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dreamosis
3rd June 2010, 10:43 PM
If it was positively proved to you that OBEs have no objective reality whatsoever, would you still try to have them?

If it was positively proved to you that energy healing has no validity at all, beyond the placebo effect and the relaxation response, would you still get and do energy healing?

How either of those things would be proved, I don't know. The so-called God Helmet is currently being bandied about by materialist types as hard evidence that God, ghosts, and OBEs are all unreal:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_helmet

A late 2009 experiment, however, with the God Helmet shows that a sort of telepathy may be possible. However Persinger, who devised the helmet, doesn't take that as proof of anything extraordinary. He speculates that a mind-to-mind transference of information may be possible from a strictly materialist, electromagnetic viewpoint:

viewtopic.php?f=26&t=17111&p=121413&hilit=persinger#p121413 (http://forums.astraldynamics.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=17111&p=121413&hilit=persinger#p121413)

Certainly what I have believed to be real and objective in an OBE turned out to be illusory and subjective. I've also successfully verified an OBE through the old playing-card experiment. My skeptical friends have told me I only got lucky -- after all, there is a 1 in 52 chance I could have guessed the card correctly. Currently, I could not repeat the card experiment several times in a row in a laboratory under double-blind conditions. I'm simply not that adept at leaving my body. Yet. But if I could, would I?

For the last few days, since an experience with a close friend who's turned totally atheist and "anti-woo," I've been somewhat consumed with the idea of proof. And with the question, if I knew OBEs were only hallucinations, would I try to stop them from happening or stop trying to have them?

My personal is: "No, I wouldn't stop." Possibly -- and this is weird to me -- I might become more dedicated. Why? Because when I take away the issue of real versus non-real I see OBEs and energywork, including healing, only in terms of personal value: knowing myself, truly relaxing, having fun, seeking wisdom, helping others relax, helping others know themselves better.

That I'm thinking about it all like this shows me that there's a doubting part of me that anxiously wants proof/external validation/others to tell me I'm on the right path and doing well. Hmmm. I haven't reached a point at which I'm a 100% believer, I guess, if such a point genuinely exists. Why haven't I reached that point? I'm not sure. I suppose because not all of my experiences "make sense," not all of them are readily verifiable from a physical perspective, and so on. Does that mean I'm not trying hard enough? ...I'm tempted to think that, but it seems that even very active psychics can be dead wrong about something, are still confused by some of their own visions and dreams, have lots of admittedly subjective experiences, and get sick.

Two more questions:

If it was positively proved to you that OBEs have objective reality, do you think you'd try to have more just because it was proved they were real?

If it was positively proved to you that energy healing has validity, above and beyond the placebo effect and the relaxation response, would you practice it more just because it was proved?

CFTraveler
3rd June 2010, 11:05 PM
First of all, the answer is yes- I would continue.
I can elaborate more further, but I can't now.
BTW, in his book 'The End of Materialism" Charles Tart makes a convincing case for why telepathy cannot be em - and the answers are compelling.
However, since I don't have time now, I will come back with actual data to refute these claims.

Cheers,
CF.

dreamosis
4th June 2010, 02:25 AM
I'll be checking out The End of Materialism soon.

...After I posted this, I began thinking about how wide the evidence is that simple breath meditation improves your physical and mental health. Researchers like Herbert Benson (http://www.mgh.harvard.edu/bhi/) have dedicated their lives to empirically demonstrating the benefits of such practices.




Clinical Findings

Benson-Henry Institute clinical findings include:

* We conducted a double-blind, randomized trial comparing 8 weeks of stress management, specifically relaxation response training (61 patients), versus lifestyle modification (control, 61 patients). Patients in the relaxation response group were more likely to successfully eliminate an antihypertensive medication. Although both groups had similar reductions in systolic blood pressure, significantly more participants in the relaxation response group eliminated an antihypertensive medication while maintaining adequate blood pressure control.
The Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2008

* A controlled, randomized study was preformed investigating of the effects of relaxation therapy on the central nervous system using spectral analysis of electroencephalogram (EEG) activity. Thirty-six subjects were randomized to either relaxation therapy or a music comparison condition. The findings demonstrated that relaxation training produces greater reductions in central nervous system activity than a credible comparison condition. This suggests that relaxation therapy represents a hypoactive central nervous system state that may be similar to Stage 1 sleep and that RT may exert their therapeutic effects, in part, through cerebral energy conservation/restoration.
Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 2004

* Following an 8-session school-based relaxation response curriculum, 43 11th graders in Needham, Massachusetts reported significantly lower levels of perceived stress and anxiety and increased stress management behaviors, compared to scores of 44 10th graders participating in the wait list control group.
Annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2009

* A retrospective cross-sectional study of 104 women who entered a group mind-body infertility program in Boston, MA. found that depression was negatively correlated with stress management behaviors, spiritual growth, and interpersonal relationships; depression may mediate fertility treatment outcome by impacting self-care behaviors, and so strategies to decrease depression help women cope more effectively with the demands of infertility treatment.
Annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2009

* Chronic pain patients reduce their physician visits by 36%.
The Clinical Journal of Pain, Volume 2, pages 305-310, 1991

* There is approximately a 50% reduction in visits to a HMO after a relaxation-response based intervention which resulted in estimated significant cost savings.
Behavioral Medicine, Volume 16, pages 165-173, 1990

* Eighty percent of hypertensive patients have lowered blood pressure and decreased medications - 16% are able to discontinue all of their medications. These results lasted at least three years.
Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, Volume 9, pages 316-324, 1989

* Open heart surgery patients have fewer post-operative complications.
Behavioral Medicine, Volume 5, pages 111-117, 1989

* One-hundred percent of insomnia patients reported improved sleep and 91% either eliminated or reduced sleeping medication use.
The American Journal of Medicine, Volume 100, pages 212-216, 1996

* Infertile women have a 42% conception rate, a 38% take-home baby rate, and decreased levels of depression, anxiety, and anger.
Journal of American Medical Women's Association. Volume 54, pages 196-8, 1999

* Women with severe PMS have a 57% reduction in physical and psychological symptoms.
Obstetrics and Gynecology, Volume 75, pages 649-655, April, 1990

* High school students exposed to a relaxation response-based curriculum had significantly increased their self-esteem.
The Journal of Research and Development in Education, Volume 27, pages 226-231, 1994

* Inner city middle school students improved grade score, work habits and cooperation and decreased absences.
Journal of Research and Development in Education, Volume 33, pages 156-165, Spring 2000


...What would be found to change positively in people who practiced regular dreamwork and APing, whether it was believed to be "real" or "unreal"? Of course, that's a big question. Dreaming and energywork is very complex.

ButterflyWoman
4th June 2010, 05:45 AM
If it was positively proved to you that OBEs have no objective reality whatsoever, would you still try to have them?
Yes. And I don't know how I'd even stop (my OBEs, which are infrequent, are spontaneous most of the time).


If it was positively proved to you that energy healing has no validity at all, beyond the placebo effect and the relaxation response, would you still get and do energy healing?
I find the placebo effect fascinating. The mind is doing the healing. In recent years, the placebo effect has actually increased, and scientists have no idea why (but really want to find out). For all I know, energy healing IS entirely placebo, but I don't particularly care one way or the other.

My position is that, ultimately, nothing means anything, anyway. What if someone were to "scientifically prove" that the paintings of Seurat were NOT pictures of people at the lakeshore or circuses or whatever the weird "artistic" types thought they were, but were, in fact, only dots of pigment on some sort of thick fibrous material which has been stretched out over a wooden frame? ;)

Alienor
4th June 2010, 08:39 AM
I really do not care much what scientist might proof or not proof about "OBEs" and "energy healing", as for myself I know that it is objective reality.
Having worked as a scientist at university myself for quite some years, I also am well aware, that scientist do publish a lot of doubtful findings. :roll: Data is sometimes interpreted in strange ways...

Beekeeper
4th June 2010, 11:01 AM
I've always enjoyed this little bit from Douglas Adam's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mindboggingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as the final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God. The argument goes something like this:
`I refuse to prove that I exist, says God, `for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.'
`But,' says Man, `The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED.'
`Oh dear,' says God, `I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly vanished in a puff of logic."
`Oh, that was easy,' says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.

Dreamosis, I had a woman start yoga classes with me about a month ago; sent by her doctor in order to get on top of her anxiety. I taught the class Nadi Suddhi and explained it had a calming effect and synchronised brain hemispheres. Last week she was all excited to share her experience. She needed winter clothes, which necessitated a trip to the department stores that triggered a panic attack. She found a place to practise her breathing and brought her anxiety entirely under control. She visited three shops and bought everything she needed. :D Makes me so happy.

I recently even taught it to my senior class after we returned from a careers market and had ten minutes of class time to fill. They're a group of boys with very chaotic energies at the best of times but they took the practice seriously and were totally mellowed in a short period of time. After that hey were full of questions about yoga.

I welcome the day meditation and breathing practices become part of school curricula. At least there's still some art, drama, music, sport and dance left in education.


If it was positively proved to you that OBEs have no objective reality whatsoever, would you still try to have them?

Yes, because they're fun, except the scary ones and then, I guess they wouldn't be all that scary anymore. :wink:

It'd take some convincing to make me believe they have no objective reality, however. For instance, there is collaborating evidence out there on shared experiences and I'd be reluctant to brand all such people monumental liars. I've had my own experiences that have correlated with perceived external reality too. Besides, a scientist's ability to induce a state doesn't necessarily mean he/she has definitively explained the state (the same may be true of religion).


Two more questions:

If it was positively proved to you that OBEs have objective reality, do you think you'd try to have more just because it was proved they were real?

If it was positively proved to you that energy healing has validity, above and beyond the placebo effect and the relaxation response, would you practice it more just because it was proved?

Well, we humans usually like to do things that are meaningful* and, since a whole bunch of us recently admitted to specified and unspecified super-hero fantasies in another thread, I'd speculate the answer to this for many of us would be yes, at least on the second question. A lot of us begin these things partially on faith so evidence works as encouragement. With all these things, however, it comes down to how much you trust in the infallibility of Science.


...What would be found to change positively in people who practiced regular dreamwork and APing, whether it was believed to be "real" or "unreal"? Of course, that's a big question. Dreaming and energywork is very complex.

Well, those of us who do it are a pretty motivated bunch on the whole. There must be something in it, right? :wink:

*I'll qualify this statement too by saying that something doesn't have to be real to be meaningful.

CFTraveler
4th June 2010, 01:50 PM
Hi, I'm back. I found my book, it was in the car. I'll try paraphrasing some and quoting a little bit:

About the idea that Psi has anything to do with emf:
1-In the physical, generating a radio wave takes lots of energy, and the signal falls down a lot with distance. So if you consider the brain as a receiver, (and the 'telepathic' wave to be emf) reception could only happen from events that happen relatively close. As you know, RV can be for something close and far, distance doesn't matter.
If you were testing telepathy, the increase of emf in the sender would be measurable. "No instrument placed near senders' heads has ever reliably detected radio waves carrying telepathic information, even of a low power"- p. 109

Second problem: Signal-to Noise ratio. Imagine you're in a room full of people. Everyone is talking at the same time. How hard is it to focus on one person (physically?) In the case of clairaudience, provided that you can equally hear everyone's thoughts as emf waves, you wouldn't be able just to hear 'one'. So whatever allows you to get info from 'one' person must be different than emf. Then there's the shielding thing- In some of Tart's experiments in 1988, putting senders and receivers in electrically shielded rooms made the telepathy stronger. So even though it seems that the brain may indeed be a receiver of emf (Why not? Semiconductors abound in the physical body) telepathic information isn't emf, because the act of shielding emf made it more clear.

An experiment called Project Deep Quest in 1977 eliminated ELF as the carrier of telepathic information. The experiment was run by Dr. Stephan Schwartz (who had previously worked for the gov.), with Hal Puthoff and Russell Targ- they borrowed a Navy deep diving submarine, The Taurus; and did RV experiments that were successful with the target more than 250 feet away. Now, this is a submerged military submarine- so ELF was out. -p. 129
My own note: For those who don't know (sorry for those who do) elf stands for extremely low frequency- the wavelength of ELF is long, and ELF travels farther than high frequency, but can't be heard by human ears. So the scientists may have thought that if regular high frequency can't be used in telepathy (because of the distance) maybe ELF could be a carrier- but by using a shielded and submerged submarine, and having a successful RV series of experiments, they demonstrated that whatever RV is, it isn't ELF.

All quotes were taken from "The End of Materialism" by Charles Tart.
Data about the experiments themselves can be supplied if you want them, but it'll make me work and I haven't had my second cup of coffee yet.





Two more questions:

If it was positively proved to you that OBEs have objective reality, do you think you'd try to have more just because it was proved they were real? No, I am of the idea that I'm here to experience all of reality has to offer, and some unreality too- and I won't stop living in the physical to live more in the nonphysical. I figure I'll have more time for that after I'm dead.


If it was positively proved to you that energy healing has validity, above and beyond the placebo effect and the relaxation response, would you practice it more just because it was proved? I already believe it has validity- but I believe not everyone wants to get well, so I practice it when I am requested to do so, of if I see the need (and ask first).

Ps. Tart also did some experiments on plants that were successful regarding energy healing and prayer, and plants don't have expectations at least that we know of.
Cheers.
:D

Neil Templar
4th June 2010, 02:44 PM
i know energy healing works due to first hand experience.
and the effects felt during the healing session couldn't possibly be brought on by "the placebo effect". they were too varied and completely unexpected. my "mind" couldn't conjour up something i haven't yet imagined, could it?

the placebo effect.
what is that?
the organism self healing due to a certain belief being installed.
it makes me laugh when science writes off something as "just" the placebo effect. like it doesn't count in some way.
it should be seen as proof of our beliefs shaping our reality. it's proof of our ability to heal ourselves.
the provable reality of the placebo effect should have been the most important discovery of the human species yet. IMO.

ButterflyWoman
4th June 2010, 03:24 PM
the organism self healing due to a certain belief being installed.
it makes me laugh when science writes off something as "just" the placebo effect. like it doesn't count in some way.
Yeah, I know what you mean. I feel the same way.

FourthDimension
4th June 2010, 03:59 PM
Hi

I would nt stop projecting because iat is relaxing and interesting and i love it haha.
Because i belive that they are real in the last few years not only have i found out so many new things about my self and resolved so many unresolved issues from my past because of obe but also i had conquered one of my biggest and only fears and that is "Death" no longer am i afraid of dying instead death is a mere relief from this physical hardship we face every day.
At first i thought to myself that i am only making myself belive i am not afraid of death but there has been many experiences lately where i have been put in the face of death and also times where i thought i was in deaths grasp but was actually just apparently beliving i was lol

I mean as far as real goes what is even real? i mean if we found out projections were nt real whats to say life is nt an illusion either yet we all want to experience of much as life as possible.

What about drug addicts who hit them selfs up with coke,dope and pills just to feel manafactured feelings of bliss or chilled out those feelings are manafactured and not really real in a sense yet they want to continue feeling it if not get addicted to the feeling because its not a feeling they can naturally feel in there views so if obe is nt real its more of a reason to experience it because it will be a feeling we might never experience

the same with people on acid and shrroms seeing things that are nt real in a sense yet they keep at it

Tutor
4th June 2010, 04:14 PM
spirit|subjective>objective|spirit, where 'spirit' is both beginning and end of the cycle, as well as the not two but one.

from 'home' the subjective as the emotional through the physical to the intellectual as objective returning to 'home' or spirit.

the alpha and omega, or aleph and tua, are 'home'/spirit; that in a circulating effort from zero causal home, produces effects through the body of or bodies.

this is as 'spiritual|>emotional>physical>intellectual>|spiritual, where the flow is clockwise in returning.

upon returning, returning having been direct from zero cause, thus knowing not itself; the nigh unto nigh of 'intellectual>|spiritual' touches/arcs the reverse flow.

as: 'spiritual|<emotional<physical<intellectual<|spiritual, where in like a signal originating from a whale had reached its length and is bouncing back to origin of primordial origin, even as it had reached its primordial target of true self.

notice the nuances of these symbols of less than and greater than when from emotional is less than zero causal spiritual as greater than' and on the full return how it appears that intellectual is greater than spiritual upon arrival.

because this is not parity, this is why the bounce back through. but, when the bounce reaches back through it again is not in parity for emotional is now greater than.

what the heck does it all mean? it means that the entirety of 'emotional-physical-intellectual' as body of or bodies is the signaled arc, that spirit never has been any other than zero causal at either end, and that all the wath between direct and returning is a sounding wherein bodies arise in balance variances of signals non-locality referencing through locality which arises in the sounding.

spirit never sights anything other than spirit, which of course is zero or nothing. though through and in the signal everything arises that from zero sight mathematically arises.

or to say, there is no place like home, or home is nowhere such that everywhere is homed in on through the signal.

point being is that each of us is home sounding or homing in on the everywhere which arises from our sense of being nowhere at all, this all being zero which through us become mathematically infinite.

so, we create the 'what if' - each and everyone of us together - from the 'what is' which is us - everyone as each together.

however, from the 'what is' there is never not a 'what if', nor is there ever not a 'what is' from the 'what if'.

so we now may say that there is nought but this sounding operatively productive of bodies which overlayed are the body of. the is that is, or isis.

the i am that i am....

ergo remaining to be, as such, one identifies with "I remain" and "That thou art", or to say that there is nothing but art/asi.

you are that art which of you productive embodies the body of you, or your art.

the body of your work in and of its contrasting nature can not but be beauty.

contrasting meaning that which ever is together both subjectively and objectively ever in the reflecting nature of being human, and being human the very true purpose as artist creative of domain with which to embody.

now thats a head full to digest. probably full of syntax and spelling errors, but i will go through it when i have time.

tim

dreamosis
4th June 2010, 05:37 PM
So if you consider the brain as a receiver, (and the 'telepathic' wave to be emf) reception could only happen from events that happen relatively close.

That makes sense. Curious how Persinger fits data he can't deny into his existing theoretical framework. Personally I found him to be hugely concessionary as a materialist-scientist in the article -- for instance, saying that information could be encoded by a brain with a flat EEG even if it originated at a distance.

The interviewer and interviewee ignore the stickier details of NDEs, though. I found it fascinating, and very plausible, that a person with a flat EEG would be able to wake up and report what doctors or nurses had said in the room because, despite having a flat EEG, maybe the deeper part of the brain is still active and recording perceptions. However, if you examine all the NDE accounts, you'll find that the information people received while unconscious isn't limited to what people were saying in the room. In Raymond Moody's book, Life After Life, there's an anecdote about a person losing consciousness (flat EEG) and then later reporting that they floated up out of their body, out of the hospital window, and saw a shoe on the ledge of the window that they couldn't have otherwise seen. ...Well, that's a funny example, but significant nonetheless.

Something the article discussed that I'd never heard before is that memories are stored in electrical form for 30 minutes before being formed physically. The theory of memory, it seems, is varied and I have no idea how Persinger knows that, but it's interesting. If it's true -- and this is pure speculation -- then it makes sense that if your electrolytes are low that you'll be mentally fuzzy and have a hard time remembering things (since your blood and tissues are deprived of electrically conductive elements). Maybe it would be easier to remember dreams if you drank electrolyte-rich juice before bed. :) Who knows?

...On a second analysis of all this, I'm sort of more interested in the second set of questions. That is, if some aspect of energy healing was widely validated by science, would I be more likely to practice that aspect? Actually, it's not so much the issue of how I would react if such and such was proved, but the issue of why don't act more now on the good information available to me? I don't know, everyone goes through bad times. At the end of last, in a bad relationship, I let my meditation practice slip. I became very anxious and even went on antidepressants for a while. I knew that meditation had helped me immensely in the past, but didn't do it. And the pills didn't help. They gave me diarrhea and possibly some paranoia and I felt listless. I got off them and, anyway, now I feel completely better -- it turns out, mostly, it was just being in a bad relationship. But, you know, I knew that there was all this science out there proving the efficacy of the relaxation reponse and its success with anxiety and depression.

I'm inclined to think that if the efficacy of energy healing were proved, or proved in some capacity, that people might seek healing more -- but I don't know if there would be many more people trying to do it themselves. Americans, it seems, are very conditioned by the service-orientation of our economy. And how many people have you known that have done something like Reiki training because they wanted to make money by offering it as a service? A lot of people in the Reiki community are focused on it as a healing technique to be offered to others. Behind this is some altruism, to be sure, but even as a Reiki enthusiast myself I have to admit that the practice has spread largely in the form of a pyramid scheme ("Pay 'x' amount and you too can start making 'y' amount right away!") It hasn't really spread as a path for self-development or self-healing.

That's a little tangental, but my overall point is this: The question of validity puts me squarely over deeper issues of motivation and my responsibility for myself. The mystic path repeatedly puts me through interrogations of integrity and accountability.

ButterflyWoman
4th June 2010, 06:12 PM
The mystic path repeatedly puts me through interrogations of integrity and accountability.
Yup. It does that. :lol: