Skeptiko Roundtable with Seriah and Joshua from WhereDidTheRoadGo |339|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. Alex

    Alex New

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    Skeptiko Roundtable with Seriah and Joshua from WhereDidTheRoadGo |339|
    by Alex Tsakiris | Feb 7 | Consciousness Science, Others

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    Seriah Azkath and Joshua Cutchin explore all manner of paranormal phenomena in a very sharp, insightful way. [​IMG]
    photo by: WhereDidTheRoadGo
    Alex Tsakiris:
    As those of you listening probably know by now, I am a fan of podcasting, as well as being a podcaster, and when I find a show I like, I fell obligated to pass it along and that’s certainly the case with wheredidtheroadgo.com, a show that explores all manner of paranormal, phenomena and other weirdness we’re a part of… and does it in a very sharp, insightful and unique way. And that’s largely due to the show’s creator and host Seriah Azkath, who joins us today… Let’s also introduce the other person we have with us today, because joining us is another guy who is responsible for some of the cool stuff, and some of the ways you’ve taken the show Seriah, Joshua Cutchin, a guy who really burst onto the scene in 2015 with his acclaimed book, A Trojan Feast: The Food and Drink Offerings Of Aliens, Faeries, and Sasquatch, which is really a serious, well-researchedbook and like I said, just was acclaimed by everyone in this field for exploring these unexplored connections between food and food offerings and various kinds of paranormal accounts. Then Josh followed it up, just this last year, with a book, The Brimstone Deceit: An In-Depth Examination of Supernatural Scents, Otherworldly Odors and MonstrousMiasmas…

    Seriah Azkath: We can’t understand these things for what they are, because our brains are limited and even though mind may not equal brain, the brain is what we have to use to interpret our reality and a lot of this stuff may just be beyond the capability of our brain to actually faithfully interpret.

    Joshua Cutchin: Yeah, I know, I agree, you’ve got a 12 inch, black and wide, tube television, you’re not going to be able to see some of the detail in a film that was released last year.

    I think the way to really sell is to sort of just beat them at their own game and I think that, if we can keep on, you know, knocking at the door of what consciousness really is, it isn’t the end game, because I think it’s going to open up a lot more stuff after that, but like, if we can just undermine that one thing, it really does make everything fall down like a house of cards.

    Seriah Azkath: Now, it’s entirely possible the UFO phenomenon has something to do with extra-terrestrials, but not in the materialistic way that’s always pushed. So that materialistic model isn’t just with science but it’s also in so many people studying the paranormal, that they just, everything has to be nuts and bolts and the facts do not support that nuts and bolts scenario.
     
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  2. We all know something about consciousness because we experience it. Even though science can't measure consciousness (qualia), mind can measure qualia through ESP. Science can't know what blue looks like to you, or how you feel when you feel love, but some psychics can.

    The difficulty in getting science to accept paranormal phenomena is that doing science tends to make people narrow minded and since methodological naturalism became widely accepted, it is extremely hard to undo that because it is reinforced by factors inherent in doing science.

    There are many anecdotes of high strangeness here:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/Glitch_in_the_Matrix/
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  3. Hurmanetar

    Hurmanetar New

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    Love this episode!

    Trialogues are a great format!
     
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  4. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Alex's questions at the end of the podcast:

    Has the term "consciousness" been misappropriated or misused by the paranormal community in general? For example, the UFO community use the term one way, the paranormal community in another, but not everyone means the same thing. Do we need more grounding in what we're talking about when we refer to consciousness -- is that even possible when we're not even sure what consciousness is?
     
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  5. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    I'm not sure that different communities use the term consciousness in different ways. Could you give any examples of its different uses, Alex?
     
  6. iPsoFacTo

    iPsoFacTo New

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    At the beginning of the show, when I heard Cutchin's morbid kundalini explanation, I thought... what kundalini... you're schizophrenic, lol.

    Anyway I googled 'morbid kundalini' and found some interesting things. Might be worth further exploring...this kundalini method

    Sometimes I do searches to find new 'paranormal' type podcasts and came upon their show some months back. There's a bunch of others I check in on for new topics. Thing is, I find a lot of these shows are basically everyone having the same group of other paranormal podcaster's as guests on each others shows. Even outside guests seems to be a shifting handful... the missing 411 guy, the cryptozoology guy, the rendlesham forest guy, the dyatlov pass guy, the creatures in the woods guy and gal, the EVP guy, the ufo usual suspects, etc etc. Yeah, its a 'bubble'.
     
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  7. Hurmanetar

    Hurmanetar New

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    If the ultimate nature of reality is non-dual - emanating from a single source and eventually all returning to that source - then certain metaphors can be applied to all of reality: "it's all consciousness" or "it's all information" or "it's all light quantum entangled" or "it's all God" or "it's all energy" or "it's all vibration" or "it's all different expressions of myself" etc.

    We can come up with all kinds of metaphors to explain existence and these metaphors contain a truth which is not literal and not approachable directly with words anymore than one can eat one's own head. But trying to describe it is interesting and fun and creative, and it is this reflexivity that is the foundation of creation (to use another metaphor). "In the beginning, ...the Spirit of God brooded over the waters..." (self-reflection)

    Each metaphor can become a lens through which we can see reality. This lens makes certain aspects of reality pop out in clarity in a way we hadn't seen before. But we make a mistake if we get stuck and only ever look through one lens, because playing with another lens/metaphor yields different insights.

    Personally (and this may be true of others here), I tend to go on these metaphor kicks where a new metaphor for reality leads to a rush of epiphanies and connections I hadn't made before. I then tend to view reality through this metaphor for a long while until I've thoroughly exhausted it's revelations and it at last seems to become a cliche.

    Then a new metaphor/lens comes on the scene and it's the hot new thing yielding fruitful epiphanies and the cycle repeats.

    At some point during the scientific revolution, the metaphor "it's all matter: very tiny bouncing billiard balls" got applied to all reality. This yielded many fruitful insights for a while. So many insights were yielded that people got very attached to this metaphor until it became tired and cliche and exhausted its revelations.

    All metaphors have to be stretched to fit around all of reality. Eventually we reach a point where the metaphor is stretched so thin we can barely see how it applies or it is stretched to the point that the original essential meaning of the words is almost entirely lost.

    This same processes has happened with "consciousness". "It's all consciousness" is not literal, but a metaphor. It yields insights. But it has very quickly become a cliche that has been stretched pretty thin in certain areas.

    The metaphor I'm currently stuck on is pattern and structure. It's all structure. Maybe it's because I'm an engineer. But oddly enough this metaphor has also led me to rediscover the metaphor that "it's all love" or "God is love". Love is a structure creating emotion and action. Hierarchical structure becomes corrupt and unstable over time if there is not benevolence from the top. A lack of love is destructive. Since we find ourselves enmeshed in a structure that is highly stable and partly hierarchical, I can only conclude from this stability that love prevails in this hierarchy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
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  8. Alex

    Alex New

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    nice :) I can relate this need for novelty... and the sense of (and if it's an illusion/maya, I'm not quite willing to let go) personal development.

    I'm still working on this one :)
     
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  9. whitehouseufo

    whitehouseufo New

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    Interesting show. Some comments.

    Once again discussion of evil, and everything reverts back to the Newtonian physics world of separation. There is me and you, negative positive, black white, darkness light, and good versus evil. It is a world were active evolutionary learning processes are changed to separate random nouns.

    There are the Pizzagate guys, and then those of us who do no evil. We do unfortunate things like not brush our teeth, steal as teenagers, or punch someone in the head, or drive while drinking. Those things, however, are on the other side of the dividing line that separates unfortunate missteps from evil. The defining line also has to ignore the reincarnation world.

    Imagine a day in the future when you die and you are greeted by Hermann Goering and Joseph Goebbels with the words, “Welcome back, Heil, mein Führer!"

    Is there assurance that won’t happen? Talk about an Ebenezer Scrooge moment.

    In our past hundreds of lives will there have been a time when we killed someone in a state of war or passion. Chances I would say are pretty good. Are we then evil for the rest of eternity? Are there evil people or people who do evil things? In the telling words of Jesus, “Let he who is perfect cast the first stone.”

    Isis beheads people and we scream “evil” forgetting that we execute people and used the guillotine as late as 1977. Is our killing justified and theirs’s unjust? They kill thousands and we call for their extermination. Yet when we are responsible for the death of 500,000 children in Iraq, the US Secretary of State tells 60 minutes it was justified. Are they evil, or is America the “Great Satan?”

    Aliens have mutilated 10,000 cattle in 50 years and we separate them as evil acts by evil beings. On the other hand, in America we kill 41.7 million cows and calves (2+ billion plus in 50 years) a year. In a Newtonian physics world, our is justified killing and there is not. Will Americans be punished in the afterlife for what they have done to poor innocent cattle? If the cows got to vote who would they say the evil being are?

    Aliens abduct (if we reject the argument that this is soul contract like almost everything else in a reincarnation world) people for a couple hours and we scream evil. At the same time, America continues to hold Muslims without trial at Guantanamo Bay combining Inhuman and degrading treatment for decades. Are all Americans evil for allowing this to continue?

    Try defining evil people without the belief in separation. I don’t think it can be done.
     
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  10. Ricochet

    Ricochet Member

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    very interesting show. I could have listened all day.
     
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  11. Alex

    Alex New

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    I generally agree, and I think we sometimes make things more complicated than is necessary. I mean, come on, we all know the difference between right and wrong. The NDE research Dr. Jeff Long has compiled seems to confirm this (329).

    true enough. then again, this seems to be one of those things he didn't that actually say, but inspired someone to write... if one believes in the historical Jesus.

    but yr point about reincarnation in inescapable. that's why I always think back to the my interview with Brad Warner who said (paraphrasing), "ok, so you might think you had this or that past live, so that's all led you to what you're going to do right now."
     
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  12. Hurmanetar

    Hurmanetar New

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    For more on the metaphor metaphor:
     
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  13. Nelson

    Nelson Member

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    Interesting, Hurmanetar. I was pondering what you wrote... How about the emotion of fear? As Machiavelli compellingly argued in his great work, The Prince, a more reliable motivator than love is fear. So if a structure could manipulate above-all the emotion of fear then it could keep things relatively stable. Not to say that the former in the carrot and stick relationship isn't important, but the stick tends to be more reliable (especially considering how flaky most people are).
     
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  14. Nelson

    Nelson Member

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    But does everyone know the difference between right and wrong? I guess you'd agree that psychopaths are real (i.e. those who actually get enjoyment from the suffering of others). I think the research on psychopathy is convincing, judging by studies on prison populations and using brain scans, etc.:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy

    Apparently psychopaths can understand the difference between right and wrong on a rational level, but to them it is perplexing -- they don't understand why others would be restricted in this way. To them it is absurd. So on a rational level they try to work it out, but on an emotional level they still respond positively to the suffering of others...

    Something about your post reminds me of something I've found so frustrating about the NDE research. As I think we all agree, the reports of the people experiencing NDEs reveal an overwhelming degree of emotion, particularly love, often consisting of flashbacks about kind-hearted things the experiencer has done for others in the past...

    But as some critics of the NDE/ESP research counter, why wouldn't people come back from such experiences with rational knowledge, such as (say) how to create specific technologies, or about exactly what say, a certain monument or ceremony looked like in the ancient world...

    That is an important point by the critics but it doesn't discount the evidence that NDEs occur.

    So what if the NDEs are an emotional experience somehow on whatever level, and that it is an interpretation of the experiencer that this must reflect the meaning of life and/or the constitution of the universe. The feeling of love seems so powerful that they conflate the feeling of love with everything else. But maybe this can be compared to what we know about emotional responses in the rest of nature. For example, for many people the emotional response is the main motivating factor in sexual intercourse, not the subsequent fertilization and spread of that organism's genes. That is why contraception can be so widely used. The person can still feel the emotion of being successful, but in terms of continuing the genes it is a dead end.

    In other words, the emotion is not the purpose of life, it is only a motivational factor. Yet the motivating factor is so hardwired to be overwhelming that it is difficult to separate it from what the actual purpose behind it is...
     
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  15. Nelson

    Nelson Member

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    On my travels (in Australia) I got to know a fellow at a hostel who told me that UFOs (lights in the sky) would often hover over his home in America out in the desert (somewhere like in Nevada if I remember correctly). This fellow also told me that the UFOs followed him around, even to other sides of the planet! I was skeptical about this, but he seemed to otherwise be an intelligent person, so I kept an open mind. Later that evening we were on the balcony of the hostel, with other people around, and he looked up at the sky and pointed out a light in the sky. It just looked like a star near the horizon. Then suddenly it moved extremely quickly; then it stopped, and moved in another direction extremely quickly; it repeated this and at speeds that would be impossible for any flying vehicle I know of, and changing directions so quickly that no pilot could survive it... I pointed it out to others on the balcony and it was just bizarre. I was so amazed that I was telling people in the hostel kitchen about it too.

    The lights appeared in the sky for a few days even after the fellow left, but then disappeared after that. The only thing I've seen like this is from lights projected from a physical light on the ground, which I've seen once or twice before. But it still seems like an amazing coincidence that this fellow would say that UFOs follow him, and that he can communicate with them, and then these lights appear while he was there and then disappeared a few days after he'd left...

    PS: From memory, he said that the UFOs can communicate with him to the extent that he is aware that they are there, and that their intention isn't hostile. I don't think it went any further than that, at least not from what he told me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
  16. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Alex, you may have missed my earlier question, so here it is again: can you give me a few examples of how various communities use the term "consciousness" in different ways? I'm not sure I understand what you're getting at.
     
  17. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Alex,

    That was a great interview. It is wonderful to hear people like yourselves - who have explored this whole realm so extensively - swap ideas.

    My one niggle, is that I think you should split really long interviews -for those of us who prefer to listen to the podcast, it can be hard to maintain full concentration for such a long period of time.
     
  18. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    I have to ask if you are really Donald Trump posting on Skeptiko?

    I have heard suggestions that once Sessions is sworn in, there may be arrests in the Pizzagate affair, and some of those will be politicians. Have you heard anything in the corridors of power?

    David
     
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  19. Hurmanetar

    Hurmanetar New

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    I almost included a comment on fear but feared I'd rambled on long enough for anyone to stay with me.

    I think fear might be a more effective temporary motivator, but just as it taxes the body, it also taxes the larger political organizational structures leading to corruption and early death or rebellion of the people against tyranny.

    "Fear is the mind killer." It's like Meth.
     
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  20. Good post, on the last quoted part this was in my inbox -> Might be of interest:

    TRANSCENDENTAL STRUCTURALISM IN PHYSICS: An alternative to Structural Realism

    I'll be the first to admit the paper goes above my head but I hope others might make sense of it!
     
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