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1262 No. 1262 [Edit]
Do you believe in the existence of non-material phenomenon (not necessary god but things like reincarnation, collective consciousness, astral/ethereal "bodies", etc.)? Or do you instead view the world only in strictly material terms? Or maybe there's a third option?

Note again that this question is not strictly speaking about any sort of god; (of course clearly if one existed then non-material phenomenon exist, but we can still have non-material phenomenon without needing to invoke a god).

I personally ascribe to a more materialist viewpoint since while it's true that our knowledge of the world is ultimately mediated by our senses (and hence potentially imperfect), most (all?) non-material phenomenon seem to implicitly mark humans as "different" from things like rocks or insects and this seems apriori unlikely.

On the flipside, I recently read about how one guy seemed to have documented cases of "reincarnation" [1] (but the fact that all of these rebirths seemed to have happened in a geographically close town seems quite suspicious).

[1] https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/bering-in-mind/ian-stevensone28099s-case-for-the-afterlife-are-we-e28098skepticse28099-really-just-cynics/
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>> No. 1263 [Edit]
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1263
I had a long-winded conversation about this before here.
>>/ot/36147
>>/ot/36171
>>/ot/36180
Edit: It's kind of nice and scary at the same time that I can reference my old posts instead of writing new ones.

Post edited on 16th Apr 2021, 2:56pm
>> No. 1273 [Edit]
Responding to >>/ot/38132
I've always thought it a bit strange that those who use the infallibility of our physical senses as an argument for the non-material seem to be fine believing in their own intuition as evidence for that. I agree that our senses are the only way we can interact the world and hence it might all be one big sensory illusion, but if you're going to deny that – which is at least something that has consensus from others – then what makes trusting in your own "intuition" any better?
>> No. 1293 [Edit]
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1293
>>1273
I've been a practicing occultist for well over a decade, and while I've seen, heard, etc. much more, there's also things that are simply too weird to be coincidences and that happened physically.
The most striking physical phenomena was when I summoned a certain spirit in the room where the bottom of my chimney is, and it didn't go great. The chimney cleaners came by a while later and found dozens - about 1 meter worth - of bird corpses in my unused chimney, all of which dove in head-first, apparently hard enough to die on impact (since I never heard any bird cries). That's not normal. The guy had never seen something like that.
I've rituals that had the intended effect. To be fair, they could be explained by coincidences, but not all of them at once since I don't do rituals unless something is unlikely to happen without one.
I've done divination and it works about 80-90% of the time (note that real divination isn't horoscopes, it's quite specific - pic related is a short extract of one). I use dowsing to help my family find lost items - items I've never seen before with no way to actually know where they are and I'm usually within 1m of the spot, on large farms, not tiny apartments. Once or twice could be explained by coincidence, but not dozens of times.
In my experience, magick works if theory is properly followed and the person doing it has adequate training and the proper mindset. It's not infallible, and some things just can't be done, but in general it works. If something works, I look for applications, not so much explanations since any explanation is inevitably going to be flawed since it'd have to encompass the All in its entirety, which a human mind cannot comprehend. So at best it's a shadow of one angle of Truth.

That being said, yes, I believe in one All-God, multiple gods (some might call them angels), reincarnation under some set of circumstances, astral bodies, and the Oneness of all (which logically follows from One God). Partially because of what I have experienced, partially because it helped me to be able to experience it.

> most (all?) non-material phenomenon seem to implicitly mark humans as "different" from things like rocks or insects and this seems apriori unlikely.
That's a relatively new belief. In older texts for example, you can find people thinking of metal as a lesser order of living thing, along with plants and animals, with humans just being the latest stage of development of the outpouring and upwards striving of creation. One relatively recent remnant of this is in Celtic countries and Iceland, where fairies and nature spirits are still said to inhabit places, much like a human may have some kind of guardian spirit.
>> No. 1297 [Edit]
>>1293
Have you ever heard of James Randi?
>> No. 1300 [Edit]
>>1297
He was the reason I included
>proper mindset. It's not infallible, and some things just can't be done
Randi asks a lot of things that go against the basic theory of magick, then, should someone somehow manage to produce results, he changes the method until it's turned even more against a practitioner because he "knows" that magick doesn't exist and therefore if something where to show that it does, then the methodology must've been flawed.
That aside, it's not a circus show.
Best I can tell you, if you want proof, practice on your own and in a year or two you'll be able to prove it to yourself.
>> No. 1301 [Edit]
>>1300
>Randi asks a lot of things that go against the basic theory of magick
Do you think a lot of the people he tested were charlatans, but some of them were legitimate and his testing methods were flawed? What's the most basic, easy form of magick?
>> No. 1302 [Edit]
>>1301
Most, if not all, of them were probably charlatans due to self-sorting for attention whores and money-grubbers.
The most basic form is moving energy within your body, which can do basic things like influencing your mood to completely change your mood to very advanced things like quicker healing. Changing your mood sounds less impressive than the experience of it happening in a few seconds is.
Other than that, it mainly depends on what you're well suited to, those rituals are the first to work, and the rest needs more practice.
>> No. 1304 [Edit]
>>1302
>which can do basic things like influencing your mood to completely change your mood to very advanced things like quicker healing
I do some forms of meditation which involve "energy work" (microcosmic orbit) and while I believe in these effects (influencing mood and reducing the sense of pain), I still remain skeptical that this is due to the "moving energy" in particular rather than the general effects of stilling the mind/meditating. That is to say, to explain these effects you don't need to invoke the notion of any extra-material "energy."

In particular, I do actually feel certain "energy" when I go into the meditative state, and it corroborates perfectly with what others describe. So at the very least proper meditation can result in interesting sensations.

I suppose I'm not at the level to manifest anything outside my body – now that would be convincing. I used to be more convinced of the potential for this because I once recall that someone showed me "healing crystals" and when he pointed one at my palm I could feel a very strong "pressure." And when he moved the crystal up and down I could feel "waves" of some kind of pressure. But then later on I discovered asmr and while not as intense as that original experience, the feeling of those "pressure waves" is very similar – so this was clearly an effect produced by the body itself rather than some "energy transfer."
>> No. 1305 [Edit]
>>1304
If you can already do that much, then attempt the following: Feel how the energy of your body feels with different moods, happy, sad, etc. Remember it well.
Then, move energy as needed to reproduce that feeling when you're in a different mood. It helps to also feel energy outside of your body, so do that if you can't manage it, and then start breathing it in as needed (elemental, so Earth = cold and dry, water = cold and wet, air = warm and wet, fire = warm and dry, each with its respective colors). Get good at it and you can change your mood utterly within a single breath anywhere, supermarket, bank, sidewalk doesn't matter. Being able to do that, next comes feeling the energy within other people, a good place to train would be trains or buses, where you sit close to others for prolonged periods. Just pretend to sleep when you meditate. It won't work for everyone, some people unconsciously put up barriers. Then you can just go from there.
>> No. 1306 [Edit]
>>1302
Changing mood like that has nothing to do with magic. Our brain is full of chemicals that alter mood and there are many ways to utilise that, plus therapeutic exercises can alter mood as can many other things, nobody would say taking a deep breath and patting your dog for a bit was magic yet it has the effect you describe.
>> No. 1315 [Edit]
The few astral projection communities online are retarded beyond belief. Basically anything of the likes of robert monroe and tom campbell are absolute authority there and are rarely questioned. After researching to me they look like slightly more sophisticated than average charlatans.
In these communities when questioned as to why there's no serious experiments done on it, there's generally just people avoiding the question at all costs possible or even straight up lying, or the classic "doing it yourself is the only possible way of proving it".
I'm fairly sure a large part of these communities have an incentive to direct people to the (spoonbending)monroe institute.
Even though I'm inclined to believe that supernatural states(like astral projection) could be reached with consciousness, looking at the people talking about it online is seriously dismaying.

Post edited on 5th May 2021, 1:38pm
>> No. 1316 [Edit]
>>1315
Even if full-on remote viewing isn't possible, if the claims behind reiki/remote energy transfer are true, then someone should be able to set up an experiment to see if 1 bit of information (whether that person is "sending energy") can be communicated (i.e. with probability great than 50%, since then you can always just use error correction to amplify).
>> No. 1317 [Edit]
>>1316
The scientific method blocks chi flow. As soon as any kind of empiricism gets involved, chi dries up like a lilypad in the desert. That's why testing energy magic is completely impossible. The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence though, so just take people's word for it.

Post edited on 5th May 2021, 6:52pm
>> No. 1318 [Edit]
>>1316
It would be so easy too, with the kind of money a lot of these people, organizations and institutes get. But no, why do a credible demonstration, lets make another expensive workshop instead and some books too while we are at it.
>>1317
Actually the "scientists" that try and study this phenomenon are in reality advanced wizards that block every attempt of the participants.

Post edited on 5th May 2021, 7:29pm
>> No. 1319 [Edit]
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1319
>>1318
In all seriousness, if psychic powers or astral projection were possible, it would certainly be used by the military. You can say it takes a lot of work and effort, but that would make it fit military usage even more. And these gurus, who are clearly motivated by profit, would instruct the military on how to do if they actually could. The only explanation is if the military is hiding their psychic troops, which is getting into nutbar territory.
>> No. 1320 [Edit]
>>1319
The CIA (or one of the three letter agencies) studied this under project stargazer during the soviet era, but the results appeared to be negative (or maybe that's what they want you to think).
>> No. 1321 [Edit]
>>1320
I've heard of that before. Wonder if any other government took a crack at it, or if the US's is the only one goofy enough to try.
>> No. 1323 [Edit]
>>1321
You can bet the soviets did as well [1], and that's probably why the CIA started their own program "we must not allow a mind-reading gap?" I wonder if that submarine experiment can be recreated (disregarding ethics).

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/apr/18/superhuman-sport-cold-war-mind-power-men-on-magic-carpets-ed-hawkins-extract

>>1318
I suppose to be slightly fair to the other side, it's not just a matter of doing the experiment but doing it with a credible witness. And finding someone who's both considered credible and would be willing to stake their reputation on such a thing might be difficult. There's the Randi challenge, but the last time I looked at that he came off as a bit of an ass, randomly changing terms in the middle [2, 3] (if there's an underlying reason for his withdrawal he doesn't seem to state one); I guess trying to entertain every charlatan would be exhausting, but if he was genuinely interested in discovering answers rather than being the figurehead of the skeptic-sphere then this comes off badly.

[2] http://archive.randi.org/site/index.php/swift-blog/235-george-vithoulkas-homeopathy-challenge-starting-anew.html
[3] https://www.vithoulkas.com/research/clinical-trial-randi
>> No. 1324 [Edit]
>>1323
>it's not just a matter of doing the experiment but doing it with a credible witness
Most don't even attempt to get challenged or tested, they are very reserved and defensive. Even if the randi challenge didn't exist the lack of motivation to do demonstrations and tests would still be astounding, real discoveries spread faster than this even without the internet.
As for the randi thing: I don't know if he was dishonest with his testing, I do know that if your income depended on it, you'd have to claim that he was dishonest if you failed to meet the standards for the challenge.
I don't know what transpired between these two, vithoulkas seems to assume bad faith on behalf of randi. The "Another Withdrawal" thing could just have been a mistake and it was corrected with an apology: http://archive.randi.org/site/index.php/swift-blog/174-swift-march-14-2008.html#i2
As we can not get the whole story now, the important part is that it ends by saying they would complete the experiment with Hrasko Gabor as a witness. Where is that? Gabor still seems to be against homeopathy many years later and I cannot find the experiment. What happened?
>> No. 1337 [Edit]
>>1324
Thanks for that follow up, for some reason I didn't find that. Still bit of a mystery what actually transpired since both parties claim the other one withdrew. And yet both parties end with a mention that the experiment would continue anyway, but there doesn't seem to be any follow up.

There have been some other RCTs, but all of them take the indirect approach of trying to compare the effectiveness versus a placebo for some non-distinct symptom like depression [1] or ADHD [2]. These are basically useless since the diagnosis is itself a subjective issue and probably could changes day-to-day, so you could easily get lucky on the day of the follow-up evaluation and find the treatment group did better than control (indeed, the effectiveness of conventional antidepressants is probably also questionable for this reason).

The protocol that seemed to been established for the Randi thing appeared to be a bit more solid
>An individualized remedy would be given to a number of patients in a double blind fashion and half of the patients would receive placebo the other half would get the real remedy. The Greek Homeopathic physicians that would participate in taking of the cases and prescribing the remedies should point out in the end of the experiment the ones that they had got the real remedy.

in that it shifts the criteria of success to something easily quantitatively verifiable (did the person do significantly better than guessing), but I wish they could have at least published the entire protocol for someone else to try since the definition of "point out" seems a bit vague (will they have access to the patients' reported symptoms for the days after treatment?) and the condition for selection of patients isn't provided. Maybe they meant this as a test of the concept of homeopathic "proving" [3] where a given remedy in ultra-high dilutions is supposed to reliably elicit "characteristic" symptoms?

[1] https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0118440
[2] https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02086864
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy#Provings_2
>> No. 1342 [Edit]
>>1337
I think that the fact that they have to resort to something as vague as ADHD and depression in order to even attempt to find an effect says a lot, they can keep researching forever.
My main issue is that the charlatans know that they have no ground to stand on, and yet keep going.
Look at these "science papers" from this vithoulkas site
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/336922928_The_controversy_over_the_Memory_of_Water_Med_Sci_Hypotheses_2017_41-6
https://medandlife.org/all-issues/2020/issue-3-2020/review-issue-3-2020/the-spin-of-electrons-and-the-proof-for-the-action-of-homeopathic-remedies/
These on the surface look like research papers, but compare them to anything actually talking about electron spin or molecular memory and the difference is clear.
You don't do this kind of mockery unless you are trying to actively deceive people.
>> No. 1344 [Edit]
>>1342
Yeah that vithoulkas guy is quacky in his own right (there are some quotes about him mentioning how aids is caused by overuse of antibiotics). Trying to come up with explanations by throwing out random theories that abuse quantum mechanics just alienates everyone else from even bothering with their claims (after "water memory" failed, it seems they've moved on to quantum mechanics, nanoparticles, and whatever).

At this point they've probably exhausted any good will, so if there is indeed any validity to be had behind claims of homeopathy working in any form, the onus is on them to arrange and fund a proper experiment.

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