Saturday, 5 December 2009

Amazing skeptics

As of four this morning, I have another dream dossier finished. This is the longest of the group so far, 44 pages. I made it to provide an overview of my "visit" dreams, dreams where I see someone else doing something, and then call or write to verify whatever I saw. Usually this meets with success, and that is why the dreams are interesting. Because I have so many dreams like that, and so many are verified, I had to think of a filter for this document or it wouldn't be finished in a reasonable period of time. I decided to use dreams mentioned by a friend of mine in some correspondence he had with the stage magician, the Amazing Randi.

These were not the best dreams, nor the worst, but about average quality. Parts of them are compelling, others less so. The overall impression is that they are what they appear to be: the memory of a psychic visit. Putting together the document was fun up to a point, right up until I got to Randi's correspondence. He sneers at my friend Richard's ideas for some experiments as beneath his notice and naive, despite the fact that Richard has been a research physicist for over twenty years and Randi is a magician. This attitude is not appealing, but that isn't what bothered me.

The problem with Randi's comments is that they made clear he was interested in only one thing: disproving that paranormal events happen. That is his only goal. He stops short of the threshold of a magnificent building, refusing to enter, because he doesn't believe the building is really there. Meanwhile, there is a great deal to explore inside.

When I read my dreams, or when I experience them originally, I run across all sorts of interesting ideas. Sometimes the dreams contain information that seems impossible to a man like Randi, but that is incidental to the real value of the dreams, which enhance my understanding of the world I inhabit physically, and others I visit while my body sleeps. It is these other states that are most interesting to me, but as long as discussion is framed by skeptics, it will remain frozen at the "does it happen?" stage.

As far as I am concerned, it has been proven many times over that OOBE's, NDE's, telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance, and other phenomena are all real, so there is no point in trying to prove these things again. Skeptics who try to constrain discussion to this level do not contribute anything useful to the discussion and may as well be ignored. Any attempt to persuade a skeptic to your point of view solely on the basis of argument is bound to fail. What they need is their own personal psychic experience, preferably many of them because it will probably take several to break through any encrustation of prejudice. Once they have had their own experience and are persuaded by it, they will no longer be skeptics. This means that skeptics will always be a drag on the community because until they have seen with their own eyes what a paranormal experience is like, they cannot possibly understand it, and once they do understand, they are no longer skeptics.

Until they are amazed then, and persuaded, amaze them by ignoring them. Skeptics like Randi contribute nothing to knowledge of the paranormal, even if they occasionally manage to expose the corner gypsy palmist's shop as a fraud.


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