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Posted by Paul R. Martin on December 28, 2003 20:13:29 UTC

Hi Wanda,

Thank you for your detailed response. You bring up several questions I would like to comment on.

First a few general comments: I think there is much more going on in reality than people think, whether they are institutional scientists or not. I think that most of the descriptions of aspects of reality that go beyond our observable physical universe are not only wrong, but I suspect that if we could know the absolute truth about reality, those descriptions would be laughable. I am referring to descriptions such as those offered by religious doctrine, reports from mystics, reports of OBE, NDE, etc., "The Urantia Book", shamans, etc., etc.

Not that there isn't something to all those reports, but I suspect that reality is not only beyond the ability of our languages (yes, even of mathematics) to express in any meaningful way, but also is beyond the ability of that portion of our mind which is accessible to the brain to even comprehend.

As for descriptions of observable physical aspects of our universe, science has no peer. There can be little doubt that science has produced by far the best explanations of the phenomena which they choose to explain than any competitor.

It is also understandable why science deliberately chooses not to comment on phenomena which they cannot explain. Until they have a reasonable, testable theory, any comments would degrade their credibility in other areas in which they have discovered rather deep mechanisms.

Thus, science shies away from such questions as paranormal phenomena and only dabbles in the surface effects of such phenomena as sleep or consciousness.

It is encouraging that some prominent scientists whose reputations are safe will conjecture on some exoteric explanations for some of these things. Just as Galileo's wild ideas had to germinate a few generations before anyone else could seriously take them up, I think some of the wilder speculations of some scientists today will gradually be folded into accepted institutional science.

I admire scientists like Rupert Sheldrake and Grover Kranz who have, at considerable risk to their professional credibility, deliberately gone against the norms of science to investigate ideas that seem to them worth investigating.

"In the 1970s when I was staying up at Esalen in Big Sur, CA, I had my one and only Out of Body Experience"

It was also in the 1970s when I talked with the one and only person I knew who had had an OBE (I don't think I have ever had one myself). His story convinced me that there was something real behind his experience, that it was dangerous to do such experimentation, and that it is not necessary or important to experiment like that in order to lead our earthly lives in the way we are supposed to. (Aurino continues to admonish us on this forum in this respect.)

"But I noticed that the people that practiced OBE tended to die young. So I decided it was a unhealthy pursuit."

Interesting. I didn't know about the dying young part. It makes sense to me, though, in a couple ways. One is that it points up the danger I mentioned. Another is that in the big scheme of things, we probably have some purpose here on earth and we probably have some purpose in a bigger context. It could be that by involving ourselves in OBE, etc., we are turning away from our earthly purpose, moving toward some other purpose, and then leaving early to pursue the latter. That's simply a guess on my part.

"The interesting thing in my mind is that somehow my OBE was directed by some power to see something that I would eventually see in person."

I, too, find that interesting. But I have a strong suspicion that nobody has very much of a clue as to what that "some power" is or is like.

"...the science establishment has closed down publication of such experiments. "

I am disappointed to hear that. I think it is fine for the science establishment to ignore certain questions if they like. But I don't think they should take an active part in stopping anyone else's investigations. They should read their own history and recognize medieval religious attitudes when they see them.

"I question whether meaningful discussions of this sort can happen on this particular forum without interference from some of the posters here."

I doubt it. Even without the interference, I think that only casual, recreational, and non-meaningful discussions of this sort can happen here. I think that the only way for these topics to gain respectability and credibility is for bold scientists, like Sheldrake, to persistently rub hard evidence in the nose of institutional science. Just like the guy did who discovered that "Helicobacter pylori" infection was the primary cause of stomach ulcers. He could only convince his colleagues by deliberately infecting himself with the bacteria. I regret not remembering his name, because to me, he is a true scientific hero.

"But the survival of consciousness after death is perhaps the most relevant topic for a God & Science forum, so I think it is worth the try."

Good. I hope you do give it a try - not so much to solve or prove anything, but just because those of us who have fun thinking and talking about these things will have a place to meet.

"I'll just try to keep from being distracted by all the noise I see on this forum. "

Good idea. It's not hard. Just don't take anything too personally, don't respond or react to anything that is not fun or interesting to you, and talk to anyone who finds your ideas interesting. I for one, do.

Warm regards,

Paul

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