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January 24, 2007


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There are so many things I would like to comment on, but in the end, I just will say thank you for writing a highly interesting essay and for bringing the "hard problem" of consciousness to center stage again.

I can definitely tell from this piece and your essays that you are very well trained in meditation. The whole essay is a meditation - you spinning the lump of coal in the air and admiring the diamond within, without daring to admit or commit that there is actually a diamond within.

Though one question that has now surfaced after reading this piece is your use of the word "grokking". The Wikipedia link you added to "grokking" defines the word as "used most by certain counterculture groups and in hacker culture."

So, which is it, Brian? Which counterculture group do you belong to? :-)

Wow... talk about weird synchronicity!!

Two seconds after submitting the post above, I received this mass email in my inbox from Victor Zammitt. I have interviewed Mr. Zammitt on my radio show. Though I don't necessarily agree with all of Mr. Zammitt's conclusions and methods of experimentation, I can say that he is truly committed to the cause of consciousness survival. Anyway, Mr. Zammitt's meditation on the time magazine article is quite different than Brian's... and unlike Brian, Mr. Zammitt is willing to open his wallet (in a big way).

Here is his email...



Time to take on this uninformed Harvard Prof Pinker in a serious way. I find it shocking that TIME magazine allowed descriptive – unsubstantiated writings in the endeavor to invalidate the existing irrefutable evidence for psi and the afterlife.

I am more than happy to challenge this psi ignorant Professor: I will donate half a million dollars to his department if he can show that what we are doing – communicating with afterlife entities in materialization experiments- is not coming from the afterlife dimension – from existing minds outside the physical brain.

Also, he has to rebut the empirical psi evidence validating communicating with inter-dimensional entities.

If he fails, he has to hand over to the Circle of the Silver Cord half a million dollars for their empirical research. It is a matter of telling this uninformed psi ignorant professor who is inexorably lowering the standards of psychology at Harvard to put up or shut up.

Notwithstanding there may be laws regarding ‘betting’ in some countries, we hereinabove are talking about donations. Can anyone relate the above message to him?

I am not at this stage calling this Professor Pinker an intellectual and a moral coward. We’ll see if he has the balls to respond.

Victor Zammit

A Lawyer Presents the Evidence for the Afterlife www.victorzammit.com


So Brian, you want to make some money?


nice magazine

Ander, you're right. I keep borrowing a friend's copies of "What Is Enlightenment?" Your comment led me to finally subscribe.


Just so you know...

The "What Is Enlightenment" magazine that you posted a link to, is Andrew Cohen's slick spiritual propaganda rag that he uses as advertising bait to trap naive people like you into him and his cult.

Andrew Cohen is, among other things, a total fraud, a devious manipulator and control freak, a financial con-artist, and cold-blooded and dangerous to the well being of his followers... and certainly NOT the 'enlightened' guru that he would have naive people like you believing he is.

I would strongly advise you to stay as far away from him as possible. Many people have been seriously messed-up by him and his cult. Just do a google search on his dark side and you will find more than enough to scare the crap out of you.

Do yourself an enormous favor and stay far away from frauds like him and his magazine.

If you really desire to pursue non-dual truth and genuine Self-realization, then go study the teachings of authentic sages like Sri Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta, Huang Po and the like.

Tao. Thanks for the information. I had no idea.
- The magazine, in itself, is interesting though. Among the other crap that are displayed at Borders, this stands out.

The information you gave is indeed necessesary knowledge for whoever reads it, or comes accross it by accident (like myself).

Marcel, my impression of Victor Zammit, from a quick perusal of his web site, is that he has a profound misunderstanding of the scientific method. See:

It isn't up to a debunker to prove that ESP and other psychic phenomena don't exist; it's up to Zammit to prove that they do.

There are any number of scientific journals that would be pleased to publish the objective evidence that Zammit supposedly has assembled in support of his belief in an afterlife, and so on. Why hasn't he done this?

Zammit takes scientists to task for failing to prove that life after death doesn't exist. See:

Well, as I've noted before, scientists also haven't proved that there isn't a tea kettle orbiting the sun. Or that the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist. Or any of an infinite number of other hypothetical truths.

Again, science (and everyday life) is founded on positive facts, not the proof of non-existent realities. You can never absolutely prove that something doesn't exist, because there's nothing to base that proof on.


Thanks for the reference to, Nisargadatta, regarding self-realization, found in your above comment. I enjoyed reading the internet search info, I found.

If you have other references on the mentioned topic, feel free to pass them along.



Perhaps I was too cautious in my previous post. I totally agree that you can't prove a negative. I also don't believe Mr. Zammitt's materialization studies are either scientific or valid, and I think the medium David Thompson is a fraud. I have told Mr. Zammitt just that.

I just thought it was funny to receive an email on the same Time Magazine article with an opinion so polar to your own.

Next time, if I can find an emoticon for irony, I'll use it. Wait... was getting that email irony or "coinkidink".

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