Parapsychology at the National Academy of Sciences of USA?! We might be moving towards acceptance...

#1
Dean Radin's latest blog post is describing the workshop "Frontiers of Consciousness", held at the Beckman Center at the University of California, Irvine, the West Coast center for the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

This is promising. I remember it was exactly NAS that denounced parapsychology during one of its meetings at 1980s (skeptics like to quote this case, forgetting the parapsychologists' appeal that was accepted and vindicated). But now, it seems that the academic climate is getting warmer, even if slightly.

Well, this the general feeling of mine that the cultural revolution is being reborn here and now. After the reactionary response of 1980s and 1990s, the message of freedom and spirit that was held high during 1960s and 1970s, is coming back - slowly, but persistently. This tendency is not limited to consciousness research - the non-conformist, libertarian thinking seems to experience its new beginning. Just look at the wave of rebellion in the all of the world's regions.

Maybe I will live long enough to see how the achievement of a new evolutionary level - which was so close and visible during the mass awakeing of mid-20th century, and forgotten so easily in the authoritarian-consumerist society of late 20th century - will become an actual reality.

Or, maybe, it's all just wishful thinking? Maybe. But, seeing psrapsychology presented in the NAS center, I can't but hope that non-local consciousness research will be accepted by the mainstream; and I can't but hope that this acceptance will be just one of the many major changes which are waiting for us in the near future. I really hope that the days of authoritarianism - academic, cultural, social, political, religious - soon will be over.

What do you think? Is this NAS workshop is a sign of incoming acceptance? Or just a happy accident?
 
#2
Well, reading the comments, Radin himself isn't that optimistic, at least for the USA. He's looking to China/India: "I'd say look to China and/or India in the short term, as they don't have the cultural resistance to these concepts that we have in the West."

Which raises an interesting reflection I haven't had before. Pretty soon India and China may become the new world leaders in science and technology. What happens when in these countries two things meet: modernity and traditionalism? What we might conceivably see is a new spiritual impetus, which is meeting such resistance in the West. Personally, I think such impetus as we might have is being channelled into post-modern apocalypticism and thus being misdirected.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#3
Well, reading the comments, Radin himself isn't that optimistic, at least for the USA. He's looking to China/India: "I'd say look to China and/or India in the short term, as they don't have the cultural resistance to these concepts that we have in the West."

Which raises an interesting reflection I haven't had before. Pretty soon India and China may become the new world leaders in science and technology. What happens when in these countries two things meet: modernity and traditionalism? What we might conceivably see is a new spiritual impetus, which is meeting such resistance in the West. Personally, I think such impetus as we might have is being channelled into post-modern apocalypticism and thus being misdirected.
I've also read Japan has less adherence to the materialist paradigm, and is more tolerant when it comes to parapsychology.
 
#4
Well, it's definitely progress, although it could just be the NAS pulling parapsychologists forward so they can [figuratively] get their pants pulled down in front of everyone and laughed at.

But, perhaps my cynicism is unfounded here. Let's hope so. Might help things actually get somewhere.
 
#6
Well, reading the comments, Radin himself isn't that optimistic, at least for the USA. He's looking to China/India: "I'd say look to China and/or India in the short term, as they don't have the cultural resistance to these concepts that we have in the West."

Which raises an interesting reflection I haven't had before. Pretty soon India and China may become the new world leaders in science and technology. What happens when in these countries two things meet: modernity and traditionalism? What we might conceivably see is a new spiritual impetus, which is meeting such resistance in the West. Personally, I think such impetus as we might have is being channelled into post-modern apocalypticism and thus being misdirected.
Probably it would indeed be the East, not the West, where the spiritual renewal will start. I, however, tend to think, that the age-long East-West dichotomy is slowly fading, becoming a part of history. The "traditionalistic" Eastern societies are in turmoil - just look at the news for the recent China protests.

Simultaneosly, the interest in spiritual and paranormal is growing in the West. It may have not fully reached the academic community (and political elite) yet, but it is easily noticeable in the general population.

We are living in an increasingly globalizing world, whether we want it or not. This fact is one of the main pillars of my optimism - no knowledge can be limited and localized in the age of the Web.
 
#8
I do detest the term 'paranormal' If these experiences are real, i.e. psi. Then they are simply facts of nature, not supernatural or paranormal.
Paranormal is what does not fit with our conception of the world, so psi is paranormal for scientists today. But I prefer the word "anomalous" because it has fewer connotations.
 
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