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The Case of the Blind Brain and Other Strange Tales posted 07 July 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Case of the Blind Brain and Other Strange Tales by TakLoufer, Candidate

I've never really expected answers to any of the above by the way. I've only been asking them in the hopes of pointing out another track of thought that anyone may wish to follow (though if they don't, thats no problem either). Besides, these are questions that can only really be answered by yourself and not by anyone else. For instance, even if I could put into words my own understanding of them, what would be the point? It would still be just my understanding and not someone elses. Theyd just be words that, whilst perhaps pleasing to the intellect for a while, are still just words and have little effect on anyone elses understanding at a deeper level. That kind of understanding can only come from realising/actualizing the truth for yourself.

I suppose we can do what Newton did with gravity. We may not be able to really define it (at least not from an ontological perspective) but we can label it. I suppose "The Infinite" is as good a name as any. Or "God," or "Braham" or whatever.

I plan on conducting my own investigations this summer. The easiest experiment I can conduct is to test for Electronic Voice Phenomena (or EVP). EVP is a phenomena where someone starts a tape recorder and starts asking questions into the mic. If all goes well, when one rewinds the tape and starts playing, they'll hear strange voices, either answering the questions or making some sort of comment. It supposedly works best in "haunted" places, such as old houses or graveyards.

Whilst I find such things interesting, I have to wonder at what you hope to get out of it. Even if such things as spirits exist (which I doubt, though never like to dismiss anything out of hand),[/quote:1pnjdmhd]

Well, I have doubts about their existence as well, but this is not so much due to a lack of evidence (there's plenty of that, though mostly anecdotal) as it is that I find the concept of the personality surviving bodily death as metaphysically extravagant. The personality is a finite structure that develops through life. It seems that reality would be more "cleaner" if the personality "defocuses" at death and dissolves back into the "it" from which is came. Sort of like a whirlpool breaking up and going back into the ocean. Not really the "extinction" of materialism, but more of a great merging.

"Survival," OTOH, just seems confusing. Why would a personality survive as a "ghost" or something? But, there is no reason why reality should correspond to what I think it should be, and I'm becoming aware that I have been purposely ignoring the evidence because of my prejudice. If I take the evidence at face value, it does collectively seem to support either the survival hypothesis or "super-psi" hypothesis (psi phenomena sub-consciously generated by the living that self-deceives them into believing they are in contact with deceased personalities).

what makes you think that they will have the answers?

Well, their very existence would answer a lot of questions. Of course, to really prove their validity, I'd have to rule out radio interference (if the EVPs are snippets of commercials or talk shows, I should be suspicious) effecting the tape and the Rorschach phenomena (I'll only accept the EVP as legitament if it is obstinate in nature and other people agree on the meaning).

Also, I'd have to rule out the super psi hypothesis, which means in order for the EVP to "really" be a ghost, the content should include information I was previously unaware of, or different people receive the same voice while I'm not present. Even if it turns out to be super-psi, that would be interesting in and of itself.

If the EVP passes all of these tests, I have the chance to (hopefully) find out things that I couldn't find out otherwise. I could ask the voices questions and such, and use their responses to create a hypothesis of post-mortem existence. The "ghosts" surely don't know everything, but they may know more than we do.

And even if they did, what use will they be to you? It goes back to what I was just saying above, that words from another will never really bring true understanding. I suppose it's a hard fact, but there are never really any easy answers (though we often love to think that somewhere there must be). It is really only through our own efforts can we ever really begin to actualise anything.

Well, if I can really conclude that I'm actually communicating with "dead" people, this would surely be a eye-opener for me. I wouldn't answer all of the questions, of course, but it will answer some.

It's funny you mention this subject now though, as I have just yesterday finished a book that gives a good example of this. It is about a English woman who even as a young girl had lots of questions about the nature of existence. She would always ask others her questions but none seemed to know the answers to them and thought she was bit weird for thinking such things. Her mother didn't mind though despite not having the answers, as she was a spiritual person. Infact she used to hold a seance once a week with friends. Anyway, one day where the kid got tired of the stupid questions they kept asking the spirits, such as how their relatives were doing, she decided to ask them some of her own. The first thing she asked was "Is there a God?". The spirits replied that they did not think there was some being out there, but more a force that was of good, love and perfection. She was a bit doubtful of this answer so asked another question: "How do we become perfect? How do we return to being like this force?" and their answer was that you just had to be good and kind. As she listened to this answer she thought "They don't know either!", so gave up ever trying to talk with them again.

Well, you'd think talking to dead people would answer at least some questions (namely, "do our personalities survive death?").

It wasn't until years later that the woman found a path worth walking that suited her, and at around the age of 20 found herself living 13000 feet up a mountain in a cave (not as bad as youd think as it had walls built around it and became more like a very small house). She spent most of her adult life in that cave (nearly 20 years) by herself in the search for the truth, and whilst she never really talks about her realisations (though does give talks all over the world on some parts that would help others in their own quest), she does admit that the time spent there was worthwhile.

I might do this, but only if I had access to the internet, and could receive all the books I want. <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) -->

Now I'm not trying to say you that anyone who wants to realise the truth needs to go live in a cave (or even spend that much time), as that was just one path that happened to be right for her. But the story does show what kind of effort is required if we ever hope to truely understand anything for ourselves.

I believe that to actually understand things, one must go out and find the truth. This finding may be sitting in a cave, meditating, whatever. IMO, parapsychology is a good place to look. Philosophy can only point one in the right direction.


P.S. - What was the title of the book? view post


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