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Begin Archive #011 January 1998

Date sent: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 14:15:13 GMT
From: Brian Oldham
Subject: Re: [Psi] Hidden and repressed psi

At 03:22 PM 1/27/98 -0500, John Krimes wrote:
>I believe the universe is set up, to an extent, like a holographic plate.
>Every piece of the universe(our internal and external environment) contains
>all the information of the whole(the entire cosmos to infintity). It then
>becomes a matter of directing intend and sorting the info out.

Interesting theory John. I have a feeling that even QM experts would not
throw this one out.

In another newsgroup ( unrelated to Psi and discussing relativity) I read
a speculation as to what an observer might see when travelling at light
speed. I thought that to an observer at rest it takes four light years for a
beam of light from earth to reach the nearest star and I further thought
that the journey would also take a spaceship travelling at light speed
four years. However, as was explained to me, time dilation means that
if I were in a spaceship making that trip at light speed (impossible I know
but bear with me) then it would not take four years - it would in fact
for the traveller, take zero time.

The implication is that at light speed time does not exist. Light is
everywhere and everywhen. It therefore follows that all of earth's
history, present and future is simultaneous. Is that weird or what?


Date sent: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 09:38:16 -0500
From: Thomas E Carey
Subject: Re: [Psi] What is a ghost?

At 09:02 1/28/1998 GMT, Brian Oldham wrote:
>But I don't know of any way to make progress through
>a debate without using the language we have.
>Are we to drop the subject just because we have
>difficulty with the exact interpretation of the words?

Not at all. I only wanted to make the point that our agreements about any
language whatever involve basic assumptions about <isness>, <whereness>,
<nowness>, <being>, <location>, <motion>, <action>, etc. Assumptions which
don't necessarily hold in the areas under discussion here. Not to recognize
this can lead us into inapplicable complexities or simplifications and a
false sense of understanding. In David Bohm's great phrase, into "serious
and sustained confusion in all that we do."

Benjamin Lee Whorf's analysis of Hopi and other non-Indo-European languages
is very thought-provoking. A number of his essays appear in "Language,
Thought and Reality," published in 1956 by the MIT Press, but still in
print (now in its umpteenth reprinting).

Whorf points out that every language is built on hidden assumptions about
the structure of reality, and these condition and limit the thinking and the
perceptions of everyone speaking it. In Hopi, for instance, there are no
verb forms denoting 'past, present, future'; instead the language represents
what we think of as 'objects' and 'events' as 'manifested' or 'manifesting'
or 'unmanifested' processes, representing a continuous process of becoming.

>>Every conceivable "empirical" criterion depends on such agreements.

>But for everyday use we do have such an agreement. Ask publishers, like
>Collins, Chambers, or the OED. It is what has enabled them to compile
>dictionaries. They will acknowledge, as will I, that there are very few words
>which can totally escape an intellectual challenge as to its meaning.

As I said, these agreements exist. The question I raise is not the status of
agreement, not the particular meaning of this word or that, but the validity
of the fundamental postulates inherent in the language when extended to
non-ordinary experience.

>But it would be foolish to bring down every debate with such low level argument.
>At some point you have to acknowledge that some things in this odd branch
>of science are so poorly understood that we do not have words to describe
>what we mean and can only make approximations or allude to by reference
>to something else.

I had hoped I wasn't making such a low level argument. Given our situation,
all we can do, as you say, is approximate (but how closely?) and suggest
(but how appropriately?)

Keeping in mind the very tentative nature of our approximations and
suggestions. This caution is not always apparent in discussions of the

>It is one thing to have an hallucination - even a psi induced
>hallucination - quite something else, had it been a physical apport.

As PJ pointed out recently, the only way to make this distinction is by
consensual agreement, and even that is not definitive. Although in practical
matters it has to suffice!

>>A long tradition of common law rightly rejects this in evidentiary

>Would you like me to withdraw the question m'lud?

The jury will disregard the exchange.... <[:-|

>>We are all parties to a mass of such agreements, obviously. J. C. Pearce has
>>called this the ordinary consensus. Without it communication and mutual
>>interaction would be extraordinarily difficult. But in discussions of
>>matters "outside the box," as on this list, these agreements should be
>>identified and considered as possible limitations.

>I think we are broadly in agreement on this but do remember that this is a
>non-scientific, and not even academic, debating forum. However, if you
>have any suggestions or recommendations to make which would help
>render the discussion of our subject less ambiguous I for one would find
>them most welcome.

So would we all, I believe. But given the tenuous and arbitrary connection
between direct experience and the constraints of language, that may not be
possible. I'm suggesting that we remember that language can obscure and
misrepresent experience. Not that we abandon it! -- that's not an option.


Date sent: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 15:02:10 -0500
From: Thomas E Carey
Subject: Re: [Psi] Hidden and repressed psi

At 10:58 1/28/1998 +0000, PJ wrote:
>What amazes me is how we keep "discovering" things that sages have
>been saying for thousands of years -- through the back door, so to
>speak. You would think that it would cause physicists to pay more
>attention to literature of that sort and see if there might be more
>in the science to be found, gleaning ideas from the literature....

Some few are doing just that. But most of 'em -- in all sciences -- seem to
feel that our present knowledge of everything that matters is so far
advanced beyond the old folks' myths and superstitions that it would be a
waste of time to consider those ideas.

I have a little book of dialogues between David Bohm and Krishnamurti, both
in their latter years. They work over some very substantial questions.

Examples, from the cover notes:

"How does one cleanse the mind of the "accumulation of time" and break the
pattern of ego-centered activity? Is it possible that, through insight, the
brain can renew itself, healing the damage caused by years of wrong function?"

"The Ending of Time,"
J. Krishnamurti and David Bohm
Harper San Francisco 1985
ISBN: 0060647965


Date sent: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 16:21:28 -0500
From: Thomas E Carey
Subject: Re: [Psi] "Real" Reality

[Brian wrote}
>>I continue to think that "real" means that which has objective
>>existence whether or not an observer can sense it.
>My first questions in this thread were simply about what you wanted
>to measure that reality with. There are many different technologies
>that measure different aspects of "real objective reality." You
>can't define objective reality by what people see, because in this
>case, ALL the people saw the same thing, one even touched it, yet you
>are questioning whether or not it was "really real." So you must be
>using some other measure than human perception. That's okay. What
>measure do you want to use? What equipment, if it registered
>something there, would you consider evidence the thing was "real?"

At the bottom of every "reality check," at the end of every scientific
inquiry using technical means, no matter how esoteric or expensive the
instrumentation, it is human perception which interprets the events.
Readings on a dial, flashes on a scintillator, tracks in a cloud chamber,
tracings on a graph-- all are meaningless in themselves, until some person
_reads_ them. And we're back to square one.

Q. "How do we know what's real?"
A. "We get together and _agree_ on what's real."

When our consensus happens to have excluded some class of events, it's
really hard to learn anything about them. "Pushing the envelope" is equally
hard. Look at the intense opposition that met Planck, Bohr, Schr�dinger,
Heisenberg and others when they were opening up the new physics. (I
understand the American Medical Association officially opposed the bathtub
when it was introduced in the 19th century, on the grounds that it was
hazardous to health.)


Date sent: Thu, 29 Jan 1998 10:59:08 GMT
From: Brian Oldham
Subject: Re: [Psi] Reality II

>>Even so, I have no beliefs as to where God might be. If he really
>>is "in here" then we have to presume the existence of a hiding place
>>for him (by which I mean someplace for him to dwell and to "be").
>>That means we have to consider the existence of other dimensions,
>>or something.
>I do, but I don't know that this theory means we HAVE to. Perhaps
>the problem is not where something "is" but rather, your definition
>of that something in the first place. Maybe a lot of people are
>looking for a "thing" which is their own mental construct based on
>cultural conditioning, something that doesn't even exist as that
>"thing" -- quite a frustrating disappointment to a lot of angry
>atheists who were believers as kids -- yet may exist quite well in
>its own nature.

Yes. Its the language problem again. Of course we have no notion
of a specific place for God since perhaps for God even the very
idea of a "place" might be a meaningless concept. But, first things
first: Yes, if we presume the existence of God then we DO have to
presume a place, even if it is (apparently) meaningless. For if we
don't, we have no handle on which to attach a theory; no starting
point to seed our thoughts. We may have to adapt them later but
so long as we acknowledge this no harm is done. Hm?

>>If theory 1 (the one that says ac and ap are the only phenomena to
>>come under the umbrella of psi) is correct then all remaining
>>phenomena can be explained away as psychological dysfunction.
>>Under this theory there is no need for ghosts or for a god.
>Leaves a lot left to be explained -- and requires a monstrous
>stretching of logic to blanket every experience...

True, and for that reason I have a slight preference for the second

>>If theory 2 (the one that tries to encompass all phenomena) is
>>correct then we must presume somewhere for spirits, ghosts, demons,
>>angels, etc., plus all the paraphernalia and apports they hurl
>>around, to go and to dwell.
>My theory as I bored you with in another post, so far, at least to
>me, actually functions as a logical explanation for everything I've
>ever even heard of. That's why I like it. Convenient, wraps up all
>those loose ends. Now if only I were a physicist.....

Why not post it to the academic PRF list and see what they make of it?

>>God, if he exists must also live somewhere.

>Maybe God lives everywhere.

Well, yes. But in that case the "somewhere" == everywhere and
my question is answered.

>Maybe God is not a measurable "thing" in our definition.
>Maybe the evidence for God is that anything lives at all.
>Just ideas. Who knows.

It seems to me that if we are ever to conquer psi then we must think
a little bigger. If you insist on thinking of him as the Prime Mover
remember that for him to have created his own existence out of
nothing and into nothingness, nothing must have existed before
him therefore even he has rules to obey. No doubt God is almighty
indeed, by definition, he is. But that does not necessarily mean we
must fear Him to the extent we dare not look.

>I think the more we learn about ourselves, the more we learn about
>God. ...[snip] Your awareness, though, contains that entire picture -- but
>massively more. So to the picture, you're pretty much omniscient.

But this is taking deference to God to the extreme. Its not just you,
it seems to be the kind of thinking which is prevalent in all religions,
and it is frankly inhibiting to scientific progress. That is certainly true
for parapsychology where the willing cooperation of subjects is
more often than not refused on religious grounds. Even some
investigators are held back by their own fear. Or do odd things
like performing exorcism rituals to get rid of unwanted spirits -
when there is not the slightest proof that observed phenomena
is any such thing.

N.B. If I seem to be talking at odds to my statement above (that I had
a preference for theory No 2), let me remind you I also said I am still
on the fence, where I shall stay until I am pursuaded by facts.

>Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day" (my favorite movie ever) says that
>maybe God knows everything just because he's been around so long --
>like Bill, living the same day over and over, became "aware" of it
>until he could function almost as a God in it.

Yep. I liked that movie too.

>Courtney Brown RVd God. Ask him.

Why you laughing? Sounds like a clever and logical thing to do.
Anyway, who's Courtney Brown?


Date sent: Thu, 29 Jan 1998 13:57:10 GMT
From: Brian Oldham
Subject: Re: [Psi] "Real" Reality

At 04:21 PM 1/28/98 -0500, Tom wrote:
>... Look at the intense opposition that met Planck, Bohr, Schr�dinger,
>Heisenberg and others when they were opening up the new physics. (I
>understand the American Medical Association officially opposed the bathtub
>when it was introduced in the 19th century, on the grounds that it was
>hazardous to health.)

They sure were advanced for their time. It takes a pretty special kind of
lateral thinker to even follow those guys.

Me? I'm still wondering whether to take a bath :-)


Date sent: Thu, 29 Jan 1998 13:57:12 GMT
From: Brian Oldham
Subject: Re: [Psi] "Real" Reality

At 12:36 PM 1/28/98 +0000, PJ wrote:
>I'm sorry, again. Didn't mean to be overbearing. When I define
>something it is not to be academic. It is because if we are not
>using the same words in the way, we are not even talking about the
>same thing.

Oops! I guess I am being a little too touchy. Frustration at not being
understood. But I take your point, and Tom's, and if something
looks ambiguous I'll agree to a pause for clarification. If possible
without getting frustrated.

>You have been asking, looking it seems, for some explanation of how
>that story could be literal. I have no problem accepting it was. I
>was attempting to provide an explanation of how it could be literally
>true *just as he reported it*, since to some degree your question
>(were her senses deceived) would have been answered by that.

That's right. I was looking for clarification about this story which would
tell us whether the corpse, at the moment of being touched by the
mother - or, more generally, at the time of being observed by the
group - was real. At which point the discussion got bogged down
in confusion over the definition of the word "real" further compounded
by my comments about the truth of the story. Sorry about that.

What I am really trying to get at - and do stop me if I'm still not clear -
is what happens in an ostensibly psychic event of this kind. Does
an apparently physical apport really, physically materialise, or are the
observers *always* deluded? I realise that the group cannot answer
this, as the same question has probably eluded scientists for the past
hundred+ years - I just wanted to hear speculation.

>In other words -- people create their answers by the way they create
>their questions.

That's true, as I've managed to demonstrate :-(

>I understand it was just wording, and it's no big deal. But I see
>people do that all the time. I am not accusing you of being a
>skeptic, or being anything more than an interested party, and I enjoy
>your conversation here. It's just that this is really familiar to me
>and I see it happening in this case as well.

But I am a sceptic PJ. Though not a Skeptic (with a 'k') you understand,
for your average Skeptic is a blatent disbeliever, and I am not that.
When I suggested that the mother, *indeed* the whole group, had
been deluded I did not necessarily preclude a psi cause. Rather
that the scenario, including the tactile bit, though still a psychic
experience, had been only in their minds.

Let me make this clear: I am not suggesting that it was an hallucination
in the medical sense, rather that it might have been a psi induced
hallucination - for that is what visions are. No slur is intended. What
perhaps makes it odd and hard to accept as an hallucination is the fact
that the event was observed by several people at once. But as we know,
psi is no respecter of physical laws so psi, given the right conditions,
could easily influence the minds and perceptions of several people
at once.

>... There are many different technologies
>that measure different aspects of "real objective reality." You
>can't define objective reality by what people see, because in this
>case, ALL the people saw the same thing, one even touched it, yet you
>are questioning whether or not it was "really real." So you must be
>using some other measure than human perception. That's okay. What
>measure do you want to use? What equipment, if it registered
>something there, would you consider evidence the thing was "real?"
>You avoid defining this.

I saw no reason to define it, PJ. I still don't, for it would not make a
jot of difference to the question or to the answer. I don't think it is relevant.
All I am asking is: is the group in the story seeing and feeling a genuine,
honest-to-goodness, physically present object (in my words, real) or has
it existence only in their collective minds? Is that perhaps precisely the
way psi works? To my mind that makes more sense than a physically
apported object.

As I said above I don't expect an answer - only discussion.

>I'm suddenly reminded of "Stranger in a Strange Land" -- my favorite
>book -- where Michael (the Martian), in order to teach people the
>various psi abilities his people had, first had to teach them his
>language. That makes more and more sense all the time. Heinlein was
>downright inspired for that one....

I wonder if Alan remembers that one?
You should talk to Alan, PJ. He's a SF connoiseur.


Date sent: Thu, 29 Jan 1998 10:35:45 -0500
From: Thomas E Carey
Subject: Re: [Psi] "Real" Reality

At 13:57 1/29/1998 GMT, Brian wrote:
>When I suggested that the mother, *indeed* the whole group, had
>been deluded I did not necessarily preclude a psi cause. Rather
>that the scenario, including the tactile bit, though still a psychic
>experience, had been only in their minds.

Brian --

What persuades you so completely that what you are now experiencing, all
your senses, vision, hearing, touch, etc. --all that & more -- is NOT "only
in your mind"? There is _no other place_ for those events to occur. This
does not mean that everything is just imagination! Only that we make the
constructs that we collectively call "the real world" inside our heads, out
of raw data from the environment.

I say it is mutual agreement that persuades us all of this. The notion of an
external "reality" is what our race has, in broad terms, _agreed_ to.
Everyone is "taught" this, by example far more than precept, from Day One.
I'm certainly as much a party to the agreement as everyone else -- I use
doors, carefully opening them first; I don't drive north on the southbound
expressway; I use words to communicate.

What so-called "psychic" phenomena demonstrate is that this intricate set of
agreements is not cast in concrete, that individuals are capable of revising
or expanding their agreements about "reality." In many different ways,
leading to a great variety of experiences. In other words, for those
persons, "reality" is redefined, temporarily or permanently.

>> So you must be using some other measure than human
>>perception. That's okay. What measure do you want to use?
>>What equipment, if it registered something there, would you
>>consider evidence the thing was "real?" You avoid defining this.
>I saw no reason to define it, PJ. I still don't, for it would not make a
>jot of difference to the question or to the answer. I don't think it is relevant.

How can it be anything but relevant? You ask, is it "real"? If you recognize
no criterion for distinguishing what is "real" from what is "in the mind,"
how can any answer have meaning to you? If there is no way to tell the
difference, then there is no difference. This is not your view, I believe.

>As I said above I don't expect an answer - only discussion.

See above.


"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd." (Voltaire)

Date sent: Thu, 29 Jan 1998 21:56:53 -0800
From: Marilyn Huff
Subject: [Psi] OOBE question.

While I have truly enjoyed the discussions about what is real or not
real, don't stop, please.

I have a question and I really need advice. Please forgive me if this is
not appropriate to interrupt the discussions, but somehow I think that
there are people here who can help me. Angela, PJ and others have said
that they have had OOBE experiences.

Me too. Since I was 12 or so I have been feeling the vibrations,
rolling over, lifting up, and going places. Didn't have a clue, until in
the 70's , someone said to read Robert Monroe's "Journeys out of the

For example, years ago, I was met by 2 dead relatives and shown a sign
that I knew meant something about my father, "We will be there when you
need us." 6 months later, I felt an urge to call my dad. Not an urge, I
was so upset that I couldn't remember the telephone number, (I could
give it to you now, 20 years later) We talked about death. He had just
come back from a trip with my stepmother. Her son had committed
suicide,__with a deer rifle__, longer than his arm. Shot himself 4
times, he did. My, My.

Anyway, we made our peace that night, talking about how I felt about
death and the other side. I found my self saying, "You know, Dad, I have
always loved you." He said, "You have never said it." (but then neither
had he.) He cried, we talked some more. Two weeks later he was dead from
a massive stroke. I was given the chance to make peace with him. None
of my relatives understands that I didn't have to forgive him for
anything. We connected on a level that makes forgiving him seem like a
stupid idea. I actually told his brother, "I don't have to forgive him,
I understand and accept that he did the best he could. There is no need
to say that I forgive him." The uncle didn't have a clue.

Any way, I still occasionally meet relatives who have passed on and who
come back with messages. One time when I was very much into meditation,
I was shown a room full of people, dressed like yogis, who were waiting
for nirvana or something. I was told, "You are here to do something, not
just sit around and wait."

I am really bothered by the latest spate of books encouraging people to
try to have OOBEs, Especially after what happened to me several months

Sorry to make this so long, but you have to understand:
I have a college degree. I'm the only one in the immediate family
without a Masters Degree. and It is going to stay that way, I'm too
old to care any more.
Married 37 or so years. Might just last,
Mother in law still doesn't think so.
2 great kids, Well, adults now, with fantastic careers.
I am not your average flake. Above average maybe. But nothing of
the intelligence of most of you. Well, blame it on Calif colleges.

Several months ago, I started having OOBE experiences again, every night
for 2 nights. Then, I had been having trouble sleeping so I moved out
onto the couch in the living room.

About 3:00 AM I woke instantly. I felt the vibrations, and thought, "Oh
no, Not again!" Then suddenly I felt a nasty, angry, vibration and
frightening sound. Picture a clump of sticks in the childrens game,
"Pick Up Sticks" at about basket ball size. It was over my head and
then hit me in the stomach area. I was able to say, "No" and pictured
the "White Christ Light of Protection." It went away.

I had another OOBE the next night. I did write everything down. I can
look at the notes, but I don't think anything made any sense.

So, has anyone had anything like this happen?
How did you deal with it?
What does it mean?

I rarely say anything to people about this. I have kept records of the
OOBEs but I really don't try to bring them on. I'm not sure that anyone
should. Some have been very unpleasant. i.e, "Journeys Out of the Body."

So, I've gone and on, but you needed to understand. I've really lurked a
very long time at vwr, psi seemed the right place to ask for help.

Anyone have any suggestions?


From: USPsiSquad
Date sent: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 08:20:37 EST
Subject: Re: [Psi] What is a ghost?

Brian: Dear Brian, yes, we would miss you. lol.

Over many years of observation in a large number of cases of reputed
'hauntings' etc etc, and personal investigation of many of them, it seems that
some of these definitely fall into the 'replayed' category . ( while others do

In these cases, there does not appear to be a single 'entity' and in fact,
some of the classic ones involve a group of individuals, while most
'hauntings' seem to involve only one. An American tv crew encountered one of
these 'classics' while filming in England. The camera captured a misty
'light' which moved along a hallway, and shortly thereafter, the camera was
displaced and found at the foot of a staircase.

No conclusion was made as to the 'dislocation' of the camera.

In many of the cases, an apparition of someone is continually seen, which was
first observed at the time of that individual's death. I would categorize
this as a 'replayed' event and not a 'haunting' by that individual.

Many of the 'hauntings' observed seem to have been former residents of the
place or home in which they are observed. There is none of the expected
physical phenomena which we have come to expect being related by the living
residents of such places. Again, replayed?

(In others, there is reported phenomena which fits the 'haunting' parameters.
The living residents report doors slamming, windows opening, drawers moving in and
out, cold winds in a warm room, lights being turned on or off, footsteps on a
heavily carpeted floor.)

One case involved auditory phenomena including the sounds of battle, horses
and wagons on a corduroy road (no longer in existence) under a railway
bridge. Twenty years later this location was found to have been the site of a
small intense battle during the Civil War years. Definitely a 'replayed'
situation, not a 'haunting' of the classic sort.

One case under investigation in the late 60's involved a number of unusual
phenomena, apparently directed _at_ one of the home's residents, including
blood spots on walls, unexplained blood on countertops and on personal
clothing, a black shadow which was seen to move from room to room, and twice,
the family car starting itself up, rolling down the driveway in neutral gear
and crashing into a neighbor's carport. While the investigative group was
physically in the house observing, when all residents were under close
observation, several of the 'spot on the wall' phenomena occurred, as did the
black shadow (visible) and in the small kitchen, clearly visible to all
investigators and completely empty of any human, the clothes washer was heard
to turn on and fill with water. There was no 'timer' nor any electronic device
attached to the washer. It was, simply, a manually-controlled washing machine.
_Not_ a replayed category.

As to the photographing angle, the photographs were taken by investigators
merely as part of the investigation, and not expected to contain anything not
physically 'there' at the time. One of the strangest involved a human
skeleton which was visible in the negative and print, yet was actually beneath
6" of concrete foundation. The house was later found to have been constructed
over a known Amerindian burial ground. (not known by the current residents)
In a few cases, the photographs showed an energy form which had been seen and
described previously by the residents of the structures in question.

This is why I feel that there can be cases in which psi impressions or
experiences have no apparent function nor relationship.

As previously stated, there is no one, all-encompassing, comprehensive
explanation for such cases as these and others.


Bevy J

End Archive #011 January 1998

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