviations or superstition.
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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby Jamesh » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:44 pm

Hi Laird,

It is true that I experience at least some doubt about whether there is some form of existence that "is not of this world". Something with a plane of existence, that does not require the sort of physical structure we see in things, not even the wave structure of electromagnetic waves, and yet it can still be a causal agent.

I think this feeling is instinctual, however I long ago decided to "fight against" this instinct, to not be led into believing it was true.

I've read many sci-fi or fantasy novels that contain differing interpretations of such otherworldliness. To some extent they provide "doubt-causing" fertiliser in my fight against such belief, that lures me in a bit. Even things like the basic attributes of my star sign add to the doubt. They lead me to a similar kind of thinking as you. You see the numbers stack up and think they can’t all be wrong. You can’t quite get a grasp on it. Even a dud show like The ONE, where the physics performed quite abysmally still had parts where one thinks, well ok, they made 15 statements - 10 were wrong, too vague or indeterminate, but 5 were right. The problem with 5 being right is that there are so many more wrong options they could have chosen, so the odds of them getting 5 right seem extraordinary. That kind of what it is like for all these various kinds of unexplained things, including synchronicity.

I also have a logical problem relating to the totality. The combination of evolution and infinity gives the potential opportunity for a creature to evolve to such a high technological advancement, that it can become "post-physical", to become everlasting. We humans are so very young, not even babes, it might be only 500 million years since our life chain commenced, and we are just now at what seems to be the peak of our chains evolutionary acceleration, so far. In an infinite world there are no odds - although that does not make every imaginable thing possible! What can evolve will evolve and importantly IF a post-physical state is possible some life chain will already have evolved to that state. It could be a state unaffected by big bang theory (a theory that only makes sense if a singularity is simply a bubble bursting from some part of a uni-verse).

Tied into this is the problem that all things are more than the sum of their parts, and that that sum, that overall pattern of existence, has its own holistic causality. If the hypothetical sum of The Totality was not actually infinite in a physical sense, as in going on in all directions forever at absolute speed, instantaneously?, then it would actually be dimensionally finite. It would actually be a literally a Total thing and thus have the causality inherent in that totality. The sum would have its own effect. That effect would be a conglomerate of its parts, and as such would include the causal result of every bit of consciousness that has ever existed. This is no different to the manner in which the laws of nature exist due to the structure of the totality - the laws of nature are essentially a feedback mechanism of the whole, but caused by the parts themselves, and we only know the laws associated with our humongous container (whatever sub-universe we reside in). It is really just dualism on the grandest scale - it's two way, but holistically so.

A casual outcome of our human existence pattern is "structured thought", while a fishes might be a more simple mostly "unstructured feeling awareness". And there are also more advanced creatures and whatever consciousness effects they have. In the effect of the "sum of the totality", all these awareness's would merge and become "something else", which could only really be a "non-centralised awareness". It would be a non-centralised awareness that could manifest from anywhere - it would always be flowing in as "feedback" from the whole into us, causally flowing back to our pattern of existence.

So the above is where my doubt comes from. In the end though I have never seen anything that truly feels like sufficient proof of any of these kinds of spirit forces. I cannot logically prove the above because I cannot logically prove exactly how infinity manifests as The Totality. So I can only posit the above, examine my doubts, certainly not "believe" in it, even if I feel it would be nice and easy to do so, even if I desire it to be so.

I cannot place enough faith in such a thing, and I am certain you should not be either. The experiences you describe are too indirect. Lets imagine we could Time Travel and be non-causal invisible observers of the past. I am certain we could find direct causal explanations for everything you've quoted as circumstantial evidence.

These evil and good spirits are All Too Human. As events they just are not radical enough, our intrinsic animal human natures make them far too predictable, a splattering of any of the myriad forms of such beliefs, should be expected in the general population at this point in our overall evolution. They are too human because they are too subtle for deluded brains to notice, too natural. They are words signifying "emotional aggregates", a combination of destructionary or enhancing emotions merged in with the actions those emotions result in.

One thing I can also say is that I am strongly cynical and disbelieving about all statements concerning matters of "The unexplained" that anybody makes, and not just in this area, but in science and medicine, practically everything really.

In my view people are natural born egotists, which then follows that they are also natural born liars and deceivers to some varying degree. Their egos cause them to accept insufficient evidence as being proof, as it suits the purposes of their egos. They are not necessarily liars in all ways, but often dishonest and selective about facts, and often disinterested in proper investigation and non-emotive analysis.

Sorry, but I can no more take the books you've quoted as containing adequate evidence, than I would say the Bible (which is a mishmash of whatever vested interests wanted) of being a book of fact. For me it is the sort of issue one must truly experience first hand, and not to rely on memories from a time when you were a different person. All my memories of events seem quite vague to me. I think memories are more often than not, not true memories but memories of past reflection of the memory, each time slightly changed by "value system feedback" as a result of thinking of the memory in your current self, a different self to before. What you expected of the séance before, during, and since, may have altered what you actually experienced.

Although I know unrequited infatuation/love rather well, I did not suffer the crushing death of a loved one at a crucial time, nor had as severe an accident as you. I can imagine however how all these things could drive you to a stronger desire for an external cause of this grief, and I presume you do as well in speaking of the events.

Hey, Laird, I'll make this my Good post. The next one is my evil post, I started it when you posted a few days ago - and before your post today - when I was crankier with you - but I didn’t like it much, still don't. Too incoherent to others :)

Btw…I might be done on this topic, after a couple of posts to a particular person I become an unreliable responder. Not much else to say.
Last edited by Jamesh on Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby Jamesh » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:45 pm

A belated Evil post

I also reacted to Lairds statement at the time, and I'm repeating a few things others have said here…but so what.

I recognise, David, through experience and through reading, that there are metaphysical forces beyond humanity that wish it ill. Whether those forces are, as TA suggests, and as some of the reading material Kunga provided in another thread suggests, "predatory" (perhaps feeding unavoidably on human misery as a carnivore feeds unavoidably on the flesh of its prey),


So you obviously don’t believe in evolution. Life only becomes more complex when it faces difficult circumstances, barriers that cause more death than life.

What is life? - it is 100% dependent on the death of many lesser things, like that which makes soil fertile, and it is also dependent on the death of individuals, as only by death can what is newer take over from what is not.

Undoubtedly the human race will reach a barrier where there is rapid human death. Which can only make all of us into something evil, under your terms.

Let us imagine that there really is an overarching Good and Evil. Firstly, that would mean that we live in a sub-universe, a bubble of existence that has something outside it, and something inside it.

That would be a Good Heaven outside and an Evil Devil down inside in Hell. The heaven represents expansion of self, the self is becoming a greater thing. The outside thing to this sub-universe, the devil, however represents a contraction of self, becoming lesser and dissolving into nothingness, or some form of bound and constricted hell, a life in which the will to power is a futile tease (as in what Alex complains about for readers here - the dangerous, thus evil, non-post-nihilistic state).

Well in an abstract way that is true - and you'll groan at this - as it is the two sides of Time. The past is receding because the future is expanding. It is the eternal yin/yang battle - but, at its core (and only so) - without the battle, as at that level (the continual creation of existence) it is simply a greater/lesser flow without any form of destruction of that binary form.

Construction (good) is not possible without Destruction (evil). As time expands the pattern of existence it forms creates an imbalance, the expanding past intrudes into the present and this causes a destruction of the overall flow of the expansion of time, "time shifts". With this continuos creation/destruction process, non-uniform patterns of time flow eventuate into what we call Thingness, pockets of concentrated energy with form. Form being existence + differentiation, a "pattern". Energy represents nothing more than the bounded potential for, or action of, expansion.

Our mental past does the same to our consciousness, it rises up from time to time due to the influences of the present and erupts in bouts of emotions, which causes a greater "volatility of action" in one's mind, and it is this that causes suffering for us or for others, though it also causes us to evolve. Now with volatility, I'm not talking about anything necessarily dramatic here, this term includes the affect of any desire of the ego, any non-all encompassing belief. Even your greed for an external Love and its associated spiritual magics, learnt from past experiences that you were drawn to, cause you a degree of suffering here in the now. And this love thing, this inherent goodness/evilness business is not all encompassing, even to you, as you have doubts. We ego beings are the lapdogs of our past.

After the volatility dies, as the dust settles down, as the semi-fractured normal mental state - even if very mildly so, even if just subconsciously, unbeknownst to you - begins to reunite into a clearer mind, the after-affects of these emotions - in some people at least - then causes us to partake in more concentrated thinking. This thinking can result in an evolution of ones mental state - one might become wiser - however the more you live in the past, the more you let it drive you emotionally as you think, the less logical and rational your thinking will be.

You've not let go of your past. You cherish, what to you "ought to be". You are still attached to many of the false mystical, spiritual "truths" you learnt when younger. You don't understand causality - unless you can explain the origin of good/evil spirits and how they exist then you are clutching at straws. You don’t understand how nothing can evolve without the environment determining so, causing so, and also providing everything it must have to survive for a "period" of time, as determined by a greater or overlapping causal set of affects.

Sorry, I'm not aware of the details of Castenada's work. The specific forces I'm thinking of though are those that are conscious and malevolent in intent, demonic in nature, although I understand that there are different types of spirit entities.


Every baddy I've heard of, or known, has had delusions of some form, they were conflicted personalities.

Under your terms they must of course be classed as deluded simply by not being aware of what your view of goodness was or offered, it would have been an alien thing to them. To what degree you accept evil due to causality, where you draw the boundary and on what basis, is not clear to me.

But if they weren't aware of your goodness vibe, then you can say those baddies had no free-will, that they were merely outpourings of a deeper evil spirit. So then they wouldn't actually be human at least when they did bad things, and thus not on the same side as whatever manifests goodness in humanity, as what you see as the non-evil, love that has a positive causal affect on us humans.
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Ouija Sessions With Tomas

Postby Tomas » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:14 pm

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:
Tomas wrote:Someone in the room had brainstormed with a few folks (boys and girls present) in the room and had some 15-20 questions prepared.


LOL. You must feel silly now thinking back. The "other person" was in the position to prepare the questions AND have the hand on the runner? It wouldn't surprise me if the "other" also noted down the answers and compared them after homecoming football in case anyone forgot the numbers.

It may take a couple more days for a full response regarding "the day at that school". I'm certain I have some, if not all of that day's events down in my diary, it'll just take some work and reading, to find.

Eric Ramstad Junior High was the school with the Ouija sessions. Minot had a major flood event last June-July 2011 and the school was flooded to the ceiling and recently declared a 'total loss' by FEMA. Lotta good childhood memories from that school.

There were at least three girls there. My girlfriend (future wife) wasn't present, though. Her parents at that time had on-base housing.

The "other person" was Johnny Kallias, died in his bathtub a couple months later. He was soaking in the tub playing 45s on the old, motor-drive phonograph players. Not a good thing to do. Electrocuted. So, the "other person" isn't available any time soon.

Another of the fellows was Jerry Berg, he died (1978?) when a half-cut tree fell on him near Velva, ND. That was ruled a "suspicious death "by the neighboring county coroner. He was real close to the Son of Sam - David Berkowitz - who used to frequent Minot quite a bit in the mid-late 70s. John Carr, dies at Minot Air Force Base supposedly by suicide. The shotgun was found propped-up in another room with bloody fingerprints, of course no blood trail.

Last fellow, was one of my Best Buds growing up, David Berdahl, http://www.usvetdsp.com/vn_pw_bios/b378.htm his helicopter was shot down the day he landed in VietNam, January 20, 1972. I told him the day of his "going-away party" that I didn't think I'd ever see him again. Gave him a man-hug and kiss on his right temple and walked away. His dad, Donald (who just-recently passed on) asked if I'd accompany him to the bus depot and send David off, I said, "No thanks - I'll see him on the other side of death." He understood. I'd done my time in that hell. He's POW?MIA? One never knows for sure what Uncle Sam really wants much less does.

Anyway, a couple more days minimum to scratch together. But I recall there were 1,273 forks in the fork drawer(s). That's what the Ouija said (as two of the reader's above) had interpreted what the runner would coast to each letter and stop for result. Three other kids who didn't know what the ouija "said", went down and each counted separately, and all came back with a count written on a piece of paper.

And the end all notes were compared with the answers given.

At the end of my participation at the ouija board. I was most interested in the "how many forks" question and wandered down to the kitchen and counted them myself. (Boring.) Walked back and compared and the same number came up as I wrote earlier. There was a kitchen staff member present and I was in tight with the lady so permission was given (though as a health precaution) the forks had to be re-run through the dishwasher.
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Re: What is reality, what is a 2x4?

Postby guest_of_logic » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:43 am

Diebert,

In rereading it, I see that I wrote somewhat confrontationally towards you in my last post; I didn't mean to offend, I just find it hard to believe that you deny what seems to be undeniable. I could understand if you had said something like, "Hmm, it seems like there might be something here, but I don't change my opinions without due consideration, so I'll reserve judgement for now". You don't say that though - instead you are extreme in your denial and your attempts to disprove without acknowledging even a possibility that you are wrong.

So, I might ask you how and in what way you think I'm "confused and absurd", but I suspect that that comment of yours was more a "quid pro quo" for the directness of my expression of astonishment at your position. If anything, it's you who sounds confused: you say that you've "participated in many prayer healing meetings with its miracles" - well, if you've witnessed miracles, then why do you deny the reality of other peoples experience of the supernatural? Why are you even arguing? Why isn't your response, "Well, that's interesting; similar things have happened to me"? I can only assume that you meant "miracles" in quote marks. In any case, the point remains: lots of evidence has been put forward in this thread that isn't so easy to refute.

guest_of_logic: My point was actually a different one: that the more "high probable" events there are, the (much) less is the overall probability that all of these events are false positives. More than enough such high-probability events have been raised in this thread alone to make the probability outlandishly small.

Diebert: It's not a different point at all or you just didn't grasp it. You don't want to accept that you cannot add the events up like that. They are still what they are: "high probable" separated events without established correlation (yet). To establish such correlation something more than a hunch is needed.


I'm referring to "fundamental" probability theory - I'm sure you would have at least studied it in high school. Here's what I mean:

Given two events, E1 and E2, each with a high probability, say 0.9 (a 90% chance), of having a supernatural explanation, the four possible scenarios and their probabilities are:
Code: Select all
E1 is supernatural and E2 is supernatural: 0.9 x 0.9 = 0.81
E1 is supernatural and E2 is natural     : 0.9 x 0.1 = 0.09
E1 is natural      and E2 is supernatural: 0.1 x 0.9 = 0.09
E1 is natural      and E2 is natural     : 0.1 x 0.1 = 0.01
Total probability                        :             1.00


I include the total probability only to show that it is 1 i.e. that we have taken account of all possible scenarios. As you can see, even though the two events individually have a probability of being natural of 0.1, when we consider the two events together (and there is no reason why we cannot), then the probability that both are natural (any other scenario involves at least one supernatural event, which you seem to be denying as a possibility) drops dramatically to 0.01 (1%). Add in a third event of this type, and it drops to 0.001 (0.1%). A fourth, and it's 0.0001 (0.01%). You can see that it doesn't take many events to reduce the likelihood that all of them have a natural explanation (i.e. that none of them are supernatural) to a vanishingly small figure.

A probability of 0.9 is quite high though; let's drop that down to, say, 0.75 (a 75% chance). It will still take only four events of that type for the probability that all are natural to drop to the very small approximately 0.004 (0.4%). At a probability of 0.5 (a 50% chance), it will take only seven events of that type for the probability that all are natural to drop to about 0.008 (0.8%).

Let's even say though that the original probabilities are reversed - that the probability of a supernatural explanation is only 0.1 (10%). It will still take only 66 events of that type for the probability that all the events are natural to drop to about 0.001 (0.1%). You can see that even at low probabilities, you're fighting a losing battle given enough events.

All of this is just to point out that you've implicitly taken up a pretty difficult position to defend: that every single event with a possibly supernatural explanation actually has a natural explanation.

guest_of_logic: Easy to refute? You're twisting the truth. You haven't even acknowledged most of those that have been put to you, let alone refuted them, let alone done so "easily".

Diebert: It was just reflecting your "one might be able to defend judging a single "highly probable" event as "coincidental", which means they were easy to refute for those judging, okay?


I'll take you at your word, even though you ought to recognise that there's a difference between "a defensible judgement" and "an easy refutation": a "highly probable" event is by definition not "easy" to refute.

guest_of_logic: Go ahead and "easily" refute the healings I quoted out of Dr Kenneth McAll's book.

Diebert: What a weird request. How would the stories be falsifiable? What kind of refutations would you accept and not belittle?


Why would it be a "weird" request? You seem to believe (or are at least acting as though you do) that supernatural or spirit-related events simply do not occur, and these appear to be clear examples of such events occurring: how, then, would you argue that they are not as they appear, which it seems you must do if you are to defend your apparent position? It doesn't really matter whether I accept your refutations or not, what matters given your apparent position is whether you can (plausibly) make them.

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:You see, first one has to agree on standards and procedure. But you know that, right?


If we were going to conduct a scientific investigation, then yes, but that's obviously not possible in this case - here I'm simply asking you for your thoughts on how you would argue (given your position) that the conclusion that Dr McAll is describing supernatural events is a false one.

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:Or you just like to impress with a book of some psychiatrist or a dentist without any references to their credibility.


In terms of credibility, what I can offer is that they each independently developed very similar methods of therapy based on hypnosis, which they each applied - and in Dr Modi's case, continue to apply, except that last I heard she was devoting her time exclusively to writing a third book - over many years and many clients (Dr Modi offers statistics on 100 cases, so she's provided therapy to at least that many clients).

If you become aware of any lack of credibility with either author then please bring it up - it would surprise me if any exists though.

"there was a hole in the center of the back of the chair where this man was sitting. We found the bullet later"

Diebert: Which might be evidence that a gun was fired and hit the chair at some point. There are so many questions! Was the hole already there? Did the bullet hit it from the back or the front (ricochet). Was the bullet found from the gun that was fired? Without these elemental key evidences, a rational person assumes a natural cause of affairs. And yet he might still investigate further. The silly man just draws conclusions and yelps hallelujah because faith has been strengthened, the goal accomplished. Why bother with more?


Don't you think it's presumptuous to assume that Bo1, who was there, did not consider these types of questions himself, and on top of that isn't it unjustified and condescending to describe him as a "silly man"? Your questions actually seem quite like grasping at straws to me. Sometimes conclusions are warranted, not the result of silliness but rather of acceptance of fact. You seem determined though not to grant the possibility of fact to anything supernatural, and of course you have ignored that Bo1 described many other supernatural events.

---

Hi Tomas,

Tomas wrote:Was gonna PM you with a couple experiences regarding Ouija's but they (these boards) "work".


Thanks for speaking up and for your story, it's fascinating. It's extremely hard to refute a prediction of the future as evidence of spirit forces or at least something paranormal at work, but that doesn't stop sceptics from trying.

One of my schoolfriends had a similar experience some short time after high school and warned me off ouija boards - it's a pity I didn't heed his warning. He and his companions experienced this, too:

"The runner started spelling out L-U-C-I-F-E-R".

Dr Baldwin writes about this in his book with respect to demonic spirits speaking through hypnotised patients:

The lowest several ranks of the dark hierarchy are so numerous and unimportant to Lucifer that they do not have names. They will sometimes claim to be Lucifer, Beelzebub or Satan. This is a bluff. The therapist challenges such a claim immediately.

T: "What would he say if he knew you were using his name like this?"

C: "He'd be mad, he'd punish me."

This is a typical reply.

It seems that few if any single human beings are important enough for the Lucifer being to be involved directly.


---

David,

David Quinn wrote:Has the claims he [Dr Kenneth McAll] makes been tested by the rigors of mainstream science?


Not that I'm aware of.

One paranormal (although not necessarily spirit-related) phenomenon that has been tested by the rigours (again with an American spelling, David - I'm curious about why as an Australian you use so many of them) of mainstream science is ESP - check out the Ganzfeld experiments. A lot of attention is given in that Wikipedia article to critics; I would recommend as a counter to the critics for you to read the paper (PDF) referenced as the 24th footnote under "Contemporary research", paying careful attention to two of the sentences that precede that footnote: "In 2010, Lance Storm, Patrizio Tressoldi, and Lorenzo Di Risio analyzed 29 ganzfeld studies from 1997 to 2008. Of the 1,498 trials, 483 produced hits, corresponding to a hit rate of 32.2%. This hit rate is statistically significant with p < .001". I have read this paper and it is pretty convincing.

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cousinbasil,

cousinbasil wrote:Really this thread has become very interesting. But wouldn't one have to conclude that if the Ouija board works, then so must casting sticks and reading Tarot?


I'm not sure that that conclusion follows, but maybe it's right; I just don't have any personal experience or reading that could shed light - maybe TA has some insight as he seems to know a bit about Tarot.

---

Hi James,

I won't respond in depth, but here are a couple of comments, quoting you from both your posts.

Jamesh wrote:Even a dud show like The ONE, where the physics performed quite abysmally still had parts where one thinks, well ok, they made 15 statements - 10 were wrong, too vague or indeterminate, but 5 were right. The problem with 5 being right is that there are so many more wrong options they could have chosen, so the odds of them getting 5 right seem extraordinary. That kind of what it is like for all these various kinds of unexplained things, including synchronicity.


Yes, I react in the same way. The odds seem to be massively against "coincidence". It would be interesting to have scientists and statisticians involved in shows like that, or at least studying the talents of the winners.

Jamesh wrote:So the above [the inevitability of the evolution of a "post-physical" creature in an infinite universe --Laird] is where my doubt comes from.


Jamesh wrote:You are still attached to many of the false mystical, spiritual "truths" you learnt when younger. You don't understand causality - unless you can explain the origin of good/evil spirits and how they exist then you are clutching at straws.


I don't know on what basis you claim to know what I do or don't understand about causality. I'm also not sure which things you think I believe to be true that are actually false, nor how you came to know or believe that they were false.

It's true that I don't know for sure the origins of spirits - as with all empirical things it's impossible to be certain - but there is some useful information in the books I've quoted from, which is at least worth considering if not persuasive. I would describe it as solider than clutching at straws, and it is of a different nature than the evolution of "post-physical" creatures; it is more like creatures being created as non-physical from the start.

Jamesh wrote:So you obviously don’t believe in evolution.


I expressed my mixed feelings about evolution in an earlier post (second paragraph after the TA quote). To add to that: I suspect that evolution is guided, but I don't have a firm opinion.
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