Archive for the Uncategorized Category
I met Dr. Long at an IANDS meeting years ago. We had a brief discussion about OBEs in which he pondered why so many people claim to see out of body yet cannot prove it under test conditions.
I read 105 pages of his new book “Evidence of the Afterlife” yesterday. Dr. Long says that there is not a shadow of a doubt in his mind that we survive death. He offers nine points which serve as the chapters of the book to make his case.
Long relies on his NDERF website accounts for detailed statistical analysis. This provides some useful information, but the key flaw to it all is the inevitable embellishment of stories and omissions that can cloud the analysis. For instance, he goes into detail about how the veridical accounts given in his database contain almost no discrepancies. What does this prove? It merely proves that if there were discrepancies, the story tellers were not interested in including them in the accounts. Or the memories of these discrepancies were faded or glossed out over time.
Reading the book I realized how easy it would be to come up with 9 reasons there almost certainly is NOT an afterlife. In the above interview, George Noory and Dr. Long agree that OBE verification is the number 1 piece of evidence for life after death. But one of the skeptics 9 points would be “the inability of OBErs to verify veridical perception in controlled conditions”. Even in my own conversation with Dr. Long, he puzzled over why they could not do it and asked me if I could come up with a simple experiment to prove it.
So his number one reason for believing is already highly suspect. Dr. Long states that he believes OBE’s in non-life threatening states are on a continuum of experience of OBEs in near death states. If one is real then the other should be too. Dr. Long, I would like you to meet my friend Michael Raduga.
Michael Persinger is most well known for developing an electromagnetic helmet (above modeled by Skeptic Michael Shermer) which stimulates the temporal lobe and apparently increases mystical feelings and sensations in *some* people. Persinger is a self proclaimed materialist who believes the brain generates all human experience and all human experience depends on the brain. Yet Persinger believes that he has demonstrated a telepathic macro-psi phenomenon (suspected by some to be “quantum entanglement”) which demonstrates connections between two separated people surrounded by magnetic fields. A light is shined in one subject’s eyes and the other subject’s brain responds in sync in a statistically significant way.
I think it is fascinating that when given a postulated mechanism such as entanglement, it opens the door to materialists to “see” psi in their studies without having to fold to dualism. In my own personal esp experiment using my iphone app I am now at 8400 trials with a p value of .01 which is significant and pretty much inline with other psi experiences of this nature. I have not cheated or miscounted, and I have used the app trying to use my intuition to do the *opposite* of what it was designed to test for because it works better that way and it thwarts any possible rigging of the game (in other words, I am trying to not pick the right box more often than chance and occasionally I mix it up and try to pick the right box, specifying before each round which way I am attempting.) My plan was to get to 10,000 and see if I am still significant. I have been as low as .001 and recently was at .007 before hitting a bad streak and going back to .019. I’ll post my final result soon.
What are we to make of psi if real? Does it prove anything at all? Some say no. I say yes. I doubt quantum entanglement explains it. Even weirder, I think it goes independent of time (so does Persinger). It involves not only a person’s awareness, but it seems to be exacerbated and tied into the sharpness of the emotional state. All these attributes would open some pretty interesting doors of possibility and create a lot of questions such as why it works so poorly and infrequently and why some are better than others at it.
My objection to the “quantum entanglement” idea stems from what I have read from scientists skeptical of psi. They say that entanglement is such a small and fleeting situation in complex macro objects like human brains that there is no way any meaningful entanglement could take place which would account for psi. I suspect telepathy is real and I hope that it has something to do with something other than quantum entanglement (which would just be a newfangled form of mechanistic materialism).
In this interview Persinger discusses these things and even gives his thoughts on NDEs and his belief that EEGS only measure surface activity and do not capture the other deeper stuff going on in the brain during the proverbial flatline. I still don’t know what to make of the EEG debate other than the fact that a.) Pam Reynolds NDE is hype and b.) We don’t know enough about what is going on *during* the NDE to say one way or the other whether conscious experiences “should” be possible during these states.
I wish more empirical scientists were like Persinger. Materialists confirming psi experiments may be the quickest route to public acceptance.
On a ridiculous note, I had my first OBE lucid dream two nights ago. It was a very lucid dream, a dream that I was having an OBE. No vibrations or separation. I was not perfectly aware. I just remember being excited and saying, “wow I finally did it”, then jumping up and down on my bed and running through walls. I didn’t fly. I remember walking around the neighborhood (which looked nothing like my neighborhood) and then encountering some dogs who saw me and barked at me. I remember thinking “how can they see me even though I am out of body?”. It was a very fun time, despite its absurdity. I have not actually tried to go OOB for weeks, it just happened.
I highly recommend the interview.
Okay, this is getting to be absolutely ridiculous, I know. I just went into the deepest state yet using the hemisync tracks in my ipod. I not only experienced the vibrations but was able to manipulate them and track them up and down my body. I could make them come and go. Being the weekend , I could analyze it in detail for as long as I wanted. When I was ready to stop the session, I could not move my body for a brief time. I was in paralysis. The vibrations stopped the moment I begin to reintegrate control of my body from the paralysis. So I think it is possible that the vibrations are spurred by an environmental movement of some kind- my furnace kicking on or something, but this is not the source of it. It is a very subtle vibration, it actually feels soothing and it travels up and down the body (or should I say, the microseizures travel up and down my motor cortex or through the microscarring of my Sylvian fissure?). So I am at a loss as to why I can’t have the OBE. I am getting as close as one can get. I actually feel at times I can just lift out, but so far no dice. My visualizations are far more lucid than usual. I really am enjoying the hemisync tapes. Without them I am sure I would not reach this level of control. It actually is enjoyable being able t0 explore these states even without having the OBE, so I plan on keeping up with my experimentation. And yes, I still place a card face up on the side every time just in case.