Debra Diamond Brings Wall Street Smarts to NDEs, and Mediumship |424|

#41
nice. And I agree in general. It seems like we're looking at things through the wrong end of the telescope when we try and make it fit into our time space reality.
I am revisiting White's The Unobstructed Universe, which was published in 1940. Its a conversation between White and friend and recently deceased Betty via another friend. Betty is trying to explain to White and co how things work from her POV. She described the physical plane as the 'obstructed universe' and her metaphysical plane as the 'Unobstructed Universe'. She affirms that all is consciousness and then attempts to explain why the difference between the obstructed and unobstructed states.

I read the book for the first time decades ago. It is conceptually difficult because envisioning the metaphysical analogues of space and time is not an easy task - but each time I try I am a little less conditioned.

Part of the problem with looking through the wrong end of the telescope is that we lack the language and conceptual framework to understand that is what we are doing. I go back to valued 'channelled' or 'communicated' writings often just to shake up my thinking and loosen the grip of materialistic thought on my mind -its a kind of spiritual delousing bath I have to do several times a year.
 
#43
Its probably worthwhile observing that the idea that there is a hierarchy of spiritual beings can be found globally. These are not hierarchies of authority so much of attainment, and hence vibration - so the more refined are acknowledged as 'superior'. Human efforts to replicate hierarchy create mimics of structure, but not the essence of the merit. This why we find moral dengenerates at the heads of Earthly organisations - governments, corporations, religions and the like. On Earth hierarchical status infers a degree of merit consistent with status, but the reality is that such is simply not the case.

Neither is it the case that dead folk are of a higher order than living folk. The hierarchy of spirit pertains regardless of whether one is wholly in spirit or also in physical form.

I get it that we are often speculating from ignorance in a good way. But its not like this stuff is new or unknown.
I agree that there's "usefulness" in considering that there is a hierarchy of spiritual beings with a degree of absoluteness. I tend to think that there is also usefulness to considering that the meaningfulness of such beliefs comes from the "correctness" of the beliefs rather than from the usefulness of the beliefs.

For me, it feels like those ideas are well established and there are plenty of people exploring them.

For a long time, I have been curious about the tension that seems to exist between the spiritual/religious outlook and the materialistic outlook. Alex (on the podcast) and other folks in the forum frequently express frustration at this tension.

For me, shifting my approach toward the question of "usefulness" (which is a rather hairy beast) as a root-casue of meaning and away from "correctness" or notions of "Absolute Truth" feels like it provides a useful diminishment of the conflict that exists between the spiritual/religious and the materialistic, at least as it plays out within myself. (I think it is important for me to note that my views are certainly influenced by my long-standing personal interest in trying to find a hypothetical "middle position" between spiritual/religious and materialistic.)
 
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#44
Maybe not, David. But if it was a group rather than a single Entity, their class was head and shoulders above that of humanity. Debra's interaction with the dead does not fully reveal, nor Allen Kardec's extensive Spirit study, from Them the Ultimate Truth. For us to consider it might all be a facade or hologram for our adventure and character progress, as some near death experiencers say, might be as good a shot at it as any.
It comes up in Michael Newton's work, from memory - highly advanced spirits would tinker with existing organisms to change them in order to train to the point where they could one day create life from scratch. It's briefly mentioned that humanity was similarly created but then Michael is supposedly told that the spirits aren't permitted to talk about it.
 
#45
Alex's question at the end of the podcast:

"I have one question to tee up from this interview and, you know, I’m reluctant because it’s really not the main focus of her terrific work, which I really want you to check out, but it’s the thing that keeps bugging me and that’s, how does this fit into our larger understanding of extended consciousness?
I was kind of surprised when we talked about reincarnation and she was like, “That isn’t really my thing.” On one hand I accept that that’s not her thing but why doesn’t that come up? Why doesn’t ET come up and it comes up for Marisa Ryan? I mean consciousness, extended consciousness, the only thing we can say from so many of the guests we’ve had on, is that it’s incredibly vast, impossible to pigeonhole or even understand, comprehend from our limited time space reality. But shouldn’t the pieces fit together a little bit more elegantly at times? But maybe they shouldn’t."


I wanted to bring my earlier comments full circle in regards to this podcast episode. My earlier comment (It may be useful to consider that there may be No Ultimate Truth) suggests at least a partial approach to answering the question about why the pieces don't always seem to fit together.

I don't know if there is One Ultimate Truth or not. But I would suggest that it seems useful in certain contexts and for certain purposes to consider that there may not be.

Specifically, in the context and for the purpose of trying to answer the big questions of life, the universe, and everything, it seems useful to consider that "Perhaps there's NO ONE OVERARCHING UNIVERSAL TRUTH" is itself a useful idea to consider.

Shifting the criteria from "accuracy in relation to a hypothetical overarching universal truth" to "usefulness as we navigate mystical experiences and our mundane lives" helps resolve (at lease provisionally) the weirdness of the contradictory data that is reported by NDErs, psychics, mediums, mystics, researches, etc. It also helps resolve (at least provisionally) the long-standing deadlock that seems to persist between spiritual/religious perspectives and materialist perspectives.

Likewise, I think it's useful to consider that the meaning of words, objects, events, etc comes from need and usefulness more than it comes from correctness or accuracy in terms of a hypothetical SINGLE OVERARCHING UNIVERSAL TRUTH.

Note, I'm not arguing that there is NO SINGLE OVERARCHING UNIVERSAL TRUTH, I am only suggesting that it is useful, in a variety of ways, to consider in the context of thinking about these big questions. Perhaps sometime in the distant future, we will be able to determine once and for all if there is a SINGLE OVERARCHING UNIVERSAL TRUTH or not. Perhaps we are in the "Pre-Copernican" days of the question where we can use our models to navigate and make meaningful sense of experience, but that doesn't mean that our models are "correct" in any absolute sense. (Just like pre-Copernican models of the movement of celestial bodies can be used for navigation and prediction, even though now we consider the pre-copernican models to be "incorrect".) It may be that we emerge from our pre-copernican notions and figure out the absolute truth someday, or it may be that we never do. For me, it's unknown whether these big questions are fundamentally answerable or not. Perhaps our useful, meaningful, provisional answers are the best we can do for now. Perhaps we will have different useful, meaningful, provisional answers in the future that scratch more of our itches when it comes to these questions as we experience them today. But then perhaps we will have different itches that would need to be scratched ...
 
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#46
Alex's question at the end of the podcast:

"I have one question to tee up from this interview and, you know, I’m reluctant because it’s really not the main focus of her terrific work, which I really want you to check out, but it’s the thing that keeps bugging me and that’s, how does this fit into our larger understanding of extended consciousness?
I was kind of surprised when we talked about reincarnation and she was like, “That isn’t really my thing.” On one hand I accept that that’s not her thing but why doesn’t that come up? Why doesn’t ET come up and it comes up for Marisa Ryan? I mean consciousness, extended consciousness, the only thing we can say from so many of the guests we’ve had on, is that it’s incredibly vast, impossible to pigeonhole or even understand, comprehend from our limited time space reality. But shouldn’t the pieces fit together a little bit more elegantly at times? But maybe they shouldn’t."


I wanted to bring my earlier comments full circle in regards to this podcast episode. My earlier comment (It may be useful to consider that there may be No Ultimate Truth) suggests at least a partial approach to answering the question about why the pieces don't always seem to fit together.

I don't know if there is One Ultimate Truth or not. But I would suggest that it seems useful in certain contexts and for certain purposes to consider that there may not be.

Specifically, in the context and for the purpose of trying to answer the big questions of life, the universe, and everything, it seems useful to consider that "Perhaps there's NO ONE OVERARCHING UNIVERSAL TRUTH" is itself a useful idea to consider.

Shifting the criteria from "accuracy in relation to a hypothetical overarching universal truth" to "usefulness as we navigate mystical experiences and our mundane lives" helps resolve the weirdness of the contradictory data that is reported by NDErs, psychics, mediums, mystics, researches, etc. It also helps resolve the long-standing deadlock that seems to persist between spiritual/religious perspectives and materialist perspectives.

Likewise, I think it's useful to consider that the meaning of words, objects, events, etc comes from need and usefulness more than it comes from correctness or accuracy in terms of a hypothetical SINGLE OVERARCHING UNIVERSAL TRUTH.

Note, I'm not arguing that there is NO SINGLE OVERARCHING UNIVERSAL TRUTH, I am only suggesting that it is useful, in a variety of ways, to consider in the context of thinking about these big questions. Perhaps sometime in the distant future, we will be able to determine once and for all if there is a SINGLE OVERARCHING UNIVERSAL TRUTH or not. Perhaps we are in the "Pre-Copernican" days of the question where we can use our models to navigate and make meaningful sense of experience, but that doesn't mean that our models are "correct" in any absolute sense. (Just like pre-Copernican models of the movement of celestial bodies can be used for navigation and prediction, even though now we consider the pre-copernican models to be "incorrect".) It may be that we emerge from our pre-copernican notions and figure out the absolute truth someday, or it may be that we never do. For me, it's unknown whether these big questions are fundamentally answerable or not. Perhaps our useful, meaningful, provisional answers are the best we can do for now. Perhaps we will have different useful, meaningful, provisional answers in the future that scratch more of our itches when it comes to these questions as we experience them today. But then perhaps we will have different itches that would need to be scratched ...
Nope no universal truth that we can recognize. Different universes with different laws and different kinds of creatures with different values.

It appears the afterlife is filled with different factions.

Alex keeps saying its so complex and how he wants to focus on the optimistic, glass half full similarities. Well, when we focus on the similarities, i think we find different factions influencing this world. So they are confused in "heaven" too! How odd!!

I also think we find religion exists to solve problems of social organization. What does the new age worldview add to the discussion if those who have access to this realm want to use 'semantic stop signs' or, in other words, prevent discussion and analysis!

Hell, she is left brained. Perhaps she recognizes their is nothing to say. In other words, the signal is v4ery very noisy.

And if that is true -- and isn't it?! Why be optimistic we can even begin the quest for truth?

This is why i like the soul phone.

This is also why i don't understand why alex doesnt like the soul phone!!


Alternative hypothesis: WE ARE THE LEGACY HUMANS! (keep it natural folks, no soul phone, just old fashioned shamanism on earth!)
 
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#47
I am not sure, David, if you are aware of the contradictions in your statement. If your God can set up things the way he wants he then must have intent and goals.
Well if he has infinite powers, he doesn't really need goals, because he can instantly get what he wants! I mean, for example the ID crowd often mention the Cambrian explosion, when fossils were laid down with a large number of different body plans. Most of these died out, but a few became the ancestors of modern life. This is a real problem for Darwin's theory because of the sudden jump in complexity. However, from the ID perspective, it rather looks as though the inventor tried out a load of different possible designs to see which were worth developing!
An all-powerful and all-knowing God cannot be merely as petty or capricious as you fear. The lesser gods, who are not all-knowing or all-powerful, are more of a concern, because they will bend us to their will and intent - regardless of whether we know of them or believe in them.

It is interesting that you are not keen on an "idea of an all-powerful God", and that you have defined the nature of that God. This is something we all do. We create an idea of God and then object to it and then refuse to believe in the God of our imagination. Or we create an idea of God, like it and decide to believe in it. Here, in effect, we have what atheists and theists do.
Well claiming anything is infinite is a big problem. If you had infinite powers of comprehension, what meaning would words like 'hope', 'wish', 'test', etc. have? The idea of infinity is incredibly corrosive - indeed mathematicians took a long time to tame it.
Earlier Christian and Islamic religious thinkers generally concluded that the nature of the divine was beyond their understanding or imagination.
This always seemed to me to be a cop-out that was used utterly arbitrarily. For example some religious thinkers would tell you precisely what God required regarding sex, but would then use the cop-out to avoid discussing why good people get disease, etc.
Its a very modern thing, inspired by science, to think that God can be known and have his conduct and thought described - as a counter to the concrete thought of science. In fact I see that science is as much a product of religion as religion is a product of science in the past several centuries.
Yes, but equally those who say there is one god with a set of infinite properties are asserting something about god. If it makes sense for them to make that assertion, it makes sense for us to discuss it!

David
 
#48
I actually have a couple of interviews with mediums coming up :)
Thinking about this some more.....has there ever been a competent medium (competent=thoroughly tested and proven) that has had to tell a client trying to communicate with the deceased that the connection isn't possible because the deceased has reincarnated? - Because you'd think that would happen from time to time; especially if the deceased died an untimely death.

That's not a rhetorical question. Genuinely interested.

Another speculative question for mediums - if the deceased has reincarnated, is it possible that the medium would/could still connect to that person's deeper self/soul and the previous personality's memories, attitudes, etc.? I mean, IMO, there are all kinds of influences and communications going on with all of us below the surface and below our conscious awareness. So it could happen. Maybe the medium wouldn't even necessarily know that the spirit had reincarnated unless the spirit specifically stated it. And maybe the spirit wouldn't state it for various reasons that I can imagine. Again, Genuinely interested in what valid mediums have to say about that.
 
#49
Thinking about this some more.....has there ever been a competent medium (competent=thoroughly tested and proven) that has had to tell a client trying to communicate with the deceased that the connection isn't possible because the deceased has reincarnated? - Because you'd think that would happen from time to time; especially if the deceased died an untimely death.

That's not a rhetorical question. Genuinely interested.

Another speculative question for mediums - if the deceased has reincarnated, is it possible that the medium would/could still connect to that person's deeper self/soul and the previous personality's memories, attitudes, etc.? I mean, IMO, there are all kinds of influences and communications going on with all of us below the surface and below our conscious awareness. So it could happen. Maybe the medium wouldn't even necessarily know that the spirit had reincarnated unless the spirit specifically stated it. And maybe the spirit wouldn't state it for various reasons that I can imagine. Again, Genuinely interested in what valid mediums have to say about that.
Great question! Also, if mediums are at best 75 to to 85 percent accurate its also falsifiable (sorta), as one can ask the same question over and over or with different mediums using different sitters.

You can do the same thing with buried treasure too! Indeed, this has been tried....and it failed. Remember the person who died and left a code?

Also, remember the NDE'r who said 'the light' missed her while she was gone! how odd. But isnt that consistent with new age spirituality -- bad connection / low vibration earth? Which in turn makes this earth world very distant in some unknown sense compared to where we are from?
 
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#50
I am not sure, David, if you are aware of the contradictions in your statement. If your God can set up things the way he wants he then must have intent and goals.

Besides the very nature of the supreme creative agency of all that is must be based upon a will to be - the first intent. This primal creative agency is the only one capable of being all-powerful and all-knowing. The mystical formulation to express this state of being is 'I am that I am'. That which is at this level cannot have intent or purpose that is not wholly internal. What is is what this agency wants - so the fact that you are not keen on it is part of what is wanted.

An all-powerful and all-knowing God cannot be merely as petty or capricious as you fear. The lesser gods, who are not all-knowing or all-powerful, are more of a concern, because they will bend us to their will and intent - regardless of whether we know of them or believe in them.

It is interesting that you are not keen on an "idea of an all-powerful God", and that you have defined the nature of that God. This is something we all do. We create an idea of God and then object to it and then refuse to believe in the God of our imagination. Or we create an idea of God, like it and decide to believe in it. Here, in effect, we have what atheists and theists do.

Earlier Christian and Islamic religious thinkers generally concluded that the nature of the divine was beyond their understanding or imagination> Its a very modern thing, inspired by science, to think that God can be known and have his conduct and thought described - as a counter to the concrete thought of science. In fact I see that science is as much a product of religion as religion is a product of science in the past several centuries.

I think that if there is a supreme director of all dimensions and all awareness, then its description by some religions as all good and loving must be incorrect. It also seems that it is not very interested in the detail of each person's life. Furthermore, it designed a vicious world here, what with animals slaying each other in cold blood for lunch, viruses and bacteria preying on and killing humans.
 
#51
Great question! Also, if mediums are at best 75 to to 85 percent accurate its also falsifiable (sorta), as one can ask the same question over and over or with different mediums using different sitters.

You can do the same thing with buried treasure too! Indeed, this has been tried....and it failed. Remember the person who died and left a code?

Also, remember the NDE'r who said 'the light' missed her while she was gone! how odd.
My experience with mediums is as follows. The first medium I sat with came recommended by someone who's intelligence and ability to discern I respect highly. That medium blew me away (and made a believer out of my highly skeptical wife). A second sitting with that same medium about 2 years later for the purpose of contacting a different [recently] deceased person was also awesome (in the true sense of the word).

However, those experiences got my wife and I interested in exploring mediumship in general. We sat with several other mediums (mediums not recommended by anyone and some at a spiritualist church). None of these mediums impressed us. Some were obvious frauds (cold reading, fishing, making general statements that would apply to anyone, guessing, stumbling around their misses and changing their story, etc.). Some were sincere but probably delusional. Some had a couple of good "hits", but otherwise got many material facts wrong. We thought they might have some vague ability, but it wasn't pro level.

The first medium, the one that made us a believer, was 100% accurate about highly personal idiosyncratic information that only the deceased and I (and my wife in some cases) knew. There was even info about events that my wife and I were not yet aware of, but later came to knowledge of. We disguised our identities (in fact this medium encouraged you to do so). We offered no information and she didn't ask for it. She didn't look to us for feedback on statements. She just started firing off statements in the idiosyncratic mannerisms of the deceased. She kept that up for about an hour. It was like having a conversation with the deceased as they were when alive. That, to me, is a true medium.
 
#53
My experience with mediums is as follows. The first medium I sat with came recommended by someone who's intelligence and ability to discern I respect highly. That medium blew me away (and made a believer out of my highly skeptical wife). A second sitting with that same medium about 2 years later for the purpose of contacting a different [recently] deceased person was also awesome (in the true sense of the word).

However, those experiences got my wife and I interested in exploring mediumship in general. We sat with several other mediums (mediums not recommended by anyone and some at a spiritualist church). None of these mediums impressed us. Some were obvious frauds (cold reading, fishing, making general statements that would apply to anyone, guessing, stumbling around their misses and changing their story, etc.). Some were sincere but probably delusional. Some had a couple of good "hits", but otherwise got many material facts wrong. We thought they might have some vague ability, but it wasn't pro level.

The first medium, the one that made us a believer, was 100% accurate about highly personal idiosyncratic information that only the deceased and I (and my wife in some cases) knew. There was even info about events that my wife and I were not yet aware of, but later came to knowledge of. We disguised our identities (in fact this medium encouraged you to do so). We offered no information and she didn't ask for it. She didn't look to us for feedback on statements. She just started firing off statements in the idiosyncratic mannerisms of the deceased. She kept that up for about an hour. It was like having a conversation with the deceased as they were when alive. That, to me, is a true medium.
One should expect communication errors. Look at discussions of politics, religion, etc, and then look at how mediums themselves report the quality of the information: feeling a burnt body part, or perhaps a missing limb, or suffocation, etc is itself a method that will never be 100% accurate. Or images -- they can be quite rich but obviously full of flaws. There is an 'earth side' analogue with human culture btw - image based communication is studied formally.

Finally, while i find your personal history fascinating, and surely mediums have been verified, i would still like to see more tests done to answer questions like reincarnation, aliens, the afterlife (or before life) backstory, karma, jesus and on and on.

If we keep getting back garbley-goock doesnt that imply something?

Oh! And it turns out on average people are quite similar, so its possible to get hits 1/3rd the time with cold reading. This is infocoming from julie bieschel, i believe, but would have to check to be sure if you have any doubt about that number.

Another field had a similar rates of hits -- false positives, namely remote viewing using fuzzy logic. Given the similarity, i wonder if its related to our language.

The whole point is this: When and where is it safe to generalize? Its a huge problem in science!
 
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#54
Thinking about this some more.....has there ever been a competent medium (competent=thoroughly tested and proven) that has had to tell a client trying to communicate with the deceased that the connection isn't possible because the deceased has reincarnated? - Because you'd think that would happen from time to time; especially if the deceased died an untimely death.
I think I have heard of mediums saying the person in question is unavailable.

However there are other issues.

1) Some people suggest that people have another component that remains in the spirit world.

2) The structure of time may be more complex than we tend to assume.

David
 
#55
Thinking about this some more.....has there ever been a competent medium (competent=thoroughly tested and proven) that has had to tell a client trying to communicate with the deceased that the connection isn't possible because the deceased has reincarnated? - Because you'd think that would happen from time to time; especially if the deceased died an untimely death.

That's not a rhetorical question. Genuinely interested.
Well, it is entirely possible that one's soul can be "simultaneously" - from the corporeal / embodied realm perspective - being reincarnated here on Earth and yet still remain in the psychic / disembodied realms of the afterlife. The two reasons are...

a) The timelessness of the nonphysical forms of existence. The events there need not be strictly historically correllated with the earthly timeline; they almost certainly do show some flow and change as the events here, yet probably not in the form of singular, unidirected, one-event-in-a-moment, first-cause-then-effect sequence. More likely scenario is that different streams and clusters of changing psychic events can be accessed in accordance of the views, needs and wishes of the person(s) coming into contact with the nonphysical realms.

b) Incarnation in the form of earthly embodiment does not necessarily require leaving the psychic realms completely. It is quite probable that a soul's experience of embodiment is not a literal "insertion" into a body (to describe it so...), but rather a kind of perceptual distraction. To understand what I mean, imagine playing a videogame here in the physical realm. When one plays a videogame, one don't enter it in a literal sense: one still sits in a chair in front of one's PC or, or on a sofa in front of a TV with a console attached - yet one's attention can be distracted so fully that one may start feeling AS IF one lives within the game. The same can work with embodiment and disembodiment: we may be playing an ultra-high-immersion game here in the corporeal part of the world, intense and captivating enough for us to perceive it, transiently and illusively, as a reality, even as "the" reality... while in fact remaining in the spirtual dimension.

What do all you here think about these thoughts of mine?

P.S. Oh, and good to be here again, after a long absence. :)
 
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#56
I think I have heard of mediums saying the person in question is unavailable.

However there are other issues.

1) Some people suggest that people have another component that remains in the spirit world.

2) The structure of time may be more complex than we tend to assume.

David
Well, David, our thoughts seem to be in parallel with each other... on this issue (I noticed this short comment of yours only after I've written my own one above, expressing more-or-less same ideas).
 
#57
I felt Alex's frustration when in answer to the reincarnation question Debra said it was 'religion' and she 'doesn't go there'
Yes reincarnation is a belief is some religions but there again so is life after death but she does 'go there'
I am impressed by the posts above suggesting why or why not there are so many contradictions but I have to ask myself with regard to Debra, who I wouldn't be surprised if she knew nothing of the University of Virginia studies, where is her curiosity?
She's an analyst for goodness sake - not to much analysis there!
I haven't read her books so I can't judge how full of evidence they are but one intriguing hard evidence she claimed - which sadly Alex didn't follow up -was regarding improvements in hearing loss after NDEs which she checked with medical records. I would love to see the statistics - maybe they're revealed in her books?
As with so many guests Alex interviews, I am left feeling slightly disappointed and asking myself 'What new thing have I learned this person has brought to the table?' Very often it's very little.
But ask me the same question about this forum and what I learn is immense.
So why Alex, does someone have to have written a book or a blog to be interviewed on Skeptiko?
Just once in a while please talk to the amazingly erudite and informed members of this forum - they're the real cream of the crop!
 
#58
I haven't read her books so I can't judge how full of evidence they are but one intriguing hard evidence she claimed - which sadly Alex didn't follow up -was regarding improvements in hearing loss after NDEs which she checked with medical records. I would love to see the statistics - maybe they're revealed in her books?
I do remember that there are reports that people who show multiple personalities need different prescriptions for their glasses for the various personalities! Sorry I can't remember where I read that - possibly in Irreducible Minds.
As with so many guests Alex interviews, I am left feeling slightly disappointed and asking myself 'What new thing have I learned this person has brought to the table?
I think maybe Alex should ask that question about each guest, before and after each interview.

David
 
#59
has there ever been a competent medium (competent=thoroughly tested and proven) that has had to tell a client trying to communicate with the deceased that the connection isn't possible because the deceased has reincarnated?
Actually, I heard Sylvia Brown say that once, Eric. When asked about a certain person by a relative, she answered, "He's back in." (has reincarnated and is unavailable)
 
#60
I think that if there is a supreme director of all dimensions and all awareness, then its description by some religions as all good and loving must be incorrect. It also seems that it is not very interested in the detail of each person's life. Furthermore, it designed a vicious world here, what with animals slaying each other in cold blood for lunch, viruses and bacteria preying on and killing humans.
I'm afraid I have to turn to something written in the Gospel to try to answer this. Jesus tells us, "He who hateth his life in this world shall preserve it for life Eternal." (John 12:25) Personally I think we might be in Hell here, mostly painful as it is from cradle to grave. But take heart. It gets better, much better for most of us. As for an interest in an individual's life, this is more a matter of such individual being a seeker and in so doing, eventually becoming a believer in the Agency of the Supreme. It's concern and nearness.
 
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