Mod+ 255. IAN MCCORMACK’S EXCLUSIVELY CHRISTIAN NEAR-DEATH EXPEIENCE

But I wouldn't extract from our reality's regularities to assumed lawfulness on the other side. After all, what makes the incoherence of QM resolve into a seemingly classical world remains a mystery.
What's incoherent about QM? What's unlawful about it? Hard to understand, maybe.

It just seems to me that even dissolution of self into Brahman is hardly a sure thing. MAL could be insane, and Its madness is the fracturing of Itself into individuals within Its own Dream-of-Everything. I don't know if I'd be that disappointed to find myself in an afterlife as ungoverned & imperfect as this existence, given I'm not convinced by the idea that dissolution of self into Brahman - or for that matter unification with God - is equivalent to transcendence.
MAL could be insane? So whence comes any regularity?

I think these both might be deceptions or misinterpretations, assuming there's anything at all to be unified with.
Well, the moon could be made of green cheese; if MAL is mad, anything might go.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

What's incoherent about QM? What's unlawful about it? Hard to understand, maybe.

MAL could be insane? So whence comes any regularity?

Well, the moon could be made of green cheese; if MAL is mad, anything might go.
Perhaps "incoherent" is the wrong word. What's odd is you have suggestions of timeleness, events that happen without sufficient prior cause (aka randomness), and even possible retrocausality.

Insanity doesn't necessarily mean complete chaos. By insanity I was thinking multiple personalities, which is akin to the situation of MAL somehow being One yet also many. This goes back to the challenge of explaining exactly what it means to say the self is an illusion.

The moon might be made of green cheese in another reality, but I don't think an insane MAL would imply anything goes. Plenty of mental disorders exist in people who are capable of consistency in thought & action. In fact the shattering of MAL's Oneness would only count as insanity from the perspective that each of "us" is only "one".

All that said, I think there is a potential flaw in MAL "going" 'insane' - it suggest consciousness is bound by an irreversible arrow of time. But why this should be if MAL is the source of causality, change, and the passage of time is unclear.
 
Ian McCormack's near-death experience account can be found here:
http://www.near-death.com/mccormack.html
After reading this account of McCormack's NDE, I'm even more puzzled by his fundamentalist Christianity. There is little to nothing in the NDE itself that is explicitly Christian. The being within the light doesn't even identify himself as "God," let alone Jesus. The being doesn't quote any Scripture, nor does he even reference the idea of any holy writings, and the vision that McCormack sees of a beautiful landscape bears similarities to the description of the "new Earth" in the book of Revelation, but the similarities are not what I would consider particularly striking. The Christian aspects of McCormack's life-changing experience seem to have come before he was clinically dead and after he returned to his body, when he says God told him to read the Bible (but, in the account I read, doesn't explain HOW God told him this--with a voice? telepathically? how did he know it was God--and not, say, a deceiving spirit?). What's ironic is that there are many NDEs that are much more explicitly Christian than McCormack's, yet he's the one embracing fundamentalist Christianity!

I wanted to say, too, Alex, that you did an admirable job of keeping your cool during this interview. My blood was boiling, just listening. Ultimately, I think you were probably right to cut it off when you did. McCormack just didn't seem to have the critical thinking skills necessary to grasp your points, much less respond to them intelligently. I might have tried to push him from an epistemological angle, asking him why he believes the messages he's received are from God and not from a deceptive spirit--how does he think he can tell the difference? Isn't it possible that he could hear a voice saying it was God even when it wasn't? Especially since other people have encounters with beings who say contradictory things? But I imagine he wouldn't have been able or willing to really grapple with those questions either.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

Some relevant points from Morhroffs introduction to Issue 1 of Anti-Matters:

The evidence from NDEs suggests that God is not bothered by “sins” — in fact, may not even grasp the notion — and it supports the concept of an all-loving non-judgmental God. If theologists and religionists were to open the door to empirical evidence, they would thus run the risk that evidence may contradict some aspects of what was believed solely on the basis of faith. No wonder that some religious fundamentalists are up in arms about the NDE.
Don't know if the following is still true of van Lommel but IMO it's a good critique of most paranormal paradigms invoking QM:

Like van Lommel, many students of paranormal phenomena believe that quantum mechanics may help explain what is going on. Apart from evincing a deplorable physicalist/reductionist inclination, this belief is unfounded, for quantum mechanics cannot even explain what is normally going on — forget the paranormal. The only feature of quantum mechanics that is more or less universally accepted is that its mathematical formalism provides us with algorithms for assigning probabilities to possible measure ment outcomes on the basis of actual outcomes. In other words, the laws of quantum mechanics correlate measurement outcomes. They neither account for the occurrence of the correlata nor help explain how the correlations come about. While some of the well-tested predictions of quantum mechanics no doubt boggle the mind, this is not much of an asset when it comes to explaining other mind-boggling phenomena, be it the very existence of consciousness or the evidence for ESP and PK. Quantum mechanics is as much in need of explanation as are the existence of “normal” consciousness or the occurrence of “paranormal” phenomena. If these mysteries have something in common, it is our apparent inability to make them go away, however hard we try.
 
Interesting quip, we have to remember only about 1 out of 4 or 5 people who wink out have an NDE. The experience might have a purpose.
Maybe so, but my comment about narcissism was more about his apparent inability to place his experience in any kind of context , eg. " It is not whether I am right or wrong, it is whether Jesus is right or wrong".
Also how all reports of NDEs that are contrary to his are the result of interpretive structures intrinsic to the individual, but his is not: "And I have seen it, so it is not what I see, it is how Christ sees it."

Even when Alex repeatedly highlights the circular logic and contradictory nature of privileging his own perspective as if his view alone is free of background interpretive structures, McCormack can't or won't acknowledge the inconsistency. He seems to assume that because he apparently had never read the Bible before his mind is free of all subjective, intersubjective, conscious and unconscious influences. He says those NDEers who experience Allah or Buddha are merely "trying to lens and interpret the experiences". But of himself he says, "It is not my way. Just again, you keep saying that. I have experienced the Lord. He led me to read a Bible. I met him when I died."

It seems that not even death is a cure for narcissism.
 
Some relevant points from Morhroffs introduction to Issue 1 of Anti-Matters:



Don't know if the following is still true of van Lommel but IMO it's a good critique of most paranormal paradigms invoking QM:
Great quotes that help dispel a very common but deeply confused conflation of quantum physics with spirituality. My favourite writer on the subject, Ken Wilber, refers to this as 'subtle reductionism', meaning that even people arguing against a strictly materialist paradigm are still so embedded within that paradigm that they try to account for spiritual reality with the tools of materialism.
Wilber writes:
Just because you understand quantum mechanics doesn't mean you're enlightened. Physics is an explicitly 3rd-person approach to reality, whereas meditative, contemplative, or mystical disciplines are explicitly 1st-person approaches to reality. Neither perspective is more real than the other, but each perspective does disclose different truths, and you cannot use the truth disclosed in one domain to "colonize" another. The study of physics, as a 3rd-person discipline, will not get you enlightenment; and meditation, as a 1st-person discipline, will not disclose the location of an asteroid (or an electron). The "content" of enlightenment is the realization of that which is timeless, formless, and eternally unchanging. The content of physics is the understanding of the movement of form within time, i.e. that which is constantly changing. And if you hook Buddha's enlightenment to a theory of physics that gets disproved tomorrow, does that mean Buddha loses his enlightenment? from https://www.integrallife.com/ken-wilber-dialogues/does-quantum-physics-prove-god
A good article from Salon.com: http://www.salon.com/2008/04/28/ken_wilber/
 
Maybe so, but my comment about narcissism was more about his apparent inability to place his experience in any kind of context , eg. " It is not whether I am right or wrong, it is whether Jesus is right or wrong".
Also how all reports of NDEs that are contrary to his are the result of interpretive structures intrinsic to the individual, but his is not: "And I have seen it, so it is not what I see, it is how Christ sees it."

Even when Alex repeatedly highlights the circular logic and contradictory nature of privileging his own perspective as if his view alone is free of background interpretive structures, McCormack can't or won't acknowledge the inconsistency. He seems to assume that because he apparently had never read the Bible before his mind is free of all subjective, intersubjective, conscious and unconscious influences. He says those NDEers who experience Allah or Buddha are merely "trying to lens and interpret the experiences". But of himself he says, "It is not my way. Just again, you keep saying that. I have experienced the Lord. He led me to read a Bible. I met him when I died."

It seems that not even death is a cure for narcissism.
Michael I think you hit this nail right. He possibly fits a narcissist type or is a very concrete thinker, is not the philosophical type and is not given to introspection. We already can see how subjective NDEs reports are. I can't criticize Mr. McCormack views on his personal beliefs or his contradictory statements. He's expressing his reality very sincerely and doesn't seem to have an ulterior motive except that he obviously puts himself into the exclusive (saved) camp. He's had 35 years to color his NDE and read the bible so many times he has it memorized forward and backwards. Another thing I noticed is the interview seemed another effort by him to evangelize his audience.
I think the big bugaboo is he's transformed his spiritual experience into religious ideology, which has been a source of terrible suffering and wars through time.

On the other hand, I hope Jesus is here on the other side. Do we need to have unconditional love manifested in an entity? Maybe he exists for a certain level of consciousness. I'm with Alex, I don't totally buy into the New Testament but I do believe in the shroud, I'm weird.
 
Ugh - I finally listened to this podcast! Ian reminded me forcibly why I am so opposed to organised religion!

Ian seemed to diminish as the podcast went on, he sounded like a sulky kid towards the end. I'd like to have put him in a room with a religious spokesperson for ISIS, and an Orthodox Jew, and maybe a Mormon, and just listen to the conversation (for maybe 5 mins) degenerate into:

"I'm right - Jesus has told me!"

"No I'm right, I can prove it to you if you read the Torah!"

"No, you are both wrong and you are defiling Mohamed by even saying these things, and one day ISIS will come and cut your head off!"

etc.

My feeling is that he has embellished his account afterwards, as Alex pointed out at the end of the show, the Bible is full of contradiction and muddle, and to say (more or less) that it was all revealed to be true, was utterly absurd!

One of the core problems with believing in any organised religion, is that they are all exclusive to some degree or other - believing in one religion automatically implies that other religions are somehow misguided! There are Christians here (and elsewhere) who will try to argue round that, but Ian nailed it for me.

Alex, that interview also shows exactly why I like to avoid the word "God" in discussions. The word has been taken over by closed minds like Ian's, and if we use the word, many will read it in that context. A phrase like "Being of light", or whatever distances us from that lunacy.

David
 
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My feeling is that he has embellished his account afterwards
Are we allowed to say that about any NDE we disagree with? Where is the evidence that he is embellishing his account? The burden of proof would be on you to prove this is the case, not the other way around.

The most important question, clearly, is not whether or not Ian is lying. But rather what's the deal with God (fundamental consciousness, "the source", whatever), and why the heck would it convey such wishy washy messages to people.
 
My feeling is that he has embellished his account afterwards, as Alex pointed out at the end of the show, the Bible is full of contradiction and muddle, and to say (more or less) that it was all revealed to be true, was utterly absurd!
It is possible to compare his interview with his earliest video and a part of it as text here:
The 1988 Original Testimony of Ian McCormack
http://www.near-death.com/mccormack.html

I think he ought to have given more details about the moments when he returned into his body, was awake again and what happened immediately after that.
 
I'm purposely avoiding mentioning what he does specifically because he's very easy to identify based on the projects he works on, but as I wrote in response to someone else, we are not talking about a militant atheist who writes about atheism. He writes comedy for TV and has a strong anti-psi, anti-religion/spirit bias that shows up whenever his stories touch on that subject matter. I will also re-iterate that in this case (and others like it) the man does a lot of good in the world on a personal level and on a larger level as well. He may have bought into materialist ideology, but that doesn't change his basic character which is very good as far as I can tell. The number of people that I know he has helped in substantive ways is really big, and then there are the people I don't know about, and all the other ways people can express kindness to each other, none of which is wasted, nor made irredeemable because of his beliefs.

AP
We understand the psychology of individuals aren't just a set of beliefs, but are imbued with cultural and behavioral conditioning and are also hard wired with inborn genetic tendencies and qualities. Individual behavior can be a poor indicator of personal beliefs. Some beliefs are rather superficial and have little bearing on our day to day functioning, while others are interpretations of experience and may lead us to behave in extreme ways. It appears to be the nature of the self to have many beliefs and even beliefs which contradict each other. Looking up the the psychology of belief, I found this article, which I may have attached earlier.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/201104/the-two-kinds-belief
 
Krishnamurti makes an interesting case, but I'm not sure anyone has successfully described why the self is an illusion. It seems this turns on a definition of selfhood being adequately pinned down, then dismantled...Meanwhile the debates about selfhood and identity are far from settled.

In relation to both this topic and NDEs, here's Braude mixing it up yet again with materialists and immaterialists:

Personal Identity and Post Mortem Survival
The gentleman who best describes the nature of the self is the other Krishnamurti, Jiddu. He makes a darn good case too.
http://soler7.com/IFAQ/Krishnamurti.html
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

Are we allowed to say that about any NDE we disagree with? Where is the evidence that he is embellishing his account? The burden of proof would be on you to prove this is the case, not the other way around.

The most important question, clearly, is not whether or not Ian is lying. But rather what's the deal with God (fundamental consciousness, "the source", whatever), and why the heck would it convey such wishy washy messages to people.
I see no reason to believe that God/Source/etc has any definitive role in the NDE.
 
Are we allowed to say that about any NDE we disagree with? Where is the evidence that he is embellishing his account? The burden of proof would be on you to prove this is the case, not the other way around.

The most important question, clearly, is not whether or not Ian is lying. But rather what's the deal with God (fundamental consciousness, "the source", whatever), and why the heck would it convey such wishy washy messages to people.
Why would source romp around the Middle East chopping people's heads off? Why would source bloom as a flower in the middle of the tundra? Why would source do anything?
 
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