Communication After Death The transformational effects of after-death communications by Steve Taylor
Posted on 06 February 2022, 11:31
Up to three-quarters of bereaved people report some form of communication with their deceased loved ones or friends.
Such experiences are an essential part of the personal growth that many bereaved people experience.
Around a fifth of these experiences are “evidential,” meaning they provided information that turned out to be true.
In my recent book Extraordinary Awakenings, I described how bereavement can catalyst personal transformation.
In the aftermath of bereavement, it’s not uncommon for people to undergo an intense form of post-traumatic growth. They may even change so radically that they feel as if they’ve become a different person – someone with a wider sense of perspective, a new sense of purpose and meaning, a sense of connection to nature, and deeper relationships.
Suzanne Had Cancer. It Was Her Precognitive Dreams That Saved Her Life.
Posted on 03 February 2022, 17:38
She’s not the only one — studies show many cases where insistent dreams clued people into their hidden diagnoses.
During the summer of 2013, when Suzanne Degregorio was 43, she began waking from a deep sleep with memories of a recurrent dream: “It’s your time to get cancer,” she heard, over and over again, almost like she had an appointment to meet the disease.
“I ignored the dreams because they pissed me off,” she says. Degregorio had a clean mammogram and no family history of cancer. Her radiologist casually mentioned she had dense breasts but didn’t otherwise sound any alarm bells. Nevertheless, when Degregorio’s annual breast screening was due in December, she pushed for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in conjunction with a mammogram, since MRIs are more likely to spot abnormalities through dense breast tissue.
“In between getting the MRI and getting the results, I had another dream, but this time a woman in a white lab coat with short curly hair said, ‘You have stage 3 breast cancer,’” says Degregorio. “I woke up knowing she was right.”
Within two weeks, the MRI results uncovered a suspicious region and a biopsy confirmed Degregorio had cancer, but instead of stage 3 breast cancer, she tested positive for stage 1, grade 3 (not stage 3) HER-2 positive cancer. “Grade 3 indicates that cancerous cells are highly aggressive; stage 1 means the tumor had not spread,” says Degregorio. “I suspect my subconscious grabbed the word stage, a term I was familiar with, to indicate the gravity of my disease.”
Before the Ouija board: William Rossetti’s diary gives an insight into Victorian séances
Posted on 28 December 2021, 17:46
Death and disease are no strangers to the streets of Britain. By the late 19th century, tens of thousands of people had contracted fatal infections, such as cholera, smallpox and scarlatina, beginning with the first cholera epidemic of 1832, when detailed records first started being kept.
Wave after wave of typhoid also swept over the population where cause, diagnosis and cure were all equally uncertain – and social class provided no protection. In his novel Bleak House, Charles Dickens recorded “fever” deaths in the slums of London. But the most prominent flesh-and-bone victim was Queen Victoria’s own husband, Prince Albert. He was diagnosed with typhoid and died in December 1861.
Meanwhile, a bizarre form of comfort was at hand. In 1848 in Rochester, New York, two sisters claimed to have received messages from the spirit of a long-dead inhabitant of their house, and their conversation with him fired the imagination of America. Soon “table-rapping” swept the American continent, modern spiritualism was born and in the early 1850s it crossed the Atlantic. Séances began to take place in the parlours and dining rooms of France, Germany, Italy and Britain. All communication with the spirits was done through letters of the alphabet, similar to ouija boards.
The fashion for spiritualist séances was fuelled by those who longed for communication with lost loved ones or friends. The pre-Raphaelite poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti, for example, started holding spiritualist séances after the death of his wife, Elizabeth Siddal, in 1862. Many of these took place in his home in Chelsea, attended by friends and acquaintances. The most regular participant was his brother, William Michael Rossetti.
Deathbed Visions: Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson Discusses His Research
Posted on 02 February 2016, 18:41
In Beyond Science, Epoch Times explores research and accounts related to phenomena and theories that challenge our current knowledge. We delve into ideas that stimulate the imagination and open up new possibilities. Share your thoughts with us on these sometimes controversial topics in the comments section below.
Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Iceland, asked approximately 700 physicians and nurses what they had heard from their patients concerning deathbed visions.
Many people, shortly before they died, reported seeing deceased friends or family members who said they were there to help them pass to the afterlife. The dying patients would often become happy to go and their fears dissipated as a result of the visions.
It was Haraldsson’s first major study. In 1977, his book At the Hour of Death, co-authored with Dr. Karlis Osis, was published. Now in his 80s, Haraldsson looks back on a long career of similar research—including studies on people who claim contact with the dead, past-life memories, and supernatural abilities.
The Dalai Lama Explains What Extraterrestrial Bodies Look Like
Posted on 19 November 2015, 15:34
“There is abundant evidence that we are being contacted, that civilizations have been monitoring us for a very long time.” – Dr. Brian O’Leary, Former NASA Astronaut and Princeton Physics Professor (source)
“Yes, it’s both. It’s both literally, physically happening to a degree; and it’s also some kind of psychological, spiritual experience occurring and originating perhaps in another dimension. And so the phenomenon stretches us, or it asks us to stretch to open to realities that are not simply the literal physical world, but to extend to the possibility that there are other unseen realities from which our consciousness, our, if you will, learning processes over the past several hundred years have closed us off.” – John Mack (source)
Dr. John E. Mack, a Harvard University psychologist and Pulitzer prize winner, was interviewed for the documentary film about the Dalai Lama, called “The Dalai Lama Renaissance.” In the film he speaks about his conversations with the Dalai Lama about extraterrestrials and his experience with them.
It might be more of an awareness that the universe is filled with beings of all kinds. In fact when we were here he classified intelligent life in the cosmos in three categories: beings like us that have form that are embodied. Second were beings that have form where they’re not embodied, and the third is beings that have no form.
Here is another video of Dr. Mack explaining a common theme and belief of many as to why they are here. Based on my research, I believe there are multiple beings from multiple star systems and possibly other dimensions and universes. It’s logical to assume that there could be multiple motives, and multiple races out there who are also not at all concerned with us.
This was very interesting to me, as I recently wrote an article depicting what types of beings are most commonly reported by contactees, abductees, and experiencers. In it I provided a declassified FBI document that discusses similiar things of interest regarding ET bodies and craft. You can view that document (pages 21 & 22) here.
It’s important to note that Mack believed the ET phenomenon was, without question, real, and so did his funders (which included Lawrence Rockefeller, to give an example). (source) I’ve written two in-depth articles on Dr. Mack, there you can find out more information about him and the types of cases he investigated:
Harvard Psychiatrist On Alien Abductions/Contact: “Yes, It’s Both Literally & Physically Happening.”
More Than 60 School Children Witness Non-Human Beings & A Large Craft (continued…)
Meet the Former Pentagon Scientist Who Says Psychics Can Help American Spies
Posted on 13 November 2015, 10:48
Steps from the Hayward Executive Airport in Northern California, a brunette in jeans and hiking boots scans her surroundings for police. She’s carrying a 13-pound canister of liquid nitrogen in her hand. She unclasps the lid and dumps the colorless, minus-320-degree liquid into a beer cooler packed with 2,000 tiny aluminum balls. A thick white cloud erupts below the airport’s control tower, a witch’s brew that crackles and pops. Undetected, she darts back to her SUV and is gone.
Over the past two years, the same intruder has performed this clandestine ritual three dozen times across the San Francisco Bay Area. Without warning or permission, she’s released nitrogen gas clouds in front of a fire station, a busy Catholic church, a water tower and a government center. She’s smoke-bombed her way from Palo Alto to Alameda, spewing her cryogenic concoction in popular city parks and near lakes, highways and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) subway lines.
She’s not a Satanic cultist or an incompetent terrorist. Arguably, her mission is even more improbable. It’s all part of an experiment run by a former Pentagon scientist to prove the existence of extrasensory perception, or ESP.
Washington’s Most Expensive Psychics
Twenty years ago this month, the CIA released a report with the unassuming title, “An Evaluation of Remote Viewing: Research and Applications.” The 183-page white paper was more like a white flag—it was the CIA’s public admission, after years of speculation, that U.S. government agencies had been using a type of ESP called “remote viewing” for more than two decades to help collect military and intelligence secrets. At a cost of about $20 million, the program had employed psychics to visualize hidden extremist training sites in Libya, describe new Soviet submarine designs and pinpoint the locations of U.S. hostages held by foreign kidnappers.
But the report, conducted for the CIA by the independent American Institutes for Research, did much more than confirm the existence of the highly classified program. It declared that the psychic-spy operation, code-named Star Gate, had been a bust. Yes, the CIA researchers had validated some Star Gate trials, finding that “hits occur more often than chance” and that “something beyond odd statistical hiccups is taking place.” But the report declared that ESP was next to worthless for military use because the tips provided are too “vague and ambiguous” to produce actionable intelligence.
Like a Ouija board, the resulting news headlines seemed to write themselves. “End of Aura for CIA Mystics,” The Guardian quipped. “Spooks See No Future for Pentagon Psychics,” a Scottish paper reported. “Putting the ‘ESP’ Back Into Espionage,” BusinessWeek added.
ABC News’s Nightline also joined the fray, hosting a face-off between Robert Gates, the former CIA director, and Edwin May, the scientist who had been running the government’s ESP research program. Gates struck first. “I don’t know of a single instance where it is documented that this kind of activity contributed in any significant way to a policy decision, or even to informing policy makers about important information,” he said. May fought back, citing “dramatic cases in the laboratory” in which Pentagon psychics had accurately sketched a target thousands of miles away that they had never actually seen.
That wasn’t good enough, however. Already embarrassed and under pressure for the disclosure that one of their own, Aldrich Ames, had been spying for the Russians for a decade, the CIA officially shut down the psychic spies program. Star Gate had fizzled out.
It was November 1995, and May was out of a job. His life’s work had been discredited by the CIA, and he had been humbled on national television. At 55, the trained scientist might have retreated to academia or simply walked away. Instead, he doubled down on ESP.
A Jewish Hungarian Cowboy
As a boy, May always seemed to stand out. Born in Boston, the Navy brat moved frequently, finally settling with his family after World War II on a ranch outside Tucson. “I grew up as a Jewish Hungarian cowboy in Arizona,” he says, while digging into a plate of country ham at a tavern in Virginia. Fascinated with the Russian language, he taught himself the Cyrillic alphabet. He fell in love with physics at a local private boarding school and headed to college in New York. “I had a letter sweater in calf roping,” he says. “The only guy at the University of Rochester with that.”
May graduated in 1962 and began pursuing a doctoral degree. It didn’t last long. “I flunked out of my first graduate school,” he says. “Fell in with a bunch of fast nurses and learned to play a bagpipe.”
His timing was unfortunate. The Vietnam War was ramping up, and the U.S. Army came calling. “It was more than a wakeup call. It straightened out my life,” May says of nearly getting drafted. He enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh and buckled down, earning a Ph.D. in nuclear physics in four years. By 1968, with the counterculture movement raging, May had gone legit, authoring a thesis titled, “Nuclear Reaction Studies via the (Proton, Proton Neutron) Reaction on Light Nuclei and the (Deuteron, Proton Neutron) Reaction on Medium to Heavy Nuclei.”
May found post-doc work at the University of California, Davis, conducting tests with cyclotrons, but life outside the physics lab began exerting its own magnetic pull. “I moved to San Francisco,” he recalls proudly. “As a professional hippie.” In the Bay Area, May dropped out, attending trippy lectures on parapsychological research and experimenting with drugs. With the standard-issue beard and ponytail in place, he took off for India in search of the miraculous. May expected to “make Nobel Prize–winning discoveries of mind over matter,” but he came home empty-handed. “I was unable to find a single psychic, whether street fakir or holy guru, who was able or willing to fit into my scientific framework,” he wrote in Psychic magazine upon his return.
In 1975, May’s career found him. A friend recommended him for a job at the prestigious Stanford Research Institute, now called SRI International, in Menlo Park. May would be conducting psychokinesis experiments. Unknown to him at the time, many of the projects were top secret and funded by the CIA.
Three years earlier, spooked by the Soviet Union’s growing interest in parapsychology, the CIA had embraced ESP. At first, the Cold War–era tests were low-key, with CIA officials clumsily hiding objects in a box and asking a psychic to describe the contents. Soon the CIA got serious and ordered a $50,000 pilot study at the SRI, determined to see if psychics could use their remote-viewing skills to visualize and sketch large target sites in and around San Francisco.
Harold Puthoff, a laser physicist with a Ph.D. from Stanford University, was the program’s first director. The CIA, he wrote, “watchful for possible chicanery, participated as remote viewers themselves in order to critique the protocols.” The CIA officials drew seven sketches “of striking quality,” Puthoff recalled, and “performed well under controlled laboratory conditions.” Later, a psychic sitting in California visualized inside a secret National Security Agency listening post in West Virginia, right down to the words on file folders, according to Puthoff and a CIA official.
The CIA project director described the NSA-visualization results as “mixed” because the psychic nailed the code name for the site and its physical layout but botched the names of people working at the site. Nonetheless, interest from the U.S. intelligence community spiked. And when that same remote viewer—provided with only map coordinates and an atlas—described new buildings and a massive construction crane hidden at a secret Soviet nuclear weapons facility (but got most other details wrong), multiple U.S. agencies began signing up for ESP studies.
A few years later, two psychologists at a New Zealand university had a premonition about Puthoff: They called him a bit of a rube. Writing in the journal Nature, the psychologists revealed that they had obtained transcripts of the original CIA experiments. The psychic who had seen deep inside the NSA outpost and the Soviet nuclear site had been fed “a large number of cues” from the judges over the years, they reported, and it was impossible to duplicate the uncanny results of his ESP testing. “Our own experiments on remote viewing under cue-free conditions have consistently failed to replicate the effect,” the psychologists concluded. Puthoff, who would also famously declare that spoon-bender and magician Uri Geller possessed psychic powers, disputed the psychologists’ findings and kept running the ESP program until 1985.
Although the CIA stopped funding ESP research in 1977, the Air Force, Army and Defense Intelligence Agency kept writing checks. The Army’s Fort Meade base in Maryland became the program’s secret operational home. In 1995, when Congress directed the CIA to evaluate remote viewing and either take over the program or cancel it for good, the DIA was at the helm. Congress bankrolled and protected the program for years. Well-known defenders included Rhode Island Senator Claiborne Pell and North Carolina Representative Charlie Rose, who once told an interviewer that “if the Russians have remote viewing, and we don’t, we’re in trouble.”
A lesser-known supporter: Maine Senator William Cohen, who would later become the Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton. “I was impressed with the concept of remote viewing,” he tells Newsweek in an email. “The results may not have been consistent enough to constitute ‘actionable intelligence,’ but exploration of the power of the mind was and remains an important endeavor.”
To May, that’s an understatement.
Carl Sagan: “Reincarnation Deserves Serious Study.” Years Later & The Results Are In.
Posted on 22 October 2015, 17:31
Carl Sagan, the well-known American astronomer, astrobiologist, cosmologist, astrophysicist, and author passed away in 1996. He was very skeptical of non-mainstream work, and was the same when it came to many topics within the realm of parapsychology. Almost 20 years later, we now have substantial evidence to confirm that various phenomena within the realm of parapsychology are indeed real. Some of these include telepathy, psychokinesis, distant healing, ESP, and many others, including reincarnation.
Sagan did not brush off the scientific study of these phenomena, in fact, he felt that some of them deserve “serious study.”
“There are claims in the parapsychology field which, in my opinion, deserve serious study,” with [one] being “that young children sometimes report details of a previous life, which upon checking turn out to be accurate and which they could not have known about in any other way than reincarnation.”
He also mentions two others. One is that, by thought alone, humans can affect random number generators in computers (you can read more about that here), and the other is that people under mild sensory deprivation can receive thoughts or images “projected” towards them (you can read more about that here).
If Sagan were alive today, he would see that the serious scientific study of reincarnation has indeed been undertaken, despite the fact that it is a touchy subject, and the results challenge the belief systems of many. When looking at these topics from a scientific standpoint, it’s a good idea to suspend all belief systems and simply examine the information that’s been gathered from a neutral standpoint (which is, of course, easier said than done).
The Results & What These Reincarnation Cases Look Like
This topic has been studied by numerous scientists who belong to various academic institutions from all over the world, so in the interest of a short on-line read, choosing which studies/examples to share can be a difficult process, given how many of them exist. Worldwide, more than twenty-five hundred specific cases have been examined in great detail, more so where these notions are more culturally accepted (in the East), although cases have been documented on every single continent. For this reason, if you are interested in this topic from a scientific standpoint, we suggest you further your own research beyond what you read here.
One great example comes from University of Virginia psychiatrist Jim Tucker, who in 2008 published a review of cases suggestive of reincarnation in the Journal Explore. (source)
In the article, he describes a typical reincarnation case, where subjects start reporting a past life experience. One common denominator of these cases is that they all involve children, with the average age being 35 months when subjects begin to report their experiences. The experiences reported are often detailed and extensive, and Tucker points out that many of these children show strong emotional involvement when speaking about their claims, some cry and beg to be taken to what they say is their previous family. Others show intense anger.
“The subjects usually stop making their past-life statements by the age of six to seven, and most seem to lose the purported memories. That is the age when children start school and begin having more experiences in the current life, as well as when they tend to lose their early childhood memories.” (source) (1)
Consciousness after clinical death. The biggest ever scientific study published
Posted on 25 August 2015, 15:11
Tags: brain, consciousness, death, drugs, hearts, hospitals, life, patients, recall, research, researchers, resuscitation
Southampton University scientists have found evidence that awareness continue for at least several minutes after clinical death which was previously thought impossible.
A recent article in British newspaper The Daily Mail (1) featured an interview with Dr. Sam Parnia, with the lead “Consciousness may continue even after death, scientists now believe”. Sam Parnia is head of a multidisciplinary team at Southampton University (United Kingdom) who published a study in the Oficial Journal of European Resuscitation Council, with the title “AWARE—AWAreness during REsuscitation—A prospective study” (DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.resuscitation.2014.09.004) (3) which included more than 2,000 persons who suffered a cardiac arrest and successfully responded to resuscitation treatment, in 15 hospitals in the United Kingdom, United States and Austria. This is the largest study of its kind to date, using rigorous methodology, in order to exclude all those cases that could be based on individual impressions that are worthy, but which hold no scientific interest.
Jerry Nolan, Editor-in-Chief at Reuscitation Journal, who did not participate in the study but is considered an authority on the subject, said of the research, “Dr. Parnia and his colleagues are to be congratulated on the completion of a fascinating study that will open the door to more extensive research into what happens when we die.” (2)
Consciousness after clinical death: “Whether it fades away afterwards, we do not know”
The results revealed that 40% of those who survived a cardiac arrest were aware during the time that they were clinically dead and before their hearts were restarted. Dr. Parnia, in the interview stated: “The evidence thus far suggests that in the first few minutes after death, consciousness is not annihilated. Whether it fades away afterwards, we do not know, but right after death, consciousness is not lost. We know the brain can’t function when the heart has stopped beating. But in this case conscious awareness appears to have continued for up to three minutes into the period when the heart wasn’t beating, even though the brain typically shuts down within 20-30 seconds after the heart has stopped. This is significant, since it has often been assumed that experiences in relation to death are likely hallucinations or illusions, occurring either before the heart stops or after the heart has been successfully restarted. but not an experience corresponding with ‘real’ events when the heart isn’t beating. Furthermore, the detailed recollections of visual awareness in this case were consistent with verified events”.
The study director continued, saying that, “A total of 2060 cardiac arrest patients were studied. Of that number, 330 survived and 140 said that they had been partly aware at the time of resuscitating”. Of these latter, states Parnia, “thirty-nine per cent […] described a perception of awareness, but did not have any explicit memory of events”, which suggests, according to Dr. Parnia, that “more people may have mental activity initially but then lose their memories, either due to the effects of brain injury or sedative drugs on memory recall”.
He continued, saying: ” One in five said they had felt an unusual sense of peacefulness while nearly one third said time had slowed down or speeded up. Some recalled seeing a bright light; a golden flash or the Sun shining.
Others recounted feelings of fear or drowning or being dragged through deep water. 13 per cent said they had felt separated from their bodies and the same number said their sensed had been heightened.”
Parnia believes that, “contrary to perception, death is not a specific moment, but a potentially reversible process that occurs after any severe illness or accident causes the heart, lungs and brain to cease functioning.”
Exploring objectively what happens when we die
The study director said, “In this study we wanted to go beyond the emotionally charged yet poorly defined term of “near death experiences” to explore objectively what happens when we die. While it was not possible to absolutely prove the reality or meaning of patients’ experiences and claims of awareness, (due to the very low incidence – two percent – of explicit recall of visual awareness or so called out of body experiences), it was impossible to disclaim them either and more work is needed in this area”.
Finally, we cite the opinion of David Wilde, a psychologist at Nottingham Trent University (United Kingdom), who is currently compiling data on out-of-body experiences, in an attempt to define a pattern which links each episode, says “Most studies look retrospectively, 10 or 20 years ago, but the researchers went out looking for examples and used a really large sample size, so this gives the work a lot of validity. “There is some very good evidence here that these experiences are actually happening after people have medically died. We just don’t know what is going on. We are still very much in the dark about what happens when you die and hopefully this study will help shine a scientific lens onto that.” (The Thelegraph, October 7 2014)
In our opinion, the study led by Parnia merits special attention, because of its scientific rigor and the prudence of its conclusions, which are supported by scientifically proven facts. We hope that this study can also be extended to those who have been diagnosed as brain dead and have come back to life.
1. Daily mail (7 October, 2014).
2. The Telegraph UK (07 October, 2014).
3. Medical Journal Resuscitation, “AWARE—AWAreness during REsuscitation—A prospective study”
Bioethics News Bot | Jul 8, 2015 |
DR. BERNARDO KASTRUP, WHY OUR CULTURE IS MATERIALISTIC
Posted on 09 May 2015, 11:15
Alex Tsakiris of Skeptiko interviews Dr. Bernardo Kastrup, author of Brief Peeks Beyond about the shortcomings of science’s reigning paradigm of materialism.
Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with Dr. Bernardo Kastrup to discuss his work on the nature of consciousness and the widespread influence of materialism:
Dr. Bernardo Kastrup: You see we always start from the fact that we are conscious. Consciousness is the only carrier of reality and existence that we can know. Everything else is abstraction; [they] are inferences we make from consciousness. But our culture is driven by this notion that the real reality is outside consciousness. It’s a material universe fundamentally independent of consciousness, and that our inner lives, our subjective experiences arise from specific arrangements of material in this abstract world outside mind. That’s the philosophy of materialism that underlies most academic work and underlies most of science as you know it today. But it also underlies the value system of our culture, our economic system…For instance, if matter is the only real reality, consciousness being just a transient, temporary side effect, then what meaning can there be to life but to accumulate material goods? That feeds right into the economic system and feeds right into loops of reinforcement of existing power structures.
So this metaphysical view of the world entailed by the philosophy of materialism determines not only what happens in academia, and what your kids learn in school, but largely determines everything: The culture around your relationships at work; the way we deal with the environment; the meaning of our lives or at least how we see the meaning of our lives; how we spend our time; how we spend our money; how we see our relationships; and who we maintain in power.
Read Excerpts From The Interview:
Dr. Kastrup delineates his theory about consciousness with biologist Dr. Jerry Coyne’s perspective who openly chastised Kastrup–[10min.22sec-13min.08sec]
Alex Tsakiris: I want to talk about some of these responses you have to the materialist position. And a lot of these we should say have come about through your dialogues with some folks. I’ll start out with the first one: well-known biologist Dr. Jerry Coyne who for some reason is really highly regarded in the evolutionary biology circles. He’s really not that smart of a guy I think. But here’s an example of the criticism that Coyne lays out and then we’ll hear what Bernardo has to say about it. Here is the quote from Coyne: “It’s untenable to maintain that there is no reality independent of consciousness for there is plenty of evidence about what was going on in the universe before consciousness evolved.”
Dr. Bernardo Kastrup: He actually wrote this in a very disparaging tone while criticizing something I had written. And he wrote it as if it was so obvious and I was so stupid for not seeing this. How dare I write these things without noticing that it can be so easily debunked. That was quite fun when I saw that.
Alex Tsakiris: Explain what’s false about “the miracle of the evolution of consciousness.”
Dr. Bernardo Kastrup: It begs the question very clearly–it’s a form of circular reasoning. You see the very point in contention is whether consciousness is generated by material arrangements in the form of biology, or whether consciousness is fundamental material arrangements arising within consciousness which is the point that I make. When Coyne says “oh, there has been plenty of evidence for the dynamics of the universe before consciousness arose,” he’s begging the question by assuming that consciousness arose with life within the context of an inanimate material universe outside consciousness. In other words, he’s assuming his conclusion in order to argue for that conclusion. The position of idealism is consciousness always existed because it is the medium of existence. Everything arises as excitations of consciousness. Even life–life being dissociated aspects of this one medium of consciousness. So there was a universe before life arose and that universe unfolded as the dynamics of consciousness as well. Before life, a specific type of consciousness dynamics arose within it. There is no problem in the idealist position about it and there is all kinds of trouble in the way Coyne argued because he just begs the question very clearly.
Citing another example from the book, Dr. Kastrup illuminates the simple-minded approach of materialists in tackling the big philosophical questions–[21min.25sec-23min.37sec]
Alex Tsakiris: Okay, Bernardo. Let me move on to another couple of criticisms and here’s one of my favorites because it really captures the lack of deep thinking that always seems to accompany this goofy materialism. I hate to say it so conclusively but we’ve both been doing this for a long time, and you go down these rutted roads that have been so well worn that after a while you see it coming. But you label this as criticism #14: Why would consciousness deceive us by simulating a materialist world?
Dr. Bernardo Kastrup: It is a precious one, isn’t it?
Alex Tsakiris: It is precious in the same way that a child says something, and it’s just precious. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but you just have to marvel at it.
Dr. Bernardo Kastrup: There is so much prejudice imbedded in it in a way that people are not self-reflectively aware of it. It’s amazing. As I write in the book, why did the sun deceive us for so many centuries by pretending to go around the Earth? Why did the Earth itself deceive us for so long by pretending to be flat? It’s the same kind of question as asking why is the universe deceiving us by pretending materialism to be correct? It’s not the universe. The universe it what it is. The sun has always been doing what it always did. The Earth has always been spheroid since it’s formation. Nothing is deceiving anything. The only thing that’s deceiving is ourselves. Materialists are deceiving themselves by interpreting the world according to a certain perspective, certain implicit, hidden assumptions. And they are so committed to that, thinking so much within the box, when they are pushed out of the box they ask this kind of question. Why is the world deceiving me by pretending materialism to be true? Yeah, ask the sun why it deceived us by pretending to go around the Earth. It’s the same kind of question. Continued.
ISIS Fighter Converts to Christianity After Near Death Experience
Posted on 11 March 2015, 10:48
I can’t be sure if the Aleppo Herald exists or if Hermann Groschlin is a genuine Iranian Christian priest, however, it’s an interesting story.
An ISIS jihadist has recently converted to Christianity after being left for dead near the Eastern border of Syria where he was finally rescued by Christian missionaries from the region, reports the Aleppo Herald this morning.
Mohabat News reported - The man, that has miraculously survived multiple gun shot wounds after an altercation between ISIS and Syrian Army forces, was rescued by members of the Saint Dominican Catholic Presbytery of Ayyash hours after the conflict had erupted.
The members of the Christian organization wanted to give the man a proper Christian burial and carried him over 26 kilometers before the man miraculously came back to life as he was believed to have died from his wounds.
As the man came back to his senses, he reported to priest Hermann Groschlin of the visions he had whilst in the afterlife, an event that profoundly changed the 32-year old jihadist and eventually led to his conversion to Christianity days later.
“He told me that he was always taught that to die as a martyr would open him the Gates of Jannah, or Gates of Heaven” recalled the priest. “Yet, as he had started to ascend towards the light of the Heavens, devilish entities, or Jinns he called them, appeared and led him to the fiery pits of Hell. There he had to relive all the pain he had inflicted upon others and every death he had caused throughout his entire life. He even had to relive the decapitations of his victims through their own eyes”, images the jihadist claims will haunt him for the rest of his life, admits the priest.