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Vigile
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This seems to be a touchy issue on this site, but I've been watching this series, which has inspired the idea to post.

 

The issue of life after death and whether we have a "soul" or something like that concept that survives our bodily death has been controversial here. I wonder at what stage of human evolutionary development - as outlined in this series - do some think our souls developed.

 

To be clear, (and I'm just pondering here, not necessarily challenging) do those who believe in another dimension or after life conceive that worms live on when they die (and if so, really??? trillions upon trillions of brainless carbon-based life forms???? and if so, what about even lower carbon based life such as bacterium???)? If not, do grasshoppers? Do chimps? Did Homo Erectus, of whom it took 1 million years to move from a simple stone tool to fire live on after he died?

 

Before you answer, consider the millions of years and thousands and thousands of generations of development that led from us to them. Why are WE special?

 

Just asking...

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IMHO, I think there is something that transcends our body. It is said that our thoughts are NOT us, but that "awareness" of our thoughts are us... and they are different. It seems that our thoughts go masquerading as us, but are not us. (Eckert Tolle in the Power of Now)

 

I know that Reboot :) is far more scientifically informed than I, and seems to discount Amit Goswami, who suggests it is 'consciousness' that created matter instead of vice versa. I highly respect Reboot's opinion, however, I still tend to think there is a consciousness that can leave this body and use of its bodily mechanics to experience this physical life... and I think it is possible to come back again and again. :wicked:

 

Further, I think it applies to ALL life. :)

 

Still... we just don't KNOW... do we?

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I still tend to think there is a consciousness that can leave this body and use of its bodily mechanics to experience this physical life... and I think it is possible to come back again and again. :wicked:

 

Further, I think it applies to ALL life. :)

 

Still... we just don't KNOW... do we?

A consideration along these lines of consciousness or awareness beyond and outside our thoughts: In meditation someone can become aware of their thinking, and this might suggest a consciousness that is not dependent on formed neural pathways of experience, but some static "awareness", but isn't that still a cognition? If the brain were removed from the body, is there an "awareness" that we can be made aware of?

 

Take for instance the tape worm. It moves along the ocean floor seeking sustenance, fleeing predators, etc. Yet this little guy has no brain. It's just a rudementary nervous system with light sensors for eyes. Yet it functions. It doesn't need a brain for what it does. Yet it is alive. Where does it's "awareness" live? In nerve cells? In it's skin tissues? Yet somehow we connect its "being" with life, and we connect life with conscious awareness. If its body dies, does its "spirit" float away? Was it ever associated with its body?

 

Another thought with this, what about when the universe is no more. Where does this energy go to? Does this conscious energy or force exist within this universe or outside it, or both? Is it a hypothesized multi-dimensional force, like the graviton particle? Again though, why is it associated with living animals, and not the carrot or the tomato? Does this spirit of the tomato leave its flesh as I bite into it?

 

Are there many spirits or only one? We speak as though each animal has its own spirit, so it must somehow be associated with the body. Are spirits associated with matter? What about air molecules? Does air live on consciously after we breath it? Does such a thing actually exist in the universe?

 

One other thought, that if my awareness continues after death, it has little bearing on this life here and now, does it? I don't remember anything prior to my birth, so what value was that existence to me now? We learn from the past, but only by being taught about history with a conscious awareness now at this time, in these bodies.

 

I'm not intending to be flippant with this, but these are logical questions that arise when considering this. At the same token, it seems more reasonable that our belief in a continuation of ourselves as some form of consciousness could easily be a projection of our self-awareness to the universe around us, with our desire to continue to exist being a huge motivating factor for wanting to believe it. That understanding seems to address the puzzle much more consistently.

 

I don't mean to be a wet blanket, but we are analyzing this logically, so I will use logic instead of imagination in this discussion. It doesn't mean we can't still imagine something cool like this; just not argue a logical case for it.

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As a Buddhist I do not accept the existance of a "soul," an unchanging thing that is somehow "the essence" of people. In Buddhism it is said that sentient beings are made up of a composite of five things (skandha): form, feelings, perceptions, impulses, and consciousness. If one of these things is taken away, we no longer have a sentient being. There is no "essence" or "soul" without the other things (skandha).

 

The denial of the idea of a soul is central to Buddhism. Buddhists see no reason to accept the permanent existance of anything that could be called a "soul."

 

A consideration along these lines of consciousness or awareness beyond and outside our thoughts: In meditation someone can become aware of their thinking, and this might suggest a consciousness that is not dependent on formed neural pathways of experience, but some static "awareness", but isn't that still a cognition?

 

Yes. It is still cognition, perception. Consciousness is also ones alertness/awareness, not necessarily something based upon learned experiences.

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I'm not intending to be flippant with this, but these are logical questions that arise when considering this. At the same token, it seems more reasonable that our belief in a continuation of ourselves as some form of consciousness could easily be a projection of our self-awareness to the universe around us, with our desire to continue to exist being a huge motivating factor for wanting to believe it. That understanding seems to address the puzzle much more consistently.

 

I don't mean to be a wet blanket, but we are analyzing this logically, so I will use logic instead of imagination in this discussion. It doesn't mean we can't still imagine something cool like this; just not argue a logical case for it.

 

:)Antlerman, perhaps there are objective and subjective ways of learning. IMO, these two being hand in hand instead of in oppositional warfare is how we can progress more effectively. Certainly objective science can not explain everything, and perhaps some of our subjective insights can be inaccurate as well. One way we validate our experiences is to see how well it can be identified by others, or duplicated. Certainly a lot of science is conjecture at this point, and so are these spiritually/psyche recognized areas... and in many cases the two are now combining, IMO.

 

There is a highly recognized physicist, Amit Goswami, that suggests that consciousness created matter and not the other way around. I know that you and quite a few others on this site are far more informed in science theories and new discoveries than I. Maybe some people being highly invested in the evolution of the popular scientific mindset makes some people not open to such radical conflicting ideas... such as with many new scientific ideas of the past. :shrug: This guy, Goswami, may be controversial, but he has impressive credentials! A short summary of Goswami's ideas of consciousness can be found at the bottom portion of the page found here.

 

Eckhart Tolle seems to be ushering in a new age of reasoning/philosophy. I am among thousands, if not millions, who can identify with his teachings as being relevent to reality! He is sharing bold ideas that contradict much of present thought, but does that alone mean he is wrong? Maybe each of us has part of the consciousness, that we are taught to identify with our body, starting by giving it a separate name by which to be identified. Maybe our flesh is used as an illusion, that we've been taught to interpret that we are all totally separate. Maybe we are interconnected at some level, yet because we have been taught to deny it, these possible abilities are left uncultivated and persistently denied. A lot of what Tolle says makes sense to me. An interview with Eckhart Tolle here says this:

 

When I'm speaking about it now, it becomes intellectualized because I'm using words, but that realization was beyond words. What "I" as consciousness had identified with was a very heavy mental and emotional form consisting of thought and accompanied by an energy field. At that moment the identification with that mind structure was withdrawn. It collapsed, and what remained was a spacious, peaceful consciousness. The identification was broken, and because of that, the mental/emotional structure---the psuedo self collapsed. My sense of identity broke down and was replaced by something that is very hard to put into words. Awareness. Consciousness. The words only came a few years later. I couldn't even talk about it. I had been anxious and depressed for years and suddenly I was deeply at peace.

 

Many things can be conveniently explained away, and some are satisfied with that... others are not. Others dare to explore other possibilities and are ridiculed for it. Even a friend of Carl Sagan, who was helping him with his book Contact, was consulted about the use of black holes for time travel for his book. His friend finally came out reluctantly with his idea of time travel through worm holes. Then other scientists contacted that scientist to thank him for opening this possibility, because he had entertained such ideas too, but was afraid of ridicule. Even Stephen Hawking then said time travel could be possible, although unlikely. It seems that cutting edge scientists are confined by public opinion ruining their careers, and it seems to me that is not productive in the long run. Wouldn't we become victims of the absolute mindset in science too then?

 

As I was typing, I noticed Jun's post about Buddhism. I'm not familiar with all forms, but I think there is a form of Buddhism that believes in reincarnation. I've heard several times that the Dali Llama is chosen by the reincarnation of the last one. There is a hunt in all parts of Tibbet, I think, to find the child that speaks of things dealing with subjects that only the previous Dali Llama would know.

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One encouraging thought though, I don't see why the timeless and weird evolutionary processes that allowed our presence here could not potentially permit many repeats. GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif ... It did it once, why not twice.... hey while your at it.... forever

There's actually a name for that Idea.

 

Edit: 1100'th post, Bitches!

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What I think is profound about the series I linked to on the OP is the idea that man didn't really become the conscious being that he is today until roughly 30k years ago. Prehistoric man discovered that a rock can be sharpened and used to kill and cut meat. After that it took him 1 million years - 1 MILLION - before he took the next step toward modern technology by harnessing fire. Why? He didn't yet have imagination and without that, couldn't contemplate the world around him nor conceive of the idea of thinking about tomorrow.

 

As the ability to imagine finally developed - an astoundingly short time ago when measured against the entire history of human development - he finally started to wonder.

 

When considering things from this birds-eye-view perspective it is hard to take the idea of a continuing consciousness seriously. We are the only animals that can even possibly conceive of the idea and we only developed this conception a relatively short time ago. Moreover, the development of this conception can easily be understood as the type of assumption a being with developing self awareness would jump to when other facts were not yet available to him.

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It seems that cutting edge scientists are confined by public opinion ruining their careers, and it seems to me that is not productive in the long run. Wouldn't we become victims of the absolute mindset in science too then?

 

Hi Amanda,

 

I agree, it is a good idea to think outside the box and leave open any posibilities so that we don't miss out on new discoveries. I'm not arguing that we should take an absolutist's view here. I'm simply stating that when considering how this wide-spread idea of continued consciousness developed that it becomes harder to accept as a possible reality. We can never "know" everything, but we can entertain probabilities. We can fit the available evidence to meet our wishes or we can objectively interpret the available evidence. I think that objectively the available evidence, when put into this perspective I am raising with this thread, does not help the ongoing consciousness case. Once again, I'm talking probabilities, not absolutes.

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As I was typing, I noticed Jun's post about Buddhism. I'm not familiar with all forms, but I think there is a form of Buddhism that believes in reincarnation. I've heard several times that the Dalai Lama is chosen by the reincarnation of the last one. There is a hunt in all parts of Tibet, I think, to find the child that speaks of things dealing with subjects that only the previous Dalai Lama would know.

 

Buddhists do not believe in reincarnation. I'll say it again, Buddhists DO NOT believe in reincarnation.

 

Richard Gere says he believes in reincarnation, so do the Beastie Boys, and there are thousands of books on Buddhism that state that reincarnation is a belief of Buddhists. Most who say this will immediately cite the Tibetan Book of The Dead as a source, and you can find referrences to rebirth in lots of old sutras.

 

But, the Buddha himself used analogies and stories to get his message across TO PEOPLE WHO ALREADY BELIEVED IN THIS IDEA. Reincarnation was an accepted belief long before the Buddha came along, he just continued the ideas to add colour to the piece, to help those who needed to understand, it's just old Indian mythology. Unfortunately many have taken it literally. (The Tibetans especially - who have used the idea to monopolise the Buddhist institutions and control the government for centuries. The Communist Chinese have already chosen the next Dalai Lama by the way)

 

In response to the question of whether or not we have a soul or whether there is rebirth, the Buddha said, "If I use my candle to light your candle and blow out my candle, is the flame on your candle the same flame or entirely different?"

 

Someone else asked the Buddha directly, "Is there life after death? The Buddha replied "How should I know?" The person then said, "But you are the Buddha. To which the Buddha replied, "But I'm not dead yet."

 

In a nutshell, the teachings of the Buddha have nothing to do with where we originated or where we will be when we die. The teachings are about living a fruitful and moral life RIGHT NOW. You must find the balance in your life YOURSELF. You must REALISE it for YOURSELF - RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.

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I'm simply stating that when considering how this wide-spread idea of continued consciousness developed that it becomes harder to accept as a possible reality.

----------------

I think that objectively the available evidence, when put into this perspective I am raising with this thread, does not help the ongoing consciousness case. Once again, I'm talking probabilities, not absolutes.

:)Vigile Del Fuoco 1, there are different levels of consciousness... even within ourselves. There is consciousness, subconsciousness, and unconsciousness. I think a continued progression of consciousness is in different stages, from unconsciousness... to the emergence of consciously recognizing 'awareness', and maybe to a greater degree, 'self awareness'. We may not know from what great depth our awareness has come... yet, sometimes some people can have remarkable talents ...to play the piano in just an amazingly short time.. or my son, at 5 years old, climbed on a bicycle for the first time and rode it perfectly in minutes! Maybe there is unconscious memory from a passion of a past life? Sure, maybe it's genetic... maybe it is NOT? Then, Carl Sagan says that he thinks we are part of the cosmos trying to 'know' itself. We could be a conscious progression, like the cells of our body. Every one of our cells are replaced by every 7 years, yet we remember past 7 years ago... most of the time. :)

 

You are right in that it is now believed we are the only animals self-aware. Perhaps other animals are evolving towards this aspect too. However, what mental transitions happen when we are self aware? Does that make us separate, special, better than the rest of creation? :nono: --- :)

 

:)Jun, thanks for your informative explanation of Buddhism and reincarnation. :thanks: I have really respected the Buddhist teachings, have tried to understand it more, yet it is very hard for me to conceptualize its teachings. I need all the help I can get!

 

I know that reincarnation is an ancient belief, and much of the world population believes in it. I've heard some amazing stories that seem to validate this concept. Dr. Brian Weiss, who has impressive credentials as a psychiatrist, accidentally and surprisingly discovered very credible evidence for reincarnation during a therapy session! His website here says this:

 

As a traditional psychotherapist, Dr. Brian Weiss was astonished and skeptical when one of his patients began recalling past-life traumas that seemed to hold the key to her recurring nightmares and anxiety attacks. His skepticism was eroded, however, when she began to channel messages from "the space between lives," which contained remarkable revelations about Dr. Weiss's family and his dead son. Using past-life therapy, he was able to cure the patient and embark on a new, more meaningful phase of his own career.
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I know that reincarnation is an ancient belief, and much of the world population believes in it. I've heard some amazing stories that seem to validate this concept. Dr. Brian Weiss, who has impressive credentials as a psychiatrist, accidentally and surprisingly discovered very credible evidence for reincarnation during a therapy session! His website here says this:

Oh god, my skepticism seems incurable! Here's his order page for his books: http://www.brianweiss.com/order001.htm

 

Wouldn't it be awesome if all these "scientists" had peer reviewed published articles like the real scientists, instead of books they sold to the masses?

 

*It is not credible science without passing peer review.*

 

Why are they pubishing material as science without peer review? Answer: To sell books and make money. Repeat: *It is not credible science without passing peer review.*

 

It is not science because it uses scientific words. It is pseudo-science, or pop-religion. It's fluff without teeth. This is precisely why the scientific method was developed, to reign in speculations from becoming taken as scientific theories. It is not a *credible* possiblity until it has passed some form of independent corroborations. It is speculation, and the more fantasic the speculation, the more appealing it is to the general population for their consumption in the modern religion of consumerism.

 

This is pseudo-science, based off fanciful speculation which appeals to mass emotional popularity and consequently sells books and makes them lots of money. What do the ID folks do when their "theories" fail to pass muster in the scientific community? Answer, they go to the uneducated puplic to find acceptance for their theories. This is not doing science. The guy may really believe this, but he is not doing good science. It is not scientific.

 

Sorry, just needed to rant there.... :vent:

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Certainly objective science can not explain everything, and perhaps some of our subjective insights can be inaccurate as well.

After my rant about the popular book-selling approach of some claiming a scientific background as their credentials, to address this above: You state that science cannot explain everything. Are you say science cannot currently explain everything, or is incapable of every explaining some things? What I am hearing is a desire to discredit science as not being reliable enough to really have confidence in, especially when it runs into matter that have only speculation and faith as it’s support.

 

You also say, “Perhaps some of our subjective insights can be inaccuate as well”. There are all sorts of “maybe, possiblity, might, a little” qualifiers in that statement. I would rephrase it quite differently to say, “Our subjective insights are not reliable at all as objective statements of fact. Period.”

 

Frankly, the scientific method is singularily the greatest means of determining credible information in the world above all other systems. There are reasons why this is so.

 

One way we validate our experiences is to see how well it can be identified by others, or duplicated.

No. The only thing that is validated is that two or more people believe a certain thing, not whether that belief is validate objectively. There are millions of Mormons who believe Joseph Smith was visited by an angel. Was he? Of course not. There are very, very rational explainations why millions of people believe in God. None of which are based in objective reality. If it were, then science could examine it.

 

Certainly a lot of science is conjecture at this point, and so are these spiritually/psyche recognized areas... and in many cases the two are now combining, IMO.

No it is not conjecture. It is not considered a valid scientfic theory until it has passed independent peer review, been able to be used to make predictions, be testable, etc. What you are talking about is a “hypothesis”. Hypothoses are not considered valid science. There are educated speculation at best. Are you wanting to discredit scientific findings? What makes you make a statement like this?

 

There is a highly recognized physicist, Amit Goswami, that suggests that consciousness created matter and not the other way around. I know that you and quite a few others on this site are far more informed in science theories and new discoveries than I. Maybe some people being highly invested in the evolution of the popular scientific mindset makes some people not open to such radical conflicting ideas... such as with many new scientific ideas of the past. :shrug: This guy, Goswami, may be controversial, but he has impressive credentials! A short summary of Goswami's ideas of consciousness can be found at the bottom portion of the page found here.

The Quantum mechanics “evidence” of consciousness has been debunked decades ago, yet it continues to be poplular because it sells books. If this guy has creditials, then surely… surely his data will gain respect of his peers! The data speaks for itself. Where are the peer reviewed publications??? We know where the books for sale are though– in popular bookstores.

 

Eckhart Tolle seems to be ushering in a new age of reasoning/philosophy. I am among thousands, if not millions, who can identify with his teachings as being relevent to reality!

Based on what objective data? Emotional appeal does not validate anything. Belief is a psycological phenomenon, not evidence of some external reality. If it is, then science can examine it.

 

He is sharing bold ideas that contradict much of present thought, but does that alone mean he is wrong?

Most likely. Of course its possible, but until it rises to the point of being valid scientifically, why should we consider it anymore than Pink Unicorns ruling in the lost city of Xena and Gabrielle? Again, why are they publishing this stuff??? (rhetorical question)

 

Maybe each of us has part of the consciousness, that we are taught to identify with our body, starting by giving it a separate name by which to be identified. Maybe our flesh is used as an illusion, that we've been taught to interpret that we are all totally separate. Maybe we are interconnected at some level, yet because we have been taught to deny it, these possible abilities are left uncultivated and persistently denied. A lot of what Tolle says makes sense to me. An interview with Eckhart Tolle

Lots of maybe’s there. Why is this worthy of consideration?

 

Ok, I’ve made my point here. What I’d like you to understand is not that I am down on believing in transcendant ways of looking at things, but what I am down on is trying to bolster them as being validated by science. Why must faith seek scientific validation?? Why is it necessary?

 

If one wants to speak about the universe in terms of mytholgical visions of gods, reincarnation, cosmic-consciousness, or flying messiahs with eternal wounds I will acknolwedge that as a valid way to speak about the experience of living. However, when you talk in terms of science it MUST meet certain critera. These sorts of things claiming a scientific basis, are imposters into the world or rationality and do both the world of science a disservice, and their own efforts as a language system of the human spirit as disservice.

 

There is a way to make the two language systems co-exist, but it is not by doing this. That is my point in this.

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Oh god, my skepticism seems incurable! Here's his order page for his books: http://www.brianweiss.com/order001.htm

 

Wouldn't it be awesome if all these "scientists" had peer reviewed published articles like the real scientists, instead of books they sold to the masses?

 

*It is not credible science without passing peer review.*

 

:)Hi Antlerman! I apologize if I stuck a cord there! Not my intentions... just a freindly discussion. I said somewhere here, hopefully on this thread, if not... probably many other places... you do know science much more than I. Having said that...

 

Can some people accept some things without passing this peer review that has to be limited to specific limits of observation? Perhaps we could just appeal to each person's common sense? People initially scoffed at the Big Bang theory, and on and on. It is known that unfortunately, scientist do not want to get involved in risking their reputations on such controversial new ideas, and chance their grant allowances spiral downward.

 

Why are they pubishing material as science without peer review? Answer: To sell books and make money. Repeat: *It is not credible science without passing peer review.*

Okay, that's your opinion... and I respect that. It's interesting, because I see it as him coming out with some new radical insight, that jepordizes his well established career and affluence in the science community... and had no promises of being accepted or making one penny by exposing these incidents! I, for one, would have never risked what he had established and opted for the sales on one new book, if I were purely money motivated! He took a tremendous gamble, he had many, many birds in his hand to let go, and I don't even think he really saw even one in the bush to grab... monetarily speaking. He seems he was guided to do what he did out of what he felt obligated to share with others, regardless of the repercussions. Also, past life regression is considered cutting edge techniques to others in the field of psychology too. Of course, all this just happens to be my own opinion. :shrug:

 

It is not science because it uses scientific words. It is pseudo-science, or pop-religion. It's fluff without teeth. This is precisely why the scientific method was developed, to reign in speculations from becoming taken as scientific theories. It is not a *credible* possiblity until it has passed some form of independent corroborations. It is speculation, and the more fantasic the speculation, the more appealing it is to the general population for their consumption in the modern religion of consumerism.

Okay, my dear friend, let's consider the actual events he got in his therapy session to be true. Can ya' just humor me on this one? Okay, he has a hypothesis on why these events happened. Can we test the hypothesis? IDK. Some people in psychology suggest that these occurrences manifest themselves as a past life event to further separate these emotional issues they really feel here, so the psyche can deal with them from a 'safer' perspective. IDK. It seems this patient of Dr. Weiss had information about his deceased son and the rest of his family, that she shouldn't have known. We don't know how that happened either, but it happened! Now what? Do we just flounder, accept denial as a way of coping, dismiss it as not being in our realm of present reasoning, or come up with ideas beyond our present reasoning that may have possibilities?

The guy may really believe this, but he is not doing good science. It is not scientific.

 

Sorry, just needed to rant there.... :vent:

Antlerman, you can vent all you want! Just hope we can remain in a friendly discussion. :)

 

So, it may not be considered science. So, do events happen that we have no explanation of why or how... and pretend they don't exist? If it happens, and there is a reasonable explanation, maybe a radical one but the best one so far, yet willing to be adapted to other theories that also seem to reasonable... what would that be called?

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I've heard some amazing stories that seem to validate this concept. Dr. Brian Weiss, who has impressive credentials as a psychiatrist, accidentally and surprisingly discovered very credible evidence for reincarnation during a therapy session! His website here says this:

 

There are many many cases of people "remembering" past lives.

 

Just as there are many many cases of people "seeing" UFOs and being "abducted" by extraterrestrials. There are many many people claiming to hear the dead "speak" to them through EVP. There are many many people who claim to have "seen" a Bigfoot.

 

And various "sientists" have opinions on whether or not these events occur or whether or not they are real.

 

Amazing stories don't validate anything.

 

When the whole scientific community the world over has irrefutable evidence to prove theses things without a doubt, please let me know.

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Can some people accept some things without passing this peer review that has to be limited to specific limits of observation? Perhaps we could just appeal to each person's common sense? People initially scoffed at the Big Bang theory, and on and on. It is known that unfortunately, scientist do not want to get involved in risking their reputations on such controversial new ideas, and chance their grant allowances spiral downward.

Sure they can bypass peer review if they wish, but they should no longer try to pass it off as science to lend credibility to it. It isn’t science, it’s speculation and faith. Can we appeal to common sense? I would argue no. The reason not is because “common sense” is heavily influenced by cultural biases.

 

Something may seem “natural” to us, only because it reflects the values instilled in us growing up. For instance, “It’s only natural for a man and a woman to be lovers, but not same sex.” This is heard commonly around the water-coolers of the world in discussions of things that seem to be “common sense”. We all take many things for granted as “true” simply because that’s how we’ve always seen it that way. But where did that knowledge come from?

 

The scientific method is designed specifically for the express purpose of eliminating such biases or “assumptions” of what may seem to be common sense. This is why it is more reliable than subjective approaches.

 

Okay, that's your opinion... and I respect that. It's interesting, because I see it as him coming out with some new radical insight, that jepordizes his well established career and affluence in the science community... and had no promises of being accepted or making one penny by exposing these incidents! I, for one, would have never risked what he had established and opted for the sales on one new book, if I were purely money motivated! He took a tremendous gamble, he had many, many birds in his hand to let go, and I don't even think he really saw even one in the bush to grab... monetarily speaking. He seems he was guided to do what he did out of what he felt obligated to share with others, regardless of the repercussions. Also, past life regression is considered cutting edge techniques to others in the field of psychology too. Of course, all this just happens to be my own opinion. :shrug:

Ok fine. I acknowledge I’m being a bit harsh cynically and shouldn’t brush stroke everyone with the same paint as is so well earned by so many of the pop-psychology, pop-religious mass marketing gurus. However that said, his personal motivations or integrity have no bearing on the credibility of his ideas. It is a common logic fallacy known as “Appeal to Authority”. One could line up 1000 of others with the same background who disagree with him. How does the one have more credibility than the one thousand? Could he be right? Sure, but speculation does not pass for evidence, nor hypothesis for confirmation.

 

Okay, my dear friend, let's consider the actual events he got in his therapy session to be true. Can ya' just humor me on this one? Okay, he has a hypothesis on why these events happened. Can we test the hypothesis? IDK. Some people in psychology suggest that these occurrences manifest themselves as a past life event to further separate these emotional issues they really feel here, so the psyche can deal with them from a 'safer' perspective.

I will humor this for the moment. But the first bit of data I would bring into question is the idea of a past life that this gentleman is putting the phenomenon he is witness into as an explanation. Where did knowledge of past lives come from? It starts with a culturally instilled idea that has no basis in the natural world. It is an ancient view that has observation and speculation and mythology as its origin. So why is his explanation of what he observed credible at all when it is base on two sets of unsupported assumptions? Are there other explanations that don’t require explanations with mythological tales as its foundation?

 

IDK. It seems this patient of Dr. Weiss had information about his deceased son and the rest of his family, that she shouldn't have known. We don't know how that happened either, but it happened! Now what? Do we just flounder, accept denial as a way of coping, dismiss it as not being in our realm of present reasoning, or come up with ideas beyond our present reasoning that may have possibilities?

I think there are some interesting phenomena in the world. But why speculate it has to do with things on the level of Mount Olympus and the gods? A great many, if not all of these things typically turn out to have perfectly natural explanations that once were speculated as to have supernatural causes. I don’t consider it denial to take the proven path in looking for explanation. I consider being skeptical of unsupported, highly speculative ideas prudent and wise. To do otherwise is to make oneself susceptible to a major fleecing by the pop-culture marketing machine! :grin:

 

Antlerman, you can vent all you want! Just hope we can remain in a friendly discussion. :)

Of course. I do not disrespect you at all. I’m just challenging popular notions of what constitutes science. I appreciate that you gain value in viewing the world through eyes that see things beyond raw nature. I’m just cautioning using the language of science to express that with. Like I said in my last post, it’s two different language systems for different things. They can get along, but shouldn’t try to usurp each other.

 

So, it may not be considered science. So, do events happen that we have no explanation of why or how... and pretend they don't exist? If it happens, and there is a reasonable explanation, maybe a radical one but the best one so far, yet willing to be adapted to other theories that also seem to reasonable... what would that be called?

Again, I’m not denying that these phenomena may occur. I am challenging explanations that are highly speculative as having a place in the scientific world. They don’t. If I understand your last sentence, if they put together an explanation based on logic arguments, and try to relate it to existing scientific theories, what I would call that is “pseudo-science”. If it can’t pass independent review, then it shouldn’t be called science. It’s opinion, or belief, or faith.

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After my rant about the popular book-selling approach of some claiming a scientific background as their credentials, to address this above: You state that science cannot explain everything. Are you say science cannot currently explain everything, or is incapable of every explaining some things? What I am hearing is a desire to discredit science as not being reliable enough to really have confidence in, especially when it runs into matter that have only speculation and faith as it’s support.

:)Antlerman, you have misinterpreted me and/or I have miscommunicated drastically. I do think that present science can not explain everything now. Will it be able to in the future? IDK, I don't have a crystal ball. Is science reliable? Yes, and I give science an immense amount of credit and respect! Is it perfect? I don't think it is. However, if we allow it to remain adaptable, it can constantly remain reliable to the best of our abilities for the moment. Would I desire to discredit science? :eek: --- :nono:

 

I picked Dr. Brian Weiss because he has a lot of scentific background. His credentials I got from this site here says:

Brian Weiss, M.D., a graduate of Columbia University and Yale Medical School, and founding chairman and chairman emeritus of the Department of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami, is also America's leading authority in past-life regression therapy.

 

I thought I would use him since he came from a more scientific background... than let's say General Patton who also believed he was reincarnated, as stated here.

Patton, along with many other members of his family, often claimed to have seen vivid, lifelike visions of his ancestors. He was a staunch believer in reincarnation, and much anecdotal evidence indicates that he held himself to be the reincarnation of the Carthaginian general Hannibal, a Roman legionnaire, a Napoleonic field marshal, and various other historical military figures.

You also say, “Perhaps some of our subjective insights can be inaccuate as well”. There are all sorts of “maybe, possiblity, might, a little” qualifiers in that statement. I would rephrase it quite differently to say, “Our subjective insights are not reliable at all as objective statements of fact. Period.”

:) Okay. If anyone only wants to give credence to a concrete world, where nothing can seem valid except those things we can concretely test by sight, hear, smell, taste, and touch, that's certainly their right... which I respect, even if I don't agree.

 

BTW, did you know that is why Stephen Hawking never won a Nobel Prize, unless just within the past 5 years, because he did not meet the Swedish guidelines for being totally testable objectively, even though he is considered one of the greatest scientist of our time?

Frankly, the scientific method is singularily the greatest means of determining credible information in the world above all other systems. There are reasons why this is so.

:grin: I agree!

 

Ok, I’ve made my point here. What I’d like you to understand is not that I am down on believing in transcendant ways of looking at things, but what I am down on is trying to bolster them as being validated by science. Why must faith seek scientific validation?? Why is it necessary?

 

If one wants to speak about the universe in terms of mytholgical visions of gods, reincarnation, cosmic-consciousness, or flying messiahs with eternal wounds I will acknolwedge that as a valid way to speak about the experience of living. However, when you talk in terms of science it MUST meet certain critera. These sorts of things claiming a scientific basis, are imposters into the world or rationality and do both the world of science a disservice, and their own efforts as a language system of the human spirit as disservice.

 

There is a way to make the two language systems co-exist, but it is not by doing this. That is my point in this.

:) Antlerman, Antlerman, Antlerman... the only one I mentioned was reincarnation and perhaps suggested the possibility of a more comprehensive consciousness, fragmented, and experiencing through all things.

 

I am not trying to lower the standards of science. I like science! I'm not as passionate about it as you, but I respect it immensely! It has changed my mind on several spritual beliefs! What I am saying, is subjective reasoning and objective reasoning do not have to remain so isolated from each other... as long as there is reasoning! Many of the top scientist find these two sides to have a mutually rewarding relationship. I'm even a little more discreet than many, IMO. I guess you don't like the physicist Goswami, but there are many more scientist that chose to merge the two into their own understanding... and I'm sure, most recognize each as separate aspects.

 

"It is difficult to discuss the beginning of the universe without mentioning the concept of God. My work on the origin of the universe is on the borderline between science and religion, but I try to stay on the scientific side of the border. It is quite possible that God acts in ways that cannot be described by scientific laws."
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Again, I’m not denying that these phenomena may occur. I am challenging explanations that are highly speculative as having a place in the scientific world. They don’t. If I understand your last sentence, if they put together an explanation based on logic arguments, and try to relate it to existing scientific theories, what I would call that is “pseudo-science”. If it can’t pass independent review, then it shouldn’t be called science. It’s opinion, or belief, or faith.

 

:) Gosh Antlerman, those two posts from you had me behind on this post, while I was answering the other one. I've been trying to cook dinner, clean, think, type! :phew: --- :HaHa:

 

OK, of course there is no way for me, or anyone, to prove scientifically that reincarnation or that there is an all encompassing consciousness exists. You're right there. What I was trying to do is to show where there are credible people supporting these ideas too, not scientific support, although coming from very scientifically recognized and respected people in our present world. If I'm crazy, I'm in good company! :wacko:

 

Even though I may give credence to these radical concepts of our time, I still respect and think it important to view life as stated in this post by Jun:

 

In a nutshell, the teachings of the Buddha have nothing to do with where we originated or where we will be when we die. The teachings are about living a fruitful and moral life RIGHT NOW. You must find the balance in your life YOURSELF. You must REALISE it for YOURSELF - RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.

 

Maybe hundreds of years from now, one of you guys will have returned to life on earth, sitting in a past life regression therapy, common for those times... and remember this discussion... :wicked:

 

Although I doubt that will happen! :HaHa:

 

"It is difficult to discuss the beginning of the universe without mentioning the concept of God. My work on the origin of the universe is on the borderline between science and religion, but I try to stay on the scientific side of the border. It is quite possible that God acts in ways that cannot be described by scientific laws."

Innocent until proven guilty :HaHa: ... however if he is proven guilty then we have no choice but to become subserviant. Hail God the almighty :HaHa:

 

At that point any scientific effort becomes absolutely pointless. :shrug:

 

... something to think about :close:

:)Reboot, what IF we find scientific laws and God, one and the same? :huh:

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Amanda, if I may...

 

Please don't be too impressed by a person's credentials, as in the case of Dr. Weiss. He may indeed have Columbia and Yale on his resume, along with a past chairmanship at a medical center. But when you mention him as an expert in Past-Life Regression therapy, you raise a huge red flag, for that has pretty much been shown to be bunko.

 

" "Past-life therapy" is based on the notion that psychologic disorders arise from the influence of traumas and personality traits from previous lives intruding on the subconscious. Proponents of this approach use hypnosis, meditation, or guided imagery to "regress" the patient to alleged earlier incarnations ("past lives") that, when recalled, lead to resolution of the patient's problems. There is, however, no scientific evidence that this theory is valid." (Quackwatch.org)

 

Credentials don't necessarily equate to credibility. But, a pseudo-scientist can use credentials to hawk their works effectively to the unwitting, when the objective is to make money as opposed to advancing knowledge.

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But when you mention him as an expert in Past-Life Regression therapy, you raise a huge red flag, for that has pretty much been shown to be bunko.

:grin:Hey Piprus! Sure you may contribute to my enlightenment! Seems like there aren't enough people trying to do so already. :twitch: Sure you don't want to take my side? Just kidding! :HaHa: I'm listening to you...

 

Hypnosis is used very successfully by very credible, elite psychiatry and psychology practices. As I understand this oringinal Past Life Regression occurrence that happened to Brian Weiss MD, is he was using a common technique in hypnosis known as an Affect Bridge (another common technique is a Somatic Bridge) to regress someone back to trace their initial sythesizing event leading to the present emotional (or physical) complaint. By far, these regressive techniques go back to a prior situation in this lifetime. What happened to Brian Weiss, as I understand, is he was using this technique, expecting to go to a traumatic event earlier in her life now, and to his surprise, his patient spontaneously regressed to a previous lifetime! He was NOT searching for a previous life, and was initially very skeptical of this occurring! It was only after trying to determine what was happening, and future sessions, that he went with these dynamics, worked with it in the framework the client presented her problem, and she was healed.

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What happened to Brian Weiss, as I understand, is he was using this technique, expecting to go to a traumatic event earlier in her life now, and to his surprise, his patient spontaneously regressed to a previous lifetime!

 

I'm open to possibility - but how does anyone KNOW that it is/was a PREVIOUS LIFETIME? Is there anyway to travel back to that point in time to confirm it?

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But when you mention him as an expert in Past-Life Regression therapy, you raise a huge red flag, for that has pretty much been shown to be bunko.

:grin:Hey Piprus! Sure you may contribute to my enlightenment! Seems like there aren't enough people trying to do so already. :twitch: Sure you don't want to take my side? Just kidding! :HaHa: I'm listening to you...

 

Hypnosis is used very successfully by very credible, elite psychiatry and psychology practices. As I understand this oringinal Past Life Regression occurrence that happened to Brian Weiss MD, is he was using a common technique in hypnosis known as an Affect Bridge (another common technique is a Somatic Bridge) to regress someone back to trace their initial sythesizing event leading to the present emotional (or physical) complaint. By far, these regressive techniques go back to a prior situation in this lifetime. What happened to Brian Weiss, as I understand, is he was using this technique, expecting to go to a traumatic event earlier in her life now, and to his surprise, his patient spontaneously regressed to a previous lifetime! He was NOT searching for a previous life, and was initially very skeptical of this occurring! It was only after trying to determine what was happening, and future sessions, that he went with these dynamics, worked with it in the framework the client presented her problem, and she was healed.

 

The problem I have with that is that hypnosis so often involves a lot of suggestion by a skilled hypnotist to a trusting and vulnerable individual. Here is the rest of Dr. Barrett's explanation of Past Life Therapy:

 

"Experiments have shown that "past-life" reports during hypnotic trances are related to the subject's suggestibility and proneness to fantasize. In one experiment, 35 out of 110 subjects who were asked to regress to times before their birth enacted "past lives." In most of these cases, their past-life personalities were the same age and race as themselves. In another experiment, half of the subjects were informed by researchers that previous incarnations were often a different sex or race and had lived in exotic cultures. Those who received this advice were significantly more likely to incorporate one or more of the suggested characteristics into their past-life descriptions. In another experiment, researchers found that subjects who gave information specific enough to be checked were much more often incorrect than correct. Past-life reports obtained from hypnotically regressed subjects are fantasy constructions of imaginative persons absorbed in make-believe situations and responding to regression suggestions -- and that those who believe in reincarnation are the most likely to believe that such fantasies are related to an actual past life"

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Amanda, may I recommend you a book? I don't mean to be condescending, but I feel from your responses that you do not have a firm grasp of statistical analysis and the scientific method. I applaud your efforts to educate yourself and to try to learn more about the world around you; going beyond that which is self-evident. I do think that you would benefit from testing claims against a more impartial measuring stick. If after putting them through the fire and they still hold water, then more power to them.

 

Getting back to the book - Asking the Right Questions: A guide to Critical Thinking, by Browne and Keeley

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:)Reboot, what IF we find scientific laws and God, one and the same? :huh:

... when sciences leads us to a state of omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence... then we will all be Gods :HaHa:

:grin:Reboot... exactly! So if there is a comprehensive consciousness, fragmented and experiencing life through all things, then it would be what you said... we would all be gods!

 

I'm open to possibility - but how does anyone KNOW that it is/was a PREVIOUS LIFETIME? Is there anyway to travel back to that point in time to confirm it?

:)Jun, of course we can't prove it! It just remains a possibility. I had said that others speculate that the patient presents the problem in a past life to further distance them selves from the painful experience they had incurred in this life, making the resolving of that issue easier to confront. It is still suggested by most of these therapist to deal with the problem as the client presents it. Did it actually happen? IDK.

 

There are some stories that can be substantiated by history. Many times this runs in a family, so some suggest more of genetic memories. But sometimes people recall aspects that were after their ancestor was born, so how could genetics come to be a factor? Anyway, I like what you said of Buddhist teachings... that it doesn't matter from where you originated or where you go after you die. What counts is the here and now. Live life like this is the only one we get! :wink:

 

Getting back to the book - Asking the Right Questions: A guide to Critical Thinking, by Browne and Keeley

 

Thanks Vigile Del Fuoco 1! :thanks: I've written the info down, put it with my credit cards and license, I visit the book store and library frequently, and plan to look for it.

 

Why do I get this feeling that I'm greatly out numbered in this debate? :scratch:

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Why do I get this feeling that I'm greatly out numbered in this debate? :scratch:

Don't think I don't admire your ability to stand up to a room full of skeptics! :grin:

 

That said..... :wicked:

 

Bridey Murphy

 

Bridey Murphy was a 19th century woman from Cork, Ireland, who began speaking through Virginia Tighe in Pueblo, Colorado, in 1952 when Morey Bernstein, a local businessman and amateur hypnotist, hypnotized her. Bernstein encouraged past life regression of his subject and she cooperated by speaking in an Irish brogue and claiming to be a 19th century woman in Ireland. Bernstein hypnotized Tighe many times after that. While under hypnosis, she sang Irish songs and told Irish stories, always as Bridey Murphy. Bernstein's book, The Search for Bridey Murphy, became a best-seller. (Tighe is called Ruth Simmons in the book.) Recordings of the hypnotic sessions were made and translated into more than a dozen languages. The recordings sold well, too. The reincarnation boom in American publishing had begun.

 

Newspapers sent reporters to Ireland to investigate. Was there a red-headed Bridey Murphy who lived in Ireland in the nineteenth century? Who knows, but one paper--the Chicago American--found one in Wisconsin in the 20th century. Bridie Murphey Corkell lived in the house across the street from where Virginia Tighe grew up. What Virginia reported while hypnotized were not memories of a previous life but memories from her early childhood. Whatever else the hypnotic state is, it is a state where one's fantasies are energetically displayed. Many people were impressed with the details of Tighe's hypnotic memories, but the details were not evidence of past life regression, reincarnation, or channeling. They were evidence of a vivid imagination, a confused memory, fraud, or a combination of the three.

 

It is indicative of the typical lowering of the standards of critical thinking when it comes to belief in the supernatural that defenders of preposterous stories such as this one find easily accessible information to be incontrovertible proof of their veracity. For example, Tighe talks about kissing the Blarney stone and knew that the act requires the assistance of someone who holds you as you lean backwards and face up to kiss the stone. This is common knowledge and photos of this are available in hundreds of sources, yet this fact has been cited as strong evidence that Tighe really kissed the stone in a previous incarnation.* Yet, these same proponents of the strange and occult are not concerned that the kind of reincarnation they are considering contradicts everything we know about how memory works, not to mention that it is impossible to explain without rejecting everything we know about human consciousness and the brain. Such beliefs are works of pure imagination, which we tolerate in cartoons and for entertainment, but which any rational creature should rebuke in those who claim to be seeking the truth.

 

As Martin Gardner says, "Almost any hypnotic subject capable of going into a deep trance will babble about a previous incarnation if the hypnotist asks him to. He will babble just as freely about his future incarnations....In every case of this sort where there has been adequate checking on the subject's past, it has been found that the subject was weaving together long forgotten bits of information acquired during his early years" (Gardner 1957).

 

http://skepdic.com/bridey.html

 

BTW, In citing the modern proponent of PLR as being an M.D., may I ask in what way does being an M.D. make one a specialist in metaphysics? Wouldn't being a theologian be more related credentials? I have a degree in theology, but does that make my thoughts about Whale behavior more impressive than the average lay person watching PBS? Reincarnation has nothing whatsover do with medical psychiatry. If I want to know how reincarnation is supposed to work, I wouldn't go to an M.D. any more than to a Vetrinarian. I'd go to a priest.

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What I think is profound about the series I linked to on the OP is the idea that man didn't really become the conscious being that he is today until roughly 30k years ago. Prehistoric man discovered that a rock can be sharpened and used to kill and cut meat. After that it took him 1 million years - 1 MILLION - before he took the next step toward modern technology by harnessing fire. Why? He didn't yet have imagination and without that, couldn't contemplate the world around him nor conceive of the idea of thinking about tomorrow.

 

As the ability to imagine finally developed - an astoundingly short time ago when measured against the entire history of human development - he finally started to wonder.

 

When considering things from this birds-eye-view perspective it is hard to take the idea of a continuing consciousness seriously. We are the only animals that can even possibly conceive of the idea and we only developed this conception a relatively short time ago. Moreover, the development of this conception can easily be understood as the type of assumption a being with developing self awareness would jump to when other facts were not yet available to him.

 

You might be interested in Julian Jaynes theory of the bicameral mind.

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