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Re: OBEs are hallucinations

Jun 06, 1996 05:13 PM
by alexis dolgorukii

At 05:57 PM 6/5/96 -0400, you wrote:

Don: I've run out of time, I have things I need to do (like walk the wolf),
I've saved your message on OBEs to disk and I'll print it out and give it
the careful consideration it deserves then respond. No more "shooting from
the hip" for me.


>Thank you for the comments to my thoughts.  Let me respond in turn.  Let's
><Your thoughts are very important. To some degree, they represent the
>majority opinion.>
>At a superficial level this is indeed true.  As you probe deeper into my
>understanding though, I don't know if such a statement can apply.
>I don't know anything about  Dr. Mueckler and only heard of him in Daniel's
>post, so I cannot say anything at all about what drives or motivates him.
><. 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. >
>This statement is observant and accurate to a degree, however, it is
>Science has a cummullative nature about it.  Most mathematicians today continue
>to quote Euclid because many of Euclid's ideas forn the corner stone of math.
>NonEuclidean geometry (which Einstein used to forumlate Relativity theory) is
>not a refutation of Euclid - it is an extension of Euclid and would not exist
>without Euclid's contributions.
>This is generally true of all science.  I am a chemist.  I do not quote 18th
>century chemist like Lavosier or Dalton, but everything I do in my lab implies
>what these people discovered two centuries ago.  What I do in my lab would be
>impossible without their contributions.
>So, the nuts and bolts of science are not really fashion at all, nor are they
>arbitrary.  They are techniques and viewpoints that serve as foundations to
>build upon.
><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. >
>Part of this attitude amongst scientists reflects the historical roots of
>science: science grew as a counter-cultural movement to the unthinking dogma of
>the Medieval Church.  And, like a brash teenager trying to proove his own,
>science rejected its connection to spirutal truths.  Although, this is not true
>in general.  Many great scientists, including Newton, Einstein, and many others
>were imminently spiritual men, and saw science in a spritual light.
>Another part of this attitude has to do with finding the least complicated
>explanation. Science is driven by Ocam's razor, which is to find the simplest
>explanation for a phenomena.  When  this fails, more complicated explanations
>are then invoked.  Necessity drives this process, not fancy or speculation.
>history of science is replete with such examples.
>Thus, to attribute OBEs as phenomena created by the brain is the simplest
>explanation, and also the most obvious.  It is a starting point, and a good one
>that has worked well for the past several decades in which this paradigm has
>been used.  Again however,  Dr. Mueckler simply has a bad attitude to come off
>as if these issues are all black and white.
>Even Manly Hall himself has said that we should not try to invoke
>explanations when a physical explanation will suffice.  This of course is
>different from rejecting spirituality in any sense, which is a mistake many
>scientists make.  Scientists who flat out reject spirituality simply expose
>their ignorance and lack of depth and subtlety.
>< 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.>
>This is an unfortunate viewpoint alexis.  You are making a dichotomy where, in
>fact, there is none.  It is also unfortunate that occultists feel justified to
>ignore the knowldege of the brain without first studying it and trying to
>understand it.  I used to hold this attitude, but I was force to learn
about the
>brain in my PhD program, and what i learned so fascinated me that I now am
>enamored with the study of the brain.  I can literally think of no more
>interesting topic.  The brain is a vast mystery and to dismiss its study so
>nonchalantly only reveals that you are not well informed about our current
>of knowledge of the brain and mind.
>The brain and mind are two different views of the exact same thing.  The
mind is
>not different from the brain.  The mind is a process created by the brain.
>this does not need to imply that there is no mind that transcends brains,
as for
>example, with the occult idea of the mental plane.  From another angle, God's
>mind created not only the brain, but the entire physical world.
>All I am saying is do not sell yourself short by rejecting ideas with which you
>have no familiarity.  If your brain was to become damaged either by trauma,
>stroke or other means, you would quickly appreciate the significance of the
>brain in the action of the mind.  I hope it never comes to this and that
you can
>simply open your mind to current knowledge and discover intellectually just how
>important the brain is for the operation of your mind.
><o 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.>
>Again, such thinking is a vast oversimplification.  There is nothing wrong if
>you wish to allow your thinking to exist at such a simple level.  However, when
>others offer more sophisticated views, I would hope you would at least
listen to
>what they have to say.
>The brain/mind is very, very different from a computer.  I don't have time
to go
>into this but if you want references to authors who discuss this matter, I can
>happily send them to you.
>The brain controls itself.  Your sense of control of your thoughts,
emotions and
>actions are in fact due to a specific part of your cerebral cortex.  There are
>thousands of documented cases of people who have sustained damage to these
>regions of the cortex and lost control of themselves and experienced drastic
>changes in personality.
>I use to believe that the brain was merely a channel for our non-physical self.
>I no longer belief this idea.  I consider the idea, but I do not believe it.
>What I do know, and have seen in hospital settings is that people who
>brain damage undergo drastic changes in their mental and psychological
>To me, the crux of the matter always rested on dreams.  Dreams, supposedly are
>our nonphysical experiences, or at least some of them are.  The fact is
>when people suffer symptoms of brain damage, these symptoms are also present in
>their dreams.  If our dreams were, say, our astral body acting
>semi-independently of the physical body, there is no reason to believe that
>brain damage would affect the action of the astral body.  However, brain damage
>symptoms do occur in the person's dreams, indicating that dreams themselves are
>a product of the brain.
>This idea leads to a very different line of thought than the traditional occult
>view that seperates physical and nonphyscal bodies.  Instead of simply
>this view because it appears to counterdict what you presently believe, I would
>recommend opening up to this view, even if it does challange your present
>believes.   I have discovered, and unfortunately, again do not have time to
>dwell on this issue, that the idea that the brain creates our conscious
>awareness is not contradictory to traditional occult ideas of transcendental
>realities.  however, by mixing the two viewpoints, a new viewpoint emerges that
>is substantially different than either alone, and, not suprisingly, is a
view in
>complete harmony with the great mystical and religious truths of the aeons.
><This is a perception of reality that is, I think, not
>amenable to either scientific proof or disproof. At least not in our time.>
>Again, I would only suggest you familiarize yourself with the evidence.  When
>you see the state of our current knowledge, you will come to appreciate that
>such statements as this are no longer applicable.
>< 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
>And the flip side to this is, again, that you, or people with similar interests
>and background, make the effort to familiarize yourself with current evidence
>and thinking.  You will see that scientific ideas are not biased, that they are
>driven by necessity (for example, trying to determine how to treat a victum of
>brain damage).  You must ask yourself: as an occultiust who makes a claim to
>understanding the human constitustion, how would you personally deal with a
>person who has suffered brain damage?  How would your ideas be of practical
>value in helping such a person?
>This is really worth thinking about.
>So, I will close here.  Again, I thank you for the exachange of ideas.  My best
>regards and wishes.
>Dr. DeGracia
>(But everybody just calls me "Don"...really!)

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