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    Thread: philosophical comment about understanding dream phenomena

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      philosophical comment about understanding dream phenomena

      A few years ago I argued that the experiences we have in dreams and otherwise are strongly limited by the ideas that we have to describe such experiences. Since dreams are partially subjective, the exotic dreams we have would be quite a bit different if we had a richer set of ideas to work with. I felt limited by the available ideas, which are mostly a mash of 100 year old New Age ideas that didn't even make much sense 100 years ago. So I endeavored to correct the identifiable problems in those ideas, and replace them with better ones.

      Subsequently, I became more aware of another related problem, which is the extent to which any system of ideas tends to become a mental cage. If we come up with better ideas, we make the cage bigger and more flexible, but we also make it more difficult to break out of. At the outset, this may not seem like much of a problem. Maybe the word 'cage' is too pejorative, it is more like a mental house. But I've encountered so many people who seem unable or unwilling to venture outside of their 'house', it seems there must be more too it than that.

      People often go through remarkable logical contortions to try to justify or excuse any areas where their ideas frameworks appear to break down. Where is this coming from? If they really want their ideas to be Truth, why don't they seek out those failings and delight in finding them, so that they can make their ideas better, more true? Instead, people usually defend their chosen doctrines as if these are life rafts that will sink if they question them.

      I think there are multiple things going on here. One is that few if any people recognize the extent to which their thoughts define their experience of the world. We think we're dealing with reality, but are only dealing with a crude mental caricature of it. We're mostly too mentally weak to recognize that, we think our thoughts are reality because we we've lived our whole lives within those walls and can only barely move them. Moreover, recognizing the illusory nature of our mental homes is legitimately something to fear. There are many places we could go instead, and places we are tempted to go, which are self destructive. So we try to shore up what works. And for philosophical types there may be ego involved, or even a kind of power lust. People don't want to give up the appearance of wisdom by admitting they've been wildly wrong their whole lives.

      Besides all that, which I've commented on before, there's another part of this which I didn't recognize as clearly. This is the extent to which our systems of thought are unavoidably distorted by our feelings and desires. Of course I saw these kinds of distortions, but I used to think the problem could be resolved by more analysis and more objective honesty. Now I think there's a limit to that, and beyond a certain point there is no short term fix. We' are who we are, and this does not change enough within the span of a single human life for us to be able to balance our perspectives.

      Suppose by some miracle one of us did actually recognize how the world really works, in a deep enough way that we can really understand things like telepathy and precognition, at least in general terms. What I'm saying is we'd subtly distort that perspective into something that serves our appetites in a gratifying but destructive way. We wouldn't be able to help ourselves. Just look at every 'ism' in the world. Every one contains some substantial element of truth, but also leaves something out which biases perceptions towards some preferred outcome. And if you discover and highlight the flaw, you usually find that it is intentional, by the dishonest way in which people defend it. If we could create a perfect, true 'ism', I don't think it would be any different. People would twist it according to their natures. In that sense, gaining deeper understanding is like gaining access to more potent drugs.

      My point isn't that no progress is possible, that we should just give up. My point is that there's a reason we haven't acheived more. And understanding that helps show the kinds of things that help and the kinds of things that don't. In short, anything that helps build deep emotional, mental, and moral strength helps, and anything that undermines that health for the sake of new ideas or exotic experiences doesn't help. Thinking and exploring is good, but there's no benefit to going through contortions to reach further. That's an argument I've made before, but I hope I've explained it a little better this time.

      So to summarize what I think I know, in the context of beyond dreaming:

      1. Empathy is real, it is possible to actually mentally touch another person, to actually experience something of being in their shoes.
      2. Precognition is real, somehow we're not totally trapped within the flow of time, part of ourselves extends outside of it.
      3. These two things are closely related.
      4. Neither can at all be accounted for by current scientific theory.
      5. And yet, it is possible, under certain conditions, to objectively verify that these things are real.
      6. We can't solve the mystery, not yet. But we can keep working on it.
      7. There's freedom and hope just in knowing that more is possible than what we know now.

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      6. We can't solve the mystery, not yet. But we can keep working on it.
      What if it's just that we dont want to solve the mystery? We might work on it inorder to keep it intact and engageing as a mystery that we imagine will be solved in a distant future.
      The reason I bring this up, is because if we are say that the mystery cant be solved just yet. Then we hint that we know what the mystery actually is. When a mystery should be more or less a clueless thing, hence the mystery.

      Anyhow, I think you bring up alot of valid and toughtful points. The raft and 'ism' examples was spot on.
      You are not your thoughts...

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      5. And yet, it is possible, under certain conditions, to objectively verify that these things are real.
      Is it really? What are these conditions? How do we verify that these phenomena are possible, objectively?

      BTW, really interesting post you have here!
      "In order to see the bottom of things one must clear the persistant waves of thinking in the surface of the mirror of consciousness" - Evgeny Viktorov (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLpElFCsS4M)

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      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      2. Precognition is real, somehow we're not totally trapped within the flow of time, part of ourselves extends outside of it.
      3. These two things are closely related.
      4. Neither can at all be accounted for by current scientific theory.
      5. And yet, it is possible, under certain conditions, to objectively verify that these things are real.
      I like your post, but these that I've quoted I have a problem with.

      2. Even if we aren't totally trapped within the bounds of time, why does that mean we should be able to bring back information regarding the future and communicate that to ourselves? Similarly, why would this work with going to the past either?
      3. Why are empathy and precognition related? Even if we assume precognition is a real phenomenon, how on earth have you come to the conclusion that they're related to one another?
      4. Empathy is pretty well accounted for with mirror neurons and evolutionary psychology. Are those exact answers? No, but it isn't fair to say science has no idea how empathy is happening. That's either a deliberate lie or you need to do some research on this.
      5. How do you know it's possible to objectively verify precognition is a real phenomenon if we haven't been able to yet?

      I'm fine with entertaining the idea of a lot of these things, I think it's necessary and fun to do. What I don't think we should do is just assert things and not even attempt to conceive of a way that we can verify or attempt to verify the claims or connections we make between things. You've got to at least have a loose idea of why something is the way it is (like empathy and precognition being closely related, for example).

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      Quote Originally Posted by snoop View Post
      2. Even if we aren't totally trapped within the bounds of time, why does that mean we should be able to bring back information regarding the future and communicate that to ourselves? Similarly, why would this work with going to the past either?
      Hi Snoop. I didn't suggest that 'not being totally trapped within the bounds of time' implies that precognition is possible. The implication goes the other way. I started with a very large number of personal precognitive experiences, and tried my best to understand how this is possible, with notably limited success.

      Quote Originally Posted by snoop View Post
      3. Why are empathy and precognition related? Even if we assume precognition is a real phenomenon, how on earth have you come to the conclusion that they're related to one another?
      Precognition, in my experience, requires a shift in identity similar to what is practiced in jnana yoga. For me, this shift is relational. I temporarily become something that is like a hybrid of myself and another individual or group of people, and from that standpoint precognition happens easily. For the most part I've always been asleep while doing that, but it wouldn't necessarily work that way for other people.

      Quote Originally Posted by snoop View Post
      4. Empathy is pretty well accounted for with mirror neurons and evolutionary psychology. Are those exact answers? No, but it isn't fair to say science has no idea how empathy is happening. That's either a deliberate lie or you need to do some research on this.
      You left out what I suggested I meant by empathy being real, though admittedly I didn't flesh it out very well. I said "it is possible to actually mentally touch another person, to actually experience something of being in their shoes". I don't mean a mental and emotional simulation, I mean reaching across the air gap and actually being the other person a little bit, and getting information that way that can't plausibly be inferred through other means. No, science has no idea how something like that works.

      I'd call it telepathy instead of empathy, but most people already have some idea about what telepathy would be like, which is quite a bit more like sending a mental signal or message, as if holding a flashcard up. Then they start suggesting ways to test for it which don't make sense for the kind of thing I'm talking about, which happens at a much more heartfelt and intuitive level.

      When lying or ignorance appear to be two possible explanations for a statement, misunderstanding what the person meant is often another possibility, no?

      Quote Originally Posted by snoop View Post
      5. How do you know it's possible to objectively verify precognition is a real phenomenon if we haven't been able to yet?
      I've written extensively elsewhere about why it is difficult to verify in a controlled lab experiment. There are a lot of real phenomena that we individually have objective knowledge of which didn't come to us in a peer reviewed manner though, and which aren't necessarily known and accepted by all other people.

      I say its possible because I've verified it for myself, have known other people who have verified it for themselves, and I think I have at least a halfway decent understanding of what the difficulties would be using a clinical trial type methodology.

      Quote Originally Posted by snoop View Post
      I'm fine with entertaining the idea of a lot of these things, I think it's necessary and fun to do. What I don't think we should do is just assert things and not even attempt to conceive of a way that we can verify or attempt to verify the claims or connections we make between things. You've got to at least have a loose idea of why something is the way it is (like empathy and precognition being closely related, for example).
      You'll note I have well over a thousand posts, most of them on the subject of empathy/telepathy/precognition. I guess its safe to assume you haven't read a large portion of them. So I don't think you're in a very good position to judge what I've done, attempted to do, or should do.

      In fairness to you, what I've said in my last couple of posts isn't even remotely adequate for another person to understand what I'm talking about. But I don't have time to try to flesh all that out again, I have jobs and three kids to deal with. I'm shirking other responsibilities just to get this reply in. There are also relevant facts that I won't post, because they're personal, and involve other people.

      I don't expect you to take me at my word for anything, it would be unreasonable for you to do that. My comments were aimed more at others who already know a lot of what I'm talking about.

      Here are the general requirements that I know of for having an empathetic/telepathetic/precognitive experience, as I've experienced it:

      1. There needs to be a significant intersection in two people's aims or motives, and it helps a lot if it something at least one of them cares about a lot, such as a sincere and serious life question.
      2. There needs to be something the other person is or knows which helps resolve this desire or concern, such as by providing a different perspective which is possible through the experience.
      3. The precognition is almost incidental, it tends to just happen in this context, to one or both people, as a side effect of that other connection.
      4. It helps a lot if at least one of the people is predisposed to this sort of thing. But if '1' and '2' are strong enough, I guess it can happen with almost anyone.
      5. ????

      There's an element to this that isn't totally voluntary and controllable, which is part of what makes it hard to study. I don't think it should just be forced. The subject that is the grounds for the sharing, and the results of the experience, may be more important than satisfying our curiosity about weird phenomena.

      I've had few of these kinds of experiences in the last four years or so. I had hundreds of precognitive experiences in the four or so years before that. I don't know if I've lost the knack for it, or if I'm just not sufficiently interested any more. It hasn't gone away completely though.

      To a significant extent the "requirements" I've described are specific to my personality, though I think they reflect underlying principles that are true in general. I'm probably open to trying this with you, if you want to try to validate it that way, rather than wading through 100 pages of explanations. I've had mixed results with that though. It has worked a few times, but failed a few times also. Usually when it works it has been more spontaneous, with friends, relatives, and coworkers.

      I really have almost no more time for discussion, even though I wish I did. So if things I'm saying are jumping out to you as probable BS, I suggest you should just regard them as probable BS and leave it at that. Certainly the vast bulk of what sees encounters on the internet about paranormal phenomena is BS, I guess you and I would agree about that. If there are specific points you're especially and sincerely interested in and would like clarification on, or want to discuss further, you're welcome to ask though.

      Regards.
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      Thanks for the serious reply and not getting all bent out of shape over my admittedly somewhat harsh criticism.

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      1)You left out what I suggested I meant by empathy being real, though admittedly I didn't flesh it out very well. I said "it is possible to actually mentally touch another person, to actually experience something of being in their shoes". I don't mean a mental and emotional simulation, I mean reaching across the air gap and actually being the other person a little bit, and getting information that way that can't plausibly be inferred through other means. No, science has no idea how something like that works.

      When lying or ignorance appear to be two possible explanations for a statement, misunderstanding what the person meant is often another possibility, no?

      2)I've written extensively elsewhere about why it is difficult to verify in a controlled lab experiment. There are a lot of real phenomena that we individually have objective knowledge of which didn't come to us in a peer reviewed manner though, and which aren't necessarily known and accepted by all other people.

      I say its possible because I've verified it for myself, have known other people who have verified it for themselves, and I think I have at least a halfway decent understanding of what the difficulties would be using a clinical trial type methodology.

      3)You'll note I have well over a thousand posts, most of them on the subject of empathy/telepathy/precognition. I guess its safe to assume you haven't read a large portion of them.

      4)In fairness to you, what I've said in my last couple of posts isn't even remotely adequate for another person to understand what I'm talking about. But I don't have time to try to flesh all that out again, I have jobs and three kids to deal with.
      1) Yeah, I misunderstood what you meant by empathy. I thought for a second you might have meant that since we're in beyond dreaming, but your inclusion of the phrase "to actually experience something of being in their shoes" had me erring on the side of caution, so I assumed you were just using it as an expression instead of literally.

      In that case, though, it brings up an even larger issue of how we could objectively verify something like that. I don't think there is any issue in objectively verifying that you may experience being in their shoes, like you're literally them for a moment, but your experience is subjective and does not provide any evidence in support of the phenomenon you're purportedly experiencing in the literal sense (that it's happening as you believe it to be).

      2) I think there might be an issue here with the way you're using the term/phrase "objective knowledge". By that I mean we're talking about two different things when we say objectively verified/having objective knowledge of something. You can say that you objectively know something, but that's only objective when we're specifically talking about your believing in something or the knowledge you have. It doesn't mean what you believe or have knowledge of has been objectively verified and confirmed to be real and as you experience it as phenomena.

      If I'm misunderstanding you here, I apologize, it's hard for me to tell what exactly you mean when you're saying you have objective knowledge of these things and that they're true when it can't be verified in an experiment in a controlled setting and then reproduced when the experiment is performed by other scientists. If human error can't be methodically accounted for with the procedures we've come up with through countless experiences that have proven these procedures to be the most effective at accounting for it, then on what basis is this knowledge objective?

      3) You're correct. Sorry, I've probably read a few but right now the forum isn't showing anybody's avatars lately for me and most of the time I don't pay attention strictly to names. I also only post in BD on occasion.

      4) Thanks for understanding my position regarding my criticisms of your post. I don't have any background knowledge on what your ideas on any of this stuff is, all I had to go by was what you said in your opening post. I understand you've got time constraints. I don't have any children of my own or anything but I can empathize with trying to deal with work, and my best friend and his wife's child is now a year old and they've typically got no real time to do anything either, so I get it. I don't need you to write out everything, maybe I can look up some of your threads by checking out your profile or something. Until then, please continue knowing I've only really got this thread to go by.
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      Quote Originally Posted by DreamyBear View Post
      What if it's just that we dont want to solve the mystery? We might work on it inorder to keep it intact and engageing as a mystery that we imagine will be solved in a distant future.
      The reason I bring this up, is because if we are say that the mystery cant be solved just yet. Then we hint that we know what the mystery actually is. When a mystery should be more or less a clueless thing, hence the mystery.

      Anyhow, I think you bring up alot of valid and toughtful points. The raft and 'ism' examples was spot on.
      I've never been a big fan of maintaining mysteries. So often when people want something to be mysterious it is because they're trying to obscure some fact about it and make it seem like it is something it is not. Truths typically get more beautiful as we understand them more deeply, not less. But it is also true that explaining things can diminish them if the explanations are inadequate, and explanation is often an inappropriate attempt at control. So I think you make a good point.
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      Snoop,

      I've been calling it objective knowledge if there are physical facts supporting a claim which logically have no other explanation. Those facts don't necessarily have to be accessible by all observers however. For example, suppose I get some really clear pictures of an animal that has been observed repeatedly for years by locals, but which scientific authorities have never captured and dissected. The existence of the animal is for me an objective fact, even though I can't necessarily make objective claims about its uniqueness or other characteristics. To a skeptic who thinks I faked the pictures, it is not objective knowledge, because they lack my knowledge that I did not fake the pictures. There isn't a perfectly clear line here though, there is usually at least a tiny bit of subjectivity.

      If I have premonitions, and if I make dated notes of them in writing, and show other people shortly before the events happen, and there is no other information I can extrapolate from to predict those events, then I call that objective evidence. Awareness of and care about various statistical fallacies applies here of course. I've had a fair amount of this kind of evidence, mixed in with a larger body of more subjective evidence. But even if separated out and repeated in a reasonably controlled manner it doesn't meet a scientific standard, because there is no practical way to defend against charges of fraud. There's is also typically some subjective element to the meaning of the premonition that can't be totally eliminated, though that can be minimized to the point where no honest observer would dismiss the evidence on that basis.

      Most premonitions I would call subjective, because it isn't possible or convenient to validate them that way, but these still constitute a kind of personal evidence, especially if supported by similar more objective examples. Feelings are subjective and prone to error, but can be informative nevertheless.

      There's another kind of knowledge which I trust even more than objective knowledge, and that's when I totally understand something to the last detail. This doesn't depend on physical evidence. The only examples I know are mathematical. For example, I know that the value of the constant e does not depend on physics, and can't be altered by God or anything. I don't understand very many things that we'll though, and I think a lot of people don't understand anything cleanly enough to understand what I'm talking about here. This knowledge doesn't depend on any external standard, it is completely solid within a sufficient self-contained system. Most questions are messy enough that this kind of knowledge can't be clearly established. But things you know in that manner can still influence what you believe, even if you can't know that you know, and can't be sure that you're not confusing the implications.

      LeaoLouro, thanks for your question, I hope I answered it a little bit in my other posts.
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      A quick qualification about 'knowing' things by 'understanding' them....If you think you understand something that well, but you're wrong, and merely imagining that you do, then you're screwed. I guess this is obvious enough to most scientific types, but is often a pitfall for mystics. In raja yoga for instance, many things become 'known' by meditating on them, and much of what is known that way is wrong. Presumed knowledge based on sensate evidence involves a similar kind of difficulty though. There can be false unexamined assumptions in either case. And agreement from a lot of other experts often isn't a guard against that.
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      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      I've been calling it objective knowledge if there are physical facts supporting a claim which logically have no other explanation. Those facts don't necessarily have to be accessible by all observers however. For example, suppose I get some really clear pictures of an animal that has been observed repeatedly for years by locals, but which scientific authorities have never captured and dissected. The existence of the animal is for me an objective fact, even though I can't necessarily make objective claims about its uniqueness or other characteristics. To a skeptic who thinks I faked the pictures, it is not objective knowledge, because they lack my knowledge that I did not fake the pictures. There isn't a perfectly clear line here though, there is usually at least a tiny bit of subjectivity.
      I get what you mean now. I still have to ask though, how objective can an experience (since that's what we're talking about specifically) be? At least in the case of the animal like Big Foot example you gave, you have photographic evidence that proves it wasn't all in your head, even if it's subject to questioning about its legitimacy. In that case, despite not having any good real proof of that animals existence, at the very least taking the picture allows you to verify with another person that they're seeing the same thing you believe you saw. I think you already realize this based on your following statement about making dated predictions and the second post you made after your initial response to me. In that case, I have a few questions about that.

      You mentioned making dated notes... since I haven't seen any of your previous posts, what exactly do your premonitions entail and how detailed are your experiences of precognizance? How accurate are the predictions you make? How off are the details, even when it comes to minor details not relating directly to the um... larger details? When I say this, I mean the essence of your prediction may be accurate, but since you're having a full blown perceptual experience (I'm assuming, since most people talk about precognitive dreams on BD in particular--sorry if I'm wrong to assume that), how off/accurate are the details that aren't significantly relevant to the essence of that prediction? If they aren't sufficiently accurate, I can't help but wonder how precognitive these dreams/experiences you have actually are.

      Usually the run-of-the-mill "precognitive" dreams on DV take place weeks, months, or even years before what they predict. On top of that, the details are usually so non-specific that people's confirmation bias is accounting for the alleged precognitive experience. Their dreams seem to have very little to do with what winds up actually happening for the most part, and given enough time (as with the cases that take weeks, months, or years), naturally the chance of the dream "predicting" something goes way up as a result of random chance.

      Sorry to be grilling you about all of this. I can't help but be very skeptical. I'm this skeptical when it comes to my own altered state experiences and perceptions in general. You sound really self-aware and cognizant of the fallibility of our senses and perceptual experiences and the mind's proclivity for biases that mislead/misinform people about reality. I feel a lot more confident about your credibility in evaluating your personal experiences, but I still require a lot more to find myself convinced. I won't say I haven't had my own experiences with what felt/seemed like precognizance and other phenomena you read about on BD. I used to use a lot of hallucinogens back when I was in a bad way and have had a full range of sensations and experiences relating to all these phenomena. Over time, my familiarity with altered states of consciousness has grown, and by studying a lot about the brain and consciousness, I feel I've gained a stable understanding of what's going in in the brain that causes these sensations/perceptions. I'll admit it's difficult for me to not analyze people's experiences within the framework of that understanding, so it's quite possible I've picked up some rather dogmatic ideas about consciousness and sensory perception.

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      Hi Snoop.

      Almost all of the dreams I've had that I regard as precognitive happened within 12 hours prior to the corresponding event. And I was having perhaps a couple of those a week from about 2010 through 2013, so its a pretty big sample. The dream has a felt aspect to it that's different from other dreams. Most of these were trivial, for instance I dream of balloons then I get up and turn on the TV and see balloons. Or I dream of using a hair dryer under water, then later in the day I see a cartoon, not previously visible, of a dolphin using a hair dryer. Some were of more significant events, for example I dream of a train derailment, and a train derailment occurs in my sister's town the same morning. The vision doesn't exactly match though, its less like seeing something and more like an image created from a very detailed feeling. For example my dream train derailment involved boxcars, following an impression I had of shipping containers that I saw on a TV show the previous night. The real train was passenger cars. On this train derailment example, my first theory was that someone else saw shipping containers on TV the night before, and the impression that made on them led to the train derailment. In other words, no precognition going on, just people reacting in similar ways to prior stimuli. But this theory became increasingly implausible as I had other experiences.

      I don't think hallucinogens are generally very helpful for this sort of thing. Its like if you take a very noisy signal, filter out noise, then amplify the pattern that's left. If there's too much noise, you get some kind of pattern, but it doesn't mean anything. Or to use a similar analogy, if you try to use the zoom capability of your cell phone camera to see detail very far away, you can zoom in until the image of what you're trying to see fills the screen, but you can't really get good information that way. It is the lens of the camera that mostly determines what you can see, not the level of zoom, and no amount of zooming will turn your camera into a telescope. I think hallucinogens are like that. If you succeed in getting a transcendent experience that way, its mostly amplifying something you were latently capable of anyway, without expanding or deepening that potential. Hence the low quality of many premonitions described online, by hallucinogen users and others. People often cultivate these experiences because the feeling is compelling, but the content is dominated by noise. Its not all noise, but there usually isn't enough signal to show that very clearly.

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      Shadowofwind:

      First: nice to see you posting again; I for one have missed your kind of thoughtfulness! Anyway:

      I wasn't going to post here because, aside from a couple of nitpicks,* I've come to agree with the overall direction of your OP, if I understand it correctly; so anything I add would be superficial at best. But:

      In the context of Beyond Dreaming, the notion that we have a tendency to quickly define our experience according to our beliefs/fantasies/expectations/naive interpretations/how we think we're supposed to define it/etc rather than by carefully examining our experience as it unfolds is one well worth discussing... quite a bit of damage happens to our "Beyond Dreaming" experiences after we rush to attach meaning and definition to them, and it would be nice if more of the folks who have these special moments also had something to think about afterword that ranges beyond their own perceptions/judgments or what others told them their experience must be.... I wish there were some way to drag more people into such a chat.

      As long as I'm here:

      1. Empathy is real, it is possible to actually mentally touch another person, to actually experience something of being in their shoes.
      Agreed. Indeed, I'm beginning to wonder, based on my experience, if we are not somehow always in mental touch with other people -- possibly all other people, all at once -- and the real trick (or perhaps miracle) lies both in navigating that connection, and recognizing when someone else is seeking our attention.

      2. Precognition is real, somehow we're not totally trapped within the flow of time, part of ourselves extends outside of it.
      This I can't agree with, because I'm still not sure there even is a flow of time, but only our perception and labeling of its "passage" after events or change have happened. Seeing events in the future, therefore, would mean being able to correctly pick among all the infinite events or changes that haven't happened or been labeled yet, and that seems a bit problematic to me.

      3. These two things are closely related.
      They would be, I think; especially if you are calling precognition more a sense of knowing what other individuals are planning or perceiving than an actual "vision" of future events, since this too would come from your experience in #1's sea of thoughts.

      4. Neither can at all be accounted for by current scientific theory.
      Agreed; though I do hope science comes around to quantifying this stuff someday, as practical applications from such knowledge would be amazing.

      5. And yet, it is possible, under certain conditions, to objectively verify that these things are real.
      Based on your conversation with Snoop, I wonder if you're using "objectively" a little loosely here, since your observations seem to require a bit of subjective interpretations and allowances (i.e., the train derailment example).

      6. We can't solve the mystery, not yet. But we can keep working on it.
      Absolutely. We can even keep working with the mystery, even after its existence has transformed into application (i.e., shared dreaming), without ever needing to solve it.

      7. There's freedom and hope just in knowing that more is possible than what we know now.
      And there, my friend, is a lesson for life!



      * (i.e., as you likely remember, I think you underestimate both the mental/spiritual wherewithal necessary to "recognize how the world really works" and that the acquisition of such wisdom may change its keeper's in ways that transcend his perhaps naturally innate petty, potentially destructive desires, so that he might be able to continue to perceive his wisdom in the light of Truth, rather than in the light of his corporeal needs.. of course, none of that matters, because such a person will very likely not share his wisdom, because others haven't gained the ability to perceive it as he does -- so their attainment of his knowledge would be either meaningless or dangerous. Additionally, I still have a problem with precognition, because I do not believe that, since the future hasn't happened yet, there is no way to move forward into the correct possible future -- though even here I vaguely remember that when you speak of clairvoyance, you are actually speaking of having knowledge of others' intentions or perceptions, which is indeed something else altogether)

    13. #13
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      Sageous,

      Hi nice to talk to you again.

      Words like precognition or phrases like 'flow of time' definitely imply things that I don't mean. Besides the ambiguity between what I'm causing, what I'm witnessing another mind cause, and what is caused by something akin to physical inertia, I don't think any of those is really the right way of looking at it. Definitely some kind of non-locality is involved, as with the empathy, but I know I don't understand it. The tree of possibilities gets pruned somehow, but I don't understand it. I seem to experience it at the edge of my mental vision, things being channeled in a narrow direction that's not just a matter of cause and effect or blind chance, but so far I can't make sense of it.

      Ideas and experiences are definitely transformative. But I also know what aggression and power lust is, that these are problematic in the context of the empathy we're talking about, and that I don't have the full answer yet. If I did have the answer, that would be the next step for me. So if the answer can come through the transformative power of transcendent experience, then bring on the appropriate transcendent experience.
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      adquhoirawuiolvm wmai, my previous screenname was Dthoughts in case anyone remembers. We have conversed.

      You would think that empathy in the form that you talk about would lessen the problem of agression and blind lust. Since you can become aware of the problems it cause in other people.

      I wonder what you are alluding to in ur last post as to cause and effect but it does make sense to me that empathy in a way eradicates chance as it starts to pertain to the deepest needs and desires of the whole. If we actually connect to each other and base our choices on the needs (which is in some way a mysterious constant which we do not know the source of) it would narrow the range of possibilities quite signifanctly i would say.

      I like the idea that empathy serves the purpose for connecting what would otherwise be completely different perceptions. In some people who really need it to cultivate a deeper sense of companionship it would help in navigating the huge array of different/bordering on alien perceptions.

      One example; A few years ago I dreamt of burned down twin towers and walked in America. Visiting american houses where my friend seemed to live. Now, I don't watch TV or read any news. Turned out that day was actually 9/11.

      Why do I dream? Because I think it's a significant historic day in the lives of many people and therefore humanities 'quest'. It in a way helps me relate to a lot of people who I otherwise have no relationship to.

      So I like the idea that telepathy or empathy helps to bring people together. Most people don't notice it happens under their feet and are content with reacting to the stimula alone. But I see it in me or others that it *can serve as an extra stimula to base the most appropiate reponse on. And I can foresee it happening a lot results in narrowing into better understanding and better choices. As it touches on the deepest level of compassion possible

      Hope I don't derail this thread in any way of sorts. If so, I apologize
      Last edited by Threeofeight; 05-05-2017 at 12:51 PM.

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      Threeofeight:

      Nice to talk to you again. I think that's not a derailment at all. Could always start a new thread though.

      A problem with empathy is it makes conflict more painful without directly removing the source of conflict. Take the Israeli/Palestinian conflict for example. It hasn't resolved because they want mutually exclusive things, and more feeling and understanding doesn't remove the contradiction. Empathy may be motivation for making hard changes to resolve it, but it doesn't in itself resolve it. Or, as another example. If you give a cat more empathy, you amplify its cruelty, or else create more internal conflict. So I'm not saying that empathy isn't a part of the solution, just that by itself it doesn't allow us to safely navigate the waves of collective karma and desires.

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      Thanks for the words. It's funny how valuable some of these conversations on Dv are to me.

      Nywayz.

      I'm pretty sure I get what you are saying here. But starting with ur example of a cat. I think it too like palestinans experience empathy as it kills a mouse. It probably experiences more empathy as it hasn't shut off that faculty of emotion inside itself. There's no way for me to know but I think it feels justified to play with another life or else it wouldn't do it. It's mostly wilder cats that do it. And it does so regardless of the temporary suffering it knows it cause. I think trained cats are groomed out of the generationlong habit by an imparting of human will somehow.

      I think in the case of palestinian conflict the empathy is shut off and most likely our empathy is still shut off due to the conflicts that happened in europe. Unlike a cat/mouse game the conflict in war is much more excruciating in terms of suffering. Where it not for the mind's ability to overcome the empathy side. I think it is beliefs and justification for action that takes the overhand. If the empathy where to suddenly kick in I think the viewer inside consciously experiences the suffering it causes it will become harder and harder to continue the actions. Unless it has certain sadomachosistic properties and enjoys suffering it's more likely to continue but then it's not necessarily evil because there is no internal conflict. It's just an abstract form of play.
      When one is overcome by pain there is a tendency to project the pain but in most cases there is an ignorance to it doing so. I think this plays a role in conflicts as well. I think sexual predators who prey on young children are the most extreme example of this projecting of pain. A little help in understanding suddenly breaks open the floods for guilt emotion to actually surface.

      edit: This is a topic that seems to surface in the collective consciousness for a while now
      Last edited by Threeofeight; 05-05-2017 at 06:48 PM.

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      Threeofeight:

      I think that cats are both empathetic and sadistic. They understand that they are causing suffering and enjoy it. The empathy is distorted, and weaker than in some other animals, but it is there.

      As I understand people, the primary limiting factor on empathy is they selectively turn it off on purpose. Lack of empathy is more a symptom of human depravity than a cause of it. Appealing to people to be empathetic is good, but it is largely an appeal to a kind of honesty. It is true that people often lack empathy because of ignorance or emotional blindness, but there are reasons people are this way.

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      There's too much material in this thread to dive in comprehensively at this point... it could take a book to respond to all of it and odds are no one will ever see this post anyway, but I do think that there is one assertion here that is worthy of a comment, and might be useful to some. That assertion is this: "I don't think hallucinogens are generally very helpful for this sort of thing... you get some kind of pattern, but it doesn't mean anything... you can't really get good information that way... it is the lens of the camera that mostly determines what you can see... its mostly amplifying something you were latently capable of anyway, without expanding or deepening that potential.... the content is dominated by noise." With all due respect and with an intent to be constructive... my perspective is that this assertion imposes a little too much general bias. In "general" I do not endorse the use of chemical catalysts because (for most people) they seem to distract from useful experience... more than to help it, but my experience has also revealed that there are exceptions to this rule which should be recognized. Tribal Shamans have used this sort of mechanism for hundreds if not thousands of years for purposes well beyond recreational. I agree that this sort of approach does not add any ability that is not already latently present, but this negation under-recognizes the degree of barrier that mental activity (even in the face of disciplined meditation) can pose in achieving a pure contact with the "source". I also agree that the biggest negative about using chemical methods (other than legal or health risks) is the high likelihood that the chemical will become the source of a false experience that could be misleading and counterproductive. HOWEVER, for a person that is ready.... who is approaching it in the right way... and using the right chemical... (a surprisingly mild chemical can work in some circumstances), it can happen, that the action of the chemical is limited to neutralizing a particular type of noise which is acting as a defeating barrier, thereby 'facilitating/permitting' an open passageway for the natural link to occur between the ready soul and the source. My use of the word 'soul' reveals a primary difference (that I have observed) between a false experience and a more true 'transcendental' experience, which is... the former is limited to mind, emotion, & body, whereas the latter is consciously & recognizably at the "full being" level. It's difficult to describe, but the closest words I can find... are to describe it as a 'full being resonation', which I believe IS what was meant by ancient prophets describing a 'spiritual baptism'... when one has experienced it, they know what I am describing. It could take a considerable discussion to attempt conveying all of the 'proofs' that have been witnessed (and it would still probably be rejected by many who have not already had that experience), but suffice it so say that, in those cases, it is unmistakably self-evident that the chemical is not the SOURCE of the experience, but is truly nothing more than a facilitation of a latent ability's overcoming of a limiting obstacle, which a person might not have otherwise figured out how to get past. I will say that one of the most compelling proofs is that the residual effect can last well beyond the active period of the chemical, and, in fact, can be permanent to the point of being life altering. I would still discourage most from this direction, at least until a person is convinced that they are truly ready, with a maturity & discipline to approach it cautiously & respectfully, but I would not give the impression that it could never be a useful approach under any circumstances. Conventional wisdom has a poor record in accurately identifying the mechanics & principles that govern spiritual energy phenomena.
      Last edited by Transponder; 01-12-2018 at 07:18 PM.

    19. #19
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      I think I'd argue some of that differently now, but my position is still the same. I don't doubt the authenticity of the experience, but I do question the value and the wisdom of gaining it that way. The fact that Shamans have been doing it for ages doesn't add credibility for me. Spiritual leaders of some tribes practiced human sacrifice for ages also, but I'm not a fan of ritual murder either. I'm not saying that's equivalent to drug use, just using it as an example of something that spiritual people have done for a long time which a person can have legitimate disagreements with.

      I think the 'full being resonation' comes in different flavors for different people, with varying degrees of awareness of different aspects of that. There are elements to it that are the same for everyone, but its personal, and one person's experience doesn't fully capture all elements of someone else's. And I think that what you get depends on who you are, which also has to do with who you are as a 'full being', which has bearing on what you're willing to do to get the experience. If the time is ripe, I don't think that chemical conditions are much of a barrier to the 'full being', which is incredibly powerful. I don't think that being is necessarily flawless though, and don't think that every experience it shares with its component human is necessarily the right thing at the right time.

      Incidentally, I feel personal guilt in relation to historic religious human sacrifice, which is peculiar because I feel that way about almost nothing else. I think I understand why they did it, and it does do something, but its still wrong. Maybe in some insane sense I'm trying to atone for that now by making these arguments.
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      Lots of valuable insights here...I'll touch on one aspect and see where things flow:

      For me, a common thread of "truth" as I delved deeper, explored deeper has been this: one can only ever learn what they already know.

      Immediately, many will think this untrue and easily proven false via counterexample. failing completely to see the inductive argument for its veracity.

      But I'm hoping the more meaningful implications, as they relate to this conversation as a whole, are what ring out to those others who already--to use a fun word--know.

      No matter the outcome, I'm hoping the points made in the OP will be tested, or at least further illustrated, by responses to this comment regardless.

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