Thursday, May 25, 2006

Ghost stories

During our ongoing discussion on God, faith, spirituality and Jack Russell Terriers, newcomer Mogryph arrived to help stir the pot. He has a lot of interesting stuff to stay, and needs to stop apologizing for saying it. I'm enjoying his fresh ideas, and was particularly struck by this one:

"One of my plethora of extreme interests is the Supernatural. Ghosts, spirits,
whatever you want to call it, it's something that's been close to me all my
life, because it's been close to my family. Although I haven't had any of the
"close-encounters" that others in my family have had, I believe, like to
research the topic, and I've actually joined a paranormal research group. Now, I
can almost see some of your heads shake like "okay, this guy's.... a looney!"
This is something I just can't understand. There are so many who have no problem
with faith in an omnipotent being that created and watches over us, but yet the
same people think that those who believe in earth-bound souls, or telepathy, or
other such paranormal subjects, are just plain nuts."


No, Mo, I don't think you're nuts. I might, had I not grown up on a haunted farm. My family moved there when I was about eight and we left six years later.

I have no explanation for the things that happened there. I can't explain the mysterious lantern light that would come down the path and disappear, the male voices outside our door, the feeling of "others" in the house and surrounding property. Sometimes these unseen presences seemed benign, sometimes sad, sometimes downright menacing.

Our animals were good barometers. I can remember the cats standing - backs arched and tails like bottle-brushes - in the center of the room, circling and hissing at something our senses couldn't detect. I can remember our otherwise unflappable trail horses stopping for something invisible as we rode, their eyes rolling in panic at something on the path when there was nothing there.

My aunt also lived on the property, across a narrow road from her mother. One night she awoke to see the figure of a young, sad-looking woman in 19th centry dress pointing out the window in direction of her mother's place. The next morning her mother came over to say she'd heard some "kids" behind her house. One was a girl, sobbing hysterically. The other a young man very earnestly saying, "No matter what happens, you must never tell." When she looked out, there was no one to be seen.

We knew a family had lived and died on the land, a family by the name of Ennis. We knew because they were all buried there in a graveyard that held all the family headstones but also contained an unmarked plot. There patriarch of the family had survived his first wife and had remarried. They were all there in the ground, along wtih their children. The relative of a local historian said she thought they'd died of some sort of fever. She also claimed the land was the site of some sort of Coharie Indian massacre, although I've never found anything to back either story up.

So what happened on the land? Something apparently did, and something remained. Is it spirits? Demons? Psychic energy played back like a reel that rewinds itself over and over?

I have my own thoughts on this, but would be intersted to hear what you think of ghosts and things ghostly, and particularly where you think this plays into your own personal theology and views of the afterlife.

84 comments:

W2M said...

Good questions Morgan.

As a Catholic I was always taught not to believe in psychics and the such. But I do. Some are just quacks, but others really have a calling - so to say.

I have a spirit in my house. My husband thinks I am crazy. It is a playful spirit though - a good calming one. Every once in a while I smell smoke - as in cigarette smoke - is it a family relative?

I am not the best of housekeepers! I spend too much time on the computer! Seriously, I tend to "misplace" some items and they appear in really weird places - and NO my children did not do it - they are old enough not to take something and throw it out by accident, etc. One day I was getting my daughter ready for school by gathering her things the night before. My husband was watching TV in our room and I was running throughout the house looking for her project. I was muttering and talking to myself. Finally, I stopped. Stood in the hallway and looked up (why I don't know) and said "YOU CAN MESS WITH ME, BUT DO NOT -DO NOT MESS WITH MY KIDS - NOW GIVE ME BACK THAT HAT!) My hasband asked nonchalantly, that if I had to yell at the spirits can I tone it down he can't hear his show. I shot him a dirty look and walked away. Right there - in plain site - well not really - was my daughter's hat project. It was nestled in the corner of my wall unit. Could I have missed it, I don't think so. I looked often enough in that same place. It was my spirit - but my husband didn't believe me.
Although, he thinks it was his grandmother trying to tell me to clean the damn house once and for all!

There was a time (often) lights flickered - faulty wiring? perhaps. But explain when my husband started to talk ill of one family member the light would flicker. He would change the subject and go back - light flickered. This went on for about 15 minutes, all the while I looked at him with a smile and raised eyebrows. Finally, he just threw back the chair, looked at the light and said - Fine - I won't say it and stormed out of the room!
Light stopped flickering. Coincidence - perhaps but I don't think so!

So many other instances I can think of. My sister-in-law packing up to move out of state. Her 4 year old daughter sees a picture of her great grandfather and asks "who's this man?" and my sister in law said "My grandpa".

"OH, that's who HE is" she replied solemnly.

Freaked out my s-i-l said "why do you ask" and she replied "he pushes me on the swings!" Goosebumps! My niece never met the man!

What does this say about theology - I never really thought about it. I think it says there is an afterlife - there are angels out there. I know - they drive me home when I am tired! How many times I wake out of my daze and say "how did I get here?" If there are angels and good spirits, there must be devils and evil spirits.
I believe we serve a higher purpose. The after-life is just that, another dimension where we live on. In spirit - if our spirit (soul) was pure in life - it will be pure in death (after-life). If it is tortured in life - if they were not able to feel peace before death, they will be tortured after death (their sort of hell). Living their agony over and over again.

People think I am freaky too - they laugh and joke. I just smile - I know. I have my protectors and I trust them and the Lord. And there are definitely places, that I do not want to go to, I can't explain it but I get a vibe that I just don't like. I stay away.

Now Ouiji boards - I will never go near again! They are powerful and potentially evil!

Morgan said...

W2M,

The ghost thing hangs me up a little, too. I think part of what happened on our farm was just psychic feedback. I don't think everyone is sensitive to it, but enough people in our family saw and heard weird things for the strength of it to be dismissed.
I think the lantern lights, the voices, the lady at the window and the cryptic conversation overheard by my aunt's mom were all part of this feedback. I think trauma can leave residue. That's why people sometimes put off "sad" energy or vibes long after a personal tragedy. Have you ever met people like that? People who emit sadness or anger without seeming to mean to?

I also think there are spirits, though. One night when my grandmother was staying with us all the faucets outside faucets started running at once and we had to call a neighbor to come over and help us turn them off. It couldn't have been an intruder because it would have set the dogs off.

I think there is a spirit realm. I know a local socialite whose mother sat up and had appeared to have a conversation with her dead son right before she'd passed away.

But I think there are other spirits that aren't connected to anyone, they are just there. My grandmother was well-versed in local folklore and swore that years ago a red-cloaked demon drove the father of a dead girl insane by charging through the cornfield during the child's wake. Neighbors gathered for the wake would pray to drive the demon away, but it kept coming back until the sun rose.

It's hard to know what's true and what's not, what are departed loved ones and what are malevolent forces.

I'm not personally afraid of ghosts and spirits, but I believe they exist.

I'm not sure where they fit into my theology. Like you I don't really think about it a lot, probably because I don't spend a whole lot thinking about death or the afterlife anyway.

thimscool said...

Who can navigate such shifting sands?
I'll just tell my story...

I've never seen a ghost, or had a spiritual feeling beyond goosebumps; but I used to get goosebumps when I heard the anthem, too.

My wife, on the other hand, does not discount these matters. Prior to our engagement, my paternal grandfather died. Nicole accompanied me to Tennesee, and I spent some time with the man on what turned out ot be his deathbed. After a few days, Nicole and I left for our responsibilities back home, because it looked like his condition had stabilized.

He died while we were passing Asheville. Nicole turned to me and said, "Stop the car, turn around." I refused and asked her to explain. I'll spare you the details of the conversation, but we ended up getting a call at home later that evening informing me that my grandfather had died. Nicole already knew.

I believe in coincidences. But I don't trust them.

thimscool said...

And, yes, the timing was spot on.

w2m said...

"Like you I don't really think about it a lot, probably because I don't spend a whole lot thinking about death or the afterlife anyway."

I try not to on purpose. I want to enjoy the here and now. Not in a hedonistic way, but no looking back - only to learn from mistakes and - stop worrying so much about the future. I think I am pretty good with that!

I do know some people that only have negative thoughts and attitudes, but are so nice and would never mean to offend anyone, but they are such a downer. I call them "wallies" and they just suck the energy out of you! I try to liven people up, but sometimes these guys even get me down!

"I know a local socialite whose mother sat up and had appeared to have a conversation with her dead son right before she'd passed away."

I've had a lot of deaths in my family recently. Too many that I care to count, but they all had the similar situation - they would speak to a deceased member of their family. I believe they are the ones to carry them through to the other side. They always seemed at peace though.
My cousin Lisa is a nurse and she is just wonderful. She buried her sister 8 years ago and her mom just last year. My cousin was only 31 when she died and my aunt 62. But now I believe they are together. My cousin would walk over to the hospital or bedroom window and open it up after hearing the death rattle. She said she was releasing their spirit. Superstition, but I see the need too! She says all the nurses do that. Hmm - never knew.

When I first moved into my house, 8 years ago, I saw something "fly" across the hall from my room to my daughter's. I rushed to the end of the hall thinking something terrible must have happened and my husband was going to the aid of my daughter. But she was lying on her bed and my husband was on the other side of OUR room. My son's door was closed and I knocked. He opened it and I asked if he just came from the bathroom - he looked at me and said NO - I was here all along. Then my daughter who was 3 at the time said, "mommy you heard it too?"
And I said "heard what?" and she replied, "the whooshing noise."
Again this gives me the chills, I said to her, "no, no I didn't hear that honey, go to bed you were dreaming." I did tell her the truth, I didn't hear anything, but I saw something! But no need to freak her out. Although for the next 5 years she would roam into my bed every night saying she sees or hears something and I kept telling her she was dreaming.

W2M said...

Thimscool,

I've had the same type experiences Nicole has. It is odd, I don't like it.

Morgan said...

Luke, I definitely believe in psychic ability and think the more spiritual a person is the more acute that ability can be.
If you think about human evolution, our ancestors had to live by instinct. That mean relying on intuition; if you felt like someone might be sneaking up on you it was a good idea to respond to that feeling by having a look around.

I blame religion for squelching normal intution, which is as much a sense as sight, smell, taste, touch or hearing. A lot of religious people think psychic abilities - having visions, intuition, prophetic dreams - are tied to the occult when they are really a gift from God.

thimscool said...

Are you concerned that your daughter might now have difficulty distinguisshing dreams from reality?

I guess she's figured it out, by now.

Morgan said...

"Are you concerned that your daughter might now have difficulty distinguisshing dreams from reality?"

I agree with Luke. You should just say, "Honey, that's just the monster. It comes from the closet, or, as we like to call it The Gateway To Hell. Now go back to bed."

Just kidding. That's just my flip way of saying I'd probably tell my kid she was dreaming, too.

Alex especially has such a good imagination that if I told her the house was haunted she'd be seeing apparitions of dead people in her cereal bowl.

W2M said...

"Are you concerned that your daughter might now have difficulty distinguisshing dreams from reality?

I guess she's figured it out, by now."

I don't know.
I just didn't want her spooked by something that can't be explained. Plus in the middle of the night, I was half asleep and truly believed she was just dreaming. But now that WE are older, I think she was having an "experience". I believe that spirits like young children, because they are innocent, pure of heart, in other words open to the experience more.
Like Morgan said, she thinks "the more spiritual a person is the more acute that ability can be." I agree. My daughter may have a gift, but I think we all possess it somewhere deep inside, but are taught to ignore it - I believe too by our Religions. I was always told it was evil.
I think I have the gift to a certain degree, but I am afraid to look into it any further. I don't know why.

Morgan said...

"Now Ouiji boards - I will never go near again! They are powerful and potentially evil!"

Those things are bad news. Some friends of mine from school used one in a seance when trying to contact the spirit of one of the girls' dead dogs. (They thought it was best to start small, I guess.)
The only light in the room was a candle on the table and just when they evoked the spirit of the dog the candle went out and they heard a growl. When they turned the light back on the candle had been bitten in half by something.
The girls were terrified.
Now, I don't really think that it was the spirit of the dog, since it had been a nice, loving dog. I do think that Ouiji board opened the door to something that enjoyed delivering a good mind-fuck, though.

thimscool said...

Are you saying there aren't ghosts in her cornflakes?

Yeah. I don't really see a good alternative for what you did, although I'd probably have laid in wait for the phenomenon to see if I heard the whoosh too. I'd have the handycam on infrared and a thermometer ready. Nicole would be pissed at me for scaring the kids, and the ghost and I would sleep in the garage.

thimscool said...

"Alex especially has such a good imagination that if I told her the house was haunted she'd be seeing apparitions of dead people in her cereal bowl."

Are you saying there aren't ghosts in her cornflakes?

Yeah. I don't really see a good alternative for what w2m did, although I'd probably have laid in wait for the phenomenon to see if I heard the whoosh too. I'd have the handycam on infrared and a thermometer ready. Nicole would be pissed at me for scaring the kids, and the ghost and I would sleep in the garage.

"Just because there is a whoosh doesn't mean it's a gate to hell, son. Don't be scared. Papa is going to study the unexplained phenomena surrounding your bedroom. No worries. It's probably benign."

thimscool said...

Weird double post phenomena. Blogger is haunted.

W2M said...

Ouiji boards are a portal of evil, no doubt.
There are so many non-believers. I would be one too, but the movement of the "seer" had such a strong attraction and spelled out so fast, that there was no explanation. People accused me of pushing and pulling, but there was no way I could find those letters that fast.

One evening, as a teenager, I was at my friend's house. One set of friends tried the board - nothing. Another set with a bit of a tug here and there but basically nothing. Then I sat across from "Alison" and we didn't touch the "seer" yet, our fingers were just brushing it. The "seer" jerked real fast, we both stood up (it was sitting on our laps, we were sitting across from one another), the board went flying and we screamed. Our hearts racing, we packed the board up and we never used it again - well not until I was in college with other people but that was only one other time!
Never again.

prettylady said...

Morg! Awesome post.

I had an entity in my house in Mexico, which set fire to my altar, among other things. I've written up the story in detail; if you email me personally I will send you the link. It was eventually gotten rid of by a highly psychic friend of mine.

In terms of where I stand on this, scientifically and theologically--well, from a scientific standpoint it is known that human senses are only capable of perceiving a very small fraction of wavelengths within the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Furthermore, our brains automatically edit out a great deal of what we are able to physically perceive, according to what we deem as relevant to our survival.

Thus I believe both that such things as spirits, psychic entities, subtle psycho-spiritual energies, and demons exist, as energetic patterns above and below the normal ranges of human perception, and that the reason that children, spiritually open people, and animals can perceive them is that they are less predisposed to edit their perceptions of those frequencies.

I also believe that spirits exist at a huge number of levels of consciousness and spiritual development, all the way from 'demons' (extremely negative, low-vibration entities), to 'lost souls' (human spirits which have been unable to transcend a traumatic experience upon death, but remain attached to the earthly plane, reliving this experience), to 'angels,' or 'guides' (much more highly-evolved, benevolent spirits who are here to assist us in our spiritual growth.)

Theologically speaking, I do believe in God, but I do not believe in a literal 'heaven' or 'hell,' but rather in a spiritual plane where souls dwell in groups--studying, reviewing and planning incarnate lifetimes for the purposes of soul growth. If you read about people who have experienced NDE's (near death experiences), you will note that they have very similar experiences--floating out of their bodies, being able to perceive the physical world from outside their bodies, going through a tunnel of light, then being greeted by guides and newly deceased relatives on the other side, having a conversation, then being told they had to return, or choosing to do so.

These NDE's can be exceptionally transformative; people who have them frequently become great spiritual writers, healers and leaders.

There are also hypnotherapists who have regressed hundreds of patients to past-life memories, and in doing so have stumbled upon remarkably consistent and detailed memories of between-life experiences, which correspond with the scenario I have described above.

This also explains, to me, why there are people I meet who I just seem to 'know', without having to spend a lot of effort finding out how to communicate with them, while there are others I just can't seem to connect with on any level. I believe we have 'soul-teams' of people we are working on particular lessons with.

tc said...

I ran into my father in a dream right after he died.

He had been *really* sick for a long time, dying of diabetes, emphysema and prostate cancer. 8 years, my mother nursed him....

He died and shortly after the funeral, I was sleeping at home when I found myself in the pasture of the farm I grew up in as it looked when I was a teenager.

The sky was overcast, but it was very, very bright. There, beneath a small tree, next to the fence was my father in a comfortable looking outdoor chair. He was reading (probably his favorite pastime while he could still see well.)

I approached him and he looked up at me. I said, "wow, you look GREAT!" He said, "I feel WONDERFUL!"

...and then I woke up.

I've never known quite what to think of it, but I can recreate the feeling of the dream in my head even now. I'd like to think that I've been lucky enough to be afforded a glimpse of Heaven. I guess I'll know soon enough, eh?

Tom

Morgan said...

Pretty Lady, the topic of NDE's has always fascinated me, particularly because they are similar regardless of faith. It makes one wonder, doesn't it? ;-)

I agree that all spirits can't be so easily categorized. The Bible speaks of us entertaining "angels unaware" so who knows if those we come in contact on a daily basis are always human.

The issue of past lives is another sticky wicket. I've read of children able to speak foreign languages they've never been taught or recalling in detail instances that happened to them when they were "someone else."

I'm not sure if the idea of reincarnation is entirely outside of Christian theology. When we think of our life, we think of it from birth to death, but what if our life is a progression through several lives in which we learn? We could be a murderer in one life and a murder victim in the next. Who knows.

Eaglewood, you a student of the Bible, what's your take on all of this?

Morgan said...

I forgot to add, Pretty Lady, that I'd very much like to have the link to your Mexican ghost story.

thimscool said...

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.

But, according to my orthodox jewish friend, there is nothing extra-OT or Talmud about reincarnation

thimscool said...

I mean against OT/Talmud...

dlkjdfsa said...

I am a natural skeptic even though I have had countless "unexplained phenomena" in my life. I should be dead several times over yet I still breath. I should have been washed away along with my other nigga's by Katrina. I still breath! Ya'll point out that there are many things our "sense's can not detect" Pretty lady has the courage to bring up the electromagnetic spectrum. This is a measurable force that manifests itself in forms from gamma rays to shortband radio. As humans we have evolved to be sensitive to the wavelengths between inferred and ultraviolet. WE CAN see the other spectrums though, not with our eyes but very objective measuring instruments.

There is no such thing as supernatural. Super is beyond. n0thing is the only thing that is beyond natural. The Ouiji boards "are portals of evil." Human hands must be placed on the word indicator for it to move. Human hands are connected to human brains. It is my conclusion that the people that hold this toy move it. Granted the higher areas of the brain might not be responsible but somewhere in our deep and mysterious cavern of a mind, you Ouiji witches move it. With friction. With kinetic energy. With heat. If there were a Ouiji board that moved on it's own it would be sent to Harvard and Yale and be examined under a microscope. Morgan - "I blame religion for squelching normal intuition" Don't blame religion, believing fiction as fact is a disease.

dlkjdfsa said...

"NDE's has always fascinated me, particularly because they are similar regardless of faith."

I've had a few NDEs. My first one was when I was 13. My friends and I were forcing each other to pass out by restricting our breathing and clenching each others chest. (does that sound gay?) anyway........ I can logically conclude that near death experiences transcend religious beliefs because of exactly what they are, near death. Man as a spices are extremely similar. Compare an African with an Eskimo and you will only find very superficial differences. Therefore when our brains and there for conciseness starts to die because of the lack of fresh oxygen in the blood we most likely will have a similar experience. Give me a hit of acid and I will trip balls. Take a hit of acid and you will also.....

I am still waiting for reports from the dead. Decay Decay is all they want to do.

Anonymous said...

I'm not well versed on this subject, but it does seem to me like spirits or ghosts are much more likely to be associated with a place than with a person.

I've always wondered why a lamenting spirit would stay in a place where, during life, some dreadful or painful thing happened? In Morgan's case, if a tragedy like fever or massacre did happen on the land and that is indeed the cause of their travail, why would the spirits (assuming they have a choice) choose to stay? Is it because they think subsequent inhabitants will befall the same tragedy and want to therefore warn or scare them away?

Maybe it is like psychic energy instead of an actual soul-- something akin to a scent, and like a scent, some are more prone to detect it than others. Whatever the case, it is fascinating to discuss.

Though I've never personally witnessed a ghost or spirit, like TC I have had what I call 'visits' from deceased family members, particularly my father. Dad spent the last few years of his life in a wheelchair. Right after he died, my mother and I were at the cemetary shopping for his burial plot. We were talking to the funeral director and I heard my father's voice, as plain as day say, "Ask him if they have any wheelchair accessible plots." Dad has also visited me in dreams several times since his death over twenty years ago.

I was also visited by my maternal grandfather in a dream recently. It was a very pleasant reunion.

Janet said...

Nice slow shutter speed picture! We had to do those for our class. ;)

I don't believe in ghosts.... hmmm

Morgan said...

I didn't take those photos, Janet. They were some I had in a file. I don't remember where they came from. Wish I had, though. They are pretty.

thimscool said...

Pretty lady,

Superb post. I have read your blog recently and I see that is your habit.

However, I get a little distracted when people talk about 'energy' and 'vibrations' in the same breath as they discuss spiritual issues.

I'm willing to admit that this is a personal problem, but my background has introduced me to much more rigorous applications of those terms.

I guess it serves the purpose of analogy? In any case, the likely ties between living consciousness and physical law are anything but wavelike.

Many physicists believe in a concept called the "collapse of the wavefunction" upon measurement by a *conscious* observer (Wigner and Von Neumann being the most distinguished advocates of this viewpoint). The other prominant school of thought believes in decoherence due to interaction with the classical world-many bodies. Bohm, who was expelled from America for being a commie, developed an iterpretation that posited a litteral force of information, which only acted at the quantum level. In any case, the mathematics which describes the behavior of a quantum system under measurement is anything but linear, and therefore not a wavelike phenomena with vibrational frequencies and energy levels.

Measurement by a conscious observer is fundementally different from the typical physical concepts with centuries of connotations. In fact, it is the least understood and most dangerous portion of physics to pesue, from a career perspective.

Also, I would point out that while human senses are limited, our machines are quite advanced. Many of them have been brought to bear on this issue without conclusive evidence (that I know of).

Morgan said...

anon, I liked the story about your grandfather. He sounds like he had (and has) a great sense of humor.

I mentioned this to Eaglewood on another thread, but in 1995 I suffered a miscarriage and just before waking the morning after had the most realistic dream that I was holding a baby girl with dark hair and amazing blue eyes. She just laid there and looked at me and I felt so happy. I could feel the weight of her in my arms, and the movement as she wriggled in the blanket.
Then I woke up, despairing because I thought it was my lost baby saying goodbye.
I got pregnant again and in 1997 I gave birth to my youngest daughter, Alex. When Larry laid her in my arms and I looked down, it was at the exact same baby in my dreams. She felt the same, she looked the same and she looked at me the exact same way with those amazing blue eyes.
I knew then that the the dream wasn't a dream but a message that she'd be back.
I don't have any doubt that souls travel and we are all together for a reason.

Thimscool, I read your verse with interest:
"Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."

It makes me wonder what death really is. Perhaps what we see as an earthly death is just a portal to another stage of life, somewhere else. Perhaps when we finish learning what we're supposed to learn at the end of that journey, perhaps then is when we have that final death - or doorway - to face God.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - "like psychic energy."

All energy is measurable by science, even gravity which we have yet to fully understand.

thimscool - "quantum system under measurement is anything but linear"

I am not a physicist but I think the core of quantum physics is the fact that energy can only be transferred in a "quanta packet" I think the problem with area of quantum physics that dictates the more we know where something is the less we know how fast it is going and vise versa is a matter of zero time. Zero time is a bitch!

prettylady said...

Yes indeed, thimscool, my use of the word 'energy' is an analogy, based upon experience and extensive reading of on-the-edge science and mystical spirituality literature, not a literal scientific term. I've had these discussions before with engineers, knowing so many of them.

My brother once pointed me to a study which serendipitously discovered that a standing wave produces the same physiological effects as a 'ghost encounter'--sudden chill, goosebumps, eerie feeling of foreboding. His conclusion were that there are no such things as ghosts--my conclusion was that ghosts are, or at least produce, standing waves.

Michael Talbot, in his book "The Holographic Universe," postulates that the world as we perceive it is a giant hologram, possibly stemming from a projection of a transpersonal, universal Mind, as the Eastern mystics have always claimed. He goes into great detail as to exactly how the holographic paradigm explains paranormal occurrences such as ghosts, telepathy, apparent simultaneous communication over vast distances, and the quantum physics paradox you mention.

I do not find that these notions conflict with my spiritual beliefs and practices at all, but rather deepen them almost infinitely.

The paradox is, that if the world stems from Mind, or 'consciousness,' any instruments we create to measure that world are created by the same force of mind, which means that they are not reliable, being of the illusion and not outside of it.

suttonpainter said...

Pretty Lady may I be considered an honorary Brother?

M.T. universal Mind

Fu%k that shit. I am ME.

word 'energy' is an analogy

OK i'm gonna need a few laws written about the word.

thimscool said...

“The paradox is, that if the world stems from Mind, or 'consciousness,' any instruments we create to measure that world are created by the same force of mind, which means that they are not reliable, being of the illusion and not outside of it.”

Are you familiar with Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem? Technically it only applies to formal logical systems such as the one that Bertrand Russell attempted to create from set theory in the early part of the last century.

The gist is that no logical system can be both complete and entirely true. He proved this by beginning with a self referential paradox, coded in Russell’s set-theoretic formalism, but logically equivalent to the old saw: “This statement is false.”*

So, if you’ll forgive the intrusion into the extra-logical realm that we’re discussing, you are essentially correct: our understanding of the universe, and ourselves, is ultimately limited by being a part of it. And this isn’t some vanishing effect that we’ll discover after there are colonies on other star systems… it already quite apparent with current experimental techniques.

~~~
What’s this got to do with the ghosts and spirits and whatnot?

The underpinnings of mathematics, and the physical sciences, are inherently flawed. Anyone that paid attention in HS physics understands that the definitions of concepts like energy, force, etc. are all circular, and self reinforcing. Math and science have built up an impressive system of understanding. But good scientists know that it is inherently limited and flawed.

Nevertheless, I agree with the Rabbitslayer… it’s all part of nature, and ultimately science will shine a light there. If ghosts are real, they will be detected by more than just our stories.

thimscool said...

* An excellent book about this topic is "Godel, Esher, Back" by Douglas Hofstadter.

He was a proponent of 'Strong AI', which is the belief that consiciousness can be created purely through software on a sufficiently fast computer. 'Weak AI' postulates that the mechanism (the biology of the brain) is vital to consciousness. A famous and eloquent promoter of that view is sir Roger Penrose ("The Emperor's New Mind").

Cheers! You're cool!

dlkjdfsa said...

my opinion is that one, zero and infinity are three things.

dlkjdfsa said...

science is flawed in only one way. there are not an infinite amount of tests for a theory. other than that it is perfect in nature.

Morgan said...

"Anyone that paid attention in HS physics understands that the definitions of concepts like energy, force, etc. are all circular, and self reinforcing."

Apparently I should have paid better attention, for I confess to drowning in a sea of confusion over such esoteric ramblings.

Did anyone see The Ring? That girl side-crawling up the side of the well scared me half to death. ;-)

To dumb things down a bit, The Ring was based on a Japanese novel. The Japanese are apparently very superstitious. We ran a wire story in our paper about a train that crashed outside an apartment building in Japan. The residents were keen to move out, fearful that the crash victims - angry over their untimely demise - would continue to reside in the area .

dlkjdfsa said...

not = 0

thimscool said...

Rabbitslayer, e to the i pie is one. One minus one is zero. And one divided by zero is infinity.

It's as simple and as complicated as that.

dlkjdfsa said...

goodness my Morgan you snuck in there

dlkjdfsa said...

/ zero = error... fact

Morgan said...

Guys, just so you'll know, I wasn't *really* trying to dumb things down. I just threw that Japanese stuff in because I thought of it.

dlkjdfsa said...

thinking is what writers do sister morgan. glory ;]

Morgan said...

"thinking is what writers do sister morgan. glory ;]"

True. But I'm blonde and sometimes it hurts.

dlkjdfsa said...

I would like to retract the statement about nothing being supernatural. There are three things I can think of that are hypernatural. The inevitable local collective experience regaurding the discovery of the nature of the universe, art and Empathy.

prettylady said...

An excellent book about this topic is "Godel, Esher, Back" by Douglas Hofstadter.

That would be "Gödel, Escher, Bach." Which I have on my shelf, having picked up a free copy off the sidewalk, but haven't read since college. At any rate I don't agree with either theory of consciousness; I believe consciousness is something that transcends both biological and mechanical systems. It is a pattern of connections, analogous to software, except that it exists previous to the hardware, not as a result of it.

Matter, I believe, is a densing-down of spirit; spirit causes matter, not the other way around.

Pretty Lady may I be considered an honorary Brother?

Need you ask?

prettylady said...

You ask how I can make sweeping assertions like this--it's based on experience and observation, plus a lot of reading. I see how people's bodies heal when they change their minds. I feel how an energy coursing through my body, only because I open up to it, causes profound psychological, emotional and physical healing in myself and other people.

It is always the physical that responds to the non-physical, not the other way around.

Of course, physical traumas have their effect on the mind, but it is still the mind that chooses how to handle it.

dlkjdfsa said...

"It is a pattern of connections, analogous to software, except that it exists previous to the hardware, not as a result of it"

PL that is a beautiful line!

dlkjdfsa said...

I just found god in a line.

thi said...

That would be "Gödel, Escher, Bach."

Yes. Complete with an umlaut and no typos. Thanks.

"[Consciousness] is a pattern of connections, analogous to software, except that it exists previous to the hardware, not as a result of it."

Hmmmm. I haven't witnessed that. Soem say that math is a process of discovery, rather than invention. That would lend credence to the idea that the seed of consciousness preceeded any mechanism. Sounds vaguely gnostic.

Is your thinking that conciousness may need a mechanism for expression, but that it exists independently of that expression?

thimscool said...

Oops. That was me.

prettylady said...

Is your thinking that conciousness may need a mechanism for expression, but that it exists independently of that expression?

Yes, exactly. Although the mechanism could exist upon a variety of levels, as well. I suspect that there could be infinite levels of intention-action, or intention-expression, on infinitely subtle layers of consciousness-'energy.'

prettylady said...

Funny how the Christian 'heresy' of gnosticism (what little I know of it) corresponds so closely with Eastern mysticism. And funny how Eastern mysticism is starting to converge with Western quantum physics.

dlkjdfsa said...

i am what i am and so are you.

dlkjdfsa said...

i just wanted to mention how much i love wakame, hijiki, agar agar and nori. life is good!

dlkjdfsa said...

and sushi to....

dlkjdfsa said...

"science is flawed in only one way. there are not an infinite amount of tests for a theory. other than that it is perfect in nature. "

just so I don't look like a dumbass in the future please remove the word not from the previous paragraph. thank you.

thimscool said...

Yes, well it's actually e to the minus i pie that's one, so we're even.

" / zero = error... fact"

It is understood to be a process, just like infinity. A limiting process...

These are terms of convience for all but discrete mathematicians. A very comprehensive body of theory and experiment has been built on these short hand tricks.

But you are right to pick the knit, because it is in those limits that classical chaos is revealed. And classical chaos is the overlooked failure of the correspondence principle: that Quantum and Classical theories must meet eachother smoothly at their borders.

MoGryph said...

Wow, I'm almost sorry I spent time tonight riding my new motorcycle, instead of trying to keep up with what was going on here!

Morgan- I'm very honored, and now- very happy, and enlightened, that you started a new post off of what I said. Your post, the things you experienced, well- speechless... WOW.

I want to give you some of my perspectives on your story- unfortunately, it's getting late, and I've got a few other things that I just NEED to say.

It's odd how a little hint in one direction, can cause things to spin off in so many ways, yet so many people see the same connections!

First off, I perfer the term ParaNormal to SuperNatural, for reasons that I think are the same as what RabbitSlayer said. SuperNatural means to me, beyond the natural. How can something be beyond nature? Some might say, well- look at science. Yes, we've achieved things that you couldn't Normally find in science. Normally. Nature is just a warmer way of saying the world and everything around us. I admit, typically, I say Nature, and mean being out in the woods, and enjoying the beauty of the woods. But, nature's everything.

Spining off in so many ways.... I'm a bit shocked, and very happy at the same time, that the topic of Quantum Physics showed up. Stick with me here, I'll make my way back, even though it seems like I'm going off on another one of my tangents. Anyhow, how many people, when they hear about Ghosts, think- Hmmm... Quantum Physics. I made a connection on just that, when I learned something completely new to me about Quantum Physics a few days ago. Something that they call "Entanglement". I can't remember all the specifics, and I take too long re-researching stuff, but here's the jist of it. Somewhere on a sub-atomic level, if you take two of these miniscule particles, and smack them togethor, they can become "paired". They each take on their own 'spin'. I don't fully get it yet, haven't done enough research, but these spins are described as an Up spin, and a Down spin. For some reason, they say that the spins of each particle, are in balance, both having an Up spin, and a Down spin originally, and the spin is only determined upon observation. :shrug:
Anyhow. After each particle taking on its' unique spin, if isolated, its spin will remain paired with the other particles spin.... I feel I might be loosing you, but hold on- So... If you take one of these isolated particles, and say- go off a hundred miles from the other one, and force it to go into a different spin- the other particle that was "paired" with it, will also take on a different spin IMMEDIATELY. Hocus-pocus, ala-peanutbutter-sandwich. They've measured this, and it works.

According to what I read, some scientists created paired particles, separated them by 7 miles, and were able to send a simple message between the two (sets of scientists), by just observing the spin on the particles. If this isn't classical "supernatural" or paranormal, then I don't know what is.

So, assimilating that into all of the theories and thoughts and ideas that I've heard about paranormal things, it's starting to cause some drastic effects to my current mind-set of ponderings. I mean, Who's to say that "Ghosts", aren't anything more than some of such particles remaining behind, and some of these paired particles might not just be somehow incorporated in our minds, and our brains are percieving them? Okay- yeah, I haven't worked that one out completely. lol.

We've all heard stories, including the one about thimscool and Nicole, about someone knowing something has happend, miles away, at the same time, with having no possible way of knowing it. Could it be that somewhere, deep in our brains, is some sort of receptor that can automatically measure some of these particle spins- that some of these particles have been incorporated into our bodies, and gets "picked up"? Just another one I'm working on...

Prettywoman- I love that you brought up children, and your idea that they haven't learned to edit out their perceptions of those "frequencies". I understand thimscool's points, but I assume Prettywoman just used the word for a lack of better terminology. I won't claim to give a better one. In any case, I strongly agree with your statement. Our minds, over time, have learned to filter out things that don't make sense, as a defense mechanism. Some say, that our minds will ignore paranormal things, because we wouldn't be able to cope with them. Perhaps.
I watched some PBS show about a year or two ago, where they were talking about perception (it might have been one of those shows with Alan Alda, but don't remember the series) They had a group of people (I think 25 or so) sit in a set of bleachers, and watch a television that they wheeled in. They told them- we're going to show you a small film, where you will see people throwing a ball to each other. Count the number of times that the ball was tossed between people. So, the people watched. And when the clip started, they saw a group of teens on a basketball court, in basketball jerseys, tossing a basketball back and forth and among them. Yup, pretty normal. Count... Count... Count...
When the clip was over, they asked the audience to tell them, how many times did you see the ball get tossed back and forth. AND- did you see anything out of place in the film? I think they were all were pretty close on the number of times the ball was tossed back and forth. I was. Noone was able to think of anything peculiar that occured during the film. Until- the film was rewound, and, now- thinking that they should try to find something peculiar, they ignored the ball going back and forth. In the middle of the film, while the ball is going back and forth, someone walks out into the center of the picture, wearing a Gorilla suit (and wearing a jersey too), mind you- he was in FRONT of the guys throwing the ball back and forth. He stands there for a few seconds, I think he might have even waved, and then he walks off the screen. I watched it myself. I missed it. It PROVED how strong the brain can be at filtering things, when your perception looks for the obvious, or is so tuned in on paying attention to the norm.

Want one more example? How many of you who drive, have almost pulled out of an intersection into someone driving a Motorcycle. It was there... If you were looking for it, it was plain as day- but when you're expecting to look for a car, other things just disappear.

Oujia boards.... Yeaaah... they freak me out too. I had one save my life once. I'll condense this as much as I possible can- Friend of mine and I back in H.S. were tent-camping out in his gravel driveway at the end of a dead-end street (ah-hem, I mean, no-outlet road). We decided we'd build a fire, and break out the Oujia board. After messing with the thing for awhile- silly messages going back and forth, that we both thought the other was doing, we got a cold message that we knew neither of us pushed: "Dangr" (with the misspell, supposedly, spirits can be very poor at spelling). "Uh- was that 'Danger'?" The Planchette shot to "Yes". And when I say Shot, I mean, it nearly yanked itself out of our hands to go there. So I said something like "Um, okay, what kind of danger". It spelt out "Deth". Shivers. "h-h-how?" "Lectric wirs." So, we were both on it- "How can we avoid this???"
I can't remember the exact response, but it boiled down to, without any doubt whatsoever: When you wake up in the morning, look around before getting up."
I said, well- screw this, we're sleeping in the house tonight. My friend didn't need any convincing.

We woke up the next morning- now mind you, all of the weather forecasts stated that it was supposed to be a clear night, no clouds, no nothing- heck, that's the only reason we decided to go camping out in the first place! It was POURING when we woke up. We went outside, down to the tent. There, in the tent, were the two thing we were going to sleep on. My friend- an old army cot. Myself, some funky cushion thing that folds out flat, and folds up into a chair. Right next to my foam foldy thing, was a puddle of water. Right next to that puddle of water- no kidding, about the area I would have tossed my foot when I woke up, was where the cord for the lamp we had in the cot, was connected to the extension cord running into the house. I KNOW that if we had slept in the tent, and I hadn't headed that warning, I would have been electricuted, or at least gotten some damn strong zapping.
That moment there dispelled any thought in my mind, that a Oujia board is just a game.

I haven't touched one since- I believe it might very well have been something malevolent, trying to convince us that it was doing works of good, and enticing us to continue to use it in the future.

Okay, I'm going to be busy over the holiday weekend, but I hopefully will be able to get back to responding on the rest of the posts, especially Morgan's story, on Monday.... That is, unless you've got another post that becomes so darned intrueging that I can't resist.

Everyone have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.
- Mo

dlkjdfsa said...

A month ago I was on Laguna Beach taking photos of nature. I had just left Los Angeles deciding not to join the Army. I met an inventor earlier that day that took great interest in my idea. Snap.. snap.. I took my shots. A woman walked up to me an said, "Look, I found a treasure" and showed me a plastic army figure she found in the tide.

dlkjdfsa said...

thimscool - It is understood to be a process, just like infinity.

I beg to differ. If zero could feel he would be very sad that you said that.

:)

eaglewood said...

“Eaglewood, you a student of the Bible, what's your take on all of this?”

I was going to stay out of this because I am not sure some would like my take, but seeing as how I was asked I will put in my 2 cents.

Where do I begin? Lets start with the basics.

Do I believe in the supernatural?
Yes I do, I could not be a Christian if I did not. There are supernatural forces at work all of the time. Not all of the explanations are easy though. I believe that before the fall we were more in tune to the supernatural than we are now, but that we all may have some latent ability that way.

Do I believe in spirits or ghosts?
Yes and no, I do believe in Spirit beings. They are referred to in the Bible as angels. There are two kinds those that stood with G_d and those that Stood with Lucifer or those that rebelled against G_d. Most people think of the latter as demons because that is what they are called in the Bible. I believe that all apparitions are angels of one kind or another.

Do I believe in reincarnation?
No, I do not. I can find nothing in the Bible to support it. I believe that each person is unique and they have their own unique soul. The verse that Thimscool brought up is an excellent starting reference for this thought pattern, but for me it goes deeper. If reincarnation actually happened what is Christ’s work of salvation for? Lets take your murderer / murder victim scenario. Lets say the murderer accepts Jesus as his savior while in prison. After he dies he is reincarnated into a whole new life that he has to learn over. This time he is a pedophile and has molested sever little girls. An enraged father finds out where he is and brutally murders him. What happens to his soul then? He lived a life of sin in the second life and did not accept Jesus as his savior in that life. It makes a mockery of sorts out of Yeshua’s death.

It is late now and I am not sure I can get deeper now. I should let it suffice that not all that we see or hear is what we think it is.

dlkjdfsa said...

Eaglewood - "my take"

That's all any of us have.

dlkjdfsa said...

Oh ya, and some of us have carpel tunnel from thinking.

MoGryph said...

Eaglewood- I'm glad you joined in the fray. Here's one for you (and remember, I've got a limited knowledge of the bible).

While I was growing up- I thought that "purgatory" was another, kinder word, for Hell. It wasn't until the past few years that I've heard the word again, thought about it, and learned that - no, it's sort of a "holding place", or a place of waiting. I think mixed in there is - a place where you wait while your minimal sins are purged?
Anyhow- could it be possible, with The Book's symbolism, that Purgatory, is another name for Reincarnation? Might it be, that we wait, and our souls are sort-of recycled, and we're given a chance to come back and do it all better?

On a side note- why is it you hear on TV, or you hear parents say- when they're trying to explain the loss of a loved one to a child, that "they've gone on to heaven", "They've gotten their wings", and "He/She's an angel now, looking down upon us." OOOOOOKaaaay.... I admit I'm biblically-illiterate, but, when does death = Hell, or Angel in Heaven? Aren't we all supposed to be waiting for Judgement Day? Aren't Angels supposedly some sort of other Species, or something? I'm guessing you'll agree with this one, but I want to hear what other people think about this whole twisted idea of explaining/confusing children.

Anonymous said...

mogryph - "come back and do it all better?"

"There's only gonna be one run for me." - Sutton

Anonymous said...

Morgan, you might find it interesting that even though I hold zero superstitions and see the end of the universe as unimaginable cold I still find every one of my days on Earth incredibly mysterious.

BoysMom said...

Eaglewood, didn't King Saul have Samuel's ghost called up by a medium? And weren't all involved ('cept Samuel) rather surprised?

Jamie said...

You smoke a lot of weed Morgan. You know it and I know it.

But it's cool. I've got a mate moving to the States at the end of the year and he was stressing about acquiring weed. I was like, I know this chick that smokes HELL weed. I mentioned you.

Aren't I a sweetheart?

Morgan said...

"But it's cool. I've got a mate moving to the States at the end of the year and he was stressing about acquiring weed. I was like, I know this chick that smokes HELL weed. I mentioned you.
Aren't I a sweetheart?"

Anyone who would send some Aussie transplant to my door in search of Auntie Morgan's Hydroponically Grown Magic Catnip could be called nothing less than "sweeteart."

But since you're here, you are now required to tell us all a ghost story. It won't matter to me if it's not a real story, but a hallucination suffered during one of your drunken binges. Just make it interesting. You can even put in rap form if you want.

By the way. It's good to see you around, Sport. I've missed you. :-)

Morgan said...

"I was going to stay out of this because I am not sure some would like my take, but seeing as how I was asked I will put in my 2 cents."

I'm glad you did, Eaglewood. Please don't let being disagreed with stop you from posting. I always appreciate the perspective you bring.

"Yes and no, I do believe in Spirit beings. They are referred to in the Bible as angels. There are two kinds those that stood with G_d and those that Stood with Lucifer or those that rebelled against G_d."

OK. So if there are just angels and demons, how do you account for people who've had encounters or communications from those who have passed on, either through dreams or apparitions. Are they angels now? Or do you think it's the devil screwing with them?

"No, I do not. I can find nothing in the Bible to support it. I believe that each person is unique and they have their own unique soul."

I agree that we have one soul, but who's to say that soul doesn't travel through more than one human lifetime. Some people are really dim. It may take several lifetimes to get the full range of experience and lessons they need to move on.

As to your scenario, are you suggesting that a person learns all they need to know upon receiving salvation? I know that even as a Christian I still have a *lot* to learn.

Perhaps there's more to God's plan than saving us to hell. We're being prepared for life eternal, right? Does anyone ever think of what we're going to be doing there? Maybe what we learn here is preparing us for what we'll be doing there. Perhaps it takes more than one lifetime to learn the lessons we'll need to take us through Eternity.

It seems to tilted, life does. People are born into loving families, raised in the church, never endure a day of want - seeing God is easy for people like that; they're surrounded by blessings. But then you consider someone born behind the 8-ball, to abusive, non-believing parents and perhaps with some sort of disorder that makes them violent. How easy is it to see God?
I just wonder sometimes if we aren't all subjected to a range of experiences through multiple lives -sort of being taken into different rooms, until we achieve some sort of Full Understanding.

That's why when I see people who are just awful, I have to wonder if they're not on some different path. Maybe they're *supposed* to be awful now.

Granted, the Bible doesn't talk about any of this, but I don't think it's implausible or heretical to ponder it.

prettylady said...

Mogryph--I've read about that particle spin experiment, too. The most amazing thing about it is that there is no physical way that these particles could be communicating simultaneously the way they seem to--even light takes some time to travel, so they cannot be sending 'messages' to one another by any method we can fathom.

The only explanation left is that they are, in fact, the same particle, and that space is an illusion.

Doop do doo.

thimscool said...

You are speaking of a thought experiment called the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox. An analogous experiment has been achieved using entangled photons (light) and the observable correlation of their polarizations.

As PrettyLady points out, the ‘information transfer’ between the photons is necessarily superluminal, and possibly instantaneous. However, one should not draw casual conclusions with this data.

First of all, no one has yet divined a method by which such a technique could actually communicate practical information faster than the speed of light. There is no reason to believe that this application is even possible. So ‘information transfer’ is a misleading notion here, even if it is tempting.

Secondly, there are several potential explanations for this behavior, none of which is entirely palatable. I assume that PrettyLady was dismissing the possibility that causality can be violated in the rare cases that an entanglement survives decoherence (i.e., in the lab). Instead she prefers the standard understanding that particles are just excitations of fields which pervade space. In that sense, the two particles, and indeed all matching particles, are part of an omnipresent field.

But there are other explanations. The most famous is the many-worlds interpretation. Einstein’s own favorite was his postulate of hidden variables, but this has actually been proven wrong experimentally (Bell’s inequality).

Bohm posited ‘quantum force’. Contrary to other forces, such as electromagnetism or gravity, the quantum force had no ‘retarded potential’, which means that the force carriers acted instantaneously. This allows us to retain a traditional classical concept of a particle… but why is a point particle more compelling physically than an all-pervasive field?

Sorry for the detour, but I couldn’t resist.

prettylady said...

First of all, no one has yet divined a method by which such a technique could actually communicate practical information faster than the speed of light.

I don't follow. The Wiki entry to which you pointed describes applications of this phenomenon which are already in the process of development--quantum cryptography and parallel processing.

In that sense, the two particles, and indeed all matching particles, are part of an omnipresent field.

Exactly. In other words, physical separation of distinct 'entities,' such as solid particles, is an illusion. Could not this omnipresent field be termed 'consciousness'?

but why is a point particle more compelling physically than an all-pervasive field?

I find it considerably less compelling--indeed, even counter-intuitive. But then I'm weird, and it's late.

prettylady said...

Actually, how could the omnipresent field be anything BUT consciousness? If the act of measuring something itself determines what the measurement will be, is this not like putting a blue filter in front of a projector, and suddenly the image looks blue? When we make measurements, in other words when we perceive things, we are filtering consciousness.

So these 'many worlds' are simply the different filters applied by postulated 'individuals,' who are really just aspects of universal consciousness, wearing different filters.

prettylady said...

Or am I missing something?

thimscool said...

“[There are] applications of this phenomenon which are already in the process of development--quantum cryptography and parallel processing.”

Quantum cryptography provides a method to communicate privately with complete confidence (based on our current understanding of the LoP). Any attempt to eavesdrop would spoil the entanglement and terminate the transmission. No warrantless wiretaps are possible. But it does not allow for superluminal communication. Not even in principle.

Quantum computation likewise depends on this instantaneous interaction between entangled quanta, but that does not imply faster-than-light messages either.

~~~

“Could not this omnipresent field be termed 'consciousness'?”

Well, as far as standard terminology goes, there is an electron field, a proton field, a quark filed, etc. Each of the particles of the Standard Model has a field associated with it. These fields all interact with each other on the canvas of space time, and these quanta (particles) are what make up our observable physical reality.

As far as I know, no one has proposed a ‘consciousness field’ in modern physics. What would the associated particle be? Is it a lepton? Actually, the physics community has largely ignored the issue of measurement theory, since the funding agencies don’t routinely grant money for such work. Most of the work on these issues is done in small scale optical/atomic physics labs, and it generally escapes the attentions of the most talented theoretical physicists… or perhaps it just wrecks them, so they retreat to their string theoretical musings and whatnot.

Whatever you call it, the intersection of consciousness with the physical universe is a very interesting concept to me. But I’m afraid that we’ve wandered pretty far from the subject of ghost stories, regardless of the evanescent connection that you are positing.

thimscool said...

Let me return to an earlier subject.

Hey Morgan and Janet,

Check out this link on Extended Exposure Photography.

prettylady said...

But I’m afraid that we’ve wandered pretty far from the subject of ghost stories, regardless of the evanescent connection that you are positing.

Humph. No we haven't. Isn't that just like a linear male brain. What I am positing is a theory of source, which would make the existence of 'ghosts' just as probable as the existence of everything else.

If consciousness is the source of the perceived physical universe, rather than the result of it, then a ghost would merely be a projection of a warped bit of consciousness that didn't integrate properly into the universal field upon the death of the body associated with it.

But if you assume that consciousness is a result of the physical body, then it's a hell of a lot harder to figure out where that 'ghost' could possibly be coming from, once the body is no more.

Quantum computation likewise depends on this instantaneous interaction between entangled quanta, but that does not imply faster-than-light messages either.

Sure it does; it implies instantaneous messages. As if space did not exist, and there wasn't anywhere for the light to travel to, and thus no time for it to travel in.

the intersection of consciousness with the physical universe is a very interesting concept to me.

Well, then, do you observe your own consciousness? If you make a habit of it, you will note that consciousness exists independently of the stuff it contains. It isn't thoughts; it isn't perceptions. It isn't time or space, and quite possibly does not require time or space in order to exist. It is the backdrop to the canvas.

Which is why I don't believe you could ever create it with a computer, no matter how fast. No matter how much stuff you feed into it, you can't create the backdrop. You can only obscure it, making your crusty filters ever thicker, and separating yourself from God and brother.

Ack! I got carried away, there. But this chopping of the world into irrelevant slices comes to irritate me, at times.

MikeT said...

5/5 animals agree that supernatural things are scary as hell and are worth getting away from ASAP. If the dog, the cat and the horse are all in agreement that it is something that nearly scares the piss out of them, I dare say that it's not something holy on a mission from God...

thimscool said...

Aaahh. So we’re to discuss this here.

“If consciousness is the source of the perceived physical universe, rather than the result of it, then a ghost would merely be a projection of a warped bit of consciousness that didn't integrate properly into the universal field upon the death of the body associated with it.”

Yes. I understood that. And it is, in fact, explicitly Gnostic. Don’t take me wrong… I haven’t got anything against that… or for it.

~~~

“Sure it does; it implies instantaneous messages.”

Perhaps an ‘instantaneous’ message is passed between photons in these experiments, or perhaps we happen to inhabit the universe of the recorded result. In any case, no message is passed between humans, superluminally. I am not saying it is impossible, but a mechanism has not even been suggested as a thought experiment. Anyway, this is a red herring, since your real objective has nothing to do with superluminal signals… it’s all about consciousness creating the material universe, regardless of the mechanism.

Do you think that before Aristotle all animals were sponge-like flesh inside, and only developed organs, arteries, bones, etc. when the great master finally performed a measurement by taking apart some hapless toad?

~~~

“Well, then, do you observe your own consciousness? If you make a habit of it, you will note that consciousness exists independently of the stuff it contains. It isn't thoughts; it isn't perceptions. It isn't time or space, and quite possibly does not require time or space in order to exist. It is the backdrop to the canvas.”

In the river analogy of consciousness, the memory of past events is what sets the state of the system. In other words, the way I know I am myself when I regain consciousness from a fierce bender is that I remember something, and progressively more, of myself and my circumstance.

How can you conceive of yourself outside of your language, your experience, or your memories? Then where is consciousness?

~~~

“I got carried away, there. But this chopping of the world into irrelevant slices comes to irritate me, at times.”

Look, I’m not trying to be difficult, or irrelevant. I don’t oppose your viewpoint, since I am not an empiricist. But here is the main problem that I have with your point of view: where does reality come from? I mean the one where we both look at the world and see something similar. The one where we would both perish from a bomb in our midst… this group-consensus hologram seems to exist and occasionally kicks my butt or makes me smile. Is this Gene and Morgan’s God?

thimscool said...

"If the dog, the cat and the horse are all in agreement that it is something that nearly scares the piss out of them, I dare say that it's not something holy on a mission from God..."


Doesn't mean that you should fear it. Stand your ground until there is actual danger. You aren't a dog, and you might learn something of any danger that exists.

If it could kill you in an instant then you're screwed anyway. If that didn't happen, recon.

prettylady said...

Anyway, this is a red herring, since your real objective has nothing to do with superluminal signals…

Conceded. I was just joshing.

Do you think that before Aristotle all animals were sponge-like flesh inside, and only developed organs, arteries, bones, etc. when the great master finally performed a measurement by taking apart some hapless toad?

Do you think that toddlers built the Brooklyn Bridge out of plastic blocks? Gracious. I'm not implying that human consciousness in its ordinary state creates everything--this would be a much sadder world if it did. I'm postulating that pure, pervasive, un-blocked, un-filtered consciousness may well be what we would describe as God.

the way I know I am myself when I regain consciousness from a fierce bender is that I remember something,

What is 'yourself'? Are you just an aggregate of memories attached to a constantly changing and gradually decaying organism? Or is there something that transcends that?

where does reality come from?

'Eddies. Eddies in the space-time continuum.'

'Is he, then?'

Sorry.

I'm not so sure that this IS reality. I suspect it's a mass hallucination that has nothing to do with God; I think God is the thing that underlies it, that is quietly seeping through the cracks in the filters we little warped bits keep throwing up. (This metaphor is found in Qaballah, as I recently discovered, but I 'thought of it' myself.)

Is this Gene and Morgan’s God?

I think that Gene's idea of God created this unholy mess, but that Morgan's didn't.

Cheers! Have a nice break!

eaglewood said...

First I need to apologize for not responding sooner. Life on the weekend seems to be busier than during the week when I am working.

“OK. So if there are just angels and demons, how do you account for people who've had encounters or communications from those who have passed on, either through dreams or apparitions. Are they angels now? Or do you think it's the devil screwing with them?”

To be honest that question is one I am not truly qualified to answer. For the most part I would say that most encounters with ghosts are from the evil side of the spirit world. I do believe that angels visit us too and some of those encounters could be interpreted as ghosts. Lucifer does have a vested interest in making us believe in anything other than the saving power of Christ’s sacrifice.

“I agree that we have one soul, but who's to say that soul doesn't travel through more than one human lifetime. Some people are really dim. It may take several lifetimes to get the full range of experience and lessons they need to move on

As to your scenario, are you suggesting that a person learns all they need to know upon receiving salvation? I know that even as a Christian I still have a *lot* to learn.

Perhaps there's more to God's plan than saving us to hell. We're being prepared for life eternal, right? Does anyone ever think of what we're going to be doing there? Maybe what we learn here is preparing us for what we'll be doing there. Perhaps it takes more than one lifetime to learn the lessons we'll need to take us through Eternity.

It seems to tilted, life does. People are born into loving families, raised in the church, never endure a day of want - seeing God is easy for people like that; they're surrounded by blessings. But then you consider someone born behind the 8-ball, to abusive, non-believing parents and perhaps with some sort of disorder that makes them violent. How easy is it to see God?
I just wonder sometimes if we aren't all subjected to a range of experiences through multiple lives -sort of being taken into different rooms, until we achieve some sort of Full Understanding.

That's why when I see people who are just awful, I have to wonder if they're not on some different path. Maybe they're *supposed* to be awful now.

Granted, the Bible doesn't talk about any of this, but I don't think it's implausible or heretical to ponder it”.


While pondering this idea is not heretical espousing such an idea as truth could very well be. I am going to try to put a little bit of logic into this here. The very basic tenant of Christianity is that Jesus came and died upon the cross to serve as a perfect sacrifice that is required of G_d to cover our sins and satisfy His holy justice. Logically speaking if we could live several lives in order to “learn” different lessons then the redemptive work of Christ is not needed. At some point we would learn to live a sinless life and move on to our reward. Biblically speaking we have one life, one body, one spirit, and one soul. We do not come back several times to see if we could get it right the next time.

While it is difficult for us to see in our limited view why it is that some are born with more difficult circumstances than others, I do think that we attempt to put a limit on G_d and what He can do in reaching even the most degenerate soul. We seem to want to have some kind of “fairness” in life that just does not exist. G_d often uses the person behind the 8-ball to do His greatest work. Both my wife and I come from abusive or neglectful childhoods, yet we both were pursued by G_d and turned to Him. I just reject the idea that being born to unfortunate circumstances (a byproduct of our fallen status) is a detriment to finding G_d.

thimscool said...

“Do you think that toddlers built the Brooklyn Bridge out of plastic blocks?”

I happen to own the Brooklyn Bridge, and I know for a fact that it is made from the finest Russian titanium alloys. I’m just waiting for the next big war and then I’m scrapping it to the aircraft industry. I’m a shrewd investor. I will use the proceeds to buy Brooklyn and then I’ll secede from NYC. MuuuuwhoohoohahaHaHAhah… er… I need to sleep.

~~~

“I'm postulating that pure, pervasive, un-blocked, un-filtered consciousness may well be what we would describe as God.”

So, this God creates the Universe while experiencing it, as a superconscious entity? This God feels evolution happening, over billions of years, as well as the flash of a supernova?

This God of yours understood the need for bones and arteries, and stereo vision/hearing, etc. after experiencing the deaths of animals that couldn’t hack it (most likely a long time ago, in a galaxy far away).

Am I right?

And yes, I like long sentences with a false period in the middle.

~~~

“What is 'yourself'? Are you just an aggregate of memories attached to a constantly changing and gradually decaying organism? Or is there something that transcends that?”

First rate question! To be fair, I’ll ask you to answer it next (the first one, or the last).

Virtually none of “my atoms”, which I continue to shed copiously, were a part of me when I was born. My son, who is 2+ yrs old, is mostly new cells, new atoms, including his brain, the seat of consciousness. But the core creation is still there for him, as it is for all of us. Almost certainly every cell in my body, since birth, has perished; I’m sure my conceptive cell is well dead by now.

Hofstadter hypothesized that the seat of consciousness for animals lies in the paradox of self recognition. This is certainly not gospel, but don’t read it innocently. Obviously more is needed, and many including Hofstadter have pursued the ‘impossible’ that God and/or evolution has done: create intelligence.

But these days, daddy’s got a new pair of shoes. It’s called biotech, and in the vast majority of its applications it is not only benign, but occasionally ‘miraculous’. It’s also a shortcut to “AI”; and a greedy, hungry one at that.

Software AI is apparently busy identifying burnt potato chips. Nanotech has its work cut out for it, what with neighbors that could make cockroach hoards sniff out individual humans and report. Nature is a very good inventor, and what better invention than the brain, eh? Modified humans will get way out of control.

I’m not off track, PrettyLady. I’m saying that, in many ways, our shared reality is reaching a precipice… with considerable momentum. And there is no separating my family from our shared reality.

So getting back to “what is myself”… it is the one that wants to see the survival and providence of my family. It is the one that finds/put myself in this circumstance… I’ve not recollected any past lives (I believe this one counts for all the marbles). I know me by my circumstance and my evolving character. I need English/Italian to even begin to contemplate “I”. And as for faith, it’s not whether to have it, but how to articulate it. Words lead to thoughts lead to action (other than scratching one’s balls). And words are but a symbol.

What am I? I’m a human, domesticated primate, mammal, animal on the 3rd planet from “Sol”, yada, yada, yoda. How does that relate to the universe? I’m undecided. Theories abound… what is your theory?