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Author Topic: The Immortality Project: $5 million to explore the afterlife  (Read 4244 times)
Stillwater
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« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2012, 03:44:27 »

Not necesarly; it is entirely plausible to me that NDE could have developed entirely by evolution, but arose as a situation where metaphyscial experiences may be had.

For example, the anecdotal reports people have of experiecing perspectives they couldn't have from their body, and retrieving information from these perspectives could be claimed as partial support for those claiming metaphysical aspects. But the programatic archetypes that recur and seem to deal with universal human fears and uncertainties strongly point to evolutionary development of the experience too. In my mind the idea that part of it could be meatphysical does not erase the need to explain parts of the expeiences that strongly invoke evolutionary psychology.

For instance, many here claim that dreams and dreaming have a metaphysical component; we also know though that dreams have very strong physicalist explanations too though; if both explanations my simultaneously hold in that altered state, the altered state of NDE seems like it could be a similar candidate.
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Volgerle
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« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2012, 11:08:42 »

we also know though that dreams have very strong physicalist explanations too though
how and why? because a certain Ms. Blackmore tells us so?  wink
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« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2012, 11:08:42 »

logoVisit the website of Astral Pulse creator Adrian Cooper.

Home of the best selling book Our Ultimate Reality.

Astral Projection, Metaphysics and many other subjects.

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catmeow
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« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2012, 19:01:08 »

Stillwater, do you think that what people experience as a typical NDE (tunnel, light, being of light, deceased relatives, life review etc) is the same set of events that occur in an actual death experience (ADE)?
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Greytraveller
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« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2012, 20:57:31 »

Greetings all
Bedeekin, Catsmeow and Vorgerle
Regarding Susan Blackmore. This person is an enigma to me. Many years ago she used to be very open-minded, even supportive, about OBEs and NDEs. Now she seems to be a rabidly close-minded skeptic. Even to the point of creating absurd and ridiculous theories to explain away well reported phenomena. So at some point (I conjecture) she must have had some epiphany (or anti-epiphany) that convinced her that all OBEs and NDEs were but delusions> (?)  undecided huh

Regards  smiley
Grey
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catmeow
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« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2012, 22:55:05 »

Greytraveller,

I learnt a lot about what happened to her by reading this link, provided by Volgerle

http://www.skepticalinvestigations.org/New/Anomali/skeptic_research.html

Initially, she was spurred on by a drug-induced, elaborate OBE, which she believed to be real. Initially enthusiastic, she then did a PhD on parapsychology, performing studies and trials into ESP. She spent a couple of years, but her trials didn't yield many positive ESP results. So presumably her PhD was a failure. I'm guessing if you put all this work into your PhD, and it fails, you're going to feel quite bitter, and academically a bit of a failure.

So in order to restore her academic credibility, I guess she put a lot of energy into debunking ESP. This would then be a way of getting value out of her failed PhD. Her consistent position has been that she has spent "20 years" investigating parapsychology and in all those years didn't find any evidence of ESP. In actual fact she only spent 2 years performing experiments, and she did have successes.

But in order to strengthen her anti-ESP position, 2 years has become 20, and 7 successful experiments out of 21 has become "no successful experiments". I simply believe her anti-ESP stance is her way of turning her perceived failed PhD into a success.

Celia Green is another terribly embittered parapsychology researcher. She started the Institute of Psychophysical Research, in the 1960s, and conducted research into Lucid Dreams and OBEs. She published her results, and whilst these were ground breaking, other authors jumped onto the bandwagon (eg Stephen LaBerge) and being much more successful at self promotion, took Credit which Celia Green felt she deserved. Celia Green fell out of favour in academic circles, lost funding and became increasingly isolated and bitter. Today she is reduced to writing a strange blog, publishing the bizarre letters she has written to institutes, she believes, owe her a job, money or both.

So it seems that the path of parapsychology research has claimed a few casualties, Susan Blackmore and Celia Green, counting amongst the injured. Interestingly, they are both somewhat critical of each other.
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« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2012, 22:55:05 »



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Szaxx
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« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2012, 23:35:35 »

Hi,
It would appear they both got a plumber to do the electrics.
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Stillwater
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« Reply #31 on: August 28, 2012, 01:33:03 »

Stillwater, do you think that what people experience as a typical NDE (tunnel, light, being of light, deceased relatives, life review etc) is the same set of events that occur in an actual death experience (ADE)?

If the combined evolutionary-metaphysical model I have been entertaining here is true, my guess is that the NDE and ADE would be more-or-less identical, until some particular moment of death, at which point the ADE may take a new course, that is not tied to biology and its archetypes any longer. It also seems possible to me that a handful of the people who have had NDE actually passed this point, and somehow came back from the edge.

So the archetypal NDE may be presenting itself for as long as neurons have anything to say, but after they lack enough oxygen to function, it would seem what came after would be purely metaphysical.

So the beginning of most experiences under this model would be programmatic, but could diverge from this later.
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catmeow
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« Reply #32 on: August 28, 2012, 14:45:49 »

If the combined evolutionary-metaphysical model I have been entertaining here is true, my guess is that the NDE and ADE would be more-or-less identical, until some particular moment of death, at which point the ADE may take a new course, that is not tied to biology and its archetypes any longer. It also seems possible to me that a handful of the people who have had NDE actually passed this point, and somehow came back from the edge.

So the archetypal NDE may be presenting itself for as long as neurons have anything to say, but after they lack enough oxygen to function, it would seem what came after would be purely metaphysical.

So the beginning of most experiences under this model would be programmatic, but could diverge from this later.

So, your combined evolutionary-metaphysical model is really a physical model, making use of neurons, and then at some point changes to a metaphysical model, which does not make use of neurons.  The first part, which makes use of neurons, I would say was purely physical, and you would say is combined physical and metaphysical. This is where we potentially disagree. The second part, which does not make use of neurons is clearly purely metaphysical, I hope you agree?

So the crux of the matter is whether the first part, which makes use of neurons, is purely physical, and has no metaphysical aspect, or whether it not purely physical but also has a metaphysical aspect. If the former is true, then the evolutionary and metaphysical explanations of NDE are mutually exclusive. If the latter is true then they are not mutually exclusive.

Now I can see your argument a little. There are some aspects of the NDE which might be mitigated, or partially mitigated by the physical body. Perhaps the tunnel construct is the result of DMT release by the pituitary, as Strassman says, and is not a real construct. In fact that's the only aspect that I see as a real candidate, mainly because some NDErs describe an instantaneous transition to the Light, skipping the tunnel.

Most of the other elements, e.g. the Light, telepathic communication, sense of all knowing, seem to be completely native to the non physical state, and are absolutes, independent of any physical body we may or may not have. I don't see these as being anything other than purely metaphysical. The Life Review? well I wonder. This relates to physical memories, but is also so transcendental, of time, consciousness, and normal experience, that it seems hard to classify this as anything other than metaphysical.

Let's assume that someone is disintegrated, by an atomic explosion. Clearly they are instantly deprived of a physical body, so their ADE must consist of only metaphysical components. Which do you think these are? Floating above the physical scene? The tunnel? The Light,? The Being of Light? The life review? The telepathic communication? The sense of all knowing? Or none of these?
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Stillwater
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« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2012, 19:37:16 »


For me, there are lots of complexities to this issue, and it is very muddy (both with doubt, and in the explanations). The reason I speak of the moment when neurons are fully deprived of oxygen, is that it guarantees that if something is reported (and it truly happened in the moment it was percieved to, and not just before or after, it must have been metaphysical in nature, and this is the one time I think we can exclude physical explanations.

Throughout the rest of NDE time, it way well be that the metaphysical and the physical sort of intermingle, in a complimentary relationship. The physical is there (because well, we are having a physical experience for the moment, and the body won't go anyplace till we die, so it will have its say in one way or another), and the metaphysical side may perhaps introduce itself because the opportunity strongly presents itself (because it is a moment of profound sensory-disconnect, similar to the sleep paralysis state that so facilitates OBE for us).

Even during an OBE, we still have influence on our psyche of the physical; we may hear sounds or experience sensations of the physical body; in this experience, the physical and metaphysical appear to comingle- this is the type of situation I am suggesting, albiet with stronger physical input.

The Nuclear blast situation...  sounds like a cop-out in how I explain it, but I would suspect that the individual would skip the sensations of the NDE that relate to a dying brain, such as the tunnel-experience you mention, and procede directly to whatever part of the experience has no physical basis ( there is no ultimate way for me to sort out which are which, although I would suspect you could start to identify which experiences may be physical by catologuing which seem to occur most often towards the beginning of an NDE, or which experiences individuals of a certain genetic lineage seem to have exclusively to themselves, regardless of the culture they find themselves in.)
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catmeow
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« Reply #34 on: August 29, 2012, 13:17:56 »

Hi Stillwater. Well it is a very muddy and unclear subject. I do actually understand what you are getting at, and accept that there might be some sort of intermingling of the physical and metaphysical aspects of NDEs. This means that evolution may have played a part in constructing the experience, although I really question how much influence evolution may have exerted. I know that mind and brain interact, so I can't deny there is already a metaphysical/physical interaction. How much this pervades the NDE is questionable, because I believe that many of the NDE elements are absolute parts of the non physical state, and have nothing to do with the physical. But I see your essential reasoning. So I have gone from "I really don't get this" to "I cautiously do get this". Mainstream dogmatists may be harder to persuade!
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