Mutual compatibility of physical and spiritual immortality

#1
Recently, in one of his latest interviews, Sam Parnia complained that he regularly receives proposals from the people who learned about the potential of the modern resuscitation techniques, as well as NDEs and ADEs (actual death experiences). So they want to be killed and revived, performing a reversible visit to the afterlife. Of course, Parnia refuses to accept such wild proposals…

But, in the near future, our resuscitation methods would be even better than now… So, I have a few questions to the forum members.

1) Would you approve an experiment during which a volunteer, acting under his/her fully informed consent, is killed and later revived in strictly controlled resuscitation unit conditions, to be able to undergone a spiritually transformative NDE/ADE and report it later?

Let’s assume that such experiments would be performed one day, and would be successful. In such a case…

2) Well, the main question: if we would be able to visit the afterlife realms and come back without dying irreversibly, would it mean that we can combine the benefits of physical and spiritual immortality? After all, the strongest objection to the search for the physical immortality is the need to give up all possibilities and potentials of the non-physical post-mortem existence – spiritual realms, reincarnation etc. But what if we can achieve all these possibilities and potentials without dying irreversibly? If our relatives’ spirits might be waiting for us beyond the veil of death, does it mean that we should go the residential living there – maybe we just should visit them from time to time? If we want to be reborn to a new life, giving up all the failures and suffering of the current one, does it mean that we have to die first – or we can be reborn without death, using the techniques of spiritually-induced biopsychosocial transformations, which we had only started to explore scientifically?

A pair of additional questions here…

3) If we would be able to live forever, would it mean that we should give people a right to die when they want – e.g., to commit a legally allowed suicide without any coercive interference from the society (of course, one is free to persuade them non-coercively not to do so)? After all, it would be simply cruel to force people to live forever if they do not want to. Maybe they want to go to the residential living in the non-physical realms, not just paying occasional visits there. Maybe they choose a classic post-mortem reincarnation. Maybe they just tired of their own potentially eternal physical life, and want to try something radically new beyond the limits of the physical. Anyway, both potential physical immortality and already possible spiritual eternity force us to think whether the common notion that suicide is totally unacceptable and wrong is a really justified one, don’t they?

4) If we would be able to achieve “living rebirths” – radical biopsychosocial transformations without irreversible deaths – would it be recognized as a possibility to start a renovated, “cleansed” social life for the people who were stigmatized and ostracized for their violent actions, whether the violent acts they committed were “illegal” (such as ones of robbers, rapists, or murderers) or “legal” (such as ones of tyrannical politicians, brutal policemen, or terror-supporting intelligence agents)? If they would themselves voluntarily agree to transform and reborn psychologically (and, subsequently, biologically) – should they be given a chance to transform and reborn socially as well? Should they be given a right and possibility of non-stigmatization and non-ostracism, the right to start a new life after they perform certain amends and restitutions and prove to others that they indeed changed in heart? After all, permanent social “blacklisting” would be an actual hell-on-earth for an immortal creature… well, it is already hell-on-earth for many mortal creatures today! Possibility to change oneself – and to earn the full reconciliation and reacceptance in society – should be a vitally important feature of the “immortalist” world. Wouldn’t it?

And the last question.

5) Do you have some other ideas on the future shape of the “immortalist” society – ones which I didn’t mention above? After all, we are actually moving to the one – massive acceptance of the afterlife and effective counter-measures against ageing may be not as far in the future as we usually think. We have to be prepared to the possible changes, and every proposal may be useful!
 
#2
wow... great questions. some answers now more later.

1. tricky, but I would say yes... not that I think it's right for me, but because I wouldn't want to suppose that I know what's right for someone else. Also, I'm very mindful of the Luddite tendency in all of us... I mean, history tells us that new technologies always seems strange/immoral when they are in the future, but as the come to market they are presented in a way that seems not only acceptable, but desirable and morally good.

-- A safer option? I'm going to do a LBL session in the next few months (tried a few years ago with very poor results)... probably will turn it into a Skeptiko episode.
 
#3
1) Would you approve an experiment during which a volunteer, acting under his/her fully informed consent, is killed and later revived in strictly controlled resuscitation unit conditions, to be able to undergone a spiritually transformative NDE/ADE and report it later?
The one thing I see with this one is that many NDE'rs are now trying to convey the message "you don't have to die to have a spiritual awakening" I think that's what's special about the time we live in - the spiritual experience is available to us all via natural methods now. Yeah, it's not easy for some, but why not try it first, because we are all supposed to be first and foremost spirtual beings, after all. A highshcool teaher of mine went wth a group of folks to Australia and introduced some of the bushmen to acid as a way to "opne the doors of perception". An "old wise man" said the stuff was okay (out of politeness they felt), but said he can do so much more naturally. Likewise, with NDEs. The mystical experience often seems deeper and more controlled than an NDE. Seems a lot nicer to be able to peceive the spiritual realms directly at will than to have to get hit my a MAC truck or go through an aritificial death/resuscitation process.
 
#4
2) Well, the main question: if we would be able to visit the afterlife realms and come back without dying irreversibly, would it mean that we can combine the benefits of physical and spiritual immortality? After all, the strongest objection to the search for the physical immortality is the need to give up all possibilities and potentials of the non-physical post-mortem existence – spiritual realms, reincarnation etc. But what if we can achieve all these possibilities and potentials without dying irreversibly? If our relatives’ spirits might be waiting for us beyond the veil of death, does it mean that we should go the residential living there – maybe we just should visit them from time to time? If we want to be reborn to a new life, giving up all the failures and suffering of the current one, does it mean that we have to die first – or we can be reborn without death, using the techniques of spiritually-induced biopsychosocial transformations, which we had only started to explore scientifically?
I'll answer this one from the perspective of Rudolph Steiner and Edgar Cayce and others that have talked about Atlantis and earlier human cultures (that may, or may not, have existed, I guess), as well as where we're heading for the future. According to these guys we were just as aware of the spiritual realm as the physical realm, while we were physically alive. Death, as we normally think about it, didn't really exist, as a result. We view death as leaving this realm and going into another, but being fully conscious of both realms changes things dramatically. According to these guys we will evolve back to this state, albeit in a more heightened sense than before. Therefore, we will feel our immortality while still physically incarnated. We will be aware of spiritual entities around us, etc. Death would lose its sting.

Anyhow, one has to wonder how much to buy into this. However, if NDE'ers could just hold onto the consciousness they had during the NDE when they come back, I don't think they would be too far away from exactly what Steiner/Cayce are talking about. In addition, since these guys were very prominent, successful psychics, if you buy into psychic ability at all, I think we at least have to consider what they say.
 
#5
3) If we would be able to live forever, would it mean that we should give people a right to die when they want – e.g., to commit a legally allowed suicide without any coercive interference from the society (of course, one is free to persuade them non-coercively not to do so)? After all, it would be simply cruel to force people to live forever if they do not want to. Maybe they want to go to the residential living in the non-physical realms, not just paying occasional visits there. Maybe they choose a classic post-mortem reincarnation. Maybe they just tired of their own potentially eternal physical life, and want to try something radically new beyond the limits of the physical. Anyway, both potential physical immortality and already possible spiritual eternity force us to think whether the common notion that suicide is totally unacceptable and wrong is a really justified one, don’t they?
I think this one could become a moot point. If we truly do become more aware of the spiritual realm while still alive, as I mentioned in prior posts, we will also become more aware of the answer to question we all ask - "What is my purpose of being here?". If one can feel that purpose with certainty, I think one would be less inclined to commit suicide, as they would want to gain the experience they signed up for and came down here for. Conversely, we won't try to prolong life insufferably, either, especially in the case of illness, etc. We will be aware there is more to existence and know when we're ready to move on. I think some of the most beautiful passings are found in Indian literature like the Ramayana. An old wise man will know he achieved what he needed to achieve and with his devoted followers around bidding a heart-felt good bye, he would of his own choosing deliquesce into the ethereal realms with a wave to his friends and a smile.
 
#6
One last thing! I always sense a bit of skepticism, from even proponents, when talking about the evolution of consciousness leading to increased psychic awareness in humanity, as a whole

But, let's just put the main themes together from two recently popular books, Radin's Supernormal and Sheldrake's Science Delusion.

(1) Radin contends that what the Yoga Sutras say is probably true, the Siddhis are real and we can learn psychic ability. And, indeed, more and more people are trying this with success often being reported.

(2) Sheldrake's Morphic field ideas contend that as things are learned by more and more people, it becomes easier for later subsequent attempts by additional folks.

These two ideas are hinting very strongly at something ;-)

Anyhow, sorry for all the posts, I guess I found the OP interesting!
 
#7
I have a few questions to the forum members.
My answers:

1- Yes.
2- Far too speculative to discuss in any viable way in this spacetime.
3 - I support giving people the right currently.
4 - I would not support such actions.
5 - I think that what we're moving towards will not be what you're thinking/expressing in this. I believe we're moving towards greater awareness of multiple incarnations - many physical - many not.
 
#9
One last thing! I always sense a bit of skepticism, from even proponents, when talking about the evolution of consciousness leading to increased psychic awareness in humanity, as a whole

But, let's just put the main themes together from two recently popular books, Radin's Supernormal and Sheldrake's Science Delusion.

(1) Radin contends that what the Yoga Sutras say is probably true, the Siddhis are real and we can learn psychic ability. And, indeed, more and more people are trying this with success often being reported.

(2) Sheldrake's Morphic field ideas contend that as things are learned by more and more people, it becomes easier for later subsequent attempts by additional folks.

These two ideas are hinting very strongly at something ;-)

Anyhow, sorry for all the posts, I guess I found the OP interesting!
As far as spiritual practices and psychic activity, have you read "The End of Your World" by Adyashanti? It's interesting because he talks so casually about the process of waking up/realizing enlightenment and the psychic phenomena that starts happening. It's that he talks about the stuff in such a matter-of-fact way that strikes me.
 
#10
Recently, in one of his latest interviews, Sam Parnia complained that he regularly receives proposals from the people who learned about the potential of the modern resuscitation techniques, as well as NDEs and ADEs (actual death experiences). So they want to be killed and revived, performing a reversible visit to the afterlife. Of course, Parnia refuses to accept such wild proposals…

But, in the near future, our resuscitation methods would be even better than now… So, I have a few questions to the forum members.

1) Would you approve an experiment during which a volunteer, acting under his/her fully informed consent, is killed and later revived in strictly controlled resuscitation unit conditions, to be able to undergone a spiritually transformative NDE/ADE and report it later?

Let’s assume that such experiments would be performed one day, and would be successful. In such a case…

2) Well, the main question: if we would be able to visit the afterlife realms and come back without dying irreversibly, would it mean that we can combine the benefits of physical and spiritual immortality? After all, the strongest objection to the search for the physical immortality is the need to give up all possibilities and potentials of the non-physical post-mortem existence – spiritual realms, reincarnation etc. But what if we can achieve all these possibilities and potentials without dying irreversibly? If our relatives’ spirits might be waiting for us beyond the veil of death, does it mean that we should go the residential living there – maybe we just should visit them from time to time? If we want to be reborn to a new life, giving up all the failures and suffering of the current one, does it mean that we have to die first – or we can be reborn without death, using the techniques of spiritually-induced biopsychosocial transformations, which we had only started to explore scientifically?

A pair of additional questions here…

3) If we would be able to live forever, would it mean that we should give people a right to die when they want – e.g., to commit a legally allowed suicide without any coercive interference from the society (of course, one is free to persuade them non-coercively not to do so)? After all, it would be simply cruel to force people to live forever if they do not want to. Maybe they want to go to the residential living in the non-physical realms, not just paying occasional visits there. Maybe they choose a classic post-mortem reincarnation. Maybe they just tired of their own potentially eternal physical life, and want to try something radically new beyond the limits of the physical. Anyway, both potential physical immortality and already possible spiritual eternity force us to think whether the common notion that suicide is totally unacceptable and wrong is a really justified one, don’t they?

4) If we would be able to achieve “living rebirths” – radical biopsychosocial transformations without irreversible deaths – would it be recognized as a possibility to start a renovated, “cleansed” social life for the people who were stigmatized and ostracized for their violent actions, whether the violent acts they committed were “illegal” (such as ones of robbers, rapists, or murderers) or “legal” (such as ones of tyrannical politicians, brutal policemen, or terror-supporting intelligence agents)? If they would themselves voluntarily agree to transform and reborn psychologically (and, subsequently, biologically) – should they be given a chance to transform and reborn socially as well? Should they be given a right and possibility of non-stigmatization and non-ostracism, the right to start a new life after they perform certain amends and restitutions and prove to others that they indeed changed in heart? After all, permanent social “blacklisting” would be an actual hell-on-earth for an immortal creature… well, it is already hell-on-earth for many mortal creatures today! Possibility to change oneself – and to earn the full reconciliation and reacceptance in society – should be a vitally important feature of the “immortalist” world. Wouldn’t it?

And the last question.

5) Do you have some other ideas on the future shape of the “immortalist” society – ones which I didn’t mention above? After all, we are actually moving to the one – massive acceptance of the afterlife and effective counter-measures against ageing may be not as far in the future as we usually think. We have to be prepared to the possible changes, and every proposal may be useful!
Related to your first question:

Have you read "Closer to the Light" by Melvin Morse? I don't know how true it is or isn't - though it'd be nice if someone knew some hard facts on this - but he said that in Egypt a long time ago their leaders - pharaohs? - were forced into some sort of, uh, temporary death and then brought back . . . that, according to him, they had to undergo this to be prepared to lead. I don't remember how he said they induced this NDE . . .
 
#11
Related to your first question:

Have you read "Closer to the Light" by Melvin Morse? I don't know how true it is or isn't - though it'd be nice if someone knew some hard facts on this - but he said that in Egypt a long time ago their leaders - pharaohs? - were forced into some sort of, uh, temporary death and then brought back . . . that, according to him, they had to undergo this to be prepared to lead. I don't remember how he said they induced this NDE . . .
Morse speculated that wannabe pharaohs were nearly suffocated in sealed caskets in order to experience an NDE or other transcendent experience. I'm afraid this is complete nonsense. See my post in the old forum for more details:

http://forum.mind-energy.net/skeptiko-podcast/3607-great-interview-melvin-morse-2.html#post133247

Doug
 
#12
According to these guys we will evolve back to this state, albeit in a more heightened sense than before. Therefore, we will feel our immortality while still physically incarnated. We will be aware of spiritual entities around us, etc. Death would lose its sting.
Yeah maybe but we would never get anything done, that's for real.
 
#13
Related to your first question:

Have you read "Closer to the Light" by Melvin Morse? I don't know how true it is or isn't - though it'd be nice if someone knew some hard facts on this - but he said that in Egypt a long time ago their leaders - pharaohs? - were forced into some sort of, uh, temporary death and then brought back . . . that, according to him, they had to undergo this to be prepared to lead. I don't remember how he said they induced this NDE . . .
In aboriginal cultures throughout the world there are initiation rites where (usually men) are processed into adulthood through inducing trauma. I talk about the San Jacinto experience (some of you must remember the Peter Gabriel song). There would be initiates that wouldn't make it through this experience and those that did came back changed. I surmise the acute stress had the ability to provoke spiritual transformation - adolescence is one of the sensitive periods in life. It may be why schizophrenia typically develops during these years. Here's few examples some of which may achieve this: http://listverse.com/2009/12/28/10-bizarre-rites-of-passage/ So these aren't new ideas I guess.
 
#14
1. Yes.

2. Yes, but that is possible to resurrect a person does not imply that it is always possible to resurrect that person. It would not be immortality. Also I notice that is not the same the afterlife and spiritual immortality, although there are reasons to believe that the afterlife is eternal.

3. Yes.

4. Yes.

5. This is highly speculative, but perhaps physical immortality can lead to madness, as happens to some vampires in Vampire Chronicles series by Anne Rice.
 
#15
In aboriginal cultures throughout the world there are initiation rites where (usually men) are processed into adulthood through inducing trauma. I talk about the San Jacinto experience (some of you must remember the Peter Gabriel song). There would be initiates that wouldn't make it through this experience and those that did came back changed. I surmise the acute stress had the ability to provoke spiritual transformation - adolescence is one of the sensitive periods in life. It may be why schizophrenia typically develops during these years. Here's few examples some of which may achieve this: http://listverse.com/2009/12/28/10-bizarre-rites-of-passage/ So these aren't new ideas I guess.
Truly mind boggling ... as well as stomach turning, heart wrenching, nut cracking, ball busting, skull cracking and all the rest LoL.
Its an amazing and often bizarre world we live in. Nice link.
 
#16
In aboriginal cultures throughout the world there are initiation rites where (usually men) are processed into adulthood through inducing trauma. I talk about the San Jacinto experience (some of you must remember the Peter Gabriel song). There would be initiates that wouldn't make it through this experience and those that did came back changed. I surmise the acute stress had the ability to provoke spiritual transformation - adolescence is one of the sensitive periods in life. It may be why schizophrenia typically develops during these years. Here's few examples some of which may achieve this: http://listverse.com/2009/12/28/10-bizarre-rites-of-passage/ So these aren't new ideas I guess.
Wow!
 
#17
In aboriginal cultures throughout the world there are initiation rites where (usually men) are processed into adulthood through inducing trauma. I talk about the San Jacinto experience (some of you must remember the Peter Gabriel song). There would be initiates that wouldn't make it through this experience and those that did came back changed. I surmise the acute stress had the ability to provoke spiritual transformation - adolescence is one of the sensitive periods in life. It may be why schizophrenia typically develops during these years. Here's few examples some of which may achieve this: http://listverse.com/2009/12/28/10-bizarre-rites-of-passage/ So these aren't new ideas I guess.
I've read in a few places that the original Christian Baptisms were pretty crazy too. They would hold the person's head underwater until they had an NDE-like experience. I think Steiner said this was how John baptized, which makes one wonder about the long lines of people waiting to be baptized as mentioned in the Bible. Not sure I would sign up for that!

Anyhow, don't know how true this is.

But, a lot of the rites and initiatory-style practices in primitive cultures can be quite shocking.
 
#18
Morse speculated that wannabe pharaohs were nearly suffocated in sealed caskets in order to experience an NDE or other transcendent experience. I'm afraid this is complete nonsense. See my post in the old forum for more details:

http://forum.mind-energy.net/skeptiko-podcast/3607-great-interview-melvin-morse-2.html#post133247

Doug
Thanks, Doug. It would appear you're probably correct.

I kept reading the thread for a ways, through your exchange with Bruce. Concerning the difficulty of obtaining psilocybin, it's certainly worth checking into growing your own . . . much more easily done than you might think. ;)
 
#19
Thanks, Doug. It would appear you're probably correct.

I kept reading the thread for a ways, through your exchange with Bruce. Concerning the difficulty of obtaining psilocybin, it's certainly worth checking into growing your own . . . much more easily done than you might think. ;)
Thanks for the advice, Reese :)

Doug
 
#20
-- A safer option? I'm going to do a LBL session in the next few months (tried a few years ago with very poor results)... probably will turn it into a Skeptiko episode.
That sounds interesting. I wonder if it is worth thinking ahead of time about the issue of verification. For example, are there particular areas you would like the hypnotherapist to explore, that they might not otherwise think of - such as if you find you were someone professional, did you publish something, or what address did you live at, etc.

I hope you tell us the results whether they were successful or not (avoiding the file drawer effect :) )

David
 
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