A few arguments against Super-Ψ

#1
The Super-Ψ hypothesis seems fairly popular as a partial or even complete explanation for the phenomena occurring in legitimate spiritual séances (i.e. where no fraud was detected) or mass apparitions such as those of Fatima, Medjugorje, Zeitun etc…

To summarize very quickly the idea is that these phenomena represent some form of spontaneous (and unconscious) PK from the living. People participating in séances believe to be contacting discarnate entities, while instead their unconscious minds are synching and working together to produce incredibly organized Ψ phenomena, including materializations, apports, interactions and the narrative of the manifested entities.

Similarly, mass apparitions are supposed to be the product of the strong beliefs and wishes of the thousands gathered in prayer, manifesting macroscopic Ψ effects.


» Missing evidence
The simple argument I'd like to propose against this hypothesis is that there is no convincing evidence, if any at all, that these phenomena can and do really take place as proposed. We should consider that there are thousands of gatherings of people every day in sport stadiums, concerts halls, theaters, religious buildings, meditation centers etc… and yet in none of these events there's any hint of spontaneous macro PK even if similar excitement, hopes and beliefs, are accumulated together.

It is difficult to believe that a séance held by no more than 4-5 people can produce massive PK, while hundreds of people praying in a church, mosque or similar gathering can't produce any effect at all.

Think of a stadium with 40 to 50 thousand people, all excited and expectant for the soccer world's cup final… the Super-Ψ hypothesis would predict that so much coherent mental energy, wishes and expectations would cause unpredictable effects and yet, we don't see any phenomenon that is out of the ordinary.

Picture a crowd of 200 hundred thousand people praying with the pope in Vatican city, or consider the immense crowd that every year gathers at the Mecca for the Hajj: we're talking about 2 to 3 millions pilgrims congregating in the same place to pray and perform their rituals. I cannot imagine a better occasion for all sort of spectacular Ψ phenomena to occur every minute, in every corner. But the evidence is not there.

Finally there's one more contradiction to note as regards mass manifestations: in the most famous apparition cases, such as Fatima and Medjugorje, the first phenomena were reported by a very small group of people, typically 3-4, not a huge crowd. The large crowds arrived later invited by curiosity and hope to see the apparitions for themselves.


» Gifted people?
So, if mass gatherings don't provide evidence for the existence of Super-Ψ where else can we look for it?

Typically the next argument in favor of Super-Ψ is that the phenomena may be caused by just a small number of "gifted" people who, unbeknownst to themselves, have the ability to produce spontaneous PK and act as conduit for other people's expectations, wishes, etc…

With this reasoning one could presume that the seers of Fatima were the cause of the apparitions instead of the recipients, just like physical mediums would cause the materializations, apports and voices, etc…

The first problem with this hypothesis is that mass gatherings would actually facilitate this kind of phenomena exactly because of the large number of people. The more the participants the higher is the likelihood to find some of these highly gifted subjects who would channel and amplify the psychic energy around them.

The second problem that many critics have pointed out is that the hypothesis becomes too extravagant and fundamentally unfalsifiable: too many "super powers" must be assigned to the unconscious mind for it to work: telepathy, precognition, remote viewing, accessing an "akashic record", psychokinesis, all infallibly orchestrated to build a structured narrative.

Like a genie in the bottle, Super-Ψ is arbitrarily given the ability to manifest our wildest dreams creating verifiable stories, interactions with conscious entities and physical phenomena. All this to convince us that we do survive physical death. And yet, all the other equally powerful human desires and passions, such as domination, greed and lust don't seem to be able to unleash this almighty genie, at all.

Only mediums, séance sitters or seers, somehow, are granted unlimited unconscious powers to create the illusions of an afterlife.


» Poltergeists
Poltergeist cases are usually mentioned as an example of spontaneous, unconscious Ψ events caused by one or more living agents.

Although there's a lot of persuasive evidence that some of these events don't fall in this category (i.e. not caused by the living), the very nature of this phenomena seems to contradict the structured and organized characteristic of Super-Ψ.

Even if we hypothesize that poltergeists are exclusively caused by the living, their uncontrolled and chaotic nature would suggest that we're nowhere near to be able to explain séances and apparitions with the same "mechanism".

We should then ask: where is the evidence for the "slightly organized" or the "moderately structured" poltergeist cases? Without a spectrum of manifestations that goes from totally chaotic to fully organized, it seems implausible that we can justify the existence of Super-Ψ. The connection between the two is simply non-existent.


» The GCP
Finally it is also worth mentioning the Global Consciousness Project (GCP), which is probably the largest study of physical effects of coherent consciousness. They may have some evidence that a kind of cumulative PK effect exists, but we're still talking about small deviations in the expected output of RNGs… nothing that comes even close to what Super-Ψ proponents suggest.


» A Killer Experiment?
Is there one or more experiments that could be created to test the Super-Ψ hypothesis or is it simply unfalsifiable? I am more inclined to the latter, given it's alleged faculty to jump through space and time.

A "killer" experiment was proposed in this article:

http://www.survivalafterdeath.info/articles/wadhams/response.htm

One possibility for a killer experiment that could overcome super-psi would be a variant of the cipher test, where an experimenter leaves a cipher message, the key of which he intends to communicate after death. In this variant a panel of excellent mediums is assembled, who make every possible effort to determine the key by "ordinary" telepathy from the experimenter while he is alive. When he dies, we only consider messages received by members of that same panel of mediums. If the key is received, then this argues for survival rather than super-psi, since if a medium couldn't pick up the information by ordinary common-or-garden telepathy, it is hardly likely that he could do so by the more exotic and presumably difficult retrocognitive telepathy.

Is this sufficient?
What do you think?
 
#2
I don't think the killer experiment would convince a believer in super-psi because it is human nature that any tenuous hypothesis will allow a person to maintain strongly held beliefs in the face of contradictory evidence.

However there already exists abundant evidence that is better explained by survival than by super-psi:

ESP is not produced by the brain. ESP is not dependent on space or time and it cannot be produced by any physical process including quantum entanglement. The existence of psi is evidence that consciousness is non-physical. If consciousness is non-physical, then super-psi loses any advantage a materialist might attribute to parsimony.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/near-death-experiences-and-afterlife.html#facts_esp

Drop in communicators are spirits unrelated the the medium and the sitters who communicate for purposes of their own. They show that spirits have initiative, purpose, and problem solving ability:
http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/summary_of_evidence#summary_evidence_drop_ins

Cross correspondences are cases where a message is given in parts through different mediums who don't know they are being used in that way. The parts of the message only make sense when combined and contain highly specialized knowledge known by the spirit. This shows that spirits have initiative, problem solving ability, organizational ability, and retain highly specialized knowledge they had during life.
http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/summary_of_evidence#summary_evidence_cross_correspondences

Mrs Piper's mediumship shows that the characteristics of the communication varies with the spirit not the medium or sitters. For example some spirits are good communicators others are not, some communicate names easily others don't, most spirits have difficulty communicating shortly after death, most spirits become better communicators with practice.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2009/05/further-record-of-observations-of.html


Guy Lyon Playfair, William Roll, and Ian Stevenson all thought poltergeist phenomenon that did not depend on the presence of any one individual were caused by spirits.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2009/06/survival-and-super-psi.html


http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2009/06/survival-and-super-psi.html
...
When a child remembers a past life, and has a birthmark at a location of an injury in the past life, it suggests the spirit body may carry information from one life to the next. It would be absurd to believe the fetus was psychic and was fulfilling a psychological need by unconsciously creating the birth mark.
...
Shared Death Bed Visions, Shared Near-Death Experiences, and Multiple Witness Crisis Apparitions are not well explained by super-psi. You'd have to be a super-duper-psychic not just a super-psychic to induce hallucinations in other people.
Near-death experiences are best explained by out-of-the-body consciousness because they occur when the brain is not capable of supporting lucid conscious experiences:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/near-death-experiences-and-afterlife.html

Highly skilled psychics who live with the phenomena every day and know many details of the phenomena that never get published in parapsychology journals can tell the difference between ESP and spirit communication. They are the experts on the phenomenon and know infinitely more about it that any parapsychologist.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/05/para-pseudo-skeptics.html
 
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#4
Sorry if this comes across as pedantic, Bucky, but as far as I know, the term "super-psi" is restricted to unconscious information gathering on the part of mediums. It involves ESP and has nothing to do with PK. I believe what you're referring to is usually called "group PK" or something similar (e.g. "collective PK", "mass PK", etc.).

A possible example of group PK is the perennial blood miracles of Naples phenomenon, in which the purported blood of St. Januarius (San Gennaro) liquefies several times a year in the presence of large crowds.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08295a.htm

Of particular interest is a group of old women known as the "zie di San Gennaro" ("aunts of San Gennaro"). Regarding them, the article says:

Prayers are said by the people, begging that the miracle may take place, while a group of poor women, known as the "zie di San Gennaro" (aunts of St. Januarius), make themselves specially conspicuous by the fervour, and sometimes, when the miracle is delayed, by the extravagance, of their supplications.

In his book, Catholic Cults and Devotions: A Psychological Inquiry, Michael Carroll supplies more details about these women, saying:

Mention here should be made of the Zie di San Gennaro, the Aunts of St Januarius. This is a group of women ranging in age from fifty to eighty years who attend each exposure of the relics. Membership in the group is hereditary, passing from mother to daughter, and it is believed that they are lineal descendants of St Januarius himself. Should the blood not liquefy promptly, it is customary for these "aunts" to try to hasten the liquefaction by cries and shouts that are often quite shrill and sometimes even obscene, something that has been a source of embarrassment to Catholic commentators.

Click the book link above for a more information about this interesting phenomenon. Google Books has chopped some pages out, but most of the chapter can still be read. It begins on page 58.

Doug
 
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#5
@Trancestate Thanks. Very often I have seen the "information gathering" and "physical phenomena" grouped under the umbrella term "Super-PSI", to indicate they are supposedly initiated by living agents.

It seems pretty difficult to separate PK from "unconscious information gathering" in séances, as they happen in the same context and are supposedly originated from the same source. In presence of IVP (Independent voice phenomena) how can super-psi account only for information retrieval but not for the psycho-kinetic event?

Since psycho-kinesis is part of the Ψ phenomena, I don't find the distinction very useful, unless it's helpful to resolve ambiguity.

Click the book link above for a more information about this interesting phenomenon. Google Books has chopped some pages out, but most of the chapter can still be read. It begins on page 58.
Thanks. I happen to know the case of S.Gennaro pretty well, as I am from Italy and I have followed the controversy with the local CSICOP attempting to reproduce the phenomenon with normal means :)
They did but it actually didn't work very well, as it only lasted a couple of years.

The problem with the possible PK from the living is that it isn't necessary for the phenomenon to occur. Normally it happens spontaneously.
If one wants to even attribute the supposedly unsolicited transformation of the blood to "group PK", then he will also have to explain how come similar events don't happen in every other group of people gatherd in prayer, all around the world.
 
#6
I reject the super-psi hypothesis in some cases, but in the case of poltergeists for example, most cases seem to have a teenager who is going through a great stress as the epicenter of the anomalies.

On postmortem survival against super-psi, my reasons are as follows:

1. The super-psi hypothesis is a non self-contradictory option, but it have to resort to different explanations for NDEs, apparitions, mediumship, etc., whereas the survival hypothesis can explain all these data in a unique way, affirming the existence of a second body that remains after biological death, which is the authentic vehicle of the mind and that can appear, possess certain living beings, reincarnated and sometimes remember their reincarnations. What makes the latter is more probable hypothesis.

2. "Drop-in" mediumistic communications have an motivational element, non informational, irreducible to ESP, indicating postmortem communications.

3. Some facts are incomprehensible to the super-psi hypothesis because it has no way to relate these facts, for example that many mediums also claimed to perceive an aura around living beings, as Eileen Garrett, something that easily can relate a survival hypothesis.

4. Chris Carter says there is no independent evidence for the super-psi hypothesis, but Michael Sudduth says there no independent evidence for the survival hypothesis:

http://subversivethinking.blogspot.com.es/2013/03/interview-with-chris-carter-on-his-book.html

Now, actually, what I said in my book was this: “Evidence for the existence of ESP of the required power and range is practically nonexistent. Defenders of the super-ESP hypothesis are hard-pressed to find any such examples – outside of cases of apparent communication from the deceased.” And so defenders of the super-PSI hypothesis have not challenged that objection, but have simply agreed with my statement.

The fact that they cannot find any such cases demonstrates the purely ad hoc nature of the super-ESP “explanation,” because of the utter lack of any independent evidence for super-ESP. If super-ESP as an explanation is to be scientific, then it would predict the demonstration of such wide-ranging, virtually-unlimited powers in instances in which we are not dealing with evidence of apparent survival.


http://michaelsudduth.com/interview-on-postmortem-survival/

For example, there is no independent evidence for supposing that persons, should any of them survive death, will have the intention and requisite powers to communicate with living persons, much less in ways that as much as approximate the modality of mediumship or apparitions.

However, I think this last is wrong, because the evidence of apparitions is independent from the evidence of mediumship, so there is independent evidence for the survival hypothesis.

More here:

http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2014/05/more-on-super-psi.html
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#7
To summarize very quickly the idea is that these phenomena represent some form of spontaneous (and unconscious) PK from the living. People participating in séances believe to be contacting discarnate entities, while instead their unconscious minds are synching and working together to produce incredibly organized Ψ phenomena, including materializations, apports, interactions and the narrative of the manifested entities.
Question: does the super-psi hypothesis restrict itself to the minds of the living, or does it include the memories of the dead located "somewhere", à la Akashic Records. Say an alleged spirit comes through a medium and is unknown by the sitters, or other people they know, and the identity or information the alleged spirit imparts is only found to be validated later through investigation, does that contradict the super-psi hypothesis?
 
#8
Question: does the super-psi hypothesis restrict itself to the minds of the living, or does it include the memories of the dead located "somewhere", à la Akashic Records.
Yes, Super-Ψ is indeed assigned all sorts of super-powers, including that of searching through the "Akashic Record" for all the necessary bits of information that can later be used to build a congruent narrative.

Say an alleged spirit comes through a medium and is unknown by the sitters, or other people they know, and the identity or information the alleged spirit imparts is only found to be validated later through investigation, does that contradict the super-psi hypothesis?
Braude has brought up a similar example in one of his talks: the case of the sailor with a missing leg who came through in a séance where nobody knew who this person might have been. Later investigation provided several clues about a person who drowned in an incident near the sea shores. There were also a few inconsistencies that prompted a few "nagging questions", as Braude puts it.

See the Runki's case here:
http://www.survivalafterdeath.info/articles/braude/drop-in.htm

It is exactly this extravagant conception of Super-Ψ that makes it invincible to any objection. Anything can be explained by it. But the evidence for it's existence, especially in the most "advanced" forms (like Braude's example) is practically non-existent.
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#9
Yes, Super-Ψ is indeed assigned all sorts of super-powers, including that of searching through the "Akashic Record" for all the necessary bits of information that can later be used to build a congruent narrative.
Well, that's convenient, isn' it? :D

I wasn't sure anymore, but that's what I thought.

I brought my hypothetical situation up because I just came across an example of it in the book I'm reading, and thought of your thread. I’ll share it.

It's good ol' Arthur Findlay, the "Eric Saunders" case. It's 1919, Art takes his brother with him to a Direct Voice (trumpet) séance in Glasgow, Scotland. His brother is recently back from the Army (the war) and no one present knows that except for Art, nor where he was stationed (most of the time in Lowestoft, England, and sometimes in a nearby village called Kessingland, training gunners). No one present knows Art’s brother either.

During the séance, a "voice" said to Art's brother: "Eric Saunders". His brother said he didn't know him, but the voice insisted. The brother asked where they had met and the voice said "In the Army". The brother then mentioned different places (cities in England and different countries) but made sure not to mention Lowestoft where he been stationed most of the time (or Kessingland). The voice said: "No, none of these places. I knew you when you were near Lowestoft." Art's brother asked why he said "Near Lowestoft" and the voice replied "You were not in Lowestoft then, but at Kessingland".

The brother then asked what company he was in, B or C, but couldn't discern the answer. He asked the voice if he could remember the name of the company Commander. The voice said "Macnamara". Findlay goes on to report that that was indeed the name of the B Company Commander at the time.

His brother then pretended to know “Eric” (the voice) and said: “Oh yes, you were one of my Lewis gunners, were you not?” The voice replied: “No, you had not the Lewis guns then, it was the Hotchkiss.” This was indeed correct - the Lewis guns had been replaced by the Hotchkiss guns in April 1917.

Other evidential question-and-answer bits followed. Art’s brother still did not remember this man. “Eric” said he’d been killed in France and Art’s brother asked when. He answered that he’d passed away “with the Big Draft in August 1917”. The brother asked why he called it the Big Draft, and he said: “Don’t you remember the Big Draft, when the Colonel came on the parade ground and made a speech?” This referred to an especially large group sent out to France that month, and it was the only time that Art’s brother remembered the Colonel ever personally saying goodbye to the men.

“Eric” then thanked Art’s brother for the gunnery training he had given him, and said it had been most useful to him in France. The brother asked why he’d come through to speak to him, and the voice replied: “Because I have never forgotten that you once did me a good turn”. Findlay goes on to say that his brother had a vague recollection of obtaining leave for one of the gunners, because of special circumstances, but he couldn’t remember the name.

Six months after this incident, Art’s brother was in London and met the Corporal who had been his training assistant at that time. He relayed the story and asked him if he remembered a man called “Eric Saunders”. The Corporal usually got to know the men closer than Art’s brother did, because of the number of men Art’s brother had to train (about a dozen every 2 weeks for 2 years). But the Corporal did not remember any person with that name. However, he had a pocket diary that had a full list of the men under their training. They looked to the records of the B Company and found the words: “Eric Saunders, f.q., August ‘17”, with a red line drawn through them. “F.q” stood for qualified and the red line meant the man had gone away at that time (August 1917).

They couldn’t find any further information, but Findlay writes: “Even allowing for this it is a remarkable case, as it is fraud proof, telepathy proof and cryptaesthesia proof”. He goes on to add that the case contained 14 separate facts, and each one was correct. (From “On the Edge of the Etheric”, 1931.)

If I understand correctly, this still isn’t Super-Psi proof. :)
 
#11
Hi Bucky, interesting post! (I read this earlier today, and re-skimmed over it & the responses about half an hour ago, getting tired now hope I haven't forgotten anything...)

I'm not so sure/clear what this "super-psi" is, so I cannot comment on that. I also don't know how you're personally connected to the variety of Blessed Virgin Mary visions, so don't wish to offend any of your sensibilities/beliefs, but I have a genuine but perhaps "sceptical" interest here (I've only ever read "The Miracle Detective" in book form, but have spent several hours online looking into Fatima, Lourdes &, forgive me, that famous South American one!! Perhaps more pertinently to my post below, I've read about these & related phenomena in several other books not directly related to them, such as in Jaques Valle and John Keel books, where they focus on the elements of the phenomena they feel supports their own concepts. Miracle Detective is fantastic though, imo).

So, you seem to be implying "super-psi" cannot explan these phenomena, going through a list of arguments regarding possible mechanics for this "super-psi" and how they cannot work? Jim Smith subsequently posted (an excellently referenced :) post saying "....evidence that is better explained by survivalism than psi".

Firstly, in regards your arguments against the possible mechanics of super-psi, it seemed as if you assumed that the phenomena must be "caused" by humans in some way to make "super-psi" a viable explanation? Either "mass-pk" effects, or "gifted individuals"? Is it possible there may be other avenues through which super-psi (whatever that may be!) could be manifested, ie. through other initiatory chanels & parameters which are not based upon the narrow band of conscious human motivations?

It's hard to get across what I'm trying to say....

A better thing would be for me to ask, so if not "super-psi" what do you believe is really occurring here then? Jim Smith mentioned "survivalism" in his post, but does that really even apply to the BVM phenomena? Unless we mean to say the Virgin Mary vision it/herself is a disembodied, literally "real" soul/person? Is that what you believe?

If this were true, it would beg more questions than answer, in my personal opinion. So, does that make the narrative of the Catholic faith "true" then? What about the narrative of all those who have experiences that "super-psi" also attempts to explain, but with a radically different, contradictory message? Is it just a symbolic representation of a higher energy? Can "it" even be called a literally real disembodied Virgin Mary then? The type of phenomena surrounding BVM is not unique to Catholicism, even though the narrative may be. Indian gurus are drenched in similar phenomena, be they fake scumbag gurus or genuine mystics!!

What about the occassionaly "odd" behaviour these BVM cause in their "contactees"? What about the occassionaly odd messages, vacuous & meaningless, they impart to the seers? What about the failed prophecies? Just what are they really contacting here?

What about the, imo, astonishing similarities between aspects, sometimes down to tiny details, betweem BVM phenomena and that of "UFO abductees"? And then back to shamanistic visions? What about the occassionaly ludicrous messages those ufo abductees get, even though much of the other phenomena is comparable to BVM? Is it really ludicrous to compare the occassionaly inane messages & failed prophecies of our Brothers from Plaedeas or Malchidezek or wherever, to the occassionaly inane messages & failed prophecies of BVM seers? One is entrenched in the deep & profound history of a major world religion (constrained) & the other is born in a "new world" where anything goes. It is not a surprise one is a little more "wild" than the other, but they seem to still be intimately related in core structuralism?

Anyway, I find it hard, as a whole, to accept the narratives from these phenomena at face value, but who knows! :)

Just as an aside, about 16 or so years ago I used to follow a "guru" in the school of Radhasoami, a deeply mystical (ideally :) path where 2 things are of primary importance; the power, divinity etc of the satguru, and a deep immersion into "inner" visionary, nde-like experiences. (I no longer follow this "path", or recommend anyone else does....).

A common phenomena in this path, experienced by many thousands of honest, sincere, intelligent, sceptical & even "blind" (had no idea who they were meeting, or any stories/concepts about the path whatsoever) people is seeing the "form" of the present, living guru "transform" into the "form" of a previous guru in the same lineage. I have heard stories about people dragged to a satsang (meeting the guru, regardless of 1 other person or a million plus, as is often the case in India....amazing to witness, blows your mind!), seeing a picture later of a previous guru from 80 years ago, and her proclaiming this was the person in the chair today!! Credible stories from credible people.

Anyone, when I first went to India to see the current guru, there was something like 1 million plus people, nearly all of whom considered the guru to be the living incarnation of God, much like a living Jesus (no exaggeration). Intense emotion. At the end of his talk, all one million people file past the guru to get his "darshan" (a beloved look). When I walked past in this intense atmosphere of devotion, I literally saw, extremely clearly, the face of the previous guru, much older, somebody I'd never seen but had seen the pictures of many times. I literally rubbed my eyes (I've always been a sceptical sort, even in the midst of beliefs) several times, stopped, tilted my head, and yet he *clearly* was the much older previous guru.

I was astonished, and when outside asked the people I was with, excitedly, "did you see that?". They didn't.

Similar phenomena has occurred in groups of 2 or 3, to millions.

I have, now, no belief these gurus (it happens in ALL lineages of Radhasoami, scumbag or genuine.....why doesn't it happen any other of the numerous guru-based mystical groups at all?:eek: ) are some kind of magical all-powerful beings.

So what the hell is going on?!

:)
 
#12
Hi Manjit,
very good questions, many of which could be branched into entirely new threads :)

Let me clarify that the opening post has no specific agenda, such as promoting Christian faith, claiming the literal existence of the Virgin Mary etc... etc... I don't have a religious creed, nor I am very interested in discussing religions in general.

I have been reading and investigating psi research and phenomena for quite some time and I keep reading/hearing some "experts" turning to the Super-Ψ hypothesis to avoid or explain away the idea of survival of consciousness.
While the sum total of Ψ research literature is overwhelmingly suggestive of the "survival hypothesis" there's a faction of experts (or self-proclaimed experts) that comes to a completely different conclusion that is both
extravagant and unfalsifiable.

Again, I want to emphasize that this is not an either/or argument. There are easily detectable instances of Super-Ψ (which I'd rather call them Multi-Ψ) in many of the research from the literature, so I am not trying to exclude the possibility of multiple uncontrolled Ψ occurrences (e.g. poltergeists)

What I am very critical of is an a-priori position that tends to put the cart before the horses by using an preconceived interpretation of the evidence. In other words, since "survival" would seem impossible, irrational, against the laws of physics etc..., we need another explanation regardless of what the evidence suggests. Even if the alternative solution entails the creation of an all-powerful conspiracy of cosmic proportions :)

My conclusion is that the monumental amount of human experience and accurate research in this field strongly suggests a larger reality, in which consciousness is at the very center. However not all literature is evidence of this, or should be seen in this light. Each case has its strengths an weaknesses, some are strongly suggestive of survival while others are more likely instances of Multi-Ψ, which is also well documented.

A better thing would be for me to ask, so if not "super-psi" what do you believe is really occurring here then? Jim Smith mentioned "survivalism" in his post, but does that really even apply to the BVM phenomena? Unless we mean to say the Virgin Mary vision it/herself is a disembodied, literally "real" soul/person? Is that what you believe?
I think literal interpretation is very dangerous here and symbolism should the key to get closer to what might lie behind the phenomena.

I'll propose a very basic example. Suppose we wanted to communicate with people from a "primitive" (by our standards) tribe, such as the Akuntsu from the Amazons. Even if they could speak the same language (theirs, ours, doesn't matter) we would still need to know their culture and heritage to be able to convey information.

If we wanted to warn them about a number of potentially dangerous tornados, we wouldn't be able to show them a precipitation chart, satellite photos or a YouTube video of the weather forecasts :) The only way would be to explain it in terms they can understand, possibly using their symbols and cultural references to pass the information along.

Similarly, I suppose that whatever is trying to communicate with us in those apparitions, is clearly using a well established set of symbols and cultural references.

What about the occassionaly "odd" behaviour these BVM cause in their "contactees"? What about the occassionaly odd messages, vacuous & meaningless, they impart to the seers? What about the failed prophecies? Just what are they really contacting here?
Again it depends on how literally you went to take those prophecies.
Are prophecies unescapable and set in stone? Or are they warnings against possible situations?

I find it relieving that prophecies fail... it's a good sign that we aren't puppets animated by unseen strings, playing a pre-established script.

If the future is created by our volition and actions, then the number of variables in the game is staggering and nothing is really set in stone. Surely there can be very strong trends which can almost certainly lead to an expected outcome.

Similarly not all our weather "prophecies" come to pass too :)
What about the, imo, astonishing similarities between aspects, sometimes down to tiny details, betweem BVM phenomena and that of "UFO abductees"?
This is a very intriguing aspect. We have discussed in several posts the UFO-like events that have occurred in several of the major apparitions, such as Lourdes and Zeitoun.

There are similarities which are certainly fascinating, maybe even spooky.

And then back to shamanistic visions? What about the occassionaly ludicrous messages those ufo abductees get, even though much of the other phenomena is comparable to BVM? Is it really ludicrous to compare the occassionaly inane messages & failed prophecies of our Brothers from Plaedeas or Malchidezek or wherever, to the occassionaly inane messages & failed prophecies of BVM seers?
I think distinctions should be made. We can't take every self-appointed channeler who "hear voices" and put it in the same basket with other much more solid cases. Distinctions are crucial otherwise we end up with dangerous generalizations.

Anyway, I find it hard, as a whole, to accept the narratives from these phenomena at face value, but who knows! :)
Me too. It's not an easy research and it's a difficult job to separate the wheat from the chaff. Rational thinking alone is not going to be sufficient, and the "ego mind" will get in the way more often than not.

I am full of doubts and sure of almost nothing :) The harder I try to get to "the bottom of it" the worse it gets. We want answers, proof, the Truth, and we want it now :D
So I am learning to live with uncertainty and doubt. There's a larger reality which we can glimpse into every now and then. Some people can do it more deeply and more often, others (like myself) more rarely. I'd love to be able to devote more time to practices that open to that reality. Books alone are not enough for me.

Cheers
 
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#13
The GCP» I don't put very much faith in staring at random number generators. A truly random series is allowed to randomly have an improbable amount of sixes without invalidating randomness. Since true random number generators don't operate off of an algorithmic seed value there is no way to build a control group for it, and pseudo-random number generators don't appear to be susceptible to any psi-like effects.

A Killer Experiment» Well survival interpretations have sitter->medium->aether?->discarnate, but all we really know for sure is the sitter->medium part. Since the variable here is the discarnate, you need a blinded way to detect whether a discarnate is present or not in order to make a comparison between a "super-psi" result or a "survival" result. So you could make an experiment to check, yes, though it sort of ironically requires the answer to the question in order to test the question.
 
#14
Super-psi is usually proposed in opposition to a survival hypothesis. In short, people compelled by psi data who can't bring themselves to admit post-mortem consciousness find super-psi a suitable conceit. However if the mind can produce remote articulations like phantasms, PK, precognition, etc, etc, there's no reason for a living brain to be responsible any more than a living toe or an ear.
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#15
f they could speak the same language (theirs, ours, doesn't matter) we would still need to know their culture and heritage to be able to convey information.

If we wanted to warn them about a number of potentially dangerous tornados, we wouldn't be able to show them a precipitation chart, satellite photos or a YouTube video of the weather forecasts :) The only way would be to explain it in terms they can understand, possibly using their symbols and cultural references to pass the information along.

Similarly, I suppose that whatever is trying to communicate with us in those apparitions, is clearly using a well established set of symbols and cultural references.
Right. I tend to view Marian apparitions this way, and not as group PK or the actual Virgin Mary.

and the "ego mind" will get in the way more often than not.
Well said.
 
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#16
Interestingly perhaps, the church has no requirement for Catholics to believe in Marian apparitions, even those few it accepts as authentic.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#17
Super-psi is usually proposed in opposition to a survival hypothesis. In short, people compelled by psi data who can't bring themselves to admit post-mortem consciousness find super-psi a suitable conceit. However if the mind can produce remote articulations like phantasms, PK, precognition, etc, etc, there's no reason for a living brain to be responsible any more than a living toe or an ear.
Good point. The paradigm under which Super Psi seems most plausible is Idealism, at which point - as I believe Bernando has shown - there's a good case for survival to follow from the operating principles of the paradigm.
 
#18
Hi Bucky,

That was a great post, and I find I resonate entirely with your general sentiment. We are pretty much in the same boat I feel, and I have, and still continue, to think the same as you in several ways! :)

I hope my recent posts don't give the impression that I want to "avoid" or "explain away" the survival hypothesis. I really, truely have nothing against it (well, there are some paradigms which I would question the sanity of a "God" if they were true....eternal hell for all souls who haven't accepted Christ as their Saviour being the least subtle example). From since I can remember to the age of about 20ish, I believed whole-heartedly in "survival", and my life reflected an absolute belief in this concept too (it wasn't just words or a theory for me!).

I also haven't jumpled on to anyone else's bandwagon with this "super-psi" thing, because I don't believe I've actually ever heard or read anyone articulating a coherent description of what that actually is? In fact, the only mention of "super-psi" I've come across is in books like Chris Carter's (where it is "debunked"), and on Michael Prescott's blog & comments (where, generally, it is "debunked"!).

What has made me personally question (and, to be honest, doubt) the simplicity (on an anthropomorphic level, as if the elegant "simplicity" we demand from reality must conform to our human conceptual paradigms) of the survivalism of individual souls are two areas of data.

First, "inner", "visionary" or meditation based insight experiences - nowadays I find it a little crass or pointless to discuss these in depth, but there are 2 types of experience which make one review one's often unquestioned assumptions about identity, soul, consciousness etc (the intuited human assumptions upon which are based many beliefs of survivalism). There is the experience which in Buddhism is called "no-self". To many, Buddhism appears to be mired in "rebirth", which can be linked to survivalism. After the experience of "no-self", I devoured original Buddhist scriptures and found that Buddha repeatedly hinted that, in truth, there is no rebirth, no samsara (world) or nirvana (extinction of the world). These are illusory appearances created by the illusory individuated egoic identity. Regardless, no books or concepts required, the experience of no-self itself brings up the serious doubts about the reality or validity of individual souls and survivalism.....

Experiences like these will make one question the ultimate nature of reality & consciousness, and make it hard to "narrow" down one's vision to a reality with limited, linear individual souls and their anthropomorphic after-life journeys! :)

It is possible that on an individual level, I am either deluded or led astray by some maleavolent force - I think scepticism of one's own reality, beliefs & concepts is a healthy thing. But there is also the other area which makes me question the survival hypothesis, and that is the sheer volumes of data we have from a variety of other sources regarding survivalism. I think one of my problems may be, there is just too much information in my head!! :eek: I cannot find a coherent model for survivalism that explains all the experience data from all the traditions, or one that, imo, doesn't contain elements of the aburd (Cosmic Joke?). I tend to see a lot of anthropomorphic thinking & desires in a lot of the visionary & parapsychological experiences that tend to support survivalism, but no coherent, profoundly meaningful narrative that connects them?

As for myself, I tend to believe something along the lines of "all is consciousness", and everything we are seeing is a Divine Play of some sort, with lots of, ultimately, illusory narratives (including survivalism). Consciousness dividing itself up infinitely into a variety of "selfs" so as to create the illusion of seperation, individuality, ego-identification etc... I don't believe there is any limits to what consciousness can experience, or what narratives it can construct. I believe the concept of death may itself be an illusion, let alone that of survival.....as I say, reality may be far stranger than we can imagine, especially locked inside this spacio-temporal illusion of "self" with all it's constraints of linear conceptual thought.

I know this is probably getting a little abstract and woo woo, and I'm terrible at expressing what I understand on a sub-linguistic level, so I'll leave it there. But, in general, I do tend to agree with your post - cheers! ;;/?

EDIT: A whole section of this post went missing, on the 2nd type of visionary experience which made me question the surivalism hypothesis....basically dualistic visions of consciousness expanding to identify with group souls, races, countries, Gaia, classes of animals, also abstract things like DNA, money, oil, archetypes etc, or experiences of possible parrallel existences occuring simulatenously as this existence etc......that was the gist of it !!

2ND EDIT: Hi Bucky - do you or anyone else have any recommendations for either books or documentaries relates to the Marian visionary phenomena? Something like The Miracle Detective would be great, I would love to read more on the other cases in a bit more depth?
 
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Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#19
#20
I tend to see a lot of anthropomorphic thinking & desires in a lot of the visionary & parapsychological experiences that tend to support survivalism, but no coherent, profoundly meaningful narrative that connects them?
I fear that making sense of it all is beyond our possibilities.
At a "galactic" level we're small dots going in and out of existence like fireflies... not to say that our lives are insignificant but we humans are a very small piece of an immense cosmic puzzle. Sometimes this reminds me of the billions of cells in our bodies, and I figure them trying to understand what they really are and what is the larger reality in which they participate... gives me vertigo!

I think the idea of levels of existence is a very fascinating one and it seems a common concept found in most traditions around the world (gnosticism, buddhism, hinduism, esoteric literature, shamanism etc...). We're here to explore all of them, in their more or less "illusory" forms, with time... The universe doesn't seem to be in a hurry... And yet at the higher levels there's no time! :D I can definitely resonate with the feeling of living in a "cosmic joke", and it's probably a very good one :)

I know this is probably getting a little abstract and woo woo, and I'm terrible at expressing what I understand on a sub-linguistic level, so I'll leave it there. But, in general, I do tend to agree with your post - cheers! ;;/?
I think it's pretty clear. Of course sometimes language gets in the way when dealing with concepts of cosmic magnitude :D

cheers
 
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