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March 02, 2010

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In religious traditions this core consciousness is referred to as the soul...

They love doing this - inventing a new label and then identifying it with other religious traditions. All praise to theosophy for making this kind of whitewash fashionable.

Chopra is a tool, I agree, but I think he's actually saying something more there than "spirituality is the experience of God". He's talking, I think, albeit obliquely, about the phenomenon of "transcendence", where a glitch in the brain (not that he'd call it that) can make you temporarily lose your perception of personal space and individuality, so you don't quite know where you end and not-you begins. And he's (of course) describing it in mystical language and pretending it reflects a deeper reality, instead of being a brain malfunction.

Copra says pretty stuff in a way that makes people think he knows something. I think he's spent a lot of time learning how to express himself, but never bothered learning what to express.

You're an idiot.

Such insightful, detailed, constructive, and thought-provoking commentary, there. How do you do it, Duh?

[/sarcasm]

Duh, you could at least expand.

...it was a drive by trolling.

You need to take some acid and then come back to this topic at a later date. and LOL at a brain glitch. Even as skeptical as I am..I can appreciate the paragraphs above and know exactly what he's talking about. Just because you aren't aware of things yet doesn't mean they don't exist- The collective consciousness, as explored by Jung towards the end of his life- is an amazing topic. I have personal experience with this type of awakening to the fact that we're all connected. Also- read the book called "social intelligence" Electricity. Energy. Brains..etc. All possibly connected. Its amazing that you have an entire blog dedicated to saying people are full of shit- but I think you are scared to death of anything that is not concrete. Weak imo. Have a good day. If you'd like to hear of a personal experience I had that makes me a bit different, feel free to email me in private. It's quite an amazing story.

if the world were full of people like you- it would be a boring, unsaturated...place I wouldn't want to be. The mystical side of the world is where I draw inspiration and creative power. fuck you for trying to kill that in people. Seriously. Now topics like organized religion or..anything where people are judging or attacking others..or ethical rights..that is something to blog about but just trying to call people stupid for "wanting to believe" in something magical..is just mean. You make me sad.

Its amazing that you have an entire blog dedicated to saying people are full of shit

Isn't that what people like Chopra do for a living?

While science is advancing human knowledge in ways we couldn't imagine a century ago, woos are busy shouting, "Impossible, impossible, impossible!" whenever we expand the frontiers into terrain they find uncomfortable, like the mind or our humble origins.

As for personal experience without scientific experiment, that's the height of hubris: You're saying it's impossible (a woo's favorite word) for you to be wrong. A scientifically minded person is keenly aware of that possibility. We're humble enough to check against personal errors with the scientific method. We are open-minded to the possibility that we could be wrong, which is why every theory must be falsifiable by new evidence. Humility and open-mindedness are the great virtues of science.

Woos, however, try to use their propaganda techniques to redefine their closed-minded mantras of "impossible" as "open-minded".

People like you want us to believe that the universe is incapable of expanding beyond your limited imaginations, because they want to imagine a universe that exists only for their selfish pleasure.

Science lets us imagine, test, and then be surprised when the result ISN'T what we expect. The universe isn't as limited as Chopra and friends want it to be.

Go rain on someone else's parade.

Rachael Good:

fuck you for trying to kill that in people. Seriously. [...] just trying to call people stupid for "wanting to believe" in something magical..is just mean. You make me sad.

Oh dear. I think someone's Chakras are out of balance.

Another thing about woos like Rachael above is they think they have a monopoly on imagination. Their idea of imagination and creativity is really just a reaction to their perception of science. Fortunately they are completely wrong, without imagination scientific advance would be painfully slow.

Well said, Ian. It's the inherent arrogance and dehumanization efforts like that which really get me foaming at the mouth. They think that they're so innately superior and that humility is a sign of weakness.

"If you'd like to hear of a personal experience I had that makes me a bit different, feel free to email me in private. It's quite an amazing story."

"if the world were full of people like you- it would be a boring, unsaturated...place I wouldn't want to be. The mystical side of the world is where I draw inspiration and creative power. fuck you for trying to kill that in people. Seriously. Now topics like organized religion or..anything where people are judging or attacking others..or ethical rights..that is something to blog about but just trying to call people stupid for "wanting to believe" in something magical..is just mean. You make me sad."

Apparently you could not wait before plowing in with the righteous indignation, no?

Also I find this a wonderful example of the 'all woo is bad until you rain on my particular brand of irrational thought'. You can blog about anything I feel is appropriate apparently, just do not upset me. Is that not a bit well, weak?

I have personal experience with this type of awakening to the fact that we're all connected.

So do i. It's called communication, emotion and imagination. Its hardly mystical or incomprehensible. Everyone experiences this every day, you are hardly special.

Some people insist on pretending that it requires something supernatural for it to happen.

Also, Rachel, Jung didn't "explore" the collective unconscious, rather he speculated that it exists and then wrote about it as if it did. What's more, he didn't think of it himself, he stole an idea of Goethe's from physiology and applied it directly to psychology without acknowledging what he had done.

Also, it might be inspiring to hear you can control your health with your mind, but why not go one step further and ask "really?" and demand a sensible answer.

It's a mind game; talk with such verbosity and such class that people fail to grasp the simple message you're delivering.They then think of themselves as morons while you're the learned one - they're awed by you - they respect you - you're their leader,healer everything. Once you establish yourself, it's simpler - garnish stale gruel with classier and more contrived speeches and it gets gulped readily.

You need to take some acid and then come back to this topic at a later date.

I've taken shitloads, actually. And various other hallucinogens, stimulants, depressants, etc. Plus I've practised several forms of mediation, visualisation, and so forth.

I have personal experience with this type of awakening

Yup, me too. Several other kinds as well - I'm actually quite the mystic. However...

The mystical side of the world is where I draw inspiration and creative power.

Unlike you, I can recognise the difference between (a) a profoundly affecting subjective experience and (b) reliable information about the actual operation of the real world.

The thing you really have to remember about all those experiences is that they are exactly that: subjective experiences brought about by the selective modification of your neurochemistry. They should teach you about the fallibility of your sense impressions and intuitions about the world. But some people take the wrong message... All that stuff about "grounding" actually is important, you know? You've got to return to reality at the end.

1) plz do not close comments to any topic, i was intersted to comment on JOE's LOA 'not' work...lol
2) i read many books of deepak chopra and find nothing
3) law of attraction or quantum theory based laws for success may b like placibo for some people but absolutely childlish n stupid (illusion)
4) it has no logic at all
5) stupid concept/people r hot in market bcoz people are lazy n masses r idiot..!
welcome to the planet of sleeping people
thanks skeptico, nice blog, i luv ur blog!

I want to believe in something magical Rachel and this blog (among others) points out how to pass on the stuff that doesn't work. Critical thinking and the like.

Hell, psychic powers would really make my life easier. And I could use that million bucks.

Hi there :) yes, many people are sour patches about many things.

for one, a true wise man knows:

astrology is real
reincarnation is real
chakras are real
psychics are real

it's all real and true. it takes the right-brain, not just the left-brain.

it takes the intuition, not just the logic. logic must operate on the limited set of data it has acquired. from whence does the data become acquired to be used by the cutting nature of the logic? from intuition my friend. intuition: the combined knowing and sensing of things beyond the 5 senses.

many are blindfolded, restricted to the 5 senses. they have not awakened their latent unfolding of intuition. then, when intuition opens, your data set opens, and your logic can operate more fully based in reality. it will not be so limited as it is now

auf wiedersehen :)

"astrology is real
reincarnation is real
chakras are real
psychics are real"

Really! Well I expect you will undoubtedly be soon supplying the evidence that back up these assertions of yours.

"it's all real and true. it takes the right-brain, not just the left-brain."

I'm sorry but I have no idea what that is supposed to mean, beyond that it takes both hemispheres to live and function.

"it takes the intuition, not just the logic."

Ahhh, you don't actually have any evidence do you? It's just going to be some hand-waving about intuition and things beyond the mere material again.

"from whence does the data become acquired to be used by the cutting nature of the logic? from intuition my friend."

Ummm no, the data comes from repeated experimentation, observation and recording of said observations. Fuzzy feelings have nothing to do with it I'm afraid.

"many are blindfolded, restricted to the 5 senses. they have not awakened their latent unfolding of intuition."

Ohhh I see now, I'm just blindfolded and restricted, still slaving away under the chains of empirical observation, reality that kind of thing, darn it all. Boy I just cannot wait until I have that blindfold lifted and achieve freedom like you have done. It will be so liberating to finally not have to demand any evidence for a given claim, just go with how I feel. I'm gonna be rich when being so unfettered I can supply my bank details to that nice person, who only wants to reward my help in getting their royal inheritance out of Africa...

"then, when intuition opens, your data set opens, and your logic can operate more fully based in reality. it will not be so limited as it is now"

So when I stop caring about objective reality I will some how operate more fully in reality? No I don't think so, some wishful notion that a given claim is true does not make that claim a reality. No amount of subjective personal feelings of certainty will ever make imaginary constructs real; no evidence, no phenomena.

Btw just what is this notion that anyone who cares for the scientific method, objective reality, evidence and critical analysis are in some way limited? I find the world a far richer and more interesting place than one limited by excusing everything to imaginary, untestable forces.

Someone's beating you for the title of cynic, DC.

One of the worst ways to shackle your imagination is to attach your worldview to your ego. That's what "intuition" means to a lot of woos: The idea that they have a magical track to absolute truth inside their own head.

Wake up, Ned. You are not inherently superior to anyone else.

astrology is real reincarnation is real chakras are real psychics are real

Present evidence or shut up.

it takes the intuition, not just the logic.

Present evidence or shut up.

many are blindfolded, restricted to the 5 senses.

Some of them are called blind, deaf or dumb.

Since you seem not to have learned anything since, oh, the time of Aristotle, you may be amazed to learn that human beings actually have around ten senses. So it looks like we're light-years ahead of you Ned.

Maybe you should catch up.

The five senses thing is also amusing, since science is what allows us to see invisible things.

Whenever science demonstrates the existence of something not immediately obvious, it's woos who start chanting their favorite mantra of "Impossible, impossible, impossible!"

Not even practical applications of the invisible can stop them: We still have germ theory denialists (invisible to the naked eye), evolution denialists (mostly invisible due to observation time constraints), and so on and so on.

Some of them are called blind, deaf or dumb.
But they sure play a mean pinball.

it is all true, what has been said by Ned.

take for instance, my father. my intuitive friend last year told him he would find a lady (he has been divorced, very sad) when he visits his relatives. and just this spring, that is what happened! i not make up.

it is true, psychic mediums contact the deceased and say their details. their humor, their stats.

open your intuition, then all will be better :)

Shocking! He was recently divorced and his parents invited a lady to the gathering? Shocking, truly shocking.

Next you are going to tell me that it was predicted that he would go to the store and see a bald man!

"He was recently divorced"

* He was divorced in 1996

"his parents invited a lady to the gathering?"

* His father is on the other side, his mother is very ill, which was why he visited her. He found this lady through interesting circumstances, never known before.

"Next you are going to tell me that it was predicted that he would go to the store and see a bald man!"

* fortunately not

"fortunately not"

Why, what's wrong with bald people?

As for your anecdote about the friend, well I'm sure that has never happened before, a fuzzy reassurance that an unattached person will meet someone after being fourteen years divorced. You don't think that someone might have, you know, arranged the meeting for their long term unattached offspring? Something which might be more likely amongst some cultures.

"it is true, psychic mediums contact the deceased and say their details. their humor, their stats."

Amazing details like, "I'm getting an M sounding name, Mary or Maria, does this name seem familiar to anyone?"

"Amazing details like, "I'm getting an M sounding name, Mary or Maria, does this name seem familiar to anyone?"

Yes but also more. Like that they appreciated what someone did at their funeral, and noticed specifically what someone was wearing, colors, etc.

They said the speech was too boring and official, they would have liked something more fun and happy.

They talked about the music, and about the future.

Ned:

To understand why your arguments are silly to us, there are a few things you need to realize.

1. Anecdotes are not evidence. If I told you I can fly would that be good enough for you?

2. Go read about what subjective validation, cold reading and confirmation bias are. Realize those are just a few reasons why your testimony is worthless.

3. Come up with a new argument, present evidence (not stories) or go away.

"Yes but also more."

Just nothing specific, more generic fluff anyone could safely claim about any funeral. Nothing that could not be gleaned via cold reading of a willing recipient eager to fill in the blanks and miss / ignore the mistakes.

We could do this all day, but lacking a full transcript of the reading all I've got to go on, are anecdotes from a biased source that is pulling it from the murky reservoir of their own memory. Stories do not prove anything alas.

Some of the best psychic mediums are:

John Edwards
Allison Dubois (tv show Medium based on her life)
James van Praagh

excellent books and information about life. have you ever read any?

Correction:

"John Edwards"

to be substituted by:

"John Edward"

good day

Ned,

You are either trolling or easy pickins.

Some of the best psychic mediums are:

John Edwards
Allison Dubois (tv show Medium based on her life)
James van Praagh

Best at what? Making vague observations that could apply to anyone?

"Medium" was based on stuff Allison DuBois said, not things that really happened. She has yet to present any evidence her "powers" helped solve any investigations.

I don't read their books because they are based on the premise that these people have some sort of powers. Prove the powers exist, then I'll be interested in their insights as to why they exist. In the meantime, have you read the links I provided? I'll sum up since you didn't.

1. Subjective Validation:

The desire to make statements personally significant no matter how vague. So when James Van Praagh says "father figure", it can be validated as any older male figure in one's life.

2. Cold Reading:

A set of techniques used by entertainers (like Banachek or The Amazing Kreskin who claim no magic powers) and the charlatans you mention to make people validate or make people think a certain way about statements, initials or symbols.

3. Confirmation bias:

The desire of humans to remember the things the entertainer or bullshitter got right (you play guitar, right?) but not the things they got wrong (who owns the bumblebee pendant?)

Now that you know what these things are, realize that you are the easiest person to fool you. Listen to a John Edward or Sylvia Browne reading and try to take into account what you've learned here. With a cursory education in logic and reasoning, you'll realize it is more likely that subjective validation, cold reading and confirmation bias are responsible for these "powers" rather than the egos of dead people floating around talking to them.

"Some of the best psychic mediums are..."

You've got to be kidding, I've seen these guys and all are practitioners of cold reading and the shotgun method of it; they are not even very good cold readers.

Tell me, do you think all psychics are genuine or do you accept that some are fake?

Ned:

John Edward, a psychic medium?  He’s such a lame cold reader (read “guesser”) I made a bingo card listing all his lame tricks.  Just check out the video at this site of the 5 most fraudulent psychics – he blows through several squares in the first minute.

Alison Dubiousois?

The show is based on her delusions aboot life .

Alison Dubois Week - 5 days of posts putting her claims to the test

Shatner asks Edwards if he's ever considered psychosis not psychic ability

Shatner calls it all woo

The Family Guy also does a great job of exposing his "talent" for what it is - blatant guessing. I canna find a clip.

@Nemo: “He's talking, I think...about...transcendence", where a glitch in the brain...can make you temporarily lose your perception of personal space and individuality...describing it in mystical language and pretending it reflects a deeper reality, instead of being a brain malfunction.”
Funny someone who chose Nemo as his nick wouldn’t recognize that that awareness is not a “malfunction,” it’s just something you can’t grasp or appreciate. It may not represent a “deeper” reality, but it’s still a reality, a sense that we are part of the universe (we are, aren’t we?) and that it and we are unfolding in synchrony. It is as valid a way of seeing things – albeit difficult to hold on to – as the notion that we are imprisoned within ourselves. No woo, no ‘universal consciousness” is required to make it profound. Some of us go out of our way to seek for that elusive and, for most of us, transient awareness.

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