The Scientific Method and Theories about Reincarnation

Discussion in 'SCIENTIFIC and ANECDOTAL research' started by fiziwig, Dec 2, 2002.

  1. fiziwig

    fiziwig moderator emeritus

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    In the Adult Past Lives forum the question of scientific proof has been raised in several threads. It seemed more appropriate to discuss the subject under this forum.

    Can we apply the scientific method to the study of theories about the process of reincarnation?

    First we must ask just exactly what is "scientific method"? Here is one description from which I quote (slightly condensed):

    That's all there is to it. Doing good science is not really very complicated at all! Now let's apply it to reincarnation.

    What would consititue an hypothesis (i.e. untested theory) in the field of reincarnation? One example might be to look at the idea of how karma works (or if it even works at all).

    Step one is the observation stage. We observe that there seems to be injustice in the world. We observe that many sources including spontanteous recall, regression and NDEs suggest that there is a reason for an individual's suffering injustice in this life. Many sources also indicate that there is a mechanism by which such injustices are redressed in the long run. Any theory of karma must start by adressing these observed facts.

    Step two is the formulation of an hypothesis. Several such theories already exist and we can use these in the remaining steps and test them against observed facts.

    Step three will use a specific example of such a theory. e.g. Karma means that if a human commits evil deeds in this life he will be reborn as a lower animal. The specific prediction made by this particular version of the karma theory is that such events should be present in the observed data collected from spontaneous recall, regression, and NDE case histories. In other words, if it happens then there should be evidence that it really does happen.

    Step four, the "experiment" is to look at the collected case histories for data that supports or contradicts the theory under discussion. Reports from spontaneous past life recall and from hypnotic regressions and from near death experiences all overwhelmingly regard the reincarnation of human souls into animal form to be something that does not happen. It not only does not appear in the case histories, but is explicity denied by many individual cases collected by many independant observers.

    Conclusion: We may conclude that this particular theory of karma has been falsified by the evidence and can be discarded.

    Next step is to go back to step two above and try out another theory of how karma works until we find one that is both explains the original observations and is not falsified by additional observations.

    Once such a theory has been found it is still just a theory and not a proven fact. It remains an open possibility that future observations (future spontaneous recalls, regressions, NDE's, etc.) might provide data that contradicts some portion of the theory and the theory may need to be modified to accomodate the new data, or rejected completely if it cannot be modified to fit the data.

    Each time through the process we arrive at a theory that is better in the sense that it fits more closely to the observed data and predicts more accurately future observations (i.e. regressions, recalls, NDE's, etc.). We never arrive at a theory that can be proven, but we do get an increasingly better understanding of how karma really works.

    This is just one example of how scientific method can be properly applied to the study of a wide variety of aspects of reincarnation, the soul, and life after death.

    The important thing to recognize is that we have removed the element of bias and prejudice from the process. It doesn't matter if some particular traditional religion teaches that we can reincarnate as animals, the theory has been tested and falsified. It doesn't hold up under scientific scrutiny.

    What we need now, to clear up all the conflict and confusion of so many different belief systems, is to put each and every one of the theories we hear about to this simple scientific test and toss out the ones that fail.

    The only difference between this kind of science and real science is that our "experiments" take the form of listening to spontaneous recalls, regressions, NDE's, psychics, mediums, etc., and extracting, from the most consistent reports, a consensus of what was observed about what happened or how it happened or why it happened. Our data comes, therefore, from first hand accounts of explorers rather than from meter readings on laboratory instruments. Because of this we must remember that there is a certain degree of unreliability built into our data. Some account we use as data will be false, and some might be altered to fit the reporters preconceptions. This is why consensus from as many sources as possible is important. As an example, many hundreds of NDEs have been reported and published but only one account, to my knowledge, claims to support the existnce of a hell. That one report is from an author of fundamentalist books and is used to "prove" the reality of a Biblical hell. Since it is one voice against hundreds the consensus is that the Biblical hell is not supported by NDE experiencers.

    This is the real weak link in our use of the chain of scientific method. Someone who wishes to believe the concept of a Biblical hell can deny the consensus and claim that his particular one piece of evidence is true and the other hundreds of pieces of evidence are false. So the best we can do is provide good consensus evidence for the open-minded person wishing to make a choice from among conflicting theories. By following those four steps we can still do good science within that context, and with the realization that our results will not convince a true believer who rigidly follows a different dogma. After all, there are still those who believe the earth is flat.

    [This message has been edited by fiziwig (edited 12-02-2002).]
     
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  2. Rod

    Rod Senior Registered

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    Fiziwig,

    Thank you for bringing this to the forum. We have discussed the scientific method often, without stopping to define it.

    I have comments on this in two areas:

    1. What are we trying to show?

    It is my very strong opinion that our first real excecise of the scientific method in reference to reincarnation has to be for the purpose of showing its existance. As long it remains an "untested theory," generally disbelieved by the Occidental scientific community, reincarnation will not get the serious consideration it merits in the broader study of "how life works."

    Toward this end, the parts of the scientific method would be:

    a. Many people have had memories or experiences suggestive of the idea that a part of a person's consciousness survives after death and can come back into another person at a later time.

    b. The hypothesis would be that a person, in addition to all that has already been physically observed has conscious component that is not specifically tied to any of these known parts -- a soul. Additionally, the soul can continue to exist with at least some of the person's thoughts and memories after death and can later enter another new person at or before birth.

    c. This would suggest that some people would have knowlege derived from a previous lifetime, unknowable to the person based on experiences in the present life. It would also imply that this is a process with its own set of consistent rules that should, upon close examination and verification of experiences, apply regardless of a person's cultural, religious, or personal biases
    about the topic.

    d. A statistical analysis of existing reported cases, and interviews carefully designed to find other people who have had experiences suggestive of past lives or life-after-death should find a level of correlation that exceeds that which could be produced by random chance.


    2. Statistics can be a valid scientific proof


    We have all heard, or participated in criticism of "statistics." Indeed, they are often used by unscrupulous manipulators of facts to imply false conclusions. This does not change the fact that properly-used statistical analysis is a crucial scientfic tool.

    For example, consider the case of smoking and cancer. Many years went by during which no conclusive link could be found between them. This happend because smoking doesn't truly "cause" cancer, it instead vastly increases the chances of cancer. The existance of many older, long-time, cancer-free smokers seemed to vindicate that pack of "Camels" that you may have once had in your shirt pocket. But this was false.

    In reality, it was eventually realised that of those suffering lung-cancer, over 90% were smokers, even though only about 65% of the adult population smoked. The probability of this happening randomly dropped with each new study that was done, until it was obvious that this result would not be univerally repeatable by chance, especially in varying parts of the country, and with many different researchers observing it. Later, even after the rate of smoking declined, the percentage of smokers among lung-cancer patients remained just above 90%, an important point that convinced even the most stubborn tobacco advocates.

    Today, we readily accept as fact that smoking will significantly increase one's chances of lung-cancer.

    It is absolutely within the realm of possibility that similarly-convincing data can be acquired for reincarnation. There will be some hold-outs, refusing to believe the studies. Eventually, however, the additional studies that would be done once our scientific community generally accepts reincarnation would convince just about everyone who accepts the radical ideas that smoking makes cancer likely and that the earth is round.

    ...Rod

    P.S.:

    What would the religious do?

    For almost all except Christian, their religions already teach reincarnation. Christianity once suggested it, but hasn't for a long time. Some Christians would likely revert to the older interpretations, claiming that people should never have strayed from them. Others would continue to resist, but eventually, the mainstream would come to deal with the new scientically-accepted reality, just as it has learned to live with a non-geocentric universe, rain caused by low pressure fronts, the round earth, and to some extent evolution.
     
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  3. kris0503

    kris0503 Senior Registered

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    I think wider acceptance of reincarnation in the West will occur by a process of "creep" rather than by some societal epiphany. And that is good. Those who are convinced of reincarnation should not get carried away by zeal and try to prosletyze those who don't buy it. A more dignified approach is to let everyone take their time to make up their own minds.

    Science will take note of it when sufficient portion of population starts to take it seriously. I think masses will lead science in this case. Adopting a scientific method, even if specially adapted for reincarnation, as proposed by fiziwig, would serve well to make reincarnation more appealing. But we must always keep in mind the uniquely subjective nature of "experiments" fiziwig refers to. "Scientific" method coupled with statistical methods to analyze "data" gathered from those who remember "past lives" should first be used to establish reality of reincarnation before any theories about its mechanism are evaluated as Rod has suggested.

    In order for main stream scientists to take reincarnation seriously, it should be defined somewhat differently and minimaly. For this purpose, I would define reincarnation as a process or a phenomenon by which a person can uniquley access knowledge of personal experiences that another person, now deceased, experienced before the present person was born. The matter before science would then be to validate present person's knowledge by checking it with known information about the deceased person. At this stage, we do not need to theorize about how this access is gained. This is essentially Prof. Stevenson's approach.

    John, it is very easy to recruit me to discussion on reincarnation as you may have already noticed. :)
     
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  4. Phoenix

    Phoenix Forgot to play nice

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    One thing to keep in mind is that this is the difference between "this kind of science" and hard science. There are many scientific disciplines which do not involve (or are not entirely based upon) meter readings on laboratory instruments, but case histories collected from people. They are just as scientific in their methods as "hard" science.

    From social psychology to human sexuality, the most interesting scientific aspects of humanity are not something that is easily weighed or measured. And that includes memory: our ability to remember past experiences and past existences.

    Phoenix
     
  5. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

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    I think it is important for members participating in this section of the forum to read this thread. Fiziwig has shared a wonderful perspective regarding the scientific method and how it might possibly be used in reincarnation research. Rod has shared some great questions. :thumbsup: Comments?
     
  6. tiltjlp

    tiltjlp A Recycled Soul

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    Well, I read this thread again just now, as I have every week since I became a member, in the hopes of understanding science a little better. The scary thing is that one of the posts has begun to make sense to me, the post by Kris. What's scary is that Kris and I haven't exactly seen eye-to-eye. I agree that people must come-around to reincarnation on their own, rather than being cattle prodded into believing that it's possible. But overall, I still can't make much sense out of science.

    John
     
  7. fiziwig

    fiziwig moderator emeritus

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    Science is not a "thing" but a "method"

    The important thing to remember is that "scientific" really only means examining the facts and testing the theories in an objective and unbiased manner. The point of scientific method is to keep us from believing things that are provably false, and to help us get closer to the truth. And that requires that we be willing to CHANGE what we believe.

    When a skeptic says "belief in psi is foolish superstition" he is not being scientific. He is making a statement of faith that is provably false. He has let his personal belief system color his judgement and the result is that he is led into erroneous beliefs. He lacks the courage to say "I was wrong." When a true believer says "The claims of Astrology have been proven time and time again." he is making a statement that is provably false. Likewise, the true believer in astrology, blinded by his personal belief system, rejects what the evidence says and is lead into the erroneous belief that horoscopes are true. He lacks the courage to say "I was wrong."

    Now I know the true believers in deterministic materialism will howl and claim their belief that psi is bunk is "real science". But they don't have a leg to stand on in the face of the systematic evidence that proves them wrong. And the true believers in the power of the zodiac will likewise howl and claim that their belief in astrology is justified. But they don't have a leg to stand on in the face of systematic evidence that proves them wrong.

    The real seeker of truth, therefore, puts aside his preconcieved notions of what "must" be true, and ask the facts to speak for themselves.

    The world of the real seeker of truth is NOT a comfortable place to live. The skeptic must set aside that comforting myth that "the equations give all the answers." The superstitious must set aside that comforting myth that the tea leaves or the daily horoscope, or the medium's channeled teachings give all the answers. Most people cannot leave their personal comfort zone, for to do so is to enter a world literally out of control! It is to enter a world were NOTHING is certain. And that is a very scary world indeed!

    The price of truth is very high. It's no wonder that so few people are willing to pay that price. Gobbling up every word the physics textbook says is so much easier and comforting. Gobbling up every word some self-proclaimed psychic says is much easier and comforting. Examining the evidence with an open, objective mind, and, most important of all, being willing to say "I was wrong", is the most important thing of all. That's what science is supposed to be about; making it not only acceptable, but downright courageous and praiseworthy to say "I was wrong."

    If you still believe now everything you ever believed, then you haven't learned a thing, have you? Learning begins when you see that some of things you used to believe in are simply not true. That is what the entire process of learning is all about. And that requires being objective and honest enough to look the evidenvce square in the face and let it lead you to the truth. Then you can say, proudly, "I was wrong."
     
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  8. tiltjlp

    tiltjlp A Recycled Soul

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    Thanks to fiziwig and everyone else who has posted in this thread, after reading every post yet again, something has finally clicked. Science is still mostly beyond my grasp, but at least the methodology makes a bit more sense. I like to think there is a glimmer of hope for me, because I am open-minded, and I'm willing and able to adjust my opinions and concepts. So I guess I'll start reading more of these threads and test the theory of osmosis.

    John
     
  9. kris0503

    kris0503 Senior Registered

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    This is a good advice to those who start their lives with preconceived notions of what "must" be true. I suppose there are plenty of people who start out this way in our world. But we surely don't have to start out this way. I know I didn't. As a society, we should encourage people to start out without preconceived notions of what must be true. It makes it much easier to learn truth.
    The world of seeker of truth is not comfortable when truth has to replace preconceived notions of truth. It is sad that so many people have to leave their comfort zone to see the truth. This situation is clearly imposed on an individual by the society he grows up in. I was indeed fortunate to not dwell in any illusory comfort zones. I was always able to be comfortable with truth. I always find certainty in truth. For me the world of truth is the only certain world.
    The price of truth is high only for those who live in illusory comfort zones. From my experience, I can say that the price of untruth is very high, one that I cannot afford. Truth comes for cheap when the seeker is ready to know the truth.
     
  10. Phoenix

    Phoenix Forgot to play nice

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    But scientists don't seek truth, that is the realm of philosophers.

    Science is the search for fact. Empirical data that can be weighed and measured, events that can be reproduced under the strictest control.

    Truth may weigh heavy on the soul, but there isn't a scale which can measure it.

    Phoenix
     
  11. fiziwig

    fiziwig moderator emeritus

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    My hope is that the facts will lead us to the truth. Heaven knows fantasy won't lead us to truth.
     
  12. kris0503

    kris0503 Senior Registered

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    Last couple of posts are very interesting to me in that they show a fundamental difference between Eastern and Western way of thinking about certain things.
    And then,
    I could never say such things. For me there is no distinction between truth and facts. This mode of thinking is preserved in Sanskrit language itself. The root word "as", to be, leads to a word, "sat", which means both truth and being i.e., what is, or facts. If truth is something other than what is or facts, then I have no use for such truth. Perhaps some of you can give examples of facts that are other than truth, facts which scientists like to study, as opposed to truth as some maintain.

    It is this mode of thinking that leads to conflict between science and religion in the West. We don't need a scale to measure truth. It is the scale by which I measure everything.

    I want to clarify the main point of last post. Learning can be one of two things:

    (1) Replacing wrong ideas or "perceived notions of what must be" with correct knowledge. When this happens, one can indeed say "I was wrong before and now I know".

    (2) Acquiring knowledge where there was none. When this happens, one can say "I did not know before and now I know".

    The distiction may be subtle but it is important. Here is one analogy. One can erase what is written on a slate and write something else on it. Or one can start with a clean slate and write something on it which is much easier to do. We are born with more or less clean slate and learning can begin from there. There is no need to blemish that clean slate by imparting false notions and making the learner's job that much harder and more painful. Unfortunately, society does just that.
     
  13. lonewolf

    lonewolf Senior Registered

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    Is there a 'scientific' method?

    I'm a history professor at a major university, and spent quite a bit of time studying attempts to apply the scientific method to the study of history in the 19th century, the greatest advocate of which was the German historian Leopold von Ranke. Well, put briefly, Ranke's movement flourished for a time, but after producing a series of REALLY dull books it collapsed. Ask any historian about Ranke today and he'll scoff. Why? Because it's impossible to write 'scientific' history--for several reasons, two foremost. One, our evidence is, and always will be, imperfect. Two, humans are incapable of pure objectivity--we will always be biased. The consensus in the study of history today is that you do the best you can with the evidence available, always realizing that your product will be biased and imperfect. Often you just have to go with gut feeling, admitting that it is so. And--gasp--that's OK!!! Knowledge is a journey, not a flat linear progression to greater perfection.

    I have to admit being flabbergasted, then, that so many people still grasp at the ideal of scientific religion, or spirituality. I took a course once with the scientist (and skeptic) James Trefil and he shocked me (at that time I was a confirmed skeptic, agnostic and reader of the Skeptical Inquirer) by saying that even in the mechanical realm there is no such thing is pure objectivity. In the very process of testing something, he noted, you manipulate and change it. How much less, then, can you hope to subject the spiritual realm to scientific analysis with any hope of an objective answer? The evidence will always be imperfect, and so will the scientist. There is no pure objectivity--even human logic is imperfect.

    Skeptics always scoff that spiritual or religious people cannot conceive a world without God. I answer that they have made a God of the scientific method, and cannot conceive a world without it, as if all knowledge were subject to the all-encompassing power of human reason--as if the human mind were omnipotent. What a ridiculous idea! Tell a Christian to conceive a world without God, and he will answer like Dostoyevsky: "then all things are possible"--in other words, the world spins away into chaos. Tell a rationalist to conceive a world without the scientific method and he'll answer the same thing, probably with a supressed shriek of terror--then EVERYTHING is possible! :eek:

    I have been a skeptic/agnostic for many years, and a Catholic for many years. I am no longer either; but believe me, the skeptics are MUCH more dogmatic, narrow-minded, and terrified of the unknown. Talk with a disciple of Randi the Magnificent and then with a Catholic priest, and you'll know what I mean.

    I guess this is my roundabout way of saying that in spiritual matters the scientific method is a good starting point, but it will always fail you in the end. With science you can expose frauds (as common, incidentally, in science as they are in religion) and gain insight; but in the end you will always have to go with gut feeling. All things really are possible. But don't worry, it's ok. Your heart is the best guide.

    I had a dream when I was 23. It came out of nowhere; it was unsought; substances played no role; it had no origin in my subconscious--I was to that day a devout and feisty skeptic. But I KNOW it was supernatural, and it changed my life. Can I prove it to Randi the Magnificent? No. But who cares? Prove that you're not a white rabbit asleep on Mars dreaming you're a human on earth.

    One last thing. What can the scientists offer us, in their world? My wife is a psychiatric nurse. Every day she sees dozens of patients, and almost every one of them cries out in agony how mainstream psychotherapists talk and talk and talk without saying anything; how psychiatrists treat them like hunks of meat and throw meds at them that usually do no good and often do harm. I know how they feel, I've been there myself. And yet the American Psychological Association gets haughty and moralistic about spiritualists and faith healers who truly turn people around and get them on the road to recovery. The scientists pontificate about how healing based on "fantasy" can never be good. Show me what your cold, empty (and incidentally unproveable) world of science can offer instead. Prozac? Sorry, I been there, done that. It's ugly.

    Recently I had my first past-life regression, and I don't give a **** who considers it imaginary or unscientific. It speaks to my soul. I got more from that one hour than I had in 20 years of psychotherapy. I got more healing from my dream than I could from 500 years at the hands of the world's 'best' secular psychotherapists and scientists. Prove my visions wrong. And while you're at it, prove your 'purely objective' world of science right. Yeah sure.

    Lonewolf
     
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  14. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

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    Welcome to the forum Lonewolf.

    I enjoyed your post very much - very thought provoking. :thumbsup: Thank you for sharing.
    I do agree with you : angel . I hope to return over the weekend and post. In the mean time - I will reflect and I hope to read others input. Again......... welcome.
     
  15. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

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    Hi Lonewolf,

    I also very much enjoyed your post... :thumbsup:

    Personally, I had an experience in which my life as Charlie Stuart was told to me when I was 15, and then later at an entirely different place with an entirely different person when I was 30. As I know for sure I had not mentioned anything to the second person about what was said to me the first time, this was an impossible "coincidence" that, to me, served as proof.

    When I was 38, I went to Scotland and saw a city that was in my "memory" since childhood. Another impossible coincidence.

    If I tell this to a "skeptic" or a "scientist" will they believe me? Nahhh... :rolleyes:

    So, never mind, I have my own knowledge and my own truth, and have of late given up on trying to convince anyone else. Sure, I can share my experience, but the "truth" is subject to each one that experiences it... :) ;) : angel
     
  16. Phoenix

    Phoenix Forgot to play nice

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    Very true words, Charles.

    Truths are subjective, based in belief systems and consensus reality, and can be changed by facts-or facts can be changed or rejected if they don't fit with that which is known to be truth.

    Scientists are not immune to truth trumping fact-which is why when someone discovers a new fact that contradicts a known scientific truth, there are problems for that someone...

    Here's a classic truth vs fact:

    Old Truth: The world is flat. The sun moves around the world, rising in the east, setting in the west.

    Fact: It has been conclusively proven that the world is a 3-dimensional globe shape, and it revolves around the sun, which appears to rise in the east and set in the west.

    New Truth: The world is round, and revolves around the sun.

    This is one of my favorite examples...

    Old Truth: There was no trade between Egypt and the "New World" (South America), because it was not possible to cross the ocean in the boats of the time.

    Fact: Toxicology tests on Egyptian mummies indicated very high levels of compounds only found in plants that at the time only grew in South America-including coffee, hemp, and coca. Authentic re=creation of Egyptian boats were able to make the crossing (must have been a heck of a rough ride, though).

    According to the empirical data gained in a laboratory and in field tests, it appears that at least the drug dealers were trading with Egypt...

    New Truth: The toxicology tests were wrong. The boat builders were wrong. There was no trade between Egypt and the New World. Period.

    Truth is said to be stranger than fiction. But sometimes, when people don't like the facts, truth IS fiction.

    Phoenix
     
  17. lonewolf

    lonewolf Senior Registered

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    Perhaps I had a little too much wine when I wrote my post yesterday. :rolleyes:

    Of course we must engage with the world as we see and sense it, and science is a good way to do that. Thus we can say with confidence that the world is, in fact, flat; and that the earth goes around the sun. Science can also justly be used to test the assertions of those who claim scientific proof of their religious or spiritual beliefs.

    Scientists should not, however, claim a monopoly on all knowledge, which transcends any one method of inquiry. Nor should science assert that there is no reality beyond the empirically testable. If you hide behind a tree, a deer cannot conceive that you exist. Lots of scientists think the same way about God or the supernatural. The beauty of the human mind is that you can know something's there even if you can't detect it with your normal senses.

    And besides, physicists are playing with kinds of concepts now, like infinite parallel universes and multiple realities going beyond all finite concepts of space and time. Now who's to say that in one of those universes the world isn't flat? ;)

    I say the same thing to all dogmatists, be they religious, materialist, or whatever: Dude, you're never gonna chain my soul. :tongue:

    Lonewolf
     
  18. lonewolf

    lonewolf Senior Registered

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    I'll always remember what one of my Harvard-educated history professors said during a class debate: "That's just the way it is. And if the evidence says otherwise, the evidence is wrong."

    Now he was a smart guy :D

    Lonewolf
     
  19. kris0503

    kris0503 Senior Registered

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    Phoenix, your idea of truth is very different from mine. I have no interest whatsoever in subjective truths based on belief systems and consensus reality. Such things are not worthy of my time.
    How is anything known to be truth? How does one go about changing facts?
    The way I see it, this was never the truth, not even old truth; it was merely a misunderstanding rooted in ignorance.
    This is not new truth. This was always true, even in old days.

    Terminology like old truth and new truth is quaint to say the least and, I think, misguided. I prefer simply to call truth by its name - truth. And then there is something else called untruth.
     
  20. tiltjlp

    tiltjlp A Recycled Soul

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    Kris, I'm a bit curious about this statement of yours. It seems to me that your Eternal Law site that you link to and cite so much is based on a belief system. I could be wrong, but it seems to me you've decided on what "your truth" is and have a closed mind about it all.

    I also think that you mince words. Although the world has never been flat, if you had lived when that was believed to be the truth, I dare say you would have believed it to be true. It's always seemed to me that a closed mind blinds a person from exploring what truth might be. No one is born with all the answers, so why would you think that you've found them all?

    John
     
  21. kris0503

    kris0503 Senior Registered

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    John, Eternal Law was derived from observations and experiences. You can think of it as a theory. Theories are useful to the extent they can explain reality that we observe and experience. Theories can be discarded if they are disproved or not found useful.
    The issue is not what I would have I believed in the past. It is not an important issue for me. Why is it important to you?
    How do you know what I think?
     
  22. tiltjlp

    tiltjlp A Recycled Soul

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    Fiziwig posted the following in the first post of this thread, and I now have a question concerning it which might help me better understand science.

    Quote: I. The scientific method has four steps

    1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.

    2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.

    3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena.

    4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.

    If the experiments bear out the hypothesis it may come to be regarded as a theory or law of nature. If the experiments do not bear out the hypothesis, it must be rejected or modified. It is often said in science that theories can never be proved, only disproved. There is always the possibility that a new observation or a new experiment will conflict with a long-standing theory.


    I'm currently reading The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot, which I find fascinating. But in it, I get the impression that the science community is made up of individuals, all working on their own theories. That isn't a bad thing, in and of itself. But I wonder just how resistant these scientists are to each other's theories, especially if the new theories are in competition with their own research?

    It would be nice to think that these dedicated men and women are above petty jealousy, but in the end they are only human. So my question, or questions: How might this jealousy and competition factor in as far as accepting new theories, and, is there any sort of network for sharing research on similar theories?

    It seems to me that without such a sharing of research, this process becomes much more costly, time consuming, and senseless. Competition is healthy, up to a point. But if individual scientists are posturing for and guarding their own pet theories, don't we all suffer? Just wondering, and hoping for both answers and opinions.

    John
     
  23. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

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    Hi John,

    I also read "The Holographic Universe" and found it VERY interesting... I do not think it holds ALL the answers, though. After MUCH thought regarding "time", I still feel that "time" has to be sequential, or that there must be some sequentiality to "time". And likewise with reincarnations...

    To me, the problem is that we are considering OUR capacity to create a "reality" and ignoring that other greater forces are doing so also (I would say that these forces derive from "God", the "Creation Force" or the "Force/Energy of Creation").

    Certainly scientists share information, but often restricted to their own field of knowledge, and hence the lack of exchange of information. In "The Holographic Universe", we see how two scientists from different fields reached similar conclusions. I believe it was the author (Talbot) who brought the two concepts together to create his own theory based upon both...
     
  24. tiltjlp

    tiltjlp A Recycled Soul

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    I couldn't agree with you more that it doesn't provide all the answers, but it has been an eye-opener for me. It seems to me that a more sharing and open approach to research would benefit both the science community and society. As for using imagery healing techniques, I see that as merely a way of becoming more attuned to both God and my spirituality. I don't feel that it has to be an either or situation, but rather an enhancing of my belief system.

    john
     
  25. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

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    Hi John,

    I do not doubt that "thought" influences the reality around us and "creates". I have often thought that, when "science" can finally determine what kind of energy "thought" is, they would finally be closer to determining what could be the "soul"...

    Interestingly enough, the book also gave me a hint as to in whch way "voodoo" or "black magic" could work: by the plasmic imprinting of that which is desired, whether good or bad...
     
  26. tiltjlp

    tiltjlp A Recycled Soul

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    I totally agree Charles, it does make the idea that anything is possible a lot more plausible. Although I'm only a 1/3 of the way through the book, it has altered my opinion of probabilities. I now feel that our only limitations are those implanted by our belief system and our belief in our ability to be healed by the imagery we allow our minds to create. Our beliefs are what limit possibilities.

    John
     
  27. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

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    Hi John,

    Well, Jesus did say that, didn't he? "Oh man of little faith..." And then went on to walk upon water... :thumbsup: :cool

    But regarding this, there are indeed, as we now know, illnesses that are "psychossomatic", and can be cured. But there are also those that are not and cannot. This, to me, brings the other aspect of this point into place: that there are other forces that act upon things that are external to our own and our own desires.

    When I asked a spiritual entity regarding this, the reply was that the process works 50/50. 50% is determined by us and our thoughts, and 50% is determined by the "Higher Forces"...
     
  28. Squishy

    Squishy New Member

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    Hi, I've been lurking around here for a little bit. Just wanted to say how much of a great resource I've found this place to be. Also I'd like to know where the Adult Past Lives forum that fiziwig mentioned is located. If anyone could help me out that would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks

    Squishy
     
  29. tiltjlp

    tiltjlp A Recycled Soul

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    As far as I know, there is no longer a separate Adult Past Lives section. But there is both an active Past Life Memories section, as well as a Read Only achieve at the top of the screen. Most of the posts are about adult PL memories, as opposed to our Children's Past Lives section.

    John
     
  30. tiltjlp

    tiltjlp A Recycled Soul

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    Howdy Charles,

    I'm now less than 30 pages from finishing The Holographic Universe, and it has really been an eye opener. I now can see that religion can have its place in the larger Spiritual view of life, but it doesn't have all the answers. And while I agree that a lot of illness is psychosomatic, I do believe that we can cure ourselves of any illness, if we are able to tap into our God-given inner strength, and have enough faith. I no longer believe there are any impossibilities.

    And while I'm in no hurry for this life to be over, I am looking forward to what comes after it. If even a small part of what is presented in The Holographic Universe is correct, I'm eager to see what does come next. I feel I've had a very good life, as far as growth and discover is concerned, and look forward to the next part of my journey. I only hope I remember my username and password here in my next life!

    John
     

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