Monday, February 28, 2011

Skeptics - Just How Thirsty For Knowledge Are They?

“Science alone of all the subjects contains within itself the lesson of the danger
of belief in the infallibility of the greatest teachers in the preceding generation . . . 
Learn from science that you must doubt the experts. 
As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way: 
Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”
~ Richard Feynman

Regarding skepticism, The Risen notes:
"Some people are Skeptics with a capital S. These Professional Skeptics feel it’s their job to remain closed in their minds and hearts while retaining the right to question anything. Many of them include scientists, who represent a very small minority of humanity on earth, but have been placed on pedestals that raise them above the majority. This misapprehension disempowers the majority, disabling them from assessing their own valid experiences of personal reality. Science has given us brilliant advances in many aspects of human living, but not without a lot of trials and errors. The facets of truth that science presents as dogma are often successful in creating distractions from those with alternate viewpoints. Yet scientific history consistently reveals the inevitable result of radical exchanges of such dogma. Former universally accepted and supposedly proven axioms are continually replaced by new discoveries, which are then made formal by a collective agreement of this minority. Such has been the course of mainly Western science as it has evolved on earth. This is finally changing as science rediscovers the idea of the energy we call spirit. Science is wonderful, amazing, and necessary, and can provide a certain amount of insight into our existence, but not all. Given the amazing changes in our scientific world-views over the past one hundred years, can we truly think we can now put a cap on what is to come in the next hundred? (p. 27)
"And yet, we do need skeptics. There are scientists who maintain a healthy measure of skepticism about skepticism, and remain open while questioning. This openness has led to emerging, revolutionary scientific models, such as R. A. White’s Experiential Paradigm. Inspired in part by psychologist Abraham Maslow’s classic work on cognitive-being and his insights from what he called exceptional “plateau” or “peak” human experiences, White asserts that there’s a form of knowing that can only come from having been immersed in a particular experience. This means that the worldview of a medium can only be objectively analyzed after the analyzer has also subjectively experienced it. Mediumistic experiences often take place outside the constraints of space and time and therefore may pose serious challenges to those scientists who have always relied on such matrices in their laboratories. (p. 33)
Spiritual awareness, like science, requires diligent questioning and participation. Simply accepting something because one is told to believe it is not equal to experiencing it. But once we experience something, we have begun to know it. Upon greater and fuller experiences of experiential knowing, we begin to have faith. From there, wisdom arises from the event and this faith becomes an integral part of our present awareness. (p. 33)
While giving due credit to the necessity of healthy skepticism, this book does not address the needs of professional skeptics.  As Tim has pointed out, it has been orchestrated by many, many Risen Ones to evoke and inspire various levels of resonance and deeply intuitive responses from the reader, skeptic or not. This will be especially effective for those who are either working through or have worked through their fears and doubts, and feel drawn to the subject in some way, however slight, however wary. A scientist and a non-scientist may not think they’re looking for the same thing, but the shared desire to understand will likely bring them into contact with one another in some way." (p.34)

We had informed Tom and Lisa Butler about Dr. Eldon Taylor's upcoming radio show at Hay House with Dr. Kevin Nelson, to see if they had anything to share about yet another Professional Skeptic's assertions that "spirituality is not much more than a throw-back to superstition." The Butlers are the Directors of Association Transcommunication, (see their interview with Mike Tymn). Tom responded:

"We like to model consciousness with the analogy of a multifunction phased array radar (see video at the National Severed Storms Laboratory for a brief introduction of the concept.) While the brain images the physical world via the five senses, its "radar" aspect images consciousness. The resulting sense might be more akin to the imaginary space of fractal theory. (See here for a not-so-brief discussion.)

"It would be very difficult to know what the display of any radar means without knowing the geography of the space it is scanning. In the same way, looking at the 'display" of how the mind images consciousness without having at least a passing understanding of the nature of such concepts as transcommunication, psi functioning, super-psi and survival hypotheses, and the attendant research concerning intentionality, it would be difficult to develop a reasonable understanding of the data Nelson is so proud of.

"In effect, he is saying that turning off the radar turns off the display, and therefore, that which is displayed is also turned off. Nelson is already vested in the skeptical community and there would be no benefit to our community in giving him further attention."

Thank you, Tom for your kind permission to share this fascinating response here with others. What is so synchronistically (we use that word a lot here, don't we) interesting here is Tom's referral to fractal theory, as we often use fractal/mandlebrot imagery here for visual representations of various, complex spiritual issues (see the last 3 posts). Tom also references the term "geography" -- which we use quite a bit in The Risen. We mentioned in the last posting that we're interested in healthy skepticism, and are capable of supporting it, as is Dr. Melvin Morse. But we also agree with Tom Butler that it is not our job to lead a horse to water, especially if it's not truly thirsty.

Your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated here. In essence, is it really worth it engaging with the scientific likes of Dr. Nelson's work? August has ordered his book and may report on it at some point.