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

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

  1. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Well for starters, Christians believe that when people die, they stay unconscious until the final day of judgement, so the regular meetings with dead loved ones, simply isn't consistent! Secondly, the Christian story is (or has become) a binary story in which you go to heaven or hell, based on whether you confess everything in time before you die - not some sort of work in progress. The NDE story is closely allied with the concept of re-incarnation - indeed people in NDE's often report that they become aware of former lives they have lived.

    Finally, if NDE's really supported Christian ideas, wouldn't they have embraced NDE's centuries ago?

    I don't want to start the dispute between us again, but I suppose what frustrates me, is that most people here - including yourself and Rupert Sheldrake - take the view that it is better to be open minded and look at the evidence, and the evidence is very interesting, but isn't aligned with any conventional religion.

    David
     
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  2. gabriel

    gabriel New

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    My tradition does not believe that. In fact it denies it vigorously.
    The Catholic church also has purgatory, limbo of the Fathers or Patriarchs, and Limbo of the Infants, though the latter has fallen from favour and is not official doctrine. Such theology is largely the responsibility of Augustine, who was highly influential on Calvin, whose footprints can be seen all over secular materialism.
    I'd dispute whether re-incarnation is closely allied to NDEs. Some suggest it, others do not. Nor do I think transmigration of the soul, or body-hopping is as straightforward as people suggest. We know nothing of consciousness or its links to biology. If consciousness is primary, individual consciousness may be an illusion. The church says it is not part of church teaching, neither confirming nor denying the possibility. At least one Marian visionary claims reincarnation does not occur, but the church places no necessity to believe in such visions, however popularly supported they may be.
    I think they do in many ways. Angelic guides, the communion of saints, the journey of the soul, judgement, heaven and hell, sound exactly like near death experiences. They may not occur in exactly the way we imagined them, there's no reason why they should, but the essential details match pretty well. Anyone literally expecting St Peter at pearly gates may be disappointed, but most such images are cultural accretions and simple explanations of more nuanced truths.
    Before modern medicine NDEs were rare, and if they weren't people were not relating them. The Catholic church is pretty open minded on modern science in spite of its reputation, which is why Bernardo gets invited to the Vatican and hard nosed sceptics oversee claims of the miraculous. It's one of the reasons why Augustine's medieval hypothesising on infant consciousness as a later pre-natal phenomenon has been replaced by the claims of science. The acceptance of the possibility of alien life forms has official recognition, and Vatican studies have been made on the subject. Rome still maintains an observatory, the big bang was a theory of a Catholic priest.
    What frustrates me is you use definitions of Christianity I simply do not recognise. As a poster you're entitled to believe anything you like. As a moderator you should be less prescriptive about what people should and should not think, unless you believe your conclusions underline the official direction of the forum. In which case you might tell us and we can save ourselves a lot of time. What some see as my back door proselytization is mostly a desire to set the record straight on the face plant claims you continually make about "Christianity". I joined to discuss psi effects and related phenomena, the evidence for which I'm compelled by and which contravene none of my beliefs, nor it seems Rupert Sheldrake's. To be told we're not getting it straight because it subverts your idea of Christianity is tedious.
     
  3. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    I am a poster and a moderator. As far as I am concerned, my two roles don't overlap. The need for moderation has been absolutely minimal in recent times, but of course I am here if things change.

    If I do post something relating to moderation, I make that really clear, but my views are mine, and mine alone.

    The real problem is that a definition of Christianity is hard to come by. The doctrine of the judgement day seemed pretty clear when I was a Christian! The fluidity of Christian beliefs would be fine, except that they are often expressed as hard facts that every true Christian should believe.

    If you want, reply to me, but I'll try not to reply again, so as to keep this thread on-topic :)

    David
     
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  4. Obiwan

    Obiwan Member

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    Your understanding of Christianity seems very simplistic David (speaking as a non Christian).
     
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  5. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Well Christianity is amorphous but presents itself as a set of incontrovertible facts - I suspect other religions are too. You could say that the concepts of NDE's, OBE's etc are amorphous, but these don't constitute a religion.

    I mean, if people stand up regularly and solemnly intone:
    Then maybe I am simplistic to assume that they all believe every word of it. If I am, so be it!

    David
     
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  6. Obiwan

    Obiwan Member

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    That looks like a catholic declaration of Christian faith. Probably quite a lot of people who profess to be Christians would accept most of it. However If you really think that’s definitive for Christianity then your education on the subject is sadly lacking and maybe you should consider doing a bit more reading on the subject before you speak with any confidence. “Better to remain silent etc...”
     
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  7. Charlie Primero

    Charlie Primero Member

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    David, it seems to me you were poisoned by Talmudic Calvinism just as I was.

    That ideology created more Atheists than Science ever did.

    One of the most terrifying experiences of my life was watching fat women speak in tongues and race around the room like maniacs before going into epileptic fits during a Pentecostal church service in rural Oklahoma when I was 9 years old.

    That event frightened me so badly it was instrumental in my dedication to spending the next 30 years of my life working to exterminate "Christianity".

    Does my experience resonate with you in any way?
     
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  8. gabriel

    gabriel New

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    The Creeds are a call to assent, they are not meant for close reading and deconstruction. Jesus is reported to have said to the "good thief" that they would be together in paradise that day. Which is countered by the fact Jesus Christ rose on the third day after the "harrowing of hell". You can conclude from those mutually exclusive beliefs that at least one must be wrong, along with all of Christianity and organised religion as a whole, or take the a broader view. If you've been raised in Calvinism there can only be one truth, and it must be a literal one. No diversity in modes of address, no historical context, no room for manoeuvre. And certainly no other interpretation. It has to be correct unequivocally in a way the lowest common denominator must accept, or absolute rubbish. In that mind-set you have the beginnings of reductionism which has dogged religion and science ever since.
     
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  9. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Not really - your experience sounds far more interesting (and who knows, perhaps it tapped into something real). My pivotal moment regarding Christianity happened at university. I was befriended by a group of students known unofficially as the "God Squad".

    This group tried to persuade me that God could only forgive people's sins if someone else was punished instead - sort of conservation of punishment that even God could not circumvent. Of course this was supposed to justify the need for Jesus to die on the cross. After a few such discussions, I simply left and became an atheist. It was only years later that my views started to morph towards my present position, driven by an increasing realisation that science could not explain consciousness. I remember going to a lecture (not part of my course) about the power of AI, followed by a gradual realisation that AI back then was just smoke and mirrors. Of course, I think that will soon prove to be true again.

    I don't like dogmatic positions, and that obviously includes materialists. The extraordinary thing is that materialist keep shifting ground - is consciousness an illusion, an epiphenomenon, something that can be realised computationally? Is it an unsolved problem, or a trivial non-issue? They are dogmatic, and yet they sort of come in different flavours, dancing around so they are damn nearly impossible to pin down. I see a strange parallel in Christianity!

    David
     
  10. Baccarat

    Baccarat New

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  11. Obiwan

    Obiwan Member

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    Give us a clue....?
     
  12. dpdownsouth

    dpdownsouth Member

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    I've been merrily posting away but have only just listened to the show (how bad is that!). Anyway, I enjoyed it.
    The former would be linked to a material phenomena.... like the conscious gas-cloud Radin mentions. So, with this way of thinking, if you somehow ended up talking to Raphael the angel, you would, in fact, be dealing with the consciousness of the planet Mercury (I think this is a traditional association). I know Rupert Sheldrake is very into this idea (I am too):

    https://www.sheldrake.org/files/audios/trialogues/Angels.mp3 (Sheldrake comes in at about 4.00min).

    https://www.sheldrake.org/files/audios/Is_the_sun conscious-2-12-15.mp3
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  13. gabriel

    gabriel New

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    I listened to those when the podcasts came out. Panpsychism is impossible to prove, if a planet is conscious it's clearly a different variety of consciousness to our own. One can pray to a deity or a saint because they occupy a human space, at least theoretically. I'm not sure what mercury and I would have in common.
     
  14. Mishelle

    Mishelle Member

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    ROFL! But I've got my cranky pants on lately. :) I'm sick of face-saving BS, it's gone on way too long. I say, no settle now, shit or get off the pot! Nice post. "nonsense" has been a fav word for quite few years now, and i'm fixin' to take it up a notch!
     
  15. Baccarat

    Baccarat New

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    Great video speaks on fake christians, atheist, and scientism
     
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  16. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

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    This is so much to the point! Magic seems to be unreliable as a straight technology (a methodology that can be followed to reliably produce desired outcomes). That is to say that it does not work routinely or even often. Some insist that magic works only because of the engagement of entities. Geller says that he can bend spoons only because ET assists.

    Traditional ritual based magic is very much about calling upon agencies. The kind of 'magic' performed by shamans is entirely down to spirit engagement. These agencies may be thought of as capricious in some circumstances, or exacting, or gatekeeping, or facilitating. How you fare as a practitioner of magic depends on many things - your competence and knowledge, you attitude or values and motive, what kind of magic you are trying to do, and whether there is a governing intent to impede or facilitate your efforts.

    There's a lot of hysterical bunk about magic on YouTube, but now and then there is a movie worth taking the time to look at. One such is at
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?annot...87C099E5B90&src_vid=gNGEcFEgEqA&v=7fKrFeX8dRY

    Its called "Magicians" Prove a Spiritual World Exists. It has a heavy Christian message but it is interesting that while guys like Dynamo Magician Impossible and Yif are dismissed as mere shysters others are convinced their magic is real, but necessarily fuelled only by demonic energies. For the video makers all spirits that are not specifically sanctioned within their faith are demonic. That's not a position I share butI respect the fact that their POV still lets them explore whether Dynamo and Yif are genuine deliverers of 'magic' or just con artists who use post-production trickery and colluding witnesses to engage in an elaborate and pointless fraud. It interests me that the video title implies that the makers' 'proof' arises not out of their own faith but in the performances of people aided by demons.

    I appreciate Radin's interest in magic as a natural extension of his interest in psi. But I don't think the two are related. I think psi is universal and natural, but like other universal and natural attributes making it distinct and singular is not easy. Magic is an extension of another universal and natural thing - spirits engaging with humans to generate desired effects. We don't know, when we desire a thing, and we get it, whether we have done it alone or with assistance. We may not have invoked aid or have been aware of assistance, but that does not mean that it has not been there. In fact we generally have no idea what intersection there is between our lives and spirits.

    Not all prayer works but some prayers are answered. But better than chance? Non-religious people and people who are not good are also able to intend something and get it. It may be that being religious/spiritual is not a condition of having 'spiritual' assistance. Our natural state may be that, based on conditions we do not know, we may or may not be granted assistance to get what we want or need through the intervention of physical and metaphysical agents. Necessarily vague unfortunately.

    If magic builds on this natural base by adding method and skills and alliances to enhance the chances of getting what is desired or willed it is also subject to 'the whim of the gods'. That is, applying magical methodology does not necessarily enhance your chances - it may only look that way. But, of course, it can be the difference between getting and not getting. Not all magic is about getting what you want of course. There are other acts of stewardship, healing and protection.

    Once we move away from the materialistic notion of doing stuff on our own in the physical world with only physical sources of aid we are obliged to confront the prospect that we are not operating alone (and maybe never have). For me that is a huge change in our culture that must come - an adaptation to a sense of multi-dimensional exposure that is beyond our self-inflated bubble. Its a sense our ancestors had, and which they used to do the great things we are now in awe of.

    The more I think on Radin's exploration of magic the more I suspect that it may uncover certain 'rational' rules that suggest early on a secular comprehension is possible - like the benefits of yoga and meditation seemingly shorn of their metaphysical dimensions. But finally the reliance on secular rational thought will be insufficient until we normalise a post materialistic conception of our reality and identity. Validation of magic as a real human activity is important, if not essential. That can allow us to become real explorers of our potential.

    If acceptable science validates magic that will generate a momentum of intellectual inquiry that can knit together the puzzled and complexities of human existence. I can well imagine that such a prospect will be abhorrent to those for whom this idea violates their the very essence of their lives.

    So I think that Radin is 'on a mission from God' in the sense that he is contributing to the precipitation of a necessary crisis in the 'science community'. But its not one I feel any need to hold my breath over. I think we have enough to progress the conversation and let that drama play out in its own time.
     
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  17. Mishelle

    Mishelle Member

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    This was a really interesting interview for me b/c it's the first time I've been really able to connect with the topic of psi or with Radin's work. I've only listened to maybe a dozen interviews total and have not been inspired enough to dig deeper until now. I do think there's lots of good reasons to try to bring it into the lab, even if it's a failure overall. I think in trying to 'reverse engineer' these experiences we can learn a lot about our false assumptions which could lead us to better questions/answers.

    I'm definitely inspired to read his new book and start following his work more closely now. While I do like the idea of psi scientists just turning away from the scientific community and stop looking incessantly for their approval, I also can understand the value and commitment of staying as truly as possible in the scientific method, wherever it may be possible. It is our modern 'language' in some ways and difficult to imagine progressing ideas or theories without it.

    I also think his angle with the research and this book is so timely. I mean, geez, the 'mystery teachings' are becoming so ubiquitous now they're penetrating every layer of culture! I'm surprised no one has thought of this book topic sooner, so kudos to him, b/c it's bound to sell well I think, which means he's got his finger on the pulse, which is a kind of magick, right?!
     
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  18. Obiwan

    Obiwan Member

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    I don’t fancy a three hour lecture lol
     
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  19. Baccarat

    Baccarat New

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    Break it up 30 minutes a day?
     
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  20. gabriel

    gabriel New

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    Does Dynamo claim to be more than a stage magician? I don't know if you've seen him lately but he has every ailment going, and the medication has caused him to balloon in size. He says he can no longer perform tricks because of his illness, so tricks are what his performances must be. If he's in contact with a spirit realm he might have asked if they could help him avoid chronic illness.

    Whether it's possible for disincarnate entities to influence matter is difficult to prove. For those of us who think reality is essentially a mental construct, it's more likely that mind is the first route of influence. It's why I believe the disproportionate number of reports of ghostly apparitions, compared to the complete absence of convincing video images in a surveillance saturated society, suggest ghosts require consciousness to appear. Can they be recorded "objectively"? I suspect not. Are they "real", almost certainly if the number of sincere witnesses are to be believed.
    The barrier between physical intervention and mind seem to be considerable, if not completely insuperable. When mental influence is so fluid, and can use the same system by which motivation becomes actuality, why would entities use party tricks?
     
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