David Sunfellow, Can the Scientific Study of NDEs Reveal the Purpose of Life? |413|

That is very apt, because atoms and molecules exist because the wave function forms a standing wave structure - much as happens in organ pipes, or in your GIF. This in turn is the only reason why chemicals have discrete properties - otherwise they would be like mountains (say) - every one would be different.

However, I don't think people who talk about vibrations in our context are thinking of things that vibrate 10,000,000,000,000 times per second or more, are they?

David
 
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In this regard I am critical of all Abrahamic religions in particular (it is not 'phobic' - to be critical of people's evil work)
And I think we need to recall that Christian religious 'extremism' dominated Western civilisation for quite a few centuries. And our psyches are contaminated by it still.

Far from expressing a phobia, the ability to look critically at any belief system is essential for a rational and sane life. Nobody in this formum has even accused another of being 'materiophobic' when we point out the irrational extremes of materialism.

I don't like using the term 'phobic' to describe any critical sentiment, even those that exhibit extreme intolerance, because it is so readily misapplied. A phobia is a strong or 'irrational' fear, not a considered disagreement. My stepfather, who is a fundamentalist Christian is not homophobic. His objection to homosexuality is considered and reasoned. He has what he considers a moral duty to take an adverse position. In my view he is morally wrong and misinformed. But not phobic.
 
I agree with all you say about the Democrats, we just disagree on Trump. He lies constantly, that’s one of the reasons he’s in power. I’m sure he won a lot of votes on his seemingly ‘anti-war’ foreign policy stance. As Meurs said, his actions are far from his words.
I am not one to throw cold water on political discussions but can I respectfully suggest that they should be better redirected to private conversations? Count me in if there is one - especially Trump related.
 
Based on reports by NDErs, what evidential mediums have said, and my own experiences communicating with spirits, I believe there are different areas of the afterlife and after death people go to areas where they will be with like minded people. This happens through a process that is more like a natural law such as gravity, than by a law where you are judged by someone else. People who like harming others have their areas and those areas are not pleasant to be in. Eventually those people get a clue and figure out there is a better way to be and they get help to raise their level. So there are hellish regions but no one is condemned to spend an eternity in them.

People may visit these areas during NDEs in order to come back and tell the rest of us about them or because they will benefit from a glimpse of what is in store for them if they continue on their current path.


What is it like in the aftelife?
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/articles-and-links-arranged-by-subject.html#articles_by_subject_like
When a person has an NDE or goes to the afterlife, they are drawn to regions that match their state of mind.

In everyday life, some people feel the world is a nice place. Some people feel the world is a horrible place. A person may experience different feelings about this from time to time. If you ask them about the world, they will say it is nice or horrible as if that was a fact but they think that way because of their feelings.

What forms their opinion, I believe, are several factors. And the influence of these factors are not necessarily the equal for every person. These factors include: their genetics, their nutrition, their current biochemical state, their current environment, their past environment, and their thought patterns or habits of thinking. (https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/meditation-1#meditation_serenity)

It is possible to be mindful of a fact (for example you don't have what you want, or you do have what you don't want) and maybe feel that is why the world is horrible, But is is also possible to be mindful of the same exact fact and feel the world is nice. Different people or the same person at different times many have these different feelings.

When some one visits the afterlife during an NDE, sometimes they may visit places that match their current state of mind. If someone visits an unpleasant location in the afterlife it may not signify anything except that their current mood is drawing to an unpleasant place.
 
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I am not one to throw cold water on political discussions but can I respectfully suggest that they should be better redirected to private conversations? Count me in if there is one - especially Trump related.
Can I ‘respectfully’ ask why you picked on me posting ‘political discussions’ when I was far from the only one to post about them? I didn’t introduce the topic, I responded to others posts.

I believe everything should be out in the open. I wasn’t particularly interested in your 11:11 posts, so I didn’t read them. Can’t you just do the same? Your post has pissed me off!
 
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Can I ‘respectfully’ ask why you picked on me posting ‘political discussions’ when I was far from the only one to post about them? I didn’t introduce the topic, I responded to others posts.
Sorry Steve. It wasn't personal. Yours was the last one I saw and I get concerned when politics comes into the forum and said so. It was not a criticism of you in any way. I felt your passion and was sympathetic - and knew if I yielded to temptation I'd be doing exactly what I was concerned about.
 
Sorry Steve. It wasn't personal. Yours was the last one I saw and I get concerned when politics comes into the forum and said so. It was not a criticism of you in any way. I felt your passion and was sympathetic - and knew if I yielded to temptation I'd be doing exactly what I was concerned about.
Fair enough. Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me!

I guess I’m frustrated at the lack of a place to discuss such matters. Since Alex shut down the forum and PsiQuest is equally hostile to such discussions. They allow me a place to play behind a wall! :) But hardly anybody comes there to post.

I find that troubling. There is widespread censoring going on in the social media, but no one wants to talk about it. The same few people talk, but the message isn’t getting through. Talk about playing while the titanic sinks! Perhaps that is why Alex wants to steer clear of that controversy. I can’t really blame him.

I’ve just seen this article about your part of the world...
https://robinwestenra.blogspot.com/2019/06/australian-whistleblower-to-be-tried-in.html
 
This is a far deeper theme than I can convey here. The very origin of Christianity tells of an expulsion from Eden for the commission of a sin of wanting to know. That expulsion could be seen as a trauma - a kind of 'birth' into the world of matter. Traditional cultures have ceremonies to mark the transition from childhood to adulthood that can be deeply painful and even deeply dangerous.

The transition from innocence to the next state seems always to be a journey through pain, of breaking away from what we were to become what we will be. The image of Jesus on the cross is actually an initiatory shamanic image that is hinted at, but never explicitly explored by Christianity - which would not want anyone to think it is rooted in a shamanic tradition.

In Buddhism we find the ideas of release from suffering and desire through deep personal disciplines that can test resolve. In Christianity and elsewhere there are references to the 'dark night of the soul' - a period of existential trauma. In love we know of 'heartbreak'.

The very nature of physical existence embodies profound challenges in which 'breaking' or 'going mad' are acknowledged risks - and this is especially so in religious and military senses (especially when combined) where character is tested to the extreme.

I think the same applies to a gentler degree in ordinary lives, when people have their faith tested, or simply their ability to endure and survive shocking life circumstances. For example psychological trauma generated by physical, emotional and sexual abuse of children will, break some and send them mad, while others endure damaged and yet others live decent enough lives.

If we assent to these trials (and I do not believe all do) we must assume there is a loving wisdom behind it all - and if not that, what? Jesus exhorted his disciples to endure suffering for 'his sake'. Why would the embodiment of Love suggest such a thing?

I am not suggesting the above is an answer - just an indication of the complexity and difficulty of the ideas.
Hi again Michael, I do appreciate your ability to draw parallels between different cultural and spiritual traditions and I envy your inclination to believe that the very fact that lots of people, in the past, too, have chosen to view our "journey through pain" (to use your very apt definition) as something "useful", it must all make sense somehow - but this attitude after all boils down to the same thing as NDE-based religions, or any religion or "faith" (even if it is not in an established religion) that purports that our lives, after all, must have a (hidden) meaning that we would approve of, and that there is some kind of "salvation" at the end of earthly life: I just don't have such faith.

I don't have such faith (which would be necessary to manage to downplay all the evidence to the contrary that I see in this material world) that "there is a loving wisdom behind it all", as you say. You interpret what humans and animals go through as tough love, I see it as systemic violence perpetrated on ignorant sentient beings, which gets couched in heroic rhetoric to make it more palatable.

I am 100% in agreement with you (and I guess with everybody here on Skeptiko) that the material world we see and touch is most definitely NOT all there is. But this does not imply for me, as it seems to imply to most people here, that 'whatever is behind the veil' (for lack of a better definition) is necessarily what we would wish to find there.

A couple of friends had a baby a few months ago and just found out that it has a very serious genetic disease. It will become increasingly difficult for it to have a normal life, including to eat and to breathe (so he will need medical interventions and support for everything), and its life expectancy is only about 2 years. Now, if there really is a "mastermind" behind the physical world, this means that it has designed it so as to make it possible to happen (and unfortunately I could have made gazillions of similar examples - it is most often "nature itself" that causes pain and suffering, and such suffering is most definitely not caused by the evil actions of human beings, or "all in our mind"), I cannot and will not rejoice about the "mysterious and perfect ways" of whatever has given rise to this material dimension where these and even worse things happen on a daily basis (is it metaphysical but still 'blind' forces/archetypes, like numbers or geometrical patterns? the incomprehensible Ein Sof of Khabbalists? Strings "vibrating" (and whence comes such "vibration") ? A god? Many gods? I have no idea, and this is not the point. The point is the nature of such Source, ie: what it is doing with us).

Thing is, I doubt there is "a MasterPlan" that we would endorse, if we knew it (and that's why we are not told - we are kept guessing, and very probably misled, so that there's a big cacophony of 'spiritual experiences' and it's impossible to really know what is going on behind the scenes), or even that there is some kind of "wisdom" whereby our trials will take us to some "higher level" (during this life? After death?) as you seem to suggest. And if there was such a Plan, I would disagree with a system that enforces such horrors on us to "make us better". They are too extreme to be a means to a benevolent end, constituting a contradiction in terms to any loving wisdom supposedly driving this process.

I will send you a private message some time to discuss something that is off topic here - hopefully this post is not too off topic itself, if so apologies to those following this thread (anyway I'm not the only one posting off-topic stuff :))
 
I find that troubling. There is widespread censoring going on in the social media, but no one wants to talk about it. The same few people talk, but the message isn’t getting through. Talk about playing while the titanic sinks! Perhaps that is why Alex wants to steer clear of that controversy. I can’t really blame him.
I think you raise an interesting issue here. For me social media has become a mad place of ill-disciplined opinion and crude and offensive sentiment. If you mean the censorship of ideas reasonably expressed that is a worry - but when a reasoned comment attracts the baying hounds of crude opinion and rude riposte retreat to a kinder climate makes sense. We can share sensible and reasoned ideas supported by informed opinion and abetted by good spirit and curiosity - which is what this forum does.

But part of the necessary liberty that is embodied in the ideal of 'free speech' is a set of principles I do not think we can do without - courtesy, modesty and self-restraint are most important to me.

I think that the forum has boundaries in terms of what themes are suited to open discussion and what might necessarily be taken off line to a private conversation. Politics is one area I think should be limited to contextual reference on the forum - because it evokes passion and disputes that are not resolved readily in this forum format. I am not saying don't mention politics - just know the boundaries - and if you want to continue a discussion to a more detailed degree - sidebar it - as this forum makes readily available. This isn't censorship - just smart management of self and conversations. Its exactly how we behave in the 'real world' if we have friends and intimates.
 
I don’t like the banning up of all the platforms and banning Alex Jones for example, although I’m no fan of his, I think it’s the slippery slope. I see some of my friends cheering that sort of thing on, and shake my head at their naivety.
I agree that the Alex Jones things is a worry - but he was mad as a cut snake - and I have a real issue with people peddling lunatic conspiracy theories.

The things about then slippery slope fear is that we can apply that to something like speed limits on roads and fear we all maybe one day forced to drive at 10kph. If we are last participants in what we fondly imagine is a democracy then we get what we deserve.

I don't know the full story behind Jones so I can't comment. Maybe he also broke legit laws? In this country we have an asshole called Allen [or a version fo that spelling] Jones who is left to rampage across public radio spewing his idiotic toxic tripe to fools. He's allowed to continue because there are enough fools who, listen to him to make him profitable. But it would be a public service to silence him because he does no good other than than generate profit out of an accident of demographics.

There is always a tension between liberty and social responsibility. It will never be resolved so long as our measure of freedom to say what you want when and how you want to do so - a opposed to have a sense of duty to reason, truth and courtesy. Democracy demands fidelity to the former.
 
I have been following these two guys for some time, they are far from lunatics, and neither of them ever even swear, ‘they're’ clamping down on anti-Israel stuff hard. You may not be too interested atm, but I think you should be. Anti- hate? Mmm wonder what that means?

The second one is a guy called Jake Morphonios, he’s a clued up guy.



The first one has already been messed with.
 
A couple of friends had a baby a few months ago and just found out that it has a very serious genetic disease. It will become increasingly difficult for it to have a normal life, including to eat and to breathe (so he will need medical interventions and support for everything), and its life expectancy is only about 2 years. Now, if there really is a "mastermind" behind the physical world, this means that it has designed it so as to make it possible to happen (and unfortunately I could have made gazillions of similar examples - it is most often "nature itself" that causes pain and suffering, and such suffering is most definitely not caused by the evil actions of human beings, or "all in our mind"), I cannot and will not rejoice about the "mysterious and perfect ways" of whatever has given rise to this material dimension where these and even worse things happen on a daily basis (is it metaphysical but still 'blind' forces/archetypes, like numbers or geometrical patterns? the incomprehensible Ein Sof of Khabbalists? Strings "vibrating" (and whence comes such "vibration") ? A god? Many gods? I have no idea, and this is not the point. The point is the nature of such Source, ie: what it is doing with us).
Wow! Your passion comes across so clearly and I have no glib or easy responses. It seems I have spent most of my professional life dealing with disability - from a hands on perspective through services and now my own experience.

Nature of itself is pain and suffering. The mere transference of energy that enables living beings to survive so often involves predation and death - a realm of sacrifice into which spirit enters so that it knows the limitations of the mortal world and thereby develops compassion and love in a way that cannot be available otherwise. This is the whole essence of the Christ suffering on the Cross motif - the cross representing material life and the 'sacrifice' of spirt in entering the material world - not leaving it as the Christian message insists. In 'death' true life is redeemed. The physical world is the 'under world' - the realm of suffering.

Why suffering? Consider the truths of our lives. We are enacting violence upon many things - the furnace of the roast lamb, the extreme heat that we need to make our rice edible. Its a long list of violences we commit. The pain of childbirth, the agony of young love, the pains of age related decrepitude. And what of the suffering to excel? Or the struggle to survive?

This physical existence is a realm of pain and suffering by its very nature. Our ancestors understood it when they grieved for the prey they had killed so their families could live - something we do not do now. There was a time when sorrow accompanied joy and relief in the understanding a sacrifice was made. This was acknowledged in the essential message of the Grace before a meal - though Christians expressed gratitude to their god for making it available, not thanks to the lives that were sacrificed.

I sense part of what you feel is that absence of harmony between sacrifice and gratitude that was evident before the immoral abundance that flows over us. I am no longer a Christian but I have respect for the essential Christian theme of striving to bring love into this realm of suffering and sacrifice. Conscious loving awareness is fundamental to being a decent human being.

I want to observe that it has been the mission of what we call civilisation to escape realm of sacrifice and suffering. But in so doing we have removed our spirits from empathy for, and harmony with, the lives that continue to suffer and be sacrificed for our benefit. Instead of elevating our spirits we have become psychopathic.

That is, I think, the source of deep angst so many feel. We are struggling to recover what we know in our souls to be the right way to live. This is the only way I can answer you.
 
I sense part of what you feel is that absence of harmony between sacrifice and gratitude that was evident before the immoral abundance that flows over us. I am no longer a Christian but I have respect for the essential Christian theme of striving to bring love into this realm of suffering and sacrifice. Conscious loving awareness is fundamental to being a decent human being.

I want to observe that it has been the mission of what we call civilisation to escape realm of sacrifice and suffering. But in so doing we have removed our spirits from empathy for, and harmony with, the lives that continue to suffer and be sacrificed for our benefit. Instead of elevating our spirits we have become psychopathic.

That is, I think, the source of deep angst so many feel. We are struggling to recover what we know in our souls to be the right way to live. This is the only way I can answer you.
Well, no, that's not what I was addressing (what you refer to as the right way to live). My question was more radical: I just don't see for what reason we would endorse this material dimension as it is - why does THIS kind of material dimension have to be as you correctly described ("nature of itself is pain and suffering") in the first place (and I couldn't agree more with your description; in fact, with reference to your example : I don't eat lamb, I am a vegan - I strive to participate in the violence inherent in nature as little as possible. But I am fully aware that no form of life in this material world is harmless, hence I am not at all harmless and/or "better" than others. Just more sensitive, and unwilling to "love what is", if it is not worthy of love - like the act of killing. Again, killing other forms of life to survive is an intrinsic feature of the way this material world was designed - no amount of compassion and gratitude for the killed will "make it right").

Gratitude to those we harm to survive is all very well, but there should have been no need for sacrifice in the first place. Why must it be this way? What 'agency' designed such a world and why? It is most likely, at this point, that we cannot fathom the answer because it's not about us. I suspect that most people prefer to believe (or at least hope) at all costs that there's a reason for this design, that is, a reason that is good for us, that we would approve of - because even contemplating what would seem to be a far more likely but also far less uplifting truth, based on our shared, daily experience, would be too painful.

Your post is very poetic but my question is very basic and goes well beyond the (supposed) purpose of spirit entering this world of matter to bring love into it (as if it could change the way the material world (dis)-functions and erase the actual violence and suffering inherent in it. It can't).

Don't worry that you cannot provide me with a convincing answer, nobody has been able to :). All the answers I have come across just dance around the issue, trying to find silver linings etc but this is not what I am saying. I, too, make the best of the situation we're in, like everybody else, but I do it without rejoicing and endorsing and cooperating with the cruel mystery we were thrown into.
Thank you for addressing my points anyway, I appreciate your presence in this Forum.
 
I want to observe that it has been the mission of what we call civilisation to escape realm of sacrifice and suffering. But in so doing we have removed our spirits from empathy for, and harmony with, the lives that continue to suffer and be sacrificed for our benefit. Instead of elevating our spirits we have become psychopathic.

That is, I think, the source of deep angst so many feel. We are struggling to recover what we know in our souls to be the right way to live.
We try to eliminate fear from our lives and yet create it. There's got be a reason for that.
 
I think that the forum has boundaries in terms of what themes are suited to open discussion and what might necessarily be taken off line to a private conversation. Politics is one area I think should be limited to contextual reference on the forum - because it evokes passion and disputes that are not resolved readily in this forum format. I am not saying don't mention politics - just know the boundaries - and if you want to continue a discussion to a more detailed degree - sidebar it - as this forum makes readily available. This isn't censorship - just smart management of self and conversations. Its exactly how we behave in the 'real world' if we have friends and intimates.
One reason I think social media is particularly discourteous is the like/favorite/upvote system, which incentivizes the pursuit of huzzahs from your tribesmen over engaged conversation or compelling argument. Alex should disable that feature. I do on every board I run.
 
Hello Pam, I suspect we self talk our material experience, and in so doing we edit out things that do not appear to conform to linear logic. Now and then I find myself in the process of contradicting an intuition on the grounds that it violates a 'rational' explanation of how things should be or go. So I think that this reflexive edit function also applies to memory as well.

However I think also that we can cultivate a habit of mind that acknowledges and accommodates those 'odd' things - partially by affirming that they are properly part of one's life.

I am interested that you used the term "how difficult it is to just explain away many of them". Why would you want to do that? Coming up with what may seem to be plausible 'explanations' is not meaningful if the theories are wrong - and even so, its more often a case of saying such and such is "just" this or that - as if we are comforted by the proposition that what just happened is nothing of interest - look away - there's nothing going on here folks.

The woo stuff seems to seep through where it can - when the self talk has eased off, or when the clangorous of intellectualising has momentarily stilled - and then it all seems so anomalous, begging to be forgotten or explained away.

I am one of the many who are plagued by 11:11 - albeit in frequent bursts followed by periods of respite. I might, for example, catch 11:11 on a clock for days in a row triggered by a sudden impulse to break from what I am doing to grab my phone or look at a clock. But then I'd also run into a bunch of 11:11 time stamps over a few days as well. I used to keep records on instances on my phone, but after several months doing so seeming to be pointless. The list was getting so long.

This 11:11 thing seems to be pretty common, and other people get different number or letter combos. You can 'explain' some of these away as just 'co-incidences', but not, I think, the barrage that comes daily for ages. Its more like some agency is having a game. Last year, when I was keeping records, I was intently writing (work related) and did not want to stop - and then I had a sudden pang of anxiety about needing to know the time - which wasn't true - I didn't, and I knew I didn't. But I grabbed my phone as if I had no control over my hand. I had to see it was 11:11 and I had only 60 seconds to do so and time was awasting - that was the urgency - and it wasn't coming from me.

Earlier this year I was taking an unusually late train from Katoomba into Sydney and I was sitting on the platform way too early to catch the 11:38. Its not unusual for me to arrive with 10 mins to spare, and never 30 mins or so. But here I was, for reasons not recalled, sitting on the platform quite happily listening to a podcast, knowing full well I was way early. Suddenly I had to look at the time -and not my phone clock, which is usual. but the platform clock which was showing 11:11:11. No idea why the platform clock has to show seconds - the timetables are not that precise. The game showed me a subtle side.

I.
Michael see my recent post in the other sub forum about my recent 11:11 experience. There are entire Facebook groups numbering in the thousands full of people discussing their experiences with repeating ones. My recent experience was pretty bizarre, from a chance standpoint.
 
Did you really read my post? :)

I agree with all you say about the Democrats, we just disagree on Trump. He lies constantly, that’s one of the reasons he’s in power. I’m sure he won a lot of votes on his seemingly ‘anti-war’ foreign policy stance. As Meurs said, his actions are far from his words.
Well I don't agree - at least not completely. His position was very weak for a long time, and he could have strengthened his position in Syria no end by sending in troops to do something or other. All he really did was burn off some cruise missiles in a way that didn't escalate thing at all. I think he knew what President Obama probably also realised - that those gas attacks were phony - whatever was done was done by the opponents of Assad.

As I said, he also had the chance to 'take action' in a number of other places in the world. The crazy way that politics works, he would probably have got kudos and a rallying round the flag reaction - for sending a lot of men to be killed or injured.

He didn't do it.

David
 
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