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But the problem with a contemplative claim of this sort is that you can't borrow someone else's contemplative tools to test it. The problem is that to test such a claim—indeed, to even appreciate how distracted we tend to be in the first place, we have to build our own contemplative tools. Imagine where astronomy would be if everyone had to build his own telescope before he could even begin to see if astronomy was a legitimate enterprise. It wouldn't make the sky any less worthy of investigation, but it would make it immensely more difficult for us to establish astronomy as a science.
To judge the empirical claims of contemplatives, you have to build your own telescope.
One problem with atheism as a category of thought, is that it seems more or less synonymous with not being interested in what someone like the Buddha or Jesus may have actually experienced. In fact, many atheists reject such experiences out of hand, as either impossible, or if possible, not worth wanting. Another common mistake is to imagine that such experiences are necessarily equivalent to states of mind with which many of us are already familiar—the feeling of scientific awe, or ordinary states of aesthetic appreciation, artistic inspiration, etc.
As someone who has made his own modest efforts in this area, let me assure you, that when a person goes into solitude and trains himself in meditation for 15 or 18 hours a day, for months or years at a time, in silence, doing nothing else—not talking, not reading, not writing—just making a sustained moment to moment effort to merely observe the contents of consciousness and to not get lost in thought, he experiences things that most scientists and artists are not likely to have experienced, unless they have made precisely the same efforts at introspection. And these experiences have a lot to say about the plasticity of the human mind and about the possibilities of human happiness.
So, apart from just commending these phenomena to your attention, I'd like to point out that, as atheists, our neglect of this area of human experience puts us at a rhetorical disadvantage. Because millions of people have had these experiences, and many millions more have had glimmers of them, and we, as atheists, ignore such phenomena, almost in principle, because of their religious associations—and yet these experiences often constitute the most important and transformative moments in a person's life. Not recognizing that such experiences are possible or important can make us appear less wise even than our craziest religious opponents.
Originally posted by RobertPaulsim
Have you tryied the psiwheel? Pendulum? That opened a flood of questions for me and a new
view in life.... thing is, "psi" is reactive to belief, because of its mental nature.
Can you give a try? Just contemplate the wheel and wish every 10 seconds to spin. Look at it
as you are a master of mental pet and expect it to obey. DONT THINK. This method works but
takes its time... 20 mins or so for first timers.
TK is the only way people can understand ESP and therefore the whole dimensions namaste
(the mental comand should be extra brief or the psi construct will be overwhelmed)
-RPedit on 21-12-2012 by RobertPaulsim because: (no reason given)