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

#21
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.
i have no abilities more than any ordinary Joe, David. For a long time I was an atheist. But my gradual awakening had to do more with disgust with this world and all it's hardships and disappointments. There simply had to be something better for us I reasoned. I looked into other faiths such as Buddhism and Hinduism but it seemed to me what I desired at life's end was best met by the words of Jesus Christ. I cannot fully explain how thrilled I was as the stories told by near death experiences began to be published. "There IS something better!" I thought. As the conclusion of my life draws nearer I will continue to adhere to His instructions. Trust me, Jesus' flock members are paid dividends, but alas for the materialist, non monetary,
 
#22
Hi TES. Thanks for the introduction to the Kardecpedia. I had a quick look and it seems eminently sensible. I look forward to the leisure to explore more fully.
I really like The Book of Spirits, written by Kardec and supposedly channeled primarily by two christian Saints.

[edit: It was not primarily channeled by two saints, but instead was composed by a collection of different people. Sorry]
 
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#23
Interestingly 2 of the 3 fox sisters supposedly relied upon as mediums by Alan Kardec admitting to being frauds, having wrote the following-

"That I have been chiefly instrumental in perpetrating the fraud of Spiritualism upon a too-confiding public, most of you doubtless know. The greatest sorrow in my life has been that this is true, and though it has come late in my day, I am now prepared to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God! . . I am here tonight as one of the founders of Spiritualism to denounce it as an absolute falsehood from beginning to end, as the flimsiest of superstitions, the most wicked blasphemy known to the world." – Margaretta Fox Kane, quoted in A.B. Davenport, The Deathblow to Spiritualism, p. 76. (Also see New York World, for October 21, 1888 and New York Herald and New York Daily Tribune, for October 22, 1888.) "I regard Spiritualism as one of the greatest curses that the world has ever known." – Katie Fox Jencken, New York Herald, October 9, 1888.
 
#24
The church needs an overhaul and retrofit more compliant with the Gospel.
I'd go further Garry. The Gospels are are a mess of fiddling and mistranslations. What got into the 'official' faith has been doctored to remove notions that are not consistent with the governing thought that developed when a spiritual movement became a state religion.

The 'Christian' message is pretty pure and straight forward. The fundamentals of Jesus' teachings are not only the Gospels. It is true that they are in them, but buried and masked and distorted for the most part.
 
#25
"That I have been chiefly instrumental in perpetrating the fraud of Spiritualism upon a too-confiding public, most of you doubtless know. The greatest sorrow in my life has been that this is true, and though it has come late in my day, I am now prepared to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God! . . I am here tonight as one of the founders of Spiritualism to denounce it as an absolute falsehood from beginning to end, as the flimsiest of superstitions, the most wicked blasphemy known to the world." – Margaretta Fox Kane, quoted in A.B. Davenport, The Deathblow to Spiritualism, p. 76. (Also see New York World, for October 21, 1888 and New York Herald and New York Daily Tribune, for October 22, 1888.) "I regard Spiritualism as one of the greatest curses that the world has ever known." – Katie Fox Jencken, New York Herald, October 9, 1888
Thank you. This is interesting stuff. I will go digging. Some of the language you quote leads me to suspect that maybe what has been reported is not what it seems. Not saying it is, just that I want to check. I have a book, as yet unread, on the history of the spiritualist movement on my bookcase.

There are certainly grounds for considering the mere contact with 'dead' folk dangerous per se. I have downloaded a couple of Kardec's and will go through them. There was a huge backlash against spiritualism that was not just an issue with the quality of contacts, but the simple fact of it. It was opposed by Christians and atheists (interesting how these 2 became accidental allies).

But talking to the dead is another thing - in which the fact of being able to do so has to be managed through strong quality control. Dead folk can be like those not yet dead - liars and con artists and delusional.
 
#26
But it seems Kardec was quite good at this. The Spirit's book explains how a higher quality of Spirit would reveal itself through the medium if it knew he was present to listen. It also became important to the Spirits that the work be completed and published
 
#27
I don't know if this is an appropriate question for this forum but how do we have the confidence in our spiritual worldviews? I believe in spirits but have never experienced one myself but have read of other experiences...in a world with a million opinions how to we know if to believe or not?
 
#28
Interestingly 2 of the 3 fox sisters supposedly relied upon as mediums by Alan Kardec admitting to being frauds, having wrote the following-

"That I have been chiefly instrumental in perpetrating the fraud of Spiritualism upon a too-confiding public, most of you doubtless know. The greatest sorrow in my life has been that this is true, and though it has come late in my day, I am now prepared to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God! . . I am here tonight as one of the founders of Spiritualism to denounce it as an absolute falsehood from beginning to end, as the flimsiest of superstitions, the most wicked blasphemy known to the world." – Margaretta Fox Kane, quoted in A.B. Davenport, The Deathblow to Spiritualism, p. 76. (Also see New York World, for October 21, 1888 and New York Herald and New York Daily Tribune, for October 22, 1888.) "I regard Spiritualism as one of the greatest curses that the world has ever known." – Katie Fox Jencken, New York Herald, October 9, 1888.
Aha, good find. As I read The Spirits' Book, I began to see a great deal of 1800's social understanding embedded in the wisdom. A lot of things the 'spirits' contended about the physical world have turned out to be wrong. Nothing offered in the book is of any higher enlightenment than could easily be produced by an 1860's common citizen in their parlor late at night.

But take caution here. Even her 'coming clean' is not to be trusted at all. There is a principle called

Road to Damascus Fraud - a person of weak integrity, who is seduced by one philosophy and extols it through practices of vehemency, virtue or deception, who then switches to the exact opposite philosophy and thereafter uses similar tactics and/or intensity of fanaticism - is not to be trusted. They have not 'seen the light'. Their conversion is not evidence of validity of their latter philosophy, nor evidence of the invalidity of the former.​
 
#29
But talking to the dead is another thing - in which the fact of being able to do so has to be managed through strong quality control.
Their conversion is not evidence of validity of their latter philosophy, nor evidence of the invalidity of the former.
Puzzling conflicting testimonies may be uttered by subjects intimidated overwhelmingly by powers seeking compliance with their established agenda.
 
#30
Puzzling conflicting testimonies may be uttered by subjects intimidated overwhelmingly by powers seeking compliance with their established agenda.
The same as on Earth - it requires integrity and strength of character to see a religious pitch for what it is, and not fall for the entailed trick/enslavement. I suspect this continues to the other side - if it exists.
 
#31
A lot of things the 'spirits' contended about the physical world have turned out to be wrong.
Do you have any examples from the spirits book in mind when you make this claim?

But take caution here. Even her 'coming clean' is not to be trusted at all.
Yes, the confession appears overly dramatic to me and lacks actual argument. Katie also later recanted her confession but theres some dispute of course over what that actually means and is far too dense for me to try to untangle right now.

Nothing offered in the book is of any higher enlightenment than could easily be produced by an 1860's common citizen in their parlor late at night.
If you mean the actual 'tricks' used such as table turning, planchettes and table rapping - then yes, these are understandably banal phenomenon if they were faked. If you mean the actual philosophy itself? Well I think the philosophy is much more expansive than would be found through fraud unless the mediums were coached, cribbing from a pre-existing source or the entire thing was faked by the spiritists themselves. If it is a fraud it is at least a beautiful one which appears intended to change the world for the better.
 
#32
I've spent several hours listening to Brian Foster on youtube on spiritism, he seems like he would be a good fit for an interview. He's a medical researcher who found spiritism through the NDE of his wife.

So according to this fellow Brian Foster, who runs https://nwspiritism.com, only things which were independently verified by multiple mediums made it into the book of spirits. If this is true then it would refute that the fox sisters were either the driving force or a contamination as they would have been counterbalanced by other mediums.

I would like to see his sources because I can't find anything confirming whether the book of spirits was created through the use of multiple mediums. I've also just read the 58 page introduction and there is nothing mentioning anyone other than "two sisters".
 
#33
Do you have any examples from the spirits book in mind when you make this claim? I think the philosophy is much more expansive than would be found through fraud unless the mediums were coached, cribbing from a pre-existing source or the entire thing was faked by the spiritists themselves.
As I typed this I knew you would ask that. LOL!! :) OK, my shot at it. There were four in particular through the Introduction, Prolegomena and Chapter II. One pertained to the structure of our physical realm and the elements in particular:

Oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, and all the other masses that we see as elements are merely variations of one primordial substance. As we have found it impossible to arrive at this elemental matter other than as an intellectual deduction, they appear to be elementary. We may therefore continue to regard them as such for now.

This is not actually true - because the quarks which emerge from the quantum froth inside M-theory, do so as independent flavors of energy and not substance - and do not emerge from one primordial substance either. In addition, we can arrive at these elements by means other than an 'intellectual deduction'. We can actually make elements in a fusion reactor. So that also is not true. But in 1860 - we did not have that knowledge.

Finally, the sentence is ambiguously worded such that it can never be held to real account. One can always retort "Well that is what I meant by 'substance' " - something which is not the method/ethic of a higher being. It is like arguing with your 16 year old daughter trying to hide going on a date. A solid wall of neither truth nor lies - is in its entirety a lie.

Something the being in The Spirits' Book avoided almost for the entire text, and that is:

Speak not often, but when you speak,
1. Say what you mean​
2. Mean what you say​
3. Speak the whole truth, not part​
4. Be precise & clear​
5. Do not oversimplify nor talk-down to​
6. Add value with your words​
7. Never seek to dazzle, equivocate nor increase confusion​
8. Be accountable.​
These are the ethical traits of communication for a higher spiritual being. They are almost the secret handshake if you will.

Then there was the 'proof of God' in Chapter I.

7. Is the frst cause of creation found in the essential properties of matter?
“Then what would be the cause of these properties? There must always be a frst cause.”
To believe in God, simply observe the works of creation. The universe exists, therefore there is a cause. Doubting the existence of God would be to deny that every effect has a cause, and to presuppose the idea that something could be created from nothing.
This is a weak argument from ergodicity. I exist, therefore God exists. God being the first cause. It is not an argument I would expect from a being who has lived in a realm of wisdom for hundreds or thousands of years. It is more what I get from second year Sunday School philosophers or TwitterOthodoxy.

Overall the response from the spirits, just was not that good.
 
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#34
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.
Thanks for sharing, Eric. Once one opens Pandora's Box into extended consciousness, there are so many areas to explore. While I've been digging into many of them, there are others I simply haven't gotten to yet.
 
#35
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
Thanks for your note, David. During my journey over the past few years I've worked with many mediums, channels, etc. It has been a big part of my exploration. Some of them have been able to know things that I can't explain via ordinary means (which aligns with what the research says). In "An End to Upside Down Thinking" I stuck with hard science rather than personal anecdotes, but the personal experiences have been fascinating and impactful.
 
#36
I don't know if this is an appropriate question for this forum but how do we have the confidence in our spiritual worldviews? I believe in spirits but have never experienced one myself but have read of other experiences...in a world with a million opinions how to we know if to believe or not?
hi Chris... welcome. your question is right up our alley :)

some of our favorite skeptiko guests have been researchers that are trying to throw as much science at these questions as they can... e.g.

Dr. Julie Beischel Clearing Up Myths About Mediums |371| - Skeptiko ...
Dr. Jeffrey Long Takes On Critics of, Evidence of the Afterlife - Skeptiko
 
#37
I don't know if this is an appropriate question for this forum but how do we have the confidence in our spiritual worldviews? I believe in spirits but have never experienced one myself but have read of other experiences...in a world with a million opinions how to we know if to believe or not?
Totally appropriate for this forum!

Personally, I find that it makes sense to keep a fairly open mind, except that I can't see any way the standard materialist perspective can be true.

Welcome to Skeptiko!

David
 
#38
Puzzling conflicting testimonies may be uttered by subjects intimidated overwhelmingly by powers seeking compliance with their established agenda.
Totally agree. The fact that a source is 'dead' adds nothing to its credibility. Sadly there are those who figure that 'dead' equals 'spiritual' - and that elevates the commentary of the dead to noble levels. In fact 'dead' means just that - no longer in a physical body. It says nothing about character or integrity any more than the fact of wearing a white coat transforms an actor into a scientist.

There are perfectly reliable 'dead' sources. You just gotta use the same sense you'd use when dealing with not dead sources. You can't let the fact that your source is a 'spirit' influence your assessment of its integrity.

Being a 'spirit' isn't a status claim. It doesn't make you 'spiritual', just dead. If you were a lying asshole in the flesh you will be the same when the flesh no longer accommodates you. You really gotta get this.
 
#39
I don't know if this is an appropriate question for this forum but how do we have the confidence in our spiritual worldviews? I believe in spirits but have never experienced one myself but have read of other experiences...in a world with a million opinions how to we know if to believe or not?
You are in exactly the right place to ask such a question. That does not mean the answers will be clear or to your liking. As an experiencer I can assure you that mostly our 'spiritual worldviews' should be no more than works in progress - and never right.

The essence of Skeptiko is to perpetuate doubt. For me this means we are constantly exposed to humbling thoughts from others such that any conceits we may have about our own POVs are disabused - if we are open to such. Welcome.
 
#40
Speak not often, but when you speak,
1. Say what you mean2. Mean what you say3. Speak the whole truth, not part4. Be precise & clear5. Do not oversimplify nor talk-down to6. Add value with your words7. Never seek to dazzle, equivocate nor increase confusion8. Be accountable.These are the ethical traits of communication for a higher spiritual being. They are almost the secret handshake if you will.
Fabulous TES. I have copied those words and will shamelessly reproduce with appropriate attribution (of course).
 
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