Re: OBES are hallucinations
Jun 05, 1996 12:58 PM
by alexis dolgorukii
At 12:15 PM 6/5/96 -0400, you wrote:
>I want to comment on Daniel's posting:
>< I thought
>Alexis, Jerry S., JRC and others might be interested with the
>"attitude" displayed by Dr. Mueckler towards "psychic experiences."
>Far too many scientists have this attitude toward the psychic and
>this was part of what I was trying to convey to Alexis in one
>of my postings a month or two ago.
Glad to hear from you Don. As to Dr. Mueckler, I don't know his scientific
qualifications, but one thing bothers me about him as I mentioned in a
previous message. He is a disillusioned devotee! I have, in the course of my
own investigations into these matters long ago researched Eckankar and
dismissed it. What was he doing as a member? Why did he suddenly leave? Was
it personal or a sudden reassertion of his scientific knowledge. In his
case, considering his language and attitude (to which you refer) are we
dealing with scientific objections or a vendetta?
>I feel left out! <g> I think some of you know that I scientifically study the
>OBE/Astral projection/Lucid dream experience. I'd like to add my 2 cents worth
>and try to cool this unnecessary bickering back and forth between
Actually Don, the "bickering back and forth" amy not be entirely unnecessary
because both sides may learn from it. You know that Blavatsky's original
goals in the foundation of the theosophical movement was the reconciliation
of "science and religion".
>In a nutshell, Daniel has a bad attitude for ignoring the evidence that Dr.
>Mueckle discusses. The ideas Dr. Mueckle states ARE well established
>it is only by being uninformed that one is not aware of them.
My only problem with the "scientific facts" behind the statements of Dr.
Mueckler is based upon the fairly obvious perception that they are based
upon the a priori rejection of ANY AND ALL extra-physical or trans-physical
phenomena. If certain evidence is excluded a priori, then the "facts" no
matter how well established they may seem, are at least potentially
incomplete. Another problem with citing "scientific facts" which others may
point out to you is that they are "facts" right now, they may change at any
time. i.e. who quotes Euclid today? Scientific "facts' go in and out of
fashion almost as frequently as hemlines.
Now as far as Daniel is concerned, I am sure he's as well-informed on these
subjects as anyone (if not more so). Perhaps the fact of the matter is that
he doesn't agree. Unless I'm very wrong Daniel is quite well-qualified in
this field. He is hardly to be seen as an "unthinking occultist" if his past
messages are any criterion
>On the other hand Dr. Mueckle also has a bad attitude. His sarcastic attitude
>and his constant reference to "trivial explanations" for OBEs as a form of
>dreaming seem to me to indicate that he is quite unimaginative and does not
>appear to appreciate some of the subtleties involved. His sarcasm and
>are also in bad taste and do little by way of inducing intelligent
Regarding the above: As I said in my last message on this subject: "Hell
hath no fury like a disillusioned devotee".
>Nonetheless, within the scope of present knowledge Dr. Mueckle has the
>his side. The slant I have since taken is that the scientific and occult views
>can be reconciled only when scientists become deeper in their thinking and, for
>example, realize that dreams are by no means trivial experiences but imply vast
>subtlties about the nature of the brain. And on the other hand, occultists
>learn to be better informed as to the status of current knowlege. Many occult
>ideas were formulated in the late 1800s and many have since been simply
>be false. Our scientific understanding has mushroomed massivly since the days
>of HPB or CW Leadbeater and no amount of attachment ot outdated ideas can
>change the growth in knowledge that has occured in the past 100 years.
Most of what you say above is true from the scientific or materialistic
viewpoint. But to occultists (who are not all simply mystics) while the
brain is an immensely interesting thing, it is not the most interesting
thing. To metaphysicians it is the mind which is important. To most
non-devotee metaphysicians the proper analogy is that the brain is
equivalent to a CPU (a fantastically efficient CPU) while the mind is the
operator of the CPU. This is a perception of reality that is, I think, not
amenable to either scientific proof or disproof. At least not in our time.
Most basic occult ideas were originally formulated many centuries prior to
the 18th century, they were restated into more "modern" terminology in the
18th century. Most popular "occultism" is just silly fairy tales and was
never anything else. But there is a solid core of theory and precepts that
are not popular and are just as valid today as they were when originally
formulated. But as they deal with matters spiritual they are not, and never
will be totally amenable to "scientific proof" at least not in the current
state of scientists. Any investigation, of any subject, must be open and
unbiased. As long as m\so many of the scientists who decry metaphysics are
members of the Zetetic society and write articles for Skeptic Magazine, they
can hardly be viewed as any less biased than the most fervent occultist.
>So, if both sides could only make the effort to meet in the middle, perhaps we
>could get beyond this pettiness.
It seems to me that people holding two almost entirely dichotomous opinions
can only "meet in the middle" when and if neither side feels threatened. The
pettiness will disappear when the anger and fear does and not before.
>Thanks for considering my thoughts.
Your thoughts are very important. To some degree, they represent the
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