Marisa Ryan, Certified Psychic Medium Tackles Big Picture Questions |398|

#21
I love when mediums come to skeptiko.

I always wondered... do the spirits have something similar to a code of conduct when dealing with humans? How much can they interfere with our lives? And as much as I want spirits to be real, it's creepy to think that my grandmother can watch me having sex, for instance. Is there any concept of privacy in their world or they just don't care?

Also, this thread isn't showing up for me in the forum together with the other threads. Maybe it's a bug.
interesting questions.

re bug let me know if it persists.
 
#23
There is no doubt in my mind that mediumship is real. I have yet to be entirely convinced, however, that they are actually conversing with the dead. Might it be that they are exhibiting some kind of psi phenomena by perhaps reading the sitter's mind?
 
#24
Might it be that they are exhibiting some kind of psi phenomena by perhaps reading the sitter's mind?
Not when they reveal information unknown even to the sitter...

But it's a potential explanation in other cases.

I'd be more concerned by the possibility that the dead are being impersonated by spirit beings who know them intimately, having observed their entire lives (and potentially any past lives).

(Haven't listened to the podcast yet but it sounds like one I'd appreciate!)
 
#27
Speaking of past lives, what is your take on Michael Newton's research? After reading a bit into hypnosis, I am not entirely convinced that it provides evidence for past life regression or alien abductions, due to how suggestive subjects can be in a hypnotic state.

I do find it interesting, however, how he was able to hypnotically regress over 7,000 people who report similar experiences.
 
#28
I haven't looked into Michael Newton's research. (I've written this all before on Skeptiko, but for your benefit: ) In the area of past life regression, I've only read Dr Shakuntala Modi's "Remarkable Healings: A Psychiatrist Discovers Unsuspected Roots of Mental and Physical Illness" and William Baldwin's "Spirit Release Therapy: A Technique Manual", both of which deal in regression and spirit releasement as related therapies, and both of whose authors seem to have discovered these therapies independently of one another (as practitioners). I was initially enthusiastic about the potential of these modalities, however it was difficult for me to find a regression therapist who'd take me on. When I finally found one (for past life regression), the experience was underwhelming - I didn't experience anything that was readily distinguishable from idly daydreaming in a relaxed state on my own.

That is, though, my sole personal experience with it, and I've always suspected/known that I was not particularly hypnotisable - take this for what it's worth but I was one of the first to be chucked off stage by a stage magician testing whom he'd like to keep on for his show.

I don't really have a strong enough opinion to offer on the general reliability of regression.
 
#30
I'm so glad we can have these conversations here. This is where progress really happens if you ask me: by tearing down old paradigms and exploring new ideas fully without prejudice, but without blind acceptance either. The future doesn't belong to the past, and the same goes with science.
 
#31
Though if fraud or hoax can be discarded, it's hard to dismiss the implications of Bob Snow's experience for the reliability of regression in at least some cases:

I find his story no doubt very interesting and possibly compelling, but my criticism with reincarnation research, in general, is that it is hard to verify if the parents were somehow feeding their child information or if Snow, in this case, picked up his information subconsciously without realizing it and concocted the narrative due to being under suggestion -- again, it is probably a stretch because in all likelihood, the idea of a Baptist family like James Linenger's feeding him a story about being a World War 2 fighter pilot who died at the Natoma Bay just doesn't seem terribly likely, since the pilot was not even someone that was well-known- he was, in fact, quite obscure and his friend Jack Larson even moreso. However, in order to be considered a truly scientific investigation, all possible explanations must be considered. I am of course not so arrogant to call Bob a liar or anything of the sort, but I think it is possible that he had perhaps had some kind of encounter with information about the person he claimed to be- impossible to say for sure, but I need something a bit more convincing to determine the weight of the evidence.
 
#32
There is no doubt in my mind that mediumship is real. I have yet to be entirely convinced, however, that they are actually conversing with the dead. Might it be that they are exhibiting some kind of psi phenomena by perhaps reading the sitter's mind?
Yeah, parapsychologists call this superPSI and some use it to undermine all sorts of phenomena, and, y'know, they have a point.

Still, I find the following quote from this forum's own @Jim_Smith to be interesting and quite convincing:

A spirit came to me to give a message in mediumship class, it wasn't my turn to speak so I didn't say anything, but a few seconds later another more advanced student who wasn't afraid to speak out of turn gave the same message from the same spirit. After I refused to give the message the spirit tried someone else. It shows the spirits have initiative, problem solving abilities, and independent existence apart from the medium.
 
#33
It is interesting that you mention the superpsi phenomenon. I understand what makes it hard to understand is that if the superpsi explanation is true, it means somehow the consciousness is able to travel into the past to retrieve information unknown to the person, which is absolutely incredible in its own right. The reason why I suggest superpsi as a possible explanation is that we know through the work of the Stargate project that an individual can both project his or her consciousness into the future and into the past, both of which were verified by the team that ran the project. This leads to even bigger mysteries of consciousness that have yet to be explained.
 
#36
There is no doubt in my mind that mediumship is real. I have yet to be entirely convinced, however, that they are actually conversing with the dead. Might it be that they are exhibiting some kind of psi phenomena by perhaps reading the sitter's mind?
I think that if you postulate unlimited ψ capabilities, then yes, this could mimic mediumship, but does that make sense? For a long time science has rejected the idea that ψ exists (even in the tiniest fragment), and that consciousness does not survive death. Does it then make sense to jump to the opposite position - that ψ can be ultra-powerful - just to continue to deny the conclusion that consciousness survives death? I mean for ψ of any sort to exist, means that consciousness isn't what science assumes it is - a sort of computation done by neurons - so once we are driven to conclude that ψ is real, there isn't much point in trying to twist the logic in the way superpsi seems to try to do.

I understand that the idea of consciousness surviving beyond death is so powerful that people want absolute proof. The thing to realise, is that even science does not offer absolute proofs in the way that mathematics can.

For example, suppose you want to 'prove' that potassium cyanide is deadly poisonous, you can (disregarding moral concerns) feed some to one person and watch them die. However, a naysayer can then point out that sometimes people die unexpectedly, so this experiment is only suggestive!
So you line up another 10 people and feed them potassium cyanide one by one. After they all die, the naysayer, says, "Well I do understand that this is suggestive, but look, as I pointed out before, people sometimes die unexpectedly, and after the first man collapsed, the other nine were possibly so scared that they simply died from shock!

Arguments analogous to this could be used to destroy any scientific result. Science simply has to be pragmatic.

I would say that arguments about superpsi are very much of the above type.

So, Truthseeker, if you only want to accept TRUTH, the best subject for you is maths (but avoid statistics).

I have been with Skeptiko for a long time, and I have come to realise that the only way to be comfortable with the range of subjects discussed here, is to recognise that certainty is unavailable except to those who insist that they BELIEVE some version of some religion - but really that is just make believe.

David
 
#39
I have been with Skeptiko for a long time, and I have come to realise that the only way to be comfortable with the range of subjects discussed here, is to recognise that certainty is unavailable except to those who insist that they BELIEVE some version of some religion - but really that is just make believe.
I agree with you David, but I am of the opinion that the word religion as you’re using it should encompass much more than just ‘God related stuff’, people have the same very strong dogmatic views about many things that have little or nothing to do with religion.
 
#40
I enjoyed this interview a lot, so thanks Alex and Marisa. It had the effect of revitalising my waning enthusiasm for ‘the afterlife’. Not that anything I may or may not believe would change that particular reality - or would it? :)

I welcome Alex’s boost of energy too. ;;/?

I have become more interested in our reality in this world rather than pondering the afterlife, as it appears clear to me that some of us are encouraged to go down that path, and others are not. So why swim against the tide? (In my case). I’m moving towards being an agnostic rather than a firm believer in anything ! Observe and move on, trying to be kind and not get too worked up about things, especially things in my head only, like ‘bad news’ on the tv or internet. Our neighbour two houses down was broken into last night while she and her grown son slept upstairs. How worked up should I get? At least for once it’s not fake! :eek:

I’ve become much more aware of political things, the hypocrisy and dogma of governments and people in general. What is the ‘truth’ about global warming? I’m all for saving the planet, but what’s the best way? So many interesting thing to look at, so much beauty, so much to be grateful for. Yes, there’s a lot of bad shit going on, but I try not to worry about it too much. I try my best, that’s all anyone can ask.
 
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