Is Westworld our world?

Discussion in 'Extended Consciousness & Spirituality' started by AryaS, May 6, 2018.

  1. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Well fine, but NDE's are hardly mainstream anyway, and if you take a conspiracy-theory view of reality, but then you take a conspiracy-theory view of that position..... Where do you end up?
    Well we don't have to choose between option A and option B, we can mix and match. I am very reluctant to go down the rabbit hole of belief. It bedevils religion, and related subjects like ours.

    David
     
  2. AryaS

    AryaS Member

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    Who said anything about belief?
     
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  3. AryaS

    AryaS Member

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    Thanks, hypermagda! I am continuing to read the NDE's -- I wish that Dr. Long had categorized the reports in a way that would make it easier to find particular topics of interest (e.g., the reason for "evil"). But as far as I can tell, he only highlights an NDE if he considered it "extraordinary" in some way -- so I'm starting there!

    Exactly -- in the "Aaron's theory" NDE, "learning" is akin to "experience" -- it has no purpose other than to add to the sum total experience of the Creator/All. So under this theory, even experiencing "evil" is just to feel what it feels like. As Aaron states:

    "The energy explained to me that my body was just a machine. My personality was just imaginary and shaped by the things I’ve seen. They said the only reason I exist is to see things and to experience life. They said all the things I see and experience are sent back out into the universe. They said that the universe is always learning, by watching itself through all of our eyes. They also told me that humans are no different than animals, and that they were created equally. The universe wanted to create as many different experiences as it could, and that’s why there are so many variations in life-forms and species."

    So under this view -- presumably the volcanoes and earthquakes are equally created for the experience. The bacteria and insects and "lower life forms" that do not have what we would consider free will consciousnesses are also there to add to the "experience" of the Creator/All. Good and bad, right or wrong -- are irrelevant. And the reason we continue to incarnate seems to be simply to have another "chance" at experience, because otherwise we are simply beings of energy, still experiencing everything as energy, but not having the decidedly different experience of being individuated/physical.

    .
    I don't think this theory makes any claim of a move towards goodness/benevolence -- and human existence seems a minor experience within the entire creative process....

    Did you gain information about how to live our lives? Yes I learned that there is no such thing as good or bad, right or wrong. We are meant to be free to do as we please and follow impulses. As humans, we try to control everything. Whilst that is ok, it is equally okay to be not have rules. Also, with a different understanding of death, I learned that we should not fear it. If we treated death and dying differently, without fear, then we could live happier lives.

    Of course, I think it's interesting that most of us do feel there should be a morality to our existence here. I wonder how this value/belief gets incorporated into the overall experiment?

    .
    I'm not sure this is the same theory. In Aaron's theory, there's no endless shifting between dark and light or good and evil. Instead, there is just "experience." And "we" participate simply because we are all energy beings who apparently grow tired ourselves of being in the pure energetic field -- and want to incarnate to add to the "experience" of it all. As Aaron states:

    "Standing above me, almost like a giant, is a lady I know who died recently. She looks down at me and repeats everything that I have just been told, but without moving her mouth. She says how we are all energy, how everything is connected, and how I shouldn’t be afraid. She says that nobody wants to be here but we all must go eventually. She said that she will take care of me so I shouldn’t feel sad or worried. I asked her, 'But if you’re energy now, then how come I can see you? Why do you still look like a human? Why haven’t you turned into another creature on a planet somewhere?' She doesn’t directly answer my question. Instead she explains that the universe is a huge place and that there’s so much energy around; even more than can fit in the universe. She tells me that it can take millions of years until it’s your turn to return to into a ‘Being’ again, but that it doesn’t matter because you can’t feel time when you’re energy."

    ------

    So it sounds to me, under Aaron's theory, that we don't particularly have a "choice" about incarnating -- but that perhaps it's something we want to do by the time it's offered to us again! Of course, Aaron's NDE goes against those other NDE's that discuss being able to "choose" one's parents/life/experiences, etc... But this theory certainly helps to answer the question about why anyone would "choose" a terrible, abusive, deprived life -- perhaps there's no choice!

    I'm going to respond to the rest of your post in another reply -- this is getting too long!
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
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  4. AryaS

    AryaS Member

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    .
    This theory -- that we are some other/higher beings' science experience -- makes a lot of sense to me. And I think would make sense under Aaron's theory as well. If the creative force enjoys creating an unlimited array of "creatures" in all shapes/sizes and at all levels of consciousness, why not higher level beings who want to create/modify and then observe/experiment with lower level beings? Aren't we (our scientists) engaged in all sorts of cloning/genetic modifications using bacteria/plants/animals? And if we, as humans, can already use nanotechnology and such to spy on almost every aspect of a human's life without the human being even being aware of such surveillance, I can only imagine what would be possible for higher level beings to do in order to observe and experiment/toy with us.

    So perhaps we ARE living in some vast Truman Show! It certainly addresses a lot of the data points in Laird's article -- and is basically the theory of Westworld.

    .
    All great numbered questions! I think "Aaron's theory" speaks to many of them - or at least suggests some plausible answers. I'll toss some out here....

    I agree, and this has always been a frustrating question for me. But perhaps if this is just one giant expanding experiment involving "learning for learning's sake," and if we are all energy beings that just repeatedly incarnate to gather more "experience," then isn't it possible that we just lose a lot of our memories of our past incarnations simply because once we "died" in that life, our energy beings merged into the "whole" again? So jumping into new incarnations may carry tidbits of past strong energetic imprints (i.e., the way water allegedly retains memory) -- but not for everyone.

    Aaron's theory would not involve this type of "make it right" aspect. Presumably, any "life review" would be simply to review or process the experience.

    Under Aaron's theory -- our world is just one "experience" in a vast universe of experiences. Maybe there are worlds that are wholly "good" or wholly "evil."

    Great question! And I think this one isn't satisfactorily answered by Aaron's theory. In his description, Beings in the energy field have to wait until there's room for them to incarnate somewhere -- it doesn't answer the question of who's running this revolving system of incarnation!

    Totally in agreement with you on this. Simply accepting the positive NDE experience without trying to understand why it would be so contrary to our experience here is not unlike religious believers who simply take things on "faith" and brush away anything that goes against their belief system by saying that we are simply too small to understand the greater logic, etc... It's very unsatisfying.

    So, what do you think about Aaron's theory?
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
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  5. hypermagda

    hypermagda Member

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    Unfortunately I do not have the time to reply in detail so just some quick thoughts for the moment. (I don't have the time to think this through properly so they are preliminary thoughts and I may have to "correct myself" somewhat in future posts.)

    In a nutshell, while Aaron's theory seems fairly plausible overall, I think it does not sufficiently explain the emergence of...well, people like us! :) I mean, why would we (and there have been millions if not billions of people like us throughout the ages) feel ill at ease with this 'experience for experience's sake" approach? Basically, as I was implying with my questions #4, no matter how much these NDErs purport that 'we are all One' there seems to be a clear separation between "us" (as individuals) and this impersonal, amoral force which somehow experiences things through us. It's as if we have become so detached from it that we do not instinctively share its approach to existence. How come?

    This would seem to be possible only if in fact we were not just mere 'tentacles' of this one being (to use a metaphor), sharing 100% its its will-to-experience as existential motivation, but rather separate creatures which however "IT" can partly (largely?) control - the nearest analogy I can think of is AI, you know, the classic sci-fi trope of robots rebelling against human beings:we would be flesh and blood robots created and controlled directly by "The One/The Source", or by higher level beings who share the "Source"'s motivations far more than us and wanted to do the same thing the Source is doing on a kind of Universal scale, but on a smaller scale, ie, our Planet. Incidentally, I have always wondered how come there seems to so little life in the Universe, despite its vastness - I mean, our planet truly seems to me to be the product of a one-off experiment somehow. All this huge (infinite?) empty space, just rocks and stars and then this planet teeming with gazillions of life forms. I don't know, it just seems incongruous! A tiny pocket of "living organic matter" in a vast and seemingly inanimate universe....Maybe there are loads of entities out there that we can't however see and perceive with our senses....Have you seen the movie "Contact"?

    And yes, of course the idea whereby we could be the creatures of imperfect higher level beings, rather than the direct expressions of this "Universal Energy/Source" fits the Gnostic myth of "the God-Above-God"(NB: all this is METAPHOR, not to be taken literally). In fact the God-Above-God always meant very little to me in terms of hope, because if it was truly morally better than the Demiurge (who is a higher level being than us in the myth) it would have already "liberated" us, and moreover it would not have been possible for it to emanate such a flawed "higher level creator being" (Demiurge) in the first place. The God-Above-God always seemed to me to be an indifferent/amoral 'Ground of Being', from which anything "emanates" - a bit like Aaron's infinite energy. It emanates both good and beautiful things (as well as good spiritual/discarnate entities?), and utterly heinous ones - and everything in between.

    So it is fair to speculate (yay! An optimistic thought for once! :)) that, if there is indeed a spiritual dimension inhabited by higher level beings of various description, just as some people (like us) object to the way things are, there may be spiritual entities who see things like us and who may decide to help us work toward our liberation (OK, let me have a dream, hehe!)

    Of course there are loads of teachings/spiritual practices focusing precisely on this, ie on NOT coming back to this material world (which personally I would be happy to leave to those who enjoy the thrill of a ride in this splatter-themed amusement park called Planet Earth!).

    I am sure you and most other people around here will be fairly familiar with this, for example:

    https://www.near-death.com/religion/buddhism/tibetan-book-of-the-dead.html

    And of course the Ancient Egyptians also invested a lot of energy in 'getting to a better place' after this life.

    (I am obviously not saying that the above is a truthful or accurate map of what happens after death, but it is certainly evidence that there have always been people who have aspired NOT to come back here and to go to a better place instead. After all, most religions are precisely about managing to go to a better place after death, so it seems a bit bizarre that there are allegedly so many "people" in this energy realm Aaron describes who appear so eager to come back here over and over again.....)

    Will read Aaron's report as soon as I can - would you be so kind as to post the link again? Thank you so much dear AryaS! It's really great to have you here - before you came along this type of logical discussion about NDEs and their metaphysical implications would never have happened!
     
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  6. AryaS

    AryaS Member

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  7. LetsEat

    LetsEat Member

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    I wasn't aware Iands (International Association for near death studies) was obscure. It was supposedly investigated by the authors of the book '"The Self Does Not Die: Verified Paranormal Phenomena from Near-Death Experiences" as well which I was under the impression was considered a good resource, though I have not read it myself yet.
     
  8. AryaS

    AryaS Member

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    I'm heading off on what you Europeans would call "holiday," and hope to continue this conversation more fully when I return, but I did read the article at the link you posted about the Tibetan Book of the Dead -- and this part stood out to me:

    "The Bardo Thodol teaches that once awareness is freed from the body, it creates its own reality as one would experience in a dream."

    Could this explain the wide variation in NDE experiences? So that perhaps, in that first stage of post-physical death, we all create our own afterlife experience, based on our own cultural overlays, experiences, and upbringings?

    I don't know anything about the Tibetan Book of the Dead, but who supposedly gave this knowledge of the afterlife to the Tibetans? It is remarkably detailed regarding each Bardo that "we" presumably travel through (unless we are smart/lucky/good enough to merge into the Clear Light of Ultimate Reality from the get-go). Who came back and reported all this to the people, I wonder?
     
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  9. AryaS

    AryaS Member

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    I don't think the website you linked to at #85 was IANDS -- although there are a bunch of ads for IANDS on the website that you can click through and eventually get to the IANDS site. In fact, I tried to read through a few NDE's on that site after you posted the link, but found quite a few that seemed extremely contrived and overtly pushing a Christian/biblical agenda. So far, I am finding the ones on Dr. Long's website to be far less agendized and thus more persuasive...
     
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  10. dpdownsouth

    dpdownsouth Member

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    Wow, this thread has covered loads of ground since my last post! I'm still super pressed for time, so please excuse the sentence/paragraph/thought format.

    Hope the following answers most of the questions put to me.

    Part I:

    I should properly call my perspective panentheism: God, like in pantheism, is the universe, but, unlike pantheism, is also transcendent to the universe. Physical existence could be seen as the body of God, the transcendent as the mind of God. As the universe is steeped in process, creativity, transcendence, etc., so God is seen as the ultimate exemplification of these characteristics, therefore complete omnipotence and omniscience are denied.

    I think panentheism privileges matter more than Bernardo's straight-up idealism. Also, much of my thinking is based on the the works of Alfred North Whitehead, his fans, and fellow travellers. Bernardo has called Whitehead an avenue of escape for materialists from the reality of idealism??!!??
    ---
    The reason I don't like the term 'designed' is it suggests a designing mind external to existence. Doesn't this kinda hark back to mechanistic deism? Mediate the design through the agency of process and I have no problem with it.

    Now, there could be approximately predetermined states or forms (semi-Platonic stylee) towards which the process of creation is pulling. But the journey towards these states would be mediated through process and thus not predetermined. To me, this avoids any 'question of evil' problems.
    ---
    I don't see how you can have organic entities involved in a self-determined process of creativity and novelty in physical embodiment without the potential for accidents and negative action.

    Capacity for suffering increases with complexity of consciousness. Pain is a very effective feedback system for biological life, unambiguously signalling what to avoid and when there is a problem. This feedback system must greatly enhance an organism's chance of gaining complexity and complexity of consciousness through the evolutionary process. Children born without the ability to feel pain (it does happen) are an extreme danger to themselves.

    Nature is self-evidently nurturing towards life, otherwise we wouldn't be here!

    When seen at the right time scale, natural disasters are often events of expansion or renewal.
    ---
    Here's one I just thought of: When Cain killed Able (metaphor!!!), perhaps it was a novel event and thus immediately created a new archetype in the universal unconscious. Keeping the possibility of retrocausality in mind, maybe this event then echoed back in time, changing the course of biological evolution. Now 'The Process' has to take a messier route towards its final destination!
    ---
    I think the fact that we're even having this discussion could be evidence of a universal moral attractor at play. This would only kick-in once a certain level of complexity of consciousness has been attained.
    ---
    The developmental view does not necessarily privilege humanity as an ultimate expression or end..... so isn't anthropocentric.
     
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  11. dpdownsouth

    dpdownsouth Member

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    Part II:

    Traditional religious thought is important (and interesting!), but inevitably comes with extraneous historical/political add-ons. For example, could Gnosticism not be seen as an understandable historical reaction to the Old Testament's conception of a jealous, wrathful God?

    NDEs and contemporary accounts of Spiritually Transformative Experiences are, to me, some of the best evidence we have to work with when it comes to trying to understand the shape of an extended consciousness dimension.
    ---
    The vast majority of NDEs and mystical experiences (which some surveys show are more common than one might imagine) are positively transformative and support the 'life as a purposeful process' concept.

    Mystics have almost always, even those attempting to hop-off the Karma wheel, described the ultimate nature of reality as inherently positive.
    ---
    I think the hallucination model is a very bad explanation for the NDE phenomena for a number of reasons. Unlike NDEs, hallucinations do not contain universal content, are usually accompanied by extreme fear and, in and of themselves, almost never lead to positive transformation. They also do not contain verifiable extrasensory data (OBE observations, knowledge of distant events, etc.). The OBE angle also makes the hallucination and dying brain theory unlikely.

    Some of the best studied NDEs are those brought on by cardiac arrest, in which oxygen restriction to the brain quickly stops synapse, thus neuronal, function and destroys brain coherence to an extent that should prohibit conscious experience. Yet coherent (maybe heightened) perception, logical thought and deeply transformative experiences still occur. Many of the these cases include verifiable perceptions of medical procedures performed during clinical death!

    NDEs are undoubtedly strange and varied, containing both reflective (personal) and transpersonal content. I would agree that sometimes accounts move from the 'varied' and into the contradictory. But perhaps this fluidity tells us something important about the nature of a real experience.... as opposed to undermining the reality of NDEs.

    It's keeping the contradictions in mind that lead me to think of the experience as potentially occurring in the Jungian style collective consciousness field of humanity. If so, we would expect the experience to be a mix of the personal and the collective.

    When I say Jungian, I'm particularly talking about the expanded interpretation of Jung's collective unconscious idea, ie. humanity shares a fluid collective consciousness containing archetypes and complexes of clustered ideas, feelings, associations, etc. These would have, to some degree, an effect on all of us. So, perhaps I should have said Pop-Jungian. :)
    ---
    A collective version of the Tibetan Bardo is exactly what I'm talking about (with the addition of being able to move beyond the human field)! Incidentally, I think the TBotD is credited as having been written by a mythical sage, and 'discovered' a couple of hundred years later.
    ---
    Given the specific environmental conditions under which our cognitive abilities have evolved, it's very likely that something from outside of our perceptual range would be clothed through cultural filters and all sorts of personal strangeness.

    NDErs are also trying to express, through a very limited medium (language), an incredibly powerful experience. This must entail a degree of approximation, metaphor and impression.

    Aaron is not presenting a theory, he is interpreting and presenting an experience.
    ---
    Looking at the themes and regularities that constitute the NDE consensus reality, and leaving aside the LAS theory, it's pretty clear that almost all NDErs experience a vastly different perspective on material existence, suffering included, than we do 'down here'.

    I'm reminded of the physics concept of complementarity: Quantum phenomena like protons, electrons, photons, and neutrons have a dual, somewhat contradictory nature. Depending on your perspective, they appear either as particles, confined to a very small volume, or waves, spread out across larger regions of space. Both aspects are correct partial descriptions of reality..... within their range of applicability. So, is this table solid? Yes. Is this table solid? No. It all depends on the aspect of reality we are addressing.

    The above is similar to my interpretation of non-duality: At the ultimate level of reality, duality does not exist. At other levels, it certainly does. So, perhaps suffering is the same: Down here it matters very much. At other levels of existence, less so.

    Perhaps getting comfortable with a certain degree of contradiction is a good idea.

    ----------------------------

    There's nothing to say that out intellect is even capable of grasping the ultimate nature of reality. After all, the human intellect is a product of said reality. I think a degree of humbleness is necessary.

    All the best!
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
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  12. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Right - for me "Intelligent Design" means:

    1) Certainly not the result of solely or even primarily random processes

    2) Some sort of mind(s) was involved.

    The evidence for ID seems very strong, and I would encourage anyone who hasn't to browse the Discovery Institute. At least one member of that institute describes himself as an atheist Jew (but please remember that people use that word atheist in rather different ways - I think Berlinski means that he is not a religious person, and I feel the same. Intelligent Design is an exciting subject.

    Perhaps this encapsulates something I was trying to say several pages ago - if you only credit the designers with finite abilities, it may simply have been impossible to create a physical world without pain. Imagine if you were incarnated into a totally pain free existence - you might just go out exploring sensations like jumping off buildings:

    https://abcnews.go.com/Health/meet-toddler-feels-pain/story?id=20658484

    Now while children who feel no pain can hopefully manage to survive, it is easy to understand that this would not work on a larger scale.

    This may also be the reason that the afterlife is pretty much veiled from us - it couldn't be any other way if you want minds to invest in this reality!
    Definitely - put another way, that is seeing a very complex reality through very partial glimpses!

    David
     
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  13. Steve

    Steve Member

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    I agree with you about ID David.

    I just wanted to say that having skimmed through this thread, and as I’ve not been slow to criticise you in the past, praise is due. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s your composure under fire. Maybe you’re teaching me something? I have come to realise that listening without becoming emotional is something I value, even if I sometimes find it hard to do. So thanks.
     
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  14. dpdownsouth

    dpdownsouth Member

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    I've been rereading Yeats lately and thought this little passage was a perfect fit for the 'afterlife realm as collective unconscious of humanity' idea:

    ... being dead, we rise,
    Dream and so create
    Translunar Paradise.
    I have prepared my peace
    With learned Italian things
    And the proud stones of Greece,
    Poet’s imaginings
    And memories of love,
    Memories of the words of women,
    All those things whereof
    Man makes a superhuman
    Mirror-resembling dream.


    Magnifique, hey?
     
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  15. AryaS

    AryaS Member

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    .
    Back from my "holiday" and wanted to respond to your post. Thanks again for trying to explain your current thoughts on the nature of ultimate reality. I have not read any Alfred North Whitehead, but will check him out.

    But first, to clarify: I did not say Aaron presented a theory. Clearly he had an experience and it was very real to him. I used the term "theory" in reference to Laird's article, which provides an analysis of various theories of the nature of reality. Aaron's "experience," to me, was an NDE that presented an interesting version of reality that better addresses certain data points Laird uses in his article than some of the other wholly positive NDEs -- in particular, the problem of "evil."
    .
    Yes -- this appears to be true. But I think this is precisely my problem with the "evil/suffering is irrelevant from a different perspective" position/theory. That is, many of the NDErs (and STErs) suggest a moral meaningfulness to this physical existence -- i.e., they are allegedly sent back by other beings to "do good" or "love more" or "be better people." They are often revived with an entirely new conviction/understanding that "love" is all that matters. But if evil/suffering are irrelevant/not important at the next level, then why get sent back with any direction at all -- or why have any desire to do good or to love more? Does it even matter? Would be really nice to find an NDE story that addresses this -- doesn't anyone think to ask?

    Of course, if this experience of beings telling the NDEr to do good/be good is just part of the NDEr's own individual post-physical reality bubble -- i.e., if we all create the next level of reality for ourselves, then I can see how some people might come back with a moral imperative, while others do not. Still, there does seem to be some sort of moral purposefulness consensus in the NDE reports I've read so far -- but perhaps this is, as I have previously suggested, simply because those experiencing really awful/terrifying NDEs don't tend to share them on NDE websites or with anyone else. And "Aaron's theory" of "God" just having as many experiences as possible -- with no moral judgment/moral imperative attached whatsoever -- aligns with that possibility.

    I also have to say that, while I find your process theory really interesting, even hopeful, it feels somewhat new age detached/disconnected from the strange goings on we read about/experience down here. For example, as a so-called "conspiracy theorist," I feel the need to try to incorporate what appears to be going on in elite circles into my theory of ultimate reality. Specifically, as is currently being discussed on another thread on this forum (Chris Knowles), there really do appear to be groups of elites engaged in strange and ancient ritualistic practices (along with more modern mind control practices like MK ultra, remote viewing, etc.) that involve the attempt to manipulate our consciousness/reality here. Are these groups just blustering or fumbling in the dark -- or are they actually onto something? Are they closer to understanding the nature of reality than the masses -- and have they figured out a way to hijack the original organic process for their benefit? And is anything helping them at another level of consciousness -- as they apparently believe?

    I don't have any answers, but since these things actually seem to be happening here on this planet and in this physical existence, it feels like this, too, must be considered in any satisfactory theory of ultimate reality. (And to bring it back to the WW origins of this thread, some of these ideas are being explored in the current Season 2 of Westworld).
    Not sure what you mean by humbleness here? Is it simply the acceptance that we can never fully understand the true nature of reality until we pass? You are probably correct -- but then, why are we all attempting to do so on this forum? Passing the time until we can settle on a theory that makes us feel good?
     
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  16. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    I quite agree that there seems to be some inconsistency here - either evil on earth matters or it doesn't. On the other hand, I really do not like throwing away (i.e. explaining away) so much evidence from the majority of NDE's to try to fit a theory - that is the way materialists think!

    I'd like to continue to develop my concept that we are the product of finite intelligence.

    NDE's definitely suggest that things can happen down here that surprise those above. I mean, if they were all powerful, they could predict what would happen in the resuscitation and the NDE could proceed or never even begin. At the very least if the complete timeline of a life is available before birth, it must contain many probabilistic alternatives. Conversely, if 'they' find NDE's useful, there is no reason to associate them (usually) with extreme medical emergencies.

    There are also loads of viruses (and other bits of biology) that we could reasonably call evil. I wonder if in reality, creating a biosphere of life is a really tough project, and stuff happens that wasn't intended - such as EBOLA viruses etc. I think we have to try to avoid theological ways of thinking - the most plausible reason why a constructed object is imperfect, is that it was too difficult to construct perfectly!

    If that sort of thing can happen, then maybe some brains contain flaws that produce evil consequences. Again, this doesn't have to be a deliberate design feature - it can just be a flaw in a horrendously complex system.

    As I think I pointed out before, the Cambrian explosion also points towards a designer with vast but finite intelligence.

    So maybe we get reincarnated rather as a rider gets back on to an unruly horse to use her acquired skills to try to control the beast better and better over time. Those that build up their controlling skills may get offered a more challenging horse.

    Religions that postulate Gods with supreme intelligence can't come up with any plausible reason why we are here - infinitely intelligent and powerful beings don't need assistance with anything! That may be where ideas about punishment/karma/testing came from. In reality, those ideas also don't make sense - why make some lesser beings and then punish them if they don't behave as you specify?

    Although some here have emphasized the awful suffering on earth, I would guess that most people would, if asked, wish to continue their life on this plane. Plenty of people appreciate their lives. Thus perhaps we can associate 'evil' with things that are only partly under control.

    Clearly that raises the next question - what are (imperfect) physical environments good for? All I can say, is that obtaining a total explanation - whether in physics, or in metaphysics seems pretty elusive!
    I think there do seem to have been some pretty evil groups operating in the US (without getting diverted into politics). It certainly seems plausible that they can get some results out of invoking demonic forces, but in the case of the US, it seems to me that their evil deeds are starting to come to light. What I am trying to say, is that you might expect access to demonic powers to have been totally decisive - and it hasn't.

    This may be yet another way in which control of the physical world can go wrong, and 'we' are needed to try to learn to control it all.

    David
     
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  17. dpdownsouth

    dpdownsouth Member

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    Maybe I'm missing something, and I know this is not what you're saying, but 'designed' still strikes me as talking as if the World (and life) popped into being fully formed.

    Rather than as evidence of an artisanal, designing effort..... couldn't the Cambrian explosion be seen as a complexity tipping-point in a PROCESS orientated towards the maximisation of certain characteristics.... pulling, potentially, toward some end state, or from an initial aim of some kind?

    That being said, I take your concept of imperfection in the design/process as being a winner!
    Very good point.
    Hey, hope you enjoyed your break!

    Yeah, um, I don't mean to suggest that suffering is completely irrelevant..... more that it is potentially less of a burning metaphysical/ontological issue when viewed from other levels of reality..... and thus is not necessarily an ultimate yardstick upon which experiences/theories must be judged.

    Sure, I dig. But the amorality impression comes about via Aaron's attempt at trying to express an experience. This is why I think sifting through the evidence for patterns and regularities is important.

    Well, I'd say Abrahamic more than new-age, ie. I see existence as seemingly purposeful and heading somewhere.
    Leaving the conspiracy theories aside, I see it as self-evident that entrenched elites often work to further their own interests using whatever tools they have at their disposal. But I don't, even if you extend this to non-physical realms and magic, see why this should necessarily have an effect on metaphysical speculation?

    I think David said it best:
    Cheers!
     
  18. AryaS

    AryaS Member

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    I think an understanding of what entrenched elites are allegedly doing is highly relevant to any metaphysical speculation. Of course it is self-evident that they would use whatever tools they have at their disposal to maintain control/further their own interests. But if they are using tools that allow them to remain in control and manipulate our consensus reality and our individual/collective consciousness via the use of non-physical realms and magic -- isn't this highly relevant to understanding the nature of this reality? Specifically, aren't some of the next questions: what are these tools and why does this work for them? How do they know how to do this -- and we don't? Are there actual non-physical beings helping them -- and why would they? And if non-physical beings are helping the entrenched elite, given their obvious psychopathic leanings and the dismal state of the physical world for so many, doesn't this suggest an amoral/immoral non-physical hierarchy or a metaphysical duality? Also, how come NDErs never talk about this situation? If the allegations of elite collaboration with demonic or other non-physical entities are true/correct, and let's assume for the moment that the "elite" have been the same ruling groups/bloodlines since the dawn of time -- wouldn't this be a big topic of discussion in the afterlife, particularly where NDErs are given directions to "be good" and that "all is love" when sent back here? The fact that it is not discussed or referenced in NDEs at all could suggest elite bluster -- or something else. But I find these two pieces of data contradictory -- and unlike you, I currently have a hard time accepting such contradiction.

    I am also not sure how we can leave so-called "conspiracy theories" aside here -- these allegations of elite manipulation of consciousness and consensus reality, whether via dark ritual magick or modern day secret government programs like MK Ultra/MK Often, are certainly denied and always ridiculed as such, no matter how many FOIA documents, whistleblower testimony, congressional hearings (Church Committee), or other evidence seeps through the cracks. I think this is what Alex is trying to show via many of his recent interviews -- that in any quest to understand the true nature of reality, you have to follow the data, look for the conspiracy, and then seek the deep spirituality. I don't think you can get to the deep spirituality without being willing to go down some disturbing rabbit holes of what's going on "down here." This is part of my problem with the love and light new age crowd -- they completely ignore current physical reality in their theories of ultimate reality.

    Personally, I can't ignore what is going on "down here" -- I feel a need to try to incorporate the various data sets (i.e, NDEs, elite practices and manipulations of reality and human consciousness, the existence of severe evil, the existence of good, scientific discoveries about the physical world, religious and mystical teachings, etc.). It's very difficult to do so on my own, so I appreciate all the discussions on this forum.
     
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  19. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Well of course, I am using the word 'designed' in the ID sense. Although some of those guys clearly have an image of Yaweh in their heads, the important thing is that evolution by natural selection simply can't cut it - you really need some intention and intelligence.

    You also need an awful lot of intelligence. I mean it isn't as though biological life were like a fractal (despite superficial comparisons with zebra coats, etc) - one great idea repeated more or less at different scales - the cell has been compared to a factory crammed with individually designed bits of equipment. Then the cell is used to create a whole set of different tissues and organs that come together to produce an animal.

    How ID actually happens is a moot point! On the whole the evolutionary record is very short of transitional fossils- and it isn't even certain that evolution follows a tree like structure at all. Maybe a new genome is created and inserted into some other creature's womb - who knows! Conventional evolutionary theory has the concept of convergent evolution, where the evolution of certain useful structures (such as the eye) is supposed to have happened multiple times because the structure is so useful. However with ID, you have the possibility that good designs are simply re-used to create a new creature! The real problem for the theory of natural selection is that bits of an eye (say) have very little obvious use at all - so they can't be selected for.

    The important thing (I think) is that the whole idea of development happening in many steps, more or less implies finite intelligence. Microsoft didn't build Windows 10 in one go. DOS was created (from some even earlier software), it evolved through several versions, then a very primitive version of Windows was created, which then evolved to the present hunk of software. Nobody could have started with a clean piece of paper and written the whole thing down - because even computer programmers (!!) only have finite brains - an infinitely intelligent brain could presumably have delivered Windows 10 in one go!. Also, all that software required yet other software - compilers and linkers - to translate it into machine instructions.

    Nowadays software development has an eerie resemblance to living things in that you use chunks of pre-existing software (editors, compilers, linkers, the operating system, etc) to build the next piece of software - just as DNA reproduces using a suite of enzymes (specialised proteins) , each of which has its structure encoded in DNA........ However with software there is no real mystery because each step was thought out by intelligent beings.

    David
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
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  20. dpdownsouth

    dpdownsouth Member

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    On the morality issue, I think I've already exhausted my ideas on why the existence of suffering, or the potential for negative action, doesn't necessarily, imo, imply an ultimate immorality, amorality or duality. And I hope I've at least tried to go further than the stock new-age answers.

    To quote myself (oh, the pomp):
    -----------------------------
    Are you saying the fact that NDE experiences do not include a run-down of earthly control structures, or expositions on the nature of evil, may imply that NDEs are themselves a potential control mechanism of some sort? If so, it would be a rather niche and feeble one when compared to more mundane tools of the control trade: Propaganda, economics, psychological warfare, cultural myths, batons, bullets, bombs, etc.

    Then again, if humanity does have a collective consciousness field, then propaganda, etc. could be amplified by, and spread via, this field. Perhaps this explains the way a mood can sweep through a population with speed, no black magic needed. Also, look at the Nazis, they were apparently well into all sorts of bad mojo..... and yet they still lost WW2 and mostly ended up dead.

    Keeping the collective psyche idea in mind (excuse the pun), what if we reverse David Icke's concept, saying instead: We created the Archons by our collective actions and thoughts?

    Also, I'm not innately hostile towards conspiracy theories. But do feel that 'conspiratorial theories of everything' have a tendency to over-simplify reality.

    Anyway, more importantly, did you have a good holiday?

    Fascinating, thanks.

    Ok, you're definitely far more educated on the subject than myself, but I still wonder if ID isn't falling into a kind of 'God of the Gaps' trap. What if a Sheldrake style morphic field is found to be in play - one, common to large groupings of life, that nudges mutations/adaptations towards previously developed forms? Where would that leave the tinkering engineer?

    On the other hand, if you're just saying that blind chance doesn't begin to explain the complexity of life, then, yes, I completely agree, and am obviously just a bit thick headed. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
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