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Consciousness and the Paranormal



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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Initially I was going to call this thread 'Consciousness and the Occult' but the title it now bears was recommended instead and I have followed the recommendation.

I did so primarily because 'occult' - a very decent and serviceable word - has been - in a sense - corrupted through extensive use in recent years in various and - in some instances - unfortunate ways. It is like the word 'gay' now being used nearly exclusively in one particular sense and not in the sense of 'happy', it's usual meaning some decades back. Thus does our language shift and morph over time - a dynamic language, at the very least. However, even so, I will likely myself use the word 'occult' every now and again, and how I am using it should become clear over the course of my posts.

I will begin the discussion with an excerpt from a paper delivered at a symposium. There is no link for this (I received it as a word-attachment via e-mail) - but it brings up a very familiar scenario regarding the evolution of consciousness that I have encountered (firstly) in occult writings, and then subsequently in mainstream literature on the subject, as in Julian Jaynes' 'The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind'. As noted in the abstract of this paper the idea is found in the work of Owen Barfield and Carl Jung and many others.

“Spiritualization, de-spiritualization and re-spiritualization: Questions from an ‘evolution-of-consciousness’ perspective” - Martin Lockley, Professor, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Colorado, Denver

Abstract
As individual ontogeny broadly recapitulates evolutionary phylogeny, the ontogeny of consciousness from birth to death may hold clues to the evolution of consciousness. Did humanity, like the individual, 'fall‘ into self consciousness, thereby discovering a physical, material, secular world that compromises and 'crowds out‘ spiritual sensibility? This view, explored by Steiner, Barfield, Gebser, Jung, Long, Welburn, Wilber and others, has intriguing implications, widely manifest in our human obsession with origins and destiny (physical and spiritual). Does Barfield‘s 'hero‘s journey‘ paradigm (original participation - separation - final participation) represent a natural 'life cycle‘ of spiritualization, de-spiritualization and respiritualization associated with the dynamic evolution (ontogeny and phylogeny) of consciousness? Does history in fact reveal that most early cultures took humanity‘s spiritual origins for granted due to a deep sense of participation in cosmic events? Is the weakening of this worldview merely a passing symptom of modernity‘s self-conscious separation from cosmos, and the resultant dethroning of religious institutions/paradigms in favor of scientific materialistic secularism? What next? Is Thompson‘s identification of a 'post-religious spirituality' a meaningful metaphor for re-spiritualization processes that are evolutionarily predictable—even inevitable. Can humans sustain a sense of separation from the cosmos and still regard it a viable, philosophic/scientific perspective on reality?

It is a very long paper and I could copy-and-paste it here over time but perhaps this is enough to get things started with those interested in such a discussion.

No 'rules' or constraints to this thread except good-will in the spirit of classic intellectual debate - which means it will likely be pretty free-ranging, with many 'threads' of thought being pursued simultaneously - part of the fun of such discussions.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Initially I was going to call this thread 'Consciousness and the Occult' but the title it now bears was recommended instead and I have followed the recommendation.

I did so primarily because 'occult' - a very decent and serviceable word - has been - in a sense - corrupted through extensive use in recent years in various and - in some instances - unfortunate ways. It is like the word 'gay' now being used nearly exclusively in one particular sense and not in the sense of 'happy', it's usual meaning some decades back. Thus does our language shift and morph over time - a dynamic language, at the very least. However, even so, I will likely myself use the word 'occult' every now and again, and how I am using it should become clear over the course of my posts.
It's never a good sign when you start out not saying what you really mean. The word "occult" is just fine, and if that's what you really mean, then that's what you should use. There is some debate and discrepancy around what the word "paranormal" actually means, but the best evidence indicates that it is a dispassionate umbrella term for the general set of supernatural phenomena ( unable to be explained or understood in terms of scientific knowledge ), whereas the occult is a label for a subset of the paranormal that refers more to specific beliefs and practices around supernatural magic. The occult is also something that is more associated with action ( We study the paranormal but we practise the occult ).
I will begin the discussion with an excerpt from a paper delivered at a symposium. There is no link for this (I received it as a word-attachment via e-mail) - but it brings up a very familiar scenario regarding the evolution of consciousness that I have encountered (firstly) in occult writings, and then subsequently in mainstream literature on the subject, as in Julian Jaynes' 'The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind'. As noted in the abstract of this paper the idea is found in the work of Owen Barfield and Carl Jung and many others.

“Spiritualization, de-spiritualization and re-spiritualization: Questions from an ‘evolution-of-consciousness’ perspective” - Martin Lockley, Professor, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Colorado, Denver

Abstract
As individual ontogeny broadly recapitulates evolutionary phylogeny, the ontogeny of consciousness from birth to death may hold clues to the evolution of consciousness. Did humanity, like the individual, 'fall‘ into self consciousness, thereby discovering a physical, material, secular world that compromises and 'crowds out‘ spiritual sensibility? This view, explored by Steiner, Barfield, Gebser, Jung, Long, Welburn, Wilber and others, has intriguing implications, widely manifest in our human obsession with origins and destiny (physical and spiritual). Does Barfield‘s 'hero‘s journey‘ paradigm (original participation - separation - final participation) represent a natural 'life cycle‘ of spiritualization, de-spiritualization and respiritualization associated with the dynamic evolution (ontogeny and phylogeny) of consciousness? Does history in fact reveal that most early cultures took humanity‘s spiritual origins for granted due to a deep sense of participation in cosmic events? Is the weakening of this worldview merely a passing symptom of modernity‘s self-conscious separation from cosmos, and the resultant dethroning of religious institutions/paradigms in favor of scientific materialistic secularism? What next? Is Thompson‘s identification of a 'post-religious spirituality' a meaningful metaphor for re-spiritualization processes that are evolutionarily predictable—even inevitable. Can humans sustain a sense of separation from the cosmos and still regard it a viable, philosophic/scientific perspective on reality?

It is a very long paper and I could copy-and-paste it here over time but perhaps this is enough to get things started with those interested in such a discussion.

No 'rules' or constraints to this thread except good-will in the spirit of classic intellectual debate - which means it will likely be pretty free-ranging, with many 'threads' of thought being pursued simultaneously - part of the fun of such discussions.
Here we go again with that word "spiritual". It's the same word I've tried to nail down in thread after thread after thread, and now it's popped up again here, and I suspect it will remain just as slippery as it was before. The best I can figure from my past reading, along with all the videos and audios I've watched, or listened to over the years, is that the word "spiritual" has two distinct contexts. The first is indistinguishable from one's psychological state, with a particular emphasis on personality and feelings of well being, and the second is related to the belief in independent non-material living beings ( apparitions, ghosts, whatever ). So when someone uses the word "spiritual" they're automatically implying a belief in the supernatural and that our makeup as human beings constitutes some fuzzy combination of these two contexts, usually ( but not always ) to accommodate some religious belief. There appears to be no substantial reason to add this extra layer of mysticism onto the inquiry. Maybe we'll have better luck in this thread.

So my first question is: Why should we substitute the word "spiritual" for the phrase "psychological well being"? Is it just more convenient? Is it truly irrelevant if it also happens to imply that we're not only biological beings, but that our so-called "life essence" or "spirit" also floats around inside our bodies and drifts off into some assumed afterlife upon death, or maybe wanders around the universe while we're sleeping, or other such nonsense?
 
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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Forum on Public Policy - Religion Section - 3rd link down is the article -
LINK: Vol2010 no4 Religion

Here is the link to the paper itself for those who would like to read it -

Spiritualization, de-spiritualization and re-spiritualization: Questions from an ‘evolution-of-consciousness’ perspective
- Martin Lockley, Professor, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Colorado, Denver
LINK: http://www.forumonpublicpolicy.com/Vol2010.no4/archive.vol2010.no4/lockley.pdf
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
It's never a good sign when you start out not saying what you really mean.
What I 'really mean' has been adequately stated. Using the word 'occult' would have been provocative - given it's current meaning in certain quarters - as you demonstrate below.

The word "occult" is just fine, and if that's what you really mean, then that's what you should use.
Not quite 'just fine' - as you yourself are evidence of the problem using the word has these days.

There is some debate and discrepancy around what the word "paranormal" actually means
Where is that debate? Here on this forum?

but the best evidence indicates that it is a dispassionate umbrella term for the general set of supernatural phenomena (unable to be explained or understood in terms of scientific knowledge)
Is this your definition, Ufology?


whereas the occult is a label for a subset of the paranormal that refers more to specific beliefs and practices around supernatural magic.

As I say the word occult has been corrupted. This may well be what it signifies for some - for you - but it's not it's general meaning - which is 'hidden'.

I haven't a clue what 'supernatural magic' is - but it sounds like someone's fantasy - likely based on Hollywood films. Especially the 'practices' bit.

The occult is also something that is more associated with action (We study the paranormal but we practise the occult).
You've got it all figured out looks like. IMO you have an idiosyncratic view of the word - or very narrow. Occult simply means 'hidden'. It is an adjective mostly. We experience the paranormal - we study occult knowledge. Realistically, one can practice 'hidden' rites - hence 'occult' rites - but the use of the word 'occult' does not mean anything in particular except 'hidden'.

The added power of the word 'occult' - that you are sensing and why it has such significance for people without their understanding - has to do exactly with how this 'hidden' (or occult) knowledge is obtained. No one can demand occult knowledge - it must be earned. No one bestows occult knowledge - it is acquired through inner work.


Here we go again with that word "spiritual".
:p I think you need to come to terms with the concept.

It's the same word I've tried to nail down in thread after thread after thread
Which is why I question your ability to comprehend text.

and now it's popped up again here, and I suspect it will remain just as slippery as it was before.
Probably, because you seem to be uneducable (or just plain ornery) regarding the concept.

The best I can figure from my past reading, along with all the videos and audios I've watched, or listened to over the years, is that the word "spiritual" has two distinct contexts.
I would suggest that maybe you need to do more reading of a wider breath - and if I am to judge the calibre of the videos you watch 'on the spiritual' from what you've supplied here in past times I'd say your information is badly skewed and ill-informed.

The first is indistinguishable from one's psychological state, with a particular emphasis on personality and feelings of well being and the second is related to the belief in independent non-material living beings (apparitions, ghosts, whatever).
If in all your reading that is all you can come up with it's no wonder you have a limited grasp of the subject matter.

So when someone uses the word "spiritual" they're automatically implying a belief in the supernatural and that our makeup as human beings constitutes some fuzzy combination of these two contexts, usually (but not always) to accommodate some religious belief.
This is your summation of your understanding - and yet you have claimed that you have read every author mentioned in the abstract quoted above. I am nonplussed.

There appears to be no substantial reason to add this extra layer of mysticism onto the inquiry. Maybe we'll have better luck in this thread.
Just accept the fact that a great deal that you don't understand is going to be discussed on this thread. Because you don't understand, does not mean it is without merit. Indeed, does not mean it's 'mystical', in fact. You seem to have a 'floating' idea of what constitutes 'mystical'.

So my first question is: Why should we substitute the word "spiritual" for the phrase "psychological well being"?
I don't know. Why should we? I don't. Who does?

Is it just more convenient?
I don't think 'spiritual' = 'psychological well being'. You are the first I have ever heard to suggest this.

Is it truly irrelevant if it also happens to imply that we're not only biological beings but that our so-called "life essence" or "spirit" also floats around inside our bodies and drifts off into some assumed afterlife upon death, or maybe wanders around the universe while we're sleeping, or other such nonsense?
You need to restate what you are saying here. What is the "it' that is implying?

The rest of the scramble seems to be your attempt to understand what you've read. It's nonsense - to you - because you cannot make sense of the ideas. I assume the ideas are outside of your experience - beyond what you have been able to sense. That's fair. Just be aware that others have senses beyond your current ability to experience.
 
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S

smcder

Guest
Forum on Public Policy - Religion Section - 3rd link down is the article -
LINK: Vol2010 no4 Religion

Here is the link to the paper itself for those who would like to read it -
Spiritualization, de-spiritualization and re-spiritualization: Questions from an ‘evolution-of-consciousness’ perspective - Martin Lockley, Professor, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Colorado, Denver
LINK: http://www.forumonpublicpolicy.com/Vol2010.no4/archive.vol2010.no4/lockley.pdf

thank you for sharing Tyger, I am enjoying to read this article . . . it resonates with a podcast I was listening to on Nietzsche's Gay Science and the following passage specifically (why is everything bringing me back to Nietzsche?? :)

The Gay Science

11. Consciousness

Consciousness is the last and latest development of the organic and hence also what is most unfinished and unstrong. Consciousness gives rise to countless errors that lead an animal or man to perish sooner than necessary, "exceeding destiny," as Homer puts it. If the conserving association of the instincts were not so very much more powerful, and if it did not serve on the whole as a regulator, humanity would have to perish of its misjudgments and its fantasies with open eyes, of its lack of thoroughness and its credulity—in short, of its consciousness; rather, without the former, humanity would long have disappeared.

Before a function is fully developed and mature it constitutes a danger for the organism, and it is good if during the interval it is subjected to some tyranny. Thus consciousness is tyrannized—not least by our pride in it. One thinks that it constitutes the kernel of man; what is abiding, eternal, ultimate, and most original in him. One takes consciousness for a determinate magnitude. One denies it growth and its intermittences. One takes it for the "unity of the organism."

This ridiculous overestimation and misunderstanding of consciousness has the very useful consequence that it prevents an all too fast development of consciousness. Believing that they possess consciousness, men have not exerted themselves very much to acquire it; and things haven't changed much in this respect. To this day the task of incorporating knowledge and making it instinctive is only beginning to dawn on the human eye and is not yet clearly discernible; it is a task that is seen only by those who have comprehended that so far we have incorporated only our errors and that all our consciousness relates to errors.
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
11. Consciousness
Consciousness is the last and latest development of the organic and hence also what is most unfinished and unstrong. Consciousness gives rise to countless errors that lead an animal or man to perish sooner than necessary, "exceeding destiny," as Homer puts it. If the conserving association of the instincts were not so very much more powerful, and if it did not serve on the whole as a regulator, humanity would have to perish of its misjudgments and its fantasies with open eyes, of its lack of thoroughness and its credulity—in short, of its consciousness; rather, without the former, humanity would long have disappeared.
Isn't this elegant? We are babies - we are toddlers - at the merest beginning of the long road of consciousness evolution.
Before a function is fully developed and mature it constitutes a danger for the organism, and it is good if during the interval it is subjected to some tyranny. Thus consciousness is tyrannized—not least by our pride in it. One thinks that it constitutes the kernel of man; what is abiding, eternal, ultimate, and most original in him. One takes consciousness for a determinate magnitude. One denies it growth and its intermittences. One takes it for the "unity of the organism."
We are so soon 'born' to consciousness as a whole humanity. We are just stepping out into the light of full consciousness and we are making mistakes - driven as much by our ego-pride as simple ignorance of what we are on the brink of, what we are entering en masse.

Within this is the understanding of an evolution of consciousness - a growth, a maturation. The assumption that we all share the same level of consciousness - or awareness - is naive. Further, that we all have the same capacities is another naive assumption. We may all share the same potential as human beings - but some have developed their capacities further. Some see the world differently because they have augmented senses. Some hear the music and dance, while others look on puzzled and still.
This ridiculous overestimation and misunderstanding of consciousness has the very useful consequence that it prevents an all too fast development of consciousness. Believing that they possess consciousness, men have not exerted themselves very much to acquire it; and things haven't changed much in this respect. To this day the task of incorporating knowledge and making it instinctive is only beginning to dawn on the human eye and is not yet clearly discernible; it is a task that is seen only by those who have comprehended that so far we have incorporated only our errors and that all our consciousness relates to errors.
This is very familiar to me. I am more into the history of ideas - and I see many similarities to the occult/esoteric ideas of Rudolf Steiner, for example. It's long been recognized - long been taught - in occult and esoteric knowledge systems - that the consciousness of ancient humanity was different from our own. I have described here that not very long ago - just a few hundred years - people saw the 'little people' and called them various names: Tomte, elf, elemental. It was not a matter of belief or faith, but a matter of every day experience for the people of those times. It was those who did not see them who were the strange ones.

As the article suggests - the falling from this old consciousness was necessary for the development of the intellect.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
Wow, I've been away and return to see this wonderful new thread. Excellent thread, Tyger. Thank you for opening it.

Tyger wrote to Ufology: "Just accept the fact that a great deal that you don't understand is going to be discussed on this thread. Because you don't understand, does not mean it is without merit. Indeed, does not mean it's 'mystical', in fact. You seem to have a 'floating' idea of what constitutes 'mystical'."

Ufology replied: "Criticism alone is not valid counterpoint. If you disagree then please quote where you believe I'm wrong and explain why it's wrong or insufficient rather than making mere proclamations."

Note to ufology: Tyger's responses to what you've written are less 'critical' in the personal sense than are your responses to what she's written. But let's leave that issue aside and engage in critical thinking concerning ideas and the grounds for their validity in human experience rather than in presuppositional thought. It seems that whenever someone critiques your ideas you demand an immediate justification for what they've written expressed within the constraints of your own presuppositions concerning the nature of reality. It's those presuppositions that are being challenged here by Tyger. Before you will be able to understand why your presuppositions are being challenged you will need to temporarily [bracket] them, as Husserl advised, and approach the grounds of the thinking that has developed more directly from human experience of evolving consciousness on this planet. This thread promises to provide just such an occasion for you to broaden your perspective on what consciousness is and how it has evolved in human experience.

I've come across another paper by Lockley, published in the Journal of Cosmology, which adds some additional perspectives to those he presented in the paper Tyger linked in the OP. Here's an extract from it, followed by the link:
Vitaliano (2000) is cogent in stating that: "dualism is the act of severance, cutting (con-scire) the world into seer and seen, knower and known ... with the occurrence of the primary dualism, man's awareness shifts from the non-dual universal consciousness to his physical body."

The momentous implication of this conclusion is that, like infants, before they become self conscious, our early human ancestors not only had little concept of an inner self (soul) but they did not even recognize or identify with their physical, sensory bodies. Obvious as it may seem on reflection, we have to agree with Jung that self-awareness is an essential a pre-requisite for recognizing the physical existence of the body. Thus, as humans became aware of the physical world they still retained strong psychic ties to the non physical, non-sensory "spiritual" or psychic world from which they were just emerging. This in turn implies an abrupt emergence of sensory experience. Again biology and psychology confirm such experiences, not only at birth (when sight and other senses first function, but also with the advent of self consciousness at the toddler stage and in the many accounts of spiritual experience, including Near Death and Out of Body experience which, in the latter case, cross back from the world of physical to non-physical sensory experience: i.e. into the realm Vitaliano calls "non-dual universal consciousness.
Journal of Cosmology
 
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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Forgive me but I think you have a pretty good idea exactly what supernatural magic is. It's the kind that is deemed to be supernatural as opposed to illusion performed by slight of hand and other explainable means and methods.
No, I don't. I've never seen 'supernatural magic'. Have you?

As Arthur C. Clarke said: "Magic is just science that we don't understand yet."

Magic as a concept pertains to creating effects using unseen natural forces. [Science deals with unseen natural forces btw.]
You seem to need to review your usage of the term "idiosyncratic". My sources are common and objective. On the other hand, your use of the word "hidden", is handpicked out of it's general usage and isolated to suit yourself. It's seldom used in general terms as meaning "hidden"
If you look carefully at your own citation you will see that 'occult' has as it's primary meaning 'hidden' - and several examples are given (from medicine). In science the term occult or occultation is often used - as in the occulting of the sun during an eclipse. I would suggest that I perhaps have a wider experience using this term than do you - which explains my more generic - and precise - use of the term. It seems that your understanding of the word is more culturally based.
As you can see from the above, the "hidden" aspect is purely from its word origin at the very bottom, while "supernatural" is its primary context.
Nope. The first one is merely seen - by the compiler - as the most popular interpretation, and in this case it's the cultural interpretation that sits in number one place. Understandably, because that word appears in context to popular culture (films, vampire books, fantasy novels, etc.). It does not mean that the other listed meanings are 'less' or more 'obscure' or 'less used'.
Combined with you choosing to use the word "paranormal" as synonymous clearly indicates that it's not related specifically to science, but to the supernatural.
Here is where our paradigms shift - diverge in the wood, so to speak. Occult or Hidden Knowledge was the science of the past - and it is standing up pretty well to modern materialistic science. We are actually coming full circle. Current science is finding itself confronting problems with the purely materialistic pov.
Now all that being said, if all you mean is "hidden", then let's clarify what you mean by that:
Do you mean secret, as in classified? Would a Top Secret document about a secret weapon be considered "occult" in your view? Do you mean hidden? Hidden from who? By who? For what purpose? Would the hidden person in a game of hide and seek be an "occult" person?
Occult Knowledge is 'hidden' because it cannot be gained except by internal effort. It does not come cheap. You must work for it - you must do the inner work that opens up the inner capacities that make perception in the subtler realms possible. I've said this to you before. I've explained it in far more detail - always with the caveat that I explain through my lens of understanding.

The above is the stumbling block - because should not knowledge be more 'democratic'? Should not anyone be able to read a book or hear a lecture and have it all down pat? No, doesn't work that way. The training of the mind is a lengthy process. The sophistication of the intellect takes experience and refinement. Primarily, it takes a rigorous understanding of one's own self or being. 'O Man, Know Thyself' was the dictum above the Temple portal.

So Occult Training - and the acquisition of Occult Knowledge - are profound undertakings - but life brings us the initial opportunities, as well as tests and trials. A well trained intellect - be it in any of the sciences or in mathematics and engineering or in the arts - has gone far on the initial stages of the path to inner knowledge. The opening of the inner senses is an event that is perceptible to those with the developed capacities able to 'see' - thus is such 'hidden'. To those who can 'see' it is clear who has 'occult' vision. There is the saying in the Bible (in Matthew?): "By their works you shall know them."

There are hallmarks to those transiting to deeper levels of consciousness, vaster realms of awareness. The very first steps of the path are incredibly difficult - for a variety of reasons - but mainly because it is the realm of purification. Such a person can seem anything but calm and happy. But for those who are passing the markers, for those whom the inner senses are awakening and inner capacities becoming self-evident - there are unmistakeable means by which they are known - the most obvious being a great love. 'By their works you shall know them'. But who they are, most will be unable to identify - just as their knowledge will be beyond reach - they will be occulted - hidden from view - though they be all around you.
If you can't describe in words this "knowledge" that you consider to be "occult", then I would submit that it doesn't count as "knowledge"
You need to re-think what knowledge is - specifically inner knowledge. You need to do a thought-experiment: play more with ideas rather than grasp them as though they are life-preservers.
but is some notion, belief, faith or feeling evoked by some psychological state associated with whatever rituals or "inner work" is involved with the manifesting it.
So far, you're still talking nonsense and engaging in denial while I provide objective examples based on logic and reason.
I am talking what you cannot yet understand - because you have not had any experience to ground you in what is being described. For you it is non-sense because you have not yet developed the senses that make perception of these concepts possible.

I am denying nothing. I guess I am suggesting to you that there is more to understanding the world than logic and reason - and for you that is like the ancient mariners taking the 'leap of faith' - no longer 'hugging the coastline' but striking out into the open sea without sight of land.
If you disagree, please quote a specific point and provide valid counterpoint rather than vague criticism. For example lets discuss ways in which the word "spiritual" doesn't amount to the same thing as one's psychological state of mind, with a particular focus on one's experience of well being, and excludes any supernatural elements like spirits (ghosts), life after death, and so on. If you can help clarify this for me by all means post it up. For example how does saying, "I'm concerned about my spiritual health" differ from saying, "I'm concerned about my psychological well being?" How is saying, "Jane is a kind spirit." different from saying, "Jane has a kind personality" ?
It's not that what you're asking isn't valuable - but that I have answered those same questions of yours - phrased differently but the same - a couple of times. It's not for me to unravel the skein for you. Accept your questions as koans - that you wrestle with - and one day, understanding will come. If you are sincere - if this is not all just a semantic game that you endlessly pursue from thread to thread.

Criticism alone is not valid counterpoint. If you disagree then please quote where you believe I'm wrong and explain why it's wrong or insufficient rather than making mere proclamations.
You may think that what you're writing makes sense, and others may even agree with you, but the fact is, unless you or they can provide coherent valid, clear, concise, counterpoint, then what I'm doing is showing you exactly why it doesn't make sense. If you choose to deny that and criticise instead, then you're only proceeding on unfounded and incoherent assumptions.
I'm not making sense to you because you don't follow the line of reasoning (I assume) - and I can't help you with that. Perhaps it's beyond my ability - I am not superman, after all. You seem to stay exactly in the same spot thread after thread. You're never able to grasp an idea intuitively that is being discussed. At this point I'd think you'd have a pretty good working knowledge of what is meant by many of the words you present as being still confusing. But you don't. I don't have an answer for you at this point.
That doesn't mean I don't recognize that strange things happen, including phenomena that are interpreted as supernatural. It just means that there are reasons to question those interpretations, and that by doing so, rather than simply accepting the incoherent proclamations of believers, perhaps a better understanding of what is really going on can be attained. I think in the end, it is the truth that we're both after right? Or would you prefer to be spiritually enlightened even if that amounted to the same as being psychologically deluded?
There are some good points in the above but then you scramble it. It's time consuming to answer your questions which are questions you ask routinely but in different guises on different threads. You appear to think your questions have never been answered. Answering them yet again I doubt will clarify things for you, since answering them before didn't help you out. I suggest we cease and desist at this point and let the thread flow. There's some good ideas afoot - should be fun.
 
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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Ufology - you're not 'running' the thread. It's gonna flow the way it's gonna flow. Posters respond to what they want to respond to - not to instructions on what to answer 'before we can move forward'. Just let the thread move where it moves. Never know - after a while someone may be interested in responding to you, but it will be up to that someone, okay?

BTW you did get an answer but you don't recognize the answer.

Note: There's also been a lot of preamble on another thread - the Science, Philosophy and Unexplained thread - plus other threads we've had exchanges on - wherein all the answers (from my pov) to the questions you are posing can be found. I assume you read my posts then so I would assume it's not necessary for me to yet again re-post on already gone over territory - from my end. Maybe someone else will be interested, but I'm pretty much done in that regard.
 
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Constance

Paranormal Adept
Ufology - you're not 'running' the thread. It's gonna flow the way it's gonna flow. Posters respond to what they want to respond to - not to instructions on what to answer 'before we can move forward'. Just let the thread move where it moves. Never know - after a while someone may be interested in responding to you, but it will be up to that someone, okay?
Seconded: "It's gonna flow the way it's gonna flow. Posters respond to what they want to respond to - not to instructions on what to answer 'before we can move forward'."

Ufology, 'moving forward' in the last thread we four pursued together meant -- consistently for you -- moving back to the direction in which you wanted the discussion to go, the direction in which you insisted on taking discussion on grounds of questionable merit -- e.g., simple dictionary definitions of words, appeals to conventional presuppositions about the nature of reality still influential in materialist/physicalist science, and your own constant reference to a website called "Critical Thinking" which is unfortunately constructed on unargued presuppositional thinking embedded in the conventional western worldview. The subjects identified for discussion in this thread -- Consciousness and the Paranormal -- both involve unexplored terrain and require that we begin with questioning minds and attention to phenomena rather than with presumed answers that shut down inquiry before it starts.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Seconded: "It's gonna flow the way it's gonna flow. Posters respond to what they want to respond to ...
OK, here's a great big spiritual "letting it flow" ... feel the groove ... let it flow ...

Let It Flow - Part 1

 
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smcder

Guest
Wow, I've been away and return to see this wonderful new thread. Excellent thread, Tyger. Thank you for opening it.

Tyger wrote to Ufology: "Just accept the fact that a great deal that you don't understand is going to be discussed on this thread. Because you don't understand, does not mean it is without merit. Indeed, does not mean it's 'mystical', in fact. You seem to have a 'floating' idea of what constitutes 'mystical'."

Ufology replied: "Criticism alone is not valid counterpoint. If you disagree then please quote where you believe I'm wrong and explain why it's wrong or insufficient rather than making mere proclamations."

Note to ufology: Tyger's responses to what you've written are less 'critical' in the personal sense than are your responses to what she's written. But let's leave that issue aside and engage in critical thinking concerning ideas and the grounds for their validity in human experience rather than in presuppositional thought. It seems that whenever someone critiques your ideas you demand an immediate justification for what they've written expressed within the constraints of your own presuppositions concerning the nature of reality. It's those presuppositions that are being challenged here by Tyger. Before you will be able to understand why your presuppositions are being challenged you will need to temporarily [bracket] them, as Husserl advised, and approach the grounds of the thinking that has developed more directly from human experience of evolving consciousness on this planet. This thread promises to provide just such an occasion for you to broaden your perspective on what consciousness is and how it has evolved in human experience.

I've come across another paper by Lockley, published in the Journal of Cosmology, which adds some additional perspectives to those he presented in the paper Tyger linked in the OP. Here's an extract from it, followed by the link:


Journal of Cosmology
Fascinating . . . along with phenomenology, this opens up a new outlook for me. I'd read just a little bit about Gebser and Jaynes.

Lockley is a Paleontologist, dinosaur track expert - son of Ronald Lockley, right? I think of Loren Eisley, the anthropologist and his writings, combining scientific rigor and poetic sensibility. I still have the paperback The Immense Journey I read as a kid. Thank you for posting this.

Do you have some suggestions as to where to start discussion? I think Nietzsche is banging around at some similar ideas in The Gay Science - (I suspect there was influence on Steiner and Gebser and others (who didn't Nietzsche influence?)) - maybe on the order of clearing the ground, something he would have been proud of . . .


Stephen
 
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trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
I'm just going to jump in and babble.

I love table 1 on page 15. Now, the questions that arise in my mind in considering the various levels of consciousness goes something like this, "Which state serves me best? Which states produce the most reliable information about the world and how it works? What is the most useful state to me personally? Can I use these states?

In the past I have actively sought after numerous "spiritual states" using Christian mysticism, mediation, contemplation, and other ...methods. The main motivation being some foolish youthful pursuit of something called truth. Some methods are more effective than others at achieving these states. All of these higher states can be achieved through chemical means as well regardless of what some devotee is going to tell you. Why? Because they are all chemical states in their "natural" expressions to begin with. (Not to start the "your consciousness is a chemical state machine vs. your mind is a carrier wave" thing again mind you.)

Did I get any useful information out of the whole business, any realization of truth? Although part of me wants to say, "Yes, I learned so much about how the world really works." because, hey all those lost decades must mean something. But no, the answer is "no." I learned more about lies, liars, fantasies, mind games, delusional thinking, and the sorry state of the human condition in general. (I think this is the point where, if this were a movie, my character would spit contemptuously on the ground.)

I think we'd all agree that different information about the world is available to us via these different states. Our ability to process and use the information supplied in those states is dependent not only on the reliability of the information itself, but our ability to extract intelligence from it. Information about the "Paranormal", the spiritual, the occult, allegedly originate from states VI, VII, and VIII. However, these states are highly subjective and individualized (contrary to the supposed universal nature of them) resulting in a disparity of details and specifics on what is being experienced and the meaning of it.

Do people reach State VIII and come back with a general feeling that the universe and everything we think of as being in it is just one big thing, or that everything is connected to everything else? Yeah, but what good does that do you in a practical sense? I think it only does you good if it causes you to think of others, the environment, and the world as extensions of yourself and treat them the way you want to be treated. How hard is it to hold some whisper of that state after it has passed? However, using a lower state, the rational one, we can see the truth in the notion that the universe is a system of interdependencies from which humanity or the individual cannot stand apart from and dominate.

Paranormal and Occult literature contain a myriad of world views generated from states VI through VIII, funneled I believe primarily through the fifth state, creativity, rather than the forth state of rational thought.

Can insights into how the world works or into some otherwise inexplicable phenomena be had through so-called spiritual states? I think practical "breakthroughs" are possible through the intelligent use of these higher states, but it takes the understanding that these must be filtered through and realized by the rational mind if they are to be employed.
 
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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Hi, Trained Observer!

NOTE: Due to a suggestion, I have decided to copy-and-paste all my posts from elsewhere here onto this thread. For good or ill, here they be - the first follows, in no particular order, and with no rhyme or reason -


Ah, fields......I know how much some here enjoy schematics.....here's one.....albeit such a 'picture' does not in fact adequately convey what is being attempted to be represented.

As when I teach astronomy to middle schoolers I initially stay well clear of representations of the solar system, for example, precisely because such pictures are static and astronomical systems are dynamic, in constant movement, in ever-changing relationships - which is best handled in the imagination.

So, too, schematics of realities perceived with the finer senses - while helpful as suggestions - can be misleading. Even so, I offer here [one representation or interpretation of] the 'fields' of the human being's 'signature'.



Based on observation a Seer states: "The layer of energy that is closest to your physical body closely follows the shape of your body. It usually is uniform in size, being about 4 to 8 inches (10 to 21 centimeters) deep. When a person begins to see auras, the physical auric body is the layer that they are most likely to observe. Irregularities in the color or shape of this layer of energy are thought to be indications of injuries or issues with the physical body in that area."

Please note that the Seer is in a state of exploration and investigation regarding what s/he sees - note the words "are thought to be" - it is an on-going corpus of information that continually is being sifted and refined, as in any 'physical' scientific inquiry.

“Magic … is the ancient and absolute science of nature and her laws.” ~ A.L. Constant The History of Magic, London, 1922

A bit of an aside: the loss of a healthy and diverse nature is a tragedy to humankind on a scale that is not fully comprehended by most - though ardent conservationists may intuit the enormity of the loss beyond the physical. The winking out of the 'signatures' of other living beings on this planet will have consequences to the human being in ways incalculable - beyond our current meager understanding - though with even some knowledge of the role of the subtler realms of nature in the human life span, those who work with these refined perceptions know we are losing a great resource and support. (This loss has been going forward for centuries btw).
 
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smcder

Guest
NOTE: Due to a suggestion, I have decided to copy-and-paste all my posts from elsewhere here onto this thread. For good or ill, here they be - the first follows -
copy and paste - so they stay on the old threads? or are you moving them all off the old threads on to this one?
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
copy and paste - so they stay on the old threads? or are you moving them all off the old threads on to this one?
Yes, copy-and-paste. I can't move them - only an admin can do that.

I'd say anyone with relevant posts to this thread could do the same. I have a rather large request before me: explain 'spiritual'. The equivalent would be: explain the world. Not a simple one sentence definition kind of thing - so copy-and-paste away I go.
 
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smcder

Guest
I found this on Steiner and Nietzsche:

Rudolf Steiner and Fredrich Nietzsche

and here is an aphorism from The Gay Science that shows what I mean about clearing the way or dealing with pre-suppositions, there is something bracing and tonic about Nietzsche but there is also something intoxicating - a philosophical aperitif:

The Gay Science

109

Let us be on our Guard. Let us be on our guard against thinking that the world is a living being. Where could it extend itself? What could it nourish itself with? How could it grow and increase? We know tolerably well what the organic is; and we are to reinterpret the emphatically derivative, tardy, rare and accidental, which we only perceive on the crust of the earth, into the essential, universal and eternal, as those do who call the universe an organism? That disgusts me. Let us now be on our guard against believing that the universe is a machine; it is assuredly not constructed with a view to one end; we invest it with far too high an honor with the word "machine."Let us be on our guard against supposing that anything so methodical as the cyclic motions of our neighboring stars obtains generally and throughout the universe; indeed a glance at the Milky Way induces doubt as to whether there are not many cruder and more contradictory motions there, and even stars with continuous, rectilinearly gravitating orbits, and the like. The astral arrangement in which we live is an exception; this arrangement, and the relatively long durability which is determined by it, has again made possible the exception of exceptions, the formation of organic life. The general character of the world, on the other hand, is to all eternity chaos; not by the absence of necessity, but in the sense of the absence of order, structure, form, beauty, wisdom, and whatever else our aesthetic humanities are called. Judged by our reason, the unlucky casts are far oftenest the rule, the exceptions are not the secret purpose; and the whole musical box repeats eternally its air, which can never be called a melody - and finally the very expression, "unlucky cast" is already an anthropomorphizing which involves blame. But how could we presume to blame or praise the universe? Let us be on our guard against ascribing to it heartlessness and unreason, or their opposites; it is neither perfect, nor beautiful, nor noble; nor does it seek to be anything of the kind, it does not at all attempt to imitate man! It is altogether unaffected by our aesthetic and moral judgments! Neither has it any self-preservative instinct, nor instinct at all; it also knows no law. Let us be on our guard against saying that there are laws in nature. There are only necessities: there is no one who commands, no one who obeys, no one who transgresses. When you know that there is no design, you know also that there is no chance: for it is only where there is a world of design that the word "chance" has a meaning. Let us be on our guard against saying that death is contrary to life. The living being is only a species of dead being, and if a very rare species. Let us be on our guard against thinking that the world eternally creates the new. There are no eternally enduring substances; matter is just another such error as the God of the Eleatics. But when shall we be at an end with our foresight and precaution? When will all these shadows of God cease to obscure us? When shall we have nature entirely undeified? When shall we be permitted to naturalize ourselves by means of the pure, newly discovered, newly redeemed nature?
 
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smcder

Guest
Yes, copy-and-paste. I can't move them - only an admin can do that.

I'd say anyone with relevant posts to this thread could do the same. I have a rather large request before me: explain 'spiritual'. The equivalent would be: explain the world. Not a simple one sentence definition kind of thing - so copy-and-paste away I go.
The Oxford English Dictionary (20 Volume Set) / Edition 2 by John Simpson | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble

yours now for the low price of $812.50 . . .

I think the pursuit of the definition of that word is itself a spiritual quest. Wikipedia wisely notes in the first line on its entry "Spirituality"

The term spirituality lacks a definitive definition

and cites two sources to back this statement.
 
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