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Main Discussion

S

smcder

Guest
But then why me? Why doesn't this happen to people all the time? In the mythology it's quite rare, and I've only heard of one other person in modern times who has had a similar experience ( not in any way induced by drugs or experimental devices ).

Wait . . . only one other person in "modern times" (last 100 years, 150?) has had a "spontaneous" mystical experience (not induced by drugs or experimental devices) . . . ? Is that what you mean?? My understanding is that it's relatively common . . . I think you should post this out somewhere on a larger forum and get responses to this statement . . . and again, I'd refer you to Huxley's Perennial Philosophy and Underhill's Mysticism - both thorough; good starting points to this subject . . . and I've read many other case histories that go well beyond the phenomena you report - but maybe there are alternate explanations. But if I am wrong on this and you are one of only two stories in modern times - why would you not seek publication of your experience?? That's essential to progress in this field. There have to be researchers out there who would be interested? This forum should have plenty of connections to get that information out there - again, I'd encourage you to put your claim on a larger thread in this forum for feedback - but of course I also respect your right to privacy . . . I hear you saying you don't talk about this much and that is obviously of the utmost important to preserve your privacy - I just would hate to lose something nearly unique in the field.
 
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S

smcder

Guest
"In the event that a being takes possession of the title of God by force, whether that is by some sort of direct mind control, irresistible persuasion, or other means other than by the choice of those who have become devotees, doesn't speak to the truth of the being's Godhood in the minds of the devotees, it speaks to the nature of such a God and its right to hold such a title. So as a third party not yet affected by this God's power, you might recognize that power ≠ goodness and choose not to devote yourself to any God who would seize title by power alone."
I like this . . . but there are still issues of "choice" and "free will" but that's a much bigger discussion . . . the concept of being over-powered by awe, I think is a case in between
free will and compulsion . . . so how do you come down on that scenario?
 
S

smcder

Guest
Why doesn't this happen to people all the time? In the mythology it's quite rare, and I've only heard of one other person in modern times who has had a similar experience ( not in any way induced by drugs or experimental devices ). -
who is the other person? is it a published account?
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
But then why me? Why doesn't this happen to people all the time? In the mythology it's quite rare, and I've only heard of one other person in modern times who has had a similar experience ( not in any way induced by drugs or experimental devices ).

Wait . . . only one other person in "modern times" (last 100 years, 150?) has had a "spontaneous" mystical experience (not induced by drugs or experimental devices) . . . ? Is that what you mean??
No. I don't mean just a "mystical experience". I mean an experience with the same facets, perhaps at another location, but with the same elements, and that I've also heard about. Just because I haven't heard about them doesn't mean there haven't been any others.
My understanding is that it's relatively common . . . I think you should post this out somewhere on a larger forum and get responses to this statement . . . and again, I'd refer you to Huxley's Perennial Philosophy and Underhill's Mysticism - both thorough; good starting points to this subject . . . and I've read many other case histories that go well beyond the phenomena you report - but maybe there are alternate explanations. But if I am wrong on this and you are one of only two stories in modern times - why would you not seek publication of your experience??
Although I've seldom discussed my own experience with others, I have done a fair bit of reading and exploration on other websites over the years, chatting with literally hundreds of people in religious chat rooms who claim to have experienced miracles and the presence of God, and the experiences they have shared with me are not like this. They are typically described as incredible turns of good fortune in the face of imminent danger, or a feeling during religious ceremony, or some other thing they interpret as a "sign" but to anyone else looking on would be nothing out of the ordinary.

A fair number have involved dreams. Twice people claimed to have seen angels, but only in one instance was it the sort of archetypal biblical angel. Mind you, I haven't done much searching for the last few years, so maybe there have been some new cases, and perhaps I just haven't looked in the right places. If you can point me to some specific examples that aren't part of common biblical or religious mythology and happened during modern times, I'd be interested in perusing them.
That's essential to progress in this field. There have to be researchers out there who would be interested? This forum should have plenty of connections to get that information out there - again, I'd encourage you to put your claim on a larger thread in this forum for feedback - but of course I also respect your right to privacy . . . I hear you saying you don't talk about this much and that is obviously of the utmost important to preserve your privacy - I just would hate to lose something nearly unique in the field.
Ironically, the few religious people I have approached and thought I could share the experience with have been as skeptical as the skeptics, clinging to their biblical texts and denying that what I experienced was either real or good. There was one exception, and he was the person with the psychology degree I mentioned earlier, and also the pastor at the university chapel where I went to school. He listened and was supportive but had no real answers and seemed relatively disinterested. He said there were a few other examples in the dogma, but that it wasn't all that common.
 
S

smcder

Guest
I was trying earlier to find a particular website that collected extraordinary or anomalous experiences . . . it's been several years since I last saw it and I haven't been able to find it but I feel sure I've read many descriptions of experiences with similar features . . . So, I'm trying to see what key feaure(s) exactly that you claim makes your experience extraordinary? To summarize, and please correct me if I don't have an accurate summary here): the key features seem to be: an experience of undeniable love and "witnessing" (do you mean literally seeing or some other kind of sensing?) an omnipresence (a being, an entity, a quality . . .? ) - but that it is a kind of localized omnipresence you describe as inside and outside everything at once - but within a circumscribed range (your immediate perception) and that was perhaps similar to descriptions of first nations' peoples' descriptions of "Manitou" (have you looked up descriptions of this experience of Manitou to confirm if they are similar? I think that would be very interesting . . . would you have been in a location where Manitou would have been experienced by first nations people?)

I'm wondering if religious chat rooms would be the place to find people who had (or would admit) to these experiences?

"They are typically described as incredible turns of good fortune in the face of imminent danger, or a feeling during religious ceremony, or some other thing they interpret as a "sign" but to anyone else looking on would be nothing out of the ordinary."

Yes, what you describe here would not be what I would think of as a mystical experience . . .

I'm still looking for the website I mentioned above and others I've seen that collect extraordinary experiences so maybe you could see if there is something similar to yours . . . will post when I find it. In the meantime, would you be willing to go the other way and open a thread with a description of your experience to see if others can point us to established literature describes similar experiences? Or if others have had similar experiences themselves? I understand completely if you don't want to pursue that.
 
S

smcder

Guest
How could I forget?? Have you read: William James' Varieties of Religious Experiences?
 
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S

smcder

Guest
An interesting site but too time consuming to find specifics. The few I did look at were like the others I'd mentioned ( dream states or waking dream type of experiences ).
Ok, but there are a lot of experiences there . . . did I have the essence of your experience correct and/or how do you distinguish your exact experience? What are the essential features or key words to look for . . . I would say keep looking and I will too! "cosmic consciousness" and "oceanic experience" seem sort of vaguely relavant . . . not sure. I looked up Manitou as well and there may be some leads there.

Native American Mysticism 1

Mystical experiences
 
S

smcder

Guest
"While you're thinking about that, I'll quickly comment that the model of experience that I currently relate to has to do with the nature of objective and subjective experience ( duality ), the former fed by stimulus responses which are fairly well understood by science, and the former that deals with the nature of consciousness, which we've been discussing a lot in other threads recently."

I'd be interested to read some of those other threads too? Have you heard of the philsopher David Chalmers work on consciounsess or Colin McGinn's New Mysterianism position?

New mysterianism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"New mysterianism is a philosophical position proposing that the hard problem of consciousness cannot be resolved by humans. The unresolvable problem is how to explain the existence of qualia."
 
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USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
"While you're thinking about that, I'll quickly comment that the model of experience that I currently relate to has to do with the nature of objective and subjective experience ( duality ), the former fed by stimulus responses which are fairly well understood by science, and the former that deals with the nature of consciousness, which we've been discussing a lot in other threads recently."

I'd be interested to read some of those other threads too? Have you heard of the philsopher David Chalmers work on consciounsess or Colin McGinn's New Mysterianism position?

New mysterianism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"New mysterianism is a philosophical position proposing that the hard problem of consciousness cannot be resolved by humans. The unresolvable problem is how to explain the existence of qualia."
Good links. We've been discussing this very topic recently. Last time I checked, we had been discussing the idea of consciousness as a field similar to a magnetic field, and I proposed that it might then involve what are called "virtual photons". These virtual photons would be responsible for purely subjective perception and therefore connected with the so-called hard problem of consciousness. It's sort of out there, but still rational.

To find the threads where we've been touching on the subject, type the word consciousness into the search tool. Might I also suggest that when you reply, that you use the "Reply" button, which will automatically notify me that you've replied. It also helps divide up the posts into clear cut sections. You can also edit those sections easily using square brackets and the word "quote" ( start of quote ) and "/quote" ( end of quote ). Replace the quotation marks with the square brackets, and you'll get the shaded quoted sections in your post.
 
S

smcder

Guest
To find the threads where we've been touching on the subject, type the word consciousness into the search tool. Might I also suggest that when you reply, that you use the "Reply" button, which will automatically notify me that you've replied. It also helps divide up the posts into clear cut sections. You can also edit those sections easily using square brackets and the word "quote" ( start of quote ) and "/quote" ( end of quote ). Replace the quotation marks with the square brackets, and you'll get the shaded quoted sections in your post.
10-4
 
S

smcder

Guest
thanks for
Good links. We've been discussing this very topic recently. Last time I checked, we had been discussing the idea of consciousness as a field similar to a magnetic field, and I proposed that it might then involve what are called "virtual photons". These virtual photons would be responsible for purely subjective perception and therefore connected with the so-called hard problem of consciousness. It's sort of out there, but still rational.

To find the threads where we've been touching on the subject, type the word consciousness into the search tool. Might I also suggest that when you reply, that you use the "Reply" button, which will automatically notify me that you've replied. It also helps divide up the posts into clear cut sections. You can also edit those sections easily using square brackets and the word "quote" ( start of quote ) and "/quote" ( end of quote ). Replace the quotation marks with the square brackets, and you'll get the shaded quoted sections in your post.
we had been discussing the idea of consciousness as a field similar to a magnetic field, and I proposed that it might then involve what are called "virtual photons". These virtual photons would be responsible for purely subjective perception and therefore connected with the so-called hard problem of consciousness. It's sort of out there, but still rational.
Thank you! and interesting . . . as a kid I always thought about the idea of "conscioutons" - before I'd heard the term qualia - like protons, neutrons, etc - basic building block of subjective awareness . . . but that was also before I felt like I really "got" the hard problem of consciousness and I'm not sure we have a language for it - or that language is for it . . . Colin McGinn has a classic paper out there - again from a few years back and again not showing up in a search (argh) but about how our brains just aren't up to the task . . . how some alien species might have evolved superior philosophical ability that could tackle consciousness and other problems but we didn't . . . and I think too about Nagel's "What It's Like to Be a Bat" - a classic for anyone who doesn't get the hard problem . . . but then doesn't getting the hard problem depend somewhat on a person's subjective experience and self-awareness or awareness of awareness in the first place?? Hence my interest in exotic subjective experience . . . but more and more I think we spend very little time in "ordinary states of consciousnsess" or that extraordinary states just simply are not.

Buddhism and particulary Tibetan buddhism (I am told) does have a language about subjective awareness superior to our own - like the eskimos have 113 words for snow (or whatever) Tibetans assign names to subjective experiences that when we hear the defintion we go ohhhh you have a word for it?? Amazing! Hence my interest in your experience (that you may simply not be able to put in words) - and there may in fact not be any words on the planet for it !
 

Jeff Davis

Paranormal Adept
As the thread turns...

Hey, isn't this thread that's supposed to achieve discussion level "without resorting to New Age or Quantum Mysticism."? Yet, I see we are back at just that. Something about that Quantum Mysticism seems to be hanging in there. :D Quantum consciousness is where it's at. I like Ufology's "virtual photons" idea.

and smcder, THANK YOU for the props on Skeptiko, whom I have also recommended on this forum in the past. Alex is awesome and has some the most cutting edge minds on his show with respect to consciousness exploration.

Another GREAT guy that I am very much hoping will join us sometime soon is Eric Wargo. I have already learned a good deal from Eric and have a lifetimes worth of learning and speculative considerations to go. The Nightshirt
 
S

smcder

Guest
This is and is not directly related - but it's an amazing talk by University of Toronto psychologist Jordan Peterson:


I don't want to say too much, if you only give it five minutes, I think you'll hear it through and I'd like to know your sense of it if you do listen to it (or anyone else) - like Jeff Kripal he is a "mainstream" academic who amazes me at the points at which he stays open, doesn't claim an orthodox interpretation but is still able to move forward on solid scholarly ground . . .
 


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