Thursday, March 29, 2018

Psychic Interaction With Our Pets

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In a recent post, I talked about my friendship with a stinkbug.  The big issue there was the nature and scope of consciousness.  I think it important to spotlight the outlaws of nature—monks that levitate, affectionate insects, milk that dematerializes before statues of Ganesha—that sort of thing.  The anomalous, the preternatural, the supernormal: there is much to investigate, if you’re interested.  

But few of us are paying attention.  The reason is that the “educated” classes typically dismiss claims that threaten the creed of scientific materialism. So I feel it a duty to fight back.  My method is to hunt down the most provocative counter-examples to the reigning dogma of physicalism.  I do it for love of truth, however corny and old-fashioned that may sound.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Beyond Money, Power, and Death-Anxiety


Beyond Money, Power, and Death-Anxiety


Death is invincible and defeats us all, but we devise ways to compensate.  Some are natural such as biological reproduction; some are cultural, as when we contribute  to the greater good. But not every reaction to our mortality is benign.  Many people repress the very idea of being mortal.   According to Pulitzer prize-winning sociologist, Ernest Becker, the denial of death can lead to dangerous distortions of the human personality.  (See Becker’s Denial of Death, 1973.)

One way to compensate for feeling puny before death is to amass great personal power.  Wealth spread wide, fame that makes you known everywhere, influence and control—like talismans, these can buoy up one’s cowed spirit.  The ability to create fear or love in underlings at will, being fawned upon and laved with admiration, wallowing in privilege and feeling superior—all this might alleviate the angst that haunts our imagination.       

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Human Survival in the Balance



Albert Einstein wrote: “The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything
except our ways of thinking. Thus we are drifting toward a catastrophe
beyond comparison. We shall require a substantially new manner of
thinking, if mankind is to survive.”

A substantially new manner of thinking—we should underscore Einstein’s
words. They suggest that any approach that relies on old formulas
for solving the world predicament probably need to be scrapped. A substantially
new manner of thinking? Einstein has remarked on the importance of
imagination in solving the great problems by stepping outside
the box of our usual assumptions.

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