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    The Pineal Gland, LSD and Serotonin 
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    Anyone with opinions on this article? Interesting to say the least......unless its bullshit then....hmmm

    http://www.serendipity.li/mcclay/pineal.html#a1.4
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    Anybody who thinks the pineal gland is a spiritual center is going to be talking bullshit when they talk about physiology.
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    The Pineal Gland ( the supposed center of DMT release), is almost literally your third eye, in some animals it has a retina,lense,etc. I have a theory that the brain is a physical manifestation of the consciousness (soul,spirit,w/e u wanna call it). My more important theory is that the Pineal Gland is the door of the brain, it lets consciousness in at birth, and releases it at death. Remember its just a theory but id love to get feedback from both the scientific community and the new age/whatever community
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    Physiologically, the gland produces melatonin from 5HT via N-acetylation (arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase) followed by O-methylation (acetylserotonin N-methyltransferase). It also produces a rather potent antioxidant beta-carboline known as Pinoline - 6-Methoxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-9H-pyrido[3,4-b]indole from the melatonin metabolite N-Acetyl-N-formyl-5-methoxykynurenamine.

    As for DMT; has it been conclusively proven that DMT is principally released from the Pineal? Neither aromatic-L-amino-acid decarboxylase and Indolethylamine N-methyltransferase are exlcusive to the Pineal gland, so potentially, DMT can be produced virtually wherever there's tryptophan. Obviously other factors come into play, but why is it thought - from evidence, not hear say - that the near-death thing is predominantly the work of the Pineal gland?

    Work by V.S. Ramachandran involving specific magnetic stimuli to the temporal lobe regions can mimic some of the effects of psychoactive tryptamines - but only in some people. The below paper speculates that such stimuli result in the release of endogenous tryptamines or metabolites, but, if true, do these emanate from the pineal gland, or are these compounds formed elsewhere?

    Application of transcerebral, weak (1 microT) complex magnetic fields and mystical experiences: are they generated by field-induced dimethyltryptamine release from the pineal organ?
    Hill DR, Persinger MA.

    Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

    During the last 15 years weak, complex magnetic fields have been applied across the two cerebral hemispheres at the level of the temporoparietal lobes of more than 500 volunteers. Most of these subjects have reported visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive sensations as well as experiences of detachment from the body of 'sentient beings'. Similar but more intense experiences were reported by Strassman in 2001 for volunteers who were injected with N,n-dimethyltryptamine, a compound Strassman hypothesized as the primary mediator of these experiences. If this speculation is valid, then subjects who are exposed to the very weak, complex fields known to elicit similar experiences should display significant increases in the metabolites of this compound within their blood.
    Ramachandran demonstrated that these fields can cause a simulated temporal lobe seizure in some people where upon a religious epiphany is experienced by about 80% of the population. So, is there then any proven connection between temporal lobe seizure and pineal production of DMT, bufotenine or 5-MeO-DMT?


    The retina like cells in some non-mammals are likely to be because of a foramen that has been found in the skulls of some early vertebrates. Sorry to burst your bubble but I think it's merely an evolutionary leftover. And if that's the case, then maybe we should start thinking of the appendix as a door to another world. that's physiologically verifiable, but I guess it's just too dark and messy a world to hold any spiritual significance
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    Quote Originally Posted by phase_dancer View Post
    Physiologically, the gland produces melatonin from 5HT via N-acetylation (arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase) followed by O-methylation (acetylserotonin N-methyltransferase). It also produces a rather potent antioxidant beta-carboline known as Pinoline - 6-Methoxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-9H-pyrido[3,4-b]indole from the melatonin metabolite N-Acetyl-N-formyl-5-methoxykynurenamine.

    As for DMT; has it been conclusively proven that DMT is principally released from the Pineal? Neither aromatic-L-amino-acid decarboxylase and Indolethylamine N-methyltransferase are exlcusive to the Pineal gland, so potentially, DMT can be produced virtually wherever there's tryptophan. Obviously other factors come into play, but why is it thought - from evidence, not hear say - that the near-death thing is predominantly the work of the Pineal gland?

    Work by V.S. Ramachandran involving specific magnetic stimuli to the temporal lobe regions can mimic some of the effects of psychoactive tryptamines - but only in some people. The below paper speculates that such stimuli result in the release of endogenous tryptamines or metabolites, but, if true, do these emanate from the pineal gland, or are these compounds formed elsewhere?



    Ramachandran demonstrated that these fields can cause a simulated temporal lobe seizure in some people where upon a religious epiphany is experienced by about 80% of the population. So, is there then any proven connection between temporal lobe seizure and pineal production of DMT, bufotenine or 5-MeO-DMT?


    The retina like cells in some non-mammals are likely to be because of a foramen that has been found in the skulls of some early vertebrates. Sorry to burst your bubble but I think it's merely an evolutionary leftover. And if that's the case, then maybe we should start thinking of the appendix as a door to another world. that's physiologically verifiable, but I guess it's just too dark and messy a world to hold any spiritual significance
    religious epihanies are also a possible side effect from temporal lobe epillepsy. my freinds dad has it and is extremely religious though this was not always the case
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    sheer politic-ing imo
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    I've been in near death experiences before, and I've tripped on DMT before. The two were completely different. When people talk about DMT and "near death experiences", they just went into shock... but to them it sounds cooler to say "I had a near death experience and tripped out on DMT" so they just say that instead
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpunkySkunk347 View Post
    I've been in near death experiences before, and I've tripped on DMT before. The two were completely different. When people talk about DMT and "near death experiences", they just went into shock... but to them it sounds cooler to say "I had a near death experience and tripped out on DMT" so they just say that instead
    Just because your experiences on DMT were different than your near-death experiences doesn't mean that everybody must have the same types of experiences as you did.

    It is entirely conceivable that some people might have similar near-death and DMT experiences. In fact, read Strassman for multiple reports of "near-death experiences on DMT".

    Not that I don't accept your experiences as valid, but I just think that there are other valid experiences out there as well. You seem to be generalizing your personal experiences to other people too broadly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimvictor View Post
    Just because your experiences on DMT were different than your near-death experiences doesn't mean that everybody must have the same types of experiences as you did.

    It is entirely conceivable that some people might have similar near-death and DMT experiences. In fact, read Strassman for multiple reports of "near-death experiences on DMT".

    Not that I don't accept your experiences as valid, but I just think that there are other valid experiences out there as well. You seem to be generalizing your personal experiences to other people too broadly.
    Just because the idea sounds cool that your brain releases DMT before you die, doesn't mean that its true. First of all, there is no way that this could have worked its way into evolution, because if an organism is about to die, then the trait would have no benefit to natural selection.

    Unless of course you are assuming some crazy made up theory like "Jesus put the DMT there in our brains so that we could have an out of body experience before dying and our soul could go to heaven" or something ridiculous like that.

    In fact, what we would expect from natural selection, is that some sort of "last resort save your life" chemical would be released - oh wait, I think it's called epinephrine, and this is exactly what happens in a near death experience. It is beneficial through natural selection for their to be a MASSIVE EPINEPHRINE RELEASE when death is impending in the body's last attempt to stay alive.
    Last edited by SpunkySkunk347; 02-06-2009 at 13:24.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpunkySkunk347 View Post
    ...Unless of course you are assuming some crazy made up theory like "Jesus put the DMT there in our brains so that we could have an out of body experience before dying and our soul could go to heaven" or something ridiculous like that.....
    I'm not assuming any theory here.
    I am just counting other people's experiences as valid, too.
    You can read written reports where people claim to have had near-death experiences on DMT, and they describe the experiences in great detail.
    I would be pretty silly to disregard all of that because you can't find the appropriate theory to fit it!
    Let's look at what the data tell us before trying to develop a theory, shall we?
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by SpunkySkunk347 View Post
    I've been in near death experiences before, and I've tripped on DMT before. The two were completely different. When people talk about DMT and "near death experiences", they just went into shock... but to them it sounds cooler to say "I had a near death experience and tripped out on DMT" so they just say that instead
    When someone equates a near death experience to a DMT trip they probably don't mean it in the most conventional way as you are suggesting. They are probably referring to the death of their ego(which is not is the conventional sense of the term either) but rather a loss of our idea of self we are prone to have as humans. So obviously getting in a car crash for example is nothing like tripping because in that case there is no release of natural DMT from the pineal gland--it's all adrenaline trying to prepare the sympathetic nervous system as well as the amygdalas fight or flight response. With that being said, when someone is referring to a near death experience they are referring to death of the ego which people who have clinically died for minutes and come back have said to experience.
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    During some near-death experiences it's possible defense mechanisms kick in that are meant to protect from possible brain damage due to excitotoxicity (and there is also your evolutionary advantage), which may cause dissociative experiences? But not sure about the scope of that theory.
    I think Dr Karl Jansen who researched ketamine was one of the proponents of that theory and according to Chris Carter who wrote about the science of NDE he provided evidence for this model from articles / research. There have been endogenous PCP / sigma ligands found with oligopeptide structures or at least partially. I guess these would be among prime candidates for such activity.

    I am not saying it is the same, but that there may be overlap which would to some extent justify talking about dissociative immersive breakthrough experiences as possibly similar to natural NDE experiences. A bad analogy but: imagining bodily movements has been found to be hard to distinguish in terms of brain activity compared to that actual physical movement suggesting that whether physically "real" or not, to the mind that may be less relevant and comes down to experience either way.
    Last edited by Solipsis; 31-05-2017 at 20:44.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BilZ0r View Post
    Anybody who thinks the pineal gland is a spiritual center is going to be talking bullshit when they talk about physiology.

    No no, speaking in terms of physiology, why are there light sensitive recepetor cells that can pick up the entirety of the visible light spectrum within the Pineal gland exactly similar to the ones found at the back of the eye's retina?

    People have been misquoting a simple phrase for centuries, the eye''s'' (somewhere a plural was added, fuck knows when) aren't the windows to the soul.

    The EYE (Pineal gland) is the window to the soul. Now you SEE.

    The purpose of light sensitive retinal receptor cells within a pitch black area in the middle of your head have mystified orthodox science for 100 years now...but then is explainded, with illustrations even, so simply in 25,000 year-old Indian Sanskrit texts as if dictated to a child.
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    The purpose of light sensitive retinal receptor cells within a pitch black area in the middle of your head have mystified orthodox science for 100 years now.
    Oh please. there's no need for mysticism. the pineal has light-sensitive cells for the same reason you find melatonin receptors on immune cells and cannabinoid receptors in the liver: the organs of the body have a finite number of gene products they can express and quite often cells that share a common predecessor stem cell will have similar expressed receptor protiens.

    There has never been conclusive evidence that a "soul" exists nor that the pineal has any mystical purpose. It's not the only photosensitive structure in the brain either, the hypothalamus and septal nucleus both are photosensitve as well.

    By the way, as far as we know, all photoreceptors in the mammalian nervous system rely on the same mechanism, isomerization of carotenoids (vitamin A aka retinal s isomerized to iso-retinal) which induces a conformational change in an associated transmembrane receptor protien. Light of any wavelength short enough to cause isomerization will stimulate the receptor, and you only need a few photons to be detected. The pineal, hypothalamus, retina etc all use the same mechanism - it's not very "mysterious" given the common biological machinery.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sekio View Post
    Oh please. there's no need for mysticism. the pineal has light-sensitive cells for the same reason you find melatonin receptors on immune cells and cannabinoid receptors in the liver: the organs of the body have a finite number of gene products they can express and quite often cells that share a common predecessor stem cell will have similar expressed receptor protiens.

    There has never been conclusive evidence that a "soul" exists nor that the pineal has any mystical purpose. It's not the only photosensitive structure in the brain either, the hypothalamus and septal nucleus both are photosensitve as well.

    By the way, as far as we know, all photoreceptors in the mammalian nervous system rely on the same mechanism, isomerization of carotenoids (vitamin A aka retinal s isomerized to iso-retinal) which induces a conformational change in an associated transmembrane receptor protien. Light of any wavelength short enough to cause isomerization will stimulate the receptor, and you only need a few photons to be detected. The pineal, hypothalamus, retina etc all use the same mechanism - it's not very "mysterious" given the common biological machinery.

    We are part of something that is way bigger than what I can make out on what level of understanding you are on of it through your post.

    If you believe in the soul's existence or not or a higher power or not I do not care, that is your journey.

    There IS proof. Solid scientific, documented and replicable proof of a soul. Electro-magnetic studies have been done for example where there is a slight peak in the electro-magnetic field of a corps at just deceased at 3 minutes and then a VERY big measurable peak at 7 minutes where it is thought to be the point the soul extracts from the physical body. Many many more studies like this have been done in universities and areas within academic circles whith a biased towards atheism.

    I was an orthodox scientific atheist from circa 2004 until October of 2012. I always have and still operate on full ontological reasoning. Full stop. I can't just BELIEVE in something no no no. I have to have PROOF of a certain hypothesis to accept it, process it and accept it, I could never just believe in something, it is not logical.

    In my lifetime I've read thousands upon thousands of pages and books and studies and journals and sources of knowledge, scientific and esoteric.

    The proof is out there, start small, read Carl Gustav Young's literature and move on to more esoteric stuff like Helena Blavatsky's book The Secret Doctrine.

    Pablo Picasso said that everything you can imagine is real, and he is right. Fairies, ghosts, weird creatures, aliens...

    Amd you know what, to know this is actually very, very scary. You can actually wake up to see a fucking creature or entity if some sort standing next to your bed.

    To be honest, atheism was a much more pleasant mental experience of reality and consciousness as the one I am faced with knowing of today. I miss atheism, I do, I was simple. Now it is much more complicated.

    We can go on and on but you have to get there in your own time. My words may have fuckall effect on you now whatsoever, and I don't care. You will know what you need to know when you need to know it and that is that.

    We are one, just remeber that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sekio View Post
    Oh please. there's no need for mysticism. the pineal has light-sensitive cells for the same reason you find melatonin receptors on immune cells and cannabinoid receptors in the liver: the organs of the body have a finite number of gene products they can express and quite often cells that share a common predecessor stem cell will have similar expressed receptor protiens.

    There has never been conclusive evidence that a "soul" exists nor that the pineal has any mystical purpose. It's not the only photosensitive structure in the brain either, the hypothalamus and septal nucleus both are photosensitve as well.

    By the way, as far as we know, all photoreceptors in the mammalian nervous system rely on the same mechanism, isomerization of carotenoids (vitamin A aka retinal s isomerized to iso-retinal) which induces a conformational change in an associated transmembrane receptor protien. Light of any wavelength short enough to cause isomerization will stimulate the receptor, and you only need a few photons to be detected. The pineal, hypothalamus, retina etc all use the same mechanism - it's not very "mysterious" given the common biological machinery.

    I can send you links upon links and endless URL's if you would like for your perusal, I don't mind to do it. You are very, very intelligent as I've gathered through your posts and I also know that you can read very fast, and you also remember what you've read, even as a child you can even remeber what the page looked like and the exact area on the page where you remeber a fact, even auditory, you can remeber everything important that you have ever heard in your life. Photographic and Auditory Memory. It takes one to know one hey...
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    The photosensitive receptors in the brain of mammals like us, such as in the pineal gland are considered not to actually be photosensitive beyond infancy. Instead they serve a function as in many other animals, to use the circadian rhythm of day and night to synchronize biological cycles within the body but for us humans only during/around our pregnancy.

    If not for that, it could have been explained as a vestigial organ... remember that we have developed through evolution! These non-visual photosensitive receptors may still play a role for us (like I just said), it's possible it played a bigger role in our prehistoric ancestors. Or not.

    The fact that the internet is filled to the brink of pages about outlandish theories based on assumptions upon assumptions fueled by how mindblowing the implications would be and losing sight of skepticism very easily.... that says about as little as the fact that television i.e. channels - which used to once be educational and scientific no less - now are filled with the most silly programs about aliens and esoteric things. Programs meant as entertainment but taken way too easily as fact by people who think that there isn't such a thing as being 'too open-minded' (which is pertinently wrong by the way as I discovered from personal experience).

    A simpler way to put that is to point out how Rick Strassman's theories about DMT and the pineal gland have been spreaded by people so much in such a way that the fact that it is just a theory (and not one with truly compelling evidence either) has been all but forgotten. That kind of thing happens a lot on the internet, so without proper scepticism things can get pretty hysterical.

    Electromagnetic effects in a deceased body can be interpreted in countless ways, actually if you want to talk about science: physics does not support the idea of an immortal soul because there is no electromagnetic carrier medium that could hold that kind of information, and it would have to be such a medium for there to be interaction. So dark energy or something like that (which may very well not exist due to flaws in prevailing models) are not suitable explanations since they do not interact, and that is necessary for any transmission.
    Couldn't the phenomenon at 7 minutes be explained by a sort of discharge of the energy in the body when certain biological processes and biochemicals have degraded to a certain point when a sort of chain-reaction of that discharge occurs, like a battery shorting out? Doesn't mean that energy encodes anything whatsoever. If current science has trouble explaining something that does not mean the explanation must lie outside of natural law.

    If things could be shown to happen outside of natural law (anything paranormal), James Randi would pay a million for that - nobody ever collected that.

    If you read all that and think it's "enough" why don't you make a case for it some more? Especially with things like eidetic memory? (not trying to be aggressive here at all - just challenging)

    What is real by the way? How are you defining it? How do you know you are defining it the way Picasso is? Art is about the reality of our creativity anyway, whether in creation or perception.
    Seeing entities is commonplace but easily explained by hypogogic and hypnopompic effects, and hallucinations while awake are also relatively common if you read the so-called book by Oliver Sacks. I really see no problem with those phenomena being consistent with neurological effects. And it is the mind that is in ways limitless, accounting for everything you can imagine being real and in that way it all is real. Obviously not everything is physically real, otherwise why don't we have access to countless bodies of fairies etc?

    There are threads in PD about explanations for DMT entities which are undoubtedly the same thing, and again as expected there are people who believe the entities and dimensions they encounter to be as real as our consensus reality, our world here on earth. Seems to me that again if you look at what is plausible (occam's razor!) rather than fantastic, you wouldn't still believe that. Don't mean to sound arrogant but seems like people don't quite get the concept of illusions (nor placebo for that matter) and fall for it even after it is explained to them, it only needs to be convincing enough - which doesn't make it more plausible.
    Besides, explanations agreeing with science can be just as amazing and mind-blowing, one would be wrong to think that everything becomes dull and lifeless upon determinism and reductionism. Sometimes, sure - at the wrong moment that kind of thing can totally steal the magic from something, like love, but that is besides the point.

    The phrase "I want to believe" is very apt here, it is also a good reason why discussions between science and belief often ultimately fail: in doing so belief disqualifies itself as a search for truth and reveals itself as a search for fulfillment, or as one might euphemistically call it: 'your own truth'. That is all fine, people just shouldn't pretend they are contesting for truth (you use the word 'proof' showing that for example). Science does not have a monopoly on truth either, it is provisional and should recognize it is limited by it's progress and things can turn out to be wrong just the same yet on the other hand a lot is reliable and reproduceable and shows a whole other level of self-consistency and the ability to successfully predict things.

    You can read thousands of books, but the more they are in the same field the less you are actually testing your ideas and the more you are reinforcing them in unhealthy ways (I am not saying I am so perfect either there but do try to challenge ideas including my own as much as of others). Challenge your ideas and beliefs. In esotery for a lack of more empirical testing, suggestibility takes a flight. What people come up with if they think about and study phenomena they can't properly and more incontrovertibly investigate (allowing for tests that are conclusive and repeatable) is superstitions like man before us did with things like lightning, just too early for science to be used.
    My experiences with challenging belief of this kind have just been very disappointing, otherwise I would take it more seriously as I don't want to be biased if i can help it.

    I do feel spirituality is important, for me and people in general... but that does not have to involve things like immortal souls at all, just rather a holistic approach to one's being and a mystical approach to being in general (like experiencing the ineffable of deep meditation or psychedelics among other practices). Things like that, and also gods, to me are about man's fear of death and inability to reconcile with his ultimate loneliness, and the unbearability of being responsible for giving your own life meaning. I subscribe to the Zen method but not doctrine and wish that we could manage our desire for community and moral guidelines from practice that does not invoke something that gets more deified and horribly anthropomorphized than our idea of 'universe' or 'reality'.

    Just like we used to be very self-important about believing that the universe revolved around the earth, just so people still think they are special and must 'deserve' something after life, and some kind of relationship with a creator rather than being abandoned and left up for adoption existentially.

    People think that because we can normally ask questions like 'what is the reason and the cause for this to happen?' or 'who made this?' in everyday life those kinds of questions apply to cosmology or existence etc. We don't even see how we utterly anthropomorphize our perception of everything whereas to me it seems more likely that we don't even have the proper terminology to describe the world ultimately... we must unask such questions, at least for the time being.

    If I were you I would seriously question yourself not what are the things that have read that have added up to your beliefs but what is the source and history of asking these questions in the first place and how are those shared by countless people before you, and how many of those people have had the chance and made the effort to explain things more soberly? Seems highly suspicious to me.
    You don't need the concept of an immortal soul to have humanity, empathy, compassion, feelings or give your life meaning.

    We are part of something bigger, well duh... Our limited understanding is not an argument either side of the discussion can adopt as it's own, if you want to talk in sides rather dialectics.
    Last edited by Solipsis; 22-06-2017 at 14:09.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solipsis View Post
    If things could be shown to happen outside of natural law (anything paranormal), James Randi would pay a million for that - nobody ever collected that.
    Nope, a paranoid materialist like Randi (who Rupert Sheldrake can legally call a "liar" without being sued for libel) would never pay the million.

    "I lost all the data" yeah right, I also once proved that the earth is flat, but then my data "got lost"
    So the earth must be flat, right?

    That's extremely scientific, Mr. Randi

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    Seems like a faux pas but the entire matter remains inconclusive and I don't know why it should be seen as evidence that he would do anything to protect his paradigm.

    He fucked up several times and got overconfident and lied about certain things, but it is too much to say what he would do when confronted with incontrivertible proof of paranormal activity. What is rather seems like that in situations of doubt / vagueness / ambivalence he assumes he is right just to be sure. For example his experiment to hoax the media wasn't as much as a success as he would have you believe... Bad, but the challenge remains that someone ought to properly demonstrate claimed paranormal abilities.

    This is about the big picture, it's imperfect but the flaws don't disqualify everything else he has done and achieved. If it makes you so suspicious that he would cover up if he would ever be proven wrong, that is merely your belief or paranoid suspicion and a convenient stance to protect any paradigm someone may have that includes the paranormal.

    I prefer to believe that he is interested in the truth whatever it is, but clearly he has no patience for vague bullshit. Not sure what happened there with the dog experiment.

    Someone should really replicate that experiment if it is so groundbreaking. Reading about it though, it is interesting and hard to explain how the dog does it but not sure if I'd call that paranormal. It has long been known that animals can sense things like an earthquake about to happen, right? Doesn't seem inexplicable without having to overthrow the laws of nature, just something we don't yet know like how we are discovering things about magnetic minerals serving as a compass in bird brains. None of this is even close to the real paranormal claims imho.

    But yes, it is dubious.. i agree...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solipsis View Post
    The photosensitive receptors in the brain of mammals like us, such as in the pineal gland are considered not to actually be photosensitive beyond infancy. Instead they serve a function as in many other animals, to use the circadian rhythm of day and night to synchronize biological cycles within the body but for us humans only during/around our pregnancy.

    If not for that, it could have been explained as a vestigial organ... remember that we have developed through evolution! These non-visual photosensitive receptors may still play a role for us (like I just said), it's possible it played a bigger role in our prehistoric ancestors. Or not.

    The fact that the internet is filled to the brink of pages about outlandish theories based on assumptions upon assumptions fueled by how mindblowing the implications would be and losing sight of skepticism very easily.... that says about as little as the fact that television i.e. channels - which used to once be educational and scientific no less - now are filled with the most silly programs about aliens and esoteric things. Programs meant as entertainment but taken way too easily as fact by people who think that there isn't such a thing as being 'too open-minded' (which is pertinently wrong by the way as I discovered from personal experience).

    A simpler way to put that is to point out how Rick Strassman's theories about DMT and the pineal gland have been spreaded by people so much in such a way that the fact that it is just a theory (and not one with truly compelling evidence either) has been all but forgotten. That kind of thing happens a lot on the internet, so without proper scepticism things can get pretty hysterical.

    Electromagnetic effects in a deceased body can be interpreted in countless ways, actually if you want to talk about science: physics does not support the idea of an immortal soul because there is no electromagnetic carrier medium that could hold that kind of information, and it would have to be such a medium for there to be interaction. So dark energy or something like that (which may very well not exist due to flaws in prevailing models) are not suitable explanations since they do not interact, and that is necessary for any transmission.
    Couldn't the phenomenon at 7 minutes be explained by a sort of discharge of the energy in the body when certain biological processes and biochemicals have degraded to a certain point when a sort of chain-reaction of that discharge occurs, like a battery shorting out? Doesn't mean that energy encodes anything whatsoever. If current science has trouble explaining something that does not mean the explanation must lie outside of natural law.

    If things could be shown to happen outside of natural law (anything paranormal), James Randi would pay a million for that - nobody ever collected that.

    If you read all that and think it's "enough" why don't you make a case for it some more? Especially with things like eidetic memory? (not trying to be aggressive here at all - just challenging)

    What is real by the way? How are you defining it? How do you know you are defining it the way Picasso is? Art is about the reality of our creativity anyway, whether in creation or perception.
    Seeing entities is commonplace but easily explained by hypogogic and hypnopompic effects, and hallucinations while awake are also relatively common if you read the so-called book by Oliver Sacks. I really see no problem with those phenomena being consistent with neurological effects. And it is the mind that is in ways limitless, accounting for everything you can imagine being real and in that way it all is real. Obviously not everything is physically real, otherwise why don't we have access to countless bodies of fairies etc?

    There are threads in PD about explanations for DMT entities which are undoubtedly the same thing, and again as expected there are people who believe the entities and dimensions they encounter to be as real as our consensus reality, our world here on earth. Seems to me that again if you look at what is plausible (occam's razor!) rather than fantastic, you wouldn't still believe that. Don't mean to sound arrogant but seems like people don't quite get the concept of illusions (nor placebo for that matter) and fall for it even after it is explained to them, it only needs to be convincing enough - which doesn't make it more plausible.
    Besides, explanations agreeing with science can be just as amazing and mind-blowing, one would be wrong to think that everything becomes dull and lifeless upon determinism and reductionism. Sometimes, sure - at the wrong moment that kind of thing can totally steal the magic from something, like love, but that is besides the point.

    The phrase "I want to believe" is very apt here, it is also a good reason why discussions between science and belief often ultimately fail: in doing so belief disqualifies itself as a search for truth and reveals itself as a search for fulfillment, or as one might euphemistically call it: 'your own truth'. That is all fine, people just shouldn't pretend they are contesting for truth (you use the word 'proof' showing that for example). Science does not have a monopoly on truth either, it is provisional and should recognize it is limited by it's progress and things can turn out to be wrong just the same yet on the other hand a lot is reliable and reproduceable and shows a whole other level of self-consistency and the ability to successfully predict things.

    You can read thousands of books, but the more they are in the same field the less you are actually testing your ideas and the more you are reinforcing them in unhealthy ways (I am not saying I am so perfect either there but do try to challenge ideas including my own as much as of others). Challenge your ideas and beliefs. In esotery for a lack of more empirical testing, suggestibility takes a flight. What people come up with if they think about and study phenomena they can't properly and more incontrovertibly investigate (allowing for tests that are conclusive and repeatable) is superstitions like man before us did with things like lightning, just too early for science to be used.
    My experiences with challenging belief of this kind have just been very disappointing, otherwise I would take it more seriously as I don't want to be biased if i can help it.

    I do feel spirituality is important, for me and people in general... but that does not have to involve things like immortal souls at all, just rather a holistic approach to one's being and a mystical approach to being in general (like experiencing the ineffable of deep meditation or psychedelics among other practices). Things like that, and also gods, to me are about man's fear of death and inability to reconcile with his ultimate loneliness, and the unbearability of being responsible for giving your own life meaning. I subscribe to the Zen method but not doctrine and wish that we could manage our desire for community and moral guidelines from practice that does not invoke something that gets more deified and horribly anthropomorphized than our idea of 'universe' or 'reality'.

    Just like we used to be very self-important about believing that the universe revolved around the earth, just so people still think they are special and must 'deserve' something after life, and some kind of relationship with a creator rather than being abandoned and left up for adoption existentially.

    People think that because we can normally ask questions like 'what is the reason and the cause for this to happen?' or 'who made this?' in everyday life those kinds of questions apply to cosmology or existence etc. We don't even see how we utterly anthropomorphize our perception of everything whereas to me it seems more likely that we don't even have the proper terminology to describe the world ultimately... we must unask such questions, at least for the time being.

    If I were you I would seriously question yourself not what are the things that have read that have added up to your beliefs but what is the source and history of asking these questions in the first place and how are those shared by countless people before you, and how many of those people have had the chance and made the effort to explain things more soberly? Seems highly suspicious to me.
    You don't need the concept of an immortal soul to have humanity, empathy, compassion, feelings or give your life meaning.

    We are part of something bigger, well duh... Our limited understanding is not an argument either side of the discussion can adopt as it's own, if you want to talk in sides rather dialectics.


    Your soul too is one which must still realise itself and you must still understand the laws of our physical present reality density are more myriad and instructed than anything and that physics (the way we try to make sense of it all) on its own is almost irrelevant and is such a small part of the equation to try to make sense of al that is and could in a human way with only 5 mammalian senses explain maybe 0,000000001% of what we are experiencing right now.

    You are not there yet, and if your journey dictates it happens in this physical lifetime then you will get there. If not, you'll just come back again and hopefully will understand sooner in your next physical lifetime.

    Direct ascension and merging into the source energy from which we came is the goal and ultimately the reason for life. It is very simple.

    We are one. We come from and is a part of the source enegy of infinite love and truth and we are one. There is no matter, there is only form, matter is an illusion, the space between us does not physically exist, we are one, all of us are so, so, so connected but we fail to realise it. We are forms of source material and matter doesn't actually exist.
    The universe only has different forms within in consisting of the same energy formed differently.

    We are one.
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    #21
    There is no matter, there is only form, matter is an illusion, the space between us does not physically exist, we are one, all of us are so, so, so connected but we fail to realise it. We are forms of source material and matter doesn't actually exist.
    I'm sorry but as much as I love the idea of mutual love, tolerance, and understanding, this is a random vague statement to me that explains nothing and conveys nothing, oversimplifying those small bits we know (about bonds). It basically rejects imperfection of human perception quite like any other religion, some have gods, yours have form and energy. Coming back to the idea of being kind and not doing harm to others, you don't need a worldview based on forms and source energy to come to that, just some elementary growing up which happens if you happen to have someone in your life to introduce you to it, that's all.

    Is it really so hard for people to admit "this I know, but this and that I have no idea about" and keep on living? Do we really need to have an explanation for everything?
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    ^ What you say may sound profound but questioning what we know and how limited it is neither invalidates what we have indeed found out (what do you actually know about that science part you are considering irrelevant?) nor does it justify the beliefs you have.

    Discussion is probably futile from this point due to the circular reasoning of belief systems and the in my opinion inappropriate conclusions you are drawing from seeing things are relative and uncertain.

    For example even if we are living in a simulation manifested from a matrix of pure information, you should ask yourself what that actually changes about the consistency in and of our world? Does finding out about free will justify becoming completely defeatist or dangerously nihilistic? No, these are false conclusions to draw about what the implications are for your own life.

    I don't presume that I am enlightened but realize the arrogance of implying that I am not even at your level of existence. Despite my skeptical perspective and my confidence in what things like science, logic and epistemology tell us I do think that it is majorly important for people to realize themselves and actualize themselves, but again without individual immortal souls being part of it. Those are simply valid ideas within psychology, no esoteric spirituality required.
    If we are considered to have a soul, I agree in a sense that we are one if we are manifested from a continuous field of energy or completely integrated matrix of information. And consciousness could be a matter of perspective within it.

    I think those are important things to [self]realize, to both understand and to have felt intense unity and mystical experiences. Yet I don't think that there is some sort of telepathic or other exchange of information in such mystical states and that even then the unity we experience is of our own minds (And in doing so of pure being in non-duality, without differentiation and therefore lacking localized or precise perspective. The unity in our minds reflects the unity of the fundamental essence of the world)
    The unity only seems to reach outside because perception is involved. We think we see the world but we are seeing a model of the world created by our brain, there's a difference.


    I see enlightenment not as you waking up from illusory individual reality perspective, but rather the unity perspective waking up from you (you being that individual perspective) and trying to integrate this in order to be less guided by narrowed and egotistical perspectives - yet you must live and function in the world otherwise without integration what you have gained is rendered pointless (IMO).

    It's not about having an explanation anymore at this point but more of a cliché 'becoming who you are'. Some people are naturally untroubled by the limitations of one perspective and have much less use for this sort of personal development, which is as much psychological as it is "spiritual" although i must stress that this has nothing to do with things like immortal souls, completely vague new age phrases or things that disagree with science.

    What JK believes is apparently what gives him/her fulfillment and makes sense (although if you are so vague in conveying your ideas it highly suggests that they are also vague when telling these ideas to yourself) and I am not going to say that I am an exception to this: my beliefs and ideas agree with me and I guess have made me less restless since I had an existential crisis a decade ago. (Now I feel much more free and hardly think about such things anymore, or if I do rather casually).. but I want those ideas to be well-grounded. And clearly expressible, until I reach the point where I can say fuck-all about it like speculating about what "contains" our universe.

    The simulation thing by the way is not what I subscribe to per se, and just an example. However the rest about the information matrix do 'vibe' with me and agree with certain current physical theories, also I find the implications of Bell's theorem enticing.

    I have no problem admitting that for a huge part I don't actually know about my theories and beliefs of fundamental existence and a reduced and well-adapted version of what others see as spirituality. But I also have no problem pointing out when other people's ideas suggest that they know even less of what they are talking about just from their being very vague.

    A sidenote though: I abhor religion but really encourage personal and non-institutionalized or congregated versions of "spirituality" simply because of what it can do for morals and finding your own meaning of life. It's good that it can have positive effects on your own life. Just don't bother other people with your beliefs unsolicitedly (this does not apply to this thread) and be careful when trying to dogmatically proclaim that you have found the truth and others are blind to it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WSH View Post
    Nope, a paranoid materialist like Randi (who Rupert Sheldrake can legally call a "liar" without being sued for libel) would never pay the million.

    "I lost all the data" yeah right, I also once proved that the earth is flat, but then my data "got lost"
    So the earth must be flat, right?

    That's extremely scientific, Mr. Randi

    Nonsense!..if you were to follow that kind of "logic" then you'll have to actually accept that LOVE doesn't exist (among other "irrational paranoid occurrence of humans experience).. nobody can give you "data" to rationalize it!.. but then again once upon a time I for one was IN LOVE .. in high school.. oh wait! it can't happen! why? because according to that nonsensical "rationalist logic like that one, It doesn't really exist, I cant really measure it or put my finger on it It is not "material" so it is not there!!! I am just "hallucinating!!!! there is no DATA to support the existence of LOVE.. I mean something like.. say: I had 28 nM (28 nanomolar) units of Love for my first girl friend and then half that 14.749nM of love for the second..etc dont you see the problem in those "extremely scientific" nonsense!!
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    Yeah that logic was a bit ill, but the real point was about the ethics and credibility of Randi wasn't it?
    Actually what I found flawed in that logic is that the burden of proof seems to be turned around - Randi's JSEF is there to test claims and see if others can prove them so it's off to make it seem like Randi's skepticism is completely invalidated the moment he fails to check claims properly and gets into these lying kerfuffles... That's taking your eye off the ball which is how hard a time people with claimed paranormal abilities have to prove they're for real under conditions of critical testing.
    [Might be getting off-topic, or might not..]

    Neither is the point that the world is black and white and that you can make blanket statements about paranormal things / fringe phenomena, a good example is that of Sheldrake's dog experiments. It's not the kind of claim that leaves you no other option than to accept that there is a spirit world.
    Some claims are about random unexplained phenomena science isn't ready for, others go much further and would validate (long held) superstitious or spiritual beliefs. And like I illustrated before, part of spirituality IMO is just about personal development and psychology while other parts are about things like immortal souls, spirits, entities or unseen energies with intentionality not originating in our own minds.

    Be careful not to take a fringe scientific theory which hasn't been properly tested, take it into your belief system of new age spirituality and go to town on it... Doing something routinely leaves people forgetting what about this is known or even knowable and personal experiences are taken as truth regardless.

    I have had plenty of transformative experiences and some involved really wild things that boggle the mind, I've hallucinated from meditation too... but it would a mistake IMO to think that by acknowledging all the illusions played on the mind and by the mind you lose all that magic and transformation. As if you have to choose... And the real problem is if you mistakenly think that and then don't even choose! But instead just believe in things that sound profound and inspire you and on those merits call them true and real.

    I'm about done ranting, especially if nobody joins the discussion / dialectics and challenges someone's ideas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solipsis View Post
    Yeah that logic was a bit ill, but the real point was about the ethics and credibility of Randi wasn't it?
    Actually what I found flawed in that logic is that the burden of proof seems to be turned around - Randi's JSEF is there to test claims and see if others can prove them so it's off to make it seem like Randi's skepticism is completely invalidated the moment he fails to check claims properly and gets into these lying kerfuffles... That's taking your eye off the ball which is how hard a time people with claimed paranormal abilities have to prove they're for real under conditions of critical testing.
    [Might be getting off-topic, or might not..]

    Neither is the point that the world is black and white and that you can make blanket statements about paranormal things / fringe phenomena, a good example is that of Sheldrake's dog experiments. It's not the kind of claim that leaves you no other option than to accept that there is a spirit world.
    Some claims are about random unexplained phenomena science isn't ready for, others go much further and would validate (long held) superstitious or spiritual beliefs. And like I illustrated before, part of spirituality IMO is just about personal development and psychology while other parts are about things like immortal souls, spirits, entities or unseen energies with intentionality not originating in our own minds.

    Be careful not to take a fringe scientific theory which hasn't been properly tested, take it into your belief system of new age spirituality and go to town on it... Doing something routinely leaves people forgetting what about this is known or even knowable and personal experiences are taken as truth regardless.

    I have had plenty of transformative experiences and some involved really wild things that boggle the mind, I've hallucinated from meditation too... but it would a mistake IMO to think that by acknowledging all the illusions played on the mind and by the mind you lose all that magic and transformation. As if you have to choose... And the real problem is if you mistakenly think that and then don't even choose! But instead just believe in things that sound profound and inspire you and on those merits call them true and real.

    I'm about done ranting, especially if nobody joins the discussion / dialectics and challenges someone's ideas.

    Not one of us will ever come to any kind of conclusion together whatsoever. We might as well just stop trying to get to one. It was am amazing discussion with other intellectuals which I enjoyed, buy hey, face it, this is going nowhere...
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