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Consciousness and the Paranormal



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trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
Fact is - in my experience - scientists (in the highly theoretical sciences, as well as mathematics) are generally working at highly intuitive levels. You are not going to understand them using the rational mind. But hey - to each his own.

When the alleged "spiritual sciences" produce something as useful, life-changing, life-saving, and enduring as the physical sciences have in the short time they have been active on the earth then you might have something to crow about.

Helena P. Blavatsky! Great guns. The depths of that woman's nonsense knows no bounds. "Divine wisdom" my patootie.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
NOTE: Old Text -

It's in orientation - trying to explain from the perspective of the physical is a blind-alley imo. The physical creates nothing of it's own - it is rather (the physical is) the creation of the spiritual universes. The physical is the final 'effect' of spiritual action. Now I am using the word 'spiritual' but these subtler realms can be referenced in any number of ways - and spiritual is a reasonable word to use here.

"The brain puts into reverse, as it were, what the big bang initiated: it erases spatial dimensions rather than creating them. It undoes the work of creating space, swallowing down matter and spitting out consciousness.'"

I agree - I even believe it. Not that I 'believed' it before, I'd never thought of it that way - and it makes perfect sense to me. It resonates. Beautifully put.

The ideas in John Michael Greer's blog hearken me back to the ideas of Rupert Sheldrake and others - particularly the Quantum Physicist Arthur Zajonc - also discussed in the following thread - 'Science Set Free' -

LINK: Science Set Free | The Paracast Community Forums

The physicist Arthur Zajonc is particularly useful discussing the 'problem of mathematics'.

Great stuff - and as Zajonc states: People have a wrong idea about how science works, thinking that scientists calculate their way towards a discovery - but that is not the way it happens. Insight comes in a 'flash' - walking across a bridge in Dublin, Newton seeing the apple fall - the answer is seen intuitively - then the scientist gets busy with the math and the experiments [to prove the answer already divined]. Important to keep in mind - the insight is coming forth from 'higher realms' [beyond the discursive mind].

Nice phrase: 'the poetry at the heart of science' - knowledge is an ephemeral moment - insight happens in one instant. And that the scientist is not a passive observer - the observer is implicated in everything.

'Lived experience' is perhaps the single most important phrase I hear Zajonc using as well as other scientists, like Rupert Sheldrake.

NOTE: Old Text -

Can we solve the mind-body problem? • View topic • Philosophy Discussion Forums

Thank you for this link, Constance. I have joined up!

Listening to Zajonc - and the story of the sophistication of past scientists - and the sanity of the prevailing scientific process and thinking - is refreshing - and a reminder that genuine scientific discourse is liberating, and nourishing. A fresh breeze - thank you both.

In the Zajonc audio-link: At 57:00+ Zajonc talks about the 'spirituality' of light - light itself is invisible, it illuminates, we see it's effects, but never light itself. Important words about the 'world of light' after death.

I think for certain you will appreciate Zajonc's exposition on the difference between Newton's theory and Goethe's theory of light within the audio-link supplied by Steve.

Here is a book you may enjoy - I will post the blurb as well within this post as it pertains to much discussed here (all emphasis my own) -
Catching the Light: the Entwined History of Light and Mind

"In 1910, the surgeons Moreau and LePrince wrote about their successful operation on an eight-year-old boy who had been blind since birth because of cataracts. When the boy's eyes were healed they removed the bandages and, waving a hand in front of the child's physically perfect eyes, asked him what he saw. "I don't know," was his only reply. What he saw was only a varying brightness in front of him. However, when allowed to touch the hand as it began to move, he cried out in a voice of triumph, "It's moving!" He could feel it move, but he still needed laboriously to learn to see it move. Light and eyes were not enough to grant him sight.How, then, do we see? What's the difference between seeing and perception? What is light?

"From ancient times to the present, from philosophers to quantum physicists, nothing has so perplexed, so fascinated, so captivated the mind as the elusive definition of light. In Catching the Light, Arthur Zajonc takes us on an epic journey into history, tracing how humans have endeavored to understand the phenomenon of light. Blending mythology, religion, science, literature, and painting, Zajonc reveals in poetic detailthe human struggle to identify the vital connection between the outer light of nature and the inner light of the human spirit. He explains the curiousness of the Greeks' blue and green "color blindness": Odysseus gazing longingly at the "wine-dark sea"; the use of chloros (green) as the color of honey in Homer's Odessey; and Euripides' use of the color green to describe the hue of tears and blood.

"He demonstrates the complexity of perception through the work of Paul Cézanne--the artist standing on the bank of a river, painting the same scene over and over again, the motifs multiplying before his eyes.

"For the ancient Egyptians the nature of light was clear--it simply was the gaze of God. In the hands of the ancient Greeks, light had become the luminous inner fire whose ethereal effluence brought sight. In our contemporary world of modern quantum physics, science plays the greatest part in our theories of light's origin--from scientific perspectives such as Sir Isaac Newton's "corpuscular theory of light" and Michael Faraday's "lines of force" to such revolutionary ideas as Max Planck's "discrete motion of a pendulum" (the basis of quantum mechanics), Albert Einstein's "particles of light" and "theory of relativity," and Niels Bohr's "quantum jumps." Yet the metaphysical aspects of the scientific search, Zajonc shows, still loom large. For the physicist Richard Feynman, a quantum particle travels all paths, eventually distilling to one path whose action is least--the most beautiful path of all. Whatever light is, here is where we will find it.

"With rare clarity and unmatched lyricism, Zajonc illuminates the profound implications of the relationships between the multifaceted strands of human experience and scientific endeavor. A fascinating search into our deepest scientific mystery, Catching the Light is a brilliant synthesis that will both entertain and inform."

It is all of that - light is the key to it all.

[edited]Hmm, my reply didn't 'take'. Basically it was an expression of thanks to Tyger for bringing all these posts together in one place (and to whoever suggested that she do that). Also to say that Zajonk is now at the top of my newly accumulating 'must-reads'.
 
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smcder

Guest
No, never that I am aware - I've read a lot and forget a lot but usually not the fiction I've read. Is it scary stuff? I don't like scary stuff. I'm a wuss - but for very good reasons. :)

The blurb on Amazon for The Centaur is enticing -

"We may be in the Universe as dogs and cats are in our libraries, seeing the books and hearing the conversation, but having no inkling of the meaning of it all." —WILLIAM JAMES, A Pluralistic Universe "…

"A man's vision is the great fact about him. Who cares for Carlyle's reasons, or Schopenhauer's, or Spencer's? A philosophy is the expression of a man's intimate character, and all definitions of the Universe are but the deliberately adopted reactions of human characters upon it." —Ibid

"There are certain persons who, independently of sex or comeliness, arouse an instant curiosity concerning themselves. The tribe is small, but its members unmistakable. They may possess neither fortune, good looks, nor that adroitness of advance-vision which the stupid name good luck; yet there is about them this inciting quality which proclaims that they have overtaken Fate, set a harness about its neck of violence, and hold bit and bridle in steady hands.

"Most of us, arrested a moment by their presence to snatch the definition their peculiarity exacts, are aware that on the heels of curiosity follows—envy. They know the very things that we forever seek in vain. And this diagnosis, achieved as it were en passant, comes near to the truth, for the hallmark of such persons is that they have found, and come into, their own. There is a sign upon the face and in the eyes. Having somehow discovered the 'piece' that makes them free of the whole amazing puzzle, they know where they belong and, therefore, whither they are bound: more, they are definitely en route. The littlenesses of existence that plague the majority pass them by." - Ibid (I assume)



Here's a review on Amazon for JuliusLaVallon/The Bright Messenger -

"It's often said that Algernon Blackwood's novels are less successful than his shorter works, but you wouldn't know it from these two rare and (almost) forgotten masterpieces. "Julius LeVallon" and "The Bright Messenger" are both supernatural novels that show Blackwood at his most inspired, visionary, and audacious. Stark House Press is to be thanked profusely for putting these unique works into print once again.

"Julius LeVallon" may well be Blackwood's best novel. It is visionary with a capital "V", presenting (via the title character) a cosmic panorama of reincarnation, karma, civilizations on other planets, nature elementals, magic - plus a little romance. I won't go into the details of the story - it must be read - except to say that it all builds to one of Blackwood's most potent and memorable climaxes.

"The Bright Messenger" is a sequel to "Julius LeVallon" which takes place some 20 years later. It's a little less focussed than the earlier novel and not as powerful, but it is just as visionary, and even more intensely moving. Again, no brief description of the book can possibly do it justice - it simply has to be read. (And if anybody thinks that there's anything "new" about the New Age movement, they should read the hilarious chapters in the middle of the book - written in 1921! - about a group of people known as the "Prometheans"...)


"I can do no better than to quote Mike Ashley's fine introduction: "You will encounter nothing like [these two novels] anywhere else in the whole of fantastic literature." Amen to that. Essential reading for any fan of Blackwood, or of supernatural literature in general."

No, not scary . . . spiritual ;-)

Both books are free on Project Gutenberg:

The Centaur by Algernon Blackwood - Free Ebook

The Bright Messenger by Algernon Blackwood - Free Ebook

Bright Messenger is available free on Librivox (audio):

LibriVox
 

trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
Getting bogged down in terminology and definitions is a tactic in certain quarters.

In the course of a conversation one may sense someone is using a term in a different way and one might ask for clarification - or not. One wouldn't because it is in the very act of conversation that one's concepts get fleshed out. Being rigid at the outset makes for predetermined results.

Well, I've always found it extremely useful to know what is meant when terms may be ambiguous.

The point was more that are so many brands of "spirituality" that you might want to promote, explore, whatever, in this thread. I think that's pointless myself, or at least it is for me personally. Theosophy for example, bores most folks to tears.

If by spirituality you mean to explore the many different alternate world-views expressed by such things as Theosophy, Zoroastrianism, mysticism, etc. that is a broad subject. Rather than comment further in what will no doubt come across as cynical disregard for the subject I'll stop while I'm ahead.
 
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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
When the alleged "spiritual sciences" produce something as useful, life-changing, life-saving, and enduring as the physical sciences have in the short time they have been active on the earth then you might have something to crow about.

Science does work with the subtle senses: Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition - are just three. The spiritual is always being accessed by any sense-free thinking - the raison d'etre of science. If your thinking is not sense-bound, you are accessing spiritual realms. - and it is from those realms that all innovative ideas come. Read scientists discuss how they come to their ideas - they are not using the lower mind.

Also, too, many would argue the idea that materialistic science has been a boon across the board. It is notorious for it's blindness, it's sense-bound thinking, just when a greater grasp of consequences is required. More mischief is afoot - more havoc being wrought in the environment and in people's bodies - by a science that has lost it's subtle sense in discernment.

Helena P. Blavatsky! Great guns. The depths of that woman's nonsense knows no bounds. "Divine wisdom" my patootie.

You shouldn't take things so seriously. Have some fun with this stuff like with a good ufo yarn. But also consider that you may not yet have the capacity to understand what she is saying - reporting, really - and that she may have made errors (which she did - 'Isis Unveiled' is more reliable - but it is definitely of a time and place. With all the problems her two works remain important - if for no other reason than the training in discernment).

Methinks you may also have some significant biases that occlude your understanding. Rather than reject, strive to see everything within it's context. Everything has it's truth. The trick is to discern the truth. Takes a mighty keen intellect to do so - and I have never found any such great mind to laugh or dismiss out-of-hand. The world is a tad more complicated than we would have it sometimes.
 
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smcder

Guest
. . .
Also, too, many would argue that materialistic science has been a boon across the board. It is notorious for it's blindness, it's sense-bound thinking, just when a greater grasp of consequences is required. More mischief is afoot - more havoc being wrought in the environment and in people's bodies - by a science that has lost it's subtle sense of discernment.
. . .

Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences (Vintage): Edward Tenner: 9780679747567: Amazon.com: Books

I'm most familiar in this with regard to PC support from 1994 - 2005, I saw it more clearly when I got out of the field, everyone was saying the exact same thing, expecting the exact same solutions to the same problems - and then seeing it more and more across the board . . . medicine, etc. - we upgrade our problems, each solution brings a new problem, we have a kind of blindness to it others say it's part of the process . . .
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Well, I've always found it extremely useful to know what is meant when terms may be ambiguous.

The point was more that are so many brands of "spirituality" that you might want to promote, explore, whatever, in this thread. I think that's pointless myself, or at least it is for me personally. Theosophy for example, bores most folks to tears.

If by spirituality you mean to explore the many different alternate world-views expressed by such things as Theosophy, Zoroastrianism, mysticism, etc. that is a broad subject. Rather than comment further in what will no doubt come across as cynical disregard for the subject I'll stop while I'm ahead.

There are no 'brands' of spirituality that I am aware of. Different religions, yes. Different philosophies, yes. Different ontologies maybe, and epistemologies, etc., yes. Never heard of different spiritualities.

As for the second bolded: I would assume that one would be on the thread because the topic is a fun one for you. Why be on it elsewise? Some thoughts come to mind but I won't voice them. For myself I apply my energies to what I enjoy, love and can respect. Makes for a happier life and no wasted energy. All of this is merely an extension of my university studies - I consider myself a life-long learner.

Anyway, one way of looking at the world is not satisfactory imo. I have always been curious about how the world and reality is approached everywhere. It's the Anthropologist in me. :)
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences (Vintage): Edward Tenner: 9780679747567: Amazon.com: Books

I'm most familiar in this with regard to PC support from 1994 - 2005, I saw it more clearly when I got out of the field, everyone was saying the exact same thing, expecting the exact same solutions to the same problems - and then seeing it more and more across the board . . . medicine, etc. - we upgrade our problems, each solution brings a new problem, we have a kind of blindness to it others say it's part of the process . . .

Could you talk about your experiences more, Steve?
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Let It Flow - Part 3
Spiritual gathering & celebration with Bishop Jakes
The real groove starts at about 1:40


 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
Well, I've always found it extremely useful to know what is meant when terms may be ambiguous.

The point was more that are so many brands of "spirituality" that you might want to promote, explore, whatever, in this thread. I think that's pointless myself, or at least it is for me personally. Theosophy for example, bores most folks to tears.

If by spirituality you mean to explore the many different alternate world-views expressed by such things as Theosophy, Zoroastrianism, mysticism, etc. that is a broad subject. Rather than comment further in what will no doubt come across as cynical disregard for the subject I'll stop while I'm ahead.

You see the schools of thought concerning the spiritual level or aspect of the world's being as "different alternate world-views," but what Tyger's postings suggest to me is that they represent various partial (yet clearly connected and cumulative) human 'takes' on noetic experiences of humans from all stages of human development to date (human develpment, evolution, surely not yet complete nor fully open to other levels, passages, journeys in insights into the nature of being). How could these various insights be complete given the limited embodied and historical situatedness within which each individual experiences them?

I had a vivid dream twenty-three years ago that is still fresh in my memory, a lived part of my life that is relevant I think. I was in a crisis situation, having to make a life or death decision for myself and my then three-year-old daughter. We were trapped in a dangerous and destructive situation and I was overwhelmed by fear, general anxiety, and acute stress, barely navigating the immediate situation. In this dream that came to me out of nowhere, I was in a garden-like forest setting surrounding a deep and placid pool. I was standing near the edge of the pool and a small white horse came out of the water and set about nudging me into the pool, gently pushing me forward until I entered it. When I was fully in the water I felt a sense of deep assurance, confidence, and capability.

I was in no way pursuing spiritual enlightenment at that time in my life; I was consumed in a struggle against circumstances in my earthly existence. Nor did I turn after that dream to an investigation of spiritual dimensions of existence. I had no time for that then. But I'm convinced that the dream strengthened me and enabled me to act to take my daughter and myself out of our current 'real life' situation (a journey in itself fraught with risk).

I've often wondered where that dream came from. Likely it emerged from my subconscious mind, which includes all that is carried in the collective unconsciousness of our species. Some paranormal theorists propose that the subconscious mind is connected to the supraconscious mind, that these levels of consciousness surround the individual's core embodied consciousness that soon becomes involved with immediate activities and choices in the local physical world in which we are situated. A diagram I saw in a book I've lost track of by one such paranormal theorist represented the core active consciousness as a kind of island floating within a surrounding sea of the subconscious and supraconscious mind, penetrable (able to receive information) from all sides. The history of our species that Tyger brings forward for us is the history of such information as experienced, contemplated, and expressed by a wide range of individuals living at stages in our psychic development, stages in the evolution of human consciousness on this planet. Their insights and perspectives are no doubt each limited by their historical and personal situations and differ from one another on that basis and on the profound basis of the partiality of our individual perspectives, just as phenomenological analysis of our perceptions of the physical (local) world reveals their perspectival and partial nature. Thus Merleau-Ponty described the 'multiplication of our perspectives' (our own combined with the perspectives of others) as the necessary route to obtaining a fuller grasp of the world we live in.

Thus, I would add, if we wish to improve our access to the larger world -- the being/Being -- in which we exist, we need to contemplate the various perceptions and insights of those who have pursued (or been given) experiences that transcend local situated existence, that consist of various paths into a sense and an understanding of the invisible outer dimensions of the world and of consciousness. I remembered my dream when I read your post because it seems to me that you are standing on the edge of the pool of that difficult knowledge all spiritual explorers have touched to one extent or another. You're convinced that you can understand each strain of spiritual and paranormal experience and thought as a separate worldview, and because they are in conflict in certain respects reject them all. That stops us at the edge of the water. We non-adepts have to enter the water through the experiences reported by others who have entered it already. We need to consider all that these explorers have reported in order to comprehend that which is common to all of them and to appreciate the significance of that commonality. A tall order, but one worth engaging in specifically because doing so brings us closer to an apparent extension of this world and our current state of consciousness which otherwise remains static in our culturally situated worldview. It seems to me that the only way out of this contemporary Western presupposition-laden worldview is through the exploration of the full complement of human experience and reflection on that experience.
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
You see the schools of thought concerning the spiritual level or aspect of the world's being as "different alternate world-views," but what Tyger's postings suggest to me is that they represent various partial (yet clearly connected and cumulative) human 'takes' on noetic experiences of humans from all stages of human development to date (human develpment, evolution, surely not yet complete nor fully open to other levels, passages, journeys in insights into the nature of being). How could these various insights be complete given the limited embodied and historical situatedness within which each individual experiences them?

I had a vivid dream twenty-three years ago that is still fresh in my memory, a lived part of my life that is relevant I think. I was in a crisis situation, having to make a life or death decision for myself and my then three-year-old daughter. We were trapped in a dangerous and destructive situation and I was overwhelmed by fear, general anxiety, and acute stress, barely navigating the immediate situation. In this dream that came to me out of nowhere, I was in a garden-like forest setting surrounding a deep and placid pool. I was standing near the edge of the pool and a small white horse came out of the water and set about nudging me into the pool, gently pushing me forward until I entered it. When I was fully in the water I felt a sense of deep assurance, confidence, and capability.

I was in no way pursuing spiritual enlightenment at that time in my life; I was consumed in a struggle against circumstances in my earthly existence. Nor did I turn after that dream to an investigation of spiritual dimensions of existence. I had no time for that then. But I'm convinced that the dream strengthened me and enabled me to act to take my daughter and myself out of our current 'real life' situation (a journey in itself fraught with risk).

I've often wondered where that dream came from. Likely it emerged from my subconscious mind, which includes all that is carried in the collective unconsciousness of our species. Some paranormal theorists propose that the subconscious mind is connected to the supraconscious mind, that these levels of consciousness surround the individual's core embodied consciousness that soon becomes involved with immediate activities and choices in the local physical world in which we are situated. A diagram I saw in a book I've lost track of by one such paranormal theorist represented the core active consciousness as a kind of island floating within a surrounding sea of the subconscious and supraconscious mind, penetrable (able to receive information) from all sides. The history of our species that Tyger brings forward for us is the history of such information as experienced, contemplated, and expressed by a wide range of individuals living at stages in our psychic development, stages in the evolution of human consciousness on this planet. Their insights and perspectives are no doubt each limited by their historical and personal situations and differ from one another on that basis and on the profound basis of the partiality of our individual perspectives, just as phenomenological analysis of our perceptions of the physical (local) world reveals their perspectival and partial nature. Thus Merleau-Ponty described the 'multiplication of our perspectives' (our own combined with the perspectives of others) as the necessary route to obtaining a fuller grasp of the world we live in.

Thus, I would add, if we wish to improve our access to the larger world -- the being/Being -- in which we exist, we need to contemplate the various perceptions and insights of those who have pursued (or been given) experiences that transcend local situated existence, that consist of various paths into a sense and an understanding of the invisible outer dimensions of the world and of consciousness. I remembered my dream when I read your post because it seems to me that you are standing on the edge of the pool of that difficult knowledge all spiritual explorers have touched to one extent or another. You're convinced that you can understand each strain of spiritual and paranormal experience and thought as a separate worldview, and because they are in conflict in certain respects reject them all. That stops us at the edge of the water. We non-adepts have to enter the water through the experiences reported by others who have entered it already. We need to consider all that these explorers have reported in order to comprehend that which is common to all of them and to appreciate the significance of that commonality. A tall order, but one worth engaging in specifically because doing so brings us closer to an apparent extension of this world and our current state of consciousness which otherwise remains static in our culturally situated worldview. It seems to me that the only way out of this contemporary Western presupposition-laden worldview is through the exploration of the full complement of human experience and reflection on that experience.

Brilliant, Constance! You are amazing! I sit at your feet and learn! :)
 
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smcder

Guest
Could you talk about your experiences more, Steve?

I don't want to get too far afield from the topic - but I think I can tie it in this way. The problem is more scientism and technicity than science and technology - we are all familiar with the common examples: antibiotics and drug resistant strains or extended lives and more time spent with the infirmities of age if not outright disability and misery (plus the problem of caring for an aging population) - and many others. But these aren't the fault of science, I don't think you can talk about science being at fault for anything. It's a collection of methods for gaining certain kinds of facts about the world, that's all. What we use these methods for - decisions made about science, who does science, what science they do - what problems they pursure, those decisions aren't made scientifically. But we forget that.

The character of Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory is a wonderful portrait of scientism, of someone who tries to live literally by the dictates of science. It's no coincidence he comes from a fundamentalist Christian house-hold. The idea of Sheldon in power (something he often refers to) is actually terrifying, but Sheldon is in power in our world.

But the comedy lacks anything really bigger than the immediate (very small) worlds of its characters and their neuroses so it's very limited in that sense, though very funny. I think that too is a real portrait of the narcissism of the middle class in this country. In the real world, what is missing, what is always missing, is the discernment you talked about Tyger. I think this is something Zajonc talks about too - and that connects us back to Steiner . . . where we began! :)

.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
I would also draw particular attention to the brain "Brain Organ & Brain Wave" states associated with each "Level of Consciousness", which strongly supports the idea that consciousness is an emergent property of our brain/body system. These brain waves are measurable and therefore part of the physical universe.

Consciousness appears to be an emergent property of the universe, ufology. (Think of all the stages of its development in our own evolution and in the evolution of life on this planet. See Francisco Varela and Evan Thompson on 'protoconsciousness', also taken up by the philosophy of mind and consciousness developed by David Chalmers.) If all of the evolution of space and time, planets, galaxies, species, and minds (consciousnesses) was incipient at the Big Bang {as we must suppose it was}, the entire world (universe, cosmos) as it exists today is 'emergent'. It has taken a world of proliferating and evolving experience [experience involving the exchange of information between the first cell and its environment and the exchange of information between physical fields and forces, producing chaos and then integration and order, over and over in the expansion of the visible and thinkable universe] to bring the cosmos to the state it is in today]. So why restrict your interest to an attempt to prove that consciousness and mind are produced from nothing more than the brain understood as a computer rather than from the complexity of lived experience in the world? Experienced life is multivalent in its complexity, an integration of information generated from multiple sources including the quantum substrate, which we still do not understand after 100 years of scientific effort. The still dominant materialist/physicalist presuppositions of modern science are an expression of blindness and hubris. Physicists and biologists now engaged in the investigation of consciousness and subjectivity have recognized this and work at the forefront of a changing scientific paradigm. Brain waves are part and parcel of the entangled wave structure of the universe we live in, in which all information is interconnected and 'maintained' in a structure described by David Bohm as holographic.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
It's in orientation - trying to explain from the perspective of the physical is a blind-alley imo. The physical creates nothing of it's own - it is rather (the physical is) the creation of the spiritual universes. The physical is the final 'effect' of spiritual action. Now I am using the word 'spiritual' but these subtler realms can be referenced in any number of ways - and spiritual is a reasonable word to use here. before his eyes ...

It's plainly self-evident that humans are physical and create plenty of things on their own, and there is no substantial ( or even reasonable ) evidence that a so-called "spiritual universe" exists, or that the physical is "the final 'effect' of spiritual action", and simply proclaiming that it's reasonable to maintain all these things doesn't actually make it reasonable at all. Even the question of what constitutes spirituality in the first place hasn't been clearly defined here.

Irresponsible broadcasting of spiritual nonsense

 
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Constance

Paranormal Adept
Tyger generously wrote: "Brilliant, Constance! You are amazing! I sit at your feet and learn!" Thank you, but the feeling is mutual, Tyger. Some lines from my favorite poet, Wallace Stevens:

". . . It must be that in time
The real will from its crude compoundings come . . . ."


Can't resist adding these lines from "Reply to Papini":

"You know that the nucleus of time is not
The poet but the poem, the growth of the mind

Of the world, the heroic effort to live expressed
As victory. The poet does not speak in ruins

Nor stand there making orotund consolations.
He shares the confusions of intelligence.

Giovanni Papini, by your faith, know how
He wishes that all hard poetry were true.

This pastoral of endurance and of death
Is of a nature that must be perceived

And not imagined. The removes must give,
Including the removes toward poetry.

II. Celestin, the generous, the civilized,
Will understand what it is to understand.

The world is still profound and in its depths
Man sits and studies silence and himself,

Abiding the reverberations in the vaults.
Now, once, he accumulates himself and time

For humane triumphals. But a politics
Of property is not an area

For triumphals. These are hymns appropriate to
The complexities of the world, when apprehended,

The intricacies of appearance, when perceived.
They become our gradual possession. ...
 

trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
There are no 'brands' of spirituality that I am aware of. Different religions, yes. Different philosophies, yes. Different ontologies maybe, and epistemologies, etc., yes. Never heard of different spiritualities.

Really? Then you need to tell me what you're talking about. What is "Spirituality" to you Tyger? If I were to guess from the material you've presented I'd say you believe it to be associated the belief there is a supernatural. Does spirituality equate to supernatural beliefs then? That's fine, if that's what you're talking about, and it seems that you are. There are certainly many flavors to what people consider to be spiritual pursuits. This whole business of "spirituality" being some mercurial thing that can't be defined only endlessly speculated about seems to be an intellectual indulgence. We can easily define spirituality in general, the details of specific beliefs system perhaps not so much.

As for the second bolded: I would assume that one would be on the thread because the topic is a fun one for you. Why be on it elsewise? Some thoughts come to mind but I won't voice them.

Yes, my spirit (metaphorically speaking) groans as well, but probably for other reasons. Oh, I obviously do enjoy the subject, have spend some amount of time in it, and have my own opinions about it derived from a vain pursuit for "spiritual truth."

Anyway, one way of looking at the world is not satisfactory imo. I have always been curious about how the world and reality is approached everywhere. It's the Anthropologist in me. :)

Well, if you put that way then yes, it's all very interesting and worthy of study, like any aspect of being human or aberration of that. Mankind's essentially superstitious nature has to be directly linked to processes behind the formation of the individual consciousness and the requirements placed on it by the struggle for survival.

Spiritualism is superstition by definition. "Spiritual" studies and theories center around understanding and controlling invisible forces thought to control nature and influence human destiny.

What good has it done anyone to operate from a superstitious model of the universe? I'll go ahead and answer that. It hasn't benefited anyone. That's been one benefit of my "spiritual studies", I realized that.

Slack Friday 2 for 1 sale!
 
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trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
It's plainly self-evident that humans are physical and create plenty of things on their own, and there is no substantial ( or even reasonable ) evidence that a so-called "spiritual universe" exists, or that the physical is "the final 'effect' of spiritual action", and simply proclaiming that it's reasonable to maintain all these things doesn't actually make it reasonable at all. Even the question of what constitutes spirituality in the first place hasn't been clearly defined here. The above is pure nonsense.

The experience of entering altered states of consciousness and the fractured tales that people bring back from these states are undoubtedly the basis for many of the world's religions and religious/spiritual/superstition based ideologies.

Are the experiences of altered states and the misinterpretation of them the basis from some "paranormal" experiences? I think yes. Looking at the human predilection for assuming that altered states are revealing "cosmic truths" it is easy to see why there are so many variations on the "invisible realm" and the goings on there. You know exactly what I'm talking about, if I recall correctly.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
Science does work with the subtle senses: Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition - are just three. The spiritual is always being accessed by any sense-free thinking - the raison d'etre of science. If your thinking is not sense-bound, you are accessing spiritual realms. - and it is from those realms that all innovative ideas come. Read scientists discuss how they come to their ideas - they are not using the lower mind.

F.W.H. Myers, one of the Cambridge founders of the British Society for Psychical Research in the late 19th century, wrote a major study of consciousness and the paranormal (including analysis of scientific and artistic intuitions involving 'genius') still consulted and employed by psychologists, notably by the authors of Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the Twenty-First Century (see description below). Myers entitled his two-volume work Human Personality and the Survival of Bodily Death and it is available in whole online at Questia. A shortened version (including only volume 2) is available in an edition published by the physicist and consciousness researcher Russell Targ (see at amazon), but I recommend the unabridged two volumes. Irreducible Mind brings Myers's work into contemporary psychology and interdisciplinary consciousness studies and is described here:

Current mainstream opinion in psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy of mind holds that all aspects of human mind and consciousness are generated by physical processes occurring in brains. Views of this sort have dominated recent scholarly publication. The present volume, however, demonstrates empirically that this reductive materialism is not only incomplete but false. The authors systematically marshal evidence for a variety of psychological phenomena that are extremely difficult, and in some cases clearly impossible, to account for in conventional physicalist terms. Topics addressed include phenomena of extreme psychophysical influence, memory, psychological automatisms and secondary personality, near-death experiences and allied phenomena, genius-level creativity, and 'mystical' states of consciousness both spontaneous and drug-induced. The authors further show that these rogue phenomena are more readily accommodated by an alternative 'transmission' or 'filter' theory of mind/brain relations advanced over a century ago by a largely forgotten genius, F. W. H. Myers, and developed further by his friend and colleague William James. This theory, moreover, ratifies the commonsense conception of human beings as causally effective conscious agents, and is fully compatible with leading-edge physics and neuroscience. The book should command the attention of all open-minded persons concerned with the still-unsolved mysteries of the mind.

The table of contents and extracts from the book can be read at amazon and provide a sense of the breadth of inquiry involved in Myers's work and carried forward into the exploration of consciousness in our time.
 
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Constance

Paranormal Adept
Spirituality, for me, is the sense of the depth of our existential being as an integrated part of the world's being. Various types of human experience provide partial and temporary access to extensions of the integrated being in which we participate into regions beyond the margins of what is available to us in ordinary perception.
 
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S

smcder

Guest
I'm just going to jump in and babble.

. . .
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 career 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.)

. . .

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.

Were there any benefits or effects (temporary or permanent) as a result of the exercises or methods you used? Examples might be in terms of personality: equanimity, loving kindness, empathy or perhaps just an increased sense of well being or physiological: decrease in stress/blood pressure, muscle tension or better sleep? Or was the focus strictly on gaining "knowledge"?
 
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