Have you ever had an experience of something not known to or accepted by the scientific community? It is so bizarre to know something is possible that is considered impossible by mainstream sources of information. I'm confident that it will be studied and accepted in the future but due to the stigma of my position I would not disclose the experience to those outside of my closest confidants.*
*In an effort not to seem paranoid, woo, or spiritual, I will disclose that I'm not getting probed by aliens, seeing Bigfoot in my backyard, communing with ley lines, or self-diagnosing "morgellons disease."
Thanks for sharing! It's reassuring! It was just very bizarre to have my assumption overturned that there really isn't much scientifically uncharted territory for me to experience (it's not like I'm capable or willing to investigate cutting edge science in my daily life).
I once had two half-siamese cats who knew ten minutes before I arrived, that I was coming home.
I worked in a flexi-time company, and would get home anywhere between 4.30pm and 8.30pm, but my mum knew exactly when I'd be in, because whatever the cats had been doing, they both came into the living room and sat up on the windowsill waiting, around ten minutes before I'd get in. Sometimes I'd walk home from the bus stop, sometimes I'd get a lift from a co-worker. This was way before cellphones.
There was nothing set about my arrival, other than the cats expectations. If I stayed out overnight, they didn't do it at all. And my coming home was the only time they ever sat on that windowsill.
There are many animal stories people tell, and it didn't spook me, it was just "one of those things".
** xians completely misinterpret their own lives within a culture they reject
A little something to share with fundies:
Your subjective experience when verbalized is not not evidence for me -- since it's hearsay. (And, your raw sensations, even if I could sense them, would not be "experienced" in the same manner.)
And your experiences are not *known* by you either. They are perceived but perception is not a form of knowledge. Subjective certainty, which xians will claim on the basis of “feelings”, are irrationally held attitudes towards a belief (which may or may not have evidence for it). Your opinion of what you experience is not a report of raw events of any kind.
There is no "experiencing it" outside of numerous interpretive contexts -- no experience comes with a table of contents telling you what "it" is. So-called reports of religious experiences come already packaged -- uniform, boring, uncreative -- psychologically comforting to those who need to be told what they can be expected to feel and what those feelings mean --
Without language, you literally have nothing to say. But, once you can use a language, you've have already had to accept its conceptual boundaries -- language is the most sophisticated medium in which we live -- but its foundations are material, not etherial:
A few interpretive filters -- the human body as an instinctual unity -- 100,000 thousand years of being a species -- grudgingly social apes which stepped out of nature by creating culture. There’s no going back -- giving up instinct for negative feedback loops in a not-so-reliable pre-frontal cortex.
Then, there are the intervening cultural matrices -- rules govern every human behavior -- which entails language as a highly abstract, invisible universe to which only humans can belong. It confirms human estrangement from nature.
Of course language means cultural evolution using acquired characteristics which outpaces genetic evolution millions of times over. Xian expectations have not been prepared for culture for the last 200 years -- dragging them along into a future they can not share already makes the US look unreliable on a planetary scale --
Well there was this one time at band camp...........
OK, flame me. The neighbours downstairs from where I live have moved out recently. It was a young couple with a baby. SHE is a sensible girl, HE is an abusive anti-social bully (who I now realise must have been traumatized as a baby, have bad genes, and had a terrible upbringing, and actually has a personality disorder). So he was very difficult to deal with. Me and her became allies, helping each other deal with him. There were many occasions when we used to communicate telepathically. Just an image, a word, an emotion, something like that, when it mattered. I can back this up because I would hear her go on to repeat what I'd communicated to her - three times, I can remember off the top of my head. I've had similar experiences before, but never anywhere near as strongly and consistently as this. I found that the only time it would happen is when we were thinking about each other, it's as if this would open up a channel for communication. Like two lighthouse beams which have to meet. As for words, we barely spoke 50 words to each other in the whole two years they were there.
I have a nephew aged 10 who is autistic and can't speak. However, like many autistic people, he's super-intelligent and he communicates by pointing to letters on a board. He's begun to say that he has dead people speaking to him inside his head - family members. For example, my dad's dad. My dad asked him to give the full name, which he did. There are many examples where he tells us something he couldn't possibly have been told, even taking into account the fact that he has a photographic memory. Undeniably, he has an unusual brain.
If you go on to dismiss these out of hand, you're not scientists. If you think I'm full of woo, you're mistaken.
Simon, a lot of things are possible when it comes to the human mind and I'd be inclined to think that most would agree that a lot of it is yet unknown. The plural of anecdote however, is not data, and if there is one thing that is open to suggestion it would be the human mind. That is not to say that I do not believe what you experienced, nor do I claim to know that it is a hallucination or anything imagined.
I like most people simply would like so say that I cannot dismiss these out of hands, nor does it sway me to believe any explanation of said experiences without additional data. I do not want to ascribe these experiences to a supernatural dimension and/or entity without good evidence. On the other hand, dismissing matters such as these out of hand is equally unjustified.
Whether the explanation of these experiences can be found within our current understanding of the world or whether it requires additional evidence and theory is something that I'm not qualified to argue about. So let it suffice me to say that I totally believe that you've had these experiences, yet that I'm ignorant about the explanation for them.
What I do know is that these experiences that you had are shared by lots of people and that regardless of whether it is true in a scientific perspective, it is meaningful to people. I've had some odd experiences, telepathy would explain that, but to me it doesn't matter. It had a deep impact on me emotionally and that is just fine, what is true and important for me emotionally is not always what is true and important in a scientific sense.
I did not select my "mate" in a scientific manner, I did not select my friends that way either. Does that mean that it is any more or less important to me, on a personal (emotional) level? Of course not, so if there's one advice I can give, Simon, it would be that you don't yet ascribe explanations to your experiences without further evidence, and that you do not let yourself be worried about whether what you are experiencing is true in a scientific sense, if it's real for you emotionally, it's real enough!
You are full of woo and I'm not mistaken. Every single person I've met who has made EXACTLY THE SAME CLAIMS (at least a dozen) is never willing to put them to scrutiny. You want to believe these things so you do - but don't expect others to believe this bullshit.
There you go. It's not scientific to say that. Can I put my claims about myself to scrutiny? Probably not, because they were the product of specific circumstances, which can't be called up to order. However, like you, I require evidence, and this came at the time in the form of independent verbal confirmation. If it was really necessary, then I could interview my former neighbour. I don't feel like doing this - would you?, and anyway I've got nothing to prove. I'm pretty sure my nephew wouldn't want to be splashed all over the media, and even his communicating can't be done to order: he needs time to gain confidence with the people he's doing it with. Mediums which I could possibly consider real just keep quiet and get on with it.
It's perfectly scientific to say so - because thousands of crackpot claims, exactly like yours, have been scrutinized and not a single one has held up. I know you earnestly believe these things - but you remember them incorrectly, lie to yourself to embellish coincidence into supernatural phenomenon, and never question yourself. Like every single other crackpot claim, exactly like this, that I've heard, once I call bullshit you simply say you have nothing to prove and have good reason not to open your claims to scrutiny. They only reason any of you people avoid scrutiny is because you know, deep down in side, that you are full of shit.
What scrutiny could be applied?
Having an outside observer record what your nephew spells out would be a start. Most often it is easy for a third party to see the coaching that goes into the answers, or recognize that certain questions have been asked/answered before.
I worked with a fellow a few years ago who believed that his mother could communicate with his dead step-father using a variation of a ouija board that used a swinging stylus. At one point he told me that they asked him where he was and he spelled out purgatory. I asked him if the stylus literally waved over each letter, from p to y, in order, without crossing any other letters and he said, emphatically yes. At that point I asked him when his mother had started speaking English (she only spoke French) and why, when asked in French, his dead step father would spell out purgatory in English - since he also spoke French. At that point the guy flipped out and started cursing in French, ha ha.
I found it amazing that when he was speaking in English he confirmed the details in English, forgetting that the people involved in his story didn't speak English. It's just little things like that that can completely blow such stories out of the water.
OK, yes, he could be tested something along those lines. The people involved would need to gain his confidence and spend quite a bit of time with him. However, I'm going to advise my sister to make sure he doesn't become famous. That would not be good. The best thing is if he could pay for her medical insurance. This would mean taking quiet private work. The customers would be the ones doing the testing, coming back for more, and telling their friends. Like you say, it's easy for individual strangers to test this to their satisfaction. Right now he's only 10.