Can we believe eyewitnesses… did this 17th century monk levitate? |312|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, May 3, 2016.

  1. Alex

    Alex New

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    Can we believe eyewitnesses… did this 17th century monk levitate? |313|
    by Alex Tsakiris | May 3 | Consciousness Science, Parapsychology

    Dr. Michael Grosso’s extensive research of historical records suggest St. Joseph’s levitation was real.
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    photo by: UCAN Spirituality
    Today we welcome Dr. Michael Grosso to Skepiko, Dr. Grosso is an independent scholar with a longtime association with the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia. He’s one of the coauthors of the fantastic Irreducible Mind, as well as several other fascinating books the science of human consciousness including his latest: The Man Who Could Fly: St. Joseph of Copertino and the Mystery of Levitation

    In this interview Dr. Grosso talks about the substantial historical evidence for physical levitation including what he found scouring many original accounts written in Italian during the 17th century.

    He also talks about why, despite the historical evidence, accounts like those of Saint Joseph have gone out of fashion and have been eclipsed by the more reproducible miracles of science and its implicit creed of materialism which casts suspicion on everything mystical.

    Alex Tsakiris: And these aren’t Chris Angel’s six inches off the ground, one foot down, leave the other one up…

    Michael Grosso: The documents show that Joseph frequently levitated while he was saying mass, just hovering a couple of inches off the ground. I think the most spectacular case I came across was on a Christmas Eve when he dragged in a bunch of shepherds who had their drums and musical instruments. He got them to make merry and he got so carried away he levitated half way up to the peak of the tower of the church. So that may’ve been as much as 31 or 51 feet. I’m not sure exactly. Doesn’t matter. It was high.

    … So it’s interesting that the religious as well as the scientific orthodoxies are very reluctant to handle and confront phenomena that they don’t understand, and they cannot control.

    Alex Tsakiris: There’s a practical reason for that too. Because it’s a complete reflection of us–of who we are. We’re uncomfortable with it. We like our own trains to run on time. We don’t like to think that miracles happen and the consensus reality that we share with everyone is really just another option in terms of how everything works.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
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  2. Obiwan

    Obiwan Member

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    I guess it depends who the witnesses were and their situation at the time. I'd also be interested in any potential motives driving their testimony. Testimonial evidence can be very difficult to assess. Especially when we can't cross examine them :)
     
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  3. Did D.D. Home levitate?

    "It is claimed that more than a hundred times in good light before reputable witnesses he floated in the air."

    http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks03/0301051.txt

    Did Børge Michaelsen Levitate?

    [​IMG]

    http://mariondampier-jeans.com/●-spiritism/personer/sven-turck/

    http://translate.google.se/translat...ndampier-jeans.com/dansk/personer/sven-turck/

    https://web.archive.org/web/20130117041901/http://mariondampier-jeans.com/english/library/pictures/
     
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  4. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Alex's questions at the end of the interview:

    Why do we shy away from these historical accounts [of seemingly miraculous occurrences]? Why do we shy away from present-day accounts even more vigorously?
     
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  5. Psiclops

    Psiclops Member

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    Great interview - thanks Alex.
    Consciousness of course plays a role in all cases of psycho-kinesis - which levitation is except that whole human bodies are involved instead of movement of small objects.
    I well remember table tipping evenings I used to go to where the table lifted and wobbled to shrieks of excitement from the participants, I've been to physical séances where the medium strapped into a heavy chair has been levitated and then dropped heavily into the floor.
    As a journalist I covered poltergeist cases which involved levitation of objects but there are famous cases of bodily levitation in such 'hauntings' - which does rather pour cold water on Grosso's view that these abilities somehow infer connection to higher consciousness.
    Maybe 'lower' consciousness or some form of psychic trauma works just as well and we are simply talking about transcendence from our everyday physical focus.
    And yes as a child I played the game of lifting people with fingers.
    The whole subject is so large - when you consider that the UFO phenomena is about things that fly or levitate also.
    Such a shame that we can't find a modern levitator - imagine the 'flyer' was filmed live on TV news!
    Would that bring an overnight end to the materialist paradigm?
     
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  6. I think there's a couple reasons, and levels to the cataloged resistance.

    Grosso himself has documented Hume's assessment of a miraculous event, and the bias toward naturalism that guided the man's thoughts:

    But as Gross and Alex point out, if you go deeper you see that scripture accounts are in fact challenged by various data points in parapsychology, namely the NDE and the medium communications...though those in turn might be said to be challenged by Psi data that can be utilized by the Super-Psi camp.

    This is something I wonder about, whether parapsychology really supports religion. But I think you can go even deeper than the ideas that parapsychology either makes the supposedly miraculous more mundane OR shows the miraculous requires neither priest nor scripture.

    After all, not only are there materialist explanations offered for Psi phenomenon, but there's also what I call the "shyness" of Psi. Why aren't 1 in 5 people capable of faith healing or RVing? Why aren't we seeing more people levitate?

    If Psi is a connection to something Other, something divine, then why is it so weak? Why does it end up in the hands of certain mediums who seem all to happy to commit fraud? And when we have honest mediums, why can't they manifest their abilities (or communion with spirits) at a stronger level?

    Then there's an even weirder layer that ties into Psiclops mentioning UFOs - what was going with the alien visitation elements in the Miracle of Fatima? Is there Something playing games, using Psi to do so? Or Something trying to communicate with us but utilizing our myths?

    That's when we start getting into some gnostic type stuff, that or social mass-psi creating all the seemingly extraterrestrial and divine visitations. Add in the more confusing/bizarre NDEs, differences in the accounts of what goes on in other realms, and so on.

    So I think it's not just the naturalists like Hume who want to press against these accounts, you also have people who don't want to get too deep into these varied possibilities. Which is not to say some of these ideas aren't better than others, but it seems to me that even after parapsychology comes in from the cold there are many, many questions left to be sorted through.
     
  7. Alex

    Alex New

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    interesting connection... had not thought of that.
     
  8. Alex

    Alex New

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    just wrapped-up a terrific interview with Steve Braude... great/super-bright guy with many, many contributions in these areas, but he his case for super-psi not very strong.
     
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  9. I thought Braude himself leaned toward post-mortem survival? At least that was the conclusion in Immortal Remains?
     
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  10. Because it is easier for people to believe what they experience every day, that some people are hoaxers and liars, than it is to believe what most people never experience, that because the laws of nature are produced by thought, they can also be altered by thought.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
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  11. north

    north Member

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    No. A large group would immediately explain how it was faked.
    Special effects on fictional tv shows have removed most people's expectation that what is shown on tv is "real".

    We have been conditioned that:
    - religions are non-factual
    - science is true
    - materialism is science
    - you will be ridiculed if you share your experiences that disprove materialism

    A wide range of spiritual and religious phenomena are available if you seek honestly. It will be a road less traveled...
     
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  12. Alex

    Alex New

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    radically agnostic :)
     
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  13. Alex

    Alex New

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    nice!
     
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  14. tim

    tim New

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    An enjoyable and interesting interview. Thanks to Alex and Michael Grosso.

    I'm not trying to be funny here but personally I don't see how we could allow a phenomenon like levitation to be integrated into our earthly reality (assuming It really occurred/occurs which it probably did) How could we explain to our kids that some daddy's and mummies can fly, so if you see them hovering outside your window, please don't think that you can do the same thing as they have special powers and you don't... doesn't this have to sort of stay in the long grass ...

    I'm sorry I'm not able to make a more useful comment but I have no idea as to why St Joseph or D D Home were able to do this.

    EDIT Off topic please could someone tell me what the little green cap on the top left of my (or anyone's) icon means ?
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
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  15. malf

    malf Member

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  16. tim

    tim New

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    Obviously with your history, Malf you know this is a trick. It's a fair point, there he is...levitating....and your silence suggests that this is your answer. If Phil can do it so realistically then St Joseph and DD Home are somehow tricking us ?
     
  17. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    That was an interesting interview, and it left me with one question - and a possible answer!

    I wonder why it is that levitation and flying feature fairly often as a miracle - what is special about levitation as opposed to becoming invisible, or turning into a tiger, or whatever?

    It occurs to me that people in OBE's report exactly these phenomena, and a very few also report the ability to materialise enough to make people aware of their presence. Is it possible that people who are seen to levitate are in fact in an OBE - where levitation is easy - but they manage to materialise enough to appear to be their normal selves?

    David
     
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  18. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    So do you know how this was done?

    David
     
  19. Vortex

    Vortex Member

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    Daniel Dunglas Home was tested in a tightly controlled conditions. The detailed reports by William Crooks are available on Dean Radin's evidence page.

    If you think he was a fraud, please describe some specific tricks he might use in such restained situation. As for now, even professional and highly skeptical stage magicians were unable to present an adequate scenario of his supposed trickery...
     
  20. It would be interesting to see what technology is required to pull off the Chris Angel stunt. Is it something that would be available in the 17th Century?
     

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