Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove, The Long-Term Future of Parapsychology |349|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, May 16, 2017.

  1. Alex

    Alex New

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    Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove, The Long-Term Future of Parapsychology |349|
    by Alex Tsakiris | May 16 | Consciousness Science, Parapsychology

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    Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove has a unique vantage point for evaluating the future of parapschology and psi research.
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    photo by: Skeptiko
    On this episode of Skeptiko…

    Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove: In many ways philosophers are pointing out that there’s a conceptional error there and that has to do with confusing technology with science. Technology has been so successful over the last two to three hundred years that we’ve become hypnotized by it in a way, and we imagine that the world around us is like a great big clockwork of some sort and that everything follows a kind of rationalistic materialistic logic. I think that occurs because we project the success that we’ve had with technology onto all of nature, and nature herself does not necessarily obey mechanistic principles all of the time.

    Stay with us for Skeptiko…

    Welcome to Skeptiko, where we explore controversial science and spirituality with leading researchers, thinkers and their critics. I’m your host, Alex Tsakiris, and on this episode Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove joins me. He was actually a guest, like 10 years ago, which we talk a little bit about on the show — which is pretty amazing — and if you don’t know anything about him, he’s really, really an interesting guy. He has kind of seen it all, done it all, when it comes to parapsychology and has been involved with parapsychology education and public communication about it for a long, long time. His show, Thinking Allowed, which was originally on PBS, and his new show, New Thinking Allowed, are just mainstays for this kind of information.

    But the other thing I want to talk to him about is this book that he wrote a long time ago called The PK Man, and it’s about his encounters with this guy Ted Owens; we talk a little bit about it in the interview, so I don’t have to repeat it, but it is an absolutely amazing kind of paradigm-shattering account of psychokinesis and psychic powers in a human being, and I don’t know how history has managed sidestep this case, because it’s really well documented in so many ways.

    So that’s an interesting angle to mix into this little thing. I mean, here’s this guy… he’s been in the parapsychology field for 30 – 40 years, and he’s got this amazing firsthand experience with this guy who could direct thunderbolts with his finger and summon UFOs and make the weather change, incredible! So there’s a lot there to kind of ponder and think about.
     
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  2. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Alex's questions at the end of the interview (for concision, I've edited what he said):

    What do you make of the Ted Owens (The PK Man) case*?

    (Alex thinks the whole thing either needs to be broadly debunked because it's completely contrived/made up, or it completely shatters our understanding of reality).

    Listening to Jeffrey Mishlove, you get a sense of a guy who's seen and done it all, at least in respect of the people he's talked to, and he's very measured and careful about what he says. With someone like Ted Owens, who apparently directed lightening bolts with his finger and summoned UFOs, then all the rest of this stuff has to fit in a world that's dramatically different than what we imagine it to be on a day-to-day basis.

    What do you think?

    *Here's the relevant Thinking Allowed video:



     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
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  3. Alex

    Alex New

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    thx Michael... that was a lot of transcribing :)
     
  4. Larry

    Larry Member

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    Thanks Alex Great interview!
    What came up for me – just loosely associating:
    He mentioned all the different levels of reality (or perception) of which is our present consensual material/mechanistic model is only one and how we are fooled by the power/addiction to technology into reducing every perception and experience as derivative of it. Maybe we moderns are all in collective trance with a few of us poking our heads out here and there.
    Another thought on the spiritual level is that Buddhism and Advata Vedanta see the capacity to access the siddha powers as not nesesarily any kind of indication of spiritual advancement and are considered dangerous unless properly directed by a wise elder where they can become a trap where one's ego can be inflated as with the case of Ted Owens who could do a bunch of magic tricks but didn't seem to posses much emotional or spiritual maturity. I remember a star trek character called the Q who could master all the forces of the universe but was emotionally just a child. I think the paranormal is important to study but without the spiritual connection it's just another morally neutral technology which means it's potentualy problematic.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
  5. Alex

    Alex New

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    thx Larry very much agree with all of this. still not sure what to make of the UFO connection/ambassador.
     
  6. Larry

    Larry Member

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    I must have missed that
    what was the ufo connection/ambassador piece?
     
  7. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

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    Awesome guest, Alex, and terrific topic. Trancestate told me about the wonderful book The PK Man a couple years back and I wrote down my appreciation of it on the forum here. Glad you're giving it traction.
     
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  8. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    I don't think it's so much technology that is at the root of materialism, as the simple fact that our perception is what lends an apparent concreteness to at least the part of reality most people are commonly aware of. Of course, it's true enough that as technology improved, and seemed to verify a lot of our understanding of the world in concrete terms, the illusion of an apparent material reality became stronger and stronger.

    That said, and beyond technology, as scientific theory progressed, things became just as prone to woo as they ever were in the past. A simple fact: no one knows what matter and energy actually are. Most physicists offer some kind of model based on them, and their essential equivalence. Upon this, the immense edifice of materialistic science is based. Because the models to some extent work, as exemplified by technology, then the inference is that they must be literally real, or at least that they are our best current understanding of something that is literally real.

    We can't escape the undeniable perception of concreteness that our senses provide us with. We're constituted that way; but perhaps Samuel Johnson's kicking of a stone didn't refute immaterialism, so much as demonstrated how compelling the illusion of material reality is. I think it was possible to go along with this until the advent of quantum mechanics, when all of a sudden things seemed to become much less concrete; science arrived at a place of "no-thing-ness", to which it reacted with attempts to "re-thing" them, whilst at the same time rather revelling in the new found ability to speculate using mathematical constructs. I mean, if something as weird as QM could exist, why not things as weird as black holes, not to mention the big bang and inflation?

    Lo! Science has declared the universe is 13 billion years old, and most of us have swallowed it because we don't possess the mathematical chops to question it. However, could be there's as much evidence for such things as that the moon is made of green cheese. Most "evidence" is extrapolated from from theory, and when empirical data refutes it, the response is to either ignore it or complexify theory well beyond its capacity to describe reality.

    A large amount of time in the 20th and 21st century has been spent by scientists gambolling about like lambs in fields of speculation created by themselves -- because it's sheer fun, and enables them to feel intellectually superior to non-scientists.

    Why on earth would we need consensus if so many scientific hypotheses were true? Why would we need to make heretics of people with differing opinions (indeed, why would there be such opinions in the first place)? After all, it's in these opinions that the future breakthroughs in science are likely to originate. Why subject ourselves to more inertia in the system than is necessary? The answer, at least in part, may be that scientists are enjoying their little selves and it would be a shame to interrupt their interminable peregrinations. Besides, we can ourselves borrow from their authority and join in all the fun.
     
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  9. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    What do you make of the Ted Owens (The PK Man) case?

    I've never heard of this guy before, though I've no reason to doubt Mishlove's report that he could do all sorts of remarkable things. If he could, whether it was through his conscious will, the offices of his alien friends, or he had some precognition that he interpreted as his will, it's pretty strange and no, it doesn't fit within our notions of what the world is supposed to be like.

    Looks like the guy was his own worst enemy; his demeanour doesn't seem to have helped ensure his being taken seriously. Pity he's not still around, when mobile phones able to take moving pictures are common and the guy who made an affidevit about the lightening could have simply recorded it as a movie.
     
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  10. Stephen Wright

    Stephen Wright New

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    My imagination responded with a cartoon segment (circa 1935 background) with lambs bouncing around with faces of Dawkins, Pinker and Hawking etc....
    They do seem to be acting in some real-life theater of the absurd. And, as you say Michael, the method is to seek ever more obscure and complex answers, when simple and understandable answers are needed by the general public.

    Authority comes from models whose predictions match actual observable processes and outcomes. But --- trial and error exploring is how ideas evolve - and I still would defend all the gambolling in infospace, seeking ever more imaginative answers. If Bo Peep shepherds just a couple of Einsteins, Von Neumanns, or Shannons each century - all the academic grazing is worthwhile.
     
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  11. Alex

    Alex New

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    nice :)
     
  12. Steve

    Steve Member

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    What a top man Jeffrey appears to be! I have been a fan of 'listening allowed' for some time and am particularly jealous of his ability to stay utterly calm, no matter what. He displays the wisdom of 'an old soul', if indeed such a thing exists. I was glad that Alex pressed him a little to get more than the standard sanitised version of his views.

    As for the PK man, who knows. To me he might have been an alien in a human body having a holiday here on earth!

    I have heard Jeffrey describe a time when he perhaps peed Ted's ego off, and he hung up on Jeffrey after saying something like 'you'll regret questioning me'. After a short time (hours?)Jeffrey started to come down with a bug of some sort, he had a sore throat and was feeling very rough. His phone rang, it was Ted saying "I'm sorry, I promise never to do that to you again", he didn't mention anything specific, but very shortly thereafter Jeff's flu like symptoms started quickly to lift. Incredible!

    If it were anyone but Jeffrey Mishlove telling a story like that, I'd have my doubts, but him I trust. (Not exactly sure why).

    One request, should Jeffrey see this thread. Would it be possible to get a version of PK Man made available on ebook? EDIT:: Disregard. I'm sure it wasn't available on Amazon kindle as an ebook last time I looked , but now is, so I'll buy it!

    Thanks to both Alex and Jeffrey.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
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  13. Judith

    Judith New

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    Enjoyed the interview and I also have been a fan of his for a while. I agree with Steve that if it were anyone else, I'd be quite skeptical of the PK man story. What a strange story. On the other hand, perhaps there really were magicians (Merlin?) back in the day.
     
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  14. Alex

    Alex New

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    fascinating
    .
     
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  15. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    That was an excellent interview, and Ted Owens was new to me.

    This guy sounds like some of the amazing characters in Dean Ranin's "Supernormal" book about the outer fringes of Yogis' abilities.

    I do remember the UK drought of 1976 - I remember sitting with my girlfriend, gazing down at a reservoir that was all but dried up, and wondering if this could get dangreous, and I also remember that it ended very dramatically.

    David
     
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  16. Who's "we"? I can see how materialists might have a problem with PK Man. I own the book and read it. I'm not competent to judge the legitimacy of the evidence in that case, but in general I don't have a problem with the possibility of such cases because we are all part of the same mind creating the physical world. I've had my own experiences with the power of thought, and I avoid using it because I'm afraid of unforeseeable karmic consequences. But if the physical world can exist, then PK man can exist. If you perceive as reality the thought that is the world, why shouldn't you be able to manipulate it with your own thought?

     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  17. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    A key difference is that today's gambollers aren't renegades; the fields they leap about in are enclosed spaces which they're free to explore. But perish the thought of their leaping fences. You see it everywhere. Consensus is what rules, and guards closely the perimeters of what they can investigate. You want to explore multiverses and string theory? Fine. You want to explore Electric Universe theory? Not fine. You want to defend Darwinism? Great. You want to challenge Darwinism? Shame on you. You want to put forward exotic theories and build fusion reactors? Fine. You have the timerity to want to explore Cold Fusion? We'll ruin your career for you.

    Where are the new ideas going to come from? Paddocks, or the untamed wilderness beyond?
     
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  18. Kamarling

    Kamarling Member

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    We could add the names of Heisenberg, Bohr, Schrödinger, de Broglie and Dirac. Wolfgang Pauli - one of the greatest minds of that golden age - shared ideas with Jung about synchronicity. These people dared to be open minded in a world where freedom of thought and action was being suppressed by an increasingly totalitarian world. Yet now, in an era we are given to believe is a utopia for the scientific elite, we see free enquiry stifled and suffocated by dogma. Pauli and Jung would be hounded out of the establishment were they alive today and daring to speak of synchronicity.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
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  19. Bucky

    Bucky Member

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    I still have to listen but I am pleasantly suprised to see Dr Mishlove interviewed here.
    This also reminds me that he runs a fascinating YT channel, which I am subscribed to, with tons of interesting interviews that are piling up in my backlog! :eek:

    Here's the channel, btw:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFk448YbGITLnzplK7jwNcw

    If you can get past the corny 30 seconds intro, made with a 1980's Casio toy keyboard... you're in for a treat :D

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
  20. E.Flowers

    E.Flowers New

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    Lol, I was about to comment on that but was a bit hesitant since it could be seen as coming out of the blue. It has a nice early 1980s vibe to it, I was half-expecting a rainbow unicorn.
     
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