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December 20, 2014


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I've encountered the "god of the gaps" argument many times. It was interesting to learn from your article that it is a formal theological position (an incorrect position, as all theological positions are!). Thanks.

You quote/paraphrase David Lane as saying :
If significant mysteries eventually remain that science can't explain, this is where supernaturalism, or at least a radical restructuring of how we look upon reality, can be seriously explored.

I don't see how this is any different from the "god of the gaps" argument, except this pushes the argument to some undefined future time.

I'm no scientist myself, but I don't see why we need to assume that science has any limits. Are there limits now, today? Sure! But science, in my understanding, is an ever-unfolding PROCESS. There is no reason to suppose that science (or history, to take a brief derailing leap within these parentheses by way of analogy) will even "end". What is not known today may be known tomorrow, and what is not known tomorrow may come to known two centuries hence ; and what stays unknown even then may well be known five centuries then. (Assuming we don't get pulverized by then, from our thoughtless use of our ever galloping science.) Why postulate any limits at all?

I remember a quote that is attributed to Einstein I think (or not, I don't rightly remember, but doesn't matter who said it) : that every science begins as philosophy and ends as art.

If something "shows up" at all--that is, if indeed via meditation or whatever means one can reach supramental states or knowledge, even then, why would that not be valid grounds for scientific investigation? If it can be known, then by definition it means we have the potential capacity/organ to know it (whatever "it" is). What just one or two know today, no reason why many more can't know tomorrow. And if many can use some sense organ/capacity tomorrow that we generally can't today, then that would fall under the definition of "objective", then, wouldn't it, and therefore qualify as "empirical". In other words, fodder for science.

And if there's nothing supramental/supranormal to know, then of course the question is moot.

Either way, aren't we (that is, isn't David Lane) simply restating the "god of the gaps" argument/fallacy?

Unless this is precisely what he means when he says : "a radical restructuring of how we look upon reality, can be seriously explored" : but then if that is so, well, it's an obvious thing, isn't it? Bacon would not have imagined a fraction of the tools (and areas of investigation) of today's science, and surely it's obvious that the science of five centuries hence (if we, and science, survive that far) will be equally beyond our scope in terms of both scope and tools used?

Or am I missing something here?

...it would be a mistake to embrace mystical notions of soul or whatever just because science is still working on understanding how it is we are able to consciously understand reality.

The mind that embraces mystical notions doesn't take science as seriously as its need to fly high, and if it doesn't use drugs, it's grounded without religious faith.

"..maybe there is nothing to explain since consciousness is just what a highly evolved physical brain produces -- or whether consciousness stands apart from neurons, brain chemicals, and such"

--It seems to me that energy/consciousness is temporarily organized in the form of a human organism or bat or whatever. At the time of death this organization dissipates but the energy/consciousness remains as part of the whole, the drop merging back into the ocean so to speak, undifferentiated. After all, even physics knows that energy cannot be destroyed, just transformed or relocated.

appreciative reader, I agree with you that the "gaps" of science almost certainly will be filled by the scientific method one day. But that day may take tens or hundreds of thousands of years to come. If ever. And some questions/mysteries may be beyond the capacity of human science to unravel.

I guess I was thinking more of that, than of the possibility that supernatural and religious avenues may need to be explored if science hits the dead end David Lane talked about in his video.

That said, science never is 100% certain about anything. It's possible that there are realms of reality beyond the physical. In which case, those realms, if confirmed by science, would become part of the reality known to science.

In other words, rather than science being replaced by religion in some ways, to me it is more likely that the bounds of science could possibly expand to include seemingly "supernatural" phenomena that actually reflect previously unknown laws of nature.

Scientific evidence is already trickling in regarding consciousness surviving body's death.
Oct 7, 2014 The independent has one article
" Life after death? Largest-ever study provides evidence that 'out of body' and 'near-death' experiences may be real "
Dr Sam Parnia's research on cardiac arrest patients spanning 4 years.
Plus we have Edgar Cayce's accurate readings & prophecies delving into intricacies of human anatomy & reincarnation.
We have numerous case reports by surgeons where cardiac bypass surgery patients described out of body experience , telling even the steps & instruments used in the procedure. It is not possible even if the general anesthesia hasn't reached highest level of sedation. Why ? Because eyes are taped during surgery , even if they are not taped the patient cannot see the instruments used due to deep sedation & supine position during surgery. Seems the world is more afraid of consciousness surviving death than the opposite. That would mean one's every action can reap reward or punishment in the next physical life. That's precisely the mystics have been saying since centuries.

vinny, here's the thing:

(1) No one has actually died in a "near-death experience." Obviously. That's why it is called near-death, not actual death. So the brain is still capable of functioning in a near-death experience.

(2) There is no solid evidence that anyone has ever left their body as soul or whatever, and experienced something that wasn't evident to their still capable of functioning brain/body. I've read lots of research overviews about NDE's. This is what knowledgeable scientists all say.

(3) The brain/ body is capable of sensing and imagining even when anesthesized. Researchers have shown how the most famous NDE's can be explained by what the patient perceived before, during, and after the operation, not by a supposed temporary departing of soul consciousness.

Lastly, don't you think this would be front page news, if science discovered solid evidence of non-bodily consciousness? Instead, we get articles on the Internet and newspaper stories. Not persuasive, but I can understand why you want to believe the stories. We all do, on some level, because we're afraid of our own dying.

we're afraid of our own dying.

Those who believe they'll survive death are not afraid of dying, but of never regaining consciousness. Their faith is that they'll wake up on "the other side", fully conscious, fit as a fiddle, renewed and ready for the next exciting chapter in their never-ending lives.

I have never had a NDE possibly because I have never been near death. Well, I take that back. I used to drive on L.A. freeways. So, in my NDE's there sometimes is lots of light in the form of headlights.

I have had a number of OBE's though.

One time I was meditating at home and suddenly found myself at the restaurant where I worked. I was following the owner down the aisle to a table where a celebrity was sitting with two people. It was very vivid and real like I was seeing and hearing with my physical eyes and ears. Just as suddenly I found myself back at home in my meditation position. I thought, what was that? A dream?

Later, I went to work and asked some of my fellow employees if the celebrity had been there earlier. I described the celebrity's blue shirt and the appearance, sex, clothing of his companions. The employees verified the celebrity and companions in every detail I described.

This doesn't prove anything to anyone, including me, but it is interesting that these sorts of things seem to happen.

I find it interesting to read about OBEs and NDEs by both non meditaters and meditaters. Even here, many long time meditaters have never experienced OBEs, while other short time Neubies mediate a short while, and leave their bodies, go thru walls, fly over the neighborhood like Superman, ...( as I have) and as Tuscon above shared. There are many, many other Techniques to experience OBEs other than by the Surat Shabd Yoga Tech. Any one reading all the Monroe Research or Yogananda Techs or Kundalini Techs adds more convincing documentation than what our RSSB or Agra or Ruhani Gurus taught us. I like to mix and match parts of defferent Techs, such as using Yogananda's "watching the Breath" with taking DEEP breaths, holding, expelling, then his "Hong Sau" Tech for 5-10 minutes used as FOREPLAY to proceed in to the Sant Mat Tech of Panch Nam 5 Name Mantra we were all given when initiated, but I also ADD the Agra RADHASOAMI as my 6th Name , so I use the 6 Name Mantra after the Foreplay of Yogananda's Watching the Breath Hong Sau Tech. Yogananda correctly states that " Breath is the Cord that binds the Soul to the Body." So once the breath has slowed down to Auto-Pilot by the Sub-Concious mind, then listening to the Ringing Radiance Cicada Shabd Sound, .i.e. Word, ......then breathing has almost ceased, and the Cord binding the soul to the body is no longer strong enough to restrain the OBEs to just the bedroom, or meditation room, and some travel like Tuscon and I have shared, might begin for the skeptics who have never had any experiences, so don't believe any one else has had any either. But, here is an important possibility. I have had TWO NDEs, one when I was eleven, and another when I was 24. But in neither of those NDEs did I remember leaving my body. But, perhaps what ever material substance that unites my mind/soul to my body, ( I refer to it as "The Condom of The Soul" in one of my blog posts, )...just perhaps,.... That Condom was stretched during my NDEs making it much easier for my soul to experience the OBEs that I have experienced, once I started meditating. At least, that is a possibility to consider. When I was eleven, I couldn't swim, and was thrown off a warf in deep water, and almost drowned, going down 3 times before finally paddling to shore and barfing out the water in my lungs. When I was 24, I was electrocuted, by standing in water, with both hands holding an open short circuited 440 Volt 3 Phase circuit. My hair was standing straight up on my head, I was told, by those watching, but not daring to touch me to break me free, and I was hooked up for about 10 seconds before I took one last gasp thinking I would die if I didn't break free, and I finally landed on my back in the water. I never lost conciousness, or remember leaving my body, but believe me,.....I was close to death!! So, just, .........PERHAPS,.......for the skeptics, may be a reason I have been able to experience the OBEs I have had, not because I am Spiritual, but because my Condom has been stretched enough to let some of my soul drops escape my body to head back to the Ocean ? :-) Cheers, Jim

A Jim Sutherland comment is like the label on a bottle of Dr. Bronner's soap.

Dr. Bonner's 18 in One is not as many possible Personalities that my expanded Awareness has when I have OBEs , because "We Are Legion!


Maybe even "84 Lakh Species?"

There are times when I feel there is nothing I am not although at such times "I" am not, so I can relate to aspects of Jim Sutherland's link above.

For years I regularly purchased some of Dr. Bronner's products. I never took the time to read the fanatical rants on the labels except maybe once when I was sitting on the toilet with nothing else available to read.

Often it is better to be concise and to the point...pithy, a quality x seems to possess, much the same as cc.

To all a Merry Holiday in honor of an entity believed by many to be their Lord and Savior.

I think it requires far more courage to even entertain the possibility of life after death. You are opening yourself to the possibility of heavens , hell's , reincarnating in other life forms or all the mystical bullshit/undiscovered truth. That mystical bullshit/truth which drives people to gurus giving up even their essential liberty. Either a person can get into mode of defiance , rejecting all this doing all sorts of actions disrespecting any form of life OR mode of abject surrender to these gurus. Invariably in both mental states he/she is subconsciously affected or even fearful of the possibility of life after death.

I think it requires far more courage to even entertain the possibility of life after death. You are opening yourself to the possibility of heavens , hell's , reincarnating in other life forms or all the mystical bullshit/undiscovered truth.

If you really believe that any kind of existence is possible after death, it's not because you're courageous, but because you're credulous. If death is not the end but the beginning of some heavenly or hellish continuation of consciousness, there would be a body of credible evidence supporting the notion, but there's nothing but a dead body and the desperate imaginations of living bodies who dread being dead.


How about this "evidence" X?

I think its very easy to write or verbalize that you don't have any fear of death/ possibility of afterlife in worse than or better than present condition. But truth might be stark opposite. So many people who read Brian's blog , at least recognize themselves as part of any religious faith Christianity , Islam , Hinduism etc barring few atheists. Even atheists might have their subconscious fears otherwise we wouldn't be debating this topic at all. Do we debate whether Iron is metal or not ?
If we were so rationally upright , we would not accept any faith/ religion without proof but that is not the reality in this world. Even Albert Einstein was agnostic not atheist. Rationally he did not negate the possibility of god/spirit.

I've never flown over walls or buildings, never had an NDE or OBE, never mindmelded with a Martian or other entity, never seen a ghost, spook or apparition.

is there something wrong?

If we were so rationally upright , we would not accept any faith/ religion without proof but that is not the reality in this world.

Speak for yourself. Many people "in this world" reject all "faith/religion" simply because they put no faith in what has no verifiable existence.

Even atheists might have their subconscious fears otherwise we wouldn't be debating this topic at all.

There is no debate. You either have faith in what can't be proven to exist, or you don't. There's no rational argument for religious faith because it's a leap, an abandonment of reason. People take this leap because, wanting desperately to believe in something higher than reason, they resort to emotion and make-believe.

Mr x , Kindly tell the world how can your highly prized reason explain one child being born in wealthy family & the other in urban slum ?? If you call it random chance then there is same random chance of what mystics speak being true. Human ego is compounding the problem further. We see mystics as our enemies who want to deprive us of the sensual pleasures of world. We have the option of appreciating mystics as the people like us who came out of the same dilemma with dedicated work in realm of consciousness & they have documented the method. But this method requires austerity & relinquishing sensual pleasures which the humanity finds incapable of doing. It seems empirically plausible that if you want to achieve anything in the realm of consciousness, it might be impossible by continuing identifying with the sensual/physical aspects of human body/physical universe.


Relax, Skepics, and get back to Basics: Simple sitting down to leave your body/mind behind to start your Journey back to our Source.

It seems empirically plausible that if you want to achieve anything in the realm of consciousness, it might be impossible by continuing identifying with the sensual/physical aspects of human body/physical universe.

If that's how you feel, quit theorizing and do the research and experimentation and present your findings. The world eagerly awaits.

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