Correct me if I'm wrong, but mostly as atheists, we believe in nothingness after death, or at least I think I do. But then we have all of this stuff with mediums and spirits that maybe point to evidence to an afterlife. Some mediums have told people things that no one else has known, so that really makes me wonder.
I was really just wondering what everyone's opinions were on afterlife and spirits and stuff like that. Like, what exactly do you think happens after death?
Okay, you may have attempted it, but you probably didn't succeed. As I mentioned, this isn't a facilely achieved state of mind. However, I mention it in a group of skeptics because it does elicit, if you can manage to do it, a state of mind in which one could very well question their entire ontology, set of beliefs, etc. Why else mention it?
But you know, if Strassman is right in that if one could for a period suspend thought temporarily, and this will cause a natural induction of N,N-DMT, then obviously, if one cannot suspend thought, then there are other methods. I'm sure you know where this is going…
The psychedelic community holds DMT as the ultimate convincer, because all one need do is simply toke 70mg of DMT, and then this experience is incontrovertible. When one smokes DMT, the experience itself only last about 5 minutes! Surely, a skeptic has five minutes to invest in an experience that would drastically alter one's point-of-view, the understanding they thought they had on this peculiar situation of life that we're in, so on and so forth.
Again, devotee, show us some empirical evidence. You've stated that your rituals elicit no measurable change in the devotee - other than an obstinate belief that they are on the one and true path that all others must follow. How do you know you haven't simply damaged your brain? You sure behave a lot more like someone with drug induced brain damage than an 'enlightened' prophet.
So... DMT makes koolaid easier to swallow.
You want some empirical evidence? I'd search the studies done on the people of the Santo Daime religion in Brazil. They use ayahuasca as a religious sacrament and have been doing so for years. These people have been tested for any type of long-term side effects or health issues, and they're perfectly fine. They're even more healthy than most Americans, in fact.
You see, it doesn't work that way. It's purely intuitive. In other words, what science is essentially is assimilation of what is transcribed into symbols, it's a translation of what is into memes, concepts, symbols, etc. so that we can grasp it intellectually. This experience that is talked about in eastern philosophy is a direct experience of whatever it is that "is."
This experience is often referred to as "non-dualism" in eastern philosophy. It is the dissolution of the subject-object experience we have through our self-awareness as separate egoic entities. The dissolution of the boundaries between the subject of experience (your experience), and the objects being experienced (your external reality), i.e. the world, the universe, multiverse, etc.
Watts once spoke of how Hindus and Buddhists imagine the divine in comparison to western religion. He asked an audience, "What sort of impression would God have of himself?" Then, goes onto say, "He obviously wouldn't look at his hands like we do and see he's an old man with a beard sitting on a throne." So, instead Watts continues to describe God as something else altogether, as he says of the eastern view, "God as the kind of ultimate, ultimate then there which there is no whicher, outside which there is nothing. Which has no edges. He wouldn't therefore look like a ball, he wouldn't look like a cube, he wouldn't look like a body. There would be no way at all of conceiving the final Self of all Selves." Well, this phenomenon that occurs is quite akin to undergoing an experience in which a transformation occurs where one feels themselves Watts described here, "The final Self of all selves."
You mentioned practicality, and that's not an easy thing to answer. Kaku talks about that the original location for the LHC being in the U.S.A., but in a conference, when a physicist was asked the key question by a congressman, "We will find God with the super collider?" The physicist's response was, "We're going to discover the Higgs Boson." Jaws dropped and it was cancelled. It would've been 3x bigger than the current LHC. Kaku said that he would've answered that question like this:
"God, by whatever signs or symbols we ascribe to the deity, this machine will take us as close as humanly possible to his greatest creation: Genesis. This is a genesis machine. It's a machine designed to probe the greatest event of the history of the universe, its birth."
Now, this is just Kaku, if you're familiar with his work, just pleasing the crowd there to get a project like that going using such words as "deity." We all know that he doesn't believe in the "personal God" that George Carlin made fun of, but instead the God of Spinoza, the God of elegance, order, harmony, and simplicity. But the point is that the LHC, aside from describing the birth of the universe and fulfilling mathematical hypothesis concerning "higher dimensions," its fruits couldn't solve our world's problems or tell you what colour the five socks you have concealed in a bag are. Billions of dollars would've have been spent, yet its practically doesn't really affect your life very much except in that you'll have certain questions answered regarding the Big Bang. Well, this experience I'm referring to is something like that, and I truly believe that, if you've read over the last posts here, what you come back with is exactly what String Theory is raving about. Except with String Theory, you arrive at it intellectually through concepts; and with this phenomenon in consciousness, you arrive at it through direct experience not through concepts or intellectual groping, but through pure intuition. So, the 11 dimensional foundation of the universe as described in M-Theory is one and the same with Brahman, "the ground of all being," as described in Hinduism, but it can be distorted by the person experiencing it because it's going to be filtered through their unique personality, translated through their own concepts, etc.
How old are you? I suspect you're about the age I was when I went through my Eastern mysticism, Alan Watts, DT Suzuki period. LOL
I'm of the Zen that all there is is right before you and doesn't require "achieving" any sort of "insight."
Your haste retort is just clue to the obviousness of your close-minded attitude towards this thing. It, in fact, does work, and I've already described the method to get there, but it's quite apparent that you will never consider this experience.
I see it doesn't work. Period.
Well, that's simply because it's not something you examine by "seeing if it works," it's something you have as an experience, and if you avoid it, then you'll spend the rest of your life circumabulating the true mystery that lies behind religion.
How old am I? That seems like an ageist question. I wouldn't really consider it a phase. You see, for I had this experience, so it wasn't something that I was intellectually attracted to. It was something that, in a way, I was forced to it.
It would be ageist if I suggested that all people of a certain age think one way. I'm just saying that the alternative religion phase is common among young adults. Especially in their college years. I've known many a hard-headed young person as well, but you, sir, are not one.
"You see, it doesn't work that way. It's purely intuitive."
LOL! That describes it all, Jimmy - all your bullshit. Does IQ increase? Well, no - that would be actual evidence. Does specific knowledge increase? Well, no, again, there is nothing you can measure. Ok, so can psychologists interview people before and after becoming devotees and note personality changes? YES, of course - they've become devotees and worship Terrence!
@Heather I've described how this can change someone's personality, I've described how this is in a way a kind of "special" or even "esoteric knowledge." I'm not sure what you're gibing at. I never said the changes in someone are "immeasurable," I'm saying that they're just as measurable as diagnosing someone who has high-functioning autism. In other words, it exists on a spectrum because people are complex and can be influenced by these things in many different ways, so there really isn't a concrete simplified way to tease these things apart with... which you, for some reason, expect there to be.
Jimmy, if you think of your mind as software, I would not challenge the fact that taking psilocybin may reprogram your software, perhaps irrevocably - but that has no correlation to what is going on in the world outside your mind. I'm not writing more because I can't deal with this narrow paragraphed column format :)