Tuesday, February 8, 2011

An Excellent Read for the Validity of Psychic Phenomena

Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.” - Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher

I’m reminded of the time when it was widely believed that the Earth was flat, and at the center of the known Universe. Galileo was jailed for proposing that it was round and revolving around the sun. Lucky for us that he wasn’t killed for such a heresy! For anyone who is interested in having a different look at the denials of the so-called skeptics or debunkers of psi phenomena, this treatise by Winston Wu presents compelling arguments in favour of open-mindedness. It can be found at http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/ together with such a number of  links that, I for one, have had and will continue to have hours of delicious reading. When I say delicious, I mean mind candy. It’s been said that the mind is like a parachute. It works best (or only?) when it’s open.

Here’s a little joke about what Wu calls “rationalization through cognitive dissonance”. One woman meets another for the first time and, after an introductory chit-chat, asks her, “…Have you ever been to Australia?”; to which the other responds in the negative. The first one then exclaims, “… Oh! Then you probably know my sister, She’s never been there either”. I’m aware that it’s facetious, but sometimes, a joke or cartoon gets closer to depicting reality than we could express in a thousand words.

Seriously now and for the record, let me state that, after 20 years of atheism and even dogmatic disbelief, when I came to personally experience so-called psychic phenomena, I kept doubting even the reality of what I was experiencing. Yet I could hardly deny that those experiences were validated to me in that, most of the time, they were about helping someone other than myself. For instance, just discovering how past lives had serious implications in one’s life when difficult relationships or seemingly insoluble problems kept occurring invariably made that person burst into tears. Those tears and even the almost choking reaction were proof enough to me. Such a spontaneous and immediate reaction could hardly be faked.

Here’s what I think about the experiences I’ve had and all the others that skeptics invalidate. They were of such a personal and individual nature, how can one replicate them under detached lab conditions? However, Dr. Gary Schwartz, a professor of psychology at the University of Arizona, devised experiments that left no doubt about the validity and accuracy of psychic readings. But it did involve real living individuals with their unique traits and experiences. And it invariably had an emotional content. Wu has definitely done ample research and is so not stingy in quoting or giving references, arguments pro and con, that it amounts to a course. I’m still learning from it. Its tone is calm, matter-of-fact, never strident as that of those who have been termed pseudo-skeptics, or “debunkers”.

Randi, Carl Sagan, and cohorts—step aside!

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