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Old 17th November 2017, 08:46 AM   #201
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Originally Posted by fagin View Post
So what?
So, we evolve spiritually over a long cycle of births and rebirths, answering for every action we make and accounting for it.

This makes sense to me but the Abrahamic religions including Islam in which we are judged, and go to heaven or hell based on just one lifetime makes no sense. It is a system that has injustice and inequality built into it.
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Old 17th November 2017, 08:51 AM   #202
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
There is no theory of reincarnation and karma. There's just a lot of wishful thinking, unsupported by evidence (and in some cases contradicted by evidence), that makes very little sense when you think about it for more than a few minutes. For example what exactly is it of you that is reincarnated, given that you are the product of your genes, upbringing and experiences, none of which would be carried over.
The occult theory is that we have a soul body that contains all memory of past lives, but normally people cannot remember anything about their previous lives because we are limited to what our brains remember in a single incarnation. When our soul has completed its cycle of rebirths, it will remember all past lives in perfect detail.
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Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
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Old 17th November 2017, 08:54 AM   #203
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
So, we evolve spiritually over a long cycle of births and rebirths, answering for every action we make and accounting for it.

This makes sense to me but the Abrahamic religions including Islam in which we are judged, and go to heaven or hell based on just one lifetime makes no sense. It is a system that has injustice and inequality built into it.
Classic false dichotomy. You are comparing one makie-uppie system with another. Neither have any evidence in their support, and there is no evidence whatever of any sort of life after death.
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Old 17th November 2017, 08:55 AM   #204
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Originally Posted by Sparhafoc View Post
1)

With respect, I expect you don't know much, if anything, about Buddhists or Hindus, or their beliefs.
I do not believe in the many Gods of the Hindus and I think they are wrong about humans coming back as animals. Spiritualist teachings are that we evolve as separate species, and animals incarnate to perfection in their own right. But humans remain part of a family of souls and we do not regress.
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Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
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Old 17th November 2017, 08:57 AM   #205
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How can we "evolve spiritually" if we take nothing from each life to the next? We'd just keep making the same mistakes over and over again, learning absolutely nothing.
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Old 17th November 2017, 09:00 AM   #206
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
How can we "evolve spiritually" if we take nothing from each life to the next? We'd just keep making the same mistakes over and over again, learning absolutely nothing.
The soul evolves and is refined and it carries its state of evolution into new lives. It may not remember past lives, but it retains the qualities it has learned.
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Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
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Old 17th November 2017, 09:11 AM   #207
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I think the theory of reincarnation and karma makes a lot of sense.
And so a lot of Buddhists and Hindus.
Do you know of Dr. Ian Stevenson? Have you read any of his books?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Stevenson

He also believed in reincarnation and interviewed thousands of people who claimed to remember a past life. Most of those cases were in countries that had a religious believe in reincarnation, such as Hindus or Buddhists. Dr. Stevenson said that in all those cases there was no mention of karma. He also said there was "no evidence".

My question is why do you believe in the religious concept of "karma" (which is just as horrifying as the religious concept of "hell")?

Why do you believe what "mediums" and books by "spiritualists" say (which just parrot the same things from each other) instead of what Dr. Stevenson said?

Last edited by Zivan; 17th November 2017 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 17th November 2017, 09:19 AM   #208
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
The soul evolves and is refined and it carries its state of evolution into new lives. It may not remember past lives, but it retains the qualities it has learned.
How can it? There is nothing carried over from one life to the next. Each new body has a new set of genes, upbringing and experiences, which produce a completely different emerging consciousness.
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Old 17th November 2017, 09:21 AM   #209
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
The soul evolves and is refined and it carries its state of evolution into new lives. It may not remember past lives, but it retains the qualities it has learned.
Any evidence that this is any more than wishful thinking? For example have humans become steadily less stupid, cruel etc. over the last hundred generations?
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Old 17th November 2017, 09:22 AM   #210
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post
Do you know of Dr. Ian Stevenson? Have you read any of his books?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Stevenson

He also believed in reincarnation and interviewed thousands of people who claimed to remember a past life. Most of those cases were in countries that had a religious believe in reincarnation, such as Hindus or Buddhists. Dr. Stevenson said that in all those cases there was no mention of karma. He also said there was "no evidence".

My question is why do you believe in the religious concept of "karma" (which is just as horrifying as the religious concept of "hell")?

Why do you believe what "mediums" and books by "spiritualists" say (which just parrot the same things from each other) instead of what Dr. Stevenson said?

Karma is a fundamental part of the theory of reincarnation. It is found in Hindu and Buddhist doctrine.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma
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Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
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Old 17th November 2017, 09:24 AM   #211
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
How can it? There is nothing carried over from one life to the next. Each new body has a new set of genes, upbringing and experiences, which produce a completely different emerging consciousness.
It is fundamental to my beliefs that consciousness is not caused by the brain, it is only using the brain, and is channeled down into it from the higher bodies through the chakras in the etheric counterpart.
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Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
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Old 17th November 2017, 09:27 AM   #212
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Karma is a fundamental part of the theory of reincarnation. It is found in Hindu and Buddhist doctrine.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma
I understand what the concept of karma is. That was not my question.

Please re-read my post and answer the questions I asked. Thank you.

Last edited by Zivan; 17th November 2017 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 17th November 2017, 09:33 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
Any evidence that this is any more than wishful thinking? For example have humans become steadily less stupid, cruel etc. over the last hundred generations?


We all know of the horrors of the Roman arena a couple of thousand years ago.
This was public entertainment, and it was terrible. They forced animals to kill people and all kinds of horror.
I have a copy of a seventeenth century book of martyrs by John Fox. In those times people were regularly burnt at the stake and publicly beheaded, Large
crowds turned out to watch. The same happened during the French revolution.
Medieval times had torture chambers with the rack and hot irons etc.

I think we have progressed. Most modern people in the West would be sickened by these spectacles.
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Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
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Old 17th November 2017, 09:39 AM   #214
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post
Do you know of Dr. Ian Stevenson? Have you read any of his books?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Stevenson

He also believed in reincarnation and interviewed thousands of people who claimed to remember a past life. Most of those cases were in countries that had a religious believe in reincarnation, such as Hindus or Buddhists. Dr. Stevenson said that in all those cases there was no mention of karma. He also said there was "no evidence".

My question is why do you believe in the religious concept of "karma" (which is just as horrifying as the religious concept of "hell")?

Why do you believe what "mediums" and books by "spiritualists" say (which just parrot the same things from each other) instead of what Dr. Stevenson said?
You seemed to be saying there is no theory of karma in eastern religions, so I posted a link to show there is. I believe in karma because it is a fundamental part of spiritualist teachings, and I assume some of the genuine mediums are getting their information directly from the spirit world. Several trance mediums I have seen agree with each other on the principals of reincarnation and karma.

I do not think karma is as bad as hell, because it is a system of ultimate justice, where people truly reap what they have sown
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You see many stars in the sky at night, but not when the sun rises. Can you therefore say there are no stars in the heavens during the day? O man because you cannot find God in the days of your ignorance, say not that there is no God.
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Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
Leo Tolstoy

Last edited by Scorpion; 17th November 2017 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 17th November 2017, 09:47 AM   #215
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And yet we had the horrors of numerous genocides in the 20th century and ISIS have been gleefully executing people in the barbarous ways we tend to think of as 'medieval' in this century.

I doubt any careful study would indicate humans are fundamentally better people than their ancestors were 1,000, 2,000 or 3,000 years ago. The civilizations we have created have made ordinary daily life much safer and I expect as a result have reduced violence a great deal, but without the security and protection of a functioning civilization I think we're not significantly more nor less savage than we evolved to be quite a long time ago.
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Old 17th November 2017, 09:49 AM   #216
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
It is fundamental to my beliefs that consciousness is not caused by the brain, it is only using the brain, and is channeled down into it from the higher bodies through the chakras in the etheric counterpart.
And your evidence for this extraordinary claim is ... ?

Everything we have learned about the brain, everything we have learned about what makes people the way they are, tells us otherwise.
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Old 17th November 2017, 09:51 AM   #217
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
You seem to be saying there is no theory of karma in eastern religions,.....
No, I did not say that. I said that Dr. Stevenson wrote that the people he interviewed, who claimed to remember a past life, showed there was "no evidence" of karma EVEN THOUGH they lived in countries that had a religious belief in karma (Hindus and Buddhists). I did not say there was "no theory of karma in eastern religions".

Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
......so I posted a link to show there is. I believe in karma because it is a fundamental part of spiritualist teachings, and I assume some of the genuine mediums are getting their information directly from the spirit world. Several trance mediums I have seen agree with each other on the principals of reincarnation and karma.
Again, WHY do you believe the "mediums" and "spiritualists" but not Dr. Ian Stevenson?

Last edited by Zivan; 17th November 2017 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 17th November 2017, 09:53 AM   #218
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post
Again, WHY do you believe the "mediums" and "spiritualists" but not Dr. Ian Stevenson?
Because he agrees with the charlatans mediums, and not with Dr. Stevenson. There's nothing more to it.
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Old 17th November 2017, 09:56 AM   #219
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
And your evidence for this extraordinary claim is ... ?

Everything we have learned about the brain, everything we have learned about what makes people the way they are, tells us otherwise.
I have learned by painful personal experience that my brain does not do the thinking, I do. Biochemical chaos and hallucinations (not to mention alcoholism) have only served to teach me I have the last word in my mind.

I have also in the past, done meditation which led me to a heightened state of awareness for brief periods of time

I have no evidence other than this. Obviously it is no evidence to anyone else.
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Old 17th November 2017, 09:57 AM   #220
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I do not think karma is as bad as hell, because it is a system of ultimate justice, where people truly reap what they have sown
Hell is also said to be "ultimate justice" where people "truly reap what they have sown".

Countless reincarnated lives of horrifying suffering (remember, most people on Earth do not live in the West) sounds just as bad as hell.
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Old 17th November 2017, 09:58 AM   #221
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post

Again, WHY do you believe the "mediums" and "spiritualists" but not Dr. Ian Stevenson?
I have never even heard of this doctor. But I have spent my life learning the teachings of spiritualist mediums.
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Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
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Old 17th November 2017, 10:00 AM   #222
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I have no evidence other than this. Obviously it is no evidence to anyone else.
It is not evidence to you either, at least it shouldn't be. It's not evidence, period.
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Old 17th November 2017, 10:01 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
You seemed to be saying there is no theory of karma in eastern religions, so I posted a link to show there is.
I can clarify so there is no 'seems'... there is no theory of karma in Eastern religions.

It is a religious belief, not a theory.


Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I believe in karma because it is a fundamental part of spiritualist teachings, and I assume some of the genuine mediums are getting their information directly from the spirit world. Several trance mediums I have seen agree with each other on the principals of reincarnation and karma.
Snake oil sellers agree that snake oil is good for you... who woulda thunk it?


Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I do not think karma is as bad as hell, because it is a system of ultimate justice, where people truly reap what they have sown
Ultimate justice = system of justice = adjudicators.

Souls = magic = contradiction with physical universe.

Obviously, you don't put much thought into any of this, but what intrigues me is why you would elect to engage in such woo on a skeptic's forum where all you do is assert your belief in X quantity. What do you expect the outcome to be?
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Old 17th November 2017, 10:03 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I do not believe in the many Gods of the Hindus and I think they are wrong about humans coming back as animals. Spiritualist teachings are that we evolve as separate species, and animals incarnate to perfection in their own right. But humans remain part of a family of souls and we do not regress.
It's utter dross though.

"we" do not evolve as separate species - that's just illiterate.

Animals can't achieve perfection any more than humans can, and certainly not under any evolutionary scenario.

Finally, special human sauce.
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Old 17th November 2017, 10:05 AM   #225
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
It is fundamental to my beliefs that consciousness is not caused by the brain, it is only using the brain, and is channeled down into it from the higher bodies through the chakras in the etheric counterpart.
Yes, you have a lot of what appear to be crackpot beliefs that you've picked from the smorgasbord of snake oil on offer.

That these are contradicted by empirical evidence seems not to trouble you at all.

What seems to be the method by which you select these beliefs is whether they take your fancy, as if reality is divined by how special a belief makes us feel.
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Old 17th November 2017, 10:13 AM   #226
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Originally Posted by Sparhafoc View Post
but what intrigues me is why you would elect to engage in such woo on a skeptic's forum where all you do is assert your belief in X quantity. What do you expect the outcome to be?
I expect the same wall of opposition as I have had for several years, unlike a newbie like you who is already identifying with the majority.
Criticism does not phase me, and I figure this forum needs someone like me. Otherwise all you very clever people would just be patronising each other with no opposition. It would be nice to have someone that believes as I do here to compare notes with, but I only get a united front of criticism.

I have been written off by psychiatrists and regarded as mad by my relatives all my life.To tell you the truth after what I have been through , whatever anyone here says is like water off a duck
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Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
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Old 17th November 2017, 10:28 AM   #227
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I expect the same wall of opposition as I have had for several years, unlike a newbie like you who is already identifying with the majority.
First to address the latter - I am not 'identifying' with anyone... I am contesting your views as you've expounded on them. That I am doing so in a skeptical fashion is presumably because I am sufficiently interested in skepticism to bother joining a forum dedicated to it.

Pay attention, Scorpion, and you'll quickly note that all my arguments are very clearly my own.

While I may be a 'newbie' on this forum (do people really place value on such trivialities?), I am far from new to skepticism, rationalism, or empirical analysis... or to woo-laden assertions conjured up in the absence of evidence.


Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Criticism does not phase me, and I figure this forum needs someone like me.
It's not about phasing you - although it's clear that all manner of reasonable scrutiny and skeptical consideration don't phase you - it's that of all the numerous places on the internet, you elect to express your naive thoughts on a site dedicated to countering such woo.

That's what makes me genuinely interested. I can come up with ideas as to why someone might be so motivated... i) they need to contest their ideas ii) they need to wrangle with people ideologically opposite to them iii) they may be looking to check how well their ideas stand up.... etc. etc. but I don't know you, and that's why I asked what your motivation is.


Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Otherwise all you very clever people would just be patronising each other with no opposition.
With due respect, you're not offering any opposition if all you do is list the things you believe in for which you have no good reason to believe.


Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
It would be nice to have someone that believes as I do here to compare notes with, but I only get a united front of criticism.
Exactly the point of my question: if it's likeminded people you want, and inter-subjective confirmation of your beliefs, then surely this and rationalist sites in general are the last place you'd choose to achieve that. There are countless websites dedicated to disseminating woo, so the fact that you've chosen none of those, but instead elected to come to a site which is genetically opposite to your position is... and remains... intriguing for me.


Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I have been written off by psychiatrists and regarded as mad by my relatives all my life.To tell you the truth after what I have been through , whatever anyone here says is like water off a duck
Ducks drink water too!

Do you think the psychiatrists and relatives have any semblance of justification? Is it possible that, at least when it comes to lending the nebulous belief, you are not engaging in sane behavior?
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Old 17th November 2017, 10:32 AM   #228
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post
Hell is also said to be "ultimate justice" where people "truly reap what they have sown".

Countless reincarnated lives of horrifying suffering (remember, most people on Earth do not live in the West) sounds just as bad as hell.
Yebbut if you're worried that you've been bad, "best of three?" might seem more appealing than "go to hell, go directly to hell".
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Old 17th November 2017, 10:41 AM   #229
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
Because he agrees with the charlatans mediums, and not with Dr. Stevenson. There's nothing more to it.
I know, and it is very, very sad that he believes the mediums.

I have been watching videos of people who learned cold reading techniques as entertainment/parlor tricks. They could totally and completely do the exact same thing as the mediums and spiritualists. People were amazed that that they "knew things about me they could not possibly have known".

Oddly, even though the cold readers told the people that the reader was NOT psychic and it was all a trick, some people continued to believe the cold reader was actually psychic and could read their minds, tell the future and contact the dead.

Because many people believed that, several of these cold readers said that they stopped doing readings for ethical reasons. It bothered them so much that some people thought they had psychic powers even after the reader clearly stated it was all a fake and just a trick.

Sadly, people claiming to be "real" mediums/spiritualist with actual "psychic gifts" (scammers) are not ethically minded.*

*It was also said that some claimed "mediums/spiritualists" actually believed they had "powers/gifts" after training. But their "psychic powers/gifts" were NO DIFFERENT than the cold readers who openly admitted it was a trick---a trick for entertainment purposes only.

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Old 17th November 2017, 10:53 AM   #230
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I have never even heard of this doctor. But I have spent my life learning the teachings of spiritualist mediums.
Some might say "squandered", but I'm not gonna make that judgement.
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Old 17th November 2017, 10:58 AM   #231
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I have learned by painful personal experience that my brain does not do the thinking, I do..........
I haven't the time or inclination to dissect the rest of your post, but this I find intriguing.

How do you distinguish between "I" and "my brain"?

In what way is your brain not part of you (if you are thinking, but your brain isn't, then your brain isn't part of you, by inference)?

If your brain isn't for thinking, then what is it for? Why do you think scientists have got this so wrong? How do you explain MRI scans in real time showing brain activity when the subject is thinking?

Have you discussed the notion that your brain isn't the centre of thinking with your psychiatrist/s? If so, what did you learn from them in this regard?
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Old 17th November 2017, 11:11 AM   #232
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I have never even heard of this doctor. But I have spent my life learning the teachings of spiritualist mediums.
Dr. Ian Stevenson is deceased now but his work has been continued by Dr. Jim Tucker, who also believes in reincarnation.

Do you not think it would be a good idea to read about their work? And not limit yourself to "spiritualist mediums"?
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Old 17th November 2017, 11:17 AM   #233
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
I haven't the time or inclination to dissect the rest of your post, but this I find intriguing.

How do you distinguish between "I" and "my brain"?

In what way is your brain not part of you (if you are thinking, but your brain isn't, then your brain isn't part of you, by inference)?

If your brain isn't for thinking, then what is it for? Why do you think scientists have got this so wrong? How do you explain MRI scans in real time showing brain activity when the subject is thinking?

Have you discussed the notion that your brain isn't the centre of thinking with your psychiatrist/s? If so, what did you learn from them in this regard?
As far as I am concerned the brain is a bowl of porridge and it simply hosts the mind. Which is the Descartes ghost in the machine. Dualism. etc.

I found that even when my brain was a complete nightmare of chemical chaos I could still think for myself. Reason prevailed in spite of all kinds of crap popping into my head. If the mind was caused by the brain we would probably have always been ruled by instincts, and never developed freedom of thought.

I assume you feel you think freely, and your thoughts are not simply produced by chemical actions in the brain?

There is obviously brain activity when we think, but I think it is an effect not a cause of our thoughts.

I found psychiatrists wanting as they think its all about chemistry, and all they want to do is work out how many drugs it takes to keep you quiet.

In my experience there is no psychotherapy on the national health, you just get a few minutes with a psychiatrist every three months, and they are only interested in if your medication is working, and not in your opinions.
I have not seen a psychiatrist in years.
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Old 17th November 2017, 11:22 AM   #234
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post
Dr. Ian Stevenson is deceased now but his work has been continued by Dr. Jim Tucker, who also believes in reincarnation.

Do you not think it would be a good idea to read about their work? And not limit yourself to "spiritualist mediums"?
I have already arrived at a view of the world that several years here has not changed much. The only thing I am prepared to acknowledge is that some mediums are fakes.
I might look up the Doctors if their work is on the web. I have not felt the need to go to a church for years now and have no contact with mediums either.
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Old 17th November 2017, 11:26 AM   #235
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You didn't answer the question of how you know you brain isn't where you think, nor the questions related to the logical implications of such an assessment.

Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
.......I assume you feel you think freely, and your thoughts are not simply produced by chemical actions in the brain?........
False dichotomy. Yes, I think freely, and yes my thoughts are an electro-chemical process in the brain.
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Old 17th November 2017, 11:35 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post



False dichotomy. Yes, I think freely, and yes my thoughts are an electro-chemical process in the brain.
Try and stop thinking, you might find another level of your consciousness.
I used to do meditation and it is very hard to stop thinking, but on occasions I reached a state where I was aware but my mind was not babbling on.
At that point I felt so calm as if having another thought would actually require an effort.

I ask you how your thoughts can be entirely caused by electro chemical activity if you can still think freely?
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Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
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Old 17th November 2017, 11:43 AM   #237
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I ask you how your thoughts can be entirely caused by electro chemical activity if you can still think freely?
In the same way that my leg movement is caused by electo-chemical signals instructing muscle fibers to contract and I can still walk freely.
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Old 17th November 2017, 11:50 AM   #238
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
In the same way that my leg movement is caused by electo-chemical signals instructing muscle fibers to contract and I can still walk freely.
You don't walk when you don't want to walk do you.
Do you think when you don't want to think?
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Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
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Old 17th November 2017, 11:58 AM   #239
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
......Do you think when you don't want to think?
Most thinking is sub-conscious, so the answer to this is yes, whatever you try to do about it.
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Old 17th November 2017, 11:58 AM   #240
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
You didn't answer the question of how you know you brain isn't where you think, nor the questions related to the logical implications of such an assessment.
It was part of my experience of the early stages of schizophrenia that I was loosing my grip on my mind, I also felt a feeling like fire streaming through my forehead. I discovered this was because my etheric body was loose and my chakras miss aligned. I was literally out of my mind, and my thoughts were jumping across a gap between my soul and my brain.

But you would have to experience that to believe it. Never the less spiritual healing cured me of it over a period of time.
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Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
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