Is Parapsychology supportive of Religion?

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Sciborg_S_Patel

#1
It seems there's this argument that if paranormal stuff is real then it would make people more likely to believe in extant religions.

Is that true though? I mean look at the recent X-men Apocalypse trailer where it suggests a mutant (so human with paranormal powers) was responsible for Hinduism, Egypt's ancient faith, and the Abrahamic faiths ->


So it's entirely possible religious figures had some kind of Psi powers that got exaggerated. In fact the messiness of the paranormal/spiritual worlds suggest to me there would be multiple entities using religion for benevolent and malevolent ends.

Look at reincarnation - the idea that there is some kind of karmic system seems to go against what's actually observed.

NDEs - okay this might be the one place where you could make an argument that some percentage of people meet religious figures and get shown Heaven (and sometimes Hell)...but it seems a good deal of NDEs don't involve traditional religious notions like eternal damnation.

Channeling - it seems the major message of channeling seems to be we are practically gods ourselves, choosing to incarnate and even choose our fates in the mortal lifetimes we experiences.

Alien encounters - Looking at Vallee's stuff, seems like either there are beings masquerading as gods our we are gods trying to remember our own divinity.
 
#2
Is Parapsychology supportive of Religion?
No.

With a few exceptions, parapsychologists, for the most part, want to extend known science to explain consciousness and prove it is part of the physical universe and co-evolved with biological life rather than believe it preexisted a created universe. They are suffering from the same scientism/naturalism mind set as mainstream scientists and they also are influenced by the fact that it will be easier to get acceptance by mainstream scientists if they are not supporting religion but extending known science. The one thing atheist, naturalist, materialists will never do under any circumstances is admit religion was right and "science" was wrong.

Which may explain why there is also a bias among many parapsychologists against afterlife research and afterlife evidence.

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/near-death-experiences-and-afterlife.html

I have long suspected that within the parapsychological community there is some prejudice against afterlife phenomena. Parapsycholoigst Dr. Carlos Alvarado confirmed my suspicion in an interview published at aspsi.org. The interview does not seem to be on the internet currently, but the link was: http://www.aspsi.org/feat/life_after/tymn/a076mt-a-Dr_Carlos_S_Alvarado_interview.php

Dr. Alvarado said:

For many workers in the field, survival research is not a main interest. To some extent this is academics as usual. People specialize in some areas and develop interests due to personality traits, life experiences, training, and employment opportunities, and parapsychology is no exception. Then there are concerns such as getting tenure and the belief that the area has many methodological difficulties. However, I believe that in some cases there is more than this. In some circles it is more “respectable” to conduct ESP experiments than working with survival-related phenomena such as apparitions or mediumship. I still remember how the director of a parapsychology unit within an university, wanting to keep a conservative image, discouraged students from pursuing topics such as apparitions for dissertation research.

Because of this prejudice, one may be justifiably suspicious of the views of those parapsychologists who may deny the genuineness of afterlife phenomena and claim they may be caused by ESP.
 
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#3
No. And there is bias against afterlife research and afterlife evidence.

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/near-death-experiences-and-afterlife.html

I have long suspected that within the parapsychological community there is some prejudice against afterlife phenomena. Parapsycholoigst Dr. Carlos Alvarado confirmed my suspicion in an interview published at aspsi.org. The interview does not seem to be on the internet currently, but the link was: http://www.aspsi.org/feat/life_after/tymn/a076mt-a-Dr_Carlos_S_Alvarado_interview.php

Dr. Alvarado said:

For many workers in the field, survival research is not a main interest. To some extent this is academics as usual. People specialize in some areas and develop interests due to personality traits, life experiences, training, and employment opportunities, and parapsychology is no exception. Then there are concerns such as getting tenure and the belief that the area has many methodological difficulties. However, I believe that in some cases there is more than this. In some circles it is more “respectable” to conduct ESP experiments than working with survival-related phenomena such as apparitions or mediumship. I still remember how the director of a parapsychology unit within an university, wanting to keep a conservative image, discouraged students from pursuing topics such as apparitions for dissertation research.
Because of this prejudice, one may be justifiably suspicious of the views of those parapsychologists who may deny the genuineness of afterlife phenomena and claim they may be caused by ESP.

Parapsychologists for the most part want to extend known science to explain consiousness and prove it is part of the physical universe and co-evolved with biological life rather than believe it pre-existed a created universe. There are some exceptions though.
Archived at http://web.archive.org/web/20110128...n/a076mt-a-Dr_Carlos_S_Alvarado_interview.php
 
#4
It seems there's this argument that if paranormal stuff is real then it would make people more likely to believe in extant religions.

Is that true though? I mean look at the recent X-men Apocalypse trailer where it suggests a mutant (so human with paranormal powers) was responsible for Hinduism, Egypt's ancient faith, and the Abrahamic faiths ->
Most sci-fi writers and fans are also fans of "science" ie materialism, naturalism, scientism. So when an author writes about ESP he gives it a "scientific" explanation and they call the genre "Science Fiction". There is a separate genre for "supernatural" phenomenon. They call it "Fantasy".

Look at reincarnation - the idea that there is some kind of karmic system seems to go against what's actually observed.
What evidence do you base that on? Past life regression research is full of karmic explanations for issues in the current life.
Channeling - it seems the major message of channeling seems to be we are practically gods ourselves, choosing to incarnate and even choose our fates in the mortal lifetimes we experiences.
I don't think channeling belongs on this list because most channelers do not provide veridical information and there is no way to assess their reliability.
Evidential mediums tend to support what NDEers say so there are two lines of independent evidence supporting that cosmology.

What you have to understand about the non-physical realm is that in a purely mental realm, thoughts are real and imagination is creative in a concrete way. While incarnated, imagination is not recognized as real. But in a purely mental realm, imagination is the only reality. You can't understand non-physical phenomena by analogy to physical phenomena.
 
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S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#5
Most sci-fi writers and fans are also fans of "science" ie materialism, naturalism, scientism. So when an author writes about ESP he gives it a "scientific" explanation and they call the genre "Science Fiction". There is a separate genre for "supernatural" phenomenon. They call it "Fantasy".
Perhaps, but it does seem that paranormal abilities among the population could result in some people ending up as religious figures?

What evidence do you base that on? Past life regression research is full of karmic explanations for issues in the current life.
Apologies, I was thinking of karma in a very specific way -> People born into castes because of their conduct in a previous lifetime.

I don't think channeling belongs on this list because most channelers do not provide veridical information and there is no way to assess their reliability.

Evidential mediums tend to support what NDEers say so there are two lines of independent evidence supporting that cosmology.
Ah, that's probably fair though my point was more that channeling doesn't seem to be in accord with any extant religion.

What you have to understand about the non-physical realm is that in a purely mental realm, thoughts are real and imagination is creative in a concrete way. While incarnated, imagination is not recognized as real. But in a purely mental realm, imagination is the only reality. You can't understand non-physical phenomena by analogy to physical phenomena.
This is somewhat disconcerting, if I'm understanding what you mean by "imagination is the only reality".

It seems I could just imagine meeting loved ones in the afterlife but they are mere constructs of my own post-mortem mind?
 
#6
This is somewhat disconcerting, if I'm understanding what you mean by "imagination is the only reality".

It seems I could just imagine meeting loved ones in the afterlife but they are mere constructs of my own post-mortem mind?
I would modify what Jim said a little, and say that people are the loves that are the permanent substances of the mental+spiritual world, and that thoughts and imaginations are the transient forms that these substances take when the people think and imagine.
I agree with you that imagination is transient and often self-produced. So Jim needs to say more about what are the permanent substances in the non-physical world.
 
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#7
Perhaps, but it does seem that paranormal abilities among the population could result in some people ending up as religious figures?
Mediums generally believe in the afterlife. I don't know of any psychics who align themselves with the atheists. So a religious figure could have been psychic and their role/identity overblown but that does not mean the concepts of God, the afterlife, and morality are derived solely from material facts.

It seems there's this argument that if paranormal stuff is real then it would make people more likely to believe in extant religions.

Is that true though? I mean look at the recent X-men Apocalypse trailer where it suggests a mutant (so human with paranormal powers) was responsible for Hinduism, Egypt's ancient faith, and the Abrahamic faiths ->
I'm not sure I understand what your point is. The example shows that paranormal stuff makes people believe in religion. Maybe you mean "should paranormal stuff make people believe in religion? Not necessarily..." My opinion is that the genuine experiencers tend to express religious views. So their role or identity might get over blown and maybe we shouldn't take that too seriously, but the fundamental concepts of God (personal or impersonal, monotheistic, triune, or collective), the afterlife, and morality seem to be a common thread among experiencers. So I would say paranormal stuff should make us believe in religion. ... I know, I know, ... so most religions include stuff that is probably not exactly right ... but many religions are a lot closer to the truth about consciousness, human nature, and cosmology, than materialist science. I don't make a big distinction between religion and spirituality, those who do could rightly disagree. I am not that critical of religious dogma because ultimately if everything physical is imagined ... it is hard to criticize people for using their imagination when it gets them closer to the truth, closer to God when there are so many forces that point to a meaningless existence: natural disaster, disease, war, death, materialism, and more recently scientific materialism.
 
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#8
It seems there's this argument that if paranormal stuff is real then it would make people more likely to believe in extant religions.

Is that true though? I mean look at the recent X-men Apocalypse trailer where it suggests a mutant (so human with paranormal powers) was responsible for Hinduism, Egypt's ancient faith, and the Abrahamic faiths ->

NDEs - okay this might be the one place where you could make an argument that some percentage of people meet religious figures and get shown Heaven (and sometimes Hell)...but it seems a good deal of NDEs don't involve traditional religious notions like eternal damnation
I would be careful about that... I've looked at a number of distressing experiences from violent or destructive situations where the experient had an NDE.

I would expect rougher, more violent, harsher times of the past to have an effect on the types of NDE beng experienced during those same times.

To me, NDE's show a strong third-party correlation with the experient, which can produce a generally positive, 'attractive' or 'repelling' experience, depending on whether the experient does/does not exceed the third-parties norms when incorporating the experience.

I'd speculate that the generated experience has the effect of driving the individual back towards the group average... as they are forced to come to terms with (incorporate) third-party patterns that have been directly laid down on their brain.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#9
Mediums generally believe in the afterlife. I don't know of any psychics who align themselves with the atheists. So a religious figure could have been psychic and their role/identity overblown but that does not mean the concepts of God, the afterlife, and morality are derived solely from material facts.
But a person can be an immaterialist, or even believe in the afterlife, without being religious.

Imagine a world where one out of 5 people are a medium capable of providing veridical information - would religions even develop if people found the afterlife was easily accessible and a lot of people reported life on the other side was a continuation of this one to a large extent?

I'm not sure I understand what your point is. The example shows that paranormal stuff makes people believe in religion. Maybe you mean "should paranormal stuff make people believe in religion? Not necessarily..." My opinion is that the genuine experiencers tend to express religious views. So their role or identity might get over blown and maybe we shouldn't take that too seriously, but the fundamental concepts of God (personal or impersonal, monotheistic, triune, or collective), the afterlife, and morality seem to be a common thread among experiencers. So I would say paranormal stuff should make us believe in religion. ... I know, I know, ... so most religions include stuff that is probably not exactly right ... but many religions are a lot closer to the truth about consciousness, human nature, and cosmology, than materialist science. I don't make a big distinction between religion and spirituality, those who do could rightly disagree. I am not that critical of religious dogma because ultimately if everything physical is imagined ... it is hard to criticize people for using their imagination when it gets them closer to the truth, closer to God when there are so many forces that point to a meaningless existence: natural disaster, disease, war, death, materialism, and more recently scientific materialism.
I guess I would be making a distinction between spirituality and religion, but Psi in particular seems anti-religious to me.

Let's say psychic healing was an accepted reality - some people can heal themselves and others without any sense they are vessels for the divine. Doesn't this deflate a variety of religious miracles centered around healing the sick?
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#10
I would be careful about that... I've looked at a number of distressing experiences from violent or destructive situations where the experient had an NDE.

I would expect rougher, more violent, harsher times of the past to have an effect on the types of NDE beng experienced during those same times.

To me, NDE's show a strong third-party correlation with the experient, which can produce a generally positive, 'attractive' or 'repelling' experience, depending on whether the experient does/does not exceed the third-parties norms when incorporating the experience.

I'd speculate that the generated experience has the effect of driving the individual back towards the group average... as they are forced to come to terms with (incorporate) third-party patterns that have been directly laid down on their brain.
Ah fair point. If NDEs are what you think they are then they would likely reinforce societal beliefs.

OTOH, the diversity of these beliefs around the globe would suggest someone - or arguably everyone - has to be wrong.
 
#11
But a person can be an immaterialist, or even believe in the afterlife, without being religious.

Imagine a world where one out of 5 people are a medium capable of providing veridical information - would religions even develop if people found the afterlife was easily accessible and a lot of people reported life on the other side was a continuation of this one to a large extent?



I guess I would be making a distinction between spirituality and religion, but Psi in particular seems anti-religious to me.

Let's say psychic healing was an accepted reality - some people can heal themselves and others without any sense they are vessels for the divine. Doesn't this deflate a variety of religious miracles centered around healing the sick?
It all depends on what 'continuation of this [life] to a large extent' means.

Most religions claim that there are later changes to the nature of living in the afterlife, such that one gives up what desires and thoughts are peripheral to one's life, and centers on what loves and wisdom are essential. In a sense, they go to live 'in another place' that might not be so well reported by mediums. Especially since what is essential seems to be related to living a life of good acts from truth, and hence how you are connected to the sources of good and truth.

In fact, if you read in detail about what afterlife people tell you about the structure of their world, there are typically a range of states, some 'nearer' to physical appearances, and some 'further away'. They all link together, of course, to have physical effects such as with a medium. But the evidence certainly does not point to all 'life on the other side []as a continuation of this one to a large extent'. This brings us to religion again, but not immediately after death. So it depends on who you are talking to.
 
#12
Let's say psychic healing was an accepted reality - some people can heal themselves and others without any sense they are vessels for the divine. Doesn't this deflate a variety of religious miracles centered around healing the sick?
It depends on how psychic healing works. If it is pk or something like that then then you are right. If the Spiritualists (via evidential mediums), are right and spiritual healing is a form of physical mediumship where the "energy" comes from a higher plane (ie "God", the "energy" is sometimes called the "God force" ) and its application is mediated by spirits, then it would support some aspects of religion. Spirits communicating through mediums explain this, and mediums (and often student mediums) who do healing are aware of the spirit guides involved in the application of the healing "energy".

But most people are capable of spiritual healing. People don't know about it or believe it so they never develop their abilities. So the idea that a healer is some special "vessel for the divine" isn't part of Spiritualism. Some people might have more native talent but they are not any more "holy" just as a professional musician is not more holy than an amateur musician.

Here is another type of psychic healing, which supports belief in the afterlife:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/12/zerdinis-world-article-on-george-chapman.html
George Chapman was a British spiritual healer who provided many amazing cures. When he healed people, he would go into a trance and the spirit of a deceased doctor, William Lang, would take over his body. Dr. Lang would then use Chapman's body to operate on the spirit body of the patient. The spirit body of the patient would influence the physical body and the patient would be cured.
...
He is credited with curing an inoperable and malignant brain tumour, among other cancers, as well as with improving various eye conditions and even lengthening a patient's leg.​
...
Surely one of the most important statements concerning Dr Lang's continuing activity through George, is the one made by his own daughter, Marie Lyndon Lang: 'an active and very well-educated woman with a level-headed approach to life and death' . After meeting George, and seeing him regularly for many years, and speaking with Dr Lang while George was entranced, she was only too willing to make the following crucial statement: 'I can truthfully say the William Lang who operates via the body of George Chapman is, without a doubt, my father'.​
 
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#13
If one out of five people was a medium there would be room for any number of religions: Spiritualism, Buddhism, voodoo, ancestor worship. Plenty of people like religion and don't see it as a problem to be eliminated. Even atheists have their organizations and meetings.

I used to go to the Zen center because I liked to meet with other people who were interested in meditation and who had spiritual values.

I used to go to a Spiritualist church because I liked to meet with people who were interested in psychic development and who had spiritual values.

Some spiritual people feel isolated because they are bombarded by materialistic ads from every direction and work all day for a competitive capitalist corporation and they feel the need to meet with other like minded people to reinforce their spiritual values and take classes in related subjects - and that is why I like the religions I belong to. Religion isn't simply stupid people fooled by charlatans.

If one in five people were mediums that wouldn't necessarily mean that all people would have spiritual values, that society wouldn't be materialistic (in the economic sense), etc. There would still be a need for religious groups to provide support and communion of people who were interested in spiritual matters. If one in five people were mediums, then religions might be more accurate in their teachings, but they would not become obsolete.

There are even Christian Spiritualist churches.

Probably more than one out of seven people have the potential to develop as physical mediums. Seven is the number of people recommended for a development circle for physical mediumship. Probably more than 1 in 5 can be a mental medium ... if they knew it was possible and went to a class to see if they had the aptitude and then developed their talent. Its too bad the PSAT test is not Psi-atitude test.
 
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S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#14
If one out of five people was a medium there would be room for any number of religions: Spiritualism, Buddhism, voodoo, ancestor worship. Plenty of people like religion and don't see it as a problem to be eliminated. Even atheists have their organizations and meetings.

I used to go to the Zen center because I liked to meet with other people who were interested in meditation and who had spiritual values.

I used to go to a Spiritualist church because I liked to meet with people who were interested in psychic development and who had spiritual values.

Some spiritual people feel isolated because they are bombarded by materialistic ads from every direction and work all day for a competitive capitalist corporation and they feel the need to meet with other like minded people to reinforce their spiritual values and take classes in related subjects - and that is why I like the religions I belong to. Religion isn't simply stupid people fooled by charlatans.

If one in five people were mediums that wouldn't necessarily mean that all people would have spiritual values, that society wouldn't be materialistic (in the economic sense), etc. There would still be a need for religious groups to provide support and communion of people who were interested in spiritual matters. If one in five people were mediums, then religions might be more accurate in their teachings, but they would not become obsolete.

There are even Christian Spiritualist churches.

Probably more than one out of seven people have the potential to develop as physical mediums. Seven is the number of people recommended for a development circle for physical mediumship. Probably more than 1 in 5 can be a mental medium ... if they knew it was possible and went to a class to see if they had the aptitude and then developed their talent. Its too bad the PSAT test is not Psi-atitude test.
Ah that's true, there are religions with ancestor worship and the like as well.

But even looking at say, Voodoo/Santeria/Candomble, or other animist traditions there does seem to be a certain deflation of what would count as a "miracle" and what simply is an occurrence of the "Super Natural" as Whitley and Kripal would call it.

There also seems to be a sense in which such traditions are more decentralized? I took a class focused on the above three faiths stemming from the historical African Diaspora, and it seemed that even the "gods", the Loa, were not transcendent entities? (Even in Hinduism you see a bit of this with the lesser gods.)

I don't think it's a matter of charlatans necessarily, but rather the rarity of natural powers like Psi being conflated with a sense of the divine - assuming, of course, that Psi isn't the penetrating of the divine. But if we look at someone like Bengson is the healing he's doing really connected to anything spiritual by necessity?

The possible world I compare ours too is that of comic books because in that reality all sorts of people have all sorts of powers. Imagine if our world's history was like that - what would count as proof of divinity where Wolverine regenerates from little but bones or Superman - and a bunch of other heroes- manages to come back from the dead?

Thus my thought is that parapsychology deflates the mysticism of miracles and the afterlife to at least some extent. It seems entirely possible, AFAICTell, for someone to take the findings of parapsychology and promoting a very generous form of "Liberal Naturalism", where the term usually refers to the inclusion of consciousness (and the possibility of free will?) into the naturalist framework.

Perhaps a future Dawkins will tell us Muhammad merely channeled some low level entity, Jesus was an ancient X-man, and the Hindu pantheon were Vallee's aliens.

It all depends on what 'continuation of this [life] to a large extent' means.

Most religions claim that there are later changes to the nature of living in the afterlife, such that one gives up what desires and thoughts are peripheral to one's life, and centers on what loves and wisdom are essential. In a sense, they go to live 'in another place' that might not be so well reported by mediums. Especially since what is essential seems to be related to living a life of good acts from truth, and hence how you are connected to the sources of good and truth.

In fact, if you read in detail about what afterlife people tell you about the structure of their world, there are typically a range of states, some 'nearer' to physical appearances, and some 'further away'. They all link together, of course, to have physical effects such as with a medium. But the evidence certainly does not point to all 'life on the other side []as a continuation of this one to a large extent'. This brings us to religion again, but not immediately after death. So it depends on who you are talking to.
If what matters is good/truth/love, does that require religion? If anything it seems one could be an atheist and still accept post-mortem survival and the idea of the Good.

edit: Actually there's a kind of atheism that already does this called Platonic Atheism...
 
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#15
My view is that in the Western world at least, that Parapsychology is almost needed to legitimise religious beliefs (or some anyway).

If people find their beliefs aren't compatible with their wider society, they may well turn away from those beliefs. However if Parapsychology leads us toward a less Materialistic world, where there is evidence for this kind of phenomenon. Then maybe it will legitimise religion? In the UK where I'm from it's almost looked down on to have spiritual/religious beliefs. I wonder how many people hide these beliefs because of that over here.
 
#16
It seems there's this argument that if paranormal stuff is real then it would make people more likely to believe in extant religions.

Is that true though? I mean look at the recent X-men Apocalypse trailer where it suggests a mutant (so human with paranormal powers) was responsible for Hinduism, Egypt's ancient faith, and the Abrahamic faiths ->


So it's entirely possible religious figures had some kind of Psi powers that got exaggerated. In fact the messiness of the paranormal/spiritual worlds suggest to me there would be multiple entities using religion for benevolent and malevolent ends.

Look at reincarnation - the idea that there is some kind of karmic system seems to go against what's actually observed.

NDEs - okay this might be the one place where you could make an argument that some percentage of people meet religious figures and get shown Heaven (and sometimes Hell)...but it seems a good deal of NDEs don't involve traditional religious notions like eternal damnation.

Channeling - it seems the major message of channeling seems to be we are practically gods ourselves, choosing to incarnate and even choose our fates in the mortal lifetimes we experiences.

Alien encounters - Looking at Vallee's stuff, seems like either there are beings masquerading as gods our we are gods trying to remember our own divinity.
I think that religions are evolving institutional bodies with ideological DNA. As with all organisms, pressures of natural selection operate upon them creating a diverse range of survival and reproduction strategies. They are at times symbionts and at times parasites upon humanity. They have served humanity by bringing to it esoteric truths, discipline, structure, myth/meaning, and comfort. They have hindered humanity by providing false truths or truths occluded in symbol or hierarchy, or by fleecing their sheeple excessively or by sacrificing lives and happiness in order to expand.

In the Internet age, some of religion's functions have been made obsolete for many people.

Rumors of psi and the paranormal do offer some marginal support to religions. It reduces doubt among those who cherry pick reports to support their religious beliefs. It can create a sense of mystery and fear and therefore a need for quick answers which religion attempts to offer.

But on the whole I think the prevalence of information on psi can only erode the foundations of organized religion as it becomes apparent that such institutions do not have the monopoly on truth that they have long claimed.

Religion is the middleman of truth skimming a living off its commerce. People are now finding that they can bypass the middleman.

There are other benefits of religion that are lost as we bypass it with the DIY YouTube approach to truth. The lack of structure and discipline and community and a lack of solid easy immutable answers and meanings is a let down for some and leads to the sorts of things that made "new age" a dirty word.

If we are gods, then we are here by agreement. In fact I think all reality might be composed of "agreements". The trick is to be sure we aren't selling our souls to the devil. :)
 
#17
Ah fair point. If NDEs are what you think they are then they would likely reinforce societal beliefs.

OTOH, the diversity of these beliefs around the globe would suggest someone - or arguably everyone - has to be wrong.
I wouldn't think in terms of right or wrong at all. I think NDE's provide a clue to a fundamental process to do with my everyday experience... which has something to do with coherence.

Those studies on babies who are shown pictures of faces seem to indicate they preferred a certain type of face, which it turns out all have average features.

Rather than right or wrong, I'd prefer to think of it a bit like the weaving of a piece of rope... some threads in the middle move out towards the edge, and some on the edge move back towards the middle... repelling and attractive experiences which tend to stop the group from fracturing. Or you might prefer the elephant and the wise men idea.

If you've ever thought about the experience of a 2-dimensional being, which is moving around the surface of a 3D sphere, it can't properly understand why things keep repeating, they just do. It has no concept of a 3D object, or visualise how a single 2D surface could be connected together in this way. I think that's a bit like us understanding what's going on here... You can visualise the sphere, and everybody laid out on it, but there are other connections/synchronicities you occasionally experience (just like the 2D being does) which don't quite make sense to you. Why you, I and others have a motivation to push at this thing to learn more is intriguing...

The further away you move from your space-time location, the more different the systems will be that you interact with. It seems somehow natural and appropriate to me that information should be understood (accessed, stored and manipulated) in this way... that similar perspectives should group together, that systems, information and like-patterns etc should naturally be graduated and spread out across the surface of this '..globe..'

Dunno if that makes any sense to you...
 
#18
Though I tend to agree that in the UK religion is often looked down upon - at least its spiritual aspects. As political or cultural organisations religions are treated with mixed attitudes, often inconsistent.

But on the other hand I feel that there are a large number of people in the UK who have no attachment to any recognised religion, yet are not without some sort of belief. It may be the political or cultural aspects, most respected by politicians, which are least valued by ordinary people.

With regard to parapsychology, I don't think it is the only entry point or way to legitimise religion. It may possibly indicate something a little beyond the conventional physical descriptions of reality, but I don't think that's enough, it's barely pushing the envelope a little.

On the other hand I think what people do find significant is not dry scientific or academic research, but instead their own personal experiences. Just one example, years ago I worked for a boss who was very down-to-earth, perhaps cynical and disinterested in the deeper issues. Yet one day he related a story of when as a parent he was deeply concerned that his young son was not going to make it through some medical crisis. At one point he heard a voice from some unknown source telling him that his son would be all right. And so he was. It is these little things, the incidents which may seem insignificant, and are only rarely shared, at least in general company, which perhaps mean more than any formal doctrines.
 
#19
Though I tend to agree that in the UK religion is often looked down upon - at least its spiritual aspects. As political or cultural organisations religions are treated with mixed attitudes, often inconsistent.

But on the other hand I feel that there are a large number of people in the UK who have no attachment to any recognised religion, yet are not without some sort of belief. It may be the political or cultural aspects, most respected by politicians, which are least valued by ordinary people.

With regard to parapsychology, I don't think it is the only entry point or way to legitimise religion. It may possibly indicate something a little beyond the conventional physical descriptions of reality, but I don't think that's enough, it's barely pushing the envelope a little.

On the other hand I think what people do find significant is not dry scientific or academic research, but instead their own personal experiences. Just one example, years ago I worked for a boss who was very down-to-earth, perhaps cynical and disinterested in the deeper issues. Yet one day he related a story of when as a parent he was deeply concerned that his young son was not going to make it through some medical crisis. At one point he heard a voice from some unknown source telling him that his son would be all right. And so he was. It is these little things, the incidents which may seem insignificant, and are only rarely shared, at least in general company, which perhaps mean more than any formal doctrines.
Interesting comment, and I largely agree. I think a lot more people in the UK have some kind of beliefs, or are agnostic, then we would think. Though there are plenty of committed materialists, who are convinced the way they see the world is factual, and everyone else is just kidding themselves!

I certainly don't think Parapsychology is incompatible with religion. It's another branch of Science, and I don't think Science and Religion, and especially Science and Spirituality, are incompatible.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#20
With regard to parapsychology, I don't think it is the only entry point or way to legitimise religion. It may possibly indicate something a little beyond the conventional physical descriptions of reality, but I don't think that's enough, it's barely pushing the envelope a little.
I'd agree that by showing mind being more than brain parapsychology would initially seem to make religions more plausible. But once you start wondering if religious figures had paranormal powers I don't think authoritative religions would survive.

Though as per the Bersgon quote below, it might encourage the old doctrine of Hermeticism - that we are shards of divinity that can also see the divine in the world around us. (Which I'd distinguish from Gnosticism which sees this reality as a god-trapping prison.)

Of course there are apparently a lot of physicalist explanations of Psi...personally I don't see them as really working out but it does seem possible for someone to utilize parapsychology as proof religious figures were more X-men like mutants than divinely touch persons?

If we are gods, then we are here by agreement. In fact I think all reality might be composed of "agreements". The trick is to be sure we aren't selling our souls to the devil. :)
Or we might not be gods quite yet, caterpillars on the way to becoming butterflies?

"Joy indeed would be that simplicity of life diffused throughout the world by an ever-spreading mystic intuition; joy, too, that which would automatically follow a vision of the life beyond attained through the furtherance of scientific experiment... Mankind lies groaning, half crushed beneath the weight of its own progress. Men do not sufficiently realize that their future is in their own hands. Theirs is the task of determining first of all whether they want to go on living or not. Theirs the responsibility, then for deciding if they want merely to live, or intend to make just the extra effort required for fulfilling, even on their refractory planet, the essential function of the universe, which is a machine for the making of gods."
-Henri Bergson


I certainly don't think Parapsychology is incompatible with religion. It's another branch of Science, and I don't think Science and Religion, and especially Science and Spirituality, are incompatible.
It's not that it's incompatible, more that when the extraordinary becomes commonplace what counts as a miracle - God interrupting the natural order through Divine Action - seems to require increasingly amazing acts.

But yeah, I would agree spirituality is compatible with science and especially parapsychology. Just seems that by empowering man -especially via Psi - one removes some of the necessity for gods....or at least what was thought most impressive about them?
 
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