Dr. Eben Alexander, NDE Science Wins Out |504|

#3
I'll get back to this later when I have a bit more time and have listened to the entire episode. So far however, as is usual with NDE/OOBE claims, the same faulty premise was made right at the start of this episode, which was the assumption that the experience being recalled was constructed in real time ( synchronous with non-subjective reality ). It probably wasn't, and Eben's own evidence as stated at the start seems to confirm that.

I'm not saying that he or other people aren't having NDE/OOBE type experiences, or that they're not interesting. What I'm saying is that the interpretation of such experiences is probably not accurate. Yes, I've analyzed many claims and views including the AWARE Study. I also admit that my views might not be accurate or complete either, but at least I've given many variables honest consideration, and I continue to do so.

After all it's why I joined this forum. Hopefully I can learn something new :) .
 
#4
We've come full circle... it was the first Skeptiko interview of Eben however many years ago that first brought me to Skeptiko and helped me finally pull out of the fundamentalist Christian cul-de-sac.

Question at the end: His NDE was tied to his family dynamics in a powerful way. What role does an NDE play in our personal spiritual journey?

My answer: an NDE seems to very efficiently perform a few functions that many spiritual/religious practices attempt to do with less efficiency/success.

1) An NDE provides feedback.
Feedback is an essential element of consciousness and all of reality could be thought of as nested loops of consciousness or feedback loops on varying time/space scales. Reality is composed of pattern. Pattern requires a choice. A choice requires a goal. A feedback loop juxtaposes goal with outcome to see how close you came to the target or how much you fell short (sinned). We have goals on relatively short time scales that cause us to choose and act in various ways and our Soul has goals which prompt our existence to begin with. We're here for a purpose: to achieve some soul goals. When we die we get feedback on how well we did. This is experienced as a kind of judgment or self-evaluation. A person with an NDE has the benefit of extra feedback earlier than usual and can use this feedback to improve towards the soul goals. We can also get this feedback without an NDE by meditating, praying, listening to the "still small voice", but during an NDE the "still small voice" often presents as a booming masculine voice, so it is a bit more clear.

2) An NDE induces boundary dissolution.
All is pattern. Pattern requires choice about where to place boundaries. Boundaries can therefore be dissolved at will and consciousness collapses back through all the nested patterns of being into Unity or Oneness. But Unity having no boundaries has no distinctions nothing of which to be aware. It is paradox. It is death and eternal life. It is infinite light and infinite darkness. If I remember correctly, Dr. Alexander called it a "shimmering darkness". To go there is both terrifying because it means the death of individual identity and ecstatic because it is perfect love which is the reunification of the parts into the whole. Once a person experiences boundary dissolution they realize that everything exists by choice or by will or by faith or by agreement and that their own unique identity is likewise a construct that is chosen and so the boundary around that is stretchy and fuzzy. The snowflakes are sort of on the right track in that we can choose how we identify. We can identify with the Whole or as Nothing or as a part of the whole. The part the snowflakes get wrong is that the choice is not arbitrary if you have a goal. If you have a goal, then you choose to identify in the way that is most useful in achieving that goal. So we can merge with the Oneness and the Love and Light at any time, but the reason we don't is because we've done that already and we have other things we want to do instead. Psychedelics and meditation can also induce boundary dissolution. And heck you can even logic your way into boundary dissolution - this is called solipsism.

3) An NDE integrates and this might provide power or gifts.
It is well known that the part of ourselves that we consider the I or EGO is just the tip of the iceberg. There's a lot more going on below in the Abyss, in our Shadow. Dr. Tom Zinser drives the point home: we all have multiple personalities. Sometimes they are stuck in a bubble of reality. This is literally a piece of our soul as our soul is like the AI agent that is being trained by every instance of the simulation in which it runs. Our experiences are updating the Soul and its ability to achieve goals in real-time which is why Sheldrake found learning speeds increasing among species without contact. The things you learn are not for you alone, but are passed on to those in your concentric circles of familiarity. So every experience you have is stored in the soul, and when you re-integrate with it you might also integrate with some of your subpersonalities. You might also integrate with parts of you that have run very similar "simulations" or lifespans before and as a result you might come back with strange "gifts" such as the ability to do "extended consciousness" stuff or maybe you integrated a part of you that is living in China and you get stuck with a Chinese accent. Weird things happen and some wires might get crossed when you reintegrate before your time. This partial re-integration might also be experienced as establishing contact and communication with a Soul guide or Higher Self or Guardian Angel which can work in the background to synchronistically arrange things in accordance with your purpose or your Soul's purpose. Really grokking the boundary dissolution thing helps with this because you realize everything exists by choice or will so then you can set your intentions on something with more weight and this tends to make them happen... magically.

4) An NDE reduces or eliminates fear of death.
This is obviously pretty nice. Need I elaborate?

5) An NDE resets priorities such that Love and compassion top the list.
Plenty has been said about this already.
 
#5
We've come full circle... it was the first Skeptiko interview of Eben however many years ago that first brought me to Skeptiko and helped me finally pull out of the fundamentalist Christian cul-de-sac.

Question at the end: His NDE was tied to his family dynamics in a powerful way. What role does an NDE play in our personal spiritual journey?

My answer: an NDE seems to very efficiently perform a few functions that many spiritual/religious practices attempt to do with less efficiency/success.
Keen Observation
1) An NDE provides feedback.
Feedback is an essential element of consciousness ...
True. However I would add that people's personal beliefs and biases tend to filter that feedback in a way that they find preferable as opposed to whatever else it might actually be.
2) An NDE induces boundary dissolution.
All is pattern. Pattern requires choice about where to place boundaries. Boundaries can therefore be dissolved at will and consciousness collapses back through all the nested patterns of being into Unity or Oneness ... 've done that already and we have other things we want to do instead. Psychedelics and meditation can also induce boundary dissolution. And heck you can even logic your way into boundary dissolution - this is called solipsism.
Excellent observation. I'm wondering however where you fall in terms of your views on solipsism versus objectivity.
3) An NDE integrates and this might provide power or gifts.
It is well known that the part of ourselves that we consider the I or EGO is just the tip of the iceberg. There's a lot more going on below in the Abyss, in our Shadow ... Really grokking the boundary dissolution thing helps with this because you realize everything exists by choice or will so then you can set your intentions on something with more weight and this tends to make them happen... magically.
Hmm. Maybe you just answered the question I asked above. I would ask what your version of "really grokking" is, because the idea that "... everything exists by choice or will ..." might work fine for Neo in The Matrix, but we aren't in his position. Even if we're in some kind of Matrix universe ourselves, we're far more limited in our powers of perception than Neo, and even he couldn't tell the difference until he was rescued and went through his post Matrix transformation.
4) An NDE reduces or eliminates fear of death.
This is obviously pretty nice. Need I elaborate?
You might need to elaborate. For some people, NDE's might eliminate the fear of death, particularly those who have experienced them, but I imagine not all of them buy into the resulting assumptions that most of the rest do. Certainly I don't. And even if I had an NDE/OOBE, I still wouldn't, because so far as I can tell, the experiences that NDE/OOBE experiencers are having are purely subjective.
5) An NDE resets priorities such that Love and compassion top the list.
Plenty has been said about this already.
I suppose that it's much easier to accept outcomes that give us pleasure, especially when it eliminates painful realities. But so far as I can tell, there's no reason to believe NDE/OOBE experiences represent perceptions of some larger reality beyond that of the experiencer's. In the interview I'm hearing some tenuous claims supported by a sciency mix of New Agey philosophy and quantum woo. But, I'm also one of those people who thinks happiness is overrated and would sooner accept unpleasant truths than happy delusions.
 
#6
Has any one out there used Binary Beats? If so to what effect?

The abandonment of Common Sence by science would also explain apparent lies and smearing Not to be confused with logic which can and does dead end, creates non progressive closed loops.
We would have to have some abandonment of Common Sence to desregard Dr. Ebens account but we could say they do have a logic.
On the other hand it could just be malice, and egotism with out complicating things any further.
 
#7
Has any one out there used Binary Beats? If so to what effect?

The abandonment of Common Sence by science would also explain apparent lies and smearing Not to be confused with logic which can and does dead end, creates non progressive closed loops.
We would have to have some abandonment of Common Sence to desregard Dr. Ebens account but we could say they do have a logic.
On the other hand it could just be malice, and egotism with out complicating things any further.
There's no doubt that there are unconstructive skeptics. I've been through the fire with them many times and been well tempered in the process. I've also seen too many instances to count of people who believe in nonsense based on the notion that everything is an opinion, and therefore their opinion is as valid as anyone else's, so if it makes them happy to believe it, then that's their reality, even if it's a complete delusion to anyone else. The irony of their paradigm is that it's 100% total egocentrism, but they project that as a defense mechanism onto anyone who questions them.
 
#8
There's no doubt that there are unconstructive skeptics. I've been through the fire with them many times and been well tempered in the process. I've also seen too many instances to count of people who believe in nonsense based on the notion that everything is an opinion, and therefore their opinion is as valid as anyone else's, so if it makes them happy to believe it, then that's their reality, even if it's a complete delusion to anyone else. The irony of their paradigm is that it's 100% total egocentrism, but they project that as a defense mechanism onto anyone who questions them.
I like the way you question things, but if you really want to get to the heart of the matter regarding all things paranormal or supernatural, it may require you to give up everything that you have and go to a place where you do not know anybody. This is a kind of "death experience" that we can have in life. I don't recommend it for everybody, but it can be quite enlightening....albeit hell on earth.

I do not doubt that people actually do have near death experiences whereas they contact another realm. The line of inquiry that makes this more tangible would be asking oneself: where did I have my first thought? What is this "I" that makes "me"? You see, you will realize that who you think you are is only a matter of well established habits and illusions. Many cannot remember their beginning, so why would it be expected to remember your death? The capacity to remember is not the essence of what makes you, you. The capacity to experience, to understand, and even to love eternally; - that is the never ending challenge. It isn't easy.
 
#9
I like the way you question things, but if you really want to get to the heart of the matter regarding all things paranormal or supernatural, it may require you to give up everything ....
One of the common tactics or beliefs or whatever you want to call it, that believers and/or indoctrinators use to sway others is suggest in some way shape or form, that a person has to forget everything else they've learned. Whether they realize they're doing it or not, this is standard deprogramming and reprogramming for cult initiations, motivational gurus and the like. I think plenty of them have self-brainwashed themselves into believing their own BS.

The thing about that strategy with me is that critical thinking, truth, and logic are universal. So if there's an afterworld, it exists there too, which means that nobody has to give it up in order to ascertain the nature of any situation that is ascertainable on that level e.g. other dimensions and afterworlds. What it can't do is relay appreciation for subjective experiences, the "what it's like" or "what it feels like" part of the equation. I'm sure there is a lot of value in that as well, but it's completely different that claiming another objectively real realm exists where people go when they die.

Afterworlds and afterlives aren't possible the way that most people either believe they are or imagine they might be. I know that seems like a rather arbitrary statement, but there's no way around it. If that pops people's bubbles, don't get mad at me. I'm just the messenger. Everyone wants the answer that fits their personal wants, biases, and beliefs. My thing is figuring out the truth. In this case it can be done by a process called deductive reasoning. But that requires that the premises be correct. The first thing people do to break that chain of logic is try to break the premises, often with other tactics.
 
#10
One of the common tactics or beliefs or whatever you want to call it, that believers and/or indoctrinators use to sway others is suggest in some way shape or form, that a person has to forget everything else they've learned. Whether they realize they're doing it or not, this is standard deprogramming and reprogramming for cult initiations, motivational gurus and the like. I think plenty of them have self-brainwashed themselves into believing their own BS.

The thing about that strategy with me is that critical thinking, truth, and logic are universal. So if there's an afterworld, it exists there too, which means that nobody has to give it up in order to ascertain the nature of any situation that is ascertainable on that level e.g. other dimensions and afterworlds. What it can't do is relay appreciation for subjective experiences, the "what it's like" or "what it feels like" part of the equation. I'm sure there is a lot of value in that as well, but it's completely different that claiming another objectively real realm exists where people go when they die.

Afterworlds and afterlives aren't possible the way that most people either believe they are or imagine they might be. I know that seems like a rather arbitrary statement, but there's no way around it. If that pops people's bubbles, don't get mad at me. I'm just the messenger. Everyone wants the answer that fits their personal wants, biases, and beliefs. My thing is figuring out the truth. In this case it can be done by a process called deductive reasoning. But that requires that the premises be correct. The first thing people do to break that chain of logic is try to break the premises, often with other tactics.
I wouldn't say to "forget everything you learned" and "then follow me," in that typical cult, guru fashion. What I am saying is that comfort in one's own habits is usually the veil blinding one to other experiences. Also, one's own habits are the recourse, the escape from supernatural experiences. Words like "logic and reality" are really excuses people use to stay on the same, well carved out, comfortable, paved road. I agree that critical thinking is important, but it is a mistake to think that "truth and logic" are universal. The many interpretations of what a "universe" actually is will help anybody kick the thought of anything being "universal."

Also, no worries, you aren't popping my bubble when we dare to ask these kind of questions. I don't think afterlife's and afterworlds are what most people imagine them to be, anyhow. However, the path of my life was far from what I expected or predicted it to be, so if that is possible, then why think nothing else is possible?

Think of this, it doesn't matter what kind of premise or logic that you have, and how strong your faith in it is, if it is not backed by your own experience. Likewise, those who have had NDE's are probably experiencing something that you have not experienced. Granted, I am not the NDE champion on this forum, rather, I have had a lot of very paranormal shit happen in my life and have opened my mind to other things because of it.

Nevertheless, I like your line of inquiry. Let us continue to challenge each other! That is the road to discovery, brother!
 
#11
I wouldn't say to "forget everything you learned" and "then follow me," in that typical cult, guru fashion. What I am saying is that comfort in one's own habits is usually the veil blinding one to other experiences. Also, one's own habits are the recourse, the escape from supernatural experiences.
What I would agree with is that people's own biases and beliefs can be a major impediment from seeing what's really the case. So maybe we're talking the same language.
Words like "logic and reality" are really excuses people use to stay on the same, well carved out, comfortable, paved road. I agree that critical thinking is important, but it is a mistake to think that "truth and logic" are universal. The many interpretations of what a "universe" actually is will help anybody kick the thought of anything being "universal."
We'd have to dig into that a bit more. I do agree that people will often invoke logic or science to make themselves sound credible, when in fact, that's all they're doing ( trying to make themselves sound credible - when they're not ). On the issue of truth and logic being universal, I did point out that it requires a context. It's like in a 3D world, all dimensions are universal, but dimension 2 isn't the same as dimension 1. Truth is universal in the sense that no matter where you are or what you think, or what you believe, it remains the same, but your vantage point might make you think it's different.
Also, no worries, you aren't popping my bubble when we dare to ask these kind of questions. I don't think afterlife's and afterworlds are what most people imagine them to be, anyhow. However, the path of my life was far from what I expected or predicted it to be, so if that is possible, then why think nothing else is possible?
That was directed in whatever readers in general might come along, not you specifically. On the concept of possibility. There are some things that are simply that way, but again it requires context. It's fairly obvious when you're used to thinking in those sorts of variables. But I seem to be in the minority.
Think of this, it doesn't matter what kind of premise or logic that you have, and how strong your faith in it is, if it is not backed by your own experience. Likewise, those who have had NDE's are probably experiencing something that you have not experienced. Granted, I am not the NDE champion on this forum, rather, I have had a lot of very paranormal shit happen in my life and have opened my mind to other things because of it.

Nevertheless, I like your line of inquiry. Let us continue to challenge each other! That is the road to discovery, brother!
You have an excellent attitude. Don't get me wrong either. I believe a lot of strange things happen in the world, including NDEs and OOBEs. I just don't interpret them in a way that fits the paradigm of any particular religious belief system that espouses afterlives as a continuity of personhood following the death of the body. That's the part that's not possible. At best any afterworld you can only be a copy - and usually they're rather poor ones ( given most accounts ).
 
#12
I'll get back to this later when I have a bit more time and have listened to the entire episode. So far however, as is usual with NDE/OOBE claims, the same faulty premise was made right at the start of this episode, which was the assumption that the experience being recalled was constructed in real time ( synchronous with non-subjective reality ). It probably wasn't, and Eben's own evidence as stated at the start seems to confirm that.

I'm not saying that he or other people aren't having NDE/OOBE type experiences, or that they're not interesting. What I'm saying is that the interpretation of such experiences is probably not accurate. Yes, I've analyzed many claims and views including the AWARE Study. I also admit that my views might not be accurate or complete either, but at least I've given many variables honest consideration, and I continue to do so.

After all it's why I joined this forum. Hopefully I can learn something new :) .
I'm impressed that you're coming at this w/ an open mind. I would like to hear how that real time & synchronous w/ non-subjective reality makes any difference. I had a very brief NDE (maybe 30 to 60 seconds) after I was pulled out of lake where I got a concussion & fractured 4 vetebrae, 2 in my neck & two in my thorax. Since Eben's experience is awesomely more profound & longer than mine, plus occurring during a 7 day coma, I can possibly see where you are going w/ the faulty premise. However, I'd like to learn more when you have the time.
 
#13
You have an excellent attitude. Don't get me wrong either. I believe a lot of strange things happen in the world, including NDEs and OOBEs. I just don't interpret them in a way that fits the paradigm of any particular religious belief system that espouses afterlives as a continuity of personhood following the death of the body. That's the part that's not possible. At best any afterworld you can only be a copy - and usually they're rather poor ones ( given most accounts ).
Thanks for the compliment. I should elaborate. I think that we are conditioned to believe that a death is possible because what we perceive as biological demise. We see these flesh machines consuming, decapitating, fucking, reproducing, killing, and so forth. However, these are only observations by a consciousness that does not really go away. I go back to the observations: you cannot remember the point that you came into existence, nor can you remember the point that you leave existence. Therefor, somehow, we are all intrinsically tied into existence without beginning or end. Maybe "afterlife" is a misnomer.

What if it is that we are eternally bound here? What if there is no real afterlife at all, but only a transitional period to your next having to be here all over again? What if plurality was the only way the creator could forget itself? So many interesting questions!
 
#14
True. However I would add that people's personal beliefs and biases tend to filter that feedback in a way that they find preferable as opposed to whatever else it might actually be.
No doubt... once a person is back in the body, whatever knowledge they obtained over there gets filtered through their knowledge base here so it is colored and shaded with bias, or to use a remote viewing term: overlay.

But another reason the "judgments" may vary over there is that many of the judgments are not regarding the highest goals, but rather Soul Goals - goals of the next layer up in consciousness which might not be the highest layer.

Two great metaphors for the Soul spawning a lifespan: AI agent and sperm. An AI agent is trained on a task by running many simulations. One person's life span is like one iteration of simulation, the experiences of which add to the AI agent's ability to accomplish its goal. Your experiences are updating the AI agent (your soul) on how best to accomplish its goals, and you get feedback on how well you hit the target or how you fell short ("sinned" is an archery term meaning the arrow fell short of the target).

Another metaphor: sperm... millions of attempts at achieving the goal but only one succeeds. "It is harder for your soul to be saved than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle."

So the goals of your soul probably have many similarities to the goals of my soul, but there are probably some differences too so our judgments will vary. And it is not like the Soul has rigid boundaries either. Think of it more like concentric circles of familiarity.

Excellent observation. I'm wondering however where you fall in terms of your views on solipsism versus objectivity.
I'll try to briefly explain my philosophy which I call Patternism:
We eventually come to realize that boundaries are a choice and we start removing them until we come to the notion of Monism - that everything must ultimately be One thing. The problem is you can't talk about the One thing without paradox, so people tend to "make a graven image" of the One thing and fill in this black hole with their own preference. So the materialists are stuck on the idea that everything is composed of a bunch of dead rocks (or billiard balls). They adopted the metaphor of dead rocks because it is useful for a scientist to assume that everything is a bunch of dead rocks and now they've forgotten it was a metaphor useful only in a particular domain and not universally applicable.

The idealists on the other hand go the opposite direction and say, "No! Everything is not a bunch of dead rocks! Everything is alive! Consciousness is fundamental! Love and Light and Oneness is the answer!" And so in their Monism they fill in the black hole of Oneness with a metaphor related to their own personal experience of consciousness and love.

I prefer to say: okay if we have nominate a "substance" for a Monism, instead of calling this monistic substance material (dead rocks) and instead of calling this monistic substance Consciousness (what the hell even is that?) let's call this monistic "substance": PATTERN. And this is really a bit of a head fake because Pattern implies THREE things which I semi-jokingly call the Holy Trinity, and while we could assign many names to the three elements of the Holy Trinity, one valid set of labels is: subject/object/choice, and voila! I have incorporated both sides of the Hard Problem into "One Thing". The Materialists focus on the Object and the Idealists focus on the Subject, but my contention is that you cannot consider either to exist independently, rather the smallest pattern which is the root pattern of all other patterns is this Trinity.

There is no pattern without objective similarities and differences. There is no pattern without subjective choice about where to draw boundaries around the similarities and differences. Reality is a bit like one of those children's coloring books that has a bunch of geometric patterns which you can color in as you choose to make different pictures. The lines are objectively there but you can subjectively choose to ignore them or respect them.

Solipsism is sort of a variation on the unproductive Monisms that is flavored with epistemic inhibitions and doubt. It is a recognition that everything is floating on the abyss of nothing by faith and the unwillingness to have faith and step out on the water.

Hmm. Maybe you just answered the question I asked above. I would ask what your version of "really grokking" is, because the idea that "... everything exists by choice or will ..." might work fine for Neo in The Matrix, but we aren't in his position. Even if we're in some kind of Matrix universe ourselves, we're far more limited in our powers of perception than Neo, and even he couldn't tell the difference until he was rescued and went through his post Matrix transformation.
Since you brought up the Matrix, the Architect scene is AH! I don't have words... it is such a perfect symbolically dense explanation for what I have described above regarding the Trinity and the role of CHOICE. Another way to label the Holy Trinity is: Mechanism/Chaos/Choice. The Machines and the Architect with his mathematical perfection represents one leg of this Trinity. But this Objective Mathematical perfection lacks life - all the humans died in the first iteration because it was too perfect. Chaos or the "divine feminine" in the form of the Oracle was needed to make the Matrix work. And the result of the combination of the perfect Masculine Mechanism with the Chaotic Feminine is an "Anomaly" in even the tiniest vacuum fluctuations which is CHOICE and this ultimately results in the Matrix producing NEO (the ONE) and on his CHOICE the whole system rises or falls. So you see all three elements of the Trinity are essential for existence. Oh and of course Neo, the ONE loves Trinity.

So Pattern requires choice. As we make choices we leave behind structure which limits future choices. But we need limitations on choice in order to have choices. (you can't choose door A or door B unless there are walls and doors to begin with. It is the limitations on our Will that allows us to have goals which allows us to make choices. To put it another way, if there was no time lag between goal origination and goal fulfillment there would be no structure there would be pure chaos. It is frustration which creates goals which create choice which creates pattern/structure which creates frustration. Round and round the wheel of Karma goes.

You might need to elaborate. For some people, NDE's might eliminate the fear of death, particularly those who have experienced them, but I imagine not all of them buy into the resulting assumptions that most of the rest do. Certainly I don't. And even if I had an NDE/OOBE, I still wouldn't, because so far as I can tell, the experiences that NDE/OOBE experiencers are having are purely subjective.
Most if not all NDE experiences come back with a certainty that death is not the end of their experience and this is a great relief. I think I recall some having a hellish NDE and coming back with a kind of fear of death, but then even that person later had another NDE that alleviated that fear too.

I suppose that it's much easier to accept outcomes that give us pleasure, especially when it eliminates painful realities. But so far as I can tell, there's no reason to believe NDE/OOBE experiences represent perceptions of some larger reality beyond that of the experiencer's.
Aside from Veridical information, the fact that there is a judgement which indicates there is a feedback loop makes me believe it is an indication of a larger reality beyond that of the experiencer. The purpose of a feedback loop is to juxtapose goals with outcomes so that you can adjust your actions to get closer to hitting the target. What is the point of feedback with no further opportunities to hit the target?

In the interview I'm hearing some tenuous claims supported by a sciency mix of New Agey philosophy and quantum woo. But, I'm also one of those people who thinks happiness is overrated and would sooner accept unpleasant truths than happy delusions.
I am also a bit uncomfortable with the notion that "if we just realize we're all One all our problems will be solved" ... yes but we'll all be dead so to speak - annihilated by the Oneness. This is Cloud Cookoo land where everything is awesome and no one ever looks into their shadow. I prefer to accept the sometimes macabre nature of reality and integrate my shadow.
 
#15
J Randal Murphy, you seem pretty sure of yourself. But if you haven't had an NDE, you don't really know how you would react. Also, deductive logic has its limitations - it all depends, as you intimate, on what one's assumptions are. I wonder, have you good reasons to assume that your assumptions are any better than anyone else's?

Take it a step further, and you may realise that every individual, including you, operates within his or her own interpretative framework, and to that extent could be considered to create their own reality, just as the constructivists say, although not in a literal sense.

There may be, in a sense, an objective reality of "things-in-themselves", as Kant put it, but just because that may be so doesn't mean that you or I, or anyone else, can perceive or understand that reality. I don't believe you are any more different or special than anyone else -- you are just as confined within the boundaries of your own interpretative framework as anyone else.

When a person emerges from an NDE, (s)he comes back into the milieu of interpretative frameworks, and once again has to think in ordinary language terms. All s(he) has to rely on is the memory, however vivid, of the NDE experience, and the only way s(he) can express that is using ordinary language. This may force interpretations that rely on elements of prior personal and societal conditioning, either to some extent by the NDEer or the person listening to what the NDEer has to say.

I have no doubt that something profound happens in NDEs, but when Alex asks about the role of NDEs in our personal spiritual journeys, I'm by no means sure NDEs have any purposive role to play -- in the sense that some "higher power" might utilise NDEs to influence the NDEer. NDEs happen, they are profound, and often can't help but influence those who have experienced them, but I do wonder whether that's what they're meant to do as opposed to their simpy happening to have that effect.

We are beings who crave to be able to make some sense out of the world as we perceive it. NDE perceptions are often reported as being real -- nay, hyperreal. It seems inevitable that these particularly striking experiences, like many more mundane ones, come to be interpreted by experiencers as pivotal, if not life-changing. They only seem so very special in the first place because they run counter to long-inculcated societal expectations, viz. these days, the materialistic metaphysical worldview of many people that is in general often so nihilistic and "soul destroying".

I have been reminded of this recently whilst reading "Virus Mania" (a 580-page book very reasonably priced as a Kindle edition) recently. The depth of the depravity of Western society is no better exemplified than by the influence of the Pharmaceutical industry, which one way or another has negatively effected the lives of many millions of people. So many believe the claptrap about vaccinations these days, and whilst I'm sure many are sincere in their beliefs, I think they're being preyed on by an industry whose soul was long ago destroyed through the greed of a few very powerful individuals. I certainly wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of their life-reviews!
 
#16
Thanks for the compliment. I should elaborate. I think that we are conditioned to believe that a death is possible because what we perceive as biological demise. We see these flesh machines consuming, decapitating, fucking, reproducing, killing, and so forth. However, these are only observations by a consciousness that does not really go away. I go back to the observations: you cannot remember the point that you came into existence, nor can you remember the point that you leave existence. Therefor, somehow, we are all intrinsically tied into existence without beginning or end. Maybe "afterlife" is a misnomer.

What if it is that we are eternally bound here? What if there is no real afterlife at all, but only a transitional period to your next having to be here all over again? What if plurality was the only way the creator could forget itself? So many interesting questions!
Thanks for the compliment. I should elaborate. I think that we are conditioned to believe that a death is possible because what we perceive as biological demise. We see these flesh machines consuming, decapitating, fucking, reproducing, killing, and so forth. However, these are only observations by a consciousness that does not really go away. I go back to the observations: you cannot remember the point that you came into existence, nor can you remember the point that you leave existence. Therefor, somehow, we are all intrinsically tied into existence without beginning or end. Maybe "afterlife" is a misnomer.

What if it is that we are eternally bound here? What if there is no real afterlife at all, but only a transitional period to your next having to be here all over again? What if plurality was the only way the creator could forget itself? So many interesting questions!
I wrote a short story about a spirit of an adept who bypasses the line of souls waiting to get a drink of the 'water of forgetfulness,' which is supposedly required before being reborn. He is reborn fully aware, even as a fetus, he's trapped awake in his mom's womb & calls to her until finally one day she hears her in-utero son's voice. Not too long ago, I watched a YouTube video of an IANDS conference & one of the speakers, who claimed many NDEs, said he told his psychic mom he could remember being born.
I learned from Robert Thurman (Uma Thurman's dad, BTW) on another UT video that the Tibetan Buddhists have a lot of info. on the bardos (the states in between incarnations) from adepts that learned how to be aware during the whole process of dying, bardo, then reincarnation. They reported their memories to the Dali Lama or whomever, I suppose. You might want to check out www.AfterlifeConference.com if you want to hear more from people who are really into afterlife issues. Their 2021 Conference is coming soon, so don't wait too long to look into it.
I certainly think 'afterlife' is a misnomer. Returning Home would be a better description from an NDE standpoint. However, I took it as significant that Eben said 'it was more likely than not' that the afterlife is a reality. A true Skeptiko teacher he is if there ever was one.
 
#17
The idealists on the other hand go the opposite direction and say, "No! Everything is not a bunch of dead rocks! Everything is alive! Consciousness is fundamental! Love and Light and Oneness is the answer!" And so in their Monism they fill in the black hole of Oneness with a metaphor related to their own personal experience of consciousness and love.
Er... no, idealists don't think "everything is alive" - that's nearer the constitutive panpsychist viewpoint if one substitutes "conscious" for "alive". I wonder if you've fully understood idealism, but if not, I can thoroughly recommend Bernardo Kastrup's recent video course on the Essentia foundation and also on Youtube. This is the first of the seven videos:

 
#18
Has any one out there used Binary Beats? If so to what effect?

The abandonment of Common Sence by science would also explain apparent lies and smearing Not to be confused with logic which can and does dead end, creates non progressive closed loops.
We would have to have some abandonment of Common Sence to desregard Dr. Ebens account but we could say they do have a logic.
On the other hand it could just be malice, and egotism with out complicating things any further.
I use Cosmic Womb from Sacred Acoustics regularly, or I did until I got lazy, so now I'm back to an hour of Falun Dafa med. music until I get back into the habit. I don't want to sound like I'm trying to sell it to you, but I get very, very relaxed in a much shorter time listening to Cosmic Womb. What takes thirty minutes at least w/ FD music takes 10 minutes w/ CW. Also, I was getting these wonderful brief visions of many different kinds for a while & then they settled down into people's faces appearing only inches from mine. Then I got to a period where I found it extremely difficult to experience anything except a deep sense of peacefulness, so I got out of the daily habit for a while.
One other thing that's fascinating is that I realized that the brief visions & glimpses of the other side I got (I had a very awesome 'visit' from my late mother) were exactly like the REM dreams I remember off & on! I could go on & on, but that's probably enough.
 
#19
There's no doubt that there are unconstructive skeptics. I've been through the fire with them many times and been well tempered in the process. I've also seen too many instances to count of people who believe in nonsense based on the notion that everything is an opinion, and therefore their opinion is as valid as anyone else's, so if it makes them happy to believe it, then that's their reality, even if it's a complete delusion to anyone else. The irony of their paradigm is that it's 100% total egocentrism, but they project that as a defense mechanism onto anyone who questions them.
Sounds like the BS that I got from this guy on HuffPost. He actually was trying to say that the truth of the Capitol Siege depends on which side you're on. I think he QAnon-ed his brain into D. Trump gravy.
 
#20
You have an excellent attitude. Don't get me wrong either. I believe a lot of strange things happen in the world, including NDEs and OOBEs. I just don't interpret them in a way that fits the paradigm of any particular religious belief system that espouses afterlives as a continuity of personhood following the death of the body. That's the part that's not possible. At best any afterworld you can only be a copy - and usually they're rather poor ones ( given most accounts ).
Let's be clear, I don't belong to any religion - I left Christianity at age 20. However, I can't see how it is possible to listen to a number of NDE's and not come to the conclusion that something interesting happens when we die. The sheer number of NDE reports is too great to believe that these are somehow made up or come from confusion. I say this because many of these reports contain verifiable information (such as what went on in the resuscitation room) so they aren't analogous to a dream.

People are frequently told that it is not their time, or they are given a choice to stay or go back to their body.

Do you believe that when people actually die (possibly as a result of their choice) they snuff it, or that there is some brief continuation, or that something longer term happens?

I don't see what you mean by "any afterworld can only be a copy" - a copy of what?

David
 
Top