Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by AlexT, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. AlexT

    AlexT Administrator

    Feb 1, 2015
  2. You can measure the frequency of veridical information produced by the experience and compare it to the frequency of inaccurate information produced by the experience.

    Graham wants to redefine "natural" so I will just say that I don't believe that ESP can be produced by the brain (not even through quantum entanglement).

    Veridical OBEs are not a natural phenomenon, but non-veridical OBEs could be a natural phenomenon if they are just dreams and if dreams are produced by the brain (see below).

    There are many different types of experiences that get called OBE's. Different people have different types of experiences. If you are going to discuss OBE's you have to consider the specific experiencer and what type of experience they have, and if they induced the experience, how they induced it.

    You can't generalize about OBE's you have to be specific about the experiencer, the experience, and the cause of the OBE.

    One of the studies on OBE's used hypnosis. The subjects said they had real experiences but they didn't just fail to produce veridical information, they produced grossly inacurate information.

    So you really have to consider what produced the experience. Techniques that mimic hypnotic induction, or self-hypnosis, if they don't produce a high frequency of veridical information, cannot be relied upon to tell us anything about any level of reality except maybe something about hypnosis and the power of suggestion.

    Muldoon induced OBE's by slowing his heart rate to the point where he became incapacitated.

    This might produce an entirely different phenomenon (more NDE-like) than the OBEs induced by hypnotic induction-like techniques.

    My personal view is that spontaneous OBE are much more likely to be genuine experiences of the spirit leaving the body than induced experiences. Induced experiences are more likely to be dreams or lucid dreams. Since we don't know what a dream is, that is not to say they are not spiritual experiences in some sense, but the inability to produce veridical information routinely is strongly suggestive that they are more like dreams than objective perceptions.

    However I will say that just because you are dreaming doesn't mean you are not out of the body - there are supposedly astral realms where thoughts produce reality - some people believe ordinary dreams occur in this realm too.

    Sometimes dreams have veridical content. Until we understand what dreams are, the rare occurrences of veridical induced OBE's will remain unexplained.

    You can also break the problem down into parts: Is it a spiritual experience? Is it a real experience? It could be spiritual but still not be "real" - but what does "real" mean in a realm where thoughts create reality?
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
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  4. Far.From.Here

    Far.From.Here New

    Jan 17, 2015
    1. We already know that veridical information has been obtained "at a distance" countless times in many different kinds of experiences.
    2. I assume by "veridical" information you are talking about the kinds of experiences Graham or Andy have related elsewhere. Where some information presented to them in the "OBE" directly relates to some physical occurrence. (Andy with his uncle's painting or with his friend's workplace. Graham has an example that has something to do with a building and construction, I think.)

    But what if the information they presented was entirely veridical but pertained to a realm of experience that was not this consensual so called "objective" reality? The information may be veridical to some "other" "place".

    I think what Graham is defining as "natural" is what is actually happening. Obviously, information is sometimes experienced at a distance. It is completely natural for this to occur. It is literally a part of nature. "Part of accepted science" and "part of nature" are not synonymous. Neither is nature somehow contained to the "physical". It is closer to the actual root of the word. inNATe. NATural. It is of the thing itself.
  5. Far.From.Here

    Far.From.Here New

    Jan 17, 2015
    Personally, I think it is important to remember that the term "Out of Body Experience" is really a metaphor.

    As when Alex says:
    On one level, albeit a very basic one, it makes sense. But to use the idea that "consciousness" is "traveling" "outside" "the body" to hammer the nail into the coffin of "materialism" is just silliness.
    1. We don't know what consciousness is.
    2. We don't know what matter is.
    3. We simply don't know that "consciousness" is "leaving the body." That is a metaphor. While it is true that "consciousness" presents some OBE practitioners, with the view of their body, or the view of their bedroom following the "exit", we just don't know if these presentations are "real" or if it is simply something conjured by "consciousness" so that we can make sense of a transitional phase. (Read Fred Aardema's Explorations in Consciousness for a very systematic review of why we don't know what is happening in the "OBE".)
  6. Dmitch

    Dmitch New

    Nov 28, 2013

    I submit one cannot take consciousness out of experience. What we are talking about here is not an empirical topic when it extrapolates to aspects of subjective experience. It is entirely subjective. Maybe someday science will have something to say about it, but it's likely the topic consciousness will fall into the realm of quantum physics. However, it's completely conjecture for you, unless you, personally are speaking from your subjective experience. Then you have a leg to stand on.

    If I have an OBE and have an experience that tells me my essence leaves my material body and I know this because I can see the blue cord that connects me to it. That is my interpreted experience. It may be an apparent reality and not reality at all. However if it is my experience it is reality. This apparent reality appears to be a particular shared reality among humans and becomes a form of personal knowledge and not mere memory but a known constituent of reality which I may experience multiple times. In a sense it becomes my empirical reality since it's reproducible.
    So when you say 'we' don't know what matter is. Who is 'we'? You really mean you and you is the subjective you.
    Reality appears to have a multi dimensional aspect to it in that seemingly paradoxical experiences are valid.
    The evidence for this is the vast variety of NDE experiences.
    i.e. "Out of emptiness comes form. All form is emptiness." Is the form reality or is it the emptiness?
    P.S. When I say you, its a figure of speech. I don't mean you Far.From.Here.
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  7. Far.From.Here

    Far.From.Here New

    Jan 17, 2015
    I agree with that. Kripal talks about this in his latest book with Strieber. We need to be able to separate what "happened" according to the experiencer from what the actual objective reality may have been behind the experience. We will likely never know what the base reality is behind even our most mundane experiences, let alone those that fall into the liminal. But we have the experience of what happened. Really that is all we have to go on. Many people are reporting experiencing the "other". The Striebers collected 100,000+ letters from others who related on a person level to Whitley's disclosure in Communion.
    No. What I mean is science has no real idea of what the true nature of matter is. They have built models based on behaviors. But that tells them virtually nothing about what matter REALLY is.
    manjit likes this.
Tags: Science, Skeptiko

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