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  • #91
    Originally posted by Michael Larkin View Post
    Bernardo,

    You seem to get much more interaction here than on your own blog. Not entirely sure why, but I did wonder whether you might not consider (blog management here being up for it), creating your own "compartment" here which, maybe, you could link to from your present blog?

    Just a thought. I feel sure many will be enjoying your engagement here quite as much as I do!
    So long as there are nice interactions with value for all involved, it doesn't worry me much where it is... The nice thing about not depending financially on my books or philosophy is that I don't have to care about anything other than content, and can behave with consistent, brutal authenticity..

    Comment


    • #92
      Originally posted by Bernardo View Post
      Yes, good point, Michael. Jaynes' idea of the 'bicameral mind' was that, when the human psyche was not yet fully integrated (not so long ago, according to him), a center of awareness would interpret the thoughts of another part of the same mind as a voice from outside. Today, with better integrated minds, we no longer have the impression that our own thoughts are voices from 'the other;' we recognize them as our own. But this may be a fairly recent development, according to Jaynes.

      There is debate about the bicameral mind idea, but it is surely intriguing.
      After reading this long exchange I have to say that the most credible explanation for psi is not so complicated and only requires accepting the better validated examples of psi at face value. There is quite a lot of disagreement about psi and what it is, but as I wrote in the OP, this comes from resistance to the existence of spirits and/or God. None of the posts made since then do anything to seriously contest that premise. Instead, they support the point by proposing convoluted explanations for phenomena that are caused by the natural interaction of spirit and matter.

      When spirits communicate, it is with telepathy, hence, there is mediumistic and clairvoyant communication. Living people have spirits just as spirits associated with deceased persons. Both are spirits, thus telepathic communication occurs between the living, between the dead, and between the living and the dead. Spirits inhabit or control a physical body to live, this is incarnation. The spirit survives physical death, leaving no bar to further incarnations. Hence, there is reincarnation. For a spirit to control a physical body proves that spirit can interact forcefully with physical objects, hence, there is pk. Poltergeist investigators are divided on whether it is the spirits of the dead or the living that are responsible, but both are possible because both are spirits. Quite possibly, sometimes it is one, sometimes the other, or even both at the same time.

      Incarnation, reincarnation, mediumistic trance, and possession are different from each other in some ways but are mechanically the same. In each, a spirit takes control of a physical body. Spirits are able to tie themselves to a physical timeline, but are not bound by it as spirits. This allows precognition and prophecy. There are unincarnated spirits who exist outside a physical context who assist incarnated spirits with dream communications and other types of invisible assistance. This undoubtedly explains at least some instances of answered prayer and dreams of the future.

      In every example of psi given here, and many more, the existence of spirit is crucial to an understanding of the mechanism. "Psi" is the part of these spirit/physical interactions that we see from a physical perspective, or remember after meditation and dreams. This is exactly what holy men, NDE experiencers, clairvoyants, and mediums have been saying for centuries. What justification is there to say they are wrong? Who is in a position to know better, the ones who have had the direct experience of these things, or those who have not? It seems to me that when someone has the good manners to provide a valid psi experience, the least that can be done in return is to take their explanation for it seriously before moving on to more complex theories that are not supported by the testimony of those who have direct experience of the phenomena in question.

      Ian Stevenson did a nice job of balancing between taking his subjects seriously and investigating their statements critically. The balance favored his witnesses over exotic theory. They said "I was so-and-so, I lived there, not here, these were my family members, this is were I buried my gold, This is who I was, but now I am in this smaller body because the old one died and I have been reborn." Why assume this is wrong? They may be children, but their statements are backed by an amazing degree of correspondence with real world details which in some cases were only known to the previous personality and proven via an artifact rather than a witness.

      This level of veridicality is too strong to justify tossing statements that cannot be validated at the same time as every single statement that can be validated is accepted. It may be difficult to trust a young boy who describes an intermediate life as a hawk, but if he has just told compellingly a well-verified series of statements regarding a human life prior to that of the hawk that have been verified, perhaps the boy is due more leniency.

      This is like the faux-Sufi story I made up where the newly-rich beggar is willing to acknowledge the gold coin in his hand and the value of advice he was able to test, but was unwilling to accept the third gift: knowledge of his benefactor. He accepts two proofs and discards what is most important, as if after dining on a sumptuous meal, accepting that it is sumptuous and enjoyable, then disregarding his waiter when told the name of the person who provided the meal and walks off without thanking him simply because his host is hidden from view. Surely there is a host, or there would be no feast and no servant to summon the stranger to it.

      AP

      Comment


      • #93
        Originally posted by paqart View Post
        After reading this long exchange I have to say that the most credible explanation for psi is not so complicated and only requires accepting the better validated examples of psi at face value...
        Andy, you may be right, who knows. Personally, admittedly as a non-experiencer of psi phenomena, I like Bernardo's idealism because I find it intellectually satisfying and parsimonious. If I might be permitted a faux Sufi story of my own construction:
        One night in a dream, Nasrudin, who lived centuries ago, unaccountably found himself in a twenty-first century electrical superstore. A stranger approached, saying he’d be happy to answer any questions Nasrudin might ask.

        Well, Nasrudin was full of questions. What were those? Televisions. And those? Laptops and ipods, oh, and yes, there were the refrigerators and the washing machines, the microwave ovens, bread makers and toasters. On and on, no end to the marvellous devices, which the stranger demonstrated in action.

        Nasrudin woke with a start, which in turn roused his wife, whom he proceeded to tell about his dream in great detail. He told her that the stranger had said the things he’d seen were all “electrical appliances”.

        “What does that mean?” she asked.

        “I think it must be that all the different kinds of device were possessed by different kinds of Jinn. One kind possessed the “televisions”, another the “toasters”... and so on.”

        “Hmm,” she said, “do you think it could have been just the one kind of Jinn that possessed them all?”

        Nasrudin shook his head indulgently. He loved her dearly, but she had no head for logic.
        Last edited by Michael Larkin; September 20th, 2012, 10:39 PM.

        Comment


        • #94
          Originally posted by paqart View Post
          After reading this long exchange I have to say that the most credible explanation for psi is not so complicated and only requires accepting the better validated examples of psi at face value. There is quite a lot of disagreement about psi and what it is, but as I wrote in the OP, this comes from resistance to the existence of spirits and/or God. None of the posts made since then do anything to seriously contest that premise. Instead, they support the point by proposing convoluted explanations for phenomena that are caused by the natural interaction of spirit and matter.

          When spirits communicate, it is with telepathy, hence, there is mediumistic and clairvoyant communication. Living people have spirits just as spirits associated with deceased persons. Both are spirits, thus telepathic communication occurs between the living, between the dead, and between the living and the dead. Spirits inhabit or control a physical body to live, this is incarnation. The spirit survives physical death, leaving no bar to further incarnations. Hence, there is reincarnation. For a spirit to control a physical body proves that spirit can interact forcefully with physical objects, hence, there is pk. Poltergeist investigators are divided on whether it is the spirits of the dead or the living that are responsible, but both are possible because both are spirits. Quite possibly, sometimes it is one, sometimes the other, or even both at the same time.

          Incarnation, reincarnation, mediumistic trance, and possession are different from each other in some ways but are mechanically the same. In each, a spirit takes control of a physical body. Spirits are able to tie themselves to a physical timeline, but are not bound by it as spirits. This allows precognition and prophecy. There are unincarnated spirits who exist outside a physical context who assist incarnated spirits with dream communications and other types of invisible assistance. This undoubtedly explains at least some instances of answered prayer and dreams of the future.
          Andy, forgive me for being so direct. But I am sincerely amazed at the above. It is -- independently of whether it turns out to be true or not -- a surprising and overwhelming sequence of arbitrary, dogmatic statements without one hint of substantiation or logical argumentation to support them. It's impossible even to debate. It's clear that, for whatever reason, they represent your truth, and one must respect them as such. But passing this as some kind of logical or empirical conclusion is a farce on the face of it.

          Let me make my point a little more clear by commenting on just the remainder of your post...

          Originally posted by paqart View Post
          In every example of psi given here, and many more, the existence of spirit is crucial to an understanding of the mechanism.
          Why? What justifies this? Is it so just because you say so?

          What is 'spirit', by the way?

          Originally posted by paqart View Post
          "Psi" is the part of these spirit/physical interactions that we see from a physical perspective, or remember after meditation and dreams.
          Why? What justifies this statement?

          What is 'spirit,' by the way?

          Originally posted by paqart View Post
          This is exactly what holy men, NDE experiencers, clairvoyants, and mediums have been saying for centuries.
          How do you know their interpretation is 'exactly' the same as the one you're claiming? I just posted a 1-hour long video with NDEr Anita Moorjani to show that her testimony agrees 100% with my interpretation of the phenomenon, not with yours.

          Originally posted by paqart View Post
          What justification is there to say they are wrong?


          What justification is there to take seriously anything you said in this post?

          Originally posted by paqart View Post
          Who is in a position to know better, the ones who have had the direct experience of these things, or those who have not?
          I use this argument too, but being fundamentalist about it is utterly naive. Are you assuming that there are no such things as misperception, miscomprehension, deceit, lie, etc., in the world?

          Originally posted by paqart View Post
          It seems to me that when someone has the good manners to provide a valid psi experience, the least that can be done in return is to take their explanation for it seriously
          The experiencer is qualified to report the experience; not necessarily to come up with the best explanation for it. Otherwise, everybody would be a Kant, or a Wittgenstein.

          Originally posted by paqart View Post
          before moving on to more complex theories that are not supported by the testimony of those who have direct experience of the phenomena in question.
          This is a complete non sequitur for the same reason I wrote just above. And 'spirits behaving like people' is certainly not the simpler explanation. If you disagree, what are your arguments for it?

          Originally posted by paqart View Post
          Ian Stevenson did a nice job of balancing between taking his subjects seriously and investigating their statements critically. The balance favored his witnesses over exotic theory. They said "I was so-and-so, I lived there, not here, these were my family members, this is were I buried my gold, This is who I was, but now I am in this smaller body because the old one died and I have been reborn." Why assume this is wrong?
          You're mixing up familiarity of concepts with simplicity in terms of the number of new ontological assumptions behind a theory. The latter is what is entailed by Occam's razor; it has nothing to do with the former. That you are familiar with the concept of a person, and its attributes, does not mean that postulating invisible people after death floating in space-time is the simpler theory. I blush to have to say this. If one were to take your perspective here seriously, Deux ex Machina would always be the simpler explanation (God did it!).

          There is no substantiation behind your post, despite its length; just a long sequence of arbitrary statements peppered with philosophical naivete. I find it unfortunate.
          Last edited by Bernardo; September 21st, 2012, 02:17 AM. Reason: Typos

          Comment


          • #95
            Originally posted by Michael Larkin View Post
            Andy, you may be right, who knows. Personally, admittedly as a non-experiencer of psi phenomena, I like Bernardo's idealism because I find it intellectually satisfying and parsimonious. If I might be permitted a faux Sufi story of my own construction:
            One night in a dream, Nasrudin, who lived centuries ago, unaccountably found himself in a twenty-first century electrical superstore. A stranger approached, saying he’d be happy to answer any questions Nasrudin might ask.

            Well, Nasrudin was full of questions. What were those? Televisions. And those? Laptops and ipods, oh, and yes, there were the refrigerators and the washing machines, the microwave ovens, bread makers and toasters. On and on, no end to the marvellous devices, which the stranger demonstrated in action.

            Nasrudin woke with a start, which in turn roused his wife, whom he proceeded to tell about his dream in great detail. He told her that the stranger had said the things he’d seen were all “electrical appliances”.

            “What does that mean?” she asked.

            “I think it must be that all the different kinds of device were possessed by different kinds of Jinn. One kind possessed the “televisions”, another the “toasters”... and so on.”

            “Hmm,” she said, “do you think it could have been just the one kind of Jinn that possessed them all?”

            Nasrudin shook his head indulgently. He loved her dearly, but she had no head for logic.
            Precious... and makes the point...

            Comment


            • #96
              Bernardo,

              To use language the spirit would need to remember the sounds and meanings of words and the rules of syntax and he would have to communicate those sounds in proper sequence when he interacts with the medium.

              If a spirit can remember images and communicate visual imagery, why can't he remember the meaning of words and communicate words as sounds? I have heard sounds during mediumship class. For example, once I heard guitar music and the sitter acknowledged that the spirit was a musician who played the guitar. The spirit was able to communicate the music as a sequence of chords strumming them and chaining them in properly timed rhythm.

              If a spirit can respond to a sequence of questions, why can't he deliver a sequence of words? When I would ask a question, I would sometimes get a sequence of images.

              On rare occasions I would get a word communicated by the spirit. I felt it in my mouth like I was going to say it, not as a sound. Why couldn't a spirit communicate a sequence of words in that way.

              If spirit can remember experiences of his life that he communicates through visual impressions, and he can remember things like his relationship to the sitter (father, uncle grandfather etc), why can't he remember rules of syntax?

              Once I smelled roses when the spirit wanted to communicate her name was Rose. So the spirit clearly understood what a word is, and what its meaning is and that one word could have two meanings. Isn't that is a significant evidence that the spirit could understand syntax?

              Based on my experiences, I really don't see any practical obstacle to a spirit communicating in words, particularly if a medium is very sensitive and practices communicating with spirits over a period of years.

              Why do you think a brain necessary in a spirit to communicate in language when a brain is not necessary for so many other functions the spirit performs when communicating?



              Thanks

              Comment


              • #97
                Originally posted by anonymous View Post
                Bernardo,

                To use language the spirit would need to remember the sounds and meanings of words and the rules of syntax and he would have to communicate those sounds in proper sequence when he interacts with the medium.

                If a spirit can remember images and communicate visual imagery, why can't he remember the meaning of words and communicate words as sounds?
                My notion is not really related to memory. It's rather related to a certain modality of thinking; a particular way of channeling the 'flow of mind.' When we think in language, we think in a certain linear, self-reflective manner. I think that the ability to think like this is related to a certain topology of mind that we ordinarily perceive as a brain.

                Originally posted by anonymous View Post
                If a spirit can respond to a sequence of questions, why can't he deliver a sequence of words? When I would ask a question, I would sometimes get a sequence of images.
                When you articulate a question, you weave thoughts according to language. But that, in turn, evokes in your deeper mind a certain meaning independent of language. That meaning may resonate and lead to a feedback in the form of an intuition or just a 'knowledge'. In my view, it is the living person that then translates such knowledge into words and language structures.

                Originally posted by anonymous View Post
                On rare occasions I would get a word communicated by the spirit. I felt it in my mouth like I was going to say it, not as a sound. Why couldn't a spirit communicate a sequence of words in that way.
                A word does not require thinking along the structures of language, i.e. weaving concepts... it's just an isolated symbol. Maybe you indeed can get a word like you describe.

                Originally posted by anonymous View Post
                If spirit can remember experiences of his life that he communicates through visual impressions, and he can remember things like his relationship to the sitter (father, uncle grandfather etc), why can't he remember rules of syntax?
                In my view, it's not about remembering; it's about a way of articulating thoughts in mind. See above.

                Originally posted by anonymous View Post
                Once I smelled roses when the spirit wanted to communicate her name was Rose. So the spirit clearly understood what a word is, and what its meaning is and that one word could have two meanings. Isn't that is a significant evidence that the spirit could understand syntax?
                No, just an isolated word... a symbol... and symbolic associations are also OK, in my view.

                Originally posted by anonymous View Post
                Why do you think a brain necessary in a spirit to communicate in language
                I think a brain-body system is the image mind assumes in space-time when organizing itself so to channel thoughts in the form we call 'language.'
                Last edited by Bernardo; September 21st, 2012, 03:01 AM. Reason: typos

                Comment


                • #98
                  At one of the Spiritualist churches I've been to, I once I met a very good medium. He got started in Spiritualism when he was a teenager because he started to see and hear spirits. This was very disturbing to him because he was Catholic and communicating with spirits is a mortal sin. He was very troubled until he met another psychic. She was the owner of a New Age gift shop he went to looking for answers to his experiences. She suggested he start going to a Spiritualist church and he took that advice and it helped him immensely. He found a community of people with similar experiences and he took classes and began to give readings at the church. He found meaning in his abilities because he was able to use them to help people suffering from grief. He works as a school teacher and at the time I'm writing this he is on the board of trustes of the church.

                  To explain seeing and hearing spirits like this as super psi is not plausible because there is no psychological motivation to explain why unconscious psi would produce that phenomenon. The phenomenon did not fill any psychological need. It only created a lot problems.

                  This is not a unique case. There are many similar stories by people who have gone on to become very good mediums.

                  If someone says that according to some theory, spirits can't look like and talk like people and interact in the physical world, then that theory is wrong.


                  UPDATE: I removed the links in this post to protect the privacy of the individual referred to.
                  Last edited by anonymous; September 26th, 2012, 09:31 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Originally posted by anonymous View Post
                    To explain seeing and hearing spirits like this as super psi is not plausible because there is no psychological motivation to explain why unconscious psi would produce that phenomenon. The phenomenon did not fill any psychological need. It only created a lot problems.
                    Nobody said that psi effects only happen when there is a psychological need that makes sense to the ego. That is, in fact, not the case even for vanilla psychological issues like neuroses.

                    Originally posted by anonymous View Post
                    If someone says that according to some theory, spirits can't look like and talk like people and interact in the physical world, then that theory is wrong.
                    That's clearly your opinion, which I respect. I hold a different one.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Bernardo View Post

                      There is no substantiation behind your post, despite its length; just a long sequence of arbitrary statements peppered with philosophical naivete. I find it unfortunate.
                      Substantiation of the type you seem to need would require more space than is allowed here and more time than I have to spend. Having said that, your conclusion is not exactly accurate. One might even go so far as to say false. I referenced Stevenson, NDE experience, poltergeist phenomena, etc. These are all "justifications" by reference. I did not include citations, but my understanding is that you are well-read and would understand those references without having to pinpoint which books and articles I am thinking of when I write them. You are aware, I would imagine, of this article: Erlendur Haraldsson (2011). A Perfect Case? Emil Jensen in the mediumship of Indridi Indridason. The fire in Copenhagen on November 24th 1905 and the discovery of Jensen´s identity. Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 59 (223), 195-223. In it, Haraldsson does an excellent job of demonstrating that information not available to any of the people present during a mediumistic sitting could be validated years after all of the concerned parties were dead. It is a very powerful case that suggests survival. You are also likely aware of another excellent study, this one by Antonia Mills, titled "Moslem Cases of the Reincarnation Type in Northern India: A Test of the Hypothesis of Imposed Identification Part I: Analysis of 26 Cases" from the Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 17 1 - 188, 1990 Pergamon Press plc. This case is a very good example that proves the falsity of arguments that religious upbringing has a strong influence on the content and presence of reincarnation tales among children. It is also an excellent study in favor of survival. There are others, but do you really want these references? From the tone of your response it is hard to tell. Besides, the concept I am trying to express is different from an argument I am trying to win or a proof I intend to demonstrate. And, since you have written your fancy collection of pejorative adjectives to express your sincere dismay, may I express the same to you? Surely there are ways to approach these points without unnecessary personal editorial comment?

                      To be very simple, look back at the faux-Sufi story I wrote and ask yourself what it means. If you think it is too obscure, here it is in more direct terms:

                      If a person presents you with a strange object, you inquire of its origin, and are told what the origin is, that answer is the starting point of an inquiry. The answer may be wrong, but investigating it rather than the object itself would more often than not be the more efficient path to an answer. For instance, if Henry Ford came driving his first automobile down a country lane some hundred years ago and told a stranger that he made it in his backyard workshop, it would be more efficient for curious people to go there before looking elsewhere, particularly if such a search would be more difficult to conduct. Rather than a short walk down a lane, one would have to analyze paint chips, iron composition, and serial numbers on bolts. Ford has told them the answer, they should check it first. Maybe he lied, maybe he is concussed and gave the wrong answer, maybe he has no idea where the car came from, but he is the closest intelligent link to the strange contraption available. That would make his answer worthy of consideration.

                      I look at psi the same way. If an NDE experiencer tells you she saw X, Y, Z during the experience, and all three prove to be veridical, that is like the auto in the above example. It is something tangible and strange, but real. Then she tells of meeting spirits and God. These cannot be confirmed directly or immediately, but should we assume she is wrong on the only items that can't be checked and correct on every item that can be checked? That would be like tracking Henry Ford's iron bolts to China instead of going to his workshop 20 miles away. You may say that in the case of psi, there is no "workshop", nor any path that can lead one there. However, there are monks, yogis, lamas, gurus, etc, who would disagree with you. Their path may not be comfortable to you, but if it is the path (short of extreme experience such as an NDE) then it is the way to the source of this strange thing and must be taken. If you think the path is unsavory, such as the case of the rich man who is told to give away his wealth if he would become holy, then perhaps you should also accept that your path will not lead to your goal.

                      If the search for explanations regarding psi must include a spiritual path, then obstinate refusal to take that path will not aid in the search. Moreover, if one objects to the nature of the spiritual path to such an extent that alternates are created, then one might also consider that these paths being indirect would be slower, potentially misleading, and likely fruitless.

                      For other readers, I'd like to point out that these exchanges with Bernardo show how difficult it is, even from among those who accept parapsychology as legitimate science, to accept the connection between spirit and psi. As for the peroration in the post I am replying to, "What is 'spirit', by the way?", you will see that question was addressed earlier in one of my posts. To repeat it for the benefit of those who missed the answer, I am using the word "spirit" in much the same way one would use the word "mankind." It does not describe a single spirit or a single entity composed of a multitude of spirits, but describes what can be thought of as all individual spirits, identified as a type rather than a collective. So if I say "mankind" I refer to all people in the world, and sometimes all people who have ever lived. These are not a collective with any necessary connection beyond their race. When I write "spirit", in the same way I refer to all spirits as well as their nature as distinct from non-spirits. This is also consistent with the word "mankind" in that it can be used to say things like "mankind has always striven to conquer nature" just as one can say of "spirit" "anomalous psi experiences are a reflection of spirit."
                      AP
                      Last edited by paqart; September 21st, 2012, 08:12 AM.

                      Comment


                      • There was a minister at the same church who was also a medium. She has a nephew. He is still a child and not a public medium so I'm not going to give any identifying information. At the time he was very young, I don't remember his exact age but under ten, maybe as young as six. One day his mother brought him to see his aunt. The reason was because he had started to see spirits. At the time he didn't know anything about mediums, or spirits. One day he came running and said, "Mommy there's a stranger in the house." His mother came to see and ... it didn't take too many incidents like that before she figured out it was time to take him to see his aunt the spirit medium.

                        If a trance medium brings through a spirit and gives veridical information but when you check the identity of the spirit you can't verify it, that might suggest super psi.

                        But this is totally different. Here is a young boy who is frightened by a stranger in the house. He is not in a trance, and is not fulfilling any psychological need, because he is does not know there is anything psychic occurring, only that there are strange people in the house. And mediumship runs in the family. In a case like this, invoking super-psi is just a weak excuse to ignore evidence that contradicts whatever beliefs you might have that conflict with the fact that spirits can look like and talk like people and interact with the physical world.
                        Last edited by anonymous; September 21st, 2012, 06:23 AM.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by paqart View Post
                          Substantiation of the type you seem to need would require more space than is allowed here and more time than I have to spend.
                          It was your choice to make a series of definite statements unaccompanied by an argument for their validity.

                          Originally posted by paqart View Post
                          There are others, but do you really want these references?
                          Your misunderstood me. Providing references, though necessary, is not in itself an argument, or a substantiation of a conclusion. You have to explain the logical steps that you took from references to conclusions. In your previous post, you just issued a long series of apparently arbitrary conclusions. You didn't improve much on that in this post.

                          Originally posted by paqart View Post
                          Besides, the concept I am trying to express is different from an argument I am trying to win or a proof I intend to demonstrate.
                          In your previous post you did make a series of very definite statements of fact, without substantiation. In a discussion forum it is legitimate to expect at least some argumentation from someone who submits statements of that kind to a debate. So I think my reaction is legitimate, particularly given the fact that your statements attempted to contradict the case I was arguing and attempting to substantiate.

                          Originally posted by paqart View Post
                          And, since you have written your fancy collection of adjectives to express your sincere dismay, may I express the same to you? Surely there are ways to approach these points without unnecessary personal editorial comment?
                          I don't understand why you have a problem with that. It's a discussion forum. It was your initiative to make claims directly against not only one post of mine, but against all my posts in this thread without discrimination. It's legitimate that I put you on the spot to defend your stance, in the process of defending mine. Not sure how realistic it is for you to make a broad attack in a discussion forum and expect not to get any heat back.

                          Originally posted by paqart View Post
                          If an NDE experiencer tells you she saw X, Y, Z during the experience, and all three prove to be veridical, that is like the auto in the above example.
                          You mix up the reported phenomenology with the explanation for the phenomenology reported, which is a very basic logical fallacy.

                          Someone can report seeing a shoe on a roof after emerging back from an NDE. That phenomenological report can be verified afterwards and proven veridical. Great. Now comes the second part: How do we explain the phenomenological report that has been proven to be veridical? Was it a ghost floating through the roof or was it a form of psi? You see, the second part wouldn't even come into the picture if the phenomenology observed weren't considered true.

                          The truthfulness of an observation is a separate issue to what is the best explanation for the observation. And if the observation is untrue, there isn't even a need to look for an explanation. So your arguing for the truthfulness of what people report is a mute point in the context of this discussion; I wouldn't even be debating this if I didn't accept that.

                          Another thing you seem to consistently assume is that the interpretation of the observer regarding the best explanation for his or her observation is the most reliable one. There are a thousand reasons in science and philosophy why this is simply false. The observer is in the best position to report a phenomenology, not to interpret and produce explanatory models for it.

                          Originally posted by paqart View Post
                          If the search for explanations regarding psi must include a spiritual path, then obstinate refusal to take that path will not aid in the search.
                          What is a spiritual path, in your view? Let me explain why I ask the question: I believe I am in a deep spiritual path for almost four years now (where I define a spiritual path as a path to the truth). Yet, you clearly seem to construe that I am not. So what is a spiritual path to you? The path of a particular dogma?

                          Originally posted by paqart View Post
                          For other readers, I'd like to point out that these exchanges with Bernardo show how difficult it is, even from among those who accept parapsychology as legitimate science, to accept the connection between spirit and psi. As for the peroration in the post I am replying to, "What is 'spirit', by the way?", you will see that question was addressed earlier in one of my posts. To repeat it for the benefit of those who missed the answer, I am using the word "spirit" in much the same way one would use the word "mankind." It does not describe a single spirit or a single entity composed of a multitude of spirits, but describes what can be thought of as all individual spirits, identified as a type rather than a collective. So if I say "mankind" I refer to all people in the world, and sometimes all people who have ever lived. These are not a collective with any necessary connection beyond their race. When I write "spirit", in the same way I refer to all spirits as well as their nature as distinct from non-spirits. This is also consistent with the word "mankind" in that it can be used to say things like "mankind has always striven to conquer nature" just as one can say of "spirit" "anomalous psi experiences are a reflection of spirit." If this answer is too short or simplistic to be satisfactory, please ask someone else to clarify.
                          I never had any issues with plurals or singulars here. Not sure why you emphasize the above so much. I don't care whether you are talking about one spirit or a kazzilion spirits. My question was: What is spirit? Or to put it more clearly: What is a spirit?
                          Last edited by Bernardo; September 21st, 2012, 06:20 AM. Reason: Typos

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                          • Originally posted by Bernardo View Post


                            What is 'spirit', by the way?
                            I think it's like an egoic ghost floating in space-time.
                            Last edited by anonymous; September 21st, 2012, 08:32 AM.

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                            • Originally Posted by Bernardo

                              There is no substantiation behind your post, despite its length; just a long sequence of arbitrary statements peppered with philosophical naivete. I find it unfortunate.
                              Originally posted by paqart View Post
                              Substantiation of the type you seem to need would require more space than is allowed here and more time than I have to spend. Having said that, your conclusion is not exactly accurate. One might even go so far as to say false. I referenced Stevenson, NDE experience, poltergeist phenomena, etc. These are all "justifications" by reference. I did not include citations, but my understanding is that you are well-read and would understand those references without having to pinpoint which books and articles I am thinking of when I write them.
                              Oh boy... quite a brouhaha.

                              Wow, Bernardo... "long sequence of arbitrary statements"... really??? "philosophical naivete"... how so???

                              I don't mind the sharp elbows... but don't you think you should stick to substance over form. I mean, the idea that spirit/spiritual/God related references stymie any scientific discussion (which is the essence of Andy's position) is not a new idea... and not without merit.

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                              • Could my last reply to Andy, which was deleted although it had no ad homenen attacks, be restored? It took time to write that...
                                Last edited by Bernardo; September 21st, 2012, 12:23 PM. Reason: typo: but = be

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