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Old 3rd December 2017, 06:10 PM   #1
Wonder234
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If you are one, how would you respond to the following scenario as a materialist?

The scenario is this:

I do a practice that is intended to "open" my third eye. The practice is chanting the sound OM for 10 minutes a day, twice a day. I do the practice for a couple of weeks, and eventually something happens, you can call it my third eye opening just for the sake of argument. All of a sudden I see what looks like auras, see what looks like ghosts, and feel what seems to be other people's emotions. What would you, if you are a materialist, say about this as a materialist? And for the sake of the thread we'll just say a materialist is someone who believes that there are no supernatural entities.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 06:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
All of a sudden I see what looks like auras,
As a materialist, I'd first say you must be having self induced hallucinations, otherwise you could take a photo of the auras for us.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 06:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
The scenario is this:

I do a practice that is intended to "open" my third eye. The practice is chanting the sound OM for 10 minutes a day, twice a day.
Some good chili will do that for you too.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 06:59 PM   #4
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Well you said "materialist" and I just stopped listening because anything said that throws that out there as something to be justified is functionally "Lookit at me make stuff up."
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Old 3rd December 2017, 07:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Matthew Ellard View Post
As a materialist, I'd first say you must be having self induced hallucinations, otherwise you could take a photo of the auras for us.
But wouldn't it be more likely, given that "knowledge" of the third eye has been around since the dawn of civilization, that you chanting a specific sound intended to have a specific effect, all of a sudden incites all these weird sensations, that the ancients who propagated this information weren't just coming up with cool ways to hallucinate?
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Old 3rd December 2017, 07:23 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
But wouldn't it be more likely, given that "knowledge" of the third eye has been around since the dawn of civilization, that you chanting a specific sound intended to have a specific effect, all of a sudden incites all these weird sensations, that the ancients who propagated this information weren't just coming up with cool ways to hallucinate?
The highlighted is not a given.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 07:24 PM   #7
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I'm genuinely excited that you can do this on command and therefore, are able to test it thoroughly! Get a hold of a good sceptics organization near you and arrange for some help in designing and implementing tests which could finally conclusively prove some sort of psychic powers!
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Old 3rd December 2017, 07:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
The scenario is this:

I do a practice that is intended to "open" my third eye. The practice is chanting the sound OM for 10 minutes a day, twice a day. I do the practice for a couple of weeks, and eventually something happens, you can call it my third eye opening just for the sake of argument. All of a sudden I see what looks like auras, see what looks like ghosts, and feel what seems to be other people's emotions. What would you, if you are a materialist, say about this as a materialist? And for the sake of the thread we'll just say a materialist is someone who believes that there are no supernatural entities.
By auras, do you mean a glow surrounding a person and extending outward some visible distance, like an inch or so?

Then I would give you the James Randi aura test:

I stand behind a barrier that blocks my body but not my "aura". That is, if I am 6 feet tall and my aura extends one inch from my body, I stand behind a long wall that is slightly higher than six feet. Then my aura should show above the wall, but not my body.

So you should be able to point out where I am behind the wall.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 07:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
The scenario is this:

I do a practice that is intended to "open" my third eye. The practice is chanting the sound OM for 10 minutes a day, twice a day. I do the practice for a couple of weeks, and eventually something happens, you can call it my third eye opening just for the sake of argument. All of a sudden I see what looks like auras, see what looks like ghosts, and feel what seems to be other people's emotions. What would you, if you are a materialist, say about this as a materialist? And for the sake of the thread we'll just say a materialist is someone who believes that there are no supernatural entities.
I would say that the highlighted claim is too vague to be meaningful.

For example, "I can see what looks like ghosts" doesn't mean anything to me. What, precisely, is it you see? How clear is the thing you see? Why do you think it looks like a ghost? What does a ghost look like anyway, given that reports, photos, etc. of ghosts lack any sort of consistency in how they look? Etc.

Do these ghosts move? Persist for long? How long does the experience last? Do you they appear in the centre of your vision or in the periphery? How clear are they? Can others see the same ghosts? Etc. etc.

Without specifics, it's far too vague of a claim to be meaningfully commented on.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 07:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Humots View Post
By auras, do you mean a glow surrounding a person and extending outward some visible distance, like an inch or so?

Then I would give you the James Randi aura test:

I stand behind a barrier that blocks my body but not my "aura". That is, if I am 6 feet tall and my aura extends one inch from my body, I stand behind a long wall that is slightly higher than six feet. Then my aura should show above the wall, but not my body.

So you should be able to point out where I am behind the wall.
Yes, but how do you know the aura is something that can be seen through the wall? If it can, then I should be able to find you. Then, if people can see auras, this should be easy. You can do a bunch of trials where you have a 40 foot long wall, one person behind it who presumably has an aura that can be seen reliably through the wall, and a person capable of perceiving auras to take a big sticker or mark with a marker the place the person is located. I can see why, if you don't believe in the supernatural, that you don't believe in it. If there were many people who claimed to be able to see auras, then this test should have been passed by now. So what gives? Are the psychics perceptions of auras not reliable enough? Or are there no psychics? I still lean toward the supernatural. BTW, what were the results of this test?

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Old 3rd December 2017, 07:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
I would say that the highlighted claim is too vague to be meaningful.

For example, "I can see what looks like ghosts" doesn't mean anything to me. What, precisely, is it you see? How clear is the thing you see? Why do you think it looks like a ghost? What does a ghost look like anyway, given that reports, photos, etc. of ghosts lack any sort of consistency in how they look? Etc.

Do these ghosts move? Persist for long? How long does the experience last? Do you they appear in the centre of your vision or in the periphery? How clear are they? Can others see the same ghosts? Etc. etc.

Without specifics, it's far too vague of a claim to be meaningfully commented on.
Say that the perception was something one would rarely perceive, for instance, people rarely report perceiving a colorful radiance around people, or slightly transparent, amorphous floating entities. It doesn't have to be the exact definition of a ghost, or an aura, just something one would not normally perceive and distinct enough in it's unusualness to be capable of earning the distinction of unusual.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 08:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Say that the perception was something one would rarely perceive, for instance, people rarely report perceiving a colorful radiance around people, or slightly transparent, amorphous floating entities. It doesn't have to be the exact definition of a ghost, or an aura, just something one would not normally perceive and distinct enough in it's unusualness to be capable of earning the distinction of unusual.
"slightly transparent, amorphous floating entities" is not rarely perceived. Look up 'floaters'. It's not particularly rare and has a natural explanation. I don't think that's what you've seen, but thinking that such seeing such things is rare and/or evidence of the supernatural makes it seem like you are pre-disposed toward thinking of supernatural explanations for mundane everyday things.

I don't know why one might see colorful radiances or amorphous floating entities after doing what you described, but I know from my own personal experience, that we see strange things in our vision that aren't there and for which there's no reason to think of ghosts or anything supernatural. I used to sometimes get aura migraines after siting too close to and staring at CRT screens for long periods. It would do strange things to my vision and I would see odd things shimmering and moving in my vision, but I don't think that staring at CRT screens makes you see ghosts. Or angels. Or whatever fanciful explanation someone might come up with for such things.

That's just an example, it's not meant to be an explanation of what you're seeing, but you're going to have to come up with something better than simply seeing vague amorphous ill-defined blobs and auras after trying to open your third eye for any really constructive criticism or discussion. "I did some exercises to open my third eye and then was aware of some vague wishy washy amorphous stuff in my vision" really isn't going to get far. As a materialist, I don't need to have an explanation in order to just dismiss it as too vague and meh to think it is a threat to my worldview.

"Something one would not normally perceive" is not a useful description of what you are experiencing. That really could describe an infinity of things. It's really far too open ended and vague to be meaningful in any useful way.

Anyway, that's just my thoughts, that it's all rather vague and wishy washy and I don't think materialists should necessarily have anything to say about it at all.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 08:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Yes, but how do you know the aura is something that can be seen through the wall? Snipped
The Randi test suggested did not involve seeing through walls. The wall is just high enough to block the material image, but not the area of the aura extending above the head.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 08:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Matthew Ellard
As a materialist, I'd first say you must be having self induced hallucinations, otherwise you could take a photo of the auras for us.
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
But wouldn't it be more likely, given that "knowledge" of the third eye has been around since the dawn of civilization, that you chanting a specific sound intended to have a specific effect, all of a sudden incites all these weird sensations, that the ancients who propagated this information weren't just coming up with cool ways to hallucinate?
No. Firstly all because something is ancient does not mean it is true.

Secondly, if a specific chant had a specific hallucinogenic effect, then why doesn't it work for us?

Thirdly the ancient smoked pot, drank alcohol and ingested hallucinogens. A repeated mantra, on its own, can have an emotional effect and it still does today. We call it popular music.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 09:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
The scenario is this:

I do a practice that is intended to "open" my third eye. The practice is chanting the sound OM for 10 minutes a day, twice a day. I do the practice for a couple of weeks, and eventually something happens, you can call it my third eye opening just for the sake of argument. All of a sudden I see what looks like auras, see what looks like ghosts, and feel what seems to be other people's emotions. What would you, if you are a materialist, say about this as a materialist?

I'd say that I'm glad you've found something that works for you.

The mind can conjure pretty much anything - with or without drugs. There's no reason to believe anything you see is real unless it can be objectively observed and tested. However, there's every reason to believe that your feelings are real for you. Anything that brings you peace is fine by me.


Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
But wouldn't it be more likely, given that "knowledge" of the third eye has been around since the dawn of civilization, that you chanting a specific sound intended to have a specific effect, all of a sudden incites all these weird sensations, that the ancients who propagated this information weren't just coming up with cool ways to hallucinate?

No, it would not. The fact that people believed something for thousands of years has no bearing on whether it's testable. People believed the earth was flat. They were wrong. It isn't.


Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I still lean toward the supernatural.

Post 1: I'm a skeptic but there's this one interesting thing I found.

Post 5: You really should take a look with an open mind.

Post 10: How dare you insult my God!

<sigh>
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Old 3rd December 2017, 11:12 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Yes, but how do you know the aura is something that can be seen through the wall? If it can, then I should be able to find you.
Only the aura can, or can't, be seen over the brick wall. Are you ready for the test?
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Old 4th December 2017, 12:48 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
The scenario is this:

I do a practice that is intended to "open" my third eye. The practice is chanting the sound OM for 10 minutes a day, twice a day. I do the practice for a couple of weeks, and eventually something happens, you can call it my third eye opening just for the sake of argument. All of a sudden I see what looks like auras, see what looks like ghosts, and feel what seems to be other people's emotions. What would you, if you are a materialist, say about this as a materialist? And for the sake of the thread we'll just say a materialist is someone who believes that there are no supernatural entities.
I'd say: is this giving you additional information over and above what is normally available? If so then a test can easily be devised to verify this, so the next step is obviously to do so. If not then there is nothing of interest here. Seeing auras is nothing special, I've experienced them myself several times even though I don't get migraines.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acephalgic_migraine
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Old 4th December 2017, 03:07 AM   #18
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Without evidence such as a successful double blind trial I will continue to believe that anyone claiming to see through their "third eye" is talking out of their "second mouth".
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Old 4th December 2017, 03:25 AM   #19
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I've had a look at the OP's post history, and there seems to be a preponderance of woo: reincarnation, astral projection (What the hell is that?), and some sort of new agey purpose of life/ spirit but not god stuff. Not one single post on any proper subject.
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Old 4th December 2017, 03:51 AM   #20
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I would ask you what the hell you have been smoking!!
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Old 4th December 2017, 03:52 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
.... astral projection (What the hell is that?)....
I have seen astral projection.... every time I have visited the Planetarium!
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Old 4th December 2017, 03:56 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
I've had a look at the OP's post history, and there seems to be a preponderance of woo: reincarnation, astral projection (What the hell is that?), and some sort of new agey purpose of life/ spirit but not god stuff. Not one single post on any proper subject.
I miss the MDC, the claims were just as stupid, but at least there was sometimes a desire to put them to the test and even a few people who could be persuaded to honestly define and test for themselves what they claimed to do. Very occasionally they'd even discover, and admit, they couldn't do it!
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Old 4th December 2017, 04:15 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
The scenario is this:

I do a practice that is intended to "open" my third eye. The practice is chanting the sound OM for 10 minutes a day, twice a day. I do the practice for a couple of weeks, and eventually something happens, you can call it my third eye opening just for the sake of argument. All of a sudden I see what looks like auras, see what looks like ghosts, and feel what seems to be other people's emotions. What would you, if you are a materialist, say about this as a materialist? And for the sake of the thread we'll just say a materialist is someone who believes that there are no supernatural entities.
So... everybody's answer appears to be: "Let's test it and see if it objectively works."

Which seems to be a very reasonable and open minded stance.
In your astral projection thread you didn't want to do a test because you didn't want to bother your friend who supposedly had this power, but now it's you who claims to have the special ability...

Are you willing to test your beliefs?
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Old 4th December 2017, 06:13 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
All of a sudden I see what looks like auras, see what looks like ghosts, and feel what seems to be other people's emotions. What would you, if you are a materialist, say about this as a materialist?
A materialist (and skeptic) is supposed to simply accept that you are telling the truth and are actually experiencing these things? No. I cannot establish the first necessary step.
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Old 4th December 2017, 06:41 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
now it's you who claims to have the special ability...
The OP describes a scenario, it doesn't actually make a claim. I assumed the scenario was hypothetical. Unless the OP returns to the thread we don't know whether he/she is making any specific claims.
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Old 4th December 2017, 06:43 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
The scenario is this:

I do a practice that is intended to "open" my third eye. The practice is chanting the sound OM for 10 minutes a day, twice a day. I do the practice for a couple of weeks, and eventually something happens, you can call it my third eye opening just for the sake of argument. All of a sudden I see what looks like auras, see what looks like ghosts, and feel what seems to be other people's emotions. What would you, if you are a materialist, say about this as a materialist?
You're imagining things. Presumably because you want to believe that they're true. I've seen people like that before. Deep down you know it isn't true.
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Old 4th December 2017, 06:49 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
You're imagining things. Presumably because you want to believe that they're true. I've seen people like that before. Deep down you know it isn't true.
The idea that deep down they know it isn't true is speculative.
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Old 4th December 2017, 07:35 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
"slightly transparent, amorphous floating entities" is not rarely perceived. Look up 'floaters'. It's not particularly rare and has a natural explanation. I don't think that's what you've seen, but thinking that such seeing such things is rare and/or evidence of the supernatural makes it seem like you are pre-disposed toward thinking of supernatural explanations for mundane everyday things.

I don't know why one might see colorful radiances or amorphous floating entities after doing what you described, but I know from my own personal experience, that we see strange things in our vision that aren't there and for which there's no reason to think of ghosts or anything supernatural. I used to sometimes get aura migraines after siting too close to and staring at CRT screens for long periods. It would do strange things to my vision and I would see odd things shimmering and moving in my vision, but I don't think that staring at CRT screens makes you see ghosts. Or angels. Or whatever fanciful explanation someone might come up with for such things.

That's just an example, it's not meant to be an explanation of what you're seeing, but you're going to have to come up with something better than simply seeing vague amorphous ill-defined blobs and auras after trying to open your third eye for any really constructive criticism or discussion. "I did some exercises to open my third eye and then was aware of some vague wishy washy amorphous stuff in my vision" really isn't going to get far. As a materialist, I don't need to have an explanation in order to just dismiss it as too vague and meh to think it is a threat to my worldview.

"Something one would not normally perceive" is not a useful description of what you are experiencing. That really could describe an infinity of things. It's really far too open ended and vague to be meaningful in any useful way.

Anyway, that's just my thoughts, that it's all rather vague and wishy washy and I don't think materialists should necessarily have anything to say about it at all.
Just curious, what would having a definite definition of ghosts or auras do in regards to this question?
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Old 4th December 2017, 07:43 AM   #29
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It might mean, for the positivists here, that the conversation could proceed to doubting specific things.
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Old 4th December 2017, 07:51 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Matthew Ellard View Post
No. Firstly all because something is ancient does not mean it is true.
I agree. But what I was getting at is though the scenario can be explained by hallucination, is that really probable? It may be probable to you, but it is not probable to me. To exaggerate a bit and illustrate what I mean, it's like saying that there are no aliens in the universe. While that may be true, it does not seem very probable to me.

Originally Posted by Matthew Ellard View Post
Secondly, if a specific chant had a specific hallucinogenic effect, then why doesn't it work for us?
Have you tried it? I've tried the method above and have felt a pressure in the area where they say the third eye is located, I never, when not doing the method feel a pressure in that area. I know you may say it's a placebo effect, but I think if you were to tell someone who didn't know what the effects would be to try this method they would feel a pressure in that area too. But still, if you're curious, try the method and see if you feel that pressure. This produces no harmful effects. (If you want to try it, pronounce the OM sound like OM in HOME and prolong the M sound, do it for 5 or 10 minutes)
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Old 4th December 2017, 07:53 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
You're imagining things. Presumably because you want to believe that they're true. I've seen people like that before. Deep down you know it isn't true.
But do you know for certain that this stuff isn't true? If you don't know for certain, then there could be a possibility that it is true.
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Old 4th December 2017, 07:55 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
But do you know for certain that this stuff isn't true? If you don't know for certain, then there could be a possibility that it is true.
No. It's not my job to prove you wrong. You're suggesting something exists that we don't know about, it's your burden to demonstrate it.

And since no one's ever been able to do this in human history, I can safely assume that you're either lying, mistaken or deluded. Either way, your claim is wrong until you show otherwise.
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Old 4th December 2017, 07:56 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
The OP describes a scenario, it doesn't actually make a claim. I assumed the scenario was hypothetical. Unless the OP returns to the thread we don't know whether he/she is making any specific claims.
The scenario is hypothetical, yet, it has also been done and has happened. The claim is that people doing this method or other methods, have something happen to them that seems to validate mystical phenomena, and I am just curious what people who do not believe in the supernatural have to say about this.
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Old 4th December 2017, 08:01 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
No. It's not my job to prove you wrong. You're suggesting something exists that we don't know about, it's your burden to demonstrate it.
What is the point of a burden of proof? Can we not just drop that?

Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
And since no one's ever been able to do this in human history, I can safely assume that you're either lying, mistaken or deluded. Either way, your claim is wrong until you show otherwise.
That doesn't follow necessarily. It is just probable.
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Old 4th December 2017, 08:09 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
A materialist (and skeptic) is supposed to simply accept that you are telling the truth and are actually experiencing these things? No. I cannot establish the first necessary step.
Well, this claim is mostly empirical, I do not know how to prove to you a priori that this is possible. But, I can assure you, that there have been people who have done the method or other methods to "open" their third eyes and they claimed to perceive weird sensations, whether they are lying, I don't know, whether the sensations are really what they look like, I also don't know. I have tried this experiment on and off, and have felt a pressure in the area of my third eye. I have not done it long enough to actually "open" my third eye, but I might.
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Old 4th December 2017, 08:13 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
So... everybody's answer appears to be: "Let's test it and see if it objectively works."

Which seems to be a very reasonable and open minded stance.
In your astral projection thread you didn't want to do a test because you didn't want to bother your friend who supposedly had this power, but now it's you who claims to have the special ability...

Are you willing to test your beliefs?
I've been doing this method on and off and have felt things, but I have not opened my third eye yet because I have not done it long enough. I am going to give it a go again. It should take a few months, but I am curious.
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Old 4th December 2017, 08:18 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Matthew Ellard View Post
Are you ready for the test?
As of now I can't perceive auras, opening my third eye may allow me to see auras, but different people get different results, however there may be a good chance of seeing auras.
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Old 4th December 2017, 08:20 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
Without evidence such as a successful double blind trial I will continue to believe that anyone claiming to see through their "third eye" is talking out of their "second mouth".
What if you were to open your third eye and start perceiving usual things yourself?
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Old 4th December 2017, 08:22 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Just curious, what would having a definite definition of ghosts or auras do in regards to this question?
So we know what you are describing.
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Old 4th December 2017, 08:22 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
I'd say: is this giving you additional information over and above what is normally available? If so then a test can easily be devised to verify this, so the next step is obviously to do so. If not then there is nothing of interest here. Seeing auras is nothing special, I've experienced them myself several times even though I don't get migraines.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acephalgic_migraine
Just curious, what would you think if you were to do this method and have your third eye opened and saw unusual things?
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