• SUPPORT THE SHOW AND ENJOY A PREMIUM PARACAST EXPERIENCE! Welcome to The Paracast+, seven years young! For a low subscription fee, you can download the ad-free version of The Paracast and the exclusive, member-only, After The Paracast podcast, featuring color commentary, exclusive interviews, the continuation of interviews that began on the main episode of The Paracast. We also offer lifetime memberships! Flash! Use the coupon code ufo20 to receive a 20% discount on five-year or lifetime subscriptions. And PayPal now accepts cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, in payment. We also offer a second payment method for major credit or debit cards (which also includes Apple Pay and Google Pay), so act now! It's easier than ever to susbcribe! You can sign up right here!

    Subscribe to The Paracast Newsletter!

Do mental expectations create the effects of physical reality?



Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Well that was exactly my line of thinking and explanation - that the phantom tree was all in my mind, much like the front-loading of the hypnotist who makes subjects believe that the imaginary is real.
I've seen no reason to rule the possibility out, however I'd also caution people not to invoke these types of rare occurrences to explain everything unusual.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Just beware, Randi is also not all that he seems. Many of his devoted followers seem to easily look past his own personal hypocrisies. Out of the foundation comes a but of a rabid venom on occasion that is problematic. There's just too much enthusiasm there to make fun of what they feel are the deluded paranormal, ghost chasing, UFO tinfoil hat crowd - us. Sometimes there is some really good critical and skeptical thought located there, and I really appreciate that side of things when they are well researched, but in some areas they are not always so thorough, and will hang their hats on prosaic explanations that don't account for the full story or all the many unique details or histories. Please keep in mind that i say this as someone who has only gotten more and more skeptical as he's gotten older, while still retaining a healthy, renewed interest in the subject matter - must be a disease or something, this wanting to know.
Trust me, I went through Hell over there when I naïvely thought I could go there to network with constructive skeptics. That's not saying that there aren't a few good folks on the JREF forum, or that the experience didn't also serve as a sort of tempering by fire when dealing with inflammatory biased trolls who have the sympathies of the resident moderators. Unless they've radically changed their approach, they risk getting hit with some serious cyberbullying accusations.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Thank you for this, Burnt State.

I did go on and attempted to sign-up but got stymied when the registration process asked me for my real name, address (I think), birthdate and other personal information I felt was unusual for a chat site (they asked not in a pro forma kind of way - they were stressing accuracy, claiming the info would be stored but not used). I have always been told three things about the internet: never give your real name, never give your real birth date (make it 'off' by days, months, if not years) and never give your precise location (generalities are best). I backed out of the registration process because of it. Ufology, I tried to send you a conversation to ask about it, but was unable to. So this is good - may as well have the dialog on a thread. Though from what you are saying, Burnt, I am thinking I would not want to spend my time there - though it is an impressive site, for sure.

You should be wary. I used my real name thinking that "discussing skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly and lively way" wasn't the same as cyber bullying and character assassination. However I soon found myself under attack by character assassins who were using my real name in forum posts and associating it with words like "hoax" and "dishonesty" so that Google searches would return my real name associated with them. This was a purposeful strategy that they openly stated they were doing. That being said, I think you can keep your real name separate from your screen identity. Your real ID is used only by the admins, and although there were problems with the forum members and moderators, my emails to the JREF board resulted in having most of the damaging posts removed and the offender suspended. But there are still remnants left on Google from when I was defending myself from the attacks.
 

Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
You should be wary. I used my real name thinking that "discussing skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly and lively way" wasn't the same as cyber bullying and character assassination. However I soon found myself under attack by character assassins who were using my real name in forum posts and associating it with words like "hoax" and "dishonesty" so that Google searches would return my real name associated with them. This was a purposeful strategy that they openly stated they were doing. That being said, I think you can keep your real name separate from your screen identity. Your real ID is used only by the admins, and although there were problems with the forum members and moderators, my emails to the JREF board resulted in having most of the damaging posts removed and the offender suspended. But there are still remnants left on Google from when I was defending myself from the attacks.
That's the rabid part at work. I try to steer clear out of those spaces unless it's truly a moral or ethical point that needs to be made, but getting all wild and wanting to threaten people with court cases etc. is just beyond me. Sometimes it seems the more loose the paranormal topic (i.e. abductions, Billy Meier) the more intense the attacks. I really enjoy this environment - almost everyone is reasonable, and there is just the right amount of spicy imagination in discourse.
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Just beware, Randi is also not all that he seems. Many of his devoted followers seem to easily look past his own personal hypocrisies. Out of the foundation comes a but of a rabid venom on occasion that is problematic. There's just too much enthusiasm there to make fun of what they feel are the deluded paranormal, ghost chasing, UFO tinfoil hat crowd - us. Sometimes there is some really good critical and skeptical thought located there, and I really appreciate that side of things when they are well researched, but in some areas they are not always so thorough, and will hang their hats on prosaic explanations that don't account for the full story or all the many unique details or histories. Please keep in mind that i say this as someone who has only gotten more and more skeptical as he's gotten older, while still retaining a healthy, renewed interest in the subject matter - must be a disease or something, this wanting to know.

Thank you for the summation of the other chat site. I remain leery of any site that wants that kind of information - imo there's really no need for extensive info of that kind. I am an admin on two other chat sites (very small - we discuss literature) and from that experience I am questioning what the rationale is for harvesting that info. They are a huge site - must have a massive cache of names and what-all. Boggles the mind.

I laughed at your last sentence - yes, same with me. What is going on? I have my hunches and look forward to exploring them here. Feels like a good, informed group for feedback and conversation.

By the way, what do you mean that Randi is not all he seems? Shall we take this to another thread?
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
You should be wary. I used my real name thinking that "discussing skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly and lively way" wasn't the same as cyber bullying and character assassination. However I soon found myself under attack by character assassins who were using my real name in forum posts and associating it with words like "hoax" and "dishonesty" so that Google searches would return my real name associated with them. This was a purposeful strategy that they openly stated they were doing. That being said, I think you can keep your real name separate from your screen identity. Your real ID is used only by the admins, and although there were problems with the forum members and moderators, my emails to the JREF board resulted in having most of the damaging posts removed and the offender suspended. But there are still remnants left on Google from when I was defending myself from the attacks.

Sobering story, ufology. :(

As I mentioned in the above post, I am questioning why they are harvesting such detailed information - makes no sense to me. Anyway, I am not signing up, and haven't read anything there yet. I tend not to like to just be a lurker, though - really like to jump into conversations, so it's a quandary for me but I'll live. :)
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Sobering story, ufology. :(

As I mentioned in the above post, I am questioning why they are harvesting such detailed information - makes no sense to me. Anyway, I am not signing up, and haven't read anything there yet. I tend not to like to just be a lurker, though - really like to jump into conversations, so it's a quandary for me but I'll live. :)

The JREF means well and I don't think the foundation itself is the problem. They even have an outreach for schools. The problem IMO is with certain trolls on the forum who pretend to be skeptics. So if you keep your real identity out of the forum discussions and only use your screen name, I think you'd be OK privacy wise.
 

Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
I laughed at your last sentence - yes, same with me. What is going on? I have my hunches and look forward to exploring them here. Feels like a good, informed group for feedback and conversation.

By the way, what do you mean that Randi is not all he seems? Shall we take this to another thread?
Really, I should be spending my time talking about literature as at least there is something there to grasp hold of and much to learn, where speculation can be based on actual primary sources. There certainly is also the great mental pleasure of discovery upon processing a good poem, story etc. But apparently the bigger, more slippery mystery, with fewer clues, has a hold on me. This is an excellent forum to be personally challenged always by smarter and more insightful people. The collective knowledge and brain power here is large and probably only operating at "spare time" capacity - you never know what will happen when one user decides to kick it into a higher gear.

As for Randi, you could search "liar" after his name and discover the two great camps, those who call him a consistently dishonest liar over time and his supporters who call him an honest liar (and in that last phrase we get some understanding of the constant reediting of his many bizarre historical statements). I don't feel his net impact has been positive as he has worked stringently to create division out of his ego. Instead of aligning skeptical, rational thought with discovery, he's used it like a hammer, in a very Philip Klass manner, to smash those he would describe as the small brained and deluded.
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Really, I should be spending my time talking about literature as at least there is something there to grasp hold of and much to learn, where speculation can be based on actual primary sources. There certainly is also the great mental pleasure of discovery upon processing a good poem, story etc. But apparently the bigger, more slippery mystery, with fewer clues, has a hold on me. This is an excellent forum to be personally challenged always by smarter and more insightful people. The collective knowledge and brain power here is large and probably only operating at "spare time" capacity - you never know what will happen when one user decides to kick it into a higher gear.

Ah, but what better primary sources than human beings themselves. For the first time I actually did some research on the Heaven's Gate incident - because I read here that Art Bell is seen as contributing to that tragedy - so I went into YouTube and watched two documentaries. A cautionary tale if ever there was one - and tragically not without resonance in many ways to those who become convinced of any narrative. Those folks who heard Heaven's Gate's rationales were persuaded that it made everything 'fall into place', it was 'logical.' Thankfully, many more who heard the spin discerned the corrupted thinking and regardless of the 'charisma' walked away. Though it is true (imo) - to pick up on what you are saying - that had those people who stayed with Heaven's Gate to the bitter end had a serious full-on Liberal Arts education they would have been less likely to succumb to such. Their intellects would have been schooled in the very way that would have given them the discerning eye and discriminating ear to winnow out the errors in thought.

I have a hunch that the failure of people to have perspective and insight into what comes their way is due in large measure to the loss of the Liberal Arts curriculum - in high school and at the university level, where the exercise of critical thinking sets the stage for the Master's Degree in whatever discipline one finally chooses. We are hitting some serious problems (imo) with the thinking currently making the headlines in Physics et al because of that absence in everyone's schooling.

To my mind, the UFO and Paranormal 'communities' themselves are 'primary sources'. It is human nature at it's essence. We currently have a population that has been schooled generally to the high school level, with many attending college to some degree - that's a profound generational shift. At the beginning of the 20th century most people were lucky to get through to 8th grade. College was unheard of for anyone except the elite. So we now have significant intellects, trained to an extent but not enough.

As for Randi, you could search "liar" after his name and discover the two great camps, those who call him a consistently dishonest liar over time and his supporters who call him an honest liar (and in that last phrase we get some understanding of the constant reediting of his many bizarre historical statements). I don't feel his net impact has been positive as he has worked stringently to create division out of his ego. Instead of aligning skeptical, rational thought with discovery, he's used it like a hammer, in a very Philip Klass manner, to smash those he would describe as the small brained and deluded.

It's all a learning experience, not so? How easily we 'give over' our own thought to another instead of thinking it through ourselves. How easily a person can find themselves corrupted because of adulation. How easily a facile cleverness, without conscience, can be perverted for monetary gain or impish 'fun' on the internet.

This may appear like a threadnap but it isn't - it's all related. I came across this on FaceBook and it is so true. Understanding that everything is a continuum and what is being described here is an extreme in all points that creates the diagnosis. LINK: How to spot a sociopath - 10 red flags that could save you from being swept under the influence of a charismatic nut job

Regarding the literature boards - as with any chat site (especially with a lot of women) the topics range far and wide of just literature (but definitely not ufo's). On one of the threads devoted to economic issues this was written by one of our male members:

Poster: "I work on Wall Street and have an apartment in Manhattan and a home in Connecticut and as an executive I can well attest to seeing many psychopaths in the boardroom. Psychopaths aren't just serial killers, rapists and white crime specialists. They are well regarded, highly praised and overcompensated individuals in large corporations who seem to get off on their ability to afflict misery on others. I have never been victimized but I'm not someone anyone would ever want to target personally."

And my response, typical of my pov: So true. And scary. People think they have to worry about their neighbors 'when things go south' - when paying attention NOW to how things are actually taking place is primary to making sure that the apocalyptic visions don't happen.

How best to prepare for the future? Be a better person now, raise up better generations to carry the culture and society. Speak one's mind - speak the truth - disallow bondage on any level (spiritual, moral, emotional, physical, economic) - ask questions, be accountable - even when no one is making you accountable. Transparency. Taking only what one needs, giving to others what is needed by others.

The future and one's 'security'? Assured. No fear necessary. No apocalypse.
 

flipper

Paranormal Adept
Do mental expectations create the effects of physical reality?
A couple of Belgian orthopedic surgeons have (re)discovered an unknown knee ligament. The mainstream news is treating their finding as an oddity, amusing but only potentially important if there turn out to be practical implications when performing knee surgery. That narrative does make a certain amount of sense. But what's not being considered in the news — a really fascinating thing — is how the ligament (a big honking thing) could have remained invisible for the roughly hundred and fifty years since a Parisian surgeon first described it. Consider what had to have happened. How many hundreds of thousands of medical students went into their anatomy classes and during dissection exercises noticed this tissue around the knee, but when they couldn't find it mentioned in their texts promptly forgot about it? How many professors of medicine never paid attention to what their eyes told them? 'Gee whiz,' they all assumed, 'any structure that large must have been well documented ages ago,' so they all, students and professors alike, concluded it wasn't possible that they were seeing what they were seeing. Such universal acculturated blindness is truly mind-boggling. What it should remind us of is that in many other areas of life the things that everybody accepts as being true, or complete, may not be. Nor are these experiences mere oddities: collectively we overlook massive (and obvious) things, even critically important things, all too often.
Electric Politics | An Undiscovered Ligament
 

Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
I thought it was the best, wisest thing I've read to date from ManitobaCanuk and deserving of total, unyielding confirmation.
 

boomerang

Paranormal Adept
Interesting story! I'm wondering if the evenings prior activities might have induced a kind of hypnosis?

We know from real time brain imaging that imagining an experience activates neural pathways corresponding to processing such externally induced experiences in real time. LSD and DMT psychonauts don't think they have been to other realities. They know they have. The brain is a kind of virtual reality generator and all that seems to differentiate consensual reality from internally induced experience are neural filters combined with the seemingly persistent nature of the former.

My only experience even close to feeling the phantom tree occurred in a Denny's restaurant in --so help me--Roswell New Mexico after driving a long dark stretch at night. Things looked normal. But I could close my eyes and absolutely swear the table and seat were like undulating rubber under me and nothing I could do for a good ten minutes would make the damned furniture sit still. Never before or since has this happened and I will always wonder at the cause. The sensations were absolutely tactile and real.
 

Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
Interesting story! I'm wondering if the evenings prior activities might have induced a kind of hypnosis?

We know from real time brain imaging that imagining an experience activates neural pathways corresponding to processing such externally induced experiences in real time. LSD and DMT psychonauts don't think they have been to other realities. They know they have. The brain is a kind of virtual reality generator and all that seems to differentiate consensual reality from internally induced experience are neural filters combined with the seemingly persistent nature of the former.

My only experience even close to feeling the phantom tree occurred in a Denny's restaurant in --so help me--Roswell New Mexico after driving a long dark stretch at night. Things looked normal. But I could close my eyes and absolutely swear the table and seat were like undulating rubber under me and nothing I could do for a good ten minutes would make the damned furniture sit still. Never before or since has this happened and I will always wonder at the cause. The sensations were absolutely tactile and real.

Thanks for the explanation and other great points. To the best of my knowledge I've only ever hallucinated twice while in a fully conscious, non-intoxicated state. Once while young and suffering very high fevers I saw a neon dragon dancing in mid air at the end of my parents' bed. I must have freaked the hell out of them. The other time was when I was 20 and I stayed up for two days straight to read and learn 400 pages of an astronomy text to prep for the exam, as I had missed the bulk of the lectures. Following the exam I had very similar hallucinations as to what you described at the Denny's. I found the ground was undulating beneath my feet making it very difficult to walk. Later that day I actually saw a full blown monster screaming in my face but it turned out to be a combination of the pattern of a guys' sweater on the seat in front of me and the bus' engine grinds helping to complete the effect. In both these cases my sense of perception was definitely biologically induced.

On the night of touching the non-existant but visible tree I feel your second paragraph best describes how reality altered for me. It was a very calm and relaxing evening in which I hadn't consumed more than one or two drinks at dinner, hours before this event. But the sensation, like my expectation of sensation was entirely real. I think your second paragraph sums things up quite nicely.

DMT sounds both intriguing and horrifying. Even more funny is that for years I used to grow sensitive plants every summer for the kids to play with when they were toddlers. Who knew the bark of such plant was loaded with DMT?
 
Last edited:

Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
Well, what do you know? You watch a litte TV and all the answers to the mysteries of life unfold. After watching a great documentary on how we make up reality all the time, including sensory experiences I have found a solution to my own mystery - the answer to thread question is Yes!. In watching this one set of experiments on how we can visually trick the body into feeling things that are not there I realized that reality is just something we make up all the time based on memory and expectation. After watching this doc from TVOntario I am convinced that what happened to me was that the refracted image of trees further away that appeared closer in the car window's reflection in fact produced the memory of what those trees felt like even though I was just touching thin air. Wild!

I also feel this fact has a lot of implications for paranormal stories that are probably almost always just an unconsciously invented sensory experience. There may possibly be some strange original stimulus, but that will always remain unknown.

Out-of-body experience: Master of illusion : Nature News & Comment

Tree-Ghosts.jpg

All those Dryads are just fancies of the mind - how sad...
 
Last edited:

Jeff Davis

Paranormal Adept
Well, what do you know? You watch a litte TV and all the answers to the mysteries of life unfold. After watching a great documentary on how we make up reality all the time, including sensory experiences I have found a solution to my own mystery - the answer to thread question is Yes!. In watching this one set of experiments on how we can visually trick the body into feeling things that are not there I realized that reality is just something we make up all the time based on memory and expectation. After watching this doc from TVOntario I am convinced that what happened to me was that the refracted image of trees further away that appeared closer in the car window's reflection in fact produced the memory of what those trees felt like even though I was just touching thin air. Wild!

I also feel this fact has a lot of implications for paranormal stories that are probably almost always just an unconsciously invented sensory experience. There may possibly be some strange original stimulus, but that will always remain unknown.

Out-of-body experience: Master of illusion : Nature News & Comment

Tree-Ghosts.jpg

All those Dryads are just fancies of the mind - how sad...

In the last post that I made to you and your experience thread, remember what I stated: "When we see or experience UFOs we may be experiencing a portion of ourselves for which we have only an open doorway that bears no entrance, only spectacle."

Think back upon my initial UFO experience my friend. I KNEW of both objects prior to my experience. Day to day, we are in no less than a waking dream. This is what the greatest mystical schools of gnostic insight have always contended.

IMO, we are sentient cells in the mind of a universal consciousness of one. This is the illusion. This is why we are incomplete. It is our nature. We are only a reflective cell with all our experiential information being collectively stored in a uptake reservoir for which we have little practical purpose, but as in all things natural, all composites are integral and attraction oriented. The question is not about us as individuals, but rather what force or property within nature becomes the attractor and utilizes or mates with this reservoir in an integral fashion?

This "collective of one" to which I refer, may be no less than the incubator or womb of God. Can you imagine a race of beings where in each individual possessed that collective amount of inherent, or immediately accessible knowledge just post their embryonic development and emergence into being?

A race of beings so advanced and so evolved that it requires a practical infinity just to reach a basic maturation of their being from the embryonic stance that our human collective represents in their development.

BTW, Boo! (ghosty picture)
 
Last edited:

Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
In the last post that I made to you and your experience thread, remember what I stated: "When we see or experience UFOs we may be experiencing a portion of ourselves for which we have only an open doorway that bears no entrance, only spectacle."

Think back upon my initial UFO experience my friend. I KNEW of both objects prior to my experience. Day to day, we are in no less than a waking dream. This is what the greatest mystical schools of gnostic insight have always contended.

yes, i wanted to go back to that thread and pick that point up again, but i'm just a little mentally bogged down by the implications that everything is an illusion and that our sensory experience is not as "consciousness" oriented as I once thought. this is plaguing me a little, making both the purpose of poetry and the source of UFO sightings dissolve into the unknowable ether.

when you say that you KNEW of both objects, do you mean that you knew of UFO's and so whatever the stimulus was that prompted your shared sighting, that it was coloured by previous knowledge? more than "cultural frontloading," there seems to be a lot going on in the mix from the point of some unique, and original stimulus that senses perceive as some strange outline but the brain conjures up the rest and fills in the details etc.. i'm trying to understand if there is something real on the edge of our senses, that is all around us, but that is invisible to us because we have no previous knowledge vs. those who might have some knowledge of objects and then the distortion that is the mental TV screen projects the illusion of reality in the way that it does combined with that previous knowledge.

in that way, anyone who doesn't have knowledge of certain things simply would not see them or they would be transformed, and things that do appear, our brain tries to turn it into something familiar...maybe they weren't airships at all they saw a century or so ago? maybe it was just the best thing the brains of that era could conjure up and turn them into.

it's puzzling, this whole reality thing. all i know for sure is that my senses can be very easily confused all on their own and that most of my life is running on autopilot. i'm starting to see the value of buddhist mindfulness on a whole new level now, that and learning all there is to learn, so i can perceive reality just that little bit more accurately.
 
Last edited:
Top