Christopher Knowles, Are Occult Symbols Present in Science? |365|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. Charlie Primero

    Charlie Primero Member

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    I say it's both, but more of the latter. It's easier today with the massive amount of information we can access.

    Syncromysticisms are very personal. I have a recurring one that seems like a type of deja vu. It's weird. It happens over and over.

    1. something "fish"
    2. something "telephone"
    3. something "little girl".

    It happens fast. Example: Sitting in traffic I see a "Jesus Fish" on the car in front of me. I look up to see a cell phone plan billboard. I turn my head and see a little girl staring at me in the next car.

    Walking into a convenience store I see a fishing boat on a trailer pull in the parking lot. I look down to step up on the curb and there is a pre-paid phone calling card on the ground. I look up and there is a picture of a missing little girl taped in the store window. Very fast.

    It happened again Sunday at Texas Renfest. I saw a guy eating a slab of fried fish. My wife's telephone rang. A little girl bumped into me. 1,2,3 very fast.

    It's actually starting to annoy me and I wish it would stop.
     
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  2. Alex

    Alex New

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    Mike Patterson just posted this:
    http://aspiringanimist.com/2018/01/03/gott-das-ist-unsinn-gotthard-opening-ceremony-craziness/

    I gotta say... he's got some good points re Chris Knowles going overboard:
     
  3. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

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    It won't stop until you 'get' what its about. Your stuff is really cool and interesting. I am plagued by the 11:11 thing. I go for weeks, sometimes months with nothing and then, for days on end, I will get reflexive impulses to look at a clock and there is 11:11. I have tried all kinds of tricks to avoid seeing it, but they have been overwhelmed by impulses. I set my phone and computer clocks to 24 hours, so I have only that one window of 11:11 each day. You'd think I could manage to not see, but no, if I am wanted to see it there is nothing I can do.

    The best I can do to explain this to myself is that they are constant reminders that the outer [physical] me is constantly subjected to inner [metaphysical] influences. Sometimes the power of that influence is so strong it must be connected to an intentional agency. Maybe I am meant to 'surrender' to those inner impulses?

    Look at the power of what you experience. Its telling you something. So 2 things. Something can make this happen routinely. Does it mean something? For me there are a whole bunch of claims about what 11:11 means - its pretty common evidently - but mostly it is preposterous and pretentious BS. At least you have 3 elements that could mean something together. But then it could be just an instance of an absurd repeating pattern whose only meaning is that somebody can do this to you and wants you to know. Maybe you have to ask who and why? Or engage in a conversation.
     
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  4. KindaGamey

    KindaGamey Member

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    Agreed Mike. That's where I am with syncs as well: it is a message/demonstration about the nature of reality, not a major pointer to the sync symbol itself. I used to tell people that, but now I don't anymore. It's kind of a universal spoiler alert -- I just let them find out for themselves because that's the journey. Get excited! Research jesus fish all day and night, follow the white rabbit, change your routine, shake yourself up chasing syncs and trying to derive the meaning. Then when you get old and a bit more tired, sit back and realize... oh, it's just showing me there are mirrors all around us. As inside so outside. We are all one.
     
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  5. Alex

    Alex New

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    :)
     
  6. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

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    The mere fact that synchs happen is astonishing enough, so now I am just kinda grateful for the reminder that some kind of deeper intelligence is operating and now and then rattling my cage. I suppose there is a logic to the 11:11 thing - not really possible on a large scale before digital clocks. You have the quad digit options of 00:00, 11:11 and 22:22 only - and 2 of them are way after my bedtime. But there a whole bunch of other number patterns that could be repeated. In Western culture 11:11 signifies remembrance (Nov 11th). So far as I know no other number pattern (other than 09:11) has such universal recognition. Right or wrong? I don't know. What I do know is that lots of people get the 11:11 bug, and that of itself is astonishing enough.

    I think we have become seduced by answers, and that limits our imagination. So less "How?" and more "Wow!" That's a bit like an admonishment to meditators - acknowledge and then drop the 'How?' and groove on the 'Wow'.
     
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  7. Alex

    Alex New

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    then again, has Mike gone overboard with his response :)

    keeping in mind that the "official response" is from a control-group/bureaucracy that completely (and in most cases mockingly) denies all the spirit-oriented stuff depicted in the ceremony.... and isn't that really Knowles's point. isn't this another version of safe-space Satanism (minus the Satanic):

    The Secret Sun: Safe-Space Satanism
     
  8. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

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    Gee Alex. Overboard? Nah. I'd call it thorough. I am struggling with your notion of safe-space Satanism minus the satanic, but no, its not that. Knowles has made perfectly valid points about safe-space Satanism - which is really no more than a pretty gross marketing ploy that will draw some folk in. I saw the vid on YouTube and that is seriously nasty stuff, despite the smiles. My intuitive alarm bells were going crazy. He and I have no essential disagreement there.

    Please bear in mind that I am a bureaucrat of substantial standing, so my 'insider' take on Knowles' attitude toward bureaucrats is both sympathetic and skeptical. Bureaucracy is not a uniform space. The spirit oriented elements of the ceremony were accepted and honoured. You don't do a death acknowledging event in such a public arena without responding to the spiritual dimension. Recall too, that there was a formal multi-faith blessing as well.

    The sole reference to the Devil was the enactment of traditional folk tale that ended in the Devil's defeat. The other allegedly 'satanic' images were actually the more raunchy pagan allusions to a tradition of fertility rites - something disparaged by Christianity, especially the Protestant variety (in which I was raised BTW).

    The big question, assumed by Knowles in the affirmative, was whether there was an additional agenda woven into the ceremony. This agenda, it is alleged, incorporated a deeper, and dark, motive to turn the event into a ritual in which the only knowledgeable and consenting observers or participants were an unspecified 'occult elite'. I have several fundamental problems with this proposition. The first is that, so far as I can find, nobody has produced a shred of evidence that this occult elite exists. That is not to say that I do not believe that no members of our so-called cultural elite are engaged in occult practices. In fact I am sure that they are. But as a past member of several such 'secret' groups I also know that I would not expect to know about them. This is very different from dissolute Hollywood types 'dabbling' in the occult. Real groups don't expose their presence or work. The word 'occult' means hidden, and I have to say that there is a popular conceit by 'occult' outsiders that they know what is going on. Can I please assure any reader that they do not, and cannot. Should you worry about it? Mostly no - and the things that are worrisome are being addressed by people who know what they are about.

    I understand the allure of the 'secret' assembly. Often powerless outsiders fantasise that they have discovered a hole in the veil. That's great for a movie, or a comic or a cartoon. But it is not reality, and it does not happen. So it may be a popular culture meme, but its no more than a fantasy. Besides a lot of what is imagined does not happen - no, make that so nearly all of it it does not matter.

    Consequently it is incredible to me that anyone without intimate and extensive knowledge of ritual at the technical level could discern evidence of a conspiratorial insertion of ritual elements in a public ceremony. So far the only people who claim to discern this manipulation are not, so far as I have been able to discover, those with what I'd say is the requisite experience and knowledge to render their claims credible. The moment such a person turns up and makes parallel assertions I will be paying very close attention.

    I am not bothered or defensive about 'going overboard'. I research a matter as thoroughly as I think necessary to eliminate, or at least reduce, the risk of being accused of being careless in my counter arguments. It is sometimes necessary to go to a perspective that is not dictated by a claimant, so they do not have control of the conversation - and that control is returned to the owners of the event. In this instance what the Swiss believed and thought about the ceremony should rule, unless there are compelling reasons to think otherwise. Knowles thought there was a compelling reason to think otherwise. But, in my view, he did not back up his POV with a compelling case, IMO. I have no doubt that others will disagree with me. Knowles and I come from very different positions, and in the marketplace of ideas all I have done is throw in another choice that may be favoured by some.
     
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  9. Alex

    Alex New

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    agreed... and I think there was. I don't think it goes as far as Knowles thinks and I appreciate you reigning it back it, but at the end of the day we have to step back and ask how/why is the occult symbology being presented in this way at this time?

    full stop. so, we have a ceremony designed to appeal an elite group of highly influential people while disguising itself as a atheist/secular minstrel show. yr just making Knowles's point for him.



    absolutely not! how these low/mid-level bureaucrats have been trained/paid to think about this stuff is at best irrelevant and at worst a courter-indicator of what's really going on.

    I'm glad you spelled out yr very valid criticisms... details matter... and so does the big picture :)
     
  10. hypermagda

    hypermagda Member

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    That's exactly the conclusion I've come to - and I have been marinating in syncs for the past 5 years now, so I have quite a lot of data to base my hypothesis on. However the "we are all one" thing does not really mean much to me. We may all be made of the same "mind-matter stuff" (including nature and the so-called 'material world'), and therefore mind and matter interact in all sorts of ways that we do not fully understand yet, but to me "one" means unity of purpose, a single agency and, more importantly, a single, unified conscious mind aware of itself, and I don't see that at all in the universe and/or in mankind, for example (or even in nature, frankly). But I digress. As regards the "meaning" of syncs I very much agree with you and Mike.
     
  11. hypermagda

    hypermagda Member

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    Example of a numerical sync featuring repeating numbers that happened to me just yesterday.

    I came across a tweet which I liked (it had been retweeted by someone else I follow - I was not following that particular account). So I checked out this account I didn't know, and on their profile page I saw a tweet sent to her by someone who announced that they had just become her 7,777th follower. This reminded me that that very morning I had seen a report in the news about the draw of the big New Year lottery here in Italy. The first prize (5 million euro) was won by a ticket ending with 7777 (an extremely unusual number, obviously). Here an article about it (in Italian) - as you can see in the article, the full ticket number was „Q067777“

    http://www.frosinonetoday.it/cronac...ni.html#_ga=1.146797300.1334757386.1515351800

    NB: I had a major sync just last week involving my late grandfather and a lottery: I "coincidentally" found his last household ledger among old stuff at my mum's place, and inside it there was a very old lottery ticket (ticket number: 2022). The date of the draw on the lottery ticket was the same date as that of his death! (I subsequently had a series of of 222 syncs which I will spare you here).

    Anyway. I told the two Twitter people about the 7777 lottery ticket which was in the news that same day. One of them (the one that had become the 7777th follower of the first account which I had come across by chance, via a retweet) replied to me, saying that this was an amazing synchronicity. I went to her Twitter page profile and started looking at her tweets. I decided to follow her. Then I saw that she was following exactly 3,332 people at that time, so if she had followed back I would have been #3,333! She did, so I eventually became the 3,333th account she follows. I should add that the numbers 7 and 3 have come up in loads of syncs for me. My father died on March 7th (7/3).

    So - one possibility is that something/somebody is using these 'meaningful numbers' (to me) to orchestrate synchronicities so as to show me that reality can be moulded and that it is akin to some kind of simulation which can be interfered with. I frankly don't understand how or why I myself may be interfering with it so as to create syncs for myself, albeit subconsciously (as some believe) and even if I were, this mirroring mechanism pre-existed me, so it's not "me" in any meaningful way. We may be "all one" but I do not consciously control this "oneness" so I cannot possibly identify fully with it. It feels definitely more like it's "doing something to me" than the other way round.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  12. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

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    I don't have any good theories about these synchs, but I do try to explain them to myself in an effort to engage with them in a useful way. My personal sense is that we live in a functional and active intelligence that expresses itself in multiple ways -self-awareness, intuitions, interaction with agencies [for good or ill] at various levels of complexity [for ill only at the lower levels and not the higher levels]. But mostly we filter such awareness out of our waking conscious state - so they have to intrude to intervene or interfere. This idea is not part of a culture brought up on the God transcendent model of religion, and neither is it part of a culture infused with 'scientific rationalism'. I have it because it makes sense of many experiences that have plagued me most of my life.

    In a way its in the background of many of the Skeptiko shows. For example if we accept NDEs as real to the extent that Long shows in God and the Afterlife, then we are obliged to consider that there is a complex multi-layered community of lives intersecting with our own. OBErs and lucid dreamers confirm this, as do all the major [and minor] spiritual/religious/mystical traditions. But we do not engage with that idea as a constant truth because we have been sensitised. First Christianity transformed from an essentially magical and animistic faith to a tighter intellectualised one that depleted the natural spiritual ecology so that it could focus the attention of its followers on its ideas and authorities. Then 'science' sought to eradicate any lingering sensibility with a scorched earth rationalism policy, applying what amounts to intellectual napalm to our sensibilities. Nothing not intellectual could be allowed to live.

    Any country person will tell you that city folk blunder around with no awareness of what's around them when they go bush [and vice versa, btw]. Our senses are attuned to, and conditioned by, our environments - physical and psychical. That also means cultural [religious and intellectual]. I think we are generally desensitised as a culture, but some individuals are innately more sensitive than others - and have sporadic to regular impressions from that larger environment of lives. When I was doing my Masters Honours research project I concluded that we humans are inherently animistic, and that innate impulse bleeds through cultural and experiential lines of least resistance constantly. I have subsequently come to believe that we are also inherently religious [but that necessitates a proper definition of religion].

    I suspect we dismiss a lot of input as rubbish talk, and discover only in hindsight that something was meaningful and important. So repetitions of themes and numbers are more likely to get our attention because they are not part of our 'natural' internal dialogue. For instance a few weeks ago I had a sudden impulse to take a spare pair of sunglasses with me as I left the house, but dismissed the notion because I had a pair in the car. But ten minutes later that pair pretty well fell apart on me. Just about everyone has experiences like this. Mostly we respond to such impulses with reason and dismiss them. For me that's a problem. We are induced, hypnotised, into believing reason is our friend. Its not. We hear many stories of people not getting on planes on in cars or trains that crash because they had a 'bad' feeling, but we never ask, and cannot know, how many of those did rationalised away similar 'bad' feelings.

    Back in the 1970s I took a plane from Adelaide to Melbourne and had a 'bad' feeling. I was on the verge of cancelling when I decided to take the time to feel into it. I got on the plane after deciding that whatever was going to happen was not fatal. As we prepared to descend on approach to Melbourne we were informed that the undercarriage had failed to go down and we were going to be flying until the fuel was mostly used up to prevent fire on landing. That was a long and agonising time for the passengers. I was cool. It was a perfect movie scenario. There were 2 nuns, a couple with a baby, a very sick guy with medical assistants, and a loud drunk. Sadly I was not sitting beside a beautiful woman who had just left her husband because he had cheated on her. I had a boring guy who who snored. The wheels came down eventually and everybody cheered.

    So I suspect that numbers, odd sequences of things repeated get our attention because they are harder to ignore. Maybe we are supposed to talk about them as well?
     
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  13. hypermagda

    hypermagda Member

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    Hi Mike, nice to meet you and thank you for your thoughts. May I ask you a few questions? These are genuine questions, because I certainly do not have the answers (I only have working theories), but since you seem to be a thoughtful person who has both experienced and reflected on these things, I am interested in hearing YOUR working theory. I have selected a few passages from you latest message and my questions refer specifically to those bits.

    Let me start with this "functional and active intelligence" you mention. When you say "we live in" this intelligence it is not clear to me whether you mean that we are separate from it or not. I think that we are separate from it (we would clearly, automatically know what our individual existence is about if we were truly, "functionally included" in such intelligence), and just as separate from it are the 'animistic entities/agencies' you appear to postulate (and I can certainly share this hypothesis: my working theory, too, is that of a shamanistic universe). So the "self-awareness" you mention may or may not exist at the level of the "source" in which this mind-matter continuum that we inhabit is rooted, but to it we must also add the fragmented individual self-awareness of its "expressions", we being included in them ("anima" means soul, so animistic implies the coexistence of many different souls/self-aware units; plurality rather than unity).

    Now this issue may seem not so important, especially as it is very fashionable nowadays to say "we are all one" (apparently it even makes many people feel really good, go figure! They like to feel "one" with serial killers or paedophiles or cancerous cells etc, for some reason). This question however is crucial to me because it's about the very nature of who we are as individuals - is there a single all-controlling awareness both outside and inside of us? If so, how come, just to use your example, that we individually feel that we are free to do or not do something, like taking a hint not to board a certain flight, and that we are able to choose to follow our "intuitions" (if we have them) or not? Whence these intuitions that seem to wish to protect us? On the other hand, for examole, whence "the voices" that some people hear, telling them to kill someone or even themselves, in fact?

    Is there a single "control centre" behind reality or are there several agencies which can intervene in the mind-matter continuum that we inhabit (regardless of whether there might have been a single source having given rise to these many 'animistic agencies')?

    This is crucial in my opinion because if there really was a single intelligence in control then we would individually be controlled too, so all that is would ultimately be some kind of onanistic act on the part of this 'God' (the word God in the monotheistic sense of the term would be appropriate, in that it would be just one entity and all-powerful) - frankly, he would basically be acting like an adolescent playing with himself while trying to imagine to be with a real partner (but no, he's on his own) :). Also, the nature of this world would show it to be a masochistic God, because it is inflicting pain on itself ("nature red in tooth and claw") - yes, masochistic practices are something SOME people apparently use to extract pleasure from them, but certainly not all. Personally, I am not at all attracted to it. And the overwhelming majority of sentient creatures seem to agree with me, because they try to escape from pain, suffering and death, and struggle to survive. So it seems more plausible to me that any original unity has been lost and we are now many (VERY many) rather than "one".

    This would in turn mean that there is not a single orchestrating agency behind the many "strange phenomena" (including syncs) that people experience. This seems to me more plausible (but I'm interested in your opinion!) unless one assumes that this "functional and active intelligence" is actively schizophrenic and pursuing different interests in different "expressions" of itself, while being aware of it (but then we would spontaneously, naturally go along with it and not really dislike suffering and death, right?). I mean, even NDEs are about PERSONAL survival after death....I am not at all an expert in NDEs and I must say I'm not particularly interested in them but the experiencers describe their meetings with relatives, during which they are told that "life continues" after death, and I think that all those concerned take it to imply that their own individuality survives....(mediums of course provide "evidence" of the same thing, ie individual survival after death).

    I'd be interested in hearing your take on this supposed unity of purpose/single awareness OR lack of (or lost) unity of awareness in "what is", because to me this is a crucial thing, especially if we are to "engage" with syncs in a useful way as you wrote (a lot of people, astonishingly for me, think they convey a specific, literal message, such as that that they should do or not do something, or that the End of Times is nigh or who knows what else). Certainly, especially for those who take these things literally, assuming that all syncs come from the same, single, all-powerful agency is very different from speculating that they may come from different "animistic agencies" who may have profoundly different intentions and wills (good or bad intentions towards us).

    (....)
    With reference to this, I am pretty sure that there have been plenty of cases of bad presentiments which turned out to be wrong. I am not at all disputing your experience - just saying that if things were so clear (ie, if premonitions/intuitions always turned out to be right), then even hard-core materialists would believe in them as they would be very easy to prove "scientifically". However, lots of "bad feelings"/premonitions/predictions do not materialise (there are plenty of documented cases). Also, why do some people have these intuitions/hints and some don't? Why, in your opinion, does the veil get slightly lifted at times for some and not for others? Incidentally, most religions see a moral dimension to existence, and despite many logical contradictions they distinguish between good and evil (in particular, ALL religions tell us to "be good"). Is it all just a human interpretation, given the arbitrary way in which the universe seem to be running? (no demonstrable justice or fairness). Why should we "be good" and thus better than the way this material word functions? Why not just be indifferent as it seems to be, say it's all perfect as it is and do what we like? (Materialists would in fact maintain that we are only "good" because it serves us: cooperation is ultimately useful for the individual, thus love/compassion is a selfish act in disguise.)

    (...)
    Yes, I too sometimes have the impression that we are supposed to talk about these strange phenomena - maybe some "benevolent agency" wishes to help us to "see through" what seems very real (the material world) but is after all only some kind of "simulation", in the sense of a very incomplete perception of a much bigger underlying reality "projecting" it. But of course many of us are wary to do so (me included) because most people are only interested in their daily lives and until they experience something that truly shakes them they will dismiss all this as "woo". I should know because I was like most people until about 5 years ago :)

    Thank you in advance for your thoughts! Of course I would have plenty more things I would like to hear your take on but this is more than enough for now!
     
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  14. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

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    Hi John

    You are an interesting bloke! I love your passion. There’s a lot here – some of which overlaps. I have tried to respond sensibly, but also with comparative brevity to keep the size of the post manageable. Looking back, I have not always addressed your questions directly, but I have tried to also look at underpinning themes. I have put your stuff in italics for ease of distinction.

    Hi Mike, nice to meet you and thank you for your thoughts. May I ask you a few questions? These are genuine questions, because I certainly do not have the answers (I only have working theories), but since you seem to be a thoughtful person who has both experienced and reflected on these things, I am interested in hearing YOUR working theory. I have selected a few passages from you latest message and my questions refer specifically to those bits.

    Let me start with this "functional and active intelligence" you mention. When you say "we live in" this intelligence it is not clear to me whether you mean that we are separate from it or not. I think that we are separate from it (we would clearly, automatically know what our individual existence is about if we were truly, "functionally included" in such intelligence), and just as separate from it are the 'animistic entities/agencies' you appear to postulate (and I can certainly share this hypothesis: my working theory, too, is that of a shamanistic universe).

    For me it is that within which we ‘Live and move and have our being’ [to repeat an old saying]. We, and other agents, are particularised expressions of a whole that creates a sense of individuality [that is multi-layered] that endures while that sense of individuality persists. And while it persists we can have that sense of being separate and distinct. The object of the great mystical systems is to render that sense of individuality as an essential feature of being permeable [so that it also links with an essential sense of unity]– but without eradicating it.

    So the "self-awareness" you mention may or may not exist at the level of the "source" in which this mind-matter continuum that we inhabit is rooted, but to it we must also add the fragmented individual self-awareness of its "expressions", we being included in them ("anima" means soul, so animistic implies the coexistence of many different souls/self-aware units; plurality rather than unity).

    I used the term ‘self-awareness’ in an attempt to convey only the psychological sense of being aware of oneself as an agent in the physical world- and hence aware of an internal dialogue/monologue. Self-awareness also has a mystical sense – but in this case I mean the fragmented sense your refer to.

    Now this issue may seem not so important, especially as it is very fashionable nowadays to say "we are all one" (apparently it even makes many people feel really good, go figure! They like to feel "one" with serial killers or paedophiles or cancerous cells etc, for some reason). This question however is crucial to me because it's about the very nature of who we are as individuals - is there a single all-controlling awareness both outside and inside of us? If so, how come, just to use your example, that we individually feel that we are free to do or not do something, like taking a hint not to board a certain flight, and that we are able to choose to follow our "intuitions" (if we have them) or not? Whence these intuitions that seem to wish to protect us? On the other hand, for example, whence "the voices" that some people hear, telling them to kill someone or even themselves, in fact?

    While ‘we are all one’ is true on a deep level, we are not ‘as one’ in any functional sense. The pedantic position might be that the only useful truth of it is when we are able to act ‘as one’. I agree that there is no point in asserting a seeming truth if it has no useful meaning. Being ‘one’ with serial killer is only useful if that act expresses higher order spiritual values like compassion and love as genuine acts rather than ideas or noble sentiments that do little more than signify the idea or sentiment. In a way we can aspire to be ‘all one’, but our acts [informed by where we are emotionally, intellectually or spiritually] do not reflect an actualisation of that aspiration.

    I don’t think there is a single ‘controlling awareness’ so much as a uniting awareness that has transactional variants – e.g. between me [a sense of individual self] and deity [the One] there is a complex skein of connection. There is a persistent philosophical problem that comes across as a kind of Zen koan – free will and predestination are both real at the same time. So control is both within and beyond me. This ‘problem’ is still not resolved intellectually, despite an ocean of ink being devoted to discussion of it.

    I see a distinction between ‘controlling’ and ‘governing’ – at best there is a governing awareness. It is fairly clear to me that who I am is expressed in physical and non-physical ways. So I like the idea of a ‘higher self’ that places the me I know in this world as pretty much the ‘lower self’. The mystical traditions have humans comprising 7 ‘bodies’. Theosophywales.com says as well as the physical body we have and Etheric Body, an Astral Body, a Mental Body (with a lower and higher configuration) a Buddhic Body, an Atmic or Spiritual Body, and a Monadic Spark or ray of the Divine Over-Soul.

    This idea goes back to the ancient Egyptians and found also in the Hindu tradition. So where would be place a locus of control? Perhaps along the whole chain of our being rather than in a single location. The problem is that if you imagine that chain of ‘bodies’ there is a link between the physical [time and space] and the ineffable [beyond time and space] – and actualisation happens in both realms.

    Our Christian heritage gives us a very controlly mentality – with idea like being obedient to God’s will – as if we were in a position to oppose the will of deity. But that’s about stuff and stuff happening. A mystical take is that the divine will is to be and to know – and that has an uncertainty principle built in. In one sense our lives are probabilistic, but in another they are also inhabited by choice. The paradox is that the divine can both not know and know at the same time – and there cannot be an alternative to that. Reality is finally messy and incomprehensible to us.

    As to ‘voices’ – check out William Baldwin’s Spirit Releasement Therapy. This sits well with shamanic insights as well as Joe Fisher’s The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts, traditional beliefs in how the dead influence the living and communications with the ‘dead’. As well, from my own experience there are good guiding voices too. Baldwin shows how illness and madness can be the result of spirit attachments (so too Jane Kent’s The Goddess and the Shaman).

    Is there a single "control centre" behind reality or are there several agencies which can intervene in the mind-matter continuum that we inhabit (regardless of whether there might have been a single source having given rise to these many 'animistic agencies')?

    I think are multiple agencies – gods, angels and the like. In fact I think there is a densely populated ecosystem with a number [unknown] of primary agencies who generate other agencies in a complex descending hierarchy, finally expressing in the physical plane as what we know as animism. At least this what the great systems [like Indian, Qabalistic and Hermetic] indicate – and it is consistent with the shamanic traditions as well.

    Quite some time ago I sought from an impeccable teaching source some information about gods, which I was told were human inventions. I was assured they were not, and if they elected in engage with us we’d know it. They have will, and intent and things do happen within their scope of determination.

    So yes, a single source [the One] gives rise to many, and some of that many exert influence here – but its mostly hidden and incomprehensible [our science is too crude and lopsided]

    This is crucial in my opinion because if there really was a single intelligence in control then we would individually be controlled too, so all that is would ultimately be some kind of onanistic act on the part of this 'God' (the word God in the monotheistic sense of the term would be appropriate, in that it would be just one entity and all-powerful) - frankly, he would basically be acting like an adolescent playing with himself while trying to imagine to be with a real partner (but no, he's on his own) :). Also, the nature of this world would show it to be a masochistic God, because it is inflicting pain on itself ("nature red in tooth and claw") - yes, masochistic practices are something SOME people apparently use to extract pleasure from them, but certainly not all. Personally, I am not at all attracted to it. And the overwhelming majority of sentient creatures seem to agree with me, because they try to escape from pain, suffering and death, and struggle to survive. So it seems more plausible to me that any original unity has been lost and we are now many (VERY many) rather than "one".

    The difference between a single agency and multiple agencies is complex. My favourite analogy is government. A state has an overarching government divided into departments or ministries, each of which has operational subsets, expressing finally as teams and then individuals. As an individual public servant I am a delegate of a minister and a representative of the government – and ergo of the community. So all is one in principle, but many in our experiential actuality.

    Simple systems do not generate complexity. There seems to be a point in great complexity where small acts become influential. So in a way God’s defence against his own onanist propensity is vast complexity – so there is a chance of another arising. This to me is the root of the Taoist model – and the idea of the Goddess being the mother of all being. But this is getting into very deep stuff. My point is only to say that are other ways of seeing things.

    So with pain and suffering. We assume pain and suffering is the same thing on all dimensions. But it can’t be. Our biological nature abhors what is essential in nature from the perspective of organic being. But that does not mean that this is the only value set to be applied. Nature operates only because there is a constant cycle of death and birth – and that has to be good at some level.

    This would in turn mean that there is not a single orchestrating agency behind the many "strange phenomena" (including syncs) that people experience. This seems to me more plausible (but I'm interested in your opinion!) unless one assumes that this "functional and active intelligence" is actively schizophrenic and pursuing different interests in different "expressions" of itself, while being aware of it (but then we would spontaneously, naturally go along with it and not really dislike suffering and death, right?). I mean, even NDEs are about PERSONAL survival after death....I am not at all an expert in NDEs and I must say I'm not particularly interested in them but the experiencers describe their meetings with relatives, during which they are told that "life continues" after death, and I think that all those concerned take it to imply that their own individuality survives....(mediums of course provide "evidence" of the same thing, ie individual survival after death).


    I suppose that when I say “functional and active intelligence” I mean it more as a matrix than an entity. I am of the school that sees the divine as essence that is beyond description (called The One) and from which distil agencies (of The One, but not as The One). So any reference to God as an agent cannot be The One – but an aspect. It can seem like mind bending metaphysics but its just a description of what polytheistic systems have [monotheism has all kinds of problems that are resolved only when it behaves like a faux polytheism]. For example, if you have any familiarity with Qabala you see how Kether divides into Chokmah (2) and Binah (3) and there are further emanations. That’s a neat system. The Hindu system is more complex, but the principle is more or less the same – so long as we do not forget that map is not the territory and thinking tools are just that – and not reality.

    Life expresses in the manifest world, but it not dependent on it. Were it not so we could not have spirits or gods. Otherwise you would have a mysterious force coming from nowhere we can imagine, activating matter, and dissipating when it is done, or matter is done. So-called ‘science’ objects to NDEs when it cannot even cobble together any sensible alternative theory to explain life. It may object to the spirit explanation – but it is universal and makes sense when there is no actual alternative scientific theory that has any merit. It is one thing for materialists to object to a vast sophisticated body of thought on the grounds that it offends against their personal feelings and another to oppose that vast body of knowledge with some actual theories based on some actual evidence.

    I'd be interested in hearing your take on this supposed unity of purpose/single awareness OR lack of (or lost) unity of awareness in "what is", because to me this is a crucial thing, especially if we are to "engage" with syncs in a useful way as you wrote (a lot of people, astonishingly for me, think they convey a specific, literal message, such as that that they should do or not do something, or that the End of Times is nigh or who knows what else). Certainly, especially for those who take these things literally, assuming that all syncs come from the same, single, all-powerful agency is very different from speculating that they may come from different "animistic agencies" who may have profoundly different intentions and wills (good or bad intentions towards us).


    This is the problem with being conditioned by monotheism – you can’t have a subtle understanding without falling into heresy. Christianity is tougher still because it has pillars of faith that are really like fence posts that demark the limits of allowable intellectual and emotional territory – go beyond and your soul is in jeopardy, not to mention your flesh in days gone by.

    Synchs may be a manifestation of a ‘technology’ that can be accessed by any nonphysical agent with the means to do so – but this not simple ‘technology’, rather sophisticated. My experience is, and I can’t say this is universal, that the ‘bad’ agents mostly lack the wherewithal to be very sophisticated (there are exceptions, but they are mercifully rare). However a lot of harm can be done by these ‘lower level’ agents. I am being cautious here because this also complex and brevity may misrepresent actuality.
    (....)
    With reference to this, I am pretty sure that there have been plenty of cases of bad presentiments which turned out to be wrong. I am not at all disputing your experience - just saying that if things were so clear (ie, if premonitions/intuitions always turned out to be right), then even hard-core materialists would believe in them as they would be very easy to prove "scientifically". However, lots of "bad feelings"/premonitions/predictions do not materialise (there are plenty of documented cases). Also, why do some people have these intuitions/hints and some don't? Why, in your opinion, does the veil get slightly lifted at times for some and not for others? Incidentally, most religions see a moral dimension to existence, and despite many logical contradictions they distinguish between good and evil (in particular, ALL religions tell us to "be good"). Is it all just a human interpretation, given the arbitrary way in which the universe seem to be running? (no demonstrable justice or fairness). Why should we "be good" and thus better than the way this material word functions? Why not just be indifferent as it seems to be, say it's all perfect as it is and do what we like? (Materialists would in fact maintain that we are only "good" because it serves us: cooperation is ultimately useful for the individual, thus love/compassion is a selfish act in disguise.)

    Bad feelings that aren’t substantiated can be down to anxieties that are unfounded, and sundry ways we have of fooling ourselves, as well as induced feelings by agents intent on preventing us from doing things that are good for us. So-called ‘panic attacks’ may be induced by agents – and there is nothing real to fear. Another thing is that a premonition might result in sufficient changes in behaviour to avoid the adverse event. For example I delayed a long drive because of a bad feeling for 30 mins. The drive was uneventful and I have no way of knowing whether that delay made the difference or the feeling was BS. Depending on a person’s emotional state a mild stimulation can lead to over reaction. So many possible ways a stimulation can be caused and interpreted.

    Hard-core materialists tend to be unresponsive because they will almost always rationalise a stimulation away as a reflex. If the possibility of the intuition being real is not there then anything that looks like it is dismissed as something else. But on the other hand intuition plays a huge role in science – as any honest history of science will show. And so much good work has been done in psi research by very competent sciences to demonstrate that intuition is very real. Not so much with spirit communication these days.

    This is all complex and subtle because, I believe, we are dealing with an ecology that may provide contact with a variety of agents. The habit conditioned by our culture is to think in fixed terms with a simple array of agents. In the bush awareness has to be fluid and subtle because the array of agents is more complex – the less seemingly structured the ecology the more we must have a freer alertness that is more adaptive to sudden stimulus. If our cultural environment is more bushlike we are more open. In comparison a cultural ecology dominated by dogmas has no need for subtle awareness. Hence it seems that the educated class tends to be less open to things than the lower class – as a general rule. It has nothing to do with levels of education so much as the degree of certainty that education brings.

    (...)
    Yes, I too sometimes have the impression that we are supposed to talk about these strange phenomena - maybe some "benevolent agency" wishes to help us to "see through" what seems very real (the material world) but is after all only some kind of "simulation", in the sense of a very incomplete perception of a much bigger underlying reality "projecting" it. But of course many of us are wary to do so (me included) because most people are only interested in their daily lives and until they experience something that truly shakes them they will dismiss all this as "woo". I should know because I was like most people until about 5 years ago :)

    Yeah, so many folk want to hide from what is, and it is true that you can detune your senses to operate only in the physical world, so long as it is simple and predictable. To some folk getting by means walling out disruptive sensations so they can enjoy what little they have pulled together. I think Maslow’s hierarchy of needs applies here in the sense that unless you are living in wild and dangerous place shutting down is preferable – to preserve what little one has. Instability is a virtue because it admits of the possibility of profound change. There is a risk but also a great liberty. Certainty is death. You can’t engage with people full of certainty.

    Thank you in advance for your thoughts! Of course I would have plenty more things I would like to hear your take on but this is more than enough for now!

    This has become very long and may not be what the forum is about. Alex will undoubtedly opine sagely on the length – and I await his thought. I am happy to chat at length off line if that becomes the best thing to do. My new blog, aspiringanimist.com, has a feedback email address you could use to contact me direct. But if Alex is cool about this being a public conversation I am happy to continue via the forum.



    Hi John

    You are an interesting bloke! I love your passion. There’s a lot here – some of which overlaps. I will try to respond sensibly, but also with comparative brevity to keep the size of the post manageable.

    Hi Mike, nice to meet you and thank you for your thoughts. May I ask you a few questions? These are genuine questions, because I certainly do not have the answers (I only have working theories), but since you seem to be a thoughtful person who has both experienced and reflected on these things, I am interested in hearing YOUR working theory. I have selected a few passages from you latest message and my questions refer specifically to those bits.

    Let me start with this "functional and active intelligence" you mention. When you say "we live in" this intelligence it is not clear to me whether you mean that we are separate from it or not. I think that we are separate from it (we would clearly, automatically know what our individual existence is about if we were truly, "functionally included" in such intelligence), and just as separate from it are the 'animistic entities/agencies' you appear to postulate (and I can certainly share this hypothesis: my working theory, too, is that of a shamanistic universe).

    For me it is that within which we ‘Live and move and have our being’ [to repeat an old saying]. We, and other agents, are particularised expressions of a whole that creates a sense of individuality [that is multi-layered] that endures while that sense of individuality persists. And while it persists we can have that sense of being separate and distinct. The object of the great mystical systems is to render that sense of individuality as an essential feature of being permeable [so that it also links with an essential sense of unity]– but without eradicating it.

    So the "self-awareness" you mention may or may not exist at the level of the "source" in which this mind-matter continuum that we inhabit is rooted, but to it we must also add the fragmented individual self-awareness of its "expressions", we being included in them ("anima" means soul, so animistic implies the coexistence of many different souls/self-aware units; plurality rather than unity).

    I used the term ‘self-awareness’ in an attempt to convey only the psychological sense of being aware of oneself as an agent in the physical world- and hence aware of an internal dialogue/monologue. Self-awareness also has a mystical sense – but in this case I mean the fragmented sense your refer to.

    Now this issue may seem not so important, especially as it is very fashionable nowadays to say "we are all one" (apparently it even makes many people feel really good, go figure! They like to feel "one" with serial killers or paedophiles or cancerous cells etc, for some reason). This question however is crucial to me because it's about the very nature of who we are as individuals - is there a single all-controlling awareness both outside and inside of us? If so, how come, just to use your example, that we individually feel that we are free to do or not do something, like taking a hint not to board a certain flight, and that we are able to choose to follow our "intuitions" (if we have them) or not? Whence these intuitions that seem to wish to protect us? On the other hand, for example, whence "the voices" that some people hear, telling them to kill someone or even themselves, in fact?

    While ‘we are all one’ is true on a deep level, we are not ‘as one’ in any functional sense. The pedantic position might be that the only useful truth of it is when we are able to act ‘as one’. I agree that there is no point in asserting a seeming truth if it has no useful meaning. Being ‘one’ with serial killer is only useful if that act expresses higher order spiritual values like compassion and love as genuine acts rather than ideas or noble sentiments that do little more than signify the idea or sentiment. In a way we can aspire to be ‘all one’, but our acts [informed by where we are emotionally, intellectually or spiritually] do not reflect an actualisation of that aspiration.

    I don’t think there is a single ‘controlling awareness’ so much as a uniting awareness that has transactional variants – e.g. between me [a sense of individual self] and deity [the One] there is a complex skein of connection. There is a persistent philosophical problem that comes across as a kind of Zen koan – free will and predestination are both real at the same time. So control is both within and beyond me. This ‘problem’ is still not resolved intellectually, despite an ocean of ink being devoted to discussion of it.

    I see a distinction between ‘controlling’ and ‘governing’ – at best there is a governing awareness. It is fairly clear to me that who I am is expressed in physical and non-physical ways. So I like the idea of a ‘higher self’ that places the me I know in this world as pretty much the ‘lower self’. The mystical traditions have humans comprising 7 ‘bodies’. Theosophywales.com says as well as the physical body we have and Etheric Body, an Astral Body, a Mental Body (with a lower and higher configuration) a Buddhic Body, an Atmic or Spiritual Body, and a Monadic Spark or ray of the Divine Over-Soul.

    This idea goes back to the ancient Egyptians and found also in the Hindu tradition. So where would be place a locus of control? Perhaps along the whole chain of our being rather than in a single location. The problem is that if you imagine that chain of ‘bodies’ there is a link between the physical [time and space] and the ineffable [beyond time and space] – and actualisation happens in both realms.

    Our Christian heritage gives us a very controlly mentality – with idea like being obedient to God’s will – as if we were in a position to oppose the will of deity. But that’s about stuff and stuff happening. A mystical take is that the divine will is to be and to know – and that has an uncertainty principle built in. In one sense our lives are probabilistic, but in another they are also inhabited by choice. The paradox is that the divine can both not know and know at the same time – and there cannot be an alternative to that. Reality is finally messy and incomprehensible to us.

    As to ‘voices’ – check out William Baldwin’s Spirit Releasement Therapy. This sits well with shamanic insights as well as Joe Fisher’s The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts, traditional beliefs in how the dead influence the living and communications with the ‘dead’. As well, from my own experience there are good guiding voices too. Baldwin shows how illness and madness can be the result of spirit attachments (so too Jane Kent’s The Goddess and the Shaman).

    Is there a single "control centre" behind reality or are there several agencies which can intervene in the mind-matter continuum that we inhabit (regardless of whether there might have been a single source having given rise to these many 'animistic agencies')?

    I think are multiple agencies – gods, angels and the like. In fact I think there is a densely populated ecosystem with a number [unknown] of primary agencies who generate other agencies in a complex descending hierarchy, finally expressing in the physical plane as what we know as animism. At least this what the great systems [like Indian, Qabalistic and Hermetic] indicate – and it is consistent with the shamanic traditions as well.

    Quite some time ago I sought from an impeccable teaching source some information about gods, which I was told were human inventions. I was assured they were not, and if they elected in engage with us we’d know it. They have will, and intent and things do happen within their scope of determination.

    So yes, a single source [the One] gives rise to many, and some of that many exert influence here – but its mostly hidden and incomprehensible [our science is too crude and lopsided]

    This is crucial in my opinion because if there really was a single intelligence in control then we would individually be controlled too, so all that is would ultimately be some kind of onanistic act on the part of this 'God' (the word God in the monotheistic sense of the term would be appropriate, in that it would be just one entity and all-powerful) - frankly, he would basically be acting like an adolescent playing with himself while trying to imagine to be with a real partner (but no, he's on his own) :). Also, the nature of this world would show it to be a masochistic God, because it is inflicting pain on itself ("nature red in tooth and claw") - yes, masochistic practices are something SOME people apparently use to extract pleasure from them, but certainly not all. Personally, I am not at all attracted to it. And the overwhelming majority of sentient creatures seem to agree with me, because they try to escape from pain, suffering and death, and struggle to survive. So it seems more plausible to me that any original unity has been lost and we are now many (VERY many) rather than "one".

    The difference between a single agency and multiple agencies is complex. My favourite analogy is government. A state has an overarching government divided into departments or ministries, each of which has operational subsets, expressing finally as teams and then individuals. As an individual public servant I am a delegate of a minister and a representative of the government – and ergo of the community. So all is one in principle, but many in our experiential actuality.

    Simple systems do not generate complexity. There seems to be a point in great complexity where small acts become influential. So in a way God’s defence against his own onanist propensity is vast complexity – so there is a chance of another arising. This to me is the root of the Taoist model – and the idea of the Goddess being the mother of all being. But this is getting into very deep stuff. My point is only to say that are other ways of seeing things.

    So with pain and suffering. We assume pain and suffering is the same thing on all dimensions. But it can’t be. Our biological nature abhors what is essential in nature from the perspective of organic being. But that does not mean that this is the only value set to be applied. Nature operates only because there is a constant cycle of death and birth – and that has to be good at some level.

    This would in turn mean that there is not a single orchestrating agency behind the many "strange phenomena" (including syncs) that people experience. This seems to me more plausible (but I'm interested in your opinion!) unless one assumes that this "functional and active intelligence" is actively schizophrenic and pursuing different interests in different "expressions" of itself, while being aware of it (but then we would spontaneously, naturally go along with it and not really dislike suffering and death, right?). I mean, even NDEs are about PERSONAL survival after death....I am not at all an expert in NDEs and I must say I'm not particularly interested in them but the experiencers describe their meetings with relatives, during which they are told that "life continues" after death, and I think that all those concerned take it to imply that their own individuality survives....(mediums of course provide "evidence" of the same thing, ie individual survival after death).


    I suppose that when I say “functional and active intelligence” I mean it more as a matrix than an entity. I am of the school that sees the divine as essence that is beyond description (called The One) and from which distil agencies (of The One, but not as The One). So any reference to God as an agent cannot be The One – but an aspect. It can seem like mind bending metaphysics but its just a description of what polytheistic systems have [monotheism has all kinds of problems that are resolved only when it behaves like a faux polytheism]. For example, if you have any familiarity with Qabala you see how Kether divides into Chokmah (2) and Binah (3) and there are further emanations. That’s a neat system. The Hindu system is more complex, but the principle is more or less the same – so long as we do not forget that map is not the territory and thinking tools are just that – and not reality.

    Life expresses in the manifest world, but it not dependent on it. Were it not so we could not have spirits or gods. Otherwise you would have a mysterious force coming from nowhere we can imagine, activating matter, and dissipating when it is done, or matter is done. So-called ‘science’ objects to NDEs when it cannot even cobble together any sensible alternative theory to explain life. It may object to the spirit explanation – but it is universal and makes sense when there is no actual alternative scientific theory that has any merit. It is one thing for materialists to object to a vast sophisticated body of thought on the grounds that it offends against their personal feelings and another to oppose that vast body of knowledge with some actual theories based on some actual evidence.

    I'd be interested in hearing your take on this supposed unity of purpose/single awareness OR lack of (or lost) unity of awareness in "what is", because to me this is a crucial thing, especially if we are to "engage" with syncs in a useful way as you wrote (a lot of people, astonishingly for me, think they convey a specific, literal message, such as that that they should do or not do something, or that the End of Times is nigh or who knows what else). Certainly, especially for those who take these things literally, assuming that all syncs come from the same, single, all-powerful agency is very different from speculating that they may come from different "animistic agencies" who may have profoundly different intentions and wills (good or bad intentions towards us).


    This is the problem with being conditioned by monotheism – you can’t have a subtle understanding without falling into heresy. Christianity is tougher still because it has pillars of faith that are really like fence posts that demark the limits of allowable intellectual and emotional territory – go beyond and your soul is in jeopardy, not to mention your flesh in days gone by.

    Synchs may be a manifestation of a ‘technology’ that can be accessed by any nonphysical agent with the means to do so – but this not simple ‘technology’, rather sophisticated. My experience is, and I can’t say this is universal, that the ‘bad’ agents mostly lack the wherewithal to be very sophisticated (there are exceptions, but they are mercifully rare). However a lot of harm can be done by these ‘lower level’ agents. I am being cautious here because this also complex and brevity may misrepresent actuality.
    (....)
    With reference to this, I am pretty sure that there have been plenty of cases of bad presentiments which turned out to be wrong. I am not at all disputing your experience - just saying that if things were so clear (ie, if premonitions/intuitions always turned out to be right), then even hard-core materialists would believe in them as they would be very easy to prove "scientifically". However, lots of "bad feelings"/premonitions/predictions do not materialise (there are plenty of documented cases). Also, why do some people have these intuitions/hints and some don't? Why, in your opinion, does the veil get slightly lifted at times for some and not for others? Incidentally, most religions see a moral dimension to existence, and despite many logical contradictions they distinguish between good and evil (in particular, ALL religions tell us to "be good"). Is it all just a human interpretation, given the arbitrary way in which the universe seem to be running? (no demonstrable justice or fairness). Why should we "be good" and thus better than the way this material word functions? Why not just be indifferent as it seems to be, say it's all perfect as it is and do what we like? (Materialists would in fact maintain that we are only "good" because it serves us: cooperation is ultimately useful for the individual, thus love/compassion is a selfish act in disguise.)

    Bad feelings that aren’t substantiated can be down to anxieties that are unfounded, and sundry ways we have of fooling ourselves, as well as induced feelings by agents intent on preventing us from doing things that are good for us. So-called ‘panic attacks’ may be induced by agents – and there is nothing real to fear. Another thing is that a premonition might result in sufficient changes in behaviour to avoid the adverse event. For example I delayed a long drive because of a bad feeling for 30 mins. The drive was uneventful and I have no way of knowing whether that delay made the difference or the feeling was BS. Depending on a person’s emotional state a mild stimulation can lead to over reaction. So many possible ways a stimulation can be caused and interpreted.

    Hard-core materialists tend to be unresponsive because they will almost always rationalise a stimulation away as a reflex. If the possibility of the intuition being real is not there then anything that looks like it is dismissed as something else. But on the other hand intuition plays a huge role in science – as any honest history of science will show. And so much good work has been done in psi research by very competent sciences to demonstrate that intuition is very real. Not so much with spirit communication these days.

    This is all complex and subtle because, I believe, we are dealing with an ecology that may provide contact with a variety of agents. The habit conditioned by our culture is to think in fixed terms with a simple array of agents. In the bush awareness has to be fluid and subtle because the array of agents is more complex – the less seemingly structured the ecology the more we must have a freer alertness that is more adaptive to sudden stimulus. If our cultural environment is more bushlike we are more open. In comparison a cultural ecology dominated by dogmas has no need for subtle awareness. Hence it seems that the educated class tends to be less open to things than the lower class – as a general rule. It has nothing to do with levels of education so much as the degree of certainty that education brings.

    (...)
    Yes, I too sometimes have the impression that we are supposed to talk about these strange phenomena - maybe some "benevolent agency" wishes to help us to "see through" what seems very real (the material world) but is after all only some kind of "simulation", in the sense of a very incomplete perception of a much bigger underlying reality "projecting" it. But of course many of us are wary to do so (me included) because most people are only interested in their daily lives and until they experience something that truly shakes them they will dismiss all this as "woo". I should know because I was like most people until about 5 years ago :)

    Yeah, so many folk want to hide from what is, and it is true that you can detune your senses to operate only in the physical world, so long as it is simple and predictable. To some folk getting by means walling out disruptive sensations so they can enjoy what little they have pulled together. I think Maslow’s hierarchy of needs applies here in the sense that unless you are living in wild and dangerous place shutting down is preferable – to preserve what little one has. Instability is a virtue because it admits of the possibility of profound change. There is a risk but also a great liberty. Certainty is death. You can’t engage with people full of certainty.

    Thank you in advance for your thoughts! Of course I would have plenty more things I would like to hear your take on but this is more than enough for now!

    This has become very long and may not be what the forum is about. Alex will undoubtedly opine sagely on the length – and I await his thought. I am happy to chat at length off line if that becomes the best thing to do. My new blog, aspiringanimist.com, has a feedback email address you could use to contact me direct. But if Alex is cool about this being a public conversation I am happy to continue via the forum.
     
  15. hypermagda

    hypermagda Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2016
    Messages:
    218
    Hi again Mike, just wanted to say that I am not John and not even a bloke :). My name is Magda and I'm a woman. I don't mind at all that you mistook me for a man (it was actually a very interesting experience!) but thought I should point this out, so that you know who you are interacting with.

    I would like to thank you very much for your long reply. I actually agree with a lot of what you wrote, and since our basic assumptions do not seem to be radically at odds with each other (which is good news for me because it means that I might be able to "use", for my own intellectual benefit, the results of your experiences, studies and research on all this! :)) I'd be interested in better understanding your working theory on a number of points - once again, most definitely not because I want to have a debate with you in order to conclude that I have the best theory, but in a genuine Socratic spirit of enquiry.

    I have read a few posts on your blog and found them very interesting, so I'll take you up on your very kind offer to contact you directly via mail: I, too, do not wish to end up "occupying" Alex's Forum (which I understand he would like to be specifically about the podcasts - and I respect his wish of course) with this very wide-ranging and general philosophical/metaphysical discussion.

    In the meantime, I wonder if you have seen this amazing post (on Skeptiko) by our brilliant and lovely Skeptiko friend Laird - it's an excellent summary of the possible theories about "what we are and what we are doing here". I'd be interested in knowing which one seems the most probable to you and why. Or maybe you have an entirely different one! (In that case, congratulations, because this seems to me to be a truly comprehensive summary).

    http://skeptiko.com/can-science-answer-big-questions-317/

    Can't say exactly when I will write to you as I'm going to be quite busy in the coming weeks but I certainly will. Thanks once again!
     
  16. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

    Joined:
    May 1, 2015
    Messages:
    258
    Home Page:
     
  17. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

    Joined:
    May 1, 2015
    Messages:
    258
    Home Page:
    Hey Magda
    I don't know where I got John from now. But I did sincerely think I read the name associated with the post I responded to - but on reviewing I can't see where that idea came from. Its irrelevant in any case. Also debating is pointless when all we are doing is struggling to learn. I don't know if I am right - I am just trying to make sense of my experiences and the stuff I encounter. Though, to be honest I think we can rule stuff out - a bit like eliminating suspects in a metaphysical whodunnit really. Ergo materialism has to go early on - not imaginative enough or sophisticated enough to have done the deed. I will check out that link.
     

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