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Old 12-29-2008, 10:31 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by A_Wanderer View Post
You produced an anecdote by Kimberly Clark Sharp, I found an article dealing with this very storyHallucinatory Near-Death Experiences

That investigation undercuts the idea that the claim is incontestable, it must be noted that the JREF offered a lot of prize money for people who could demonstrate paranormal abilities in mutually agreed controlled conditions, this would include astral projection (e.g. somebody projecting their consciousness and identifying a random group of objects inside a box). This simply didn't happen, there is no persuasive evidence supporting astral projection and your case (which you presented without context, or critical review) is one more failed piece of spiritualist propaganda.

Here are some abstracts from the journal of NDE studies, which seems to have some editorial input from believers
Word to you: God doesn't show off miracles to convert those that lack the faith to believe in Him, unless you have a pre ordained calling like the Apostle Paul. Your guys will have no takers. God doesn't do parlor tricks, Chriss Angel does.



Are you calling Kenneth Ring a liar? A researcher of 20 years ?
The story is told in his book in it's entirety:



Kenneth Ring is an educated professor from the University of Conn. for 30 years.
He visited the hospital himself too.


I'm sure the migrant worker spotted that shoe up 3-4 stories with the red worn out tennis shoe with the pinky toe being worn thru and shoe lace tucked under the sole before entering the hospital just so she could fake her clinical death and then dupe Kimberely Shore.

Yeah, that's it.

I would buy your theory of evolution before I bought the Ebbern and Mulligan spin.

I don't mind a skeptic but refusing to be reasonable is neurotic.

For giggles sakes have your guys explain this one away:

Quote:
People Born Blind Can

See During a NDE



Dr. Kenneth Ring's NDE Research of the Blind

Vicki Umipeg, a forty-five year old blind woman, was just one of the more than thirty persons that Dr. Ken Ring and Sharon Cooper interviewed at length during a two-year study just completed concerning near-death experiences of the blind. The results of their study appear in their newest book Mindsight. Vicki was born blind, her optic nerve having been completely destroyed at birth because of an excess of oxygen she received in the incubator. Yet, she appears to have been able to see during her NDE. Her story is a particularly clear instance of how NDEs of the congenitally blind can unfold in precisely the same way as do those of sighted persons. As you will see, apart from the fact that Vicki was not able to discern color during her experience, the account of her NDE is absolutely indistinguishable from those with intact visual systems. The following is an excerpt from Dr. Ring's latest book reprinted by permission.

Vicki told Dr. Ring she found herself floating above her body in the emergency room of a hospital following an automobile accident. She was aware of being up near the ceiling watching a male doctor and a female nurse working on her body, which she viewed from her elevated position. Vicki has a clear recollection of how she came to the realization that this was her own body below her. The following is her experience.

I knew it was me ... I was pretty thin then. I was quite tall and thin at that point. And I recognized at first that it was a body, but I didn't even know that it was mine initially.


Then I perceived that I was up on the ceiling, and I thought, "Well, that's kind of weird. What am I doing up here?"


I thought, "Well, this must be me. Am I dead? ..."

I just briefly saw this body, and ... I knew that it was mine because I wasn't in mine.


In addition, she was able to note certain further identifying features indicating that the body she was observing was certainly her own.

I think I was wearing the plain gold band on my right ring finger and my father's wedding ring next to it. But my wedding ring I definitely saw ... That was the one I noticed the most because it's most unusual. It has orange blossoms on the corners of it.


There is something extremely remarkable and provocative about Vicki's recollection of these visual impressions, as a subsequent comment of hers implied.

"This was," she said, "the only time I could ever relate to seeing and to what light was, because I experienced it."


She then told them that following her out-of-body episode, which was very fast and fleeting, she found herself going up through the ceilings of the hospital until she was above the roof of the building itself, during which time she had a brief panoramic view of her surroundings. She felt very exhilarated during this ascension and enjoyed tremendously the freedom of movement she was experiencing. She also began to hear sublimely beautiful and exquisitely harmonious music akin to the sound of wind chimes.

With scarcely a noticeable transition, she then discovered she had been sucked head first into a tube and felt that she was being pulled up into it. The enclosure itself was dark, Vicki said, yet she was aware that she was moving toward light. As she reached the opening of the tube, the music that she had heard earlier seemed to be transformed into hymns and she then "rolled out" to find herself lying on grass.

She was surrounded by trees and flowers and a vast number of people. She was in a place of tremendous light, and the light, Vicki said, was something you could feel as well as see. Even the people she saw were bright.

Everybody there was made of light. And I was made of light. What the light conveyed was love. There was love everywhere. It was like love came from the grass, love came from the birds, love came from the trees.


Vicki then becomes aware of specific persons she knew in life who are welcoming her to this place. There are five of them. Debby and Diane were Vicki's blind schoolmates, who had died years before, at ages 11 and 6, respectively.

In life, they had both been profoundly retarded as well as blind, but here they appeared bright and beautiful, healthy and vitally alive.

And no longer children, but, as Vicki phrased it, "in their prime."

In addition, Vicki reports seeing two of her childhood caretakers, a couple named Mr. and Mrs. Zilk, both of whom had also previously died. Finally, there was Vicki's grandmother - who had essentially raised Vicki and who had died just two years before this incident. In these encounters, no actual words were exchanged, Vicki says, but only feelings - feelings of love and welcome.

In the midst of this rapture, Vicki is suddenly overcome with a sense of total knowledge.

I had a feeling like I knew everything ... and like everything made sense. I just knew that this was where ... this place was where I would find the answers to all the questions about life, and about the planets, and about God, and about everything ... It's like the place was the knowing.


As these revelations are unfolding, Vicki notices that now next to her is a figure whose radiance is far greater than the illumination of any of the persons she has so far encountered. Immediately, she recognizes this being to be Jesus. He greets her tenderly, while she conveys her excitement to him about her newfound omniscience and her joy at being there with him.

Telepathically, he communicates to her.

"Isn't it wonderful? Everything is beautiful here, and it fits together. And you'll find that. But you can't stay here now. It's not your time to be here yet and you have to go back."


Vicki reacts, understandably enough, with extreme disappointment and protests vehemently.

"No, I want to stay with you."

But the being reassures her that she will come back, but for now, she "has to go back and learn and teach more about loving and forgiving."

Still resistant, however, Vicki then learns that she also needs to go back to have her children. With that, Vicki, who was then childless but who "desperately wanted" to have children (and who has since given birth to three) becomes almost eager to return and finally consents.

However, before Vicki can leave, the being says to her, in these exact words, "But first, watch this."

And what Vicki then sees is "everything from my birth" in a complete panoramic review of her life, and as she watches, the being gently comments to help her understand the significance of her actions and their repercussions.

The last thing Vicki remembers, once the life review has been completed, are the words, "You have to leave now."

Then she experiences "a sickening thud" like a roller-coaster going backwards, and finds herself back in her body.

Such reports, replete with visual imagery, were the rule, not the exception, among Ring and Cooper's blind respondents. Altogether, 80% of their entire sample claimed some visual perception during their near-death or out-of-body encounters. Although Vicki's was unusual with respect to the degree of detail, it was hardly unique in their sample.

Sometimes the initial onset of visual perception of the physical world is disorienting and even disturbing to the blind. This was true for Vicki, for example, who said:

I had a hard time relating to it (i.e., seeing). I had a real difficult time relating to it because I've never experienced it. And it was something very foreign to me ... Let's see, how can I put it into words? It was like hearing words and not being able to understand them, but knowing that they were words. And before you'd never heard anything. But it was something new, something you'd not been able to previously attach any meaning to.



"Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there's a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see." - Helen Keller

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Old 12-29-2008, 10:41 PM   #47
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I find it interesting, diamond, that you are now appealing to authorities which are eminently "educated" and so on when the rest of the time you like to accuse such people of elitism. Hypocritical, but unsurprising.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:43 PM   #48
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I'm selective in the intellectualism I subscribe to here, for reasons greater than the finite.

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Old 12-29-2008, 11:21 PM   #49
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No, his Angel was in Heaven and *could* have been waiting for him to welcome him home once he returned there. I've read we all have 2-3 Guardian Angels.


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Old 12-29-2008, 11:40 PM   #50
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Word to you: God isn't doesn't show off miracles to convert those that lack the faith to believe in Him-unless you have a pre ordained calling like the Apostle Paul. Your guys will have no takers.
Then why do you feel the need to jump over these cheap tricks? Is your faith in God that weak that you need continuous reinforcement through magic tricks? What sense does it make for an omnipotent God to keep everybody in the dark about miracles, direct violation of the regular laws of nature - except when he needs to convince people to throw some money towards faith healers and Christian publishers.
Quote:
Are you calling Kenneth Ring a liar? A researcher of 20 years ?
The story is told in his book in it's entirety:



Kenneth Ring is an educated professor from the University of Conn. for 30 years.
Your getting rather defensive, Ring has done some good research and his journal published materials don't draw any conclusions about the existence of an afterlife.
Quote:
He visited the hospital himself too.


I'm sure the migrant worker spotted that shoe up 3-4 stories with the red worn out tennis shoe with the pinky toe being worn thru and shoe lace tucked under the sole before entering the hospital just so she could fake her clinical death to then dupe Kimberely Shore.

Yeah, that's it.
And this is the reflexive attitude, either somebody is telling the gospel truth or they are a malicious liar. It is not unlike C.S. Lewis and his mad, bad or god argument in regards to Jesus. The fact is that Kimberly Shore has an agenda, she wants to believe in life after death, and might make some money through her books, and those claims have to be critically assessed. I am not saying that she is a liar, but it is entirely possible that as a believer she doesn't approach instances in a wholly critical fashion.

Given the lack of detail in the report, and the subsequent investigation which showed how readily Maria, or a visitor, could have seen the shoe there's is a potential mechanism for her to know about the shoe without any supernatural event. You are positing the existence of an afterlife and you don't even want to produce the best possible evidence, you don't seem to want a bulletproof case for your beliefs, and manage to track down examples with enough ambiguity and misrepresentation to render them useless.

If you want to produce a respectable claim why not take a randomly printed number, put in in an envelope and place it inside a safe, have neither the experimentalists or subjects know the number and then have them astrally project into the safe and identify what the number is; if the subjects can remotely identify the number at a statistically significant level then there may be something going on. As it stands these sorts of double blind studies into ESP don't show any powers, astral projectionists don't do any better than people who just guess numbers.

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I would buy your theory of evolution before I bought Ebbern and Mulligan spin.
It doesn't matter what I believe; evolution is a fact, just like gravity is a fact; and natural selection is a very powerful explanatory theory to explain the facts. It wouldn't matter if I was a bible bashing creationist, it wouldn't stop me from being part of the natural world.

If I tell you that I have magic water which stops cancer would you believe me? Why shouldn't you? Can you conceive of other areas where you might be exploited?

There are important reasons for taking a sceptical attitude, it isn't unreasonable to doubt extraordinary claims and it doesn't leech away the wonder of the universe. Scepticism improves your comprehension, prevents you being exploited by others, and allows you to make informed choices.
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I don't mind a skeptic but refusing to be reasonable is neurotic.
Replication, falsifiability, peer review and explanatory power are things which I think are useful. Its perfectly reasonable to expect phenomena to be demonstrable, otherwise we would have to take every claim at face value - or worse - on the basis of which proponent is more charismatic.

Don't twist words beyond their meaning, advocating critical thinking is reasonable and fair, it's only biased against thing which don't exist.
Quote:
For giggles sakes have your guys explain this one away:
She describes her body, and her ring; two things which she already has a sense of in her brain. She couldn't discern colour, this is an important detail, it suggest that the labels which most people attach to visual information weren't developed (although hearing, tasting and feeling colours is a well documented phenomena; due to the connection between the sensory regions of the brain).

We have a body map which helps us relate ourselves to other objects, to coordinate our motion. This exists in blind people, she already had a sense of her body including shape. Her vision of herself may reflect the model of her surroundings which she constructed in her mind, there is nothing in the claim suggesting she was receiving new information, all of it matches what she knew in advance and what she might anticipate having during an NDE.

No new information + activity in her latent visual system = new perceptions (a sense of sight) of the world model inside her head.

I can only give the weak analogue from the friend of a friend who has experienced synesthesia, and had visual hallucinations of auditory inputs - they effectively saw music, with regular colour associations to different notes; this was not something they experience in their day to day life and showed novel interactions in the brain, it is notable that these were seen when the eyes were shut in a completely dark room. It isn't impossible to see things in space without actually having a visual input.

You keep throwing anecdotes, which are published for the public without peer review and are marketed to reinforce peoples belief system. The NDE literature is marketed to people who want to believe, they offer anecdote, not original research, and usually fail to give a proper context to what is going on inside peoples brains.

I'm not the closed minded one in this argument, I am entertaining the possibility that NDE's represent the edge of an afterlife. but that hypothesis is relegated to insignificance because it doesn't explain anything - the explanatory power of a naturalistic model rests in the potential to explain what is happening to produce the effects in the mind; these are very unconstrained at the moment, but the questions are fantastic and have big implications for understanding consciousness.

You like NDE reports, here is a wonderful example from an expert who actually experienced one, and who is vastly more knowledgeable than I
YouTube - How it feels to have a stroke
It only goes for about 20 minutes and is a perfect example of an NDE, she explains what happens as she had a stroke and what she knew as it was happening.

It also shows off some really cool science.
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:48 PM   #51
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Why is everyone's religion right? Are there any cases of an NDE where a Christian is informed by the many armed Elephant god Ganesh that it's not their time?
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Old 12-30-2008, 01:24 AM   #52
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Based on what I've read about research into NDEs in India, the content of NDEs seems to be culturally mediated whether the individual in question is religious or not (for example, Indian subjects don't report experiencing panoramic overviews of their lives, viewing themselves from outside their bodies, or being drawn up to the 'next world' through a tunnel of light, all of which are very common in Western NDEs, regardless of whether the individual is religious).

Also, I kinda doubt anyone anywhere sees Ganesh in their NDEs ...he's not a figure Hinduism would prime you to expect to see upon dying. I've certainly never read of any Indians seeing him in an NDE.
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Old 12-30-2008, 02:13 PM   #53
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Why is everyone's religion right? Are there any cases of an NDE where a Christian is informed by the many armed Elephant god Ganesh that it's not their time?
I can only hope and pray that some day...

Perhaps I can fist bump Buddha too.


Speaking of everyone's religion being right.
I wonder if anyone has had such an experience, where as they go towards the light, all of a sudden Siva appears, "surprise! you chose the wrong religion, sucks to be you christian/muslim/sikh/jew boy/girl!! Ha ha!"
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:06 PM   #54
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Or better yet a God who appears as they die but no afterlife, or an afterlife and no God.
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:10 PM   #55
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Hmmm....so I could go towards the white light, fist bump Buddha, and then cease to exist...not as amusing as my scenario, but an intriguing end just the same.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:20 PM   #56
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I think all religions have different degrees of Truth, some more than others.
The more spiritual a person is, the closer he or she will progress towards God in the hereafter.


I think polictical machinations and fear mongering here on Earth instituted by man slow a person's growth towards God or sometimes turn them off all together.
God being just and fair will take all of those circumstances into consideration.

The reality is: God has an eternity to wait for you, and is more merciful than most people realize-it's up to us to decide when to move forward.

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Old 12-30-2008, 08:26 PM   #57
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I think that is perhaps a more intelligent take on different religions than many take.

Which do you think has the most truth?

And of the major world religions (Scientology excluded please) which do you think has the least?


Just curious.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:46 PM   #58
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So many to choose from..

I shopped so many religions, Unity, Preysbertainism, Luthernism...many more.

I came to LDS/Mormon and we understand all people will have an oppurtunity to learn of Christ's Gospel in this life or if they haven't here in the next life.

I'm comfortable with that idea, and feel it to be true-most Christian Faiths do not teach that.

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Old 12-30-2008, 08:52 PM   #59
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Thanks for answering.

Although, you realize from a merely comparative standpoint - if as you say, all religions retain some element of truth - and that particular aspect that you mention is an oddity amongst the religions (or at least Christian ones you tell me? I would say it's similar to some other religions that believe in differing forms of reincarnation)- that it has a great probability of being untrue?

Assuming of course that there is one truth, and over time that truth has been acquired and integrated into different belief systems leaving only remnants behind. Those aspects that are prevalent across many groups would likely represent the original truth.

That is not to say some groups may retain certain outliers.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:56 PM   #60
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Thanks for answering.



Assuming of course that there is one truth, and over time that truth has been acquired and integrated into different belief systems leaving only remnants behind. Those aspects that are prevalent across many groups would likely represent the original truth.

I think one day we'll be able to connect the dots and realize the competiveness of different religions here on earth was an affront to God.

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