Mod+ 255. IAN MCCORMACK’S EXCLUSIVELY CHRISTIAN NEAR-DEATH EXPEIENCE

#21
how about this:
- first, I gotta be a decent human being (secular democracy)
- then, I gotta get better at this love/compassion/connection thing that I'm much better at talking about than practicing.
- everything else is in some way or another a distraction/illusion/not-that-important stuff along the way. So if Jesus (or in my case Neem Karoli Baba) helps me sleep better at night, or helps me be better at the first two, then great... but it's ultimately about me discovering/realizing me.
And yet even those are not objective truths and may be little more than fantasy that helps make us feel better for our stay on Earth. Hard to say anything is absolutely true.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#22
And yet even those are not objective truths and may be little more than fantasy that helps make us feel better for our stay on Earth. Hard to say anything is absolutely true.
Right, but if all we have is our stay on Earth we might as well choose the more beneficial path for society and ourselves. Best not to lose ourselves to nihilism or fanaticism.

That said, what if I had the vision of eternal torment Ian had, or for that matter the Buddhists/Taoists had in the link I posted? Would reason be enough for me to see how delusional it was to assume I'd seen some kind of genuine proof that a particular way was the only way to escape damnation?

Perhaps Ian is a prisoner of his terror, which is why he came across as an irrational question beggar in that interview. Reminded me of Hancock claiming he was damned for eternity because he smoked too much weed.
 
#23
Right, but if all we have is our stay on Earth we might as well choose the more beneficial path for society and ourselves. Best not to lose ourselves to nihilism or fanaticism.

That said, what if I had the vision of eternal torment Ian had, or for that matter the Buddhists/Taoists had in the link I posted? Would reason be enough for me to see how delusional it was to assume I'd seen some kind of genuine proof that a particular way was the only way to escape damnation?

Perhaps Ian is a prisoner of his terror, which is why he came across as an irrational question beggar in that interview. Reminded me of Hancock claiming he was damned for eternity because he smoked too much weed.
The only reason I ask is that I'm listening to Jed McKenna's books on enlightenment. He's basically saying that the void is the one true reality and that all this other "spiritual" stuff is fine because it makes people feel good. But it isn't the absolute truth. I know that Rick Archer and lots of other folks love to say, "Well it's non-duality, so it is not two. The void and the manifest reality are really two sides of the same coin. So we have to honor both "sides" as having meaning."

McKenna is saying no. You push on to the end and ultimately there is only the void. This manifest reality is so much meaningless soap opera drivel. It may be painful. But basically without truth. He is saying 98% of what is said by spiritual teachers is basically drivel, well meaning, but ultimately misguided.

I'm not saying I'm buying it. But I can't say he isn't hooking me a little bit. We desperately want with all our hearts for universe to run on love and for compassion and mindfulness to be these magical elixirs that part the sea of suffering and expose the truth. All I'm saying is when I really dig in and have a look, sometimes all that stuff does feel like a bit of a fantasy.

And I'm not denying psi or reincarnation or anything like that. I think all that stuff is definitely a part of the manifest reality. But I just keep coming back to the void as the one true ultimate reality. Maybe it's just me.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#24
I think you're being too optimistic Anonymous.

Void, Heaven, Hell, Bliss...maybe all of these are distractions from the truth of our imprisonment by the Archons.

(only half-joking)
 
#25
NDEs are what they are: they're all strange in the sense that most of us have never experienced anything like them, but if we're to accept they are significant, we have no choice but to entertain the phenomenological descriptions of those who havehad them. Whilst many descriptions might fit within the broad hump of the bell curve of a normal distribution, some might appear as outliers on the tails. The distribution of numbers just gives us a distribution of numbers; it doesn't tell us anything about the underlying truth we might all experience when irrevocably dead: this might be something different from all the descriptions.
Michael this sums it up quite nicely. I would add that I think if enough people have them this will be enough to change the world.
 
#26
My hunch is that NDE's tap into another, very complex and varied reality. If an alien were to land at an arbitrary place on the earth, he might land in a pleasant park full of laughing children, or in present day Iraq, or even in the mid Atlantic - which might resemble the Void - or in any number of other confusing spots!

I say this partly because some prolific OBE'ers seem to discover a complex reality out there. My hunch is that every religion has some sort of extension out there, and maybe some other human institutions do too!

This is the only way that I can make sense of the extreme variability of NDE experiences. Simply saying that they depend on the state of mind of the experiencer, seems dangerously close to calling them hallucinations - yet many clearly start with a real component - watching the resuscitation scene from the ceiling - so they are more than that.

David
 
#27
Just heard this in full, and ... OH WOW!

What a mess! Don't know what to make of it. I feel this episode was quite painful to hear, but Alex, you did a great job of attempting to remain respectful of Ian's experience and give the benefit of the doubt to him, against the tide of bigotry and fear mongering. I wonder if people like Ian even know that's what they are propagating? I suspect not. If Jesus really did tell him that basically Billy Graham's version of events is all we need to tune in to, then I would find myself in the most awful of predicaments, because I would not ever be able to get a passport to heaven. It's just not part of my being.

I wrestled with the superstitious fear mongering of Christian fundamentalism for much of my life, and feel that I have finally arrived at a place where the fearful coercion involved in the Hell narrative, is no longer influential in my thinking. If anything, such a narrative makes it utterly impossible for me to love a God that set this black and white "Choose your eternity" narrative in motion.

So, love God or go to Hell? ... Love?

Well, call me picky, but the truest experience of love I have encountered in my short life has been the love my mother showed to me, and the love I have for my children, and they are as close to unconditional as I can conceptualise, and nothing in this world has been and is of more value to me. Nor could anything undo that love. Nothing my children could do could jeopardize or undo my love for them.

The love that fundamentalist Christianity thrusts forward, and the message that Ian has brought back with him, does not begin to equate the pure unconditional love a father or mother has for their children. In fact, quite the opposite. It is not love, but threatening controlling and manipulative to demand love. Love cannot ever be born out of fear and need, at least not my experience of it. Where there is love, there is no fear, and where there is fear, there similarly is no love. Pretty straightforward really.

So, with that in mind, I have to say, even if Ian's message were actually the truth about the divine set up, I won't be joining up. Either I am just spiritually broken, and I don't really understand love, and Ian gets it in a way I don't, and won't ever be able to understand - or I do feel love deeply, truly and accurately, and am therefore naturally compelled to resist Ian's (mainstream Christian fundamentalist) fear mongering.

Glad I am no longer moved or influenced by these childish threats (Bible or Hell) as I attempt to mature spiritually, and deepen, share and understand what love I have been blessed with in my life.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#28
Michael this sums it up quite nicely. I would add that I think if enough people have them this will be enough to change the world.
I think NDEs might help the moral evolution of the world -and perhaps already have- but IMO if enough people had visions like Ian's it would ruin the world. (And not because Jesus showed up - the Pure Land Buddhist NDEs are just bad when they're offering an exclusionary path out of damnation.)

Look at it this way - what isn't morally acceptable if your mission is saving souls from eternal damnation? Even killing millions - and supposedly sending their souls to Hell - could be justified to save the souls of billions. All you need is the capacity for irrational self-delusion people like Ian seem to possess in spades.

"This one thing every tyrant will tell you - nothing saves more lives than murder."
-The White Luck Warrior


Simply saying that they depend on the state of mind of the experiencer, seems dangerously close to calling them hallucinations - yet many clearly start with a real component - watching the resuscitation scene from the ceiling - so they are more than that.
Why can't the mind be clear for a moment, and then fall into delusion? Lucid dreamers note this - that they can be in control of the dream for a bit and then fall back into a dream narrative. Perhaps something similar happens to the NDEr.

So, with that in mind, I have to say, even if Ian's message were actually the truth about the divine set up, I won't be joining up. Either I am just spiritually broken, and I don't really understand love, and Ian gets it in a way I don't, and won't ever be able to understand - or I do feel love deeply, truly and accurately, and am therefore naturally compelled to resist Ian's (mainstream Christian fundamentalist) fear mongering.
Don't worry, it's pretty clear Ian is logic-phobic and operating under delusion. Well, that or existence is more laughably Absurd than even I sometimes argue for.
 
#29
Why can't the mind be clear for a moment, and then fall into delusion? Lucid dreamers note this - that they can be in control of the dream for a bit and then fall back into a dream narrative. Perhaps something similar happens to the NDEr.
Well I suppose it might - but if we cherry pick the data like that, we could come to any conclusion! Besides, many NDE's do seem to contain more reasonable content such as communication with dead loved ones, and a decision to return to the body.

David
 
#31
Right, but if all we have is our stay on Earth we might as well choose the more beneficial path for society and ourselves. Best not to lose ourselves to nihilism or fanaticism.

That said, what if I had the vision of eternal torment Ian had, or for that matter the Buddhists/Taoists had in the link I posted? Would reason be enough for me to see how delusional it was to assume I'd seen some kind of genuine proof that a particular way was the only way to escape damnation?

Perhaps Ian is a prisoner of his terror, which is why he came across as an irrational question beggar in that interview. Reminded me of Hancock claiming he was damned for eternity because he smoked too much weed.
Jacob's Ladder (1990)
Quotes
Louis: Eckhart saw Hell too. He said: The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won't let go of life, your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they're not punishing you, he said. They're freeing your soul. So, if you're frightened of dying and... and you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth.
 
#32
McKenna is saying no. You push on to the end and ultimately there is only the void. This manifest reality is so much meaningless soap opera drivel. It may be painful. But basically without truth. He is saying 98% of what is said by spiritual teachers is basically drivel, well meaning, but ultimately misguided.
I don't buy the nihilistic, non-duality BS... it's a bad version of, "Revenge of the Atheists" :)

The basic message of love and connection transmitted thru every spiritual tradition, and every STE, trumps this navel gazing.
 
#33
I don't buy the nihilistic, non-duality BS... it's a bad version of, "Revenge of the Atheists" :)

The basic message of love and connection transmitted thru every spiritual tradition, and every STE, trumps this navel gazing.
Right. Every spiritual tradition except Zen, Advaita Vedanta and probably a bunch of others that we are both ignorant of.
 
#34
I wrestled with the superstitious fear mongering of Christian fundamentalism for much of my life, and feel that I have finally arrived at a place where the fearful coercion involved in the Hell narrative, is no longer influential in my thinking.
I'm gonna try and not go too anti-Christian here, because I think everyone has a right to find God/non-god/spirit in their own way, but it does peeve me when Christians (as a group) can't own up to the coercive mind control crap they have inflicted on children. I got off easy, but everyone who's gone thru this indoctrination can relate to what you're saying. It's shameful. I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my myopic atheist brothers on this one :)


..It is not love, but threatening controlling and manipulative to demand love. Love cannot ever be born out of fear and need, at least not my experience of it. Where there is love, there is no fear, and where there is fear, there similarly is no love. Pretty straightforward really.
well said.
 
#35
Right. Every spiritual tradition except Zen, Advaita Vedanta and probably a bunch of others that we are both ignorant of.
I think this might be a misunderstanding of these traditions:
http://fpmt.org/mandala/archives/ma...ted-visions-of-buddhism-agnostic-and-atheist/

As Buddhism has encountered modernity, it runs against widespread prejudices, both religious and anti-religious, and it is common for all those with such biases to misrepresent Buddhism, either intentionally or unintentionally. Reputable scholars of Buddhism, both traditional and modern, all agree that the historical Buddha taught a view of karma and rebirth that was quite different from the previous takes on these ideas. Moreover, his teachings on the nature and origins of suffering as well as liberation are couched entirely within the framework of rebirth. Liberation is precisely freedom from the round of birth and death that is samsara. But for many contemporary people drawn to Buddhism, the teachings on karma and rebirth don’t sit well, so they are faced with a dilemma. A legitimate option simply is adopt those theories and practices from various Buddhist traditions that one finds compelling and beneficial and set the others aside. An illegitimate option is to reinvent the Buddha and his teachings based on one’s own prejudices. This, unfortunately, is the route followed by Stephen Batchelor and other like-minded people who are intent on reshaping the Buddha in their own images... This view ignores the fact that generations of traditional Buddhists, beginning with the first Buddhist council shortly following the Buddha’s death, have reverently taken the utmost care to accurately preserve his teachings. Moreover, modern secular Buddhist scholarship also has applied its formidable literary, historical, and archeological skills to trying to determine the teachings of the Buddha. Despite the many important differences among Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana schools of Buddhism, traditional Buddhists of all schools recognize the Pali suttas as being the most uncontested records of the Buddha’s teachings.

...Since Batchelor dismisses all talk of rebirth as a waste of time, he projects this view onto his image of the Buddha, declaring that he regarded “speculation about future and past lives to be just another distraction.” This claim flies in the face of the countless times the Buddha spoke of the immense importance of rebirth and karma, which lie at the core of his teachings as they are recorded in Pali suttas. Batchelor is one of many Zen teachers nowadays who regard future and past lives as a mere distraction. But in adopting this attitude, they go against the teachings of Dogen Zenji, founder of the Soto school of Zen, who addressed the importance of the teachings on rebirth and karma in his principal anthology, Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma (Shobogenzo). In his book Deep Faith in Cause and Effect (Jinshin inga), he criticizes Zen masters who deny karma, and in Karma of the Three Times (Sanji go), he goes into more detail on this matter.5
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#36
Well I suppose it might - but if we cherry pick the data like that, we could come to any conclusion! Besides, many NDE's do seem to contain more reasonable content such as communication with dead loved ones, and a decision to return to the body.

David
To me cherry picking would be dependance on a small amount of data - it seems to me this is what Ian is doing by using the people he knows to support his conclusion while claiming NDEs with other messages are the deceptions of demons. He's basically taking his conclusion as true, and using that assumption to - in his unfortunately deluded mind - refute any arguments against that conclusion.

OTOH, I'm simply pointing out that mind-not-brain doesn't mean mind is intrinsically free from cognitive biases. If anything, it seems that if your Self is not dependent on your brain that one would expect this capacity for confabulation to remain. I think that's a pretty valid conclusion if you look at the different NDEs telling you there's different exclusionary paths out of Hell, the ones telling you there's no Hell, the ones saying there's just Void, and the ones that come off like weird dreams.

I'm still hoping someone can find an NDE where a person encounters a deity they never heard about, like when Gabriel Roberts encountered Tara on LSD. The latter seems far more impressive to me personally, assuming Roberts has accurately conveyed his experience. Even then it says nothing [definitive] about whether Tara is a real entity, or even a manifestation of the Divine Feminine as Roberts believes.
 
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#37
I think this might be a misunderstanding of these traditions:
http://fpmt.org/mandala/archives/ma...ted-visions-of-buddhism-agnostic-and-atheist/

As Buddhism has encountered modernity, it runs against widespread prejudices, both religious and anti-religious, and it is common for all those with such biases to misrepresent Buddhism, either intentionally or unintentionally. Reputable scholars of Buddhism, both traditional and modern, all agree that the historical Buddha taught a view of karma and rebirth that was quite different from the previous takes on these ideas. Moreover, his teachings on the nature and origins of suffering as well as liberation are couched entirely within the framework of rebirth. Liberation is precisely freedom from the round of birth and death that is samsara. But for many contemporary people drawn to Buddhism, the teachings on karma and rebirth don’t sit well, so they are faced with a dilemma. A legitimate option simply is adopt those theories and practices from various Buddhist traditions that one finds compelling and beneficial and set the others aside. An illegitimate option is to reinvent the Buddha and his teachings based on one’s own prejudices. This, unfortunately, is the route followed by Stephen Batchelor and other like-minded people who are intent on reshaping the Buddha in their own images... This view ignores the fact that generations of traditional Buddhists, beginning with the first Buddhist council shortly following the Buddha’s death, have reverently taken the utmost care to accurately preserve his teachings. Moreover, modern secular Buddhist scholarship also has applied its formidable literary, historical, and archeological skills to trying to determine the teachings of the Buddha. Despite the many important differences among Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana schools of Buddhism, traditional Buddhists of all schools recognize the Pali suttas as being the most uncontested records of the Buddha’s teachings.

...Since Batchelor dismisses all talk of rebirth as a waste of time, he projects this view onto his image of the Buddha, declaring that he regarded “speculation about future and past lives to be just another distraction.” This claim flies in the face of the countless times the Buddha spoke of the immense importance of rebirth and karma, which lie at the core of his teachings as they are recorded in Pali suttas. Batchelor is one of many Zen teachers nowadays who regard future and past lives as a mere distraction. But in adopting this attitude, they go against the teachings of Dogen Zenji, founder of the Soto school of Zen, who addressed the importance of the teachings on rebirth and karma in his principal anthology, Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma (Shobogenzo). In his book Deep Faith in Cause and Effect (Jinshin inga), he criticizes Zen masters who deny karma, and in Karma of the Three Times (Sanji go), he goes into more detail on this matter.5
Sure.
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#39
For my money--and I think Alex and I seemed to agree on this in the discussion about Howard Storm's NDE--we can't take the source of the NDE as being some ultimate transcendent truth in its pristine state. Such a truth might well be involved, but it's filtered by experiencers, possibly influenced by their conditioning and spiritual state at the time of the event.
Yes. We make an unwarranted assumption if we go from 1) (in some cases) a brain-separated consciousness reality, to 2) that reality is the ultimate reality.
 
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