Mark Gober, Dispelling Upside Down Thinking in Favor of Extended Consciousness |420|

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Mark Gober, Dispelling Upside Down Thinking in Favor of Extended Consciousness |420|
by Alex Tsakiris | Jul 23 | Consciousness Research, Consciousness Science, Others, Spirituality
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Mark Gober went from investment banking to writing a book that dives deep into consciousness anomalies.



photo by: Skeptiko

Alex Tsakiris: Today we welcome Mark Gober to Skeptiko. Mark is a successful Silicon Valley venture capitalist and strategist turned author. He has a terrific book, An End to Upside Down Thinking, which is certainly right up our alley here on Skeptiko. Mark, thanks so much for joining me.

Mark Gober: Thank you for having me Alex.

Alex Tsakiris: So I met you through my friend Rick Archer who I can never give enough praise to for his very excellent show Buddha at the Gas Pump, which I think has really set the tone for so many of these questions about consciousness and transcending that consciousness, which your book is precursor to. I mean you have to at least be able to address the topics you’re talking about, in terms of materialism and scientific materialism in particular, but I thought Rick did a great job and then I was super excited in this interview to kind of extend that and see where we might take that beyond that. So awesome.

Mark Gober: Sounds good.


Alex Tsakiris: So I like playing this little game that I call Skeptiko Jeopardy and I particularly like it in this case because as I mentioned, so many of the topics you’ve covered in your book, we’ve covered a million times on Skeptiko, a billion times with a million guests and a lot of the same people you’ve talked to as well.
So really, I think the cool thing about that is it’s an opportunity to kind of move past that and dig into some of the deeper questions in terms of the implications of An End To Upside Down Thinking beyond the proof.
 
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Mark Gober said, "
Mark Gober: I think this is a really important topic because once we accept the reality of these extended realms, there, I think, can be a tendency to become glamorized by it and to see things that seem miraculous or to see someone channeling an entity that is clearly not the physical body and say, “Wow, there must be something there,” and almost kind of worship whatever is said. I think there’s a danger of the unseen because we don’t know what we’re getting and this is, I think, a multi-dimensional universe, something that’s probably beyond all comprehension."

Around the year 1860 or so a very learned, fearless and inquisitive man who went by the pen name of Allen Kardec did an extensive study of the spirit world. With the help of mediums from around the world who dialoged with Spirits both base and elevated he wrote several books to explain for us life after death and the possibilities for a human being at the end of a life properly lived. These books are available free online although a reader may find the 1860's language used a bit archaeic. The titles of these books are: The Spirit's Book, The Medium's Book, Heaven and Hell. There may be others. The movement he began was called the Spiritist Movement and it had the potential to change the way we live and work with each other in this world. Unfortunately and alas, the movement was quashed by the established church.
But indeed, there was then and is yet a desire in the Spirit world for humanity to spiritually evolve as Mark Gober mentioned. ideally we would abandon our isolating base passions of insatiable material acquisition, hate and war in favor of the unifying effects of compassion and unconditional love. Knowing we live eternally we might ask ourselves, What kind of character should we have to be considered useful on, "the other side"?
 
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round the year 1860 or so a very learned, fearless and inquisitive man who went by the pen name of Allen Kardec did an extensive study of the spirit world. With the help of mediums from around the world who dialoged with Spirits both base and elevated he wrote several books to explain for us life after death and the possibilities for a human being at the end of a life properly lived. These books are available free online although a reader may find the 1860's language used a bit archaeic. The titles of these books are: The Spirit's Book, The Medium's Book, Heaven and Hell. There may be others. The movement he began was called the Spiritist Movement and it had the potential to change the way we live and work with each other in this world. Unfortunately and alas, the movement was quashed by the established church
Thank you for this Garry. There are quite a few gems that are neglected and largely unknown these days. The density of the prose can be off-putting for the contemporary mind, which likes to fly through content. And that's a pity, because not only do we miss out on some amazing content, we fail to see the continuity of themes.

Mark's observation about glamour is very real early in one's search - and that's often exacerbated by the 'glamour' that attends many modern authors - especially those who are professional writers and need that extra sparkle to attract readers. The old stuff is solid and sober and takes effort.
 
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I was amused by Mark's comment that "I think there’s a danger of the unseen because we don’t know what we’re getting and this is, I think, a multi-dimensional universe, something that’s probably beyond all comprehension."

He is perfectly correct about the danger - we don't know what we are getting into (seen or unseen) in any case. But that applies to life in general. The danger of the 'unseen' is not in itself, but our willingness to believe our conceptions of it are right. The perils of the unknown are mostly our conceit that we do know.

Something that is "probably beyond all conception?". No, something that is definitely beyond all conception. This distinction is important because the idea that it is only "probably" beyond our ability to figure it our is the fatal flaw. That leads to folk thinking they might be the exception who can figure it out - and that is dangerous.

There is an important distinction between having the willingness and courage to go beyond that standard discourse - and by that I don't mean materialism - but the spiritual and metaphysical claptrap that is common currency - and the desire to find an impressive knowledge or belief position that plays to one's ego or an imagined audience.

Alex comes back to the idea of inquiry to perpetuate doubt repeatedly - and this is important early on. The thrill of learning stuff that up ends ingrained habits of thought is powerful and good. But it does not mean one lands on solid new ground as a mere act of substitution - simply swapping the habitual certainty of the standard model for a new, hipper, belief about how things are and what is.

While it is psychologically necessary to settle on an interim state of mind (ideas and values) before moving on, never doubt that moving on is necessary - if there is a genuine commitment to knowing. If we use the much worn image of 'the journey' there are times for pause that can become, for some, destinations rather than rest stops.

The universe is multi-dimensional. We don't even scratch the surface of what is. If we imagine we are standing on the edge of a great ocean of potential, we are standing on damp sand only in terms of our waking conscious awareness of what is. Of course other aspects of who we are are way beyond the shore.

Our excitement about what is potential for us can be converted to rational and sensible inquiry when we cultivate that capacity to engage in inquiry that perpetuates doubt - the capacity to see that what I see is not what it seems to be and that I am not who I think I am. It is always more.
 
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Around the year 1860 or so a very learned, fearless and inquisitive man who went by the pen name of Allen Kardec did an extensive study of the spirit world. With the help of mediums from around the world who dialoged with Spirits both base and elevated he wrote several books to explain for us life after death and the possibilities for a human being at the end of a life properly lived. These books are available free online although a reader may find the 1860's language used a bit archaeic.
Garry, thanks for this. ;;/? I never knew this even existed. Interesting reading. These are the summations given to mediums about the spirit and material realm - and they equate in this sense below, very much with Ethical Skepticism - and its critique of 'rationality' and 'critical thinking'. Those who seek to deceive others and empower themselves through the sleight-of-hand of scientific-sounding, but corrupted philosophy.

A quote from The Spirits' Book: Introduction VII, from the Kardecpedia:

People who believe they are capable of exercising foolproof reasoning are likely to come to wrong conclusions. Even those whose ideas are the furthest from the truth profess to base them on reason and it is in the name of reason that they reject whatever sounds impossible to them. Those who once rejected the highly regarded discoveries of humankind did so in the name of reason. What some call reason is often only pride in disguise, and whoever regards themselves as foolproof or perfect essentially claims to be equal to God. We are addressing ourselves to people who are wise enough to withhold their judgment in regard to what they have not yet seen, and who, judging the future based on the past, do not believe that the human race has reached its peak, or that nature has turned over the last page of its book.
For a bit of Dr. Seuss relief, I have summed this paragraph up inside The Hermit of Nosnix Who Couldn't Be Fooled

A persistence of blindness whose lesson’s quite cruel
The worst form of idiot thinks he cannot be fooled.

A key tenet of Ethical Skepticism - is to oppose the cultivation of ignorance:

If one is to deceive, yet also fathoms the innate spiritual decline incumbent with such activity - then one must abstract a portion of the truth, such that it serves and cultivates ignorance - a dismissal of the necessity to seek what is unknown.
 
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Hi all, thanks for listening to the episode and hope you enjoyed it!

-Mark Gober
Hello Mark,
I enjoyed the discussion a lot. Thank you for taking the time to do the show.

Your outlook reminds me of my own. You go with the data and evidence, but you're still solidly grounded and not so open minded that your brain falls out.

I'm one of the few outspoken here against most popular conspiracy theories and I'm cautious about the few that I think might have something to them. I was glad to hear that you are also circumspect in that area.
 
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Garry, thanks for this. ;;/? I never knew this even existed. Interesting reading. These are the summations given to mediums about the spirit and material realm - and they equate in this sense below, very much with Ethical Skepticism - and its critique of 'rationality' and 'critical thinking'. Those who seek to deceive others and empower themselves through the sleight-of-hand of scientific-sounding, but corrupted philosophy.

A quote from The Spirits' Book: Introduction VII, from the Kardecpedia:

People who believe they are capable of exercising foolproof reasoning are likely to come to wrong conclusions. Even those whose ideas are the furthest from the truth profess to base them on reason and it is in the name of reason that they reject whatever sounds impossible to them. Those who once rejected the highly regarded discoveries of humankind did so in the name of reason. What some call reason is often only pride in disguise, and whoever regards themselves as foolproof or perfect essentially claims to be equal to God. We are addressing ourselves to people who are wise enough to withhold their judgment in regard to what they have not yet seen, and who, judging the future based on the past, do not believe that the human race has reached its peak, or that nature has turned over the last page of its book.
For a bit of Dr. Seuss relief, I have summed this paragraph up inside The Hermit of Nosnix Who Couldn't Be Fooled

A persistence of blindness whose lesson’s quite cruel
The worst form of idiot thinks he cannot be fooled.

A key tenet of Ethical Skepticism

If one is to deceive, yet also fathoms the innate spiritual decline incumbent with such activity - then one must abstract a portion of the truth, such that it serves and cultivates ignorance - a dismissal of the necessity to seek what is unknown.
I wanted to listen to something about Kardec while I worked today, but found that the vast majority of what's on youtube is in Spanish. Looks like he's very popular today in Mexico and S. America, but much less so in the US and other English speaking countries.
 
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Hi all, thanks for listening to the episode and hope you enjoyed it!

-Mark Gober
Hi Mark - thanks for joining the forum - I think it is always nice when Alex's guests join us here for a while (or longer of course).

I notice that like me, you are fairly 'dense' in the sense that you don't experience much in the way of ψ phenomena. You might find it interesting to meet one or two of the mediums that Julie Beischel evaluated (I guess Alex has a list), because if he/she could tell you about one of your deceased relatives without knowing your name, that would be impressive, and might even lead on to something that would be the basis for another book.

David
 
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Mark Gober said, "
Mark Gober: I think this is a really important topic because once we accept the reality of these extended realms, there, I think, can be a tendency to become glamorized by it and to see things that seem miraculous or to see someone channeling an entity that is clearly not the physical body and say, “Wow, there must be something there,” and almost kind of worship whatever is said. I think there’s a danger of the unseen because we don’t know what we’re getting and this is, I think, a multi-dimensional universe, something that’s probably beyond all comprehension."

Around the year 1860 or so a very learned, fearless and inquisitive man who went by the pen name of Allen Kardec did an extensive study of the spirit world. With the help of mediums from around the world who dialoged with Spirits both base and elevated he wrote several books to explain for us life after death and the possibilities for a human being at the end of a life properly lived. These books are available free online although a reader may find the 1860's language used a bit archaeic. The titles of these books are: The Spirit's Book, The Medium's Book, Heaven and Hell. There may be others. The movement he began was called the Spiritist Movement and it had the potential to change the way we live and work with each other in this world. Unfortunately and alas, the movement was quashed by the established church.
But indeed, there was then and is yet a desire in the Spirit world for humanity to spiritually evolve as Mark Gober mentioned. ideally we would abandon our isolating base passions of insatiable material acquisition, hate and war in favor of the unifying effects of compassion and unconditional love. Knowing we live eternally we might ask ourselves, What kind of character should we have to be considered useful on, "the other side"?
kinda remember this... who do you think would be a good guest to discuss Kardec in a Skeptiko kinda way :)
 
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Nothing to fear, Alex. Our defense comes directly from Creator Himself. Father Spirit's goal and our goal should be the same: Reunion! Demons be damned! If we simply care, if we are able, for the Creator's other Earthbound souls we will win His favor. Some of His children go hungry, we can do our bit to help feed them. Some of His children have no shelter or bed to sleep on, we can find them a roof and a bed. Some of His children are stuck in a tight spot and need a bit of help with a no interest loan. Such acts win for us the love of our Creator. As we do so peace and serenity will be our lot in life. We need never act in defense, no demons shall intimidate us as God Himself will provide for us our overpowering Angels. our Spiritual evolution has nothing to do with our technological achievements but rather with our gradual forsaking of the "beast" within us. Other than what is essential for life when shall we realize the worthlessness of material? When shall we realize the human misery we cause to others and ourselves when we choose war? Can we comprehend the state of being we will feel when accepted in the presence and absorb of the Creator? Some have but they didn't quite qualify to stay. They spend the rest of their lives pretty pissed off they couldn't but work henceforth to regain that place.
 
#14
nice one :) is our slice of consciousness more or less dangerous than the extended one we're focused on?
I work with blind colleagues whose experience of the world we all think is familiar is sometimes harrowing and dangerous. There are times when I think we are blind to the 'realm of light'. But unlike the experiences my blind colleagues endure in our world that is not designed to accommodate them - and is hence often inaccessible and exclusionary, the 'realm of light' is accessible and inclusive - if we can slough off our self-induced blindness.
 
#15
Nothing to fear, Alex. Our defense comes directly from Creator Himself. Father Spirit's goal and our goal should be the same: Reunion! Demons be damned! If we simply care, if we are able, for the Creator's other Earthbound souls we will win His favor.
That is so horribly glib. Those trying to help people dying of EBOLA were not immune to that terrible disease. What is true for earthly dangers is presumably also true for non-material dangers.

David
 
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That is so horribly glib. Those trying to help people dying of EBOLA were not immune to that terrible disease. What is true for earthly dangers is presumably also true for non-material dangers.

David
I wasn't intending glibness at all with my comment, David. Due to my experience with a person who was bi polar I learned about the nature of demons. A demon may present itself to you through such a person and you will immediately realize something else is in the driver's seat of that person's body. Yes, it was frightening initially. I turned to Jesus and began reciting in this person's presence the Lord's Prayer. The demon withdrew immediately and this person lapsed into unconsciousness for a time then reawakening as her true self. There is a bit more to this story but suffice it for us to say if we are adherant to Jesus' instructions for us contained in the mere 250 total pages of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John that the inhabitants of the dark realms both there and on Earth are powerless against us. With respect to disease, maybe that is a whole other kettle of fish. I developed atrial fibrillation due to my exposure to ionizing radiation from a cathode ray type computer monitor. This led to my having a stroke and loss of left peripheral vision. I've had some recovery but remain prohibited from driving yet seven years later. Our protecting Angels may not be able to prevent all misfortunes but I think we should, "keep the faith". Kindest regards, ~garry
 
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I turned to Jesus and began reciting in this person's presence the Lord's Prayer.
Well honestly, if only it was that easy for everyone! If you can do that, you probably have particular powers that help you to do that, but not everyone does. A lot of people start out by going to church and get bored with it - or worse - and leave.

Using your reasoning, it should not be possible for a priest to sexually assault children. Jesus should be there to stop that. Maybe some of the kids cried to God/Jesus for help - and got none.

Reality is just more complex than you seem to think.

David
 
#18
Well honestly, if only it was that easy for everyone! If you can do that, you probably have particular powers that help you to do that, but not everyone does. A lot of people start out by going to church and get bored with it - or worse - and leave.

Using your reasoning, it should not be possible for a priest to sexually assault children. Jesus should be there to stop that. Maybe some of the kids cried to God/Jesus for help - and got none.

Reality is just more complex than you seem to think.

David
I think Garry's experience and POV is narrowly focused on a set of beliefs that may work perfectly well for him. Many years, before I learned more about things the only thing I knew was the Lord's Prayer in a time of terrible crisis. I focused that it and recited it and I prevailed. Now you could, and should, ask whether my strength was obtained from the prayer or the focus on it. I do not know the answer.

There is also a distinction to be made between the subject of an act and the act itself. Not all rites of ordination 'stick' if the priest is not ready for them on a personal level. The fault is not the rite but the culture that makes ordination a substantially bureaucratic fiat, rather than a sacred one. Despite what popes and bishops and the faithful think, the divine does not have any obligation to be obedient to the fantasies, fancies or delusions of the Church.

Nothing stops Garry's experience from being valid, or his description from being useful, if all he has to articulate his experience is a singular tradition and faith. If we step aside from the specifics of language, and attend to the essential theme, there is a universal story being told here. Nothing he says is not told in many traditions. Now whether he agrees with that characterisation I cannot say. But I can say it is a familiar and universal theme.
 
#19
Nothing stops Garry's experience from being valid, or his description from being useful, if all he has to articulate his experience is a singular tradition and faith.
Notice that I didn't say his experience was invalid - just that it won't generalise as easily as he thinks. I have a feeling that maybe it doesn't so much matter who the appeal goes out to, but certain people can make use of powers that most can't.

David
 
#20
There is also a distinction to be made between the subject of an act and the act itself. Not all rites of ordination 'stick' if the priest is not ready for them on a personal level. The fault is not the rite but the culture that makes ordination a substantially bureaucratic fiat, rather than a sacred one. Despite what popes and bishops and the faithful think, the divine does not have any obligation to be obedient to the fantasies, fancies or delusions of the Church.
Quite right, Micheal. Jesus tells us, "Call ye no man "father," Ye have only one Father and He is in Heaven. Matthew 23: 9. Let us consider an innocent pre adolescent child going to the confessional and reciting the usual, "Bless me father for I have sinned." And behind the screen is listening a priest who may not only be struggling with his vows but may also be harbouring what society would see as perverse sexual fantasies. It needs no more elaboration. The church needs an overhaul and retrofit more compliant with the Gospel.
 
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