Dr. Dean Radin Brings Real Magic to the Psi Lab |377|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

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    I seem to recall Radin flagging an interest in magic - in the sense of being aware that things he was working on in the lab were also being induced in 'the wild'. For me Radin is an expression of a long campaign to invalidate and mistrust personal direct experience - so he seeks to validate what is known and experienced informally in a formal way - as defined by materialistic science. It has set the agenda by pushing the invalidation and mistrust of direct personal experience.

    No you can accept the premise and work against it by demonstrating that is false - as Radin strives to do - or you can reject the premise and dismiss attempts to invalidate direct personal experience as a kind of tyranny. At what point, once you have demonstrated that the premise is false, do you decide to forget the formal science stuff and just become a magician?

    As an experiencer who entered a deep existential crisis many years ago I was forced, for the sake of my own sanity, to make a choice. It was evident that neither science nor religion was going to help. I was either mad or bad to them. I chose to believe I was neither mad nor bad, and so had to find a truth and a reality that validated my faith in myself. That was a long and difficult and painful (and dangerous) business. There's a lot more to this stuff than is apparent in the grip of a crisis - or a conventional frame of mind.

    So there is another dimension to this matter. The deeper traditions of magic and spiritual disciplines function within a multi-dimensional community that has its own forms of governance. That is to say that there are claimed hierarchies that oversee experimentation and study. It is worthwhile considering Radin's, and Sheldrake's work as if these hierarchies are relevant and pertinent. While both operate in relation to a materialist scientific culture and its institutions they arguably also operate in relation to the other 'esoteric' hierarchy - which offers, guidance, support and inspiration.

    The fragmentary claims about deeper levels of consciousness and the presence of non-physical agents rarely get into the proposition that there is a coherent community of skilled actors which influences the lives of folk in physical form. Its as if there is order and organisation in the physical and chaos and disarray beyond. But that's not what is reported from multiple sources.

    Part of the materialist mentality is to invalidate the 'inner reality' as illusion, delusion, fantasy or error. So we don't think about it in organised or communal terms.

    Long's work provides fragmented cameos featuring agents of various degrees of potency. But nobody asks where they go and what they do after the NDEr wakes up. We are left to marvel at the 'fact' the encounters, as if that alone is all there is - and that is sufficient.

    There is, in fact, a considerable body of evidence that suggests there is a far more complex nature to that invisible aspect of our reality. Trying to understand what Radin is about from entirely our side of the fence is a little one-sided. Radin validates magic, and we respond to Radin not from the magician's perspective, but the materialists'.

    Reading though the above comments - many very insightful - it seemed to me that there was a general furious agreement, subject to some nuanced and clever hair splitting. But where do we go now? If real what next?
     
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  2. gabriel

    gabriel New

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    I get that, but it really is playing on the opposition's home turf. Materialism is an incredibly brittle philosophy, where a white feather, never mind a white crow, would turn over "everything we know about science". That's abject nonsense of course. Someone who could move a pencil an inch by the power of their mind would remain an exotic anomaly to file alongside similar claims. Gravity would still cause things to fall, walking into closed doors would continue to hurt. There's no shortage of high and low weirdness in the annals of psi, from levitating monks, to elongating teenagers, to bi-locating dowagers to heaven tripping NDErs. Any infant can pick up a pencil and draw all over the wallpaper, the ability is not unique one, only the method.

    The big mystery remains - conscious experience from unconscious matter. That interplay is truly weird shit, which is why the smarter materialists insist we are not conscious at all. If we are, that would be game changer, which is why they keep moving the goalposts.
     
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  3. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    My emphasis.

    Actually, I think we mostly agree on this, despite my caveats regarding Sheldrake. I know what Radin means - even weak ESP can still be classed as a form of magic, but I start to wonder if his book just re-hashes his experimental results while using the vocabulary of magic - I hope not! I'd rather hoped he would have discussed some actual investigation of a magician in his podcast. I still wonder if I missed it.

    Sheldrake is about 80 by now, and I really hope someone decides to take up his experimental work, because I think big effects that are noticeable even without statistics, are really valuable.

    As I keep on saying, Idealism is an almost useless scientific proposition right now. Scientific theory (at its best) has always developed in manageable steps - Newton's theory had to precede General Relativity. Nobody would have had the tools to explore GR back in Newton's day, even if it had been presented on a plate. I wish science would tentatively adopt Dualism. That would immediately change the status of many ψ phenomena from "woo" to evidence for an exciting new theory. Research would develop rapidly then, although hopefully it would not be possible to make some sort of ψ weapon out of it.

    David
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Member

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    As mentioned in the interview, Radin has himself experienced spoon bending for which he has no mainstream explanation, he has also experienced at least one synchronicity which I might call amazing, so it’s not as if he has not had such unusual experiences.

    I guess he is just hard wired, maybe by birth or upbringing or education, maybe a combination, to approach things a certain way. I guess I am somewhat frustrated by his approach, but then I know that he is far more likely to persuade others by his method than I am by mine.

     
  5. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    I think that is going too far, Dean Radin himself points out that the experiments that he does, are based on informal human experience.
    Well becoming a magician doesn't demonstrate anything to most people - he wants to demonstrate things to the science community. Remember that this community is not all closed-minded - some physicists see the point very much.
    Are you talking about a hierarchy of non-incarnate consciousnesses human of non-human? Feel free to expand about your own conclusions, or provide a link.
    After spending some time reading Skeptiko, I must agree - whatever is out there is definitely complex!

    David
     
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  6. malf

    malf Member

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    It’s difficult to imagine how Dean reconciles his fondness for spoon bending with his championing of the sort of repeatable, dependable science that results in useful engineering and technology.
     
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  7. LetsEat

    LetsEat Member

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    He's said in the past afair that he's not at all opposed to the previous attempts at finding highly skilled individuals who claim to be able to perform psychic abilities. He just hasn't found any so he has to resort to statistical analysis of microPK.
     
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  8. malf

    malf Member

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    I specifically mentioned spoon bending.
     
  9. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Is any reconciliation necessary? Dean says he has seen spoon bending take place - so what is wrong with mentioning that? How does that detract from his ambitions to produce some useful ψ effect? You seem to take for granted that the spoon bending is so obviously fake that it detracts from anything else that Dean says!

    David
     
  10. malf

    malf Member

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    Early in the interview, Dean strongly defends the mainstream science that results in dependable engineering and technology. If someone can bend a spoon with pure consciousness (isn’t that what is being claimed?) where does that leave the engineer’s equations?

    Could a pk proponent be charged with murder for disrupting the function of a pacemaker?
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
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  11. Typoz

    Typoz Member

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    No. They should be burned for witchcraft.
     
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  12. Steve

    Steve Member

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    Well, he’s not denying that spoon bending occurred, and to him personally, but at the same time he’s intelligent enough to realise that he must keep his mind open, for to suddenly abandon his scientific method would mean to alienate many fellow scientists, just to mention one potential problem.

    What he really deeply thinks? Who knows? He reminds me of Sam Parnia in that regard. I’d like to give him a truth serum and have a quiet drink with him. :)
     
  13. gabriel

    gabriel New

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    Like all academics, Radin and Parnia pursue lines of enquiry they suspect to be true, or which offers them kudos and cash. Neither of them set out to disprove something they felt was manifestly false. Parnia is likely to be more highly remunerated by his day job than esoteric medicine research can offer, and at much less professional risk. Radin has a more circuitous career trajectory, with more promising routes, so neither are in it for the cash. Sheldrake committed career suicide by publishing A New Science of Life, when he could have swanned about the high tables of Cambridge indefinitely.

    Parnia is the most unflinching of the heretics, Radin keeps to the facts, Sheldrake is too worldly wise to care about uninformed opinion. If you've kicked Dawkins and a film crew out of your gaff for misrepresentation, a few trolls won't stop him smiling.
     
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  14. Steve

    Steve Member

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    When we don't listen to our intuition, we abandon our souls. And we abandon our souls because we are afraid if we don't, others will abandon us.

    - Terry Tempest Williams
     
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  15. Inner Space

    Inner Space New

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    A couple of weeks ago I saw a video on spoon-bending psychic Uri Geller. I was somewhat skeptical about the high praise that was being given toward Geller and described him as nothing more then an illusionist and entertainer. About five minutes later I grabbed a spoon to mix a bowl of salad and yes, the spoon started to bend and then broke. Not hard evidence for the magical forces of synchronicity admittedly, but I do think it serves as an example for what I see as being the capricious nature of Magick. Magick is natures symbiosis with consciousness (I believe Jung called it the "psychoid" function). This symbiosis does not exist so we can harness it like electromagnetism to do our bidding. If you try to use Magick for your own purposes it is just as likely (if not more likely) to produce non-significant lab results, birds that shit on your floor or spoons that only bend for you when no one is watching, as it to grant you powers to seduce beautiful women, create miracles in the lab or win the lotto.
     
  16. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

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    If there was no determination to invalidate natural psi experiences (strong or weak) Radin would have no need to demonstrate the validity of psi to anybody (scientist or not) - because it would not even be an issue. We who live in Western European cultures have had the way we understand our experiences undermined - first by religious powers that say anything not sanctioned by priests is of the Devil and second by materialistic science that insists that any mistaken notion that woo is real is down to misinterpretation, misconstruing or misperception. In other words its bad or mad or stupid.

    I respect what Radin is doing. We all have our missions. However when you are disposed to accept a common human reality and are regarded as a nutter it is time to go back to the basic reality that woo is natural and thinking it evil or wrong is crazy. I don't buy the respectable scientific approach BS because it means having to validate the premise that woo is weird and in need of being intellectually tamed or validated. Outside the community of materialists this is not even a sensible notion, let alone a useful one.

    So Radin can validate the premise because maybe that's his mission. We all have a choice to validate it or not - depending on how we see our missions. For me woo is natural. My point about the shift from scientist to magician is just a point about what premise you accept - both are disciplined inquirers and experimenters - but their relationship with woo is different.

    "Are you talking about a hierarchy of non-incarnate consciousnesses human of non-human?" Both. Some (most) have experience as humans in physical form. Some with human connections are now so remote from our mentality that their association becomes tenuous and difficult. Others may have had physical existences in non-human form (I don't know that I have come across them). Others have never been human and never had physical form. Dealing with them is immensely difficult and it is far better that there is a non-physical but previously physical human between me and them. For the most part I think we deal with folk who have had physical human existence. I would discourage wanting to go beyond them.

    My sense is that there is a lot of utter nonsense that is supposedly channeled - innocently delusional and deceptive and intentionally so. Going looking for some 'source' is dangerous and ill-advised. But we should understand that there is a far larger community of beings whose present nature is non-physical than there are physical humans on this planet. Aspects of that community are organised and purposeful with the objective of interacting with physical humans in a beneficial manner.

    In general we tend not to operate alone, but in concert with non-physical agents. In essence our sense of community extends both sides of the physical/metaphysical border - even if we are not fully conscious of this being the case at any time. I would argue that neither Sheldrake nor Radin are acting alone. While they might be 'outsiders' relative to the standard materialistic culture that dominates science, as well as having allies and supporters who do not belong to that community, they also have non-physical allies as well.

    From what I can see this is the norm. What happens here in the physical world has no value if it does not have some meaning or value in the non-physical (which is the primary basis of our reality). The mentality of the materialist is to absolutely sever that connection and insist that we are here in isolation in the material world with only each other and our intellects for company and direction. It seems that the very idea of 'mind' was invented as a substitute for 'soul'. I like a now lost notion that reason was essentially how we became rationally conscious of input from our souls, but eventually became just a process of the intellect.

    It is fascinating that most early scientists were deeply religious and that many (maybe most) major scientific discoveries came about by other than entirely intellectual means. In fact if we ask what have the materialists done for us we don't find ourselves in a Life of Brian awkward moment. That's because most materialistic thought has been non-systemic and non-complex - and hence most of what seems to have been good things have turned out to be duds - and often toxic duds at that.

    It does actually seem that trying to go it alone in that humanist/materialist/rationalist mode has delivered most of the potentially catastrophic woes we now face. I don't think that either Sheldrake or Radin are going it alone - just that we seem to presume they are.
     
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  17. Inner Space

    Inner Space New

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    I'm interested to see what Radin's new book really says. Modern science sprang out of spiritualism and the Occult. The Occult still permeates science more then most scientist would like to admit. Ritualistic lab protocols, sacred "tomes" like the journal "Nature" etc., that only distribute research that has been peer reviewed by the "high priests" of science. One needs only to look at the "science" of medicine to see that no physicists and is ever going to fix a broken leg, let alone mend a broken mind. It sounds like Radin wants to regain, or at least acknowledge some of science's Occult roots, without throwing out the hard-earned knowledge of contemporary science. I am in favour of this. After all, it was not so long ago that even mathematics was considered to be an Occult practice.
     
  18. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

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    Beautiful! I want to feel envious about the spoon. I wasted hours trying to make that happen. But envy does not work with "the capricious nature of Magick".
     
  19. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

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    I am firmly of the view that our ancestors naturally saw the world as animate (full of gods in Thales' terms). They didn't have the option of mechanism in their mentality. Spirits and gods were how they explained how the world worked to themselves because that is what you do when you are intelligent and alert and all you know is a living reality. Rituals and magic were the technologies developed to engage with that reality.

    Materialism became possible when Christians separated God from reality, and the materialists decided they didn't need God to explain reality. Radin grows out of the materialistic culture, and he naturally thinks premodern language and thought is prescientific and hence not useful these days. But maybe he mistakes that for the kind of anachronism that permeates a lot of religions - using 1500 year old (and older) scenarios to speak to a contemporary mentality. Why use 'an iron age agrarian myth' to inform an modern moral dilemma? There's a difference between social resonance and the utility of language and symbolism in magic (animistic versus mechanistic).
     
  20. Hurmanetar

    Hurmanetar New

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    That is the core question and discussion seems to orbit elliptically and endlessly around it without ever hitting the mark.

    Let's say "magic" is the (apparently) direct imposition of will upon matter or material systems without any known material intermediary or it is the apparent direct perception of information without any material intermediary.

    If there is any regularity in the patterns of magical action, that regularity can be studied scientifically and equations can be made to describe it. Magic will then become a mechanism that can be engineered and monistic materialism will be undisturbed because the definition of material (stuff = rocks) can be expanded to accommodate the new equations.

    If magical action lacks enough regularity to be studied scientifically, it could be because magical action is a combination of mechanism and capricious entities who, like people are so complex as to be difficult or impossible to fully predict their behavior individually, but - like masses of people - can be averaged out to find some regularities of behavior.

    The fear of magic is the fear that structured predictable existence is founded upon an abyss of irregularity and unpredictability, that nature is to a certain degree insane, and that an individual can use emotion and intention to manipulate this underlying insanity to hack or cheat nature for his/her/zees/its own purposes and that to do so might cause the insanity underlying nature to spread out and destabilize everything. And if magic does in fact appeal to the abyss for its mechanism of action, then maybe this fear is not unfounded.
     

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