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PostPosted: April 12th, 2004, 6:07 am 
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Joined: March 4th, 2004, 3:49 pm
Posts: 206
Hope I haven't offended anyone.

Not at all, John.


I guess deep down I'd love to feel there really is a paranormal world...

Why not try opening yourself up to the possibility of communication from "the other side?" Your own experiences are the best proof you can have.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: April 12th, 2004, 6:30 am 
Your own experiences are the best proof you can have.

At the risk of taking this discussion down a path both you and Sandy appear not to want to tread - I'd have to say I don't agree with that.

I've had too many experiences that were clearly false.

Our senses are so easily deceived.


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 Post subject: From Nancy
PostPosted: April 12th, 2004, 8:14 am 
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Joined: October 15th, 2003, 8:41 pm
Posts: 108
So you had a warning via equipment. I sort of did too...

This year, my father who is dead, his musical student was visiting me to have closure about dad's death. My father was a horn player. The student spent the night...and we were up late talking about dad--good AND BAD qualities. In the middle of our lengthy bad qualities discussion his car "horn" went off and would not be shut off! IT went on and on and on. We laughed that this "horn" could not be silenced much the way my dad couldn't be.

I have not tried to "control" the energy because I don't think it's mine. It's others around me. I have had psychics tell me about "gifts" etc. but I have not approached it. It's weird enough the way it is--moreless for me to "invite" in or play with it! sb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: April 12th, 2004, 2:56 pm 
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Sandy,

Love the horn story! It's great when spirits communicate in a way that really suits their earthly personality.

But frankly, I don't think I could stand what you've been going through for most of your life without trying to gain some measure of control over it. Anybody or anything that intrudes upon my privacy is not well tolerated by me.

-- Nancy

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And when it's time to add to your four-legged family, adopt from your local shelter or rescue group.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: April 12th, 2004, 2:56 pm 
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Joined: April 12th, 2004, 2:06 pm
Posts: 3
Hi John,

I'm like you in that I feel it is fairly easy for "fake psychics" to fool people wanting to believe. But unfortunately I think people like The Amazing Randi and CSICOP tend to lump that stuff together with the legitiment question of if our conscousness can exist outside of our physical bodies.

Have a look at this:

http://www.near-death.com/experiences/evidence01.html

Pam Reynolds underwent a radical form of brain surgery in which she met all the clinical definitions of death. Yet she left her body and observed the operation during this time, enabiling her to recount in detail what was said and done during the time she was supposedly "dead".

The case is significant in that she was extensively monitored durning the entire time and was, by all current medical definitions, dead.

So this case leaves us with two explainations - either our current medical definition of death is flawed or our conscousness can, at least for a limited time, exist without our body.

And there are other cases like that - particularly with very young children who've undergone near death experiences and reported visions very similar to what adults report. Again, this is significant because these children are too young to have been conditioned by society as to what to see when you die.

http://www.melvinmorse.com/light.htm

The scientific method has given us so much, and is essentially the foundation of western philosophy. And because of that, it is hard for us as westerners to remember that the scientific method is just a branch of philosophy. And that by its nature is not designed to answer questions that cannot be reduced to objective parts.

There is something going on that demands further investigation.

richard


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: April 12th, 2004, 3:22 pm 
the scientific method is just a branch of philosophy

It's quite a branch, Richard.

There are no other branches on the tree of knowledge that have been tested in the same way, and none that can bear anything like as much weight.


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 Post subject: From Nancy
PostPosted: April 12th, 2004, 3:52 pm 
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Joined: October 15th, 2003, 8:41 pm
Posts: 108
Nancy, HA! I have been a psychotherapist for years and have found I have very little control over any one (myself often, included) or anything. I guess I would not know where to start in thinking I could control something outside of myself when I can barely control things inside myself! And I guess if you approach it Zen like, with a sort of "detachment" you can just watch and try to learn what is happening instead of being afraid and defending yourself against it.

There have been times when it was scary though but over the years, I am trying to just look, listen, watch, and learn. Much like life, it's the only way to grow! Sandy Brown


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: April 12th, 2004, 4:13 pm 
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In certain things, I grant you, the scientific method has served us well in. But there is a whole part of the human experience it has utterly failed in providing answers for. One of the ways this manifests itself is religion. Most of the world, including many of the greatest minds of science, believe in a higher power. Why? Are they are suffering from a mass delusion? Maybe. Maybe not.

Science can only fully answer questions than can be reduced to objective parts. For example, it cannot answer questions like this:

What makes Rembrandt's paintings quality works of art?

The reason it can't is that there is no "quality" atom within the materials Rembrandt used to create his paintings that gives them aspects not contained in Joe Blow's paintings. Yet when we put a painting by Joe Blow next to a painting by Rembrandt's most everyone seeing it will agree Rembrandt's painting is higher quality.

If we use the scientific method to understand this obvious phenomenon, scientific method will fall flat on its face.

So all I'm saying is that the question of life after death and communicating with the dead may be more akin to the "What makes Rembrandt's paintings quality works of art?" question. But I'm not negating the work the folks like The Amazing Randi are doing. There are a lot of fakes involved in spirituality. But just because there are doesn't mean it is all fake.

richard


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 Post subject: From Nancy
PostPosted: April 12th, 2004, 4:40 pm 
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Joined: October 15th, 2003, 8:41 pm
Posts: 108
I agree with Richard. It's hard to measure "spirit" which is why paranormal and even religion are hard to quantify, if you have a science mind and need for it to be so. This part of life is on a different vibration. It really is black and white: either you have experienced it or you haven't. You haven't, thank God and move on. But you can't say it does not exist simply because you haven't experienced it. My grandfather refused to believe that the space shuttle was real. He thought it was a ploy of the government to trick us. His unbelief didn't make it any less real.

People tend to fall into one of two categories: those that can live with ambiguity and those who cannot. And paranormal and religious activity are both filled with ambiguity and provide a life time of questions that may not get answered. Sandy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: April 12th, 2004, 5:07 pm 
So all I'm saying is that the question of life after death and communicating with the dead may be more akin to the "What makes Rembrandt's paintings quality works of art?" question.

I think they are very different kinds of questions, Richard.

The question 'is there life after death?' has a definite answer. Either there is, or there isn't.

The notion of life after death either reflects the reality of the universe, or it doesn't.

That's a different kind of question to one relating to quality in art - and it's exactly the kind of question that the scientific method is good at answering.

* * *

It's hard to measure "spirit"...

I'd say it's hard to measure because it probably has no objective reality, Sandra.

But you can't say it does not exist simply because you haven't experienced it.

All kinds of things *may* exist - the universe may be run by an invisible jellyfish who lives on Mars - but I don't think it's wise to accept as true something there is no objective evidence to support, especially when it appears to defy all the known laws of the universe.


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 Post subject: From Nancy
PostPosted: April 12th, 2004, 5:28 pm 
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Joined: October 15th, 2003, 8:41 pm
Posts: 108
John wrote, "All kinds of things *may* exist - the universe may be run by an invisible jellyfish who lives on Mars - but I don't think it's wise to accept as true something there is no objective evidence to support, especially when it appears to defy all the known laws of the universe"

... well then that would include things like "Love" wouldnt it? Or faith or prayer. There is not always objective evidence to support "feelings" of love, faith or why we pray since you can't prove something like love. It's an EXPERIENCE and just like I said, it's experiences I have had. I didn't stop to measure odd and weird things that were happening. I simply experienced. I also don't stop to drill my husband to "prove" he loves me if he says he does. The intangible of life, like Love, defys all the known laws of the universe too. Like I said, either you can live with ambiguity or you can't. I guess you can't. And thats ok. Sandy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: April 12th, 2004, 5:36 pm 
Are you OK discussing stuff like this, Sandy?

I enjoy such debates, but I know some people don't.

I'm happy to comment on your Love/Faith/Prayer points - but I won't do so if it's going to annoy or upset anyone.

As for living with ambiguity, not a problem for me at all.

I enjoy ambiguity.

But I still like to know what is true and what is false.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: April 12th, 2004, 5:59 pm 
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Posts: 3
That's a different kind of question to one relating to quality in art - and it's exactly the kind of question that the scientific method is good at answering.

Well, if you don't understand the forces involved or where the interaction is actually occurring, what instrumentation do you pick to measure the results of your objective experiment? Where do you insert the probe to take your readings? That is the Achilles' Heel of using the scientific method to completely answer the question of life after death. So in that way, I'd say it is exactly like the quality of art question.

richard


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: April 12th, 2004, 6:31 pm 
Science rarely 'completely answers' anything.

Instead it creeps closer and closer to what appears to be the truth.

Any study into the reality or otherwise of life after death has to start with data.

A nice, visible ghost would be a very useful source of data, but they seem thin on the ground (or perhaps thin in the air).

So I guess we have to insert our probes into the places and events that lead people to believe in life after death.

Fred says a ghostly woman walks through his bedroom wall every night at 11.45 - so we set up the cameras, the heat-detectors etc.

Mary says the ghost of her mother moves books around and makes the curtains twitch - so we set up the motion sensors and check for draughts etc.

Which is what (I assume) James Randi tries to do.

And so far, he still has his million dollars.


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 Post subject: From Nancy
PostPosted: April 12th, 2004, 7:09 pm 
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Joined: October 15th, 2003, 8:41 pm
Posts: 108
There are things you "can't insert probes on." You can test all day long and call it "not" but people everywhere still have thier experiences. I think it's God's sense of humor that you can't measure these things. Personally, I don't care what people think. I have had at least 30 experiences in my life that I dont' need to explain and I really dont even care if I don't understand them. But I just hope my life always exists with enough "mystery" that can't be explained away by left-brained IQ guys who hate and fear what they can't explain. Sandy


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