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Different reports about non-physical realms

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  • #31
    I suppose I see it as one would see new terrain or a new planet to discover. Potentially filled with denizens beneficial, hostile, and neutral. While you don't take much stock in not certified and researched bits in this subject, I personally believe that all these realms experienced are existent. Heavens, Hells, underworlds and upper worlds, and any mid worlds. After all, people unofficially visit or evocate beings from them. But, I suppose that's the realm of personal gnosis until scientific research is underway for these places. Perhaps they all mess together, or do not, or are a complete illusion.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by North View Post
      How do you assess disparate claims about non-physical realms?

      We have reports of individuals’ experience of realms of existence related to non-physical existence - realms or dimensions where conscious exists/persists prior to birth, after death and possibly in timeless state.

      Some reports are direct of individual experiences during NDE, OBE, sleep, or other altered states of consciousness. Other reports are indirect where one individual reports on the experience of another individual received via channelling, mediumship, communication in altered state (e.g. individual A reports on experience of individual B where B told A during dream of A).

      How do you weigh these different reports and determine what is credible?

      I would ask that skeptics who do not accept the existence of these realms not to comment in this thread. There are many other threads where evidence of survival, validity of mediumship, etc. may be debated. This thread is for discussion for those who accept the possibility of these realms to discuss how they assess various claims.

      One example of an attempt to document various descriptions can be found at:
      New Maps of Heaven: The Conditions of Life on the Spirit Planes
      I read them all and consider the data. I tend to think a percentage of people will make things up, a percentage of people have experiences which mirror their particular beliefs and a percentage of people experience these alternate realities with a scientific focus.

      Inevitably how one chooses to believe in what the real alternate realities are, is entirely their own thing and I don't see how it makes a difference in regard to 'what is valid and what is not' - that seems besides the point.

      From what I have learned and experienced, the sheer vastness of alternate realities tends to suggest that no thing is impossible thus all experiences could be seen as valid whether they are personal, or reports from others.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by William View Post
        I read them all and consider the data. I tend to think a percentage of people will make things up, a percentage of people have experiences which mirror their particular beliefs and a percentage of people experience these alternate realities with a scientific focus.

        Inevitably how one chooses to believe in what the real alternate realities are, is entirely their own thing and I don't see how it makes a difference in regard to 'what is valid and what is not' - that seems besides the point.

        From what I have learned and experienced, the sheer vastness of alternate realities tends to suggest that no thing is impossible thus all experiences could be seen as valid whether they are personal, or reports from others.
        If I am trying to find a specific restaurant, I may refer to a map, or ask another person. Some maps and some people may be more helpful for me to locate the restaurant.

        Among the information received from NDE, OBE, Mediumship, Chanelling, Meditations, etc. there are some VERY different maps.

        Some competing claims:
        • reincarnation - true or false
        • existence of hell(s) - true of false
        • existence of demons - true or false
        • existence of God
        • afterlife
        • ethics
        • after death, everything is revealed, nothing is revealed
        • reality of karma
        • existence of angels


        Accurate knowledge could lead to better actions.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by North View Post
          If I am trying to find a specific restaurant, I may refer to a map, or ask another person. Some maps and some people may be more helpful for me to locate the restaurant.
          What would you be specifically trying to find?

          Originally posted by North View Post

          Among the information received from NDE, OBE, Mediumship, Chanelling, Meditations, etc. there are some VERY different maps.
          The likely reason for that would be the particular interest of the individual sharing their information and the belief system of that individual.

          Originally posted by North View Post
          Some competing claims:
          • reincarnation - true or false
          • existence of hell(s) - true of false
          • existence of demons - true or false
          • existence of God
          • afterlife
          • ethics
          • after death, everything is revealed, nothing is revealed
          • reality of karma
          • existence of angels

          Why do you see these as 'competing'? Competing for what?

          Originally posted by North View Post
          Accurate knowledge could lead to better actions.
          Please give an example.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by William View Post
            What would you be specifically trying to find?
            Wisdom
            Originally posted by William View Post
            The likely reason for that would be the particular interest of the individual sharing their information and the belief system of that individual.
            Can we move from individual belief systems to useful knowledge?
            Originally posted by William View Post
            Why do you see these as 'competing'? Competing for what?
            Accuracy
            Originally posted by William View Post
            Please give an example.
            Lucid dreaming - it was claimed that it is possible to become aware during a dream and remain in the dream.

            The competing claim is that this is impossible
            This implied that there could be consciousness during sleep, a claim many psychologists denied for more than 50 years. Orthodox sleep researchers argued that lucid dreams could not possibly be real dreams.
            Knowledge that lucid dreaming is real, can lead to actions to become lucid when dreaming.

            In Buddhism (e.g. Naropa) and Sufism (e.g. ibn Arabi), the practice of lucid dreaming is seen as useful preparation for navigating states of conscious after physical death. This contains claims about the nature of conscious states after death and potential skillful means to assist you to be ready.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by North View Post
              Lucid dreaming - it was claimed that it is possible to become aware during a dream and remain in the dream.

              The competing claim is that this is impossible


              Knowledge that lucid dreaming is real, can lead to actions to become lucid when dreaming.

              In Buddhism (e.g. Naropa) and Sufism (e.g. ibn Arabi), the practice of lucid dreaming is seen as useful preparation for navigating states of conscious after physical death. This contains claims about the nature of conscious states after death and potential skillful means to assist you to be ready.
              I think the existence of lucid dreaming is essentially proven. I seem to remember, and experiment was done, in which someone agreed to try to lucid dream, and to give a signal that they were in a lucid dream using eye movements.

              They used an EEG to detect they were in REM sleep, and the signal was observed. I'd have thought lucid dreaming is a fact - but what it signifies is contested.

              David

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by David Bailey View Post
                I think the existence of lucid dreaming is essentially proven. I seem to remember, and experiment was done, in which someone agreed to try to lucid dream, and to give a signal that they were in a lucid dream using eye movements.

                They used an EEG to detect they were in REM sleep, and the signal was observed. I'd have thought lucid dreaming is a fact - but what it signifies is contested.

                David
                The concept of lucid dreaming has had confirmation in some areas of science through the work of Laberge and others. It is still possible to find some people who dispute its existence based on their own theories of brain or mind.

                The cultivation of this skill as part of specific spiritual traditions may not be acknowledged.

                The practice of this skill for centuries before "scientific" demonstration could be evidence that advanced knowledge exists outside of scientific circles.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by P_Synthesis
                  Just do it. Don't wait for unanimity or permission; no-one you admire did so.
                  I had the good fortune to study and practice lucid dreaming with Laberge in Hawaii.

                  But its more interesting to me that although the practice was known in spiritual traditions for centuries, it was only "Scientifically proven" quite recently.

                  If we are looking at claims about "non-physical" realms, we cannot look to current science for guidance. But nor should we accept that all claims are equally valid.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by P_Synthesis
                    How was it?
                    Hawaii is beautiful. Laberge is delightful. It is exciting to acheive lucidity in a dream.

                    Originally posted by P_Synthesis
                    I think science can help a lot actually, depending on what you want to know
                    This thread is about non-physical realms. NDE research suggests there may be such realms, but beyond that can you point to what science has helped us learn about these realms?

                    what is true may not be as important as what is both true and important.
                    I believe that better understanding of non-physical realms is critically important.


                    Originally posted by P_Synthesis
                    If we say lucid dreaming is “definitely true in some sense but not necessarily important”, it looks true to me, but is it satisfying to you?
                    Naropa and Ibn Arabi say that it is important. On what basis is your claim superior to theirs?

                    Originally posted by P_Synthesis
                    Kundalini. I know that is true and real and important. But I also know it’s not for everyone, and a spirituality that made no use of it need not be false for all I know.
                    A discussion of Kundalini could be interesting, but it is outside the focus of this thread. Perhaps you would like to start a thread about it?


                    Originally posted by P_Synthesis
                    So with many of the things on your list, the point of view seems to matter. Funnily enough, that's quite a Jain approach...
                    I accept that we cannot accurately speak of absolute truth. Our expressions will be relative to our language and culture. However some expressions are more true than others.

                    In this thread it appears there are a number of proponents who feel that it is not possible to assess the competing claims made by different experiencers and reporters. We can say with God all things are possible and stop there.

                    However, in the physical world, I have experience of the practical benefit of accurate knowledge. I believe this holds true for the non-physical realms as well.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      P_Synthesis,
                      Thank you for your last post. It has taken me some time to reflect on it and to cobble together a response.

                      In short you are right and you are wrong. I agree with you and I disagree with you. Ultimate truths must appear paradoxical in our current limited state. However I do think there is value in reviewing various reports and gleaning actionable information.

                      Originally posted by P_Synthesis
                      But the problem is that in mystical traditions which attain verification, there is no guarantee that verification disproves someone’s else verification of the opposite. So the problem comes when you want to get a definite “result” on really big questions -- deities, reincarnation and so forth. There is no chance whatever of all of these things being completely proven false IMO, since for all of them someone somewhere has had a convincing experience
                      I am not convinced that all experiences should be granted equal credence. If I say that last night I was flying, and someone understands that this was in a dream, they may be doing so from a more superior perspective.

                      If person A has experienced states 1 & 2 and person B has experienced states 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5. Then person B has more experience from which to comment on experienced states.

                      Originally posted by P_Synthesis
                      Originally Posted by North
                      Naropa and Ibn Arabi say that it is important. On what basis is your claim superior to theirs?

                      Because it is important to them, must it be so to everyone? Other mystics don't mention it so much. Therefore it is not necessarily important.
                      If Naropa and Ibn Arabi were just any mystics then true. But many Sufis consider Ibn Arabi the “Greatest Master”, while Naropa has a unique role in the Kagyu lineage and Vajrayana Buddhism through his “6 Yogas or Practices”. If in a given field, there is a common view of who is an expert, then we may want to consider the expert’s view.

                      Originally posted by P_Synthesis
                      It comes down to whether someone thinks it is important. That’s really what I mean by “true and important”, but here's a revised and better formula: possible + important = true
                      But importance cannot be simply a personal matter.
                      Originally posted by P_Synthesis
                      My own interests lie far more with those who can go and return deliberately. Of those, some are well known, and others aren't.
                      I agree that “one off” visits have limited information to convey. Those with broader range and frequency of experience should provide more comprehensive information.

                      Originally posted by P_Synthesis
                      As for what science can do, it depends on what you want to know. For example, you mentioned the work of the Monroe Institute or Internal Academy of Consciousness etc.; they and others can tell us a lot about how to get to those realms and they are taking an inherently scienti-technological approach which seems to be getting some kind of replicability. Other systems may be able to tell us different ways of getting to those realms which either overlap or don't, etc. One good answer never rules out another different good answer.
                      I have a moderate amount of experience with the Monroe Institute and I read all Robert Monroe’s books. I would recommend them for people at early stages of exploration looking for more information and experiences.

                      If a number of people attempt to reach “Focus 27”, evaluation of the success rate will depend on subjective testimony. Monroe focusses on personal exploration more than consensus evidence.

                      Monroe will not advance one in the art of mystical love. He also heavily discounts all earlier spiritual traditions rather than finding any common ground. For example, a simple concept such as an aura, becomes a “resonant energy balloon” in his school. His goal is to demonstrate to you experientially that you are more than your physical body. It’s not a bad goal, but neither is it the highest spiritual teaching.

                      Originally posted by P_Synthesis
                      Stanislav Grof's work is also useful; it demonstrates for example that the morphic field of one spiritual system is not cut off from all the others -- that Westerners can experience non-physical realms and beings from other cultures, say. This I think tells us something about the nature of the realms -- they are "permeable" to a degree, and can also have strong currents which "catch" people. A similar conclusion was reached for example by William Buhlman here. Paqart has said he was “caught” by a certain Judeo-Christian current, with the accent on the Judeo.
                      In some models of the “astral” realms, there are suggestions of different “belief” territories. Those with certain backgrounds and certain level of spiritual development come to these territories and are comfortable there. Beings with a higher spiritual development can visit these territories but also go to higher realms. If a spiritualist only speaks of the “summerland”, they may be less knowledgeable than some theosophists who note the variety of environments in the “astral” and “causal” realms.

                      Originally posted by P_Synthesis
                      Reincarnation may in some sense be truer for some cultures and/or people than others
                      I accept that different traditions have different theories and explanations of reincarnation. However, I do not know of any significant spiritual teacher that has not made universal claims about their theory.

                      Originally posted by P_Synthesis
                      what do we say about Christianity where reincarnation is in most cases not important? Do Christians all necessarily experience reincarnation just because we know it happens elsewhere?
                      (Matthew 11:13-14) - "For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14" And if you care to accept it, he himself is Elijah, who was to come."

                      Sadly orthodox Christianity is a poor source of mystical information.


                      Originally posted by P_Synthesis
                      This leads us naturally in the direction of William Blake: Everything possible to be believed is an image of the truth

                      Or Walt Whitman: I adopt each theory, myth, god, and demi-god, / I see that the old accounts, bibles, genealogies, are true, without exception
                      I have been inspired by Blake before. I think that many mystics focus on unity and so are exceptionally inclusive.

                      O Marvel,
                      a garden among the flames!

                      My heart can take on
                      any form:
                      a meadow for gazelles,
                      a cloister for monks,

                      For the idols, sacred ground,
                      Ka'ba for the circling pilgrim,
                      the tables of the Torah,
                      the scrolls of the Qur'án.

                      I profess the religion of love;
                      wherever its caravan turns along the way,
                      that is the belief,
                      the faith I keep.

                      Ibn Arabi

                      Originally posted by P_Synthesis
                      All this uncertainty doesn't mean "we can never know" what the truth is! On the contrary, this is all something we do in fact already know, from the investigations we have already done. And sometimes I think there exist some good criteria to judge a definite answer between different accounts. But many times, not... I could produce some case studies for another thread.
                      I don’t know the ultimate truth, but am seeking to learn more. Maybe you would like to do one case study as a starter?

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by P_Synthesis
                        North: Sadly orthodox Christianity is a poor source of mystical information.

                        I've no idea why you say that. Orthodox Christianity is by far its most mystical branch (see for example Lossky) so you are in effect dismissing the mystical achievements of the whole of Christianity. That flies in the face of huge evidence as to its great significance and thus makes makes no empirical sense (especially if you admire Sufi perennialism!) but whatever. I leave you to sort that out.
                        Just a brief point to clarify I was not speaking about the Eastern Church. I do find the Philokalia inspiring. The "Way of a Pilgrim" was important to me as a teenager. I was thinking more that heterodox Christianity may accept reincarnation and other mystical practices.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Hypnopompic experiences

                          Originally posted by blavatsky View Post
                          It is just a hynopompic experience. Google hypnogogia and hypnopompia. Very common, but unexplained for the most part.
                          Well that is very interesting! I didn't know my experiences had a proper name! However I'm still not 100% sure about it. If I get accepted into the Psychic Experiences group I will talk about my experiences there.

                          Thanks for this information.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            NDE testimonies

                            Originally posted by anonymous View Post
                            What I think is important about the reports from people who have near-death experiences is that they present the spiritual point of view.

                            A lot of people are interested in psi and parapsychology and survival and dualism or idealism and they lose sight of the spiritual aspect. But the near-death experiencers are the true explorers and when they come back and tell us what is important and talk about God and love, you can't ignore the spiritual facts.
                            I agree. The vast majority of NDE testimonies I've seen have had a Godly content and often the experiencer comes back and becomes a believer in God. One of the most powerful I saw was by a New Zealander who was stung by a Box Jellyfish whilst out in Mauritius. He died, had the full hell and then heaven experience, met Jesus and then when he returned he became a Xtian, having been a total skeptic prior to that . Believe his name is Ian McCormack. He claims that all of the medical facts are fully documented at the hospital where he "died".

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by yochris1 View Post
                              I agree. The vast majority of NDE testimonies I've seen have had a Godly content and often the experiencer comes back and becomes a believer in God. One of the most powerful I saw was by a New Zealander who was stung by a Box Jellyfish whilst out in Mauritius. He died, had the full hell and then heaven experience, met Jesus and then when he returned he became a Xtian, having been a total skeptic prior to that . Believe his name is Ian McCormack. He claims that all of the medical facts are fully documented at the hospital where he "died".
                              Since this is the Haven, where people are able to discuss topics while showing respect for the views of others, I will not go into too much depth here. However, it has always been my opinion that this particular account deviates so far from the 'typical' NDE description, that there is reason to doubt its content. I'm not referring to the medical aspects, but merely the way the events are described.

                              Please accept my apologies if I've stepped outside the forum rules here.

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