Can materialistic science answer life’s big questions? |317|

Even if anomalous information were collected, or an object could be moved without physical contact, it would tell us nothing about the nature of survival or the mechanics of quantum connectedness - if indeed it is a quantum effect.

Alternatives to scientific materialism is a vast subject and I don't feel minded to move beyond that deficiency into vying forms of belief.
Maybe my take on this is too simple to be understood. Objects move without physical contact all the time -- from gravity. One can say they have "physical" contact through gravitons, but since they are not empirically detected, I challenge they are more than informational descriptions of "connectedness".
Further, I see no difference in the connectedness at a quantum scale of events or at a cosmological scale. It appears that all we can record on our instruments, as material and energy, seems to interact at some level of probability, especially if everything was entangled at the big bang.

Entanglement is a simple concept, if viewed as an informational structure and an active connectedness between particles. This just doesn't make sense in a materialistic paradigm, where thinking is not as "really real" as walking. Isn't thinking an entanglement of ideas that can generate structures like plans?
 
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I can certainly see all attempts to contact the realm of Spirit throughout history as essentially being attempts to gain knowledge of some kind....
yeah, but sometimes the spirit world seems to come calling whether you're looking for it or not... but I get your point, this is the Shamanic journey kinda thing.

Suppose some of the spirits of the spirit realm devised a way to embed themselves or a portion of themselves in the material realm. While here, they would necessarily be greatly diminished, handicapped, truncated.
but we have a long history of spiritually advanced beings with expanded knowledge being among us. so we have the shedding of knowledge like you're talking about, but we also have the embodying.
 
So, I'm not even sure the right question to ask is, "Why is Evil allowed in the world". It pretty much has to be here (to greater, or lesser, extents). So, maybe better question would be, why did we choose to participate in the first place? What exactly are we getting out of this experience?
wow... very cool point. thx.
 
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Seemed relevant (for the spirit part, I'm not as convinced by the side remark that Jesus never existed which seems like whole separate convo, along with most of the other societal commentary):

Sacrifice And Its Discontents: An Extradimensional Exchange Mechanism


Mingling ‘as in adultery’ is a fairly potent descriptor of trapping your consciousness in the labyrinth of the material world.

And straight from the mouth of a guy who never existed, there is no other sin. The entire thing hinges on consciousness and where we point it.

I want to unpack that a bit more, and so we are required to perform a little overlap analysis.

Firstly, there is Graham Hancock’s description of the actual purpose of physical existence. It is deceptively simple and I am jealous of its stark profundity.

We come here to learn consequences.

His example was to try and burn your hand in a dream. You can’t do it, but you can be aware that it is a thing that can happen. (‘Division’, even if only for the chance of ‘union’, must presumably remain academic until we come here to try it.)

When I heard him say that, it mapped perfectly to my own experience of the non-physical. It was one of those innocuous, almost-throwaway phrases that sets off an entire kindergarten of sparklers in your mind.

You will no doubt have noticed there is often a fascinating lack of comprehension on the part of the non-physical world to our own very physical problems.

I’m sick. I’m poor. I’m lonely.

It fascinates them. Like the unburnt dream hand, there is no frame of reference for many of these concepts. This may provide a reasonable method for understanding just how rarely extra dimensional assistance is of any use.
The second piece I want to overlay is something Ian said on Deeper Down The Rabbit Hole at the beginning of this year. I heard it on the Eurostar and had it rattling around in my head for the whole Paris trip. It was quite distracting.

What Ian said was that the spirits are fascinated when we deny ourselves something.

Brain sparklers again. Because, like consequences, a lack of something is difficult to experience in the non-physical. I put it to you that these two observations are intimately related and simply describe different parts of one continuous spectrum.

If Ian is correct, and his experience appears to match my own, then in cases of sacrifice, the non-physical recipients are fed not by the things they accrue, but by the things we deny ourselves.

The argument that spirits are fed on ‘the energy’ (?) of food or other sacrifices is weak. If it were so, why would they wait for you to pour out a little rum when they could just haunt the biscuit aisle at Tesco and feed themselves like this ghost robbing a convenient store?

Nevertheless, they do seem to require our assistance opening the biscuit packet, don’t they? In fact, it’s critical and, as Jason regularly points out, offerings are a cornerstone practice of magic.
To me, this implies that the awareness of lack in our consciousness is the actual ‘sacrifice’, the actual ‘currency’, that is exchanged between the physical and the non-physical. Sacrificing a cockerel would have been a very big deal for a Central European peasant in the Dark Ages because that was very likely her family’s meat for the week.

If it’s the ‘chickenness’ the spirits are after, then why can’t you just burn down a battery egg farm and win the lottery later that day?

Note that this fits perfectly with the Neo-Magonian Hypothesis that extradimensional phenomena -particularly Unexplained Aerial Phenomena- function as a consciousness control mechanism. (They don’t want a church, they want us to build them a church.)

The trading floor for extradimensional exchange is consciousness.
There's even a bit about global financial mortals as archons:

The notion that consciousness, and what we choose to focus it on, is the entire mechanism of extradimensional exchange may offer an understanding of why our superabundant, materialist culture is so dangerous to spiritual advancement without resorting to a dreary, calvinist suspicion of pleasure. (Are you just mingling, or are you adulterously mingling??)

Extending that last point, it might well be that this is how the planet’s super-rich have always functioned as archons: because they have set up an artificial version of the perpetual abundance/lack of lack encountered in the spiritual realms. It is an artificial heaven that makes you forget where you came from in the first place. Is this why you cannot fit a camel through the eye of a needle? Is this whythe Realm of The Gods is, according to HH The Dalai Lama, one of the trickiest incarnations for spiritual progression?
Take, for instance, showing up as beings from the stars. Why? In an extradimensional hypothesis the notion that these beings are from out in the black is simultaneously true and false: yes, they may be from a different part of the prismatic hologram (which may well be a technical impossibility when you think about it) but they appear here via extradimensional channels. You see how it makes no difference if Olympus is in the centre of the hologram or not?

But to say they are from the stars, to appear as such, is a pointer, like angels appearing with wings which are patently not required for aerial mobility. It is so that we think in a certain way. It casts our minds out into a bigger context as if to say:

  • You are part of a story that is much, much, much, larger than whether your daughter will marry the farmer from over the next rise.
  • “All of this has happened before”.
  • All of what is happening is extending across all the realms: yours here in the physical and also out into the non-physical (for which the night sky is a better metaphor for extradimensionality in the minds of our neolithic ancestors than, say, string theory).
The metaphor remains functional, remains active, by the way, even if we know the story it tells is a nonsense. All of it ‘unpacks’ when you entangle your consciousness with the night sky in whatever cultural form most appeals to you. As above, so below, eh?

Implementing a consciousness exchange hypothesis would imply:

  • NOT sacrificing to any old thing that shows up with sparkles and demands it.
  • Being extremely selective in where and to whom your sacrifices are going.
  • Taking control of your own lack: fasting and meditation. Again, like the previous point, ensure they occur under the proper auspices. (I dedicate my fast days to various beings.)
  • Drink from a deeper well: if it is the change in consciousness that underpins your connection to the Source, do you think you should be dousing it in reality television (leaving aside possible government brain entrainment, for the moment)?
How does it all work? How does candle magic and reiki and astronauts witnessing craft in space and sacrificing chickens to orisha and pouring milk into a hole for the dead and remote viewing and bigfoot and cursing all seem to be Effective Things That Happen?

Could it be that there is an ongoing system of exchange, in which the currency is the change and manipulation of human (and presumably other) consciousnesses, and it is these changes in consciousness that gives shape to the physical world? Consider this psi theory and tell me it doesn’t look like the theatre of main conflict in a Mind War:

"According to the theory of first sight, we normally use what I’ll refer to as secondary perception, which is using our five senses to experience and interact with the world. Secondary perception is far and away the most useful way for us to interact with the world. It is so useful in fact, that we rely on it almost (but not quite) exclusively. We feel things with our hands, we communicate with our voices, ears and hands, we move with our feet and we see with our eyes. We don’t try to do these things solely with psychic ability because our ordinary senses are so much better at ordinary interactions.

According to Carpenter, psi is more or less an unconscious process that operates all the time. It is impossible to tell where our psychic ability ends and our ordinary perception begins. They blend together seamlessly and beyond our conscious awareness most of the time. This is because of subliminal perception; we are wired to recognize things at an unconscious level before they reach our conscious awareness. Many studies have confirmed this. But there is more to it. Recent studies have shown that we have subliminal precognition. We are constantly feeling the future before we sense it."

A unified weird theory approaches.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

Unfortunately, the illustrations within the text are quite unpleasant :(

David
True, but let's say those blood hungry spirits of old were still around, wanting a fix...where do they go? What do they do?

Claim to be gods and start a new religion? Seems difficult, an uphill climb at best if not a recipe for failure.

Or just impersonate the gods of other religions and get the machine going again?
 
I apologise in advance that I have not read all of this thread. I arrived at the subject from the Skeptiko web page: http://www.skeptiko.com/can-science-answer-big-questions-317/#comment-21957

This is a copy/paste of the comment I left on that page:

David Chamberlain said:
I tend towards the school and also the gym with reservations and modifications. I imagine a consciousness attempting to know itself without the option of comparison with others of its kind. Perhaps it creates, from within, other conscious beings – independent yet still part of the fabric of the whole. They might have two essential gifts: free will and the ability to create, as they were also created.

Perhaps they created others like themselves which, in turn created others. We can imagine an ever expanding network (and hierarchy) of “souls”. Gestalts within gestalts. And free will is (almost) absolute. Every experience, “good” or “bad”, is experienced by the individual and by the “higher” self and so on through the hierarchy. So we are individuals and we are one. The illusion of separation is a necessary device in order to produce original experience but the experience is ultimately shared. To intervene with moral restrictions would be to deny full expression. One cannot discover the true nature of anything by denying the freedom to follow a course of action because it may be undesirable.

How would we know good if not for bad? If we (and the One) is to evolve, then we must learn to distinguish loving from fearful, positive action from negative, creative from destructive, harmony from discord. Perhaps, in the grand scheme, we are an atypical and particularly violent school of hard knocks or a spiritual boot camp?
 
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Supernatural Horror, Spiritual Awakening, and the Demonic Divine

If God is or can be the ultimate horror, then the experience of religious illumination or spiritual awakening is inherently dangerous, since it constitutes a true personal apocalypse, a removal of reality’s obscuring veil that can be experienced not just as a wonderful liberation but as an awe-ful nightmare. “It is a dreadful thing,” says the author of the biblical Book of Hebrews, “to fall into the hands of the living God,” who is “a consuming fire” and should be worshiped “with holy fear and awe” (Hebrews 10:31, 12:28-29). The experience of numinous horror thus reveals itself as a route to, and maybe a marker of, an authentic spiritual transformation, although of a sort whose unpleasant subjective aspects often call into question its fundamental desirability.

It has been one of my most passionate pleasures and obsessions in life to read and hear other people’s explorations of these things. This is why you’ve seen me refer so many times to, for instance, Rudolf Otto’s seminal formulation of the idea of thenuminous and the mysterium tremendum and daemonic dread, and Lovecraft’s open recognition that the psychology of weird supernatural horror fiction and its basic emotional response is “coeval with the religious feeling and closely related to many aspects of it,” and William James’s assertion in The Varieties of Religious Experience that the “real core of the religious problem” lies in an experience of cosmic horror and despair at the fundamental hideousness of life.
In context, the selected quotation from the William James' link:

"
...Here is the real core of the religious problem: Help! help! No prophet can claim to bring a final message unless he says things that will have a sound of reality in the ears of victims such as these. But the deliverance must come in as strong a form as the complaint, if it is to take effect; and that seems a reason why the coarser religions, revivalistic, orgiastic, with blood and miracles and supernatural operations, may possibly never be displaced. Some constitutions need them too much...

...It may indeed be that no religious reconciliation with the absolute totality of things is possible. Some evils, indeed, are ministerial to higher forms of good; but it may be that there are forms of evil so extreme as to enter into no good system whatsoever, and that, in respect of such evil, dumb submission or neglect to notice is the only practical resource. This question must confront us on a later day. But provisionally, and as a mere matter of program and method, since the evil facts are as genuine parts of nature as the good ones, the philosophic presumption should be that they have some rational significance, and that systematic healthy-mindedness, failing as it does to accord to sorrow, pain, and death any positive and active attention whatever, is formally less complete than systems that try at least to include these elements in their scope.

The completest religions would therefore seem to be those in which the pessimistic elements are best developed. Buddhism, of course, and Christianity are the best known to us of these. They are essentially religions of deliverance: the man must die to an unreal life before he can be born into the real life. In my next lecture, I will try to discuss some of the psychological conditions of this second birth. Fortunately from now onward we shall have to deal with more cheerful subjects than those which we have recently been dwelling on..."


Where it gets a bit overdone, IMO, is James includes the pain animals feel in their natural environment. I don't know if this counts as "evil", especially since in this particular part of Varities James complains about the very existence of reptiles.

I also wonder if James, confronted with a modern internet and global financial system, would note that many ills can in fact be dealt with if we're willing to put in the effort. Of course there is a question whether metaphysical/spiritual positions that explain (away?) suffering as a test or learning experience reduce the effort put into solving this worlds' problems. (Note I don't think is necessarily the case - see various religious charities and such.)

Jacob’s Ladder was written by Bruce Joel Rubin, whose other most famous screenplay is Ghost, for which he won the Academy Award. Both films deal with divine and demonic spiritual forces, and both were released, rather remarkably, during the same year (1990). Rubin himself is famous for his personal and abiding interest in deep spiritual matters, as seen in the widely reportedfact that after attending film school at NYU he left the U.S. and went on a global quest for spiritual enlightenment, which led him to live for a time on the Greek isle of Paros and in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Nepal. After Jacob’s Ladder was released, he revealedthat one of his major inspirations for it was The Tibetan Book of the Dead with its depiction of the bardo, the purgatory-like liminal state where a deceased soul must let go of all its attachments, including those of personal identity, on the way toward liberation into ultimate reality. Additional inspirations were Ambrose Bierce’s “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” and, of course, the story of “Jacob’s Ladder” in the Book of Genesis. “Hollywood is the dream factory, the place that takes people into the most secretive parts of themselves,” he told the Buddhist magazine tricycle not long after Jacob’s Ladder and Ghost were released. “Sitting in a dark theater staring at a big screen, people are very vulnerable. In this openness you can, if you want to, give very important lessons to an audience. You can touch the deepest part of the mass mind, and that’s what I wanted to do.”
And that, at bottom, is the entire point: to reach a state of “operating a wholly new consciousness.” In his tricycle interview, Rubin said, “I really look at the world as a depiction of the internal state of man. The external and the internal mirror one another, and I see that larger evil as basically a depiction of man’s own unconscious relationship to himself.” This is profound, fascinating, and, as those of us can verify who have done some of the inner work that Rubin and Moss recommend, undeniably true.

But the Shakespearean “rub” of the thing is that for those of us who, for some reason, are destined/doomed to have our primary means of awakening be a repeated encounter with the divine’s demonic face, it can sometimes be difficult, if not downright impossible, to know whether it’s really an awakening that we’re experiencing or a Lovecraftian, sanity-destroying encounter with a reality that is monstrous in its essence instead of just appearing as monstrous to us.
I wonder how many people outside the Western world really feel there are Cosmic Monstrosities? Where a Westerner might see the Devil on God's throne it seems to me a person whose spirituality is indigenous might just see a spirit (or sub-level mental "node") that can be easily banished.

Even if there is an Evil God it may not have the kind of dominion one assumes due to personal experiences. There can still, as Laird points out, be a Good God engaged in a conflict.

Personally I suspect if there is a spiritual world (or set of worlds/universes) it seems more likely to me we'd be dealing with beings very much like ourselves but with additional abilities/freedom? As Gordon White once suggested, "The spirits are real but the gods are in your head."
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel


Today we take on one of the largest philosophical mysteries; what Dr. Farrell refers to as the Topological Metaphor. In a roller coaster of a talk, we touch many aspects and derivatives of this fundamental structure of existence - historically, esoterically, theologically & politically. What is this fingerprint of Creation? Where do we find its traces? How is it best grasped through symbolism, numbers, music & geometry? Was it part of a prehistoric understanding? How does modern science relate to it? How is this open abundance system opposed to the closed scarcity system? And we learn about the first Unified Field Theory in known history!
 
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