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GodConsciousness
post Mar 27, 2009, 08:15 AM
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Any thoughts to share on Near Death Experiences? The subject has always fascinated me but not really sure what to make of it. Is it the brain just giving us a last impression before leaving this world? Can personal consciousness survive the death of the brain?
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lucid_dream
post Mar 27, 2009, 10:06 AM
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my own experience with experimentally-induced NDE's has revealed a vast impersonal consciousness/awareness, and has convinced me that there is nothing 'personal' that will survive death, and further, that if any consciousness/awareness survives it, it is more akin to a transformation/absorption into something utterly vast and impersonal, and also completely different from human consciousness. So for me, any talk of a soul surviving death, or any personal remnants or personal memories surviving, is ludicrous.

Here are a couple of related links:
http://brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=349&hl=
http://brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=5920&hl=
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Joesus
post Mar 27, 2009, 10:22 AM
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What exactly is an experimentally-induced NDE?
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lucid_dream
post Mar 27, 2009, 10:51 AM
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ketamine i.m. I wouldn't recommend others follow suit, but it's capable of inducing NDE if used properly.
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Joesus
post Mar 27, 2009, 07:22 PM
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So it is capable of inducing an altered state, sympathetic to a personal opinion possibly synonymous with what others might call a NDE or a temporary physical death.
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Phi
post Mar 28, 2009, 05:20 AM
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or the realization that non-relevant impersonal goals mean nothing when they die
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Joesus
post Mar 28, 2009, 09:28 AM
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QUOTE(Phi @ Mar 28, 2009, 01:20 PM) *

or the realization that non-relevant impersonal goals mean nothing when they die

Or that they are seen in a different light, with their mechanical applications fully intact in how they impart themselves in the next life..
Personal determination of what death is and what it looks like from a personal point of view in the altered state, or after the experience of the altered state may have nothing to do with death once one disconnects from all personal baggage carried in this life.
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lucid_dream
post Mar 28, 2009, 01:14 PM
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QUOTE(Joesus @ Mar 28, 2009, 10:28 AM) *

QUOTE(Phi @ Mar 28, 2009, 01:20 PM) *

or the realization that non-relevant impersonal goals mean nothing when they die

Or that they are seen in a different light, with their mechanical applications fully intact in how they impart themselves in the next life..
Personal determination of what death is and what it looks like from a personal point of view in the altered state, or after the experience of the altered state may have nothing to do with death once one disconnects from all personal baggage carried in this life.


do you believe that anything personal survives brain death?
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Joesus
post Mar 28, 2009, 06:28 PM
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QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Mar 28, 2009, 09:14 PM) *

do you believe that anything personal survives brain death?

You mean like, Karma?
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Rick
post Mar 30, 2009, 12:12 PM
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QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Mar 28, 2009, 02:14 PM) *
do you believe that anything personal survives brain death?

A positive answer to that question would be a matter of belief. For me the answer is scientific: a falsifiable no.
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correlli
post May 04, 2009, 10:20 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Mar 30, 2009, 12:12 PM) *

QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Mar 28, 2009, 02:14 PM) *
do you believe that anything personal survives brain death?

A positive answer to that question would be a matter of belief. For me the answer is scientific: a falsifiable no.


I've had a NDE. seemed like I was standing on a chair looking down at myself and others around me. bit like watching a movie. That's as far as i got.
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GodConsciousness
post May 05, 2009, 04:29 AM
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QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Mar 28, 2009, 05:14 PM) *

QUOTE(Joesus @ Mar 28, 2009, 10:28 AM) *

QUOTE(Phi @ Mar 28, 2009, 01:20 PM) *

or the realization that non-relevant impersonal goals mean nothing when they die

Or that they are seen in a different light, with their mechanical applications fully intact in how they impart themselves in the next life..
Personal determination of what death is and what it looks like from a personal point of view in the altered state, or after the experience of the altered state may have nothing to do with death once one disconnects from all personal baggage carried in this life.


do you believe that anything personal survives brain death?


There is a widespread hope (myself included perhaps) that a semblance of personal identity can survive the death of the brain, but it seems clear that up to this point we have no scientific evidence to suggest personal survival beyond the grave. While our current state of scientific knowledge remains limited, the traditional dualism between mind and body seems untenable now. Yet the experiences of NDEs and other OBEs (out of body experiences) may give us some glimmer of a possibility.

I personally don't feel we totally understand the constructs and complexity of consciousness in our universe. There does, however, appear to be a material substrate and neurological basis for consciousness as we know it. We have not observed scientifically any consciousness that has been thoroughly tested that resembles anything like human thinking without or beyond the brain. But are our assumptions about the consciousness inherent in matter itself somehow misguided? Are we failing to adequately account for unseen possibilities? And will our science and technology reveal a new model of consciousness far superior to the one we seem to be presently entertaining that does incorporate a beyond death scenario?

As Rick pointed out, we do seem to carry on in some form or another. We are apart of the life of the universe and insofar as life continues into the future, we remain participants. The death of personal consciousness remains an enigma and perhaps deeply unsettling to the personal ego. Can we experience a death of the ego and yet remain coherent in a wider field of consciousness? If we die and that is all to our personal survival, we will not know or perhaps even experience it. There will be no consciousness then- no sadness that we are dead or longing for personal survival.

For at least thousands of years, humans have had intuitions of some kind of personal survival and despite the atrocities and hypocrisy of organized forms of religion, some of the key questions remain.

We talked about some of this in a recent class of mine where a central point of contention seemed to revolve around the point of whether or not an intelligence is behind the creation of the universe or whether neurological creatures and thinking structures just evolved into intelligent life. Our big bang scenarios currently seem to suggest that no such intelligence brought forth the universe and yet there remains the train of thought that the universe is just too beautiful, vast, and mysterious for us to completely discredit at least the possibility of a field of intelligence that somehow incorporates and transcends human consciousness.
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mk-ultra
post May 05, 2009, 09:56 AM
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QUOTE(GodConsciousness @ May 05, 2009, 05:29 AM) *

QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Mar 28, 2009, 05:14 PM) *

QUOTE(Joesus @ Mar 28, 2009, 10:28 AM) *

QUOTE(Phi @ Mar 28, 2009, 01:20 PM) *

or the realization that non-relevant impersonal goals mean nothing when they die

Or that they are seen in a different light, with their mechanical applications fully intact in how they impart themselves in the next life..
Personal determination of what death is and what it looks like from a personal point of view in the altered state, or after the experience of the altered state may have nothing to do with death once one disconnects from all personal baggage carried in this life.


do you believe that anything personal survives brain death?


There is a widespread hope (myself included perhaps) that a semblance of personal identity can survive the death of the brain, but it seems clear that up to this point we have no scientific evidence to suggest personal survival beyond the grave. While our current state of scientific knowledge remains limited, the traditional dualism between mind and body seems untenable now. Yet the experiences of NDEs and other OBEs (out of body experiences) may give us some glimmer of a possibility.

I personally don't feel we totally understand the constructs and complexity of consciousness in our universe. There does, however, appear to be a material substrate and neurological basis for consciousness as we know it. We have not observed scientifically any consciousness that has been thoroughly tested that resembles anything like human thinking without or beyond the brain. But are our assumptions about the consciousness inherent in matter itself somehow misguided? Are we failing to adequately account for unseen possibilities? And will our science and technology reveal a new model of consciousness far superior to the one we seem to be presently entertaining that does incorporate a beyond death scenario?

As Rick pointed out, we do seem to carry on in some form or another. We are apart of the life of the universe and insofar as life continues into the future, we remain participants. The death of personal consciousness remains an enigma and perhaps deeply unsettling to the personal ego. Can we experience a death of the ego and yet remain coherent in a wider field of consciousness? If we die and that is all to our personal survival, we will not know or perhaps even experience it. There will be no consciousness then- no sadness that we are dead or longing for personal survival.

For at least thousands of years, humans have had intuitions of some kind of personal survival and despite the atrocities and hypocrisy of organized forms of religion, some of the key questions remain.

We talked about some of this in a recent class of mine where a central point of contention seemed to revolve around the point of whether or not an intelligence is behind the creation of the universe or whether neurological creatures and thinking structures just evolved into intelligent life. Our big bang scenarios currently seem to suggest that no such intelligence brought forth the universe and yet there remains the train of thought that the universe is just too beautiful, vast, and mysterious for us to completely discredit at least the possibility of a field of intelligence that somehow incorporates and transcends human consciousness.


I personally question people who say have had OBEs or NDEs. Mainly because the brain has been known to produce extremely vivid constructs either under stress or under hypnosis, and of course on hallucinogens as well. A lot of people subconsciously pick up cues from their environment. Who's to say the brain isn't capable of picking up sonar imaging right before an OBE, allowing you perhaps to mirror in your subconscious the exact operating room in the hospital where you're being treated, and all the way down to the entrance door of the hospital. Even if you were never consciously awake on your way in.
The brain is still an enigma, but it's at least a tangible study in how we interpret the universe.
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post May 05, 2009, 03:34 PM
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How close to death can a near death experience be? And ... are they/can they be actually related?
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Lindsay
post May 05, 2009, 08:09 PM
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"Any thoughts to share on Near Death Experiences? The subject has always fascinated me but not really sure what to make of it. Is it the brain just giving us a last impression before leaving this world? Can personal consciousness survive the death of the brain?" GC

At 79, I am having a near death experience. biggrin.gif

If this is the only experience of consciousness there is, I agree with the comment Hemingway puts in the mouth--is it the mouth of the main character--the hero in his novel, Farewell to Arms: "Life is a dirty trick!" Perhaps it summed up his own philosophy of life.

BTW, years ago (1964), I used hypnosis on my daughter, now 53. It helped her overcome a life-threatening lung condition. Two doctors, at the hospital, told us that another attack of pneumonia like the one she had at the time--she had had five attacks that winter--could take her life. She was seven and one half years of age, at the time.

Later, when she got well, I used it to explore her past lives. It uncovered many interesting bits of information, which helped explain her illness. This experience affected the way she has lived the rest of her life to this day. She told me she had a connection with the Hebrews in ancient times. I asked her to write for me a letter or two of the Hebrew alphabet. I still have, in my file, the piece of paper on which she wrote for me, in Hebrew: aleph and beth--the first two letters. Here are the Hebrew names:
אָלֶף-בֵּית The first and fourth letters from the left are the letters. When I asked her to write more: She told me that, as a female, she was not taught to read and write, fully.
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mk-ultra
post May 06, 2009, 10:18 AM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ May 05, 2009, 09:09 PM) *

"Any thoughts to share on Near Death Experiences? The subject has always fascinated me but not really sure what to make of it. Is it the brain just giving us a last impression before leaving this world? Can personal consciousness survive the death of the brain?" GC

At 79, I am having a near death experience. biggrin.gif

If this is the only experience of consciousness there is, I agree with the comment Hemingway puts in the mouth--is it the mouth of the main character--the hero in his novel, Farewell to Arms: "Life is a dirty trick!" Perhaps it summed up his own philosophy of life.

BTW, years ago (1964), I used hypnosis on my daughter, now 53. It helped her overcome a life-threatening lung condition. Two doctors, at the hospital, told us that another attack of pneumonia like the one she had at the time--she had had five attacks that winter--could take her life. She was seven and one half years of age, at the time.

Later, when she got well, I used it to explore her past lives. It uncovered many interesting bits of information, which helped explain her illness. This experience affected the way she has lived the rest of her life to this day. She told me she had a connection with the Hebrews in ancient times. I asked her to write for me a letter or two of the Hebrew alphabet. I still have, in my file, the piece of paper on which she wrote for me, in Hebrew: aleph and beth--the first two letters. Here are the Hebrew names:
אָלֶף-בֵּית The first and fourth letters from the left are the letters. When I asked her to write more: She told me that, as a female, she was not taught to read and write, fully.


You think it isn't possible she could've subconsciously picked that up by watching tv, or by overhearing it? There have been reports of idiots savants exhibiting their behavior at very early ages. This could well mean some have the capacity to fully recall information stored in their brains consciously, or subconsciously at early ages.
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Lindsay
post May 06, 2009, 09:19 PM
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"You think it isn't possible she could've subconsciously picked that up by watching tv, or by overhearing it?" Mk-Ultra [ I ask: Where do you get your moniker?]

PNEUMATOLOGY
Mk, have you heard of, and, what do you know about, pneumatology--study of the Spirit? I introduced the article on it, which is in Wikipedia.

IMO, pneumatologically speaking, all things 'imaginable' are possible. Whether they are probable and for real, is another question.

BTW, my daughter was the first with--a term I prefer rather than 'to' or 'on'--whom I used what I now call 'pneumatherapy'--spiritually-based hypnosis. That is, hypnosis without the hocus pocus. Following this incident--which, BTW, got published--numerous others, over the years came seeking help with conditions which regular medical treatment failed to help. For example, shortly after working with my daughter I was consulted by the wife of a fellow minister. She had eczema so bad that she had to wear long-sleeved cotton gloves. One session, and she no longer needed the gloves.

Pneumatherapy also helped her daughter--a bright student. But she was so afraid of failure that, though she knew the material, the fear caused her to fail exams in certain courses crucial to her career course, teaching. One session and she took and passed the exams with high marks.

Another person, one who worked at a children's hospital, came to see me.

"I am not a nurse, but a secretary in the admissions dept. I love my work and those with whom I work, but if I can't overcome this terrible fear I have, I may have to quit. Every time I see a young teenage girl being admitted I immediately develop a dark, deep feeling of dread accompanied by depression. Even when I get home the depression lingers. Not good for family life. This does not happen when I see young children, male and female, being admitted, only young teenage girls."

Pneumatherapy revealed the following "past life" memory:

"I see myself as a teenager--the daughter of well-to-do parents. I am somewhere in England a long time ago, and I am very ill, with some kind of cancer. I am in a wheel chair, by myself in my room and feeling very very sad. My parents are elderly and, for whatever reason, have cut me off from any kind of loving attention. They have left it to the servants to look after me ..."

Later, she told me, this was the first time that this dream-like memory came to her mind.

Over the next few minutes and in the presence of her husband, using positive suggestions, I got her agree to accept this for what it could be, like a scene from an old movie--a past life memory, nothing more. She became aware of the unconscious "memory". In this present moment she was able to accept it as a memory.

The suggestions worked. She was so impressed with the positive results that she even arranged to have me speak to a group of her fellow hospital workers, including nurses, and a busy doctor or two, about pneumatherapy.

MORE IS BEING, AND MORE NEEDS TO BE, DONE
=========================================
Over the years I have noticed that there is a growing interest--on the part of many involved in the healing arts--in the role which the human spirit (the pneuma) plays in the cause of, and healing of, all our diseases. I think that medical science is gradually waking up to the fact that we are more than just a bundle of physics and chemistry; that medicine is more of an art than a science. and very few of the diseases which afflict and kill us are caused by circumstances which are strictly physical. I think of diseases like obesity (currently an epidemic problem) and depression.

Of course pain and suffering can be strictly physical--the soma factor. But we can also be stressed into pain, suffering, and even death, by what others and circumstances do to us--the psyche factor.

But, there is a third factor: At any point, at any moment in time, we have a choice: We can choose to allow, or not to allow, others and circumstances to keep on stressing us. The stress may not go away immediately; but by simply choosing to become aware of what is going on, and conscious of who we really are, it will begin to do so. This is what I call the pneuma factor. A healthy spirit is of great help in the healing of the mind and body--the psyche and soma.

WE NEED AN INCLUSIVE AND INTEGRATIVE APPROACH--including all the health-minded sciences, the arts, religions and the so-called patients.

In my opinion, the pain and suffering caused by all physical diseases can be greatly relieved and even healed when psychological and pneumatological factors are wisely brought to bear.
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holly
post May 07, 2009, 07:23 AM
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Near Death Experiences may be related to situations when the left hemisphere of the brain finally gives up its grip and dmt is pumped by the pineal. The book Left in the Dark by Tony Wright gives the best insights into how our access to consciousness is currently restricted in life and an expanded state of consciousness was probably once the norm and could be again with the right hormone balance, reactivation of the pineal and something nearer to our natural diet. Tony Wright's work provides the best insights into our state of consciousness that I know of.
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Rick
post May 07, 2009, 09:15 AM
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How do you recommend reactivating the pineal? I will see if I can find that book.

Update: found it:

http://leftinthedark.org.uk/
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Lindsay
post May 07, 2009, 12:59 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ May 07, 2009, 09:15 AM) *
How do you recommend reactivating the pineal? I will see if I can find that book.

Update: found it:

http://leftinthedark.org.uk/
Much of the stuff I have read here, sounds very pneumatological--people helping people, not masters helping victims--to me.

It sounds not unlike the work done by the great psychiatrist, Dr. Milton Erickson (1901-1980). From his youth, he lived with a lot of suffering and pain brought on by polio. He used what he learned because of his pain and suffering to help others. He believed in the power of the human spirit to endure and rise above life's limitations. He did not believe in looking to some remote and supernatural powers.

Here is a good overview of his work:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_H._Erickson

About his influence on the development NLP--neurolinguistic programming.
http://www.creativity.co.uk/creativity/guhen/erickson.htm

For those who like videos, the following are available. But I warn you: they are not of the best quality. Erickson does not come across well, on some tapes. To me he seems to be more of a creative conversationalist--that is, taking a pneumatological approach, and that's okay with me--than that of hypnotist. :

http://video.google.ca/videosearch?q=Milto...num=4&ct=title#

This looks interesting. It is book by Ernest Rossi, who did a bio on Erickson:
http://www.ernestrossi.com/ebook/index.html
The book is about:THE NEW NEUROSCIENCE OF PSYCHOTHERAPY, THERAPEUTIC HYPNOSIS & REHABILITATION: A CREATIVE DIALOGUE WITH OUR GENES Ernest Lawrence Rossi, Ph.D. & Kathryn Lane Rossi, Ph.D.
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Rick
post May 08, 2009, 09:13 AM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ May 07, 2009, 01:59 PM) *
... He believed in the power of the human spirit to endure and rise above life's limitations. ...

That in itself is looking for the supernatural. The human spirit must endure within the physical limitations of life. Accepting that fact is what distinguishes realists from the wishful thinkers.
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Lindsay
post May 08, 2009, 02:02 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ May 08, 2009, 09:13 AM) *
QUOTE(Lindsay @ May 07, 2009, 01:59 PM) *
... He believed in the power of the human spirit to endure and rise above life's limitations. ...

That in itself is looking for the supernatural. The human spirit must endure within the physical limitations of life. Accepting that fact is what distinguishes realists from the wishful thinkers.
As I read the story of his life, Milton Erickson--and I admit that I could be wrong--did live his life within the physical limitations of life. He said that he was a "naturalist".

By the way, I ask the following questions:

1. Where is it written that,"The human spirit must endure within the physical limitations of life."
2. Rick, what ARE the physical limitations of life?
3. Presently, what is your philosophical stance on the meaning of life?
4. Have you become a cynical and total materialist--one who is totally convinced that individuals live, only once, in this material world?

If so, may I have the material evidence that what you say is a material fact.

I ALWAYS enjoy having a dialogue with you.

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mk-ultra
post May 09, 2009, 11:54 AM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ May 07, 2009, 01:59 PM) *

QUOTE(Rick @ May 07, 2009, 09:15 AM) *
How do you recommend reactivating the pineal? I will see if I can find that book.

Update: found it:

http://leftinthedark.org.uk/
Much of the stuff I have read here, sounds very pneumatological--people helping people, not masters helping victims--to me.

It sounds not unlike the work done by the great psychiatrist, Dr. Milton Erickson (1901-1980). From his youth, he lived with a lot of suffering and pain brought on by polio. He used what he learned because of his pain and suffering to help others. He believed in the power of the human spirit to endure and rise above life's limitations. He did not believe in looking to some remote and supernatural powers.

Here is a good overview of his work:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_H._Erickson

About his influence on the development NLP--neurolinguistic programming.
http://www.creativity.co.uk/creativity/guhen/erickson.htm

For those who like videos, the following are available. But I warn you: they are not of the best quality. Erickson does not come across well, on some tapes. To me he seems to be more of a creative conversationalist--that is, taking a pneumatological approach, and that's okay with me--than that of hypnotist. :

http://video.google.ca/videosearch?q=Milto...num=4&ct=title#

This looks interesting. It is book by Ernest Rossi, who did a bio on Erickson:
http://www.ernestrossi.com/ebook/index.html
The book is about:THE NEW NEUROSCIENCE OF PSYCHOTHERAPY, THERAPEUTIC HYPNOSIS & REHABILITATION: A CREATIVE DIALOGUE WITH OUR GENES Ernest Lawrence Rossi, Ph.D. & Kathryn Lane Rossi, Ph.D.


How do you measure the data yield by hypnosis therapy as trustable when it comes to past lives. I understand the uses of regressive therapy. But when it comes to past lives or alien abduction cases, you lose credibility or relevance to science itself. Because it seems often that the therapist itself is the cause, and the driver behind these delusions projected on the patient itself. It could be nothing more than lucid dreaming with the therapist as operator.
Now, if the delusions were completely borne out of the patient itself then there could be use in deconstructing the delusion itself, much in the same way dreams are deconstructed in a jungian approach. Is this what you do in essence?
I'm having a fit trying to understand this compartmentalization of - I'm a scientist, yet I indulge in this little bit of voodoo which I'm trying to incorporate in my studies.
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Lindsay
post May 09, 2009, 02:08 PM
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QUOTE(mk-ultra @ May 09, 2009, 11:54 AM) *

...How do you measure the data yield by hypnosis therapy as trustable when it comes to past lives.
I am willing, anytime, to cooperate with scientists willing to do research in pneumatology, and collect any data which they judge to be of value.

Me? I am more interested in helping people deal with their experiences--real or imagined. For example, my daughter's experience was real to her. My accepting it as such helped her recover from a very real and life-threatening physical problem.

Tell me, what would I have accomplished if I had told my daughter: You are making this up, Catherine, and I refuse to take you seriously?

You add:
QUOTE
I understand the uses of regressive therapy. But when it comes to past lives or alien abduction cases, you lose credibility or relevance to science itself. Because it seems often that the therapist itself is the cause, and the driver behind these delusions projected on the patient itself. It could be nothing more than lucid dreaming with the therapist as operator.


As I see it, this is all part of the pneumatological approach.

QUOTE
Now, if the delusions were completely borne out of the patient itself then there could be use in deconstructing the delusion itself, much in the same way dreams are deconstructed in a jungian approach. Is this what you do in essence?
If you meant to ask me: "Did you work with and accept as true what your daughter told you?" I respond, yes!

You add:
QUOTE
I'm having a fit trying to understanding this compartmentalization of - I'm a scientist, yet I indulge in this little bit of voodoo which I'm trying to incorporate in my studies.
I suspect that your "fit' has pneumatological implications. BTW, What kind of studies are you doing?
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Rick
post May 11, 2009, 11:47 AM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ May 08, 2009, 03:02 PM) *
By the way, I ask the following questions:

1. Where is it written that,"The human spirit must endure within the physical limitations of life."
2. Rick, what ARE the physical limitations of life?
3. Presently, what is your philosophical stance on the meaning of life?
4. Have you become a cynical and total materialist--one who is totally convinced that individuals live, only once, in this material world?

If so, may I have the material evidence that what you say is a material fact.

I ALWAYS enjoy having a dialogue with you.

1. The laws of physics are non-negotiable. This is in opposition to supernaturalists who believe that some gods can circumvent (or even modify) the laws of physics.

2. On earth, being that it's of a certain mass and radius, we live in a one-g field. As a consequence, I can high jump about six feet, but not twenty. The laws of physics are constraints.

3. The purpose of life is to have fun. So the meaning of life is enjoyment. My philosophy is hedonistic. We have more fun if we have less war. Ethical behavior is part of having fun. I am ethical because it's more fun for me that way. I am a bit of a Puritan who believes balance in life is more fun, so we work and play. The traditional Puritans were all work and no play, of course. Their reward was in Heaven. Knowing as we do nowadays, we have balance in our lives. Notice that "fun" is defined by the person. It's a fully humanist philosophy.

4. I am not a cynic in that I think that meaningful knowledge is both achievable and has been achieved, and that life has meaning (in abundance). However, I am a total monist. Whether that takes the form of materialism or idealism is not yet fully certain.

Material evidence is pouring in continually. Pons and Fleischman some years ago announced that they had experimental evidence for cold fusion power. Many independent experiments failed to duplicate their results, so the community concluded that they are either incompetent or liars. About 100 years ago, a "scientist" reported that he had measured a weight decrease in some people as they died, concluding that a "soul" has mass. Many independent experiments failed to duplicate the result, leading the community to conclude that he was either incompetent or a liar. Recently, a well controlled study concluded that prayer has insignificant effect on recovery from heart surgery. This leads the community to conclude that earlier studies, less well controlled, were either incompetent or the result of fraud (more likely, as they were conducted by religionists, who are generally known to be liars). Are we having fun yet?
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post May 11, 2009, 07:46 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ May 11, 2009, 11:47 AM) *

1. The laws of physics are non-negotiable. This is in opposition to supernaturalists who believe that some gods can circumvent (or even modify) the laws of physics.

2. On earth, being that it's of a certain mass and radius, we live in a one-g field. As a consequence, I can high jump about six feet, but not twenty. The laws of physics are constraints.
Generally speaking, I agree. But didn't Einstein theories at least bend those of Newton, who, BTW, was a devout Christian? And what about what happens to the laws of aerodynamics when jets travel beyond the speed of sound?
QUOTE
3. The purpose of life is to have fun. ... Notice that "fun" is defined by the person. It's a fully humanist philosophy.
Yes, I presume that Taliban fanatics have "fun" being fanatics.
QUOTE
4. I am not a cynic in that I think that meaningful knowledge is both achievable and has been achieved, and that life has meaning (in abundance). However, I am a total monist. Whether that takes the form of materialism or idealism is not yet fully certain.
I, too, am a monist--at this point, largely from the spiritual (ideal) part of the spectrum.

QUOTE
Material evidence is pouring in continually ... Recently, a well controlled study concluded that prayer has insignificant effect on recovery from heart surgery. This leads the community to conclude that earlier studies, less well controlled, were either incompetent or the result of fraud (more likely, as they were conducted by religionists, who are generally known to be liars).
I agree. Prayers of petition to gods, or a "god", are a waste of time. However, have we fully explored the power of human intentionality, including positive suggestions, faith and affirmations?

Check out the story of Dr. Milton Erickson--psychiatrist and hypnotist, who eschewed supernaturalism. At 19, he nearly died of polio. He overheard the doctor tell his mother: "He will not be alive tomorrow." Using his power of intention, he tells that he survived. Despite being handicapped and in pain for the rest of his life (his polio condition actually flared up again, at 51) he went on to become a great doctor--a wounded healer who developed a system of self-hypnosis, which I call pneumatherapy--which helped thousands of grateful patients. His painful experiences helped him to help others deal with painful experiences. In my opinion, it is possible that there is a kind of "supernaturalism", or spirituality, which is very natural. Just as there are other laws which govern travel at higher speeds, is it not possible that there are laws of the spirit which supersede those which are operative in the mental and physical order of things?

IMO, fanatic religionists probably are not liars. However, they do tend to allow themselves to be deluded.

QUOTE
Are we having fun yet?
Searching for what is true is always fun.

Speaking of physics: What do we do with the "uncertainty principle"?
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-uncertainty/
QUOTE
The Uncertainty Principle
First published Mon Oct 8, 2001; substantive revision Mon Jul 3, 2006 Quantum mechanics is generally regarded as the physical theory that is our best candidate for a fundamental and universal description of the physical world. The conceptual framework employed by this theory differs drastically from that of classical physics. Indeed, the transition from classical to quantum physics marks a genuine revolution in our understanding of the physical world.

One striking aspect of the difference between classical and quantum physics is that whereas classical mechanics presupposes that exact simultaneous values can be assigned to all physical quantities, quantum mechanics denies this possibility, the prime example being the position and momentum of a particle. According to quantum mechanics, the more precisely the position (momentum) of a particle is given, the less precisely can one say what its momentum (position) is. This is (a simplistic and preliminary formulation of) the quantum mechanical uncertainty principle for position and momentum. The uncertainty principle played an important role in many discussions on the philosophical implications of quantum mechanics, in particular in discussions on the consistency of the so-called Copenhagen interpretation, the interpretation endorsed by the founding fathers Heisenberg and Bohr.

This should not suggest that the uncertainty principle is the only aspect of the conceptual difference between classical and quantum physics: the implications of quantum mechanics for notions as (non)-locality, entanglement and identity play no less havoc with classical intuitions.
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post May 12, 2009, 09:22 AM
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Sir Isaac Newton made great advances in physics and mathematics, but he was completely wrong in his theory about absolute time and space. That there is no complete theory yet does not detract from the usefulness of those true things we do know.

For certain classes of people (we used to call them Puritans), having fun really is against their religion. At every joy, they feel a countering guilt. So I suppose it is with the extremist fanatics responsible for the murders of 9/11.

The material-ideal spectrum might not be a spectrum at all. The terms may not be appropriate, or they might mean the same thing. This part of philosophy does not seem to me to be developed to the point of coherency yet.

I have difficulty in agreeing that "'supernaturalism' is natural." I like my language to be less self-contradictory. However, it is known that a person's intentions can affect outcomes.
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post May 12, 2009, 01:12 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ May 12, 2009, 09:22 AM) *

... I have difficulty in agreeing that "'supernaturalism' is natural." I like my language to be less self-contradictory.
We all do, eh? But, is it not true that there is such a thing as a paradox?--truth standing on its head to call attention to itself. smile.gif

You add
QUOTE
However, it is known that a person's intentions can affect outcomes.
I am glad we agree here. This being so, here is what I suggest: Let us explore all the components--the physical, mental and spiritual--of our being.

I mean, let us explore how all components--the human spirit (the pneuma), the human mind (the psyche) and the human body (the soma)--affect one another.

We have nothing to lose but our ignorance.
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post May 12, 2009, 02:39 PM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ May 12, 2009, 02:12 PM) *
In such exploration what do we have to lose?

Nothing. But it's been done. The self-help literature is full of the results of the power of positive thinking.
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post May 12, 2009, 09:45 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ May 12, 2009, 02:39 PM) *
QUOTE(Lindsay @ May 12, 2009, 02:12 PM) *
In such exploration what do we have to lose?

Nothing. But it's been done. The self-help literature is full of the results of the power of positive thinking.
Ah yes! THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING (1952)
Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993) Champion of Positive Thinking

Born in Bowersville, Ohio, USA, on May 31 1898, Norman Vincent Peale grew up helping support his family by delivering newspapers, working in a grocery store, and selling pots and pans door to door, but later was to become one of the most influential clergymen in the United States during the 20th-century.


He was educated at Ohio Wesleyan University and Boston University --[My post grad Alma Mater].

He was a reporter on the Findlay, Ohio,
Morning Republic prior to entering the ministry and went on to author some 40 books. Ordained in the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1922, Peale served as pastor at a succession of churches that included Berkeley, Rhode Island ...

http://normanvincentpeale.wwwhubs.com/
=====================

Of course! But I am talking about getting the positive thinking off the pages of the literature and putting it into positive actions in our daily lives.

Something needs to be done about this very sick so-called health care system we have.

Sure we need physicians, but total health involves much more than just the use of drugs and surgery.

BTW, Luke, who wrote the Gospel of Luke, was a physician. He wrote that all of us can be healers of the sick, beginning with ourselves.

Luke, the physician did not say: "Send all your patients to me! I am the only one with a license to treat people's health problems. Besides, I need the business."

Note: Luke also wrote THE ACTS of the Apostles (All of us who choose to be involved)--not the book of rules, regulations and dogmas of organized religion.




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